Empty Nest is for the Birds

ID-100186801Well, it’s official – our last little (or not so little!) bird just flew the nest.  As he said, “Good night. I’ll see you in the morning,” for the last time, a lump came to my throat – the same lump that has been lodging itself there for the past few weeks!

The Lord has been so gracious to me this summer:  Nathan originally was going to start his GAship right after graduation and be gone all summer.  THAT would have been very hard to swallow, especially after I continually consoled myself  while he was away at college that I would have him here this last summer before his wedding.  “Closure, Lord!  I need closure,” became my prayer, and He agreed!  God gave Nathan a different GA at a different school which starts August twenty-second!

The closure is over; tomorrow we head to Illinois for the Saturday wedding and I couldn’t be happier!  As we watching his plane grow smaller and smaller in the sky, I cried.  (Funny story: Actually, I was crying and dying over the wrong plane!  We were just about to leave the parking lot, when  Nathan texted us and said that they were about to take off!  LOL!)  After a visit to Hobby Lobby and a nice supper at Panera Bread, we headed home (listening to “For Men Only” which was recommended by our son!)

It’s been a tense few weeks.  Nathan has a lot on his plate: marriage, new apartment in a new town, graduate school, entrance exams), and although he tried hard not to let his angst spill over into our closure time, he wasn’t always successful!  As we sat watching “Little Men” last night, Tom and I both sighed a happy sigh – and I was a bit surprised!  We made it!  He’s gone and life is going on!

“Empty Nest” IS really for the birds. I don’t know all the ins and outs of bird-parenting, but I don’t think mom and dad bird sip coffee and grow old together after the chicks are gone.  None of us want to see our children leave home (well, maybe that’s not true!!).   WE didn’t relish the thought of any of our children leaving home, but the key to successful empty-nesting is to prepare for it.  It’s a dangerous thing, moms, when our lives are so wrapped up in our children that there is no relationship left with our husbands once the children are gone.  We have focused so much on the kids and their lives that, too often, we leave hubby on the couch to fend for himself with the remote control!

If I could give one word of caution to any married couple, it would be don’t let ANYTHING destroy that love which brought you two together!  Make time for each other at all cost! Keep focused on your man!  My husband often says that the one of the best things that you can do as a parent is love your spouse – he’s right!  (As usual! :))  It might sound as though our motives are selfish: Keep a close walk with hubby so that he’ll be there when you need him.   Even though that is a true statement, the bigger picture is that a marriage that is built on a strong relationship is one of the most alluring pictures that we can paint of God’s working in our lives!  This world needs to see marriages that shout the difference which Christ makes.

And if you’re saying, “It’s too late – we have nothing in common.”  Take time to remember.  What did you do together when you were first married or dating?  What does he like to do?  Shock him and go talk to him while he works on the car, or chops wood, or watches a ballgame (during the commercials!).  Sacrifice a little and see what happens!

Did Jesus know what He would gain when He suffered so in this world and on the cross?  I think so!  I know so, because He knows everything.  He sacrificed, and I gained everything; but He gained as well – He gained my heart, my love, my all!  What will you gain if you “sacrifice” your wants and time for your marriage?  The thought is beyond imagination!

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.  Proverbs 31:11

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