Thursday, February 19, 2009

McDonald's may not have a Healthy Menu, but they sure had a Healthy Slogan

Remember the old McDonald's commercial from long ago - "You deserve a break today?" I am wholeheartedly proclaiming to all empty Nester's to "Take a break"..with no guilt attached what-so-ever! And for those of you who have a ways to go before entering the empty nest years, don't forget these words...When your time comes..."You deserve a break!" And don't forget the old Clairol Commercials, "Because I'm worth it!" God intended for His people to rest as well as work.

Remember the Sabbath? Yeah, how many of us moms got the Sabbath off? Interestingly enough, in the Old Testament, the second rest that was prescribed was called the sabbatical year, in which occurred every seventh year (mirroring the sabbath day which occurred every seventh day.) Even the land was to rest from being cultivated, which meant that the people who worked the fields were also more at rest. Isn't it a wonderful thought that our Heavenly Father and our creator understood that we needed to rest from time to time. So I say to you again, guilt!

Let us also not forget the year of Jubilee. The season for freedom for all, celebrated after the the seventh seven year period or at the end of forty nine years. The fiftieth year was a grand occasion, a time for the people to rest and remember who owned their lives and their destiny. Celebrating the freedom that comes when one's life belongs to God. Once guilt for resting....and guess who is turning fifty this year?!

I have been dwelling on this idea/thought since Andrew moved out a couple years ago and now with the twins away at college (Elliot lives home part time, so in my book I'm actually only a part time empty Nester.) I honestly can say right now that I have worked my tail end off raising these three children. I know there are those out there that have done way more than I, but none the less, I am still exhausted from my years of running the Mother's Ultra Marathon Races! These have been long and sometimes grueling races that have left me near complete exhaustion.

Not that I didn't thoroughly enjoy the races, but like any athlete, every now and again you need a retreat. Retreat doesn't mean to throw in the towel and give up, it simply means to pull back a bit and rest up for the next big events to come our way.

My mind is about to explode with all the ideas I have for this new phase of my life and I can hardly hold on to the excitement of all that I want to do. However, I don't think God wants any of us to live in a depleted state. How can I give my all to anyone when I feel worn out and down right exhausted. I feel as though I need to recharge, re energize, and regroup before I can launch off into my next new big adventure.

Don't get me wrong here, I sometimes miss and long for the younger years of my family and will always look back with a sad feeling inside and the question of, "where did all that time go to?" Yet I am also looking back and smiling thinking about all the wonderful times we had together, and how thankful I am to God for giving me these three awesome talented Children to work with. And I pray daily that God will put a hedge around all three of them and keep them in his favor until the very end. I have no regrets what so ever where my children are concerned....I can honestly say, "I gave my all and then some."

I have been heeding the advice of all the already empty Nester's in my life:

~ Take a YEAR off...I deserve it!
~ Enjoying my quiet walks and talks with my creator, He's missed me while I was gone raising His children
~ Relaxing and enjoying alone time
~Taking a class I have never had time to take before now
~Not letting anyone make me feel guilty for taking care of me
~Exercising again and loving it! Wii!
~Eating well
~Getting to know my husband again...I fall more in love him every day!
~Setting "Date" nites.
~Making him special meals with candle lite
~Taking walks together in the evenings
~Reading a book together
~Jumping in the car and having over night adventures
~Having lunches with my girlfriends
~Getting involved in an in depth Bible study ~ BSF
~Getting Massages
~Reading a big stack of books
~Listening carefully to the unique longings of my heart and the quiet whisper of God's voice
~Simply planning days for me

I'm thinking I just might need more than a year Off!

Taking care of my mind, body and soul has never felt so good.

I honestly thought I'd hate this season of my life and in all honesty, thought I'd be a big cry baby when the kids got older. I imagined myself with no purpose and feeling rather anxious. But I haven't at all, and I am really finding myself feeling at peace inside and really enjoying this season to it's fullest.

So for those of you who are here with me now I encourage you to enjoy and celebrate every new day of this season with me, and heed the advise of the wise. For those of you who have a ways to go, enjoy your moments, create those family memories for your families future memory boxes and don't worry about your "future" empty nest. I'm here to share with you that it's very cozy, peaceful, rewarding and exciting. It doesn't really feel at all that empty to me.

Making the best of every single Season God is Blessing me with!



The Farmer's Wife said...

