Our family has had 3 graduation this year – two from High School and one from College. Yes, we are blessed and so proud of all of our 6 kids. But, can I ask, “Now what?” We still have one son at home, at least for one more semester. My son went to visit family for the next 2 weeks, so here my husband and I sit. We have 2 older kids who are doing amazing and are out on their own.
We have finished 3 Netflix series this week. I am just about caught up on laundry. I haven’t cooked in days. How do you people do this? This changing seasons things is very confusing for this Mama. I feel all flustered!
So I went looking for wisdom. Here are some great quotes about living in the empty nest!
10 Quotes on Living in the Empty Nest
“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.” —Ann Landers
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Bault
“When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the vice president of the United States.” — Erma Bombeck
“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” — Agatha Christie
“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.” — The Dalai Lama
“The day a child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” ― Alden Nowlan
“The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires.” ― Dorothy Parker
“Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-rearing, they are unemployed.” ― Erma Bombeck
“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.” ― Phyllis Diller
“All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with white carpet is one of them. ” ― — Erma Bombeck
“Peace. Be still.” That all He said. The wind stopped, the waves quoted, and the boat stopped rocking. What if we did that? What if we brought peace to the storm in our lives and the lives of those around us?
What would we feel like if we brought peace to our spirits?
What would our family look like if we brought peace?
What would work look like if we brought peace?
What would our world look like if we brought peace?
I have to admit – it’s not my first thought. I think God knew that. That’s why He had to give me His peace. He knew mine wouldn’t always be so agreeable, lol!
God’s Word for You:
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. – Colossians 3″15-17 MSG
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. – Philipians 4:6-7 MSG
When Jesus saw that a curious crowd was growing by the minute, he told his disciples to get him out of there to the other side of the lake. As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said. Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.” Another follower said, “Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.”
Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.”
Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him. The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat—and he was sound asleep! They roused him, pleading, “Master, save us! We’re going down!” Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass. The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea come to heel at his command!” – Matthew 8:18-27 MSG
My Prayer for You:
Lord help me bring peace, not chaos, to myself, my friends, my family, and my world. Let me not say the first thing that I think. Let me bring grace and peace to those I love. Let me be a peace-maker, not a peace-taker in Jesus Name.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
After working at the local High School this past year I was amazed at the number of fatherless children. Kids who didn’t ask to be left – it was thrust upon them by the poor choice of a man. In many cases the Dad had either left, was addicted to drugs or alcohol, was in jail, or had died.
1. 23.6% of US children (17.4 million) lived in father absent homes in 2014.
[US Census Bureau, 2015] Living arrangements of children under 18 years and marital status of parents, by age, sex, race, and hispanic origin and selected characteristics of the child for all children: 2014. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau.
2. In 2011, children living in female-headed homes with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6%. This is over four times the rate for children living in married couple families.
[Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2012). Information on poverty and income statistics: A summary of 2012 current population survey data. Retrieved from: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.cfm]
Mom did her best to provide and protect. But speaking from experience, it’s not the same. We Moms get tired. Our incomes drop significantly. We live in poverty now. We work multiple jobs at multiple places just to make ends meet. Often the Dad leaves the picture – regardless of what the Court says. Yeah that child support he is supposed to pay – don’t count on it. Most fathers don’t pay. We blame ourselves for being so ”stupid”. We lost our homes, our marriages, and our self respect. Often women are totally responsible from that day forward for everything. Totally not fair – to the kids or the mom.
Some of us get lucky and get remarried. An understanding stepparent can make a positive influence in a child’s life – if they and the kids are open to it. Often we women do learn from our ‘mistakes’ so as not to repeat the same pattern. Life can and does get better with time. But having a blended family may bring its own set of challenges with it.
Regardless, we have a whole generation of children growing up as orphans. They feel unwanted, unworthy, and unloved. They feel it’s their fault that it happened. They think they could have changed it. They often give up on love, on life, and on themselves.
The effects of fatherlessness upon a child can include:
Loss of self esteem
Loss of respect for themselves and others
Increased anxiety and depression
Acting out including fighting, defiance, and rude behaviors
Loss of moral compass
Early alcohol or drug abuse
Overly promiscuous and early sexual involvement
Overly sensitive to rejection
Overly dramatic or super withdrawn
Possible suicidal tendencies
I have heard many stories from many teens out there. It takes its toll on them. Even though they had nothing to do with it, they may feel it is there fault. It is not. It was the Dad that made the bad choice to abandon his family. In the Army they used to shoot Deserters. Let us as the Family of God ‘adopt’ the fatherless. They need things. Let us show up with our checkbooks along with our prayers. Let us, the Body of Christ, heal the brokenhearted. They need us to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
I have found there is only one way to heal the hurt – Jesus. As I have come to know the Lord he has shown me real love – not sex. He has shown me unconditional love. The Lord has continually provided for me and my kids. He has never left me, even when others have. He has been faithful to me when others have not been. He has healed the hurt that was in my heart. He will do it for you too. God promised to adopt us into his family when we admit our sin – our trying to live life without Him, and turn to Him.
