The birthday boy & his mama

The birthday boy & his mama

Hey Friends –

I’ve entered a new season of Motherhood.

Jake's party before he left for Colorado

Jake’s party before he left for Colorado

My “birdie” (aka my firstborn Jake) has left the nest—flying from our home in Michigan to spend the summer in Colorado.

Today is his 20th birthday and he is not here to celebrate.


Thankfully, since it’s not the first time he’s left our home, I’m a bit more used to the idea.

You may remember when Jake first started school at Aquinas College, I was a absolute and complete wreck. His biological dad and step-mom live walking distance from his new school, and Jake moved in with them.

I melted down.

Big time.

I’m a Psychology major who has studied “empty nest syndrome.”

I’m a MOPS speaker who talks about embracing the seasons of life. I’ve read articles about moms who bawl for days when their babies go to college and thought to myself “that will never be me!” I’ve secretly laughed at my friend’s moms who slept in their daughter’s beds when they moved out. I made it through the first day of Kindergarten with barely a sniffle or two.

I’ve told my kids all along that I want them to have two things ~ wings and roots. I was raising my little birds to soar!

Only now I realize I prefer my little birdies right here with me!

In case you are entering a new season of motherhood in the fall, will be transitioning seasons soon, or just want to plan ahead, here is what I’ve been learning so far about when our “birdies” leave the nest:

1. Embrace “this” season.

jake in CO

Jake in Colorado

Just like we embraced and made it through the diaper stage, the early MOPS years, the elementary season (my favorite), the fun high school years, & college years – this new season will have many highs and yes, some lows.

When Jake started Aquinas, we went as a family and stocked up on new AQ gear, and I realized having a son in college could still be a lot of fun.

Now that Jake is in Colorado, I’m enjoying all the amazing pics he is sending of his new adventures (although I do find myself wanting to text him and say “Are you sure that’s safe?” —but I don’t.)

How are you learning to embrace your current season of life?

2. Feel Your Feelings

I’ll be honest, when life gets hard, most days I‘d rather just drink a Starbucks latte or pour myself a cold Diet Coke…. but not anymore.

Instead I’m asking God to help me feel these feelings and not just numb out.

If I numb the pain and sadness, I also numb out the joy and peace – and I’m not willing to go there.

Instead I need to feel these feelings and allow myself to grieve (yuck – remember I hate goodbyes) – but I’m trying.

3. Share Your Feelings

I’m super blessed with a close circle of friends & family who have been walking with me through this season of transition. Sending notes and emails. Reminding me “I’m normal.” Praying over me and letting me be real.

(Not to mention my husband John who has been a gem with a super emotional wife. I think we changed outfits 3 times Friday night – I just need to go for a walk. No, I need to go out. No, I need to watch a funny movie. No, I can’t be home, I need to go out. Let’s go to the movies please. Oh my! Thanks, honey!)

4. Create New Routines & Traditions

New seasons create opportunities for new routines and traditions. When Jake first went to college, I stepped down from teaching Bible Study weekly so I could be available for Jake as needed. We even had “Wednesday’s at Wolfgang’s” (a nearby great breakfast place) that was a huge highlight of my week.

5. Learn, Grow & Cling to Truth

New seasons are perfect opportunities for new growth. I want to be more like Jesus, and I’m asking God to teach me new, better ways to live through this transition.

I’m also super thankful for God’s Word and its powerful, life-changing, accomplishing work. (Where would we be without Truth?!)

I’ve added new arsenal to my belt of Truth, including verses like….

  • Isaiah 30:15b – In Quietness and trust is your strength (the“Q” verse)
  • Psalm 119:28 – My soul is weary with sorrow; strenghten me according to Your Word.
  • Psalm 4:3 – Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself, the Lord will hear when I call to Him.
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven….

How about you, friend? What season of life are you in these days? What are you learning? How are you feeling? Share with us please!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! I’m off to celebrate the amazing gift of life God blessed me with 20 years ago today —even if he is up a mountain somewhere in Colorado somewhere!

With a thankful, but somewhat sad heart, (just keeping it real),

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