Christmas, Encouragement for Women

How to Find Joy in the Empty This Year


They say my nest is empty.

I never truly understood what it meant until now. It slipped in quietly while I wasn’t looking and it magnifies at Christmastime. There’s something about children in the house that adds a special dose of delight and wonder (and craziness) to the season like nothing else can. Decorating the tree, hot chocolate, Christmas movies, and staying a step ahead of snoopy present hunters are just a few of the joys. You may have noticed, I didn’t mention baking cookies. There’s a reason and you can read about it here.

Now my nest is quiet, not always but most always. I enjoy the quiet moments, yet still miss the silly loudness and sticky peanut butter hand-prints smeared on the glass.

I reach for fleeting memories just beyond my grasp. My heart yearns for those crack-of-dawn Christmas mornings when little hands shake me awake in anticipation (and silly me wants to sleep-in a bit longer). I make them wait as I go out first to “put the coffee on” and light up the tree. I pop cinnamon rolls in the oven as the wrapping paper flies. Christmas lists materialize in the middle of the living room and I watch their faces light-up brighter than the star on the tree.

And then there was that time I accidentally doubled the measure of salt in the breakfast casserole. Ever do that?

But no matter the current status of this mama bird’s nest, I will choose joy and I will choose to be glad. For although life brings seasons and cycles and changes, life brings new and wonderful and fresh.

My nest is what I choose to make it. It’s a nest filled with love. A safe place.

And why not choose the full rather than the empty?

My children and grandchildren visit the nest and although they may only stay for a time, I am overcome with love and the realization that my nest is not empty after all. It is continually refilling as the years go by. I’m sure hubby agrees.

There is fullness of joy when I see the man and woman our son and daughter have grown to be.

I am fulfilled to overflowing as loving arms of grandchildren wrap around me like a warm blanket, and I smile as they sweetly kiss my cheek.

This is part of the path of life. And God will not allow us to journey it alone. No matter what, He is there.

So young moms, enjoy every moment and know this: sleeping-in on Christmas morning is overrated, even if you just went to bed an hour before. Careful not to blink because all that talk about time going by quickly? It’s not a cliche. Savor every moment.

And empty nest moms, hang on to your memories, but don’t miss the new ones waiting to be made.

This is not the end of the story because the old story is not gone, it stretches and grows and becomes something truly wonderful.

My nest is where abundance flows with the fullness of peace, love, and hope. My nest is where the Holy Spirit dwells and Jesus is Lord.

No matter our journey or whether we have young children, grown children, or no children at all, when we invite the presence of the Lord into our nest called home, we will find fullness of joy always. That’s a promise.

But maybe it’s not your nest that feels empty, maybe it’s you. Friend, this promise and truth applies to the deepest parts of our soul. The key is His presence. Invite God in and therein lies the fullness of joy.

Sometimes God allows the empty so we have room for more of Him.

Our nests are not empty, our nests are blessed.

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Merry Christmas friend, and may your heart be glad…

Rejoicing in the reason for the season,





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4 thoughts on “How to Find Joy in the Empty This Year

  1. Doris, this is beautiful! My oldest just moved out (with her husband and daughter) in November and my 23-year-old son is still home. While I’m not to the abundance of grandchildren phase yet, and I’m a borderline empty nester, this post is so encouraging.

    I miss the days of cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast, and I too had the snoopy child (had to shop last-minute!), but as my granddaughter gets older (17 months now), I know there will be a whole new set of memories and fun.

    And so true, time does fly. I agree that young moms should savor every frustrating second because it’s gone in a flash.

    Merry Christmas, my sweet friend!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Kathy! Two of our grandsons are coming to spend the night tonight! Then another grandson will be staying with us a few days next week so I will be enjoying this Christmas week and that should keep me happy lol. Glad this encouraged you and sounds like you are heading for wonderful new memories 🙂

  2. This is seriously so touching Doris, brought tears to my eyes! Every season of life is full of His blessings! Thank you for this beautiful reminder!

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