published Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Mohney: Focus on what you have,not what you have lost

By Nell Mohney

On the Fourth of July this year I awakened to gorgeous weather and the feeling of appreciation for being an American. Then, I did what I do every day -- I counted my blessings.

For many years, I had a different focus. Upon awakening, I would spend time thinking about all the bad and difficult things that were happening. At the time, I had ovarian cancer, and we had just lost our 20-year-old son in an accident. As a result, I often faced my day with stress, fear and anxiety.

Just as I was focusing on the things I had lost, I read a devotional book with a chapter entitled, "Don't Focus on What You've Lost, But on What You Have Left." That chapter changed my thinking. I began to focus on memories of a wonderfully, happy marriage, another son and his wife who bring love and practical help in my everyday living, two grandchildren who have only brought joy into my life, both are married to spouses I love; and three great grands.

Add to that a large extended family and a special group of friends and I feel like the luckiest lady alive. Of course, none of this would have happened without my lifelong commitment to Christ and his church. This commitment has determined my value system, the person I married, the way my husband and I have reared our children, and how I relate to others.

Then, for the last lap of my life's journey, and since I have passed the biblical milestone of "three score and ten" years, I am still granted the privilege of being somewhat productive. For example, I teach a large Sunday School class of singles, write a weekly newspaper column where the readers seem like family, and am in the midst of writing the 2015 Advent Book for United Methodists.

So, in the words of Browning: "Come, grow old along with me. The best of life is yet to be." Don't focus on what you've lost, but on what you have left.

Contact Nell Mohney at

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