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Focus on What You Have Left; Not on What You Have Lost

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


It is human nature to focus on what we have lost instead of focusing on what we have left. Rachael Ray is focusing on what she has left and not on what she lost in a fire that destroyed the New York house she and her husband had been living in for 15 years.

Rachel Ray Gives Account of Fire Destroying Her House

Celebrity chef and talk show host Rachael Ray gave an account on Good Morning America about a fire that destroyed her upstate New York house on Sunday, August 9, 2020, ahead of the premiere of the 15th season of her cooking show. Ray has been filming The Rachael Ray Show since last April because her studio was shut down because of the pandemic.

The house she and her husband John Cusimano had been living in for 15 years was being used with a crew. Therefore, John was doing a good job been the cameraman, producer, cocktail maker, and musical guest.

Rachael and her husband lost most of their possessions that were in the house. Even so, Rachael counts her blessings for what was left. Rachael, John, and their new dog Bella were home in Lake Luzerne when the fire broke out. They all got out safely without any injuries.

As many as 16 local fire departments responded to the fire. None of the first responders were hurt. They did have a hard time containing the fire because the house was located at the end of a private drive in a rural area that has no fire hydrants. Therefore, firefighters had to pump water from a pond in the area to extinguish the flames.

The next day, Rachael tweeted, "Thank you to our local first responders for being kind and gracious and saving what they could of our home. Grateful that my mom, my husband, my dog… we’re all okay. These are the days we all have to be grateful for what we have, not what we’ve lost."


Rachel and John's House

The food star, celebrity chef, and author explained that she had started a fire in the fireplace and the chimney caught on fire. Before long, the roof was on fire. Rachel said when she was trying to salvage some things, she heard fire crackling in the walls.

Ray related that she lost 40 years' worth of notebooks featuring her "life's work," along with many handwritten notes and letters she had saved over the years from her mother. She and John attempted to get medicine, her mother's high school ring, and other personally significant items.

The Long Island house had 3,000 square feet of living space, a pool, and a pool house. The house was purchased in 2008 for $2.1 million. In August 2017, the house was listed for $4.9 million.

Rachael is thankful for what she has left. For instance, the fire did not travel down the hill to her mother's house. Another thing Rachael and John have left is a guest house across the street they are currently living in. Rachael watched the bulldozers and the excavation units do their job. She concluded, "Fifteen years of our life, but we had so much to be grateful for."


I used the story about a fire destroying Rachael and John's house to show how they responded to their loss. Rachael explained that they have a lot to be thankful for. She emphasized that they are so grateful, and they are focusing on what they have left instead of what they lost.

Ray posted on Twitter the day after the fire, “These are the days we all have to be grateful for what we have, not what we’ve lost.”

Sometimes we get stuck thinking about our losses, and we can't clear our minds to think about anything else. However, we should use Rachael and John's examples to focus on what we have left instead of focusing on what we have lost. We can't do anything about those things that are gone forever, but we can cherish what is still in our possession. That's what Rachael and John are doing. Yes, it might be very challenging, but it can be done.

if we use all our energy focusing on what is lost, we will soon be drained and will lose hope. Also, we neglect what we should focus on because we don't give it any energy at all.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 20, 2020:

So sorry about the fire and the precious treasures that were lost, but it left some great morals. Thanks for sharing the story.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 19, 2020:

Yes, indeed, Tim. I try to focus on the things I have left. What Rachael Ray said reminded me of something similar I heard long ago. I heard that if we focus on a door that has closed, we might not see the door that has opened for us.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on September 19, 2020:

This is a great reminder of the power of God. I can only think of Joab and Moses feeling this way. But the best is always yet to come. I'll say prayers remembering this celebrity who has the right mindset. Her mother and loved ones survived and that's the greatest blessing. Thank you.

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