89. Plain, Mundane, and Common

My inbox is filling up with Christmas ideas:

The emotions are mixed on this folks, because I’m just not there…

Perhaps I could put our three trees in this corner?corner of living room

And hang the gigantic glitter snowflakes right here in the middle of these new windows where all cars passing by can see them?

New insulation surround new living room windows

Maybe we could decorate the ladder with pretty white lights?

Alas, instead of putting up Christmas trees, we are putting up pink fluffy stuff in the walls; instead of squirting cans of snow on the tree, we are squirting cans of foam around cracks and holes; instead of plugging in gigantic glittery snowflakes we are adding electrical outlets to the walls — every six feet, of course, to meet code…

Our twenty foot living room wall has gone from shivering, bare studs


to a warm blanket of pink


to a coordinating crazy quilt coverlet of pink and green.


You’ll also notice two of the four new outlets — for future gigantic glittery snowflakes, no doubt. (Actually my taste runs more to stars than flakes, but that’s another post…)

No glitter this year — just the plain, the mundane, and the common stuff of ordinary life.

Like one simple candle in the window instead of strings of lights; like quiet time spent reading Isaiah instead of Pinterest; like consciously focusing thought on the Savior in the ordinary manger, not Christmas wrappings and trappings; like looking very hard to find the UNordinary in the mundane happenings of everyday.

Snow clouds and blue sky

The God who came as a poor common man instead of the expected king turned the world upside down in part because of his humble origins, in part because he turned the common into uncommon: Water into wine, sin into forgiveness, dark into light, the cross — a horrible symbol of death — into the ultimate symbol of life.

I’m memorizing Isaiah 53:1-7 for the Christmas worship at our church. Every day I say it a dozen times or more, so I can know it. Say it with no mistakes. And at least once a day it moves me to tears of gratitude and remorse for what one common uncommon man-God did for me. For you.  

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him; nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering… but he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all…

the people who walked in darkness...May you we take time for quiet reflection in the midst of this busy season. May you we find the blessings in that mundane uneventful day, and may you we find the uncommon light of the Savior in the dark of December.