Counting Days or Days That Count?

Counting Days or Days That Count?

Because I post and share a lot of photos on social media, I often get asked how I find the time to photograph the things that I do.  The answer is not all that complicated to give, but it can be pretty difficult to put into practice.  It has a lot to do with priorities and what I call making days count rather than living life counting days.

It is far too easy to go through life counting days until whatever the next thing we are looking forward to will take place.  And if we’re not doing that, we are counting the days until whatever we are in the midst of is over.  While keeping track of when things will happen or when they will end is not necessarily a bad thing, the problem comes when our focus of counting days keeps us from living days that count.

It is not an easy journey, and for most people the step from counting days to days that count is precipitated by an event, or series of events, that cause them to see the uncertainty of life.  And it’s not a decision that is made once and life is different from that point forward . . . no, for me at least, I have to decide often if I’m going to do something today that makes the day count.  Because it’s a daily decision, and often multiple times in a day, it is not an easy path to walk.  Many times the decision really rests on whether my choice for the day is about me or about someone else.  I’ve found, that while it may not always look like a decision that would make the day count, basing the day’s choices on what helps others or makes them happy is much more likely to end up being a day that counts.

The photo below is from one of those days that count — it counts because it was spent with my family and brought joy to all of us.  It’s also a good example of what it might take to make your days count.  It was a last-minute, beautiful day opportunity and it required some sacrifices of time in getting work done that needed to be completed.  But the point is that we didn’t focus on counting the hours of what needed to be done, but rather we focused on making the day count and dealing with the hours as needed.  Yes, the climb up the dune to this overlook was difficult and the trip meant I would have to wake up very early the next morning to get work done, but the scene was spectacular and created a moment that helped to make the day count.

I pray that you would consider the people who are important to you, and even those that aren’t but maybe should be, and find ways to make your days together count rather than just spending your time counting days.

In prayer,
Tom Lemler



2017: Page 315

Page 315 was a good day of rest following the long workday yesterday.  I was able to sleep in and catch up on some rest before we decided to head to the outlet mall and see what other stops we could find to make while we were out.  After picking up a few items that we needed from the outlet mall, we stopped at Dairy Queen for lunch then walked through the Bass Pro Shops store where we found nothing that we needed — at least not for the prices they were charging.  From there, the rest of the day was a series of stops along the Lake Michigan shoreline as we made our way toward home.

Without a lot to write, and the primary lesson from the day that comes to mind being the value of rest and family, I think I will let a series of photos from the journey home tell today’s story.


A glimpse of the Chicago skyline from the Indiana Dunes State Park.


Indiana Dunes State Park looking like fall, feeling like winter.


A peaceful spot along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.


The sun trying to break through the clouds along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.


Michigan City lighthouse seen from Central Beach in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

2017: Page 295

Page 295 was the end of our fall break family adventure, so it meant it was time for the unwelcomed drive home.  Our adventure had eventually taken us about 8 hours from home, but rather than drive straight back we decided to take a detour on the way back that would add over an hour of drive time plus whatever additional stops we might make.  One of those stops was at a Perkin’s restaurant where they had a build-you-own trio combo so I chose soup, sandwich, and chocolate pie! 🙂 

We did eventually make it to the area our detour was planned to take us to only to have the one wanting to go there deciding there was nothing they wanted to see.  I still managed to find a few small waterfalls and fall scenes to photograph before we were back on the road to continue our journey home.  We drove toward a beautiful setting sun flanked by a sun dog on each side before it eventually dropped out of sight.  It was replaced by a sliver of moon, so we eventually stopped at a toll road service plaza for a bathroom break and I took a few photos of the moon while we were there.  After arriving home, I took a little time to upload photos to my computer then headed to bed as Monday would come very early with our scheduled pest control visit.

Here are a few more “thousand words” from page 295:


2017: Page 294

Page 294 continued our fall break family adventure.  Today’s adventure locations included Letchworth State Park and Stony Brook State Park in the state of New York.  So much beauty to take in and the scope of it becomes difficult to photograph, but we took our best shots.  😏  Here are several “thousand words” from today’s adventure.

2017: Page 293

Day two of our fall break family adventure began in a working lighthouse we had stayed overnight in.  We were up early to catch, and photograph, the sunrise over Lake Ontario.  Eventually it was time to continue our adventure, so we packed up and drove away from the lake in search of adventure and waterfalls.  We managed to find both before finishing our day at a small town restaurant, “Chat-a-Whyle”, before settling in for the night.  Instead of writing much, I’ll again add a “few thousand words” as photos.  😎

2017: Page 292

Page 292 was a good family day with very little internet access . . . which helped make it a good day. 😀 But, that means I’m writing it at the end of Page 293 which I’ll have to post later. Anyway, in keeping with my family adventure days routine, this will mostly be some photos from the day as we made our way from Erie, Pennsylvania to Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse on Lake Ontario in New York.

2017: Page 220

Page 220 wrapped up a whirlwind getaway to spend some time together as a family before the start of school and the schedule it brings with it.  I was up at 7:30 in the morning to begin the day with some quiet time and coffee, and we were on the go all day long as we didn’t arrive home until 1:30 AM.  It was an wonderful day filled with lighthouses, waterfalls, and roads that should feel very accomplished to even be called a road. 🙂  One of the early roads we encountered had a sign that said, ” 4 low, or no go” — and it wasn’t even the most primitive of the roads we traveled.  I think we ended up on off road vehicle paths rather than roads, but they were listed on my GPS and Google maps.  My navigator may have turned us down one of these paths that we may not have had to take, but it was a fun adventure.  Much of our day was spent in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan followed by the 5+ hour drive home from the Mackinac Bridge area.

Anyhow, in keeping with my getaway/vacation style posting, that is enough writing and here are a few thousand more “words” to finish out the page.