Right around Christmas time, it was discovered that I had a cyst on my liver. Although I had faith the surgery would go just as well as the surgeon said it would, I still had a few thoughts that jumped into my head, making me think about how I had been using my time and whether or not I was doing in my life what God had intended. I felt comfortable with what would happen to me if God called me home, but I wondered what gifts I would have left my children had that been the case.

The surgery went exactly as planned and I have been told that I have nothing to worry about in terms if it for the future and that cyst.

Fortunately, the questions I asked myself as I prepared to go under anesthesia, and the plans I made have helped me to change a bit.

Since preparing for surgery, I have tried harder to make every day count, and yet I’ve also loosened up my perfectionism a bit, which has been a great change, and has helped me to make better days for me and my family.

Some of these things I did before surgery, and some I modified. Either way, here are 5 ways I try to make every day count:

Keep a master to-do list and update it.

I keep a master to do list written on notebook paper. It is several pages long and has everything from reminders to pay the bills, to restaurants I want to visit as a family, to my writing obligations, essential errands, Bible study plans and dreams for changes in our home decor. Everything I want or need to do goes on that list.

Make a daily to-do list

From my master list, I break things out into daily lists, with tasks that need to be completed and time commitments for each day. I review the list for the next day before I go to bed, making changes as needed.

Read the Bible, journal and pray each morning

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I have a reading plan and spend time in the Word each morning. Before I read, I ask God to guide my heart and mind as I read. Then I use the SOAP devotional plan to zero on on the messages He may have for me.

Yes, some days are off and running before I am ready for them to be, and on those days I carry my Bible around the house with me, even sometimes into the car and on errands until I get it read.

I have found that reading and praying are essential to staying connected with my Father. And staying connected with my Father keeps me in tune to what IS important.

Show love to your family

I try very hard to find ways to show my husband and children that I love them. I try to let them know I am listening when they are talking to me by looking at them and commenting on what they say. I have also learned to include things I want or need to do for them on my big master to do list so things don’t slip through. I also make it a point to tell each of them I love them and try to give them a reason why each day. (I don’t come up with a new reason each day. Often, my reasons or things I love about them are the same day after day.)

Show love to those around you

I try to open doors for others, look people in the eyes, smile and show respect to everyone who crosses my path. You never know who really needs that smile of yours, so I try to be generous with mine. Being kind and generous is really a simple task and it can make a huge difference in the next person’s life… plus it always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside to share God’s love! (If you need ideas on ways to show kindness, I’d be happy to help.. click on over to my posts on Operation Intentional #Kindness and join in!)

These 5 simple tips really are simple, and yet they have helped me a lot. I want to be intentional. I want to make every day count. They help me to do just that.

What about you? What do you do to make every day count?


Amy is the Mom behind both Mom’s Toolbox and Mom’s Travel Tales. She is a world traveler — in heart, body, and prayer and enjoys sharing her experiences with others. She regularly hosts the Bible in 90 Days read-along. A mother of three young children, Amy writes to equip moms with tools for success whether at home, abroad or in between.