Embracing the Next Chapter: Empty Nester | Home Base | Refueling Station

As the last child spreads their wings and the house grows quieter, parents often find themselves at a crossroads, facing the bittersweet reality of becoming empty nesters. In moments like these, we may feel a bit like Mike Heck from the sitcom "The Middle," who, in his stoic yet tender way, reassures his wife when he is having a midlife doldrum “Don’t worry, it will pass.”

It's a sentiment echoed in many households experiencing this transition. I hate the term “empty-nester” and prefer to just think of ourselves as “home base.” Maria Shriver once said that she chose to think of her home as a “refueling station” after her children moved out. I like that concept too.

But beyond the temporary melancholy lies an opportunity for profound growth, renewal, and a deepening of faith, even in the face of the undeniable truth: change is hard.

I find that I want plans on my calendar for the weekend. But then, when the weekend comes, I wish that we could just stay home and do nothing. However, if I didn’t have any plans, I would be sad because we didn’t have any plans. Surely I’m not the only one who feels this way, am I?

What gets me through this “it will pass” time is love, hope and faith. I feel blessed to still have a lasting marriage to someone that I enjoy being with. I feel a hope that as the weather gets nicer we will get busy with outdoor projects, walks, barbecues, and that our kids will want to continue spending time with us. I hold onto the faith that God gives us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." Trust that this season, too, shall pass, and new blessings await on the horizon.