Sunday, December 21, 2008

Where's my Christmas joy?

I have been having a hard time this Christmas season. I hope I can explain this so that you can understand what I am going through. First of all I want to tell you that I know I have soooo much to be thankful for. I have a loving and supportive husband, I have four beautiful, healthy, awesome kids, I have a new beautiful daughter-in-law, we all have good jobs, we have a lovely home, I have good friends, and I am saved by God's grace and I have a close relationship with Him.
So that's the problem......what is my problem? I feel like an empty shell walking around. I feel like sometimes it is hard for me to smile. I feel tired a lot and I think I am going through a bit of a depression. I have been trying to analyze it and I think I have pinpointed part it, well I think it really is a combination of several things.

"My heart is in anguish, oh how I wish I could fly far away and rest." Psalm 55:4-6

I think the major issue going on with me is related to empty nest syndrome because my role as mother has changed dramatically over the last two years, and I think that I am really noticing it this Christmas. I remember having some of these feelings last year, but this year it is worse. You see a year and a half ago my oldest two sons moved out which of course changed everything. At the time I never cried though, it really felt like it was time for them to leave the nest, they were ready and it was all good. They both came home a lot and life didn't change that much. We still had Grayson and Hayden at home and I still felt needed as a mother.
This year, however, has been different.
Mackenzie is married which actually has brought more blessings this year because he and his wife, Brittany, come over quite often and she is filling a little empty hole that I had in my heart for a daughter. But, my son is married and now he has a wife and I must step aside and let her be the number one woman in his life. I really do not think that I have a problem with this, it feels really natural and right and I am so happy that this transition has gone so smoothly. I am really happy for Mackenzie and Brittany.
I am really missing my son Cameron, as we just don't see him very often anymore and I feel like he doesn't need me any more. He works full time and this Christmas is working a very hard schedule, he has to be there at 4:00 am and gets off at 12:30. His body clock is so messed up and he is really tired all the time. He doesn't want to come over in the evenings because he needs to get to bed early. I have really missed him this Christmas.
Grayson is so busy with his senior year and his sweet girlfriend, Rachelle. We are part of all of his senior events and games, etc. but when he has time off, he doesn't really want to spend it here with us, which is totally natural and fine for an 18 year old! He works at the gas station and is making a new go kart, so this boy is busy.
Hayden is 15 and being a typical teenage boy, he is trying to establish that he is a man and is independent and he is starting to cut those apron strings with me. I think this is probably the hardest thing on me. I know this must happen and if I cry about it and pull on him to stay back here in time with me, it would stunt him and not be right at all. I need to be mature here and let it all unfold the way God designed it to unfold. This age is funny because one minute they do want to be independent and the next minute they want to be a kid again.
Mom is just not first choice any more with anybody and it really stinks. But, it is part of the natural course of life, so my only choices are let it get me down or accept it, embrace it and move on. The alternate choice would be to have weirdo sons who are 40 years old and still live with their mother and can't think or live on their own. I do not want that for them. I want them to have full, independent, blessed lives.
So why am I feeling it so strongly this Christmas, well, I'll tell you. Like I said, I started noticing it last Christmas and what I noticed was........ we do not buy toys any more. I didn't think that was any big deal, but what I have figured out is although I am a Christian and Christmas is so meaningful to me as a Christian that Jesus Christ, my saviour was born and we are remembering and celebrating that, the other part of Christmas is family and a major part of the Christmas fun is seeing the magic through the eyes of children!
I remember when my boys would start talking about Christmas coming during the month of October and being so excited! They would get excited when they saw the first commercials, when we got out all the decorations, when I first started playing Christmas music. I remember sitting and reading Christmas books with them and they would be so in to it. Every year when we put up the tree they would all sleep in the living room under the tree on the first night. I remember catching them sitting alone in the living room looking at the tree and all the presents and being so excited. All of those things are gone and are just faded memories now and it is hard on a mother's heart.
One example in particular is we have a mini chalkboard on the fridge that has how many days left until Christmas. Everyday you erase the number and write the new number. Years ago the boys would fight over who got to erase the old number and write the new number and now, I don't think they have even noticed it! I think it still says 14 days until Christmas and nobody even cares any more......they are all too busy!
I also think, "why am I decorating the house up so much, they are not even here to appreciate it, nobody cares". Even though I know they do love all the decorations and I think they all would be devastated if I didn't do it. Not to mention, I really do love it all myself. Maybe I am having a hard time because I love tradition and we have let go of a lot of our traditions with Christmas, like cutting down the tree together and watching Christmas specials together, etc.
I know I will be okay. I know I have so much to be grateful for. I know if we got a phone call from the doctor's office that one of us was not healthy, all this would be so stupid. I know I should be so grateful that my husband and I have these four sons and that we did have a happy home for all those years and we do have the happy memories. We have the memories because we actually lived these things, I am not regretting that I didn't do more with my kids, I am mourning that these times are over for me.
I also do realize that there are many good things ahead including hopefully three more weddings and a bunch of grandbabies! I guess I am mourning over the fact that these "golden" years with my children are really over and sometimes it seems like the future years will never be as fun. Then there is a bigger picture going on here with Eric and I that we are just getting older and older and aging is not the best thing to look forward to with achy bones, failing vision, failing memory, etc. I asked Eric the other day if he was feeling any of this and he said "no". He says he just lives for the day. I wish I could be more like him!
Another area for me is the depressing economy and all the negative things in the news (like they found the body of sweet little Caylee). My husband is laid off work for four weeks right now and things are tight. I am thankful for my job and the benefits I receive as well as our three sons who work still have their jobs. Things are really uncertain and scary.
As a Christian, I then turn these feelings around and say "what is wrong with you, Christmas is about Jesus, not all of this other stuff, snap out of it" or "your not a very good Christian, you are not trusting God through this, you should find your joy in Him, not your family or the season or whatever".
My only answer is to pray and read God's word and believe in my heart that He is not finished with me yet and He will be right by my side with whatever lies ahead for us. As far as Christmas being about Jesus, that can also bring problems because I live for Jesus year round and I think there is pressure to be extra "spiritual" at this time and I don't know how to do that. I stop and remember the story and miracle of His birth, but what else am I supposed to be doing? I read my Bible every day, listen to worship music and pray all throughout the day every day. I have a personal relationship with Him 24/7/365 so why do I have pressure to be more than that this time of year?
So, I will get on my knees and pray and pour my heart out before the Lord. I will read my Bible and trust in Him. I will ask Him for His guidance, wisdom and inspiration. I will ask Him for His joy.

