Category Empty Nest

Empty Nest: Marci Seither

Empty Nest: Marci Seither
By Marci Seither
Nazarene Publishing
Retail Price $14.99
Amazon Price: $11.71

Book Description: 

‘All of a sudden, the nest is empty. The birds have gone, and what had been a constant blur of activity is now nothing more than a few discarded feathers. Silence mutes all that was colorful and it is time to reestablish our significant place in an ever-changing world.’ Getting ready to launch your kids to the next stage of life? Like it or not, this transition is inevitable- a natural changing of seasons. With wit and insight, author Marci Seither will give you a spiritual perspective and the practical tips you need to thrive in the midst of change. Through the practical insights found in Empty Nest parents will learn how to help younger children cope as they miss their older siblings and discover how to help their children succeed as they transition to their next phase of life. Whether their child is leaving for college, the military, or returning to live at home, Empty Nest will help them approach this season of life with confidence.

Review

This book was extremely helpful and insightful as the author lays out simple strategies for making the transition from having a full house to one that is without children. The author lays out plan for this transition while your kids are years from flying the coop.  The best thing I gleaned from it was not to rush into anything new just because the children have all left the home. Take the time to figure out what you should be doing, think about what you’re good at and most of all pray through the whole process! Using advice from parents and launched children, Seither provides real world perspective.

~Reviewed by Missy K.

 

Please Share!

    Midlife Glimpses

    Midlife Glimpses:
    Stories from Real Women in Midlife

    • Nancy, an amateur photographer, was a publicist/historian for her children’s school events. After her children graduated, the local newspaper offered her a job as a photojournalist.
    • Marie always enjoyed cooking for her large family and friends. When her children left home, she became involved with a church food bank. She now regularly organizes and cooks meals for the homeless in her town.
    • Free of her children’s busy schedules, Jennifer became head of the women’s ministries program in her large church. She organizes weekly Bible studies, discipleship groups, monthly luncheons, and annual retreats. She coordinates special speakers for the events and, to her surprise, has enjoyed being a speaker herself.
    • Diane was a full-time mom who usually ended up organizing events and being in positions of leadership for a variety of her children’s activities. When her children left home, she returned to school to pursue a business degree and now holds a corporate position.
    • Kris had worked as a registered nurse before having children. She continued to help elderly people in the church on a volunteer basis. When her children left home, she began working as a home care nurse. Soon her husband’s parents required similar care, yet they were not comfortable with strangers. Kris offered her services to care for her in-laws and they gratefully accepted.
    • Tania was passionate about theater and dance in college. Yet nightly rehearsals and weekend performances did not mix with raising a family of four children. She put her love of performing on hold but continued to help with her children’s school and church productions. After her children left for college, Tania became involved with her local community theater and began auditioning for different productions in neighboring cities.
    • Susan had always enjoyed quilting. After her children left home, she became a volunteer at a local hospital. She noticed a need and knew she could help. She began making quilts, intended to wrap stillborn babies in for burial, as gifts for grieving families.
    • Donna had majored in Christian education at Biola College before marrying and staying home to raise her three sons. She homeschooled her children and remained active in organizing discipleship programs in the churches she attended. She worked as a receptionist at her eldest son’s high school to be near him during his senior year. As her children prepared to leave home, her passion for writing sustained her. She joined a writers’ critique group, wrote a book and a Bible study series, and penned a play for her son’s high school drama department. With the encouragement of her writers’ group, Donna adapted her play into a screenplay, which placed as a quarterfinalist in two major competitions. She is currently working on her second book and pursuing opportunities for her screenplay to be made into a film. Donna and her husband remain active in lay ministry, mentoring other believers.
    • When fifty-nine-year-old Edie Munger set out to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, she was told by a professor that she was too old to achieve her goal. Four years later she was the first woman to graduate from Fuller Seminary’s School of Psychology and was later named director of the Creative Counseling Center at Hollywood Presbyterian Church. She had left her career as a clinical social worker to further her education, and many people felt that her goals were too lofty for a pastor’s wife.
    • Nanci, a doctor’s wife and mother of three sons, had always enjoyed sharing the dramatic arts with children. When her sons began leaving home, she started volunteering at a children’s hospital, using puppets and creative drama activities to help patients. She entered a masters’ degree program in creative dramatics at a nearby university, researching the effects of puppet therapy on pediatric patients.

    Excerpted from:
    When You’re Facing the Empty Nest by Mary Ann Froehlich
    Copyright © 2006; ISBN 0764200186
    Published by Bethany House Publishers
    Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.

    You can purchase the book for $12.99 in our online bookstore visiting here.

    Please Share!

      Abundant Choices

      Midlife mothers can start new careers, return to school, start new ministries, begin their own businesses, or immerse themselves in volunteer work – free from the daily demands of motherhood.  Many women combine all those pursuits.  Passions and interests that have been slowly developing through the years can merge into an incredible life adventure.

      One of the advantages of midlife is gaining perspective.  We can see patterns in our lives, recognizing our natural bent.  Understanding our God-given combination of talents and abilities, finely tuned with time and life experience, is the key to forging ahead in midlife.

      I once believed that the best time to attend college was as a young person out of high school, when adult responsibilities were minimal (before house mortgages and families).  Yet many people feel that young adulthood may be the worst time to attend college – a waste of time and money – unless the student is passionate about his or her field of interest.  Too many college students remain in the exploratory stage for years, changing majors each semester, sometimes taking six or seven years to graduate.  I know of several students who keep taking courses each semester in order to not lose their parents health insurance benefits.

