Little by Little Thanksgiving

As I was sitting at the breakfast table this morning eating my usual cereal topped with blueberries, red raspberries and yogurt and taking pieces of yogurt-soaked cereal and feeding it to my pups, I was struck by how many berries I still get off my bushes every day. I get enough for two bowls of cereal-one for my husband and one for me. I take my pups out periodically to relieve themselves during the day and each time I pick a few berries that have ripened and place them in a cup in the refrigerator. The next morning I always have enough for this:

IMG_2620That’s my hand selecting a dog treat from my cereal bowl. Anyway, I am amazed how a few pickings a day yield enough berries for breakfast. In the same way I was amazed when I picked up my Bible to read September 14’s readings and more of the Bible was to the left of me than was to the right. I am, once again, 3/4 of the way through my Bible for the year. I read for about 10 minutes every day and, over time, I get the whole Bible read!

The same happened to me with core strengthening exercises. At first I could not even balance to get into the positions, but I persisted. Every day I would assume the positions and each day I could hold the position stable for longer until now-6 months later-I can do the whole 25 minutes right along with the DVD. As I thought about it more and more it became mind-boggling how foundational this principle is and how many of us just don’t get it. We get impatient, try to take on too much all at once, and run out of steam before anything has the chance to happen. Today I am thankful for all the little by little’s in my life

#1340 counting one thousand gifts here each Monday. You will note that I am over 1000, but I started in January 2012.

#1341 losing 35 pounds to get to my ideal weight and being able to keep it off. It took 4 !/2 months to lose it. I have kept it off 10 years this October. Losing the weight slowly enabled me to learn and make the lifestyle changes that have enabled a successful maintenance phase.

#1342 going into work every day and repeating the same processes over and over until I got them so that now I can do what I need to do automatically.

#1343 my daughter is taking keyboarding now. She asked how I could type without looking at the keyboard. I told her that she just had to keep typing [over and over about an hour per day] without looking and that one day she would find her fingers would just know where to go and she would be able to type faster than she could think.

#1344 I used the 1343 principle for graduate statistics, too. I couldn’t understand what formula to use for what problem so I just did what the book said, over and over again, until one day it all made sense. I got an “A” in the course.

#1345 We got a traumatized dog from the SPCA. Every day we were patient and loving and could do a little bit more. It has been 2 years and he lets us do everything we needIMG_2621 to do down to cutting his nails and combing knots out of his hair. He had to be anesthetized to be groomed when we first got him! Here he is eating his breakfast cereal soaked in yogurt out of my hand.

#1346 Slowly letting go of activities of younger days. As a person ages, so I am discovering, one must prioritize more. There is only so much energy. Over the past several years I have been downsizing a little bit at a time: smaller house, being very selective in leadership responsibilities outside the home, gradually replacing heavy aerobic exercise with slow, rhythmic strengthening exercise and walking/biking and hoping the children understand the necessity of pulling out of the more robust family gatherings.

#1347 how raindrops make a river

#1348 how glances and smiles and chit-chat can build a relationship

#1349 the specks of pollen carried by bees ensure the food supply of millions

#1350 the growth of children when you have not seen them for awhile. At a wedding today I saw a child I hadn’t seen since his infant baptism, now he is in first grade. Think of all the growing little by little that his parents did not notice each day, but that took him from infancy into childhood.

#1351 the showering of gifts on a couple starting out. Each one bringing one small thing that ends up supplying a kitchen, bath and more.

ScriptureTyper#1352 Typing my memory verse for the week into Scripture Typer and finding that after 7 days of doing so, I can say the verse without any aids. Each day I retain a little more until I can say the whole verse!

#1353 realizing little by little that I know very little and that all of life is a mystery,  but “...God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col 1:27.

He is with us because He is in us,

Dawn

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6 comments on “Little by Little Thanksgiving

  1. This. is. so. good! Beautiful post, with such great wisdom about this very important principle–and so many wonderful examples of how it works.
    Thanks. It’s what I have to remember when I’m tempted to “get impatient, try to take on too much all at once, and run out of steam before anything has the chance to happen”!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Sylvia. Recounting all the little by little’s solidified their importance in my mind. Life as a process of minute, incremental changes is a natural law that is never really taught. It seems one just stumbles upon its truth and significance after a lot of trial and error (and failure). Ann’s book is such a success because she brings to the surface this ever-present but insidious law that, if missed, robs us of our joy. I’m so glad that in my sixth decade of life I finally got the message.

  2. Thanks, Dawn . . . I really enjoyed the theme of your post. Got me to thinking of the many little by littles that we often take for granted that are such miracles each one. I popped over to the link Susan posted too . . . so amazing!

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