Finding Thanksgiving In The Empty Nest

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I knew this day would come.

Having walked both of our daughters down the aisle and handed them over to their husbands means the “empty nest” is officially here.

Not to be mistaken for the “empty next.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Knowing this day would come, Kim and I have been talking about how to be proactive. We have been planning and preparing to embrace this season rather than risk being reactive after it’s already upon us.

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While the reality of an empty nest might feel negative to some, it really isn’t! We are celebrating that we have raised our family and handed off the baton to the next generation. Kim and I are choosing to view this next season of life as a wide-open opportunity for new avenues of ministry.

It’s so important to recognize the season you are in. And in that awareness, we must not fail to be thankful in each one.

I think the sentiment hitting me hardest right now is the importance of being thankful in every season. King Solomon’s eloquent monologue in Ecclesiastes 3 that “there is an appointed time for everything” strikes a new chord in my heart as it never could have before.

God’s newness of season can happen anytime! My 81-year-old father is getting remarried next month! He knows this next season will be nothing like seasons past. What he and Mom enjoyed for 56 years is something to look back on and be forever thankful for. But he can anticipate with gladness the joy of a new season on his God-scripted life journey.

As Kim and I look back, we see that we have so much to be thankful for. Things will never be the same in our lives as they have been in the past—but that’s a good thing! As we plan ahead, we’re excited for new things God is going to do in this next season. And while it’s important to glance in the rearview, it’s critical to fix your gaze ahead and be careful not to miss what God has for us today. Don’t risk missing your chance to recognize how He is at work, and worship Him for it.

I can honestly declare that in every season, God is faithful! And there is something to be thankful for every single day! We just have to be intentional about looking for it, and orienting our hearts in a posture of gratefulness!

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Looking forward to exercising Thanksgiving on the eve of Advent Season. For a global twist on your regularly scheduled Advent activities, check out the rich Advent experience created by our partners from around the globe.

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