"Give your burdens to the Lord and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall." Psalm 55:22

I am sorry that this post is so long. I just had to share my heart and actually I feel better just getting this all out. I pray that you are all feeling the Lord's joy this Christmas. I pray that all of us can stay focused on the real reason for the season........Jesus Christ.

"I will honor you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest of foods. I will praise You with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of You, meditating on You through the night. I think how much You have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of Your protecting wings. I follow close behind You; Your strong right hand hold me securely." Psalm 63:4-8

God bless you!



Mrs.Ruiz said...

Thanks for sharing, I think you are lucky to have so many wonderful memories. Im sure what you are going through is normal. I wish I had some wisdom to offer you but I dont. So how about a
[[[[hug]]]]. Maybe some Christmas music. As for Caylee Anthony, I followed that everyday on Nancy Grace since the beginning, it's soooo sad.

Brenda said...

Sharon,I am so sorry,but I am in the same boat with you. This year the decorations and all the foods that used to fill my home felt like a action that I just went through. My heart has not been in it as each child has taken different turns in their life.
My question is What now God?
I pray you enjoy each moment you have with your family as I will try and do.
Merry Christmas my special friend. I love your heart!

Julie said...

Although you may not realize it, this post you did is very inspirational. You know exactly what you need to do and are going to do it. My situation is similar to yours but only in the sense that I am feeling the empty next syndrome. We only have one child and she is 14 going on 25. So, I feel the same pains that you feel and I think it is natural for a mother to have these feelings. God will bless you, and this darker time for you right now will turn brighter that you can imagine in the coming years. You have much to look forward too! 3 more daughters in law and hopefully a mess of grandbabies for you to spoil! :) Good Luck to you!

Connie said...

Tears are streaming down these chubby little cheeks because I understand what you mean. I didn't have the empty nest syndrome but hubby did. Having 2 children within 2 years of marriage didn't leave us much time for each other until they went out on their own, honey. But we raised them to be independent, find a mate, start their own lives and give us grandchildren. That is what this life cycle is all about....oh, and getting them back to their Heavenly Father also - most important. It sounds like you've give them the very best of the basics. Rejoice in their independence and for wanting to leave home, marry to a wonderful girl and "be like you and their dad." That's what it is all about and why we are given children.

