When I started my daily blog adventure (which is now a weekday blog since I take the weekends off of social media), my goal was to share something positive, encouraging, and how I saw Jesus in my day. But today was not an encouraging, positive day. I feel kinda bad about this because I am working on the 90-day joy challenge in one of my new favorite books, Champagne for the Soul, by Mike Mason.
In Chapter 6 he challenges the reader to think back to where you lost your joy. What changed? I thought about this question throughout the day as I cleaned the house. Not fun. What’s the big deal? I’ve been cleaning the house since I was in junior high. It’s part of life—like breathing. But up until about five years ago I cleaned the house with others that I loved. First, I cleaned with my mom and sisters. Then starting when Katie was in junior high, I cleaned with the kids. Even though none of us loved cleaning it was fun to do it together. As I cleaned today I was washed over with a revisiting of grief. I sure miss the kids here on a regular basis.
I know you have all heard this before. I, too, do not want to wallow through this process any longer. I want to focus forward. How will I move forward to experience joy? It’s not enough to know the kids are doing well and to have good relationships with them. I need to fill the void of their everyday-ness in my life. Hear me. I’m not trying to replace my kids or come up with a kid-high. The girls took a big chunk of my life and I loved that they did. But now they are moving on with their own lives. I’m thrilled they are.
With the hoopla of the showers, weddings, and baby over, life has fallen into a rhythm. I see now where I am missing a beat or two. I talked to God throughout the day. He knows how I feel. I like to imagine He replies back to me, “I’m aware.” Ahh, good.
I have no answers at the end of the day, but the house is clean.
Now I will keep my ears open and not try to come up with my own quick fix. He has a plan. He is working His plan. He’s not done with me yet.
If you have a pending empty nest or you are adjusting to your empty nest, I would love to hear how you are processing this season and/or what is your next adventure.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.