Thank you for giving me hope for the future! I'm in the toddler years, with my kids, and barely hanging on. I applaud your decision to re-evaluate and rest...actually, you can't see it, but I'm giving you a standing ovation. My kids think I'm nuts.

AND I applaud the mommy merganser picture...some days feel like that!

~K~ said...

Oh My Gosh, Karen! I am right there with you!! I am in the same phase of my life...last year was the year for personal transformation, doing the "up grades" on myself that I put off until my son was out of school..this year, we just purchased property for a business I want to start..!! I hear and recite with you every word you just said....
I have such a strong faith which has sustained me and with God's good graces, I have had a great life raising my son. Things were not as always planned, but we got through it and have much to be very thankful for...

For all you Mommy's out there with young children, hang in there...It passes way too quickly and most importantly...enjoy your children!!

Thanks for sharing such an inspirational and personal insight..


Sarah said...

I love this post! What a great way to look at empty nesting, and to give me some thoughts as I prepare for that time which will be here all too soon! I love that you are taking this view on your time, and I hope I can rest and revel in the memories while enjoying my spouse and all the friends around me. You go girl!!

Lorrie said...

This is a very insightful and thoughtful post. I think you've expressed very well the thoughts and feelings of many, many women at this point in life. I have one married child, one in grad school and the youngest is getting ready to graduate college and marry. Having given it our all as moms, there is a transition involved for us women as we move on into this new stage of life. I think we God's help we can face and embrace it with enthusiasm.

Carrie said...

That is the next step in my life and I look forward to it I love my children but I look forward to some me and hubby time!

Where My Treasure Is said...

Thanks for visiting my blog!

I enjoyed your post today. I'm just now beginning my Mother's Ultra Marathon Races...our first child is due any day! I'd say you deserve this season of rest! God bless you =)


Ms. Tee said...

This is such a great post, so thoughtful. After reading this, I feel a little bit better about that time to come. :) (happy early 50th!)

jenjen said...

Christine -

What a great outlook you have on your place in life! You have so many possibilities - it's so amazing!!! It makes me look forward to the day when my kids are grown, not dread it!

Thanks! And can't wait to see what you will do!


Krissie at Winterwood said...

from reading my blog you'll know that we're at the same stage, and I am really enjoying those days when the nest is empty, and I love your list and follow some of those steps already! what great advice!!!!

Lynette said...

What a lovely post! My nest is not completely empty yet. And the grandkids keeps things alive with their frequent visits! I like the idea of a list to do when your nest is finally empty. Will save that somewhere.

Debbie said...

I need to file this away and pull it back out in seven years. You have a lot of wisdom here. And now that mine are beginning to leave the nest, I can see this part of my life on the horizon.

Lorie said...

What a great post! And it is so true that we don't rest as much as we should. Even now, I see so much going on on the Sabbath. People NEVER rest!

The picture of the duck is so cute and truly how I think moms feel from time to time!

Jackie said...

Sorry...for some reason my email came back, so I'm not sure if you already got this.

I got home, and dug out from under a pile of laundry, to find a lovely package waiting for me.

It is beautiful!

I am loving the homemade cards--so many and so lovely!
And of course the chocolates...yum!
I think I am going to make a cake TONIGHT, I could use something like that to pick me up, and I really really want to try it!

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for me, It was the perfect thing to come home too!
You are darling, and I am loving reading your blog!

Thanks so much,
Love Jackie

Connie said...

Amen! You said it all! I turned 50 last year and it's a great time in my life. I am free to be who I want to be and make choices for me and hubby without concern for the children. Although watchout for the nights when you come home expecting a quiet house with just you and the hubby BUT your son, his wife and two grandbabies are all there~~~SURPRISE!! It happened last night. It was nice but both hubby and I were looking forward to a little quiet together. Oh's a good time so enjoy and explore. Connie

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Being an empty nester I could not have said it better!!! I used to think that i would have lots of free time when my children flew the coop, not so. Now I look at my husband and ask him where did the day go ? lol

Kerri said...

Good morning. I'm coming over from The Farmer's Wife! :)

I'm a part time empty daughter has moved out to teach high school Spanish five hours away from home. My son is in college down in CA and will be home for the summer (yikes, he still has such a messy room!!)

The phase of my life is so familiar to your's. I'm resting lots, trying to figure out who I am (besides a mom, wife and teacher) and learning to slow down a bit, but still have fun.

Come visit my blog -- I wrote about a commercial, too! It's about "Life: what happens between empty and full!"

