Recently I was listening to Elevation podcast (which is AMAZING, by the way!) and Pastor Steven Furtick was talking about what his wife does when she notices that he’s taking things for granted.

She likes to ask him “what would 18 year old Steven think if he could see this?” This reminds him to be grateful for the many blessings he has now – in his 40’s – that his 18 year old self never would’ve even imagined possible.

This made me think about my own life. If my 18 year old self could see me now, she’d definitely be amazed.

Honestly, even if my 30 year old self could see me now (at 35), she would be awestruck by how much has changed in just five short years.

Five years ago, my husband and I were living in my parents’ basement while we finished paying off our massive student loan debt.  I was driving a 20 year old Oldsmobile that was literally falling apart.  I liked the company I worked for, but I felt stagnant and B.O.R.E.D. at work.

Fast forward five years.

My husband and I paid off all of our debt, bought our first home, sold that house and bought our forever home (in a tropical location!), moved away from snowy Minnesota, we now have FOUR adorable pugs (chaotic but so fun!), and we both have new (to us) cars and different jobs.

My job is the best one I’ve ever had, and my husband and I both work from home (something I never would’ve imagined possible).

I love the quote “I still remember the days when I prayed for the things I have now.”

My 30 year old self never would’ve guessed that my life would look like this at 35.

It’s so easy to become accustomed to our everyday lives…without remembering to be grateful for these things that, just five years ago, would have seemed anything but ordinary.

In so many ways, my life is so much better than my past self ever could have imagined.


…at the same time, in other ways, it’s worse than I ever would’ve imagined.

I never would’ve guessed that my step dad would be diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at just 60 years old…

Or that I would develop degenerative disc disease in my twenties and that I’d be living with chronic neck pain every single day…

Or that some of the people I love would continue to fight the same battles they’ve already been fighting for so many years…or that I would too.

My 18 year old self certainly didn’t see any of these things coming.

So why am I sharing this with you?

The point is to stop taking things for granted and to be grateful for what we have. 

Be thankful for the things you now have that once only lived in your imagination.

Cherish the blessings in your life because you never know when they might be gone.

My 18 year old self didn’t know that there would be a day when so many simple things… things like experiencing an entire day without neck pain or having a normal conversation with my step dad…would no longer be possible.

Don’t forget to be not just thankful, but amazed, by all of the blessings in your life.


What would your 18 year old self think if she (or he) could see you now?