When the Empty Nest Ain’t Empty

I mourned my empty nest when the last chick flew from home.

Veteran moms told me I’d adjust to the empty space. The solitude. Cooking for two.

They were right.

Bedroom walls—once plastered with posters and youthful fingerprints—were painted and turned into guest rooms.

Beds were always made because no one slept in them. Bath towels hung on the rod like soldiers in formation. Ready for inspection.

A tidy way to live.

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No dirt. No drama.

Living in that sterile environment fooled me. Made me think I had my act together.

Then all my chicks arrived—temporarily filling up the nest. Bringing their smiles. Their baggage.

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Suddenly, SELF is tripping over shoes. Cooking when I’m not hungry. Stepping on sticky floors. Washing dishes I didn’t use. Just like the “good, old days of child-rearing.”

And I’m aghast!

Not with my guests, but my SELF.

Accustomed to being in control, there’s nothing like sharing and serving others to realize—maybe I’m not as patient and selfless as I assumed. 

In self defense, my family becomes a handy excuse to NOT meet with the Lord. I’m on vacation.

Then wonder, “Where’s the fruit of the Spirit like self-control and joy?”

Only this time, praise God, I’m proactive. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

I may roll my eyes when someone leaves the light on, but I refuse to nag or stuff negative thoughts inside of me and look as though I’ve eaten sour pickles. Don’t want to implode.

Like the Proverbs 30 woman, I rise before my household. Not to meet their needs, but my own because it’s imperative to put on my oxygen mask first!

Alone with the Lord, I relinquish yesterday’s mistakes, disappointments, and small annoyances. Why give Satan the victory?

Then I ask God to show me how to be more like Christ while my empty nest ain’t empty.

However, I can only do what Jesus would do when I heed His words, “Come to Me” (Matthew 11:28). And then abide in Christ throughout the day, mindful of His presence, knowing….

Even in this—bustling nest filled with human bloopers and blunders—God will accomplish His predestined will in me as well as others.

“Molding us into the image of His Son.” (Romans 8:29)

One dirty sink and shoe-tripping day at a time.

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