Thursday, September 19, 2013

An empty nest and what to do with it

Dropping in to offer up prayers for those affected by the tragedy in the Washington D.C. Naval yard. With a heavy heart, I submit it's all the more reason to invest in young leaders.

I looked on the internet and didn’t find much when I googled “what to do with an empty nest.”

It all happened so quickly. They were here and then they weren't.
Cracked the shell, ate the worms, and took off.
I’ve heard tales of women who said, “Sure am glad the kids have moved out of the house.”

But I don’t get it. Not at all.

I’m watching a couple of fledgling cardinals now at the feeder. Mottled in appearance, part down, part feathers, they peck away; maybe unaware their mama still sits up in the trees nearby. She deserves an award to raise her brood in the yard stalked by that terror known as Mama Kitty.

I’m thankful for my kids’ independence, that they’re doing what they want to do, that one of them is months away from graduating university. And the other only a year behind.

I write devotions, and blog posts, and novels, and proposals, and screenplays, and synopses, and articles, and crazy stories about kittens, but I miss them. I miss my kids. And when I say that, I don’t mean I think they should move back to keep me company, or change the arc of their lives. I just mean I miss them. And the last one now gone for going on three years, and that feeling hasn’t changed.

I miss their opinions and their sideways looks. I miss their laughter. I miss talking with them, hearing what they think.

 So, this is what they mean by the empty nest.

The cardinals split the air, wings spread.

I keep writing.

I don’t know when the feeling of empty nest gives way to something else.

I don’t.

But I do know to look around and see where else I might be of service to another generation. And that’s why I’m volunteering at this year’s Catalyst Conference in Atlanta.

From their website: “Catalyst Atlanta is a powerful gathering of young leaders, a movement of influencers and world changers who love Jesus, see things differently, and feel a burden for our generation. We seek to learn, worship and create together with a momentous energy passionately pursuing God.” It’s my privilege to offer anything I have that might help them on that course, even if it means just showing them where the restrooms are.

In October, around 13,000 young leaders will gather at the Gwinnett Arena. If you’re there, look for me, I’ll be the oldest volunteer on the staff. But I don’t care. It gives me a chance to hang out with people who are going to be changing the course of history in the decades to come. It’s an opportunity to experience how God is moving and shaking in these generations sometimes called, X’s, Y’s, millennial’s, or new boomers. Whatever, you call them, they’re looking for God, and as best we can, we need to support them in that pursuit.

So, since the nest is empty, this Mama is taking to the air, too. I might be sitting in a tree nearby. And if your nest is empty, or even if it's not, come join me.

It’s gonna be good.


Chris said...

I love reading your posts. When I am down sometimes your words can give me a lift. I am a wife, mom and nana who loves her family. When my two children were growing up I would always say that God gave me children to raise and become strong adults and then I have to let them fly away and have a live of their own. They are God's children. True, I do not see them often but they are a phone call away or a facetime call away and they know I love them. God bless.

Beverly Varnado said...

Chris, You are dear, dear, dear to take the time to comment. Yes, aren't we thankful we can trust God with our children, and that our love follows them wherever they go. I pray God's grace on you as you navigate the next chapter of your life. Many blessings, Bev

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