Out of Balance

I’m writing from the heart today, so if you want pictures, I apologize. There are no cameras within my soul, except for what my fingers can tap into this post. I am taking a hard look at where I am in this empty nest stage of life. While searching for a better blogging strategy, I stumbled on Just a Girl and Her Blog and her post about changing her morning routine. That post stirred something up! You know. That feeling deep in your gut that reminds you of areas that need tweaking. It was almost like hearing a sermon that resonates within you that makes you fall on your knees.

I realized that one of the reasons I seem so dissatisfied with my own routine is because my life has been out of balance for some time now. This is a conversation that my friend Connie and I used to have all the time, so I wondered as I read that post, if she’d ever found her own balance. Then I ran into her while shopping on Black Friday. Isn’t it funny how things like that happen? We stood in the mall, catching up as best as we could in 20 minutes, promising to get in touch.

I came home and re-read the post and decided to implement some of Just a Girl’s changes into my own morning routine. I’ve made the excuse (for the last 4 years) since my daughter started college, that I don’t get as much done every day because I’m just not a morning person. Never have been and never will be, so I sort of just gave in to what I’ve referred to as a “personality trait”. I’ve been telling myself that I work better in the afternoon and night, so I stay up late at night and sleep late in the morning. I mean, Mr. Cozi is gone by 5 am and there are no kids in the house, so why get up early? Two thoughts came to mind from her post… Routines are good because they keep you engaged.

Your routines keep you engaged with relationships, and your own health. So, beginning with my most important relationship, I decided to choose a devotional from my library and start reading again every morning. This used to be a treasured time before my nest emptied. It’s as if my nurturing was no longer needed, so I didn’t need my Nurturer either. WRONG!!! Another one of those aha moments happened when I read this paragraph in Lois Mowday Rabey’s book, Women of a Generous Spirit:

Claudette gave me hope. She had suffered a similar loss, yet the optimism she showed withstood scrutiny. It was no sugarcoated religious cliché that she pulled out of some spiritual name-it-and-claim-it box. She told me the truth. The fullness of her life was entwined with threads of grief. Claudette’s life showed me that peace and pain can coexist.

Her friend Claudette had suffered the loss of her spouse, yet she was still able to be a friend when she was needed. And where did this ability come from? Her relationship with her Father. My nest may currently be entwined with threads of grief over no longer having my kids close to me, but my life can be full. Peace and pain can coexist. Don’t get me wrong here. I am not grieving over the success of their lives. There is a great sense of peace that they have found their niche and are living happy lives. It’s the balance of routine, the nurturing and great satisfaction of being needed that I miss.

If you wrestle with wanting the peace to overshadow the pain, like I do, then stay tuned over the next few days. Women of a Generous Spirit has a list of questions at the end of each chapter that addresses how we can become women of a generous spirit. I will be answering those questions here – from my heart – without any sugarcoated clichés. It is my prayer that this will lead to a more balanced life.

As my friend Marcia says so beautifully, “if for just one”… Tomorrow’s post will begin with how we who struggle with peace vs. pain, might return to being women with a generous spirit. Women who change direction and turn back to their Nurturer; women who realize that a few twigs of grief do not make up the whole nest and that peace and purpose can coexist with grief, all while leading to a more nourishing life.  If you are that “just one” who wants a more balanced life, let’s explore and begin the journey together. Women with a generous spirit glean that same satisfaction of being needed by their children by meeting the nurturing needs of those outside the nest.

Balancing Life in an Empty Nest

See you in the morning, after I’ve completed my new morning routine.

Sharing with:

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21 thoughts on “Out of Balance

  1. Kim,
    It sounds like we are kindred spirits. Your life sounds exactly like mine. My husband and I moved to Fairhope 3 yrs ago and I would love to meet you in person. Maybe we can heal together; e-mail me if we could meet for lunch one day. I don’t have a lot of friends here yet other than the ladies in my Bible study group at 3 Circle Church. Since most of my friends are in GA where we lived and worked for years and I no longer work outside the home (and my husband works off shore every 3 weeks!), it has been difficult establishing friendships. I am looking forward to reading. THanks for sharing your feelings with all of us out here! They help us too!

