3 Ways I’m Dealing with an Empty-Nest

Empty Nest Parenting - This post details my personal story of launching my last child, along with all my worries. #emptynest #momproblems #parenting #worry #lettinggo

I’m walking over an incredibly monumental transition or “threshold” in my life—that of being a full-fledged Empty Nester. Since that’s the case, I’ve felt like it might be good to do a series on the many “thresholds” we all go through in marriage and life. I will be alternating these posts with my videos that address your questions posed to me and my husband. Yes, keep sending them! *

Empty Nest Parenting - This post details my personal story of launching my last child, along with all my worries. #emptynest #momproblems #parenting #worry #lettinggo

Our youngest son, Braden, is twenty years old and last January moved to an apartment not too far from dear old mom and dad. He was and has been active in our church all of his life. He even played electric guitar in the worship band, as well as the youth worship band.

[bctt tweet=”I loved seeing him up there on the weekend’s he was scheduled to play. #proudmama #giftedson #talentsusedforGod” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

However, this has come to an abrupt end since he decided to move to Los Angeles, California with a buddy, because they both are seeking more “cutting-edge” career opportunities. We live in the Midwest, so this is quite the stretch of land between a mama and her “walking-around-outside-her-body” heart. 😉

Braden is a computer whiz and has been a contract worker for Boeing for a year and a half, creating and updating their network system. He even decided to drop out of college because he felt the need to focus on this specialized on-the-job training 24/7, much to his traditional, old-school mama’s dismay!

[bctt tweet=”I was blindsided by the fact that I can no longer tell my son what to do or not do! #helplessmom #adultchildren #parentingproblem” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Sure, I went through some of this when my two older sons entered adulthood, but their decisions were more predictable and not quite so radical. I fully expected that I would have Braden around until he was at least twenty-two—enjoying the idea that he had a safety net of college (Christian college at that!) to try out his wings.

There are so many layers to our story that have made this harder for me and I won’t go into all of them here. But suffice it to say that I am grieving. Life has thrown me a curve and I’m struggling to find my equilibrium.

Life and marriage is like that. We are thrown curves all the time. Sometimes they knock us off our feet.

[bctt tweet=”Sometimes we’re left confused and deeply discouraged by life’s thresholds. #grievingseason #parentingworries #trustGod” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

So how am I dealing with this transition?

1. Prayer Journal

I talk to the Lord about it a LOT! I prayer journal my feelings, especially as it relates to my Bible reading for the day. In fact, I’ve been reading in 1 and now 2 Samuel and finding my readings on David’s life are seamlessly correlating with the situations in my own life in uncanny ways. If you’d like to join my 2 Samuel study that is beginning Oct 2, please click here for more info. But mostly, I’m working on surrendering Braden to the Lord’s care over and over—since as his mom, I tend to grab him back off the altar more days than not!

2. Talk with People in Your Support System

I talk to my spouse and good godly support system a LOT! They are my sounding board and give me the extra emotional support that I need at this time. Of course, talking about my feelings with my friends/spouse also helps to lessen the pain that I’m feeling. #bonusblessing

3. Learn and Grow in this Season

I look for ways to learn and grow in this season. One way is trying to be a more positive encourager in Braden’s life, because he’s felt a little bit discouraged by my worries and resistance to his choice. I get that, and am seeking to find ways to reach out to him and support him—including praying for his protection, guidance and provision. #prayerempowers


What are some of the transitions you’re facing in life and marriage?


What are you doing to positively cope in this “threshold”?


As a follow-up to this post, my son Braden actually got a job in the spring of 2017 with a company called Campspot. You can view his cute mug on this page of their site! He’s getting paid the big bucks that I feared would never come his way. Braden also found a church that he loves and plays in the band there about once a month. Third and finally, he’s thriving in all sorts of ways—proving to me that God had him in His care all along! So if you’re facing a similar situation with your child or children, I hope this update encourages you in that scary parenting season! Yay, God!

*Please keep on sending any questions you have on marriage to me and my hubby by either commenting below or emailing me at messymarriage@gmail.com. Thanks so much!

