I am happy to report that being an empty nester is awesome and crappy all at the same time!
When our youngest one flew out of the nest for college last August, I really did not know what to do with myself! On one hand it was freeing, but on the other hand I had abruptly lost a sense of my identity. My kids no longer needed me to the extent they once did. Be still my soul!
The empty nest thing came too quickly for us. It seemed like we had just brought these two little people into the world and it was already time for them to launch out and chart their own paths. I had to continually remind myself that we had trained them in the Word, but now we had to entrust them to the God we had trained them about.
Letting them go is a bittersweet occasion. Bitter because I felt the need to reflect on the things I wished I would have done different as a parent, but now it seemed too late. Sweet because the Godly principles we have instilled in our kids are rising to the surface. They are embarking on journeys of their own faith, to experience the power and presence of God in a unique, personal way.
Bitter, we no longer have to give instructions as we had once given, but so sweet now that we get to enjoy hours of adult conversation over gallons of coffee with them. Hey, they can drink all the caffeine they want, any time they want since I don’t have to think about their bedtimes anymore. Now that’s freeing!
The empty nest can be bitter because it is more about “how” do I begin to write the next chapter of my life when the only thing I am comfortable being is their mommy? However, it is sweet since we parents get to sprout our wings and fly too, writing our own next chapter.
Many things have changed around our home in the last several months such as the decreased power, water and grocery bills! Praise! Yet, more important changes have occurred in us, we are more conscious about building our relationship with one another and more intentional in praying for each others dreams, hopes, disappointments and obstacles.
The second floor is more quiet now than usual and we miss those two like crazy. We always welcome the happy chaos that comes with their arrival though!
To our young friends who will all too soon become empty nesters, my advice to you is let your little eaglets get up on the edge of the nest and when it’s time for them to fly, nudge them out of the nest so they can soar off into their own journey of life. Be their over the top cheerleader and pray hard for them. Resolve now not to be “helicopter mom”. Rest, dear friends, God has them covered. He cares more deeply for them than we can begin to imagine. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust Him.
Now party on empty nesters!
P.S. YES, we still cry when they leave!