Yesssssss, I definitely lament with you about the aches and pains but then I rejoice that my aches are as bad as other people's! I'm so blessed that I want to shout it from the roof tops!! I love, absolutely LOVE, the time that Love Bunny and I have to spend our time helping each other through the twilight of our years. Try to "rejoice" more and pray of course. I need that hourly most days!! LOL

Depression hits a lot of women at this stage in their lives. I know this from personal experience and a good talk with a doctor can get you on the right track. Just perk up and count the things you DO have and smile for those blessings.

We now do not participate in the commercialism of Christmas and only concentrate on the spiritual part and oh my how "freeing" it is and how holy it is.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas even with hubs out of work for a month I think you'll find blessings in just having him around you all the time right now. ;-) I know I do.......

Merry Christmas and smooches, little cherub girlfriend.

SMILE!!!! Hahhhhhhh


Julian said...

I am not here yet, with 6 kids, and none of them left yet. I am also 35. But I wanted to tell you thanks for sharing. I have kids that are starting to be teenagers, and am going through the apron strings thing. I feel not close to them as I was before. It is a difficult time for me, and I am trying to come up with creative ways to spend time with them. That is what I have liked and noticed on this blog, was that you spend time with your kids, and make time for them wherever, whenever. I dont think we ever stop being moms. Keep decorating the house. One day if you didnt, the boys will come over and feel an empty space, and say,"what happened?" It does matter. And just because you are a Christian doesnt mean you cant get depressed. It just means you are human like everyone else, and yet you have a hope. God came to be our hope. Hope came in a manger. I am praying for you.

Sunflower Farm said...

Everything I just read is my life. My kids are growing up 19,18,16,14,12,10 they have friends, jobs,hockey everything to keep them away from home.We must remember that we are still their security. They know Mom&Dad are still here the tree is up traditoin is still at home. They will then pass this in in to their own family. It is still hard and a little sad I do believe reading your blog has helped me. We are Mom's everything is carried in our hearts!If we all stand together we will make it. It is bitter sweet watching them become young adults. Have a wonderful Merry Christmas. Cherish each moment this holiday whatever time of day your boys come homes they know you are their to welcome with love only a Mom can give.My heart is with you and we really are very lucky we just have to remember. Best wishes. If you do come up with any ideas I do wish you would share them and forward them on to to me. Your blog has been an inspiration to me. I know I was suppose to find it.

Sharon said...

Dear Christina,

I tried to click on your name three times and it said "Blog not available" so I will write you back here. Thank you so much for your sweet encouraging comment. I am so touched and flattered that my blog encourages you. Being a mom can be so difficult sometimes because we do love them soooo much!I hope that you do stop and take it all in as they are still all around you. I am feeling better. I have felt just a little off all season, but the last few days have been extra hard. I trust that it will get better, I know that God has a plan for me!

Have a beautiful day!

Hugs, Sharon

Connie said...

Oh Sharon...I feel the same. I have been noticing the empty nest feeling a lot this year. (my two oldest have moved out, with two daughters engaged, one son in his senior year and my youngest is 16 with his first girlfriend) I just feel like they don't need me as much...but I am desperately seeking the Joy of the season in my life and will not allow anything to rob me of it. The magical part of Christmas just isn't the same when the kids grow up. I guess we both have grandkids to look forward to... God's peace.

luvmy4sons said...

I have four sons. One is gone...and I feel your pain...with four teenage sons I am experiencing much of what you are...but a few years behind you. One is gone. The oldest at home now often gone with work and girlfriend and other activities...and the two remaining teens...dont' really seek me out. I was struggling VERY much at the beginning of you are not alone. I don't know about you but sometimes all this weaning of loved ones whether through death because they are old or simply growth and life stages...make me realize how important Jesus is. He is truy my all in all. All that matters is Him. He is truly ALL I have. I have been drawing closer and closer to Him...and He has been faithful. I sure wish we lived closer I think we would enjoy each other's company very much! Hugs to you...and prayers...I know Jesus will minister to you and fill in all the holes with His love!

grey like snuffie said...

AMEN---I understand. Thankful you have Him, the One who does not change. We are totally empty nest now---and probably ONLY because our girls are so close---I LOVE being back to just my husband and I. The changes do bring a lot of dying to what we worked hard for years to create for our home. But you will find that you will start discovering a whole new way of life--things to enjoy, things that are really about you and your husband. But for now it is hard---so join the rest of us who have shed our tears (or may still be doing so) and find a stuffed critter to hug. :)

The media does indeed stir up gloom and doom. But you're ahead of so many in this country. You KNOW that God will be part of any future He allows.