Linking up with these fine blogs –  Making Your Home Sing, Moments of Hope, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Word of God Speak, Spiritual Sundays, Sitting Among Friends, Faith ‘n Friends, Grace and Truth, Family, Friendship and Faith, Fresh Market Friday and DanceWithJesusFriday


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16 responses to “3 Ways I’m Dealing with an Empty-Nest”

  1. I really appreciated your story of this current transition, Beth. The good thing about thresholds is that they can lead us into a new place filled with sweet gifts, surprise opportunities, and unexpected benefits that we didn’t even imagine. I’m praying you’ll find this to be true during this season of the emptying nest.

    And can I tell you what a very very good season it can be?



    1. Yes, they do lead us into new and unchartered places–which is always a great “place” to turn to the Lord and find His strength. That’s what I’m feeling right now, Linda. I’m not quite where you are with the ability to reflect on how good this will be! 😉 But I know I’m going to get there! Thanks so much for the prayers, my friend! Praying for you today too–since I think this might be the day of your procedure!


  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I’ll be praying for Braden, and for you, Beth.

    Most of the transition I have been dealing with aren’t much fun. It’s more ‘grit my teeth and try to endure it’ rather than seeing opportunity or even grace.

    But I guess grace is there in the enduring.



    1. Thank you, Andrew! I will take all the prayers we can get!

      I know that for you transitions hold nothing but more pain. I’ve been feeling like I might have a kidney stone that I’m passing, so I’ve thought about you and your pain in this. It makes me wonder how in the world you’ve done all that you have! I’m praying for that grace in the enduring for you and for me!


      1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
        Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

        Oh, Beth…Kidney stones are awful. I’ve had them. You re in my heaviest-duty prayers.


      2. Actually found out it’s shingles. 😦 I think it makes sense that I’m not only grieving but stressed! Thanks for the prayers, Andrew!


  3. Praying that God will guide your son clearly and reassure you as you go through this challenging time!


    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I am very grateful for your prayers for Braden. I see that God is in this, though it is testing my faith in many ways! 😉


  4. Oh, my heart hurts for you, Beth. Praying for both your son and you (and your husband too!). Hopefully your son will be good about staying in touch in the many ways that it’s possible now. It’s still not liking having them close by though. 😦 So many transitions in life; there’s always a new one right around the corner. My baby girl is getting married this Sunday and even though she’s not moving away (thank you, Lord!), it’s still another transition, another pulling away from our family to her husband (which is how it should be, I know).


    1. Thank you, Lisa. I know that you’re in this same difficult season of life. Congrats on your “baby’s” wedding! I’m glad to know that you’ll have her close. I thought I could go live wherever my sons moved, but it might end up being in three different directions! I feel a little like this is all part of their plan! 😉 Of course, that last statement can only be truly understood by a mom of only sons! ha! Thanks so much for your kind words, though. I really appreciate it, Lisa!


  5. Beth, You are doing exactly what you need to be doing. Our transition happened about 10 years ago and it was abrupt and painful. And I did those important three things too. Praying for you and for your family! God’s blessings!


    1. Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me, Deb. It’s always good to hear that I’m on the right track from a mom who’s a step ahead.


  6. Hey Beth,
    We have two daughters and went through that about 6 years ago…aaannnnd…now we are going the other direction…DD1 moved home again about a month ago…now if that doesn’t shake your cage. I was more nervous about her moving home than I was about them leaving; probably just afraid that I would forget to pull some shorts on before I left the bedroom…:)


    1. Yes, I can see how that too would be a challenge. And I love your “transparency,” Kevin! With a daughter, I can see how that would be something to avoid! ha! And it truly can be just as hard to have the empty nest become not so empty after a time of freedom. I’ll count my blessings! 😉


  7. I can’t imagine that right now with my boys being so dependent sometimes. Wonder if I’ll be sad or happy.


  8. I’m sending hugs to you and praying for your mama heart! Oh, friend, this is a tough time. California is a long way away and a whole new lifestyle so I can imagine your thoughts. I’m praying, though, you find peace in this threshold and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God has this and has Braden! Thanks so much for being a part of #MomentsofHope! I treasure you!
    Blessings and smiles,


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