My Prayer for the Fatherless Children:
I pray for all of the fatherless children in this world and their moms who are trying to keep it together. Lord, shine a light in their hearts and cover them with your love. Heal their brokenness. Give them supernatural provision. Let them come to know You and how you have adopted them into your family. Let them know they are loved, wanted, respected, and cherished. Give them a new name and a new identity, in Jesus Name.
God’s Word for the Fatherless:
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless,
a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. – Psalm 68:3-6 NIV
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” – Romans 8:15
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” 1John 3:1-2
A corner office was his dream
More like a prison now it seems
Somewhere on the corporate climb
He left his warrior behind
Now hes just a worker at a daily grind
Steals his years and numbs his mind
His strength is fading, his dreams are blind
This is not the life he had in mind
She lies awake cause hes up all night
Staring at a screen that tells him lies
That the grass is greener on the other side
So shes at the gym fighting off the years
To be young again and calm her fears
That shell never be enough for him
Just as a young man catches her eye
Now theyre trapped in their own worlds, in their own wars
With their cell phones and the closed doors
Its funny how quiet and peaceful that it seems
But theyre all alone together
In the house of their dreams
Little sister, shes a sixteen-year-old princess
Lost somewhere between the swing set
And her brand new crushs chariot awaits
And big brothers rooms glowing with trophies that shout his name
But he’d trade all his high school fame
For some backyard catch with his hero again
So now theyre all dressed up in Sunday best
Sit up straight just like the rest
And they sing the songs of peace and rest that Jesus freely gives
And then their kids look up as daddy stands
And he takes his bride with trembling hands
Brother kneels at his fathers side as princess looks in the mothers eyes
Their tears tear down the walls as daddy prays
Were trapped in our own worlds and our own wars
With our cell phones and our closed doors
God, only You can save our family
And on this Rock, well build
On this Rock, well build
The house of our dreams
(Click on title above for more info and a special treat!)
I received this email from a beautiful woman in Christ the other day. Thank you Sister Jeanne!
“The Pickle Jar”
The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.
As a small boy, I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled.
I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar to admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate’s treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.
Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.
Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. ‘Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold you back.’
Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly. ‘These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his life like me.’
We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. ‘When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar again.’ He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled
around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. ‘You’ll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,’ he said. ‘But you’ll get there; I’ll see to that.’
No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar. To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make a way out for me ‘When you finish college, Son,’ he told me, his eyes glistening, ‘You’ll never have to eat beans again – unless you want to.’
The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed.
A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words: he never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me.
The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. ‘She probably needs to be changed,’ she said, carrying the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.
She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room. ‘Look,’ she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak. This truly touched my heart.
Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life, for better or for worse.
God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for GOOD in others.
“The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched – they must be felt with the heart” ~ Helen Keller
“The shame and the downfall of a modern materialistic society is her inability to treasure, care for, admire, adore, cherish, value, revere, respect, uphold, uplift, protect, shield, defend, safeguard, treasure and love her children. I praise all the cultures of this world that naturally harbor and actively manifest these instincts. If a nation or if a population of people fails to recognize the excellent value and distinction of the lives of her children and is defective enough to have lost the capability of expressing and acting upon these instincts then there is nothing that can save that nation or those people. The prosperity of a people is not measured in banks, financial markets, economy and the death of its humanity is evident not through the loss of life but in the loss of love for its children.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.”
– Psalm 127:3-5 NLT
This song REMEMBER made it in the TOP 10 at Broadjam, Inc. today for Modern – Jazz. I remember I wrote it for my brother, John Roelle, for his birthday last year. I have such fond memories of growing up together on the farm. Feeding the cows from the bottle, riding the horses, baling hay, and even rolling around the driveway in an empty barrell just for fun! John is a Project Manager in Reno, NV. and has some amazing skills with CAD drafting, and putting up buildings, and managing people. Love you John!
God remembered us when we were down, His love never quits. Rescued us from the trampling boot, His love never quits. Takes care of everyone in time of need. His love never quits. Thank God, who did it all! His love never quits!
