Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Different Doesn't Mean Wrong

For over thirty years, my heart has been at home. Oh, I admit, there were a few years when I was more of an in-the-car, do-every-ministry-at-church mom than a stay-at-home mom, but for the most part, ever since I left my corporate career in 1990, I have been exceedingly home-minded, wanting only to spend my days raising (then teaching) my children and working to create a peaceful, nurturing haven of a home. I wasn't perfect by any means, and there are things I wish I had done differently, but by and large, the years 1990 to 2010 were fulfilling years for me.

As 2011 came upon me, however, my struggles began. My precious children had grown up; they had finished high school (we had homeschooled) and were quite independent. Our hoped-for adoption fell through.  With young children no longer in the home and people asking me what I was going to do with myself now,  I began to spiral downward.  I didn't know the answer to that question.

In fact, I had no idea what the purpose of my existence was anymore, and as I sought to discover what meaningful thing I could do with the rest of my life, I often lamented that I had "wasted" so many years at home. I was convinced that full-time homemaking was a gargantuan waste of my time and the most unimportant thing I could be doing.

My heart was no longer content at home, and, determined to find something "important" to do, I spent the next several years more or less "spinning my wheels" and beating myself over the head for ever having been satisfied with a home-centered life.




But then---sometime in 2017--- I was brutally honest with myself, and I acknowledged that even though my children were grown and independent, I still quite loved being a homemaker. While the world around me was screaming at me to "do something" with my life, I admitted to myself that I was doing something and that I found joy in it.

Sometime after that, I had an epiphany of sorts---I realized that there is still a need for me to create a beautiful, peaceful, joyful, nurturing home. I may not have little kids anymore, but I have a husband...adult children..a son-in-law...friends...neighbors. And every single one of those people needs a place of beauty, warmth, and tranquility...a sanctuary of welcome and unconditional love...a haven of refuge and peace. It isn't only little ones who need that!

And so, I began once more, to put my whole heart into my home...my whole being into creating a home that brings life and rest to all who enter. Being an empty nest homemaker is not a waste of my time. It is the passion that God has put upon my heart, and while some may think otherwise, I know I am doing something worthwhile.



Truly, I find joy in being an empty nest homemaker. While other empty nest women may be returning to college or embarking on a second career, it's okay that I'm not. All of us have different callings---there is no single right way to live out these post-raising children years. It really is okay for my empty nest life to look different from others.  We women need to extend grace to one another and not condemn each other for doing something different than we ourselves do---after all, different doesn't mean wrong!

Linking to:

Grace & Truth
  
                                                                          

17 comments:

  1. Pinned - loved this post, because not only in this example but in other areas too, different does not mean wrong! And yes if only we would be more gracious towards each other.

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    1. Sharon, first of all, thank you for stopping by my brand new blog. I really appreciate it---I know that there are thousands of blogs to read and only so much time, so it means a lot that you visited me! And, I absolutely agree with you that in so many things, different doesn't mean wrong. We humans tend to think it's our way or the highway, and if someone else has a different idea, they are wrong and we are right! It it's not a sin issue, what difference does it make if we do things differently than someone else.

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  2. This is beautiful, Patti. You capture my sentiments too! My youngest daughter graduated from our homeschool in 2012, and I was left to wonder what my purpose would be at home with all the kids gone. But I've always loved being at home and my husband loves it too. So I stayed in this role and discovered lots of new opportunities to minister to other people in different ways. Plus, I discovered that I was still very much needed in my role as mother, in-law, daughter, and now grandmother! I feel so blessed with my luxury of getting to minister out of my homebase of "home."

    I would love for you to link this post at Grace & Truth linkup at my blog this Friday if you're so inclined. I know many in our community there would appreciate discovering your words too!

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    1. Lisa, thank you so much for visiting my brand new blog. With so many thousands of blogs out there---and so little time to read them all---it's not easy for a new blog to get visitors. So, I really appreciate that you took the time to stop by and to leave not only a lovely comment, but a gracious invitation as well. I would love to link up at Grace & Truth! I don't have grands yet, but, like you, I have found that being home as an empty nester is providing me with opportunities to minister to young moms at my church and to extend hospitality to my neighbors. It was a difficult road, but I am seeing the blessings of the empty nest!

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    2. I'm glad you did link up! I'm going to feature this post next Friday at the Grace & Truth linkup to draw more attention to it. Your honesty and vulnerability really hit home with me. Hope you're having a great weekend!

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    3. Oh, Lisa, thank you so much! That is very kind of you!

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  3. I love this! So glad to find you on the grace and truth link up!

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  4. Ah... if only I had a dollar for every time I got asked that question! As a family of two, a wife and never mother, my answer often yields interesting responses. I am a housewife. Most don’t understand and I admit I struggled as you did in the early empty-nesting situation. But I’ve settled into my purpose. And grown into the blogging thing too. Though the answer ‘housewife and blogger’ doesn’t get much better response.
    I support you and think it’s wonderful you are blessed to be able to care for your family as you do.

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    1. Unknown, I can well imagine the response you get to your words "housewife and blogger." But I support you in that role. I wish you had left your blog address, so I could come visit you!

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  5. Patti, I am sure your words are going to encourage and inspire many. Being at home doesn't mean that our days are empty and devoid of purpose. In fact, some days I find myself busier that ever and I am sure that could be said of you as well. Different does not mean wrong, it means different. And in these days we are living, it may be the very thing needed by those who enter your home! Blessings!

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    1. Joanne, thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comment. You're so right...being at home doesn't mean my days are devoid of purpose. The purpose God has for me is IN my home.

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  6. Patti, I love this! Especially, "Different does not mean wrong." I too went through an adjustment phase after our homeschooled kids grew up and left the nest. And I was comforted when I felt God speaking that I was right where He wanted me. But when even that homemaking became a challenge after I became chronically ill, and I had to surrender again, I wasn't sure if I was hearing right. But HE does have purpose for us, where ever He has placed us. Thank you so much for these words of confirmation, fitting so well with my own post this week too. Blessings to you, and to your new blog here!

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    1. Bettie, thank you for visiting and for your lovely wishes for my new blog. I love to write and although I've blogged before, this time my aim is to be a strictly Christian blog, with every post speaking God's love and hope. I look forward to visiting you and to walking with you as you honor God in the midst of chronic illness.

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  7. I enjoyed this. I worked for a few years when we were first married, but my heart has always been at home. As out children grew into adults, I still have plenty to do at home.

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    1. Barbara, you said it so well...our hearts are "at home." And that is okay---good even! Thank you so much for visiting.

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  8. I've only had a small nest, as my husband and I have not had children. So, I could not agree more that it is worthwhile! Indeed even necessary!

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