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Published on May 8th, 2017 | by Karissa Bird

Don’t Waste the Now

Living through bruises, scrapes, dislocated shoulders, cavities, chemistry corrections, flat tires, airport delays, toilets that need cleaning and carpets that need vacuuming, diets when cakes (sadly) have too many calories in them…

The moments I just described aren’t fun, romantic, or beautiful — not like the things I usually like to write about. All these things are annoying. A nuisance.

But hard things, small and big, are a part of life. Life has sections of good and bad, broken hopes and fulfilled dreams, hunger and fill, floods of tears and bubbles of joy. All the chapters of your past, present, and future make up the book of you, your life. All your experiences turn into memories, and what you do with your memories turns into your attitude.

“It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. It’s not what you see, it’s how you see it. It’s not what your life is, it’s how you live it.”

It’s How You View The Moments

Your life might not magically become perfect overnight and your circumstances might not change, but your attitude can. Through first world problems, regular problems, or everyday life, you have thousands of moments to cry or smile or laugh.

You have 86,400 seconds to be exact.

How often are you going to let ten seconds of a bad thing — such as someone tearing you down — ruin the rest of the 86,390? You may not be able to change them or the circumstances in your life. But you can change your mindset and you can change the way you think; you can change how you view the few moments you have.

It’s how you live.

It’s How You Use the Moments

Are we spending our days waiting for the future, swiping our iPhones, restless? Not taking advantage of the many opportunities, little as they may seem, to live?

Don’t waste the now.

There are hard things in our life, hard decisions, and circumstances and nasty wounds. But don’t dwell on them, don’t give up, because life isn’t all struggling and fighting. Perhaps the chapter now you are now living will be looked back on as a treasure. Perhaps a humorous one of laughter. Maybe you’ll look back and feel proud of yourself because you never gave up. Maybe one day in heaven you’ll smile at the perilous yet successful journey you went through to become responsible, or become a prayer warrior, or overcome temptations through God’s help.

Maybe one day, a day far, far away…you will remember when you overcame, you pushed through, you kept going, today.

It’s How You Notice the Moments

I read an adventure book once, and although it was a children’s story, something in it hit me straight in the heart. A tourist (the main character) was walking through the jungle, and his guide had to diligently guard his life because the tourist kept stepping on snakes, walking through spider webs, and being overrun with exotic insects.

Shaking his head, the guide told the tourist to keep his eyes open. “But I am looking!” the tourist said.

At that, the guide made a profound remark: “Don’t just look, but see.”

See life.

Don’t just look. Notice the joys. Don’t just glaze over it, waiting for the next day to come. Life can be beautiful and spectacular if you will only see.

Sometimes life means exploring in the meadows, brushing off bugs and having picnics with shabby blankets and peanut butter sandwiches. Sometimes life means stepping on a plane for the first time, embarking on an unexpectedly adventurous trip that goes above and beyond your expectations.

Sometimes it’s burning cookies in the oven, dusting the abyss behind the couch, or making cards for your elderly neighbor. Sometimes it’s simply laying down in a swinging hammock on a summer day, feeling a breeze softly curling around you, and watching the forest life behind.

It could be almost missing a flight to Mexico and running through the airport. It’s exploring the wild jungles or dancing through the aisles in Walmart at midnight. Sometimes it’s leading worship, sometimes it’s kneeling at the altar, and sometimes it’s reflecting in your journal. It’s not ignoring the hard parts of life. It’s just learning from them, enjoying what you can and making good use of the life God has for you.

And there are only a few moments left like these. You have approximately 4,000 Saturdays to spend. I’ve already used 871. But the truth is, you never know how many you have left. You never know if this will be your last day, your last moment, your last breath.

So turn off the phone and see. See the world. See the wonder of God’s beauty. Open your eyes. Take risks. And live.

Life is a crazy adventure. Don’t let it pass you by.

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About the Author

is a 16-year old adventurer who loves the feel of comforting books and soft piano keys; her happinesses come from serving Jesus both at home and on the mission fields of the world. And coffee. Give her a latte, a leather-covered notebook, and a hiding spot in a tree and she might never come back down. She is a musician, a photographer of nature, a videographer of weddings and travels, a future author, and a faithful member of the Writers of Elysian blog inspired by the Young Writers Workshop.

