A couple of years before my daughters were to graduate from high school, I began wondering what would occupy my evenings and weekends without them living at home.
Like what probably happened to those of you who wondered similar thoughts, tears came to my eyes just thinking about my children leaving the nest to make their own home somewhere else in the world. The excitement in my husband’s voice and his rattling off of the things we would do: take spur of the moment vacations, have cereal for dinner, enjoy a dishes free sink throughout the week – left me wondering how he could be so tickled about the thought of it.
I’d ask him how he could be so selfish. He’d ask me how I couldn’t want to go to the beach anytime we wanted. I’d ask him, if he was concerned about what they would eat. He said, they will be fine. I knew he just did not and would not get it.
By the second month of both of my daughters having settled into the locations they selected to live for schooling and work, I was having breakfast with friends, enrolled in weekly studies and taking spur of the moment vacations with my husband.
Honestly, I did not transition into empty nest-hood. I jumped into it feet first and have been running, leaping and skipping with joy ever since. (My children, if you are reading this, you know I love you. And you are welcomed back home anytime…you need to come…for the few weeks, or so, while you are transitioning jobs or moving into a new place…. xoxoxo)
I must tell you. These are THE BEST years of my life. I love and now have a new appreciation for the early years of marriage, raising children and starting a career, but they were HARD. It is the years of struggle and determination to get through the difficulties though, that yield the sweet joy of gaining wisdom from the school of hard knocks, the fruit of long hours at work, tested friendships and your children spreading their wings to one day start their own nest.
Empty nesters have two acquired characteristics earned only by living: experience and wisdom. These are required for the success of any ministry or business.
If you are an empty nester, the experiences, life lessons and wisdom you gained may have been for the sole purpose of impacting the lives of others. Here’s to empty nesters. Make these some of the best years of your life.
Consider this: (1) What ministry experiences have you gained, and how? (2) What business / career experiences have you gained, and how? (3) In what ways have you gained biblical wisdom?
If you have raised children who are now adults, how do the years of raising them relate to your calling?