Posts Tagged ‘empty nest’

Growing My Own Wings

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Two weeks have gone by since we brought home our puppy, Beck. I’ve been consumed with him and every living moment has pretty much revolved around him in some way or another. He’s 9 weeks old and no matter where I take him…..people gasp and come running over to meet him because there’s something really special about new puppies and babies.

He’s our empty nest baby.

You can laugh, it’s okay. I know something inside me needed him. I have a deep wild desire to be needed, by someone or something. A dog at this age in my life seemed to be the healthiest direction for me to go. So, here I am…mothering the cutest yellow lab ON THE DANG PLANET!

In 2 weeks, my oldest will marry his dream girl. In 2 1/2 months, my middle will marry her true love too and the baby…well, she’s been married almost 2 years! It’s a lot. All coming at me rather fast. But, I’m ready. I’ve been preparing for these days my whole life. Still, mama’s don’t stop being mama’s. My role has been evolving and revamping for the last 6 – 8 years.

They don’t need me to do what I did during their school days. No cupcakes for the class or to pick them up after band practice, but they still need me. They don’t need me to wake them up or to make macaroni & cheese, they just need me to grow my own wings.

It sounds crazy but children aren’t the only people to grow up. Parents are on a path of growth that no one seems to mention when sitting beside you at the basketball games or as you gather to pray for the youth group leaving for camp. Strangely enough, you don’t even notice you are growing — until you stand face-to-face with a young adult and hug them goodbye as they leave to go back to THEIR OWN HOUSE!

It all happens in baby steps.

Without meaning to, mama’s wrap all of who they are around the children they raise. I remember the first time I realized they were gone, like…really gone and not coming back. I was dancing around in my kitchen to Stevie Nicks belting out Landslide when I started crying at the words.

I knew they’d leave.



I’m not the first mama to let go.

So here I am reflecting back on them and realizing that while I was investing in them and teaching them confidence….God was hatching my own little sprout of wings. I can fly too!

What a gift to be a mother. I never knew all the things, so many things that would happen in my heart just by watching my children grow and go. I am so proud of each of them and I owe them all a huge thank you. I have courage to move forward and to take on the next great things to come in my life. I have my own wings and I’m excited to use them!

Shopping Alone

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

empty nest full heart

I saw her trying to shop.  She shared her eyes with the stack of childrens clothes on the table at Costco and her two little kids strapped in the cart.  Back and forth she went, table to cart…trying to appease the tiny people all while searching for a great deal.  Then, I heard her voice change.  I recognized it.  It was the "Mom" voice.  Her little team was getting antsy and by the looks of her cart, she hadn't been there very long.

I listened in, not to invade her space or be nosey but to see her be the mom God called her to be.  She spoke with firmness and love all wrapped together but I could tell she was stressed.  I didn't mean for it to happen but a flash of memories clicked away inside my head.  Memories of three little me's hanging onto and riding in my cart: a handsome boy wearing a ball cap, a bouncy curly blonde wearing something pink and a wild-haired baby with some sort of food in hand.  I let the memories flow as I walked away thinking of how weird it would be for me to say anything to this young mama.

Who wants to hear a stranger tell them to enjoy every minute of this hurried, noisy and messy time?

I saw her again in the parking lot.  She was leaving as I was returning my cart.  God placed me in her path because He knew…..I needed to hear her praising her children on their good behavior!  She used her mom love sword to build them up.  Her enthusiasm didn't go to waste, both of them were beaming!

I thanked God for letting me have a peek into this young mom's heart.  I've been there when shopping was an adventure but you still had to do it with monkeys in tow.  I've used my mom love sword to pursuade little people to hang on and be patient just to get through the store.  I've made deals, threatened punishment and handed out bribes (hey, I'm not proud) so that groceries could be bought.

And now…..I'm shopping all alone.

What happens while our kids are little is that we think they'll never get big.  We somehow see the days as endless and exhausting (and they are).  God in his infinite wisdom doesn't let us see the empty nest.  Oh, we know it will happen and many of us tease about the excitement of it coming.  But the names God stamps onto the heart of mothers….is deep.  The love she feels for them when they're chewing on the cart handle quadruples when they don't sleep under her roof anymore and pay (most) of their own bills.  She sees the fruit of her labor and she falls more in love than she ever knew she could.

If I could say anything to a young mother….it would be, live it & feel it.  Every single bit of it.  It's fleeting.  It ends.  It goes away and doesn't return ever again.  Your tired days & sleepless nights….are very long when your kids are small and get even longer when they sleep somewhere else.  You think about them and your heart swells…..its just how God wired us.

So, for those struggling to be nice at the store because you're tired.  Hang on.  You'll be pushing that cart alone before you know it.


I’m Not a Teenager

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013



I'm far away from my teen days.  However, I have a teen daughter and when I look at this picture I'm reminded of how closely we think alike.

Take the large yellow section for instance.  I'm a lover.  Everything I do, I do it with love.  Unless I'm PMS'n and then there might be some fury mixed in but you can bet…..if I love you, I LOVE YOU!  My youngest babe thinks she's in love right now.  If it's not love, it's a giant crush.  He's cute, I admit…but as a mom, I feel it's only right to be honest with her….he's just a boyfriend.  Let the big mushy love stuff simmer while you grow up and find who it is God wants you to be.

Look how tiny the judgement gland is.  Can you find it?  It's way up there in a little bitty space that looks more like a thin line.  I have issues with failing to use good judgement sometimes.  I do things or come up with ideas that I don't ponder long enough and end up regretting later.  I can't think of anything too awful that I've messed up but there are times that I let my good intentions get me into trouble.  I'm learning still everyday….

Don't try doing something you think is wonderful for your teenager [who is moving into her own apartment soon] without consulting her first.  You both might end up disappointed.  It's better to just let them make their own decisions and find their own treasures.  Parents are old and out of style, right?

Now check out the coolness part.  For me, I'm totally comfortable there.  Then again, I'm almost 47 years old.  I no longer allow my insecurities to rule by happiness.  It doesn't wreck my life if someone doesn't like me or find me attractive.  When I was younger, those things mattered way more.  I just wish there was a way to tell those behind me that it really gets better the older you get.  I'm enjoying my life so much more now than I ever did before.  I like me and I like who I am.

The funny thing about growing up is learning the answers to life's little problems.  As you can see by the photo that doesn't take up much space in the brain of a teen.  I guess getting older works that spot into shape.  I hope both my girls will see (maybe not now…but very soon) that I do have some good answers to life's problems.  I'm not so out of date that I can't help them get through something they are going through.  I've been where they are and I made it out alive & well.

I'm preparing my heart for the next few weeks.  Both my girls are moving to college in a town not far away.  It's a huge step for them and even bigger for me.  My nest will literally be empty!  I keep thinking I'm ready and then I remember they will BE GONE and I get a lump in my throat.  Will my heart be okay?  I just don't know.  I'm a big girl….it's time I start acting like it.


Thank you for the time I've had being a mom to my kids.  Never have I taken a moment for granted.  Let the lessons and love I've shared with them help them as they navigate the real world.