      In contrast, midlife women who return to job training, college, or graduate school are exceptionally focused, insightful, excited abut learning, and have vision and specific career goals.  They have no time to waste and are unusually productive.  My good friend says, “School is a piece of cake after raising four children.”  Even women who have achieved successful first careers may be ready for a new challenge and want to enter different fields in their second careers.

      Did you know that learning a new skill is also important to your physical health?  Dendrites (your nerve cell extensions that communicate with other cells) increase with mental stimulation or decrease with a lack of stimulation.  You cannot remain at the status quo.  Your choices are to use it or lose it.  Aerobic exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain and is as important as mental exercise.  Staying mentally and physically active is critical to midlife health.

      Excerpted from:
      When You’re Facing the Empty Nest by Mary Ann Froehlich
      Copyright © 2006; ISBN 0764200186
      Published by Bethany House Publishers
      Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.

      You can purchase the book for $12.99 in our online bookstore visiting here.

      Please Share!

        Crown Jewels

        As my youngest daughter prepares to leave for college, I stand on the threshold of another season of life. In just days, I’ll be on the other side of that door–willingly or not–entering the empty nest. I find it somewhat like the doorstep to motherhood itself that I walked through so eagerly 20 years ago. Similarly there is excitement, anticipation—definitely some trepidation. 

        On the brink of motherhood my body was heavy and my mind weary of pregnancy; both propelling me towards the new adventure with every passing second. No turning back! This latest transition, that I tell myself is my next adventure, has a lighter and more unhurried awareness.  I’m not weary of mothering. In fact, I want to squeeze out every drop and savor it as long as possible.

        This savoring, reminds me of a family vacation in London. The tour book I’d read recommended  an early visit to the Tower of London, advising that upon opening we should run—not walk—to the room displaying the crown jewels  to avoid the line that can get very long. We followed that sage advice and not only did we have no wait, for quite a while we were the only ones in the room. Passing cases of beautiful jewels and historic armor, we came to the crown jewels. The viewer had to step on a conveyer belt, intended to keep people moving and prevent them from ogling for too long. The four of us stepped on the conveyer. But instead of moving forward, we all just walked slowly backwards, since no one was behind us. We stared and ogled until we had our fill and left, deliciously filled up with the splendor of it. As we left the room we were smugly satisfied that we had the crown jewels to ourselves for as long as we liked. We were then ready to share them with the rest of the touring peasants!            

        I believe I did savor the treasure of raising children. I embarked on that task knowing I would eventually make an exit. I feel satisfied and deliciously filled up with the honor, the privilege and the awe of seeing my two precious babies grow into beautiful, amazing women. I’m ready to share my crown jewels with the world.

        Sheri Del Core and her husband of 25 years live in a recently emptied nest on the central California coast. She works part time as a dental receptionist and has worked in many areas of women’s ministry over the last 20 years, including prison ministry and as a crisis pregnancy counselor.  You can see more of Sheri’s articles on her website http://sheridelcore.com/
        Please Share!

          Facing My Own (Almost) Empty Nest

          When I was a young mother, older women would smile at me and my tribe and say, “Enjoy them while they are small.  Time goes by so fast.  Before you know it they will be all grown up and leaving home.”  Frankly, I didn’t believe them.  As a young mom of four, with three of them being under 4 years old, I couldn’t even imagine a time when they were all potty-trained, let alone grown up.

          But, alas, these older ladies were right.  As I sit alone in my home with my husband on a Saturday morning, lingering over the morning newspaper, it is hard to believe I have no one to “mother”, unless you count the cat and the dog!

          While I loved my children, I always looked forward to this day, but when it actually came, I wasn’t prepared for the feelings that would well inside of me.  Maybe because my nest was emptied so suddenly.

          My kids have always been an independent lot.  I’ve raised them to be that way.  They’ve worked side jobs since they were old enough to have a paper route, paid their own bills for the “extras” they wanted, and have made their own decisions since I can remember. So why was I so shocked when my youngest graduated high school and came to me that very summer with his older brother saying they wanted to move into an apartment together?  My oldest had tried moving out a few times, but always ended up back home.  I wasn’t real surprised he wanted to move out, but my baby?  He just graduated…he still NEEDED ME…didn’t he?  Apparently not in the same way I had thought!

          I was good about it.  We discussed the matter and I explained all the grown up responsibilities that came with moving out, but they were adamant.  So, I supported their decision as they looked for a suitable apartment and proceeded to move out on their own.

          The first several weeks were very hard for me.  While the boys weren’t far away, they didn’t come to see me much and made it clear they needed their space to grow and be independent.  Which meant I’d have to back off.  I found myself grieving the loss of my boys.  Yes, they were still near, but my role had changed and I needed to let go.  I would find my self alternating between being sad they were not home for me to “mother” and angry at them for leaving me!  I know it was irrational, but that was how I felt.  In fact, one day my youngest came over and I was acting mad at him.  He said, “What did I do?” and I stopped a minute to think.  With tears in my eyes (and voice) I squeaked out, “You grew up!”  We both burst out laughing (did you know it is possible to laugh and cry at the same time?).  That was a turning point for me.  Once I realized that I was angry at the inevitable fact that children grow up and grieving the loss of my role as mom, I was able to move on and begin building a different relationship with them.

          So, here I sit, enjoying a quiet day with my husband, tinkering with my computer and websites.  My youngest stopped by to get his work clothes he’d asked me to wash.  My eldest boy called to tell me the movie he saw last night was awesome, and my daughter called me (while she lives at home while attending college she’s often gone out of town overnight 3-4 days a week) to make sure I was taking care of her new kitty that she’d asked me to baby sit.  They still need me and I still need them.  Just in a different way.  Change isn’t always easy, but it is good.  I’m now looking forward to the other changes I will experience during this next season of my life.

          Bring it on!

          Please Share!