You can’t always get what you want

Mick Jagger image courtesy of

Yesterday (today, actually since I’m writing this post for tomorrow) was my birthday. I woke up to find three birthday cards from three of the most important people in my life—my husband, my son and my daughter—sitting on the island in the kitchen. They surrounded a box with a gift from my husband. I knew what it was. He had asked what I wanted and I told him. You may think this sounds unimaginative, but he would rather get me something I want than pull his hair out trying to find the perfect gift only to find it wasn’t so perfect after all.

Giant-lipped, overrated rock star Mick Jagger sings, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.”

I’m a firm believer that you can get what you want AND what you need. I also believe what you want is diametrically opposed to what you need at times. But we want what we want, don’t we? So much so that we confuse what we want with what we need.

But let’s assume what we want is not in conflict with what we need. Why is it we don’t get what we want? I think there are several reasons, but probably the biggest reason is this:

We don’t ask.

Instead, we sulk around and expect others to know what we want, then we get angry and resentful because we think people should just know what we want. This is pretty ridiculous if you think about it. The only One who truly knows the desires of our heart is the One who created us.

My challenge for you today is to ask for what you want. But think long and hard before you ask–you just might get it. And sometimes that’s an entirely new can of worms, because very few things in life come without strings attached. If you’re the giver of what is asked, I challenge you to give freely, without strings attached, because a gift isn’t really a gift if its bound up with strings.

A very special thank you to all the wonderful birthday wishes. Y’all made me feel like a rock star, even if I was doing laundry and cleaning the kitchen (like a rockstar).

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12 Responses to “You can’t always get what you want”

  1. Bridget August 6, 2010 at 3:01 am #

    Great challenge, Kathy. Funny that sometimes it can be scary to ask for what we really want… knowing there is a chance we could actually get it.
    .-= Bridget´s last blog ..Endorsment =-.

  2. Louise August 6, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Happy Birthday!!!!!

    Belated I know but Happy Happy Day — oh heck. Make it a Birthday month and just keep celebrating!

    I just listened to Jagger’s you can’t always get what you want on the radio yesterday!

    and yup — you can when you ask for what you want.

    somtimes, I need to figure out first — what do I want?

    .-= Louise´s last blog ..Beauty and the beast in love =-.

  3. Kirsten August 6, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Happy Birthday! (a day late & [sorry] a dollar short) 🙂

    I think one of the most insidious patterns in a relationship is that idea that ‘you should KNOW what I want’ – that if you really loved me, I wouldn’t have to tell you what I want. Whether the want is a fur coat [gah!] or to be complimented hourly on your ravishing beauty [double gah!], to imagine that another human can know what it is that makes your heart happy? Just not realistic, or fair.

    I loved this, and the song just, you know, rocks.
    .-= Kirsten´s last blog ..Swimming Laps =-.

  4. michael August 6, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Thank you.

    I think that sometimes we are afraid to ask for what we want. (I have at least)
    .-= michael´s last blog ..A Letter From My Trashcan =-.

  5. Sandra Heska King August 6, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    The trick is knowing what I want.

    And you *are* a rock star.
    .-= Sandra Heska King´s last blog ..Squirrel Thoughts – Stress =-.

  6. *~Michelle~* August 6, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    “But think long and hard before you ask–you just might get it. ”

    so true…..looking back now, I am so thankful that God didn’t answer all my prayers for certain things.
    .-= *~Michelle~*´s last blog ..System Restore =-.

  7. A Simple Country Girl August 6, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Hey! We are thinking along the same lines here today. Your comment at my place came in as I was adding a bit about anniversary gifts to my post. And we do the same thing here. Ask for and/or tell someone what you need…saves time and money and hair and marriages!

    So, what did you get? Was it a velvet picture of mister lips?

    .-= A Simple Country Girl´s last blog ..Preserving Summer =-.

    • katdish August 6, 2010 at 11:22 am #

      No velvet paintings here. I got a zoom lens for my Canon. I’m hoping it will make me a better photographer, but I’m not holding my breath.

  8. jasonS August 6, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    I believe that’s a scripture somewhere, “do everything heartily as a rock star” (might be very close to “cleanliness is next to godliness”).

    Anyway, you are right. We have not because we ask not, and we do have to be careful. That’s why we grow in relationship with God so that His thoughts and desires bring ours into alignment. When we get away from that, we seek to fulfill our wants apart from Him or get angry at Him (and others) when we don’t get it. Ahh, the joys of being human. That’s why Paul said he counted it all as loss to know Jesus…

    Good thoughts, rock star! Glad you had a wonderful, exciting birthday. 🙂
    .-= jasonS´s last blog ..Light Friday Hit List- 8-6-10 =-.

  9. Jeanne Damoff August 6, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Happy Birthday! I agree with you about asking for what you want. I’ll never understand people that expect others to read their minds and then get all offended when they don’t (can’t). Enjoy your new zoom lens.

    .-= Jeanne Damoff´s last blog ..The road to Happily Ever After =-.

  10. Wendy August 7, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    I want a fainting goat. I keep asking for one, but I still haven’t gotten it yet. And the Rolling Stones continue to taunt me with their song. It’s just not right, I tell ya.
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Sweet dreams arent made of this =-.

  11. Jake August 7, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    It is a good challenge. . . and I’m glad that you want us to think about it first because there really could be consequences to getting what you want. Responsibilities at the very least.
    .-= Jake´s last blog ..Freedom 2- Bovines and Behavior =-.

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