Last Updated on March 20, 2018

I received a note from a good friend who is reading the book Susan Yates and I wrote, Barbara and Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest. She wrote,

“Read more of the book last night and am so glad I did. I really drank in the chapter on loneliness. Between ministry and life stages I was so comforted by what I was doing right, reaching out to new friends, enjoying my ‘time,’ but I like the ‘why’ best. It made me feel so NORMAL. Normal is a nice word to feel! Hooray!”

She is so right. It’s good to feel that what we feel is normal. We are so prone to comparing our life experience with what we think someone else is feeling, making the assumption that the other person has it better.

And hasn’t that always been true for so many of us? When we were younger and had little kids it seemed to appear that other people’s children were more well-behaved or cleaner or happier or whatever it was we valued and didn’t have.

One of the blessings of this empty nest season in life is a greater contentment in who I am and who God has made me. It doesn’t mean I’m always happy about my life and how I’m wired, but I have learned not to stress about it as much. I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I was years ago.

I was thinking about this today in relation to my marriage and how grateful I am for my husband. Yes, he is sinful and so am I, but how wonderful it is that we both understand our weaknesses and are more gracious with those flaws. I’d hate to start over with a whole new set of weaknesses and another person’s sinfulness.

Having it all together is impossible. Knowing that is good. It makes daily living with the normal transitions of life normal.

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  1. All you moms out there who are not yet Empty Nesters I HIGHLY recommend you go ahead and get Barbara's book – Guide to the Empty Nest – as it caused me to adjust my thoughts and actions as my children have been in their teens and I know that will help me as they head off to college! It's a great book to pass along to sistah friends!

    1. You are so right Tracey, this book is amazing, thanks Susan and Barbara! I actually picked up the book a few years ago at a WTR where Susan and John were speaking, but hadn’t read it. Our middle child and only daughter left for college two months ago and the empty nest really hit me.I found the book on the shelf and started reading. This book helped me realize I was normal and what I am experiencing is normal and I now have a game plan.

  2. ONE MORE YEAR! Just sent my second off and each time it gets easier, but one more to go and one more year with her! HOLD ME!

    Somehow it has been ok, letting go of the first two, and I am amazed at how much life is changing for the better. Still not completely there, but it's not sending me over the edge like I thought it would when they were younger…

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

  3. I am content today knowing that I put my child on the right bus this year AND he got home safely from his first day of school!

  4. I am content today in knowing that my husband, our children and me are physically healthy and able to be active in our church and community. Although none of us are near perfection, we are striving to live like Jesus! We just enjoyed a delicious dinner and are enjoying the beautiful evening sunshine. God is good!

  5. I am content today because I know that whatever happens, its all God's will for my life. I used to worry about EVERYTHING and all that did is make me physically sick. Once I gave it all to God, I felt so much better, so now I am content with whatever may come my way, because I know that Christ is the center of my life.

  6. I am content because my son will be starting high school next year and I'm finally OK with that. It's taken a long time for me to come to terms with the fact that he's become a "man of Christ" instead of a boy yet, but his actions and words as of late as truly showing me that he is who he says he is. I am content with all things through Christ who provides them for me. That's something I haven't said in 25 months. First time, right here. I am honored to be a mother and wife and a woman, as well as be "content.". Thank you for the opportunity to write this.

  7. Kim Carmickle says:

    Tracey would love to get a copy and read this. You and I were good friends in school Kim wilson . I love to read something you wrote you are great. Thanks

  8. I LOVE that book as well, and refer back to it at times! Thank you for being so transparent about the reality of the empty nest! I appreciate you!