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,...no 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 again...no 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!
~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
~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!