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Empty Nest - Full Heart


"Home is where the mom is.” When my daughter got married, she gave me a cup with that saying. I love it! It has been a reminder to me these last few years, that she will always feel “at home” with our conversations, quality time, and home-cooked food and treats I make for her family. I am fortunate she is a short drive from my house. Lately, however, I have not been feeling that homey vibe. In the last month, I had one kid graduate from college, another moved 1800 miles away, and my “baby” graduated from high school and will be attending college four states away in the fall. My Mama heart is struggling.

Our family recently went on vacation in Colorado from Florida. We were supposed to go last summer, but like most people who had travel plans, Covid caused us to reschedule. I was so disappointed! However, the timing ended out being much better for me to go this year…of course! I hate it when I forget to trust God. Not only did I get to spend a week with my entire family—including our new grandbaby, but it also gave me something to plan for, look forward to, and keep me distracted amidst all the inner turmoil I was experiencing facing the upcoming empty nest.

Empty nest. I really despise those words. For the last 27 years, I have been a Mama. I have a strong nesting instinct. I love everything about mothering and nurturing my kids. When other moms were looking forward to school starting after the summers, I clung to spending as much time as I could with my kids. I dreaded when they headed back to school. I still long for holidays and summer months when the college kids will be home.

How will I survive having an empty nest? Building that nest has been my purpose for so long. I know I will cherish the time focused on hobbies, relationships, new adventures and quality time with my husband, along with growing closer to Christ…but I’m not looking forward to the void that used to be filled with Mama duties.

I am grateful that my kids know me well! While we were vacationing near the majestic mountains, they gave me my Mother’s Day gift. It is a custom-made necklace with a gold nest holding six pearl eggs, representing each of my children. One of my daughters said she was going to write a mushy poem to go along with it, but she knew it would make me cry, so didn’t. Yep, the tears would have flowed for sure! (I cried anyway, but not as hard.) I know what the message of the poem would have been—I will never have an empty nest. My six kids (and their families) will always be a part of me. They might fly away with their own hopes and dreams and nests of their own, but they won't ever leave me. Home is where the kids are…near my heart.


“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;

you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

~Isaiah 66:13 ESV~


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Jena, I did not know you wrote this book! I need to order it! Wow…

I was also the Mom who never wanted to be without my kids. They gave me the purpose for day to day life (beyond my ultimate purpose given by God as His child) and gave me a life that I longed for and needed. The Lord has surprised me with how He has gotten me through these first few months of being without both of them. He is so good to me. He knew what I needed and picked me up and moved me to Florida, found a home for us finally, and now I have lots to do to make it into a home…

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Jena Stephans
Jena Stephans
09 ene 2022
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God always takes such good care of us…and our kids! Sometimes I have to remind myself He’s got it all under control.❤️

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