Over the past few weeks I’ve had so many conversations with women about Christmas and empty nest.
For some of us, the house filled with family and friends, and we could feel the buzz of energy. Granted, we also navigated personalities and preferences. But the dance energized us.
Some of us found ourselves celebrating a quiet Christmas. Life has changed this year, especially family dynamics, so the house seemed to echo this year.
This year, for the first time ever, we did not see our son at Christmas. Part of me kept hoping I would look outside and see his car pulling into the driveway. I missed him. And his girlfriend. We did, of course, love having our daughter here with us for two weeks.
All this holiday angst and empty nest angst converge for me in the taking down of Christmas decorations. I avoid it as long as I can, including posting about it on Facebook. Putting everything away seems so, well, final. That’s it for this year. A wrap. And then the color seems to drain out of the house, almost like a person about to faint. Everything looks and feels stark. Ugh!
This past Sunday I decided I needed to just jump in and take decorations down. And thanks to the discussion on Facebook, I knew I wanted to make it a meaningful moment of some sort. Early that morning, while drinking my coffee, I mentioned my idea to John—a vague concept, nothing concrete.
My organized husband quickly proposed a plan: “How about if we go to the late service at church and take everything down before we leave. That way when we finish, we can worship.”
Yes, oh yes!
So we jumped in. I turned on Fernando Ortega music—mostly hymns—and gathered up Christmas decorations and memories. As I did, I intentionally thanked God for this Christmas, for this version of family, for this year passed, and for this year ahead.
And then we headed for church where our pastor preached on the hope of heaven, based on 1 Peter 1:3-9. He reminded us, “Nothing here, as good as it is, can be compared to what is yet to come [in heaven].”
As 2018 begins, I pray for eyes to see the hope of heaven as well as eyes to see the joy of this day, this season of life.
Join me? Let’s cheer each other on this year as we navigate life whatever the size of our nest.