A Minnow in the Ocean of God’s Mercy

God’s love is…wait for it….BIG.

Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind

Glacierbay

This is how I felt overlooking the stunning waters of Glacier Bay…

Max Lucado—

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad. Psalm 126:3

You have not been sprinkled with forgiveness. You have not been spattered with grace. You have not been dusted with kindness. You have been immersed in it. You are submerged in mercy. You are a minnow in the ocean of God’s mercy. Let it change you!

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We All Need Someone Bigger…When Life Gets Too Hard

May God grow bigger to me every single day I live.

Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind

kneel

If you’ve never read the classic children’s series by C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, then today is a great day to start.

I can’t think of a better summer read than working through this seven book series while sitting on the beach, rocking in a chair on your porch, or en route to a vacation destination than this timeless and always heartening storytelling wonder.

Lest you think you are too old to read about Narnians…let me assure you, you are not. No one is. In fact, in Narnia…adults are quite frankly too little to travel there.

Too little imagination.
Too little trust.
Too little faith.
Too little courage.

It’s the children who see things that matter most clearly.

They recognize who to turn to when life gets so hard that when you can’t stand it anymore…they know enough to kneel…without hesitation. Sans pride. With no shame.

Just to get…

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Youth Entitlement — Not On My Watch

On the value of putting your kids to work around the house so they will survive the world.

Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind

Yesterday my youngest daughter (age twenty-three) handed me this Mother’s Day card and it brought back a rush of emotions (and memories.) She created a handmade greeting using two photos from many years ago.

When I looked at this picture…and the comical bunny ears (and lone Barney face) each one was wearing, it reminded me of my kids’ individuality…and their unique personalities still shine through this aged photo.

Looking at the picture brought back a lot of other memories too.

We were a craft-y family. For years we made all sorts of fun stuff: candles, baskets, soaps, potholders, knitted/crocheted scarfs/blankets, pottery, painting…if it was available, we tried it at least once.

And I’m so glad we did.

Every mom knows that crafts are messy, time-consuming (and often expensive.)

But what we gain is well worth the investment of all three.

Fun…

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No Time Like the Present – It’s All We’ve Got

Always on the learning curve of some kind…always.

Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind

Each of my children have taught me important lessons…about life and love and faith. When I saw this photo, I immediately thought about how much courage my daughter had to take this tremendous “leap” last fall. Then, I remembered many other “leaps of faith” she’s taken in the past couple of years and my heart just soared. I never want to get to a time in my life where I’m past the point of considering a new challenge, a different direction, and other “leaps of faith” myself…though I may never jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet…I want to continue pushing myself to move into new and sometimes uncomfortable situations just because it keeps me always on a “learning curve.”

Which leads me to consider how I’m using my hours and days even today…

Time – though each of us is…

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Are You Who You Want to Be? When Pleasing Others Becomes a Prison of Our Own Making

Traveling along life’s roads has made me ask this question of myself over and over again.

Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind

I recall a conversation I had with a friend many years ago when I told him I was really hoping for an exciting life.

I didn’t think I had expressed anything to A) get upset about, or B) react with disdain/disappointment over.

Evidently I did both.

This friend paused and then responded with a statement that ran something along these lines.

Aren’t you asking for trouble in desiring an “exciting life?”

No, not really.

Maybe his idea of excitement runs different than mine.

But all I meant was that I wanted to use everything I’ve been given to create something worthwhile, something (anything) that made my heart sing (when doing the creating) whenever I engaged in it.

I know Max Lucado calls this finding our “sweet spot” when our gifts/talents/passions all meet together and then Bam! an explosion of wonderful…

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The Friends Who Listen…

Listening…it’s a skill we all need to develop more effectively.

Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind


The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius. Karl Menninger

Don’t you love this quote?

I do.

I envision my closest friends huddled together sharing our struggles, sharing a laugh, sharing our hopes for the future.

Just sharing.

I think that’s the essential ingredient.

Listen well to what someone is saying (or not saying.)

And here’s the important part….

Pause.

Allow some air-time to develop before responding.

Then answer back in such a way that the next time your friend has something to share…you’ll be the first person they’ll run toward.

The opposite is true as well.

When we don’t listen well…others will move away from us.

John Maxwell writes —

A funny thing happens when you don’t make a practice of listening to people. They find others who…

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My Quietly Contented (Work) Life

Work gratification all about developing and maintaining significant relationships with others using one’s gifts and talents along the way.

Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind

quietlife“You cannot self-generate the necessary ‘heat’ of affirmation, encouragement, and support that are gained from true friendship.”
David H. McKinley in “The Search for Satisfaction”

If you keep tabs on the daily Internet news leads, it’s clear the writers of these career primers believe that experiencing success, satisfaction, even workplace satiation boils down to gaining three end objectives: money, power, prestige.

Almost every career advancement tip is carefully coiffed, meticulously scripted, and laced with predatory implications: it’s me against you and “me” (if given the choice) isn’t going to allow “you” a foothold.

Truth is; these writers aren’t even close to correctly assessing what men and women from either end of the socio-economic spectrum cite as the most satisfying aspect of their career.

Can you guess? Hands down, it’s how successful individuals measure their interaction with others and how great an impact they believe they are making day in and…

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