celebrating the little moments

This May will mark five years since I began my counseling work here at The Barnabas Center. As I think about this upcoming anniversary, I am reminded of the somewhat silly way I chose to mark my first year. In honor of the occasion, I shared the following list with my colleagues during a staff meeting:

First Year Stats
• Used up 2 full Bic pens
• Read 9 work-related books
• Attended 47 weekly staff meetings
• Wrote 51-ish pages of book, Bible, and personal reflections
• Drank somewhere around 245 cups of coffee
• Sat with hurting and questioning people amidst their struggles for approximately 476 hours

As you can tell, the items I listed range from the funny (who normally counts how many pens they empty in a year?) to the more serious (clearly, I mean the caffeine consumption). But the important part was that I had some very specific things to count! And when I shared this in our meeting, my colleagues celebrated each item with me.

When folks come to counseling, they are often seeking a solution to a specific issue, like guidance on how to be a better friend/parent/partner/child/employee, etc. Mostly, they want to be better as quickly and as easily as humanly possible. It is my privilege and responsibility to tell them that, while I can’t advise them exactly what to do, I would be honored to walk with them awhile. If they choose to continue, then we begin to work through their struggle and explore how it impacts them. Over time, with work and the grace of a God who truly is out for our good, the scenery slowly begins to change. But if we don’t pay attention to it, we can miss it! So, we learn to pay attention to the little things. Like pens.

I’ve found that life is often abstract; change comes slowly and celebrating the little victories reminds us of our worth and gives us more strength for the journey. I’m pretty sure that some of my friends think I’m willing to throw a party for just about anything, and maybe I am. But celebrating is part of joy and joy helps me to hope and hope is what keeps me taking steps forward.

In The Lord of The Rings, Gandalf says, “I’ve found it is the small everyday deed of ordinary folks that keeps the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” What if our willingness to celebrate the little things, to see the joy of small achievements and happy moments, actually helps us “keep the darkness at bay”?

I’m not saying don’t dream big, don’t seek change, or don’t work to resolve that problem that has overwhelmed and oppressed you for years, but maybe slow down to notice some little things along the way. You might be amazed at how they add up.


Noelle BondyNoelle joined the Barnabas Center in May of 2018. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Berry College in Rome, GA and a Masters of Science in Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Previously she has worked with college age individuals and adults dealing with anxiety, depression, self-harm, identity issues, relationship concerns, and challenges related to life transitions. She is passionate about walking with individuals as they face the struggles of life and the questions that come from living in a broken world.

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