The empty nest years
Achieving the long-term goal of raising and launching children is one of those milestones in life that can lead to surprising emotions.
One day you might feel relieved to catch your breath after such an intense marathon and then the next day you miss the busyness – especially the ever-present relationships that went with it. Whether you are approaching, just hitting or deep into the empty nest season you are likely experiencing a range of feelings that can leave you asking yourself “What next?”. This would be a great time to take steps toward rediscovery in your life.
What can do you?
REDISCOVER YOUR MISSION
A major segment of your life up to this point has been committed to serving and guiding your children. That faithful and daily focus on those within your home has been preparing you for broader service.
In 1 Timothy 3:5 Paul asks the question, “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” Another way to see that passage is that those who have managed their families have learned a couple of things about how to care for God’s church – how to love, forgive, guide, lead and encourage.
Such characteristics developed in the last season, as well as the additional time and resources that often come with an empty nest, can equip you for a whole new world of opportunities to fulfill your mission during this exciting season of life.
REDISCOVER YOUR MARRIAGE
Some marriages don’t last until the empty nest years either because of death or divorce.
Married couples may feel like the tsunami of kids that swept in and out has left you needing to rediscover the person to whom you said “I do” so long ago. Proverbs 5:18-19 says, “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.”
After this intense stretch of parenting, how can you find fresh ways to rejoice in the marriage of your youth and to “be ever captivated” by your spouse? You may just need to re-introduce yourself and start rediscovering some of your earlier passions and dreams.