Still, when God saw the trouble they were in and heard their cries for help, He remembered his Covenant with them, and, immense with love, took them by the hand. He poured out his mercy on them while their captors looked on, amazed.
Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God! Just to speak his name is praise! Just to remember God is a blessing— now and tomorrow and always. From east to west, from dawn to dusk, keep lifting all your praises to God!
“Do you have any idea how powerful God is? Have you ever heard of a teacher like him? Has anyone ever had to tell him what to do, or correct him, saying, ‘You did that all wrong!’? Remember, then, to praise his workmanship, which is so often celebrated in song. Everybody sees it; nobody is too far away to see it.
“Think about this. Wrap your minds around it. This is serious business, rebels. Take it to heart.Remember your history, your long and rich history. I am God, the only God you’ve had or ever will have— incomparable, irreplaceable— From the very beginning telling you what the ending will be, All along letting you in on what is going to happen, Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll do exactly what I set out to do,’ Calling that eagle, Cyrus, out of the east, from a far country the man I chose to help me. I’ve said it, and I’ll most certainly do it. I’ve planned it, so it’s as good as done.
Mark and remember, God, all the enemy taunts, each idiot desecration. Don’t throw your lambs to the wolves; after all we’ve been through, don’t forget us. Remember your promises; the city is in darkness, the countryside violent. Don’t leave the victims to rot in the street; make them a choir that sings your praises.
Hallelujah! Thank God! Pray to him by name! Tell everyone you meet what he has done! Sing him songs, belt out hymns, translate his wonders into music! Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs, you who seekGod. Live a happy life! Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence. Remember the world of wonders he has made, his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered— O seed of Abraham, his servant, O child of Jacob, his chosen.
I’m feeling terrible—I couldn’t feel worse! Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember? When I told my story, you responded; train me well in your deep wisdom. Help me understand these things inside and out so I can ponder your miracle-wonders. My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word. Barricade the road that goes Nowhere; grace me with your clear revelation. I choose the true road to Somewhere, I post your road signs at every curve and corner. I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; God, don’t let me down! I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how.
I’ve posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem. Day and night they keep at it, praying, calling out, reminding God to remember. They are to give him no peace until he does what he said, until he makes Jerusalem famous as the City of Praise.
My Prayer for You:
I thank you that you remind us of how big you are, especially in the times when we feel small. I thank you that you REMEMBER us and that You will work all these things out for our good. Help us Lord, when we don’t understand. Surround us with your presence like the morning fog, because in your arms – everything is good, in Jesus Name.
Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.
Truthfully I don’t read much online news. It’s too depressing. So and so killed this person, the economy is going downhill, this country is at war with this country. It all runs together after a while. I am not the best person to ask about world events. I’ll catch the highlights on the radio or tv. Plus my husband keeps me up to date, he was the Political Science graduate, I was the Biology girl.
So, I thought I’d write my own headline tonight…
WORD OF WARNING: Do Not Blog and Cook at the Same Time!
Spoon is Disabled Due to Inattentive Blogger!
According to an unknown source, somewhere in Wisconsin, a red spoon met its demise as an over-excited blogger sat in the next room typing a blog.
The blogger in question shares, “I was making shells and cheese. The water started boiling, so I put the noodles in. I guess I left the spoon in the pot. Then about 10 minutes later I went back into kitchen to check on things, and well, maybe it was a bit longer, you know how it goes when you are on a roll…”
The Cooking Authorities were called, and the blogger was banned from the kitchen for a period of time, yet to be determined. Family members suspect that the blogger will have to go back for therapy at Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey. Apparently, this is not the first time she has forgotten things while in the “blogging zone”!
Here is what the family had to say about the spoon and the incident in question:
Adam (12 yrs old): “Life is like a melted spoon, it’s never gonna be straight.”
Johnna (14 yrs old): “Life is a lot like a spoon melting in a pot of boiling water, leave it in there too long and it will reform.”
Bob: “Blankets are nice, even when the spoon is melted.”
the Blogger in question: “Sometimes the road is straight, sometimes it’s crooked.”
GOD’S PROMISE TO YOU:
Place Your Life Before God
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-3 MSG)
MY PRAYER FOR YOU:
Dear Lord, thank you for the simple things in our everyday life. Thank you for laughter, and joy, and bent spoons. Thank you that we do not need to be perfect. Forgive us for trying to earn Your love and our own salvation. As we set our thoughts on You, change us from the inside out. Thank you for your super-abounding grace, your unmerited favor, and your never-ending mercy. Thank you for the blood of Jesus. We offer up our normal everyday lives and we trust You to bring out the best in us, in Jesus’ Name.