    1. Becky, I am so excited to meet a fellow Fairhopian. I would love to meet you for lunch. Please stay in touch and let’s connect after Christmas!!!

  2. Thanks for this absolutely fantastic post, I can really relate to it although my nest is not empty yet. When our eldest daughter got married and moved away it was quite difficult. I also need to go to bed earlier so that I can be brighter in the morning and work at being more organised with their studies. You have challenged me and I appreciate that. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

  3. Wow, what beautiful replies from your friends. I love the freshness of morning and when you get my age if it is not done before noon it may not get done. There is no better way to start the day than in conversation with God and reading His word. One of the best things for empty nesters. Believe me, I know.

    1. Momma, I do believe that God is working on my morning routine. I can’t say yet that I “love the freshness”, but HE has been waking me up at 4-6 am this week. I NEED His compassion to be new every morning!!!

  4. Kim, you are listening to His leading, and I for one am so grateful. It’s further confirmation to me.
    I’m in the exact crossroad, my friend. Empty nest, suddenly not feeling as needed and not prioritizing that quiet time in the morning as much as I used to. Since we’re not looking after our kids anymore, we tend to think that we have all day now, but all day turns into one long procrastination.
    When I experienced my blog issues last month, I knew it was a wake-up call, and I have since started to dive into my devotionals in the morning again. Like I said, it’s not easy because I still think I have all day, but no discipline seems pleasant at first. The catch for me is that I cannot write A THING if I don’t. I must wait to HEAR those quiet whispers. Being still is an art.
    Funny, my husband leaves at 5am too. 😉 I used to stay in bed, but have been getting up to see him off, then I tune into Daystar TV to catch a couple of favorite teachings, followed by my devotionals. What is still most difficult is sitting quietly after all of it to JUST LISTEN.
    Stretching our muscles together, sis. 😉

    1. “All day turns into one long procrastination.” Truer words have never been spoken. I find my solace and peach in the quiet hours of research and writing. It has indeed become a passion to blog. But, it’s all the other “disciplines” that keep upsetting my “whispers-cart!”

  5. I am so happy you have found this book and the blog post for inspiration Kim. After my youngest son died, a friend gave me a spiritual book with short daily passages. I read it faithfully everyday/365, for 5 years, first thing in the morning, and tried to live the passage I read that day. It was my morning routine and gave me strength to face the day. My MIL is 99, and still rises at 7am, faithfully bathes, dresses nicely, and proceeds with normal chores throughout the day even though she lives alone in assisted living and might not go anywhere all day, or see any family. She is the happiest person I know, truly amazing. I have noticed that I have not been as grateful or “receiving” lately, as I should be, and you have inspired me to get back to an early morning routine of reflection and thought. Thank you, and good luck on your journey~

    1. Thank you, Jenna for your kind words. I can only imagine the heartache you feel with each passing thought of your son. I love how you sought out strength to face each day. I did the same thing after each miscarriage and sometimes marvel at how scripture can reach such deep places in my soul. It is truly the Word of Life…

      And….Wow! 99 years old, happy, and still getting fully dressed everyday. I hope I grow up to be just like your MIL.

  6. Life changes and the scales tip. There is no understanding it, only acceptance. I don’t know but maybe acceptance and peace are not so far apart. The 23rd Psalm is my daily and some days hourly prayer. I know you and you will find your balance.

    1. My favorite part of Psalm 23 is “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” For His name’s sake always stands out to me. I’m led into righteousness not so I can be righteous, but because it brings glory to His name. He is worthy.

  7. Hope you find your new balance. I love getting up early and I get so much more done when I do. I enjoy my quiet time with the Lord each morning. Reading scripture and prayer gives me the right priorities. I don’t think there is a special formula but asking Him what is right for you will lead you in the right direction. Proverbs 3:5-6

  8. I hope you find balance and that your new morning routine becomes a substaning and enriching part of your day. And maybe just maybe, you will like mornings, I find them peaceful, beautiful and sometimes God even gives me a glimpse of His Glory in the sunrise .

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