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  • Pastor Rich Sivo

Empty Nest Christmas

Updated: Mar 23


Empty nest Christmas!

It’s been a long time since I shared a blog with you. Since I’ve gotten back from our Michigan vacation on January 3 there’s been a lot of things happening in our church ministry and in my personal life. One of the things that was different for us this year was when Deb and I woke up on Christmas morning it was just she and I, this is the first year we experienced an empty nest Christmas since we’ve been married. After our daughters moved out, about three years ago, every Christmas since I would run down to Hamilton and pick up my mom, who would spend Christmas morning with us. Last Christmas on our drive back to Piscataway, I had a conversation with my mom about possibly moving into assisted living, which contributed to her making the decision back in February to do exactly that. Since April she has been living at Clara Barton assisted living in Edison. It felt a little unusual getting up and they’re not being the same energy and enthusiasm as there has been in the past years on Christmas morning. I’m reminded of the words of the writer of Ecclesiastics who says, “To everything there is the season, a time for every purpose under heaven; time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up”, he goes on for a number of verses listing all the things that there is a season for in our lives. He then concludes this section with the following words, “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He is made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end,” (Ecc. 3:1-3,10,11 NKJV).

It’s been a long time since I shared a blog with you. Since I’ve gotten back from our Michigan vacation on January 3 there’s been a lot of things happening in our church ministry and in my personal life. One of the things that were different for us this year was when Deb and I woke up on Christmas morning it was just she and I, this is the first year we experienced an empty nest Christmas since we’ve been married. After our daughters moved out, about three years ago, every Christmas since I would run down to Hamilton and pick up my mom, who would spend Christmas morning with us. Last Christmas on our drive back to Piscataway, I had a conversation with my mom about possibly moving into assisted living, which contributed to her making the decision back in February to do exactly that. Since April she has been living at Clara Barton assisted living in Edison. It felt a little unusual getting up and they’re not being the same energy and enthusiasm as there has been in the past years on Christmas morning. I’m reminded of the words of the writer of Ecclesiastics who says, “To everything, there is the season, a time for every purpose under heaven; time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up”, he goes on for a number of verses listing all the things that there is a season for in our lives. He then concludes this section with the following words, “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He is made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end,” (Ecc. 3:1-3,10,11 NKJV).

I’m dealing with a personally difficult issue in trying to understand the Lord’s dealing with me in the ski accident that resulted in my grandsons broken leg. I was having such an amazing time skiing (something I never thought I would be able to do again) with Tyler and my heart was so saddened that our very special night that we were sharing together ended up in the emergency room with him having a broken leg. The rest of our Christmas vacation was spent taking care of Tyler and being there for Lisa, but I still wonder why God in His sovereignty allowed this accident to happen? We don’t always understand the things that God allows to happen in our lives, but once again I must agree with Paul when the Lord spoke to him when he appealed to the Lord to remove the thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians 12. Paul records, “And he said to me, “My grace sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” (2 Cor.12:9 NKJV). There are things that we will never understand on this side of eternity, really painful and ugly things. In fact, that’s what Solomon the writer of Ecclesiastics was speaking about when he talked about not understanding what God is doing in verse 11. Even when we don’t understand what God is doing let us bring to Him our brokenness and let the Lord Jesus Christ, who as our burden bearer invites us to come to Him with our burdens and allow Him to minister to us in the times of our great perplexity (Matt. 11:28-30). Then I think we to will find that His grace is sufficient to see us through even our most perplexing and painful problems.

Trusting in Jesus’s grace,

It’s been a long time since I shared a blog with you. Since I’ve gotten back from our Michigan vacation on January 3 there’s been a lot of things happening in our church ministry and in my personal life. One of the things that were different for us this year was when Deb and I woke up on Christmas morning it was just she and I, this is the first year we experienced an empty nest Christmas since we’ve been married. After our daughters moved out, about three years ago, every Christmas since I would run down to Hamilton and pick up my mom, who would spend Christmas morning with us. Last Christmas on our drive back to Piscataway, I had a conversation with my mom about possibly moving into assisted living, which contributed to her making the decision back in February to do exactly that. Since April she has been living at Clara Barton assisted living in Edison. It felt a little unusual getting up and they’re not being the same energy and enthusiasm as there has been in the past years on Christmas morning. I’m reminded of the words of the writer of Ecclesiastics who says, “To everything, there is the season, a time for every purpose under heaven; time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up”, he goes on for a number of verses listing all the things that there is a season for in our lives. He then concludes this section with the following words, “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He is made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end,” (Ecc. 3:1-3,10,11 NKJV)..

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