HUGS to you Sharon. I understand and it's alright. Of course my husband would say that at 54 boys still like toys. :)

I loved the trying to be extra spiritual---oh what boxes we Christians do make that we think we should fit into.

He came to set us free!!!!!

Sharon said...

Hi Sharon,
It seems to me alot of people are *not feeling it* this Christmas. I was one of them. My kids have been gone a long time, I am 57 yrs old, and have grand children. But this year I was thinking about not putting up a tree or doing anything Christmasy, then I read a blog, I can't remember which one, but she was basiclly feeling *our* pain and she made the decision to celebrate Christ, by putting up her tree in celebration of him and to continue in the season, even though she didn't *feel it*. That was so good for me. So my tree is up and I didn't do alot in decorating, but I am celebrating Christ,not the traditions (commercialism) of man.
As far as being a *good Christian*, we are what we are, and God loved us from the beginning of time, and he knew exactly what he was getting when he chose us/and ultumitely when we chose Christ. He knew in our human state, we would deal with alot of stuff, but it doesn't change his love for us (boy, am I glad about that!) and he never unloves us. We have these ideas of what a *good Christian* is supposed to be and it just ain't so. We are called to do two things, Love the Lord our God.....and Love our neighbor (that's the toughy :) )
Sorry this is long, Hugs and Blessings, from the other Sharon

Joann Allen said...

Sharon~ My heart goes out to you. I too am an empty nester but I have no children left at home and yes sometimes I do get in the mindset of why am I doing such and such because there are no children here, then I remember that myself and my husband are just as important. I absolutely LOVE Christmas... last year I didn't do Christmas as my father had passed away in March of 2007 and I just couldn't handle the first Christmas without him. We ended up going up to Oregon (my favorite place in the whole world) so I didn't have to deal with it.This year I told my husband I am putting out every Christmas decoration we had, because I did really miss it. So for me I decorate and do all the Christmassy stuff for me and my husband. You are a very lucky woman to have children who are at least aspiring to do something. I have an 18 1/2 year old son who of course knows more than anyone...I have no idea day to day where he is staying or if he has anything to eat. He occasionally stops by but then usually only to ask for money (which I DO NOT give him) I am waiting for him to hit bottom and grow up and it is very hard...I think your 15 yr.old sounds more responsible than my son..
You will be in my prayers, and I hope that you and all of your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. I look forward to seeing pictures of it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am so thankful to have checked your blog today... I am feeling the same way, but am on the other side of it...4 little girls ages 1-8 and I am just is terrible cold and snowy here and they are all on top on each other and not old enough to do things that I need done (well, they do a lot, but not MY way, etc.) I want them to be kids, but at the same time, I want them to keep the house clean, etc. My expectations are just that they all do what I want and I take it all out on my dear sweet husband. So there is my honesty....I love your blog and gain so much insight and neat tricks in parenting...thanks for being real with us...Stephanie

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon, I so enjoy your blog and share with you the special blessing of being the mother of only boys. How fast those days have gone. The days when you were the mom who could make everything allright. It is hard to take a back seat but it is God's way and even though you may not always feel the same attention from your sons as you once did, we have to know it is still there and rest in that. You have much yet to look forward to. God has blessed me with 7 beautiful grandaughters in the last 12 years and one more on the way!!! I can hardly believe God's goodness to me. We find our true worth only in God himself he loves us best and is always there. Merry Christmas, sister Linda

Mimi said...

when your kids leave the little kid stage and begin to have their own do feel left out of their lives...but just wait honey...

the best is yet to come!!!!!

with the first grand baby you will forget all your depression...and one of the boys rooms will contain a baby bed (or playpen) and you will have as many toys at your house as they have at theirs...

look forward not backward!!!

Have a very Blessed Christmas,

Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Sharon, and being so honest. Wish I could give you a big hug right now! Please know my prayers are with you, friend. Our lives have transitioned so much this year. Tyler is not home very much these days and I miss him. The relationship between us is a difficult one right now - he is struggling to make sense of my cancer diagnosis and he is very angry at God. (Just being real here.) Anyway, it often feels like we only have TWO kids now and that bothers me so much.

I was going