candle-1841492_1920It’s hard to believe. Tomorrow is the second Sunday in Advent.  We’ll light the second candle in preparation for the coming of the Christ child.

But I’m just not feeling the joy of Christmas.  It doesn’t help that I’ve got a righteous head cold.  You’ll know me by the tissue box I tote everywhere I go.  I’m 98% certain that I got this particular virus from the lady who sat next to me at the funeral earlier in the week. One of my friends lost her not-quite 20 year-old son. He told his boss that he had a really bad headache and then . . . he was gone.

Yes, I’m doing my shopping.  In fact, I have the lion’s share done.  I’m knitting the lace scarf I need for the concert. Today I’m buying Christmas cards.

But I just don’t feel it.

And that’s okay.  This time of year can be tough for those who have recently lost someone. It can be hard for those who have a chronic illness (no, I’m not saying a head cold is a chronic illness) or those who are having money worries, marriage problems, or other hardships.

The thing we need to remember is that God welcomes us as we are. He knows our worries.  He knows our cares.  He doesn’t expect us to be anyone other than the flawed beings that we are, doing the best we can, feeling what we feel, and praying for a better tomorrow.

Yesterday, thanks to this cold, I was able to give myself two extra hours in bed and some time on the sofa with my knitting and the ever-present tissue box.  In the quiet, I sat in the pool of light in the family room, the rest of the house stretching out dark and quiet. I could hear the occasional click of my needles and the ping of the kettle on the burner in the kitchen. It felt like . . . a time of quiet, a time of waiting.

I may not be feeling the glitz and sparkle of Christmas, but I can still seek out a quiet corner for a bit of Advent. If I find the sparkle, great.  If I don’t, that’s okay too.  I can search for God and Christ in the quiet.