Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Searching for the Perfect Holiday

We all look for it this time of year, right? You know, that Norman Rockwell picture of a holiday. The Thanksgiving table where everyone is seated, smiling and happy and actually thankful.

The holiday where no one is rude or mean or late or brings up past hurts or makes things awkward by slinking around like Boo Radley. The holiday where kids (and adults) behave and bathe and dress as they ought. The holiday where the food is all ready at the same time and tastes like it came straight from the kitchen of Emeril Lagasse.

"Bam!" That'd be a great holiday. :)

But the more holidays I experience, the more I realize that this image in my brain is nothing more than a fantasy. I can't control how other people behave or the humidity outside (for making meringue) or whether or not I get a flat tire on the way to where I'm going to celebrate.

And what's more, as I look back sometimes I'm grateful for the imperfections. Maybe not the rudeness or awkward bits (although, these moments can be comical in future reminiscences), but the holidays I remember most vividly are the ones when something goes awry.

Like the year my dad didn't realize how much extra time it would take the turkey to cook in his new smoker and we ended up finishing it in the oven for another couple of hours while all the rest of the food (and family, plus guests) were waiting to eat downstairs. (Dinner was about 4 hours late that year.)
Pumpkin soup on an open fire was Red Beard's and my favorite 
from last Thanksgiving at my Mum and Dad's.
Holidays, other than the decorations and extra people (and food), are really no different than every day life, because...
We still live in a fallen world and things are still going to get messed up from the way we want them to be. (And sometimes, with the extra people around, holidays will be even more messed up than regular days!) 
We are still not in charge.
Yet, more importantly, we still have our Heavenly Father to help us through it (the good and the bad). I can't help but remember the words to one of my favorite hymns:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

I pray that we would remember this holiday season to keep God's Word fresh in our hearts and freshly applied to our lives. 

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. ~Mrs. D.

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