The hour glass of summer is quickly running out of sand! I cannot believe that just a mere six weeks ago we were anticipating high school graduation for our baby girl, Madison. Now we are roughly six weeks out from starting college!
Slow down, summer! I need to catch up!
Life seasons are designed by God to teach us, to grow us, and to transfigure us into the likeness of His Son. As our family transitions into this next season, our prayer is that we will look more like Jesus than we did last season. That we will build upon the foundation of faith laid long ago, and that we will apply the truths and principles we have learned in this life to bring more glory to our God than ever before!
With our oldest child, Turner, having been out of college for a year (and yes, he has a job, praise the Lord!), and our youngest preparing to enter college this fall, Rick and I are already being referred to as Empty Nesters. I don't know about you, but I cringe every time I hear that term. What a depressing and sad label to attach to ourselves just because our last child has almost learned to fly on her own. Sure it's bittersweet, but does it have to sound so final? So...empty?
Well, I've made an executive decision for Rick and I not to accept this assumed label of emptiness, but we will be wearing a new label instead; "Joy-full Nesters." Doesn't that sound much more exciting? It sounds like there's more to come instead of settling for a nest of nothing.
Our nest is full of joy because we have persevered and sought to stay the course to raise our children with the strength and wisdom of Jesus Christ. We have been given the privilege of parenting for 23+ years, and we have many memories to reflect on as well as new memories still to make.
With the privilege of parenting comes great responsibility; praying for our children, teaching them the truths of God, reading and studying His Word with them, and leading them to develop a deep love for God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Helping them discover their God-given gifts, as well as watching them hone in on their talents has been so exciting! Now we get to watch them do life and continue to pray that they do it well. Isn't that what we've trained them to do?
We give God praise for seeing us through their childhood and adolescent years, for transitioning them into adulthood, and us into a different aspect of parenting; from parent to even more...a true friend! What a priceless treasure; to be our child's friend. We couldn't do that while we were parenting children, but hopefully, we've set the stage well to become a trusted and valued friend to our adult children.
AND... of course, we're joy-full because we have more time for nurturing our marriage! Time to rediscover why we fell in love in the first place, the God-ordained love that was blessed with children. Time for more date nights, more weekend get-a-ways, more candlelight dinners for two, and of course, continuing to grow in Christ together; all brings that youthful spirit back into the nest.
This nest is not empty and there's no plan to be empty... EVER! We are just moving further into our happily-ever-after! Because there is life after parenting.