In an Empty Nest, You Dust More than You Clean

You throw away leftovers instead of never having enough.

You turn the radio on for noise instead of turning it down for quiet.

You still buy a gallon of milk at a time, but find yourself giving half to the neighbors before it spoils.

You frequent Facebook to see glimpses of your college student instead of telling her that she shouldn't spend so much times posting pictures.

You pray more than you work, although prayer is the hardest work of all.

It is a different season of life.  Not all good, not all bad, just different.

My friend Cheryl shared a book with me that she found insightful and encouraging.  It's called Barbara and Susan's Guide to the Empty Nest -- Discovering New Purpose, Passion, and Your Next Great Adventure.  Its co-authors Barbara Rainey, of Family Life Today fame, and Susan Yates, a mother of five, come alongside their readers in empathy and identification with the realities of the empty nest.

What I appreciated about this book is that although they speak candidly from their own lives about the sad emotions that often come with launching their children out of their homes and into adult lives, they also share the other side of the coin. Empty nest time can be a time of great personal growth, opportunity, and adventure.

With chapters like "What do I do with my loneliness?," "What do I do with my disappointments?," "How do I relate to my husband now?," and "How do I relate to my adult kids now?," they discuss the realities of a home and a life in transition. 

In chapters such as "Celebrate!", "Discovering Your New Purpose," and "Changing Your World," they share the perspective that the empty nest season can be a wonderful time of life.

While I miss my young adult daughters' presence in my home greatly, I am also enjoying some of the freedoms of the pre-parenting years.  I enjoy spending uninterrupted time with my husband again. I like buying a tub of ice cream one day and knowing it will still be there the next. I like receiving phone calls from my girls  sharing the big things and the small. I like more time to write, and think, and pray.

I absolutely loved being a mother of young children.  I absolutely love being a mother of young adults. Each is a season of life that holds great potential, joy, and adventure if we seek God's face every day.

 I encourage you to pick up a copy of Barbara and Susan's Guide to the Empty Nest You'll be comforted, encouraged, and challenged to give your empty nest years to the Lord and watch what He will do in your life.

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