marks of the remarkable and the unremarkable

After 20 consecutive Christmas letters, I find myself uninspired at the prospect of composing one this year. We selected instead a box of 12 Seasons Greetings cards for $1 on an outdoor bargain rack at our neighborhood pharmacy, with the plan of sending them to a select set of people who, (a) send us a card vouching for their continuing existence on Earth, and (b) those of the (a) subset who manage to have a blithesome existence on Earth without email.

I do think Christmas letters have a comforting effect on some sendees: the recipients are reassured that their annually much-loved senders are still alive, still married, still at the same geocoordinates, and, in our particular case, that the covenant cat, now 14 and diabetic for exactly half his life, is still thriving and drop-dead cute.

I would not say that our year has not been remarkable. Last year I had a grandbaby to shop for, but this year I do not. I have a granddaughter, an active, interactive, high-velocity toddler who plays a toy piano using both hands on the keys and pressing buttons on the backboard for different sounds. She builds balanced Lego towers by herself, and she’s showing an aptitude for hip-hop.

My husband is a contract public defender, seeing a steady flow of lives to observe at close range the irrefragable truth that sin makes us stupid. Along with its narrative and spiritual value comes even a modest income, not awfully remarkable, but blessedly steady.

I have discovered that drinking cups of Starbucks darkest coffee blends throughout the day potentiates my increasingly ineffective pain meds, and reduces the frequency and intensity of my migraines. This I find both most pleasant and most remarkable.

It is fairly remarkable that I have gone an entire week since writing a blog post.

Even more remarkably, I had a zero-stress time at Macy’s, found exactly what I went for at 50% off even after avoiding Blood-sport Friday, and was inspired when I came home to go to Macy’s website to commend an employee for her fabulous service.

God has been gracious to us. This should not be remarkable, but it is certainly by no means unremarkable. God’s grace is worthy of my ceaseless thanks and praise, and yet I fail to give due thanks to my faithful God even as often as I make myself cups of coffee. His mercies fail not; He has blessed and sustained us with never a lapse, even when my fears betrayed my unbelieving mistrust.



Filed under Action & Being

2 responses to “marks of the remarkable and the unremarkable

  1. Heidi

    20 consecutive Christmas letters is surely an achievement of such significance that you deserve to rest on your laurels! Interestingly Ruben was reading something to me today about how when Pope the famous author (your predecessor!) had headaches, he would breathe in the steam of boiled coffee, a thing which he poor man was often reduced to doing. I hope you love shopping for your dear high velocity toddler. I imagine you also played with both hands as a small child :-). Love and a hug.


    • I know I would not do as well on mere fumes as I would drinking the precious extraction, but Alexander Pope likely had a better imagination than I have, too. My favorite and only quote of his is, “What oft was thought but ne’re so well expressed.” I’ve no idea to whose trite brilliance (or brilliant triteness) he was referring.

      My cup of lavishly hot, dark coffee was doubtless instrumental in the painless and fruitful shopping venture. 🙂 I finally splurged on a competent commuter tumbler–a gold one for my golden years–so I needn’t leave home without so essential a provision.


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