Lessons From An Empty Nester

As we get close to Graduations I’m grateful for the memories I have with my kids and spent a few moments reflecting on what it means to be an Empty Nester.

LESSON 1 – It’s Difficult Initially.   When our first two kids left for college it was easier than when our last one did.  When our youngest, Josh left for college, the house got awfully quiet.  It was difficult to be ambushed by the tears that would come out of nowhere when my wife Janet and I would catch special glances at one another or walk by his empty room.  And when he’d come home and then leave again for school, we went through the same emotions all over again; at least for a while.

LESSON 2 – It Gets Better And Better.  If you’ve built a great friendship with your spouse, the empty next syndrome can be a great experience.  You have new freedoms within your own home and with your time.   You can develop a little more margin in your life (well, maybe not financially until they graduate from college).  And you have the opportunity to invest more time in friends and hobbies.

LESSON 3 – They Never Really Leave.   We love the fact that our kids love to come to our house and be with us.  And now that we have four grandkids, it’s even more exciting when they’re here.  The good part is they get to go back to their homes and take the chaos with them; well at least most of the chaos.

LESSON 4 – You May Have To Dog Sit.  Like I said – most of the chaos leaves, unless they need to leave their dog with you during a transition in their life.  I love dogs and have had them most of my life, but dog-sitting can become the curse of Empty Nesting (just kidding).  Currently we’re dog-sitting a psycho beagle who snores, makes other noises even when not sleeping, digs holes all over our yard, and keeps us up with his storm anxieties any time there’s the slightest hint of thunder.  One advantage is they will have to come back again to get him, but they’ve been back numerous times since leaving him with us and he’s still here!  Wonder what that’s about?

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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