Finding God on the holidays

2311239344_fc221b76b6_mI always find God in the holidays.

That might appear self-evident, but it’s not. In the middle of the cooking, cleaning, gift buying, child entertaining marathon, God can easily get stuffed on the back burner.

This year I forgot the brisket. We always have brisket and I just didn’t buy it. Instead we had the chicken I did buy. My husband bought enough donuts to feed an army and my kids decided that they didn’t like donuts anymore. I gave the extra fancy donuts to the neighbor.

Every year, every season there are the things that happen. There the ones the make that year memorable. I still remember the year my mother failed to defrost the turkey. We might have eaten chicken then too.

We give our children very few presents. Enough for them to feel like they weren’t cheated when their friends are getting but not enough to make them think it’s the reason we celebrate. (We give extra big gifts at other times during the year to ‘make up.’)

I don’t think that it’s the commercialism that puts us at risk of losing God during the holiday rush. It’s the sheer busyness. When our lives are full of noise and movement, it’s hard to hear the still small voice.

So in the midst of craziness, I look for God in the space in between. Standing on line in the grocery store, feeling the buzz in the air. Watching the kids rush home from school, carrying handmade decorations. In my own home when everyone is crying and the only way to peel those potatoes and make it through bed time is to throw my hands up and ask for mercy.

The mercy always comes. Because God is with us in our happiness. Taking delight in our joy. Smoothing out the edges of our struggles. And laughing with us when all our children drop to the floor and inexplicably pretend to be cats.

May it be a season of light and triumph for all us.

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