What Matters

What Matters?

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:9-10 NIV

There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.” Erma Bombeck

I had a typo in my newsletter. (Several)

I used too many batteries for the Christmas decorations. ( I really did)

I splurged on my flower garden. (Will do it again)

I paid too much for a book. (And will again)

I slept in.

The kids are dirty. (They’re really having fun)

The house is cluttered.

My cooking is mediocre at best.

I can tell you right now that no one said or regretted the above when they were at the end of life. I’m sure you have a list of what doesn’t matter too.

I’ve been with many—my parents, friends and husband when they were on the threshold of death. They did say things like:

I wish I was nicer to …

I wish I would have spent more time with…

I wish I had volunteered, given more to charity, helped others more…

I wish I had taken a risk to write a book, ski, speak at church, enter a contest, start a business, and many more.

I wish I’d said I was sorry.

I wish I’d loved more.

The bottom line: I wish I’d loved more. That’s what matters now and in the end. Even if there were dishes in the sink, crumbs on the floor, sticky little hands on our faces, or we were a bit extravagant with celebrations. We miss our purpose, calling, vocation, belonging and connection when we focus on things that just don’t matter. They’re little things. But little things can be love too. We need to know which is which.


Instead of feeling inadequate and focusing on what others think of us and what we have, let’s promise to do something kind, something helpful and say something encouraging. They are little and simple things but we’ll have little to no regrets in the end. Make that phone call, send a note, thank a teacher, make a humble dinner for a friend or just listen. Love more.


Dear Father,

Today is all we have and we’re grateful. Today help us to be kind, helpful, encouraging and loving. Remind us that dust on the TV, the kids a bit dirty and hot dogs for dinner are not what matters. We have a TV. The kids are healthy and happy. Who doesn’t love a hot dog with all the fixings? Don’t let these things stop us from loving you, others and ourselves. You and love are what matters. And it lasts forever.


Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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