Unexceptionally Wonderful

Did you read about the fraternity members who spent the day taking physically handicapped children to an amusement park? I didn’t either. But we both read about the fraternity members (subsequently expelled) who chanted racist comments at the University of Oklahoma. I don’t even know that the first event I mentioned happened, but I’m willing to bet it has. I do know that hundreds of thousands of people spend hundred of thousands of hours doing acts of kindness, and yes, sometimes those good-doers are members of fraternities. I do know that millions of people go to work, come home, pay their bills, support charities and love their families – each and every day. None of these ‘unexceptional’ stories make the paper. 

I’m not ranting against newspapers. There’s a good reason that even responsible media mentions the Boston Marathon bomber more than they mention a Boston Marathon runner; talks about a member of Congress found taking a bribe more than about a member of Congress who carefully keeps track of his personal expenses; and runs stories about the mom who kills her child and not the millions of moms who read their kids bedtime stories. Similarly, a beautiful day on the beach isn’t newsworthy, but let a tsunami hit that beach and tragic pictures will be shown endlessly. 

Daily acts of good aren’t newsworthy, for which I am thankful. Only in a totally corrupt and evil society would most people’s proper behavior make headlines. At the same time, harping on the bad easily convinces us that the world is an awful place. I plead guilty with my Musings of doing the same. I vent my frustration at politicians, get upset at some foolish trends and fret about the future. 

I think that knowing what is going on in the world, even if it upsetting, is important. At the same time, however, it is even more important to constantly remind ourselves of the good in our lives. Corrie ten Boom, one of my heroines, said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.” It is harder to worry when counting your blessings.  

So, for today, here are five non-newsworthy things that blessed my life this past week. The fact that I am not overwhelmed by these gifts only shows how very blessed I am. 

  1. 4 Wheel Drive: I don’t actually understand what this is, but I do know that on Purim day we were able to gather with 27 members of our family because my husband and son-in-law had vehicles that could ferry everyone back and forth despite blizzard conditions.
  2. Books: When we moved last year we donated and discarded hundreds of books. That still leaves thousands that made the move. Just looking at them on the shelf gives me a thrill.
  3. Infant Grandbabies: These are the most amazing creatures. They are peaceful and cuddly miracles, and then the minute they aren’t – and all through the night – they have parents who are responsible for them. 
  4. Like-minded people: There are those that I know personally, those whose articles I read, those who write to my husband and me and more with whom I have no contact. It would be a lonely world indeed if I couldn’t find anyone whose thoughts complemented my own.
  5. Light bulbs: I’m actually aware of these because I think we got a bad batch and our bulbs have been burning out at a prodigious rate. Do you have any idea for how long people lived without being able to access light by flicking a switch? 

What are your five non-newsworthy gifts this week? 

One of God’s incredible gifts to mankind is the Exodus from Egypt. It shows us that our lives can change – today’s terrible events don’t  have to last forever. Let Me Go: How to Overcome Life’s Challenges and Escape Your Own Egypt shows how to use three insights from the Exodus to transform your own life. 

Let me go




13 thoughts on “Unexceptionally Wonderful”

  1. What a difference it makes in our lives when we look for little (actually huge) things in our life for which to be grateful. I hope your cough goes away soon and doesn’t develop into anything else.

  2. A daughter who consistently apologizes when she knows she has been rude or grumpy.
    Temperatures outside that are above freezing.
    Great books from a really cool library.
    That I am able to stay home and cough in private, and rest as much as I need to.
    God. He’s not unexceptional, by far, but I see him in the growing blush of the trees, the kind words of loving children, a moving hymn. These seem unexceptional, until we trace them back to their source. They seem to be so little until we let them change us.

  3. 1. Daffodils in brilliant bloom in my yard.
    2. The view of a (barely) snow covered peak from my yard.
    3. The library system in my county.
    4. The internet.
    5. Dark chocolate.

  4. I only have 1 gift for which I will be eternally grateful. What would we use if we didn’t have toilet paper?

  5. 1 sunshine after the snow
    2 unsolicited phone call from adult daughter
    3 warm cat-in-the-lap while reading
    4 sweet sleep (Proverbs 3:24)
    5 a friend to pray with me

  6. My five non-newsworthy gifts:
    1) The first cup of coffee, especially if it’s made from freshly ground beans (love that aroma!)
    2) The day the temperature went from 10 degrees to 50 and the snow started to melt.
    3) When I get to end the day with a hot shower and a good book.
    4) When a customer sends me fan mail. Fan mail and a check are even better.
    5) When I start the day motivated and end it knowing I did the best I could, even if the results weren’t headline grabbers.

  7. Yep. With the Media and the Powers That Be concentrating upon the sensational, we hear little but a steady and dyspeptic diet of the horrendous, the shocking, the dire, and the hateful. It is therapeutic on a daily basis to feel thankful for the blessings in our lives. Except for the 4-wheel drive, my list could be similar to yours. I likewise get a thrill from seeing my 4000+ books, even if I wish I had more time to read them. Yet as for light bulbs, I need incandescent light (now a sadly vanishing commodity) to read my books.
    In this I am oft reminded of the lesson of Edward Hoffman concerning the Hebrew letter Teth: that in our Universe, goodness is often concealed.
    One very great thing I am thankful for: for your husband the Rabbi, to reveal how the world REALLY works, and for the weekly Musings of a certain Susan! Reading your weekly care packages of inspiration make me feel that I am not so alone after all in this world.

  8. 1. Chatting with an acquaintance at my favorite eatery.
    2. The mail was incorrectly delivered to my house and I took the opportunity to return it to my neighbor and we chatted for a while.
    3. Playing with the dog.
    4. Music that lifts my spirit.
    5. Roses are blooming.

  9. My five gifts:
    1. A dedicated husband who works diligently so I am able to homeschool my children.
    2. and 3. My children who give me hope for the future.
    4. My country. I am truly blessed to be an American.
    5. My faith. I am thankful for the personal relationship I have with Jesus Christ.
    Thank you, Susan, for a newsworthy musing!

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