family, personal

Now Entering: The Empty Nest Phase

We did it. We moved our last child, our third son, into the dorm at the University of North Texas. Granted, it is only 40 minutes away, but he has left. His room is bare,with only a few posters left on the wall and a few old pairs of tennis shoes lined up on a shelf. No empty Dr. Pepper cans. No fruit snack wrappers. Just some dust where his computer had sat.

It’s such an exciting time for your child as they go off to college. It is the beginning of the rest of their lives. It is the beginning of adulthood and learning to make your way in the world. New friends. New things to see and do. It’s the part of life that they will look back on and think, “Those were the good old days.” I’m so thankful he is getting to experience the college life and I pray that God will hold him close as he journeys through this time.

But now things are different for me. I walk into the quiet house and think this quiet will now be the norm. There won’t be the sound of someone scrounging around in the pantry looking for a snack. There won’t be the sound of clippers trimming a beard. There won’t be the sound of laughter from a conversation with friends. It will be quiet.

Granted, the senior year prepared me for this time. We didn’t see a whole lot of him since he spent time working, doing homework, and hanging out with friends. But there’s something about the last one leaving that changes everything.

It shifts who you are as a parent.

You are no longer the “teacher”. I know, I know, we will always be teaching, but it’s different now. We will be more like advisers, giving advice when asked. We will be the refuge they run to when they need help. We will be their prayer warriors, praying for their spiritual, physical, and emotional needs.

I think it’s going to be a good shift in who I am as a parent, and I pray that in this next phase of life I will embrace all that God has laid out for me to do…as a parent, wife, partner in ministry, and a child of HIM who loves me.

Life is good and I’m so very blessed.

4 thoughts on “Now Entering: The Empty Nest Phase”

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