“I can’t wait until all you kids are out of here!”
My mother used to say that and today I wonder if she ever missed us once her dream came true. If she did, she never said so…
Fast forward to this past week and a huge family gathering at the beach where one of my daughters shared she recently caught herself mimicking some of my words of parental frustration. “Are you trying to drive me crazy?” I pray she never wonders for a moment how much I missed her and all those “crazy” days after she left home. I also pray that all our children, now living far from home, know how my heart aches as I walk back into an empty house after extended visits.
I remember well my struggle with the loneliness of an empty nest and how my dear friend, Sharon Fuqua, encouraged me with the gift of a beautifully embroidered pillow suspended on a satin cord to hang on the doorknob to my clothes closet. The pillow said:
Thankfully, through the grace of God, His presence to cheer and to guide me and the love of Christian friends, I found my way to the other side of empty nest syndrome and arrived at a healthy state of thanksgiving for the strength and independence of my children. The words of my friend’s gift continue to remind me that, though the apron strings have been cut, the bond is not broken.
Over time our children’s loyalties will be realigned and zip codes will be changed but the birth-bond between us and our enduring commitment to one another will always remain in place. As Mark Harris sings in his beautiful song, Find Your Wings, “I’m here for you whatever this life brings – so let my love give you roots and help you find your wings…”
As I watch the barn swallows who summer with us each year fill the air with their young and prepare them for their migration flight I am reminded of the words of wise King Solomon in Ecclesiastes: “There’s a right time for everything. …A right time to lament and another to cheer. A right time to embrace and another to part. A right time to hold on and another to let go…” The Message
The antidote to empty nest syndrome and the way to bounce back from all inevitable life-changes is to trust in an unchanging God and cling to the knowledge that He is sovereign and loving and will work all things together for good! Hebrews 1:10-12 and Romans 8:28.
These are good thoughts for moms to share with one another as they release small hands to climb school bus steps alone, wave good-bye at college dorms or turn to look back at first time apartment doors as they cope with back-to-school blues and empty nests.
Next Tuesday I’ll be sharing Three Sure Cures for the End Of Summer Blues but I need your input! I don’t want to miss a thing, so please leave me your tips, suggestions and favorite Pinterest quotes for beating the end of summer blues.
Watch the Youtube video of Mark Harris’ Find Your Wings below!