  • Hey friends! Just wanted to let you know that I did NOT write this article. The incredible KARISSA BIRD did. We’re having a bit of a technical difficulty that’s not allowing me to change her as the author. But I’m hoping to fix it ASAP. Sorry, Karissa!

    • Karissa Bird

      Aw thanks!!:)

  • Haven Asnip

    I loved this article so much Karissa! Thank you for writing it for us.
    I’m going to get off the computer now 😉

    • Karissa Bird

      So glad you enjoyed!!❤️☺️

  • Michael

    Amazing article Karissa! God bless you for writing this article.

    • Karissa Bird

      Thank you so much! It’s a lesson I keep relearning as I live :)

  • Melissa M.

    This is fantastic! So encouraging. Thank you for writing this! :)

    • Karissa Bird

      Yay! Thank you so much for reading!

  • Anna

    Awesome article, Karissa!

    • Karissa Bird

      Thanks so much!!

  • Great article, Karissa! Thanks for the reminder to see and not just look. :)

    • Karissa Bird

      Thank you! I often need the reminder as well!:)

  • Kayla Marie

    Wonderful article! It’s definitely a good reminder!

    • Karissa Bird

      Thank you, so much, for reading!! :)

  • Katherine Forster

    Such a good article, Karissa! Thank you for this encouragement. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot – how to use each and every moment for the glory of God, even the boring and the mundane; and how even little things reflect His goodness.

    • Karissa Bird

      You are so right! Making every moment count for the glory of God is so important, and something I often forget. I am thankful that this article encouraged you! :)

      • Karissa Bird

        And I just saw your blog. Thanks!! Also, great article! 😍

  • Amanda C.

    Fantastic job, Karissa! Great thoughts. Love to see so many YDubbers getting published on here. :-)

    • Karissa Bird

      It’s because of YWW that it’s here!:) Me too! And thanks. :)

    • Claudia

      I like that- Ydubbers (:

      • Amanda C.

        Me too :) I think Brett and/or Jaquelle came up with it.

        • Karissa Bird

          :) I love it too

  • This is GREAT, Karissa!

    • Karissa Bird

      aww! Thank you SO much for reading!!! 😀

  • Cora Christenson

    Great article Karissa!

    • Karissa Bird

      Thank you Cora!!

  • Way to go Karissa!!! I loved this post!

    • Karissa Bird

      Thank you Lizbeth for reading and commenting! You’re so kind!:)

  • Anna Lucas

    This was an excellently written article for a 16-year-old! My husband saw that your father had posted a link and sent it to me. I’m 51 years old and love to write devotional thoughts mixed in with pictures of interesting moments of our everyday life, blogging a little a few times a week at My husband and I met your father in Ukraine about 20 years ago, when he came to teach at the Kiev Wesley Bible College. I still remember your father asking me to please make a snack for his hungry Ukrainian students one day. I made carrot cakes, and the students even licked the crumbs up! They were so hungry, but dedicated.

    • Karissa Bird

      Thank you! That is awesome, and cool you have a blog as well. Ukraine is a place I would love to go (back to) sometime!

  • ZeePt3

    Thanks for writing Karissa! Life is too fast, slowing down sounds awesome! Great article.

    • Karissa Bird

      Thank you! Yes it is too fast; only what’s done for Christ will last:)

  • This is so beautiful and true, Karissa! I love that distinction between looking and truly seeing. :)

    • Karissa Bird

      Thank you! Yes! (it was a Geronimo Stilton book, btw.:))

  • Claudia

    I enjoyed the moments I spent reading this article. Thanks Karissa!

    • Karissa Bird

      Thank you Claudia, so glad you enjoyed!:)

  • Jana

    I know this is totes off topic, but how can I contact Brett & Alex?

    • Karissa Bird

      Prob email the do hard things email? Brett doesn’t have much internet access to stuff tho

      • GodGirl

        ok. thx. hadn’t finished the book yet when I asked but now I have. sry!

  • cowboyclayt

    Great article and well written! Thank you for writing this! It was very encouraging!

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