In part one of this blog I talked about how difficult it can be when children grow up and leave our nest.
As a quick review I encouraged women in this season to:
- Be okay with ache in your heart and the fact that it will never fully go away because it reminds us of the joys we had in raising our children.
- Work on re-establishing your identity in Christ and seeking out his calling for you during this season.
- Invest in your love for your husband. Pour into him.
- Re-visit your calling as a wife. How can you come alongside him in this season?
Here are more tips on navigating the empty nest season:
Don’t give up on building relationship with the children just because they are far away
While they may not be your primary anymore, and everyone’s roles have changed, that doesn’t mean you walk away from the building process.
- We have established double date nights with our kids on Face Time. We set up a time, after the children are in bed (because otherwise we’d never have adult time) and sit together with a hot beverage of choice and talk. These conversations may start surface but end up getting deep and can last a few hours.
- I have a regularly scheduled Face Time with our grandchildren.
- with some of our grandchildren we chat while they are eating lunch
- to some of our grandchildren I read a book, talk about a character trait, and play a game with them (not easy to do online but possible) as part of their home schooling
Watch for divine appointments
When you surrender to the Lord the time that used to be taken up with all that mothering entails, He does amazing things. I don’t even drive to town to get groceries anymore without asking for a divine appointment. Sometimes this just means helping an elderly woman at the grocery store (because I have the time) or handing a coupon to someone.
There’s also the mentoring opportunities. Many young women are desperate for mentors.
Find ways to cultivate contentment in this season
Give yourself permission to grieve what is lost/past/gone, but don’t allow yourself to park your heart in that empty space and long for something God has made clear is not for this season of life.
Cultivating contentment is all the more necessary when this happens, as it will counter self-pity and resentment. It will keep bitterness from setting you on a collision course for destruction. It will set you free to love and be loved by the One who has so much more to teach you about Himself.
Your impact doesn’t disappear because your setting & seasons change.
The Lord will take all the gifts that you have developed over the years and use them in the most amazing ways. Build on the things the Lord has used in your every day life as a wife/mother to continue doing what He calls every believer to… make a difference for Christ.