Empty Nest Update and A Sweet Friend Sharing her heart

Dear friends,
Today is Day 2 of Empty Nest and life is looking good.  Last week, not so good.  On Friday, after preparing and cleaning up lunch for # 4 son, I kind of lost it.  I mean really lost it.  Hot tears flowing down my cheeks, can’t talk, stuff running out of my nose, lost it.  Later that afternoon, Craig and I drove KJ to college.

A stuffed Suburban

I just kind of needed that moment- to see that it was all coming down to the end.  No more lunches.  No more being a mom with kids underfoot.  Ahhhhhh…. Now, I know that they come in and out.  In fact we brought one son home from Austin for a day visit when we drove back.   But I think that on Friday, it all just hit me- This is IT! THE END!

Will write more about that later, for sure.

So, needless to say, I am still processing all of this and jumping into empty nest and looking for the SURSEES I can find in that nest.

One exciting side note is I am participating in an awesome Blogging Bootcamp over at How They Blog with the Ninja master Kat Lee.  It is helping me so so much, and I can’t wait to share with you what I am learning and hear what you think about my goals, plans, etc.

So because I am kind of in school and because I just dropped off my baby at college and need some downtime, I thought I would share another friend’s What I Wish I Would Have Known journey. So get ready to meet Laura  McBride, my precious friend, who just dropped off her oldest at college.  She, like me, has a little bloody stump where her arm used to be, but let me tell you, she has great wisdom for you, no matter where you are in the journey.

Here is the letter she wrote to a “Kindergarten mom”.  Enjoy and please pass this SURSEE along to someone who might need to hear it.

As my days of being a mom at this school are drawing to a close, I have been thinking about what I have learned over the past 14 years. I remember what it felt like to have a first grader with two toddlers still at home. With the finish line in sight, I would like to pass on some truths I have learned.
First, it has been a great run. The only thing I would do differently is I would rest in God more and trust in my own strength less.  
Quality v. quantity time. Quantity wins every time. Don’t be afraid of silence or inaction. Just be. With them.
Laugh. Laugh a lot. Your kids are funny. Don’t take yourself too seriously either. You’re goofy too.
Talk less, listen more.
Have breakfast with your kids every morning. Yes, this means you will have to plan ahead and get up early. You can do this. 
Read the bible at breakfast every morning. We allowed an extra 20 minutes for this. Do it all the way through High School. You will have the opportunity to speak God’s word into their lives and great discussions always followed these readings.
When your kids are younger, read the Catherine Vos bible. I marked the date after every reading and any questions the kids asked.  I now have a “diary” of our readings (we read the Catherine Vos bible through 5 times) and discussions.
God has given each one of our children the charge of dominion rule. Tell them that God has a unique plan for their life. Help them to draw out 

the greatness that God has built into them by giving them a vision for how God will use them in this world. 

Your kids have everything it takes to be productive and successful citizens of this community. Believe in them.  Tell them you do.
Paraphrasing Aristotle: Excellence is an art won by training. We do not act rightly because we have virtue, rather we have virtue because we act rightly. An education involves not only the engagement of the mind but also the heart. Both are essential for authentic learning to occur.
We belong to that which we obey.
The family is foundational. This is God’s means of securing generational salvation and His way of influencing the culture. The one sure foundation for all of life is God’s holy word passed down through the family.
Be intentional: give your kids the best years of your life. Sacrifice your body, time and energy for your kids. Be willing to face conflict, tears, disappointments. Listen to their dreams and heart thoughts that spill over in the late evening hours.  You will never be sorry you did. They will become your best friends and you will indeed be a blessed woman.
Read the books your kids are reading.  You’ll learn and you can have great conversations with them about what they are learning.
Have some sort of reading program in your home.  Take advantage of this time when your kids are young.  Create a home environment that is quiet and calm.  Pile on the bed like puppies and let their heads rest on your shoulders while you read to them.  Books allow us to experience places and events which we would never otherwise know.  They make us more fully human by exposing us to circumstances and emotions we may never encounter.  They build a deep reservoir of wisdom and knowledge for our children to draw upon as they fulfill God’s calling on their lives.  Read Read Read.
Middle School is awful. Always has been, always will be. But one day the mean boys and girls will be awesome men and women. .
Don’t be afraid of asking or watching your kids work hard. They need to. Enough said.
The world doesn’t need one more star athlete. It needs men and women of sterling character. Focus on this. 
Your kids are masterpieces in the Father’s hands. They are not done yet. Not at 6, 10 or 14. For that matter not at 18 either. It will work out. I promise.
Don’t be afraid. Trust God.
Don’t compare your kids. Don’t put the millstone of “not enough” around their neck. They are:
God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)
A new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10)
Loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
Overtaken with blessing (Deuteronomy 28:2)
 
Thank you Laura for sharing your heart here on SURSEE. xoxo
 
My new college freshman!

Comments

  1. good stuff gal. love ya!

  2. Oh I love this letter!! And I adored the mom from afar when her kids went to the school I taught at! Thank you for this encouragement, and perspective as I start year 2 of homeschool tomorrow and just a new season of enjoying my kids. I want to rest in God more. Praying for you Leslie, and love how honest you are!!

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