Blessings to you....good to meet you!!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

I am SO enjoying the empty nest! Great advice for those behind us :)

southerninspiration said...

My last child at home is 17 and is a jr. in high school, so it is close. I"m with you, it's going to be a time for me, and for my hubby.....looking forward to it!


Fifi Flowers said...

I ADORE that photo... it is SPECTACULAR!

Karen said...

You are so RIGHT ON Christine. I love being an empty nester -( but ... uh-oh you better read my post tonight!) HA!
I hit the big 50 last year. Piece of cake. Girl "we aren't getting older, we're getting=BETTER!"
Love my kids dearly - but love my down time too. And there still are not enough hours in the day!!!!! But at least the hectic, hectic life of school and homework and carpooling and hockey all over this country, and Drs and dentists . . . and, and, and, is over. I'd like to sit back and watch my kids do it for a while and then they'll understand WHY I WAS CONSTANTLY PULLING MY HAIR OUT! (he he he)

And Girl, bring those cups and saucers out and enjoy them! If your family doesn't use them, see them, touch them, care for them, they'll never know the history behind each piece. And the history is so fun!!! And you are so lucky to have a daughter who will actually care about it!!!!

Live, love, laugh!
Hugs. Karen

Karen said...

Christine! please come visit my blog. There is something for you to "pick up"!! ;) Karen

Carol said...

Great post. I have several friends close to the empty nest stage, and they are fearful. I'll have to send them to your post. As for me my girl is 9 so I've got at least 9 or 10 years if not more.

Enjoy your time, sounds nice to me.


Bonnie said...

Chris, I loved reading your post tonight. We just need to live our lives to the fullest where God has us right now. Im in the race and love planning and doing things that will fill my kids lives with great memories. Right now - I can honestly say I don't think I will have any problem resting when the time comes.

Lorrie Veasey said...

This was very comforting to me because honestly I was thinking on the eighth day that God created COFFEE...but now I am open to a whole new way of thinking.

(I kid. But coffee is really a great creation anyway.)

Jackie said...

Great post Chris! Thanks for the empty nester tips. I'll save them up and pull them out in about 6 or 8 years. :O) Have a great week! Love, Jax

P.S. You'll have to check out my new blog background. It's so cheery.

Joyce said...

Hi-I found you through Sit a Spell. I loved your post today and it expresses so much of how I feel right now. I too am beginning the empty nesting as my youngest started university this past August. My husband says we're not truly empty nesters until we are no longer paying out college tuition : ) We are living in the UK at the moment and both of our girls are in university in the US.

Like you I am enjoying a time of rest and regrouping. I too thought I'd dread the empty nest but I find that God has a way of preparing us for whatever stage of life we're entering. There is so much to enjoy and be thankful for right now-I loved your list-mine is almost identical.

Oh, and the photo at the top of your blog is beautiful.

Happy Monday...Joyce

Darlene said...

great post! I love your enthusiasm. It is so good for us mommy's who are knee deep in diapers to hear that it is all about "seasons".

Copy away on the envelope idea!


Karen said...

EEEeeeeWWWWWWwwwwwwwww! I smell a trip with Connie to Seattle!!!!!!

;) Karen

Kathy (woolfind) said...

Hello and thank you for the compliment on my blog about my covered box! So sweet of you to stop by. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading yours!
You truly have a wonderful family and you will be Blessed beyond measure for your hard work. I have a son who will be 22 this year and a daughter who will be 16. My son is still living at home while going to school on line and working full time to get his Bachelor's degree. I know he will be gone before I know it.
I often wonder what God will have in store for me when the children move out. After reading your blog, I can guarantee great things are ahead for all us loving moms....

Jessica said...

You always have such a good outlook on things. I so enjoy reading your blog!

Yes, Corbin is still doing perfectly! God is soooo good.

(I got the bird on the matle at Micheal's)

Bonnie said...

I am not an empty nester ... no where near if ... but my youngest just started school so I'm entering a new phase in life and I've been thinking about a few of these same things !! I enjoyed this post and all that it has left me to think about !!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite commercials is when the kids leave home and the parents go to Disneyland and have a ball!! I have a 21 year old and a soon to be 15 year old. Both still at home. However, my hubby and I have started 'dating' again and doing things together...alone. We too are enjoying our stolen moments. :)

Jackie said...

Hi Chrissy,

I wanted you to know that I'm having my first give-away. Come see. :O)