Being thankful for the small things

By From the Heart | Sheila Hellermann | Just Don't Ask Me to Sing

Nov 11

There are still things to be thankful for. It is hard some days with Covid-19, a difficult election season and deep divides separating people. So for a few days, I decided to think intentionally about it. As Thanksgiving approaches (which is normally my favorite holiday, but admittedly I am struggling this year), I share my list and my focus on the little things, because the big things overwhelm and do not look good right now.

I am thankful for these:

  • Running in the mornings because I don’t have to wear a mask for that hour.
  • Watching the sunrise over calf hutches while milking cows in the parlor on the weekends.
  • The super nice checkout person at Coborns (grocery store) who is always happy.
  • A short phone call with the greatest IT person ever, who really understands and appreciates what things are like in a workday now.
  • The sounds of the Hispanic church service across the hall. I don’t understand a word but it is beautiful.
  • A text message and GIF from my dad because I never thought I’d see the day when he would actually figure out how to do that.
  • Forwarding yet another campus email about fire alarm testing to an alumni (inside joke).
  • Cooking food for friends and hearing it tasted OK.
  • Listening to my favorite podcast.
  • The extra week of nice weather God blessed us with because I could sleep with an open window for a few more days.
  • The car ride to and from work with the radio cranked up loud.
  • A friend who stress bakes and brings cookies and scones to work.
  • When my favorite parking space is open in the Mary Lot.
  • Running a Halloween 5K in a skeleton suit. A guy in a ketchup suit beat me, but that’s O.K.
  • 4 a.m. “good morning” text messages while driving to the farm, from the only other human I know who is awake at that time.
  • Raking leaves for a friend; there is something about finding green grass under dead leaves that gives me hope.
  • Finding a new TV show, finally, after way too many reruns.
  • A co-worker’s young son interrupting a department ZOOM meeting to tell an alligator joke.
  • Seeing the beauty and time that went into the cards we are sending to hospice patients.
  • Hearing a favorite song on the radio, reminding me of a dear friend with a beautiful voice and a time when it was OK to sing. We will sing again!

These are small things, simple things. But maybe getting through this time means focusing on the small words, small gestures, and small acts.

There are blessings to count, and if you cannot see them through the news or through your social media, look away from those. Start by counting the little ones that maybe only you see. But remember, you are not the only person who sees them. God does too. He brought them to you.

‘Then the LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD. Behold, the LORD is about to pass by.” And a great and mighty wind tore into the mountains and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a still, small voice.’ 1 Kings 19: 11-12

That small voice – that’s our Lord.

Sheila Hellermann is a member of St. Rose of Lima Church in St. Rosa. She works at St. John’s University as a program and department coordinator for several academic departments. Read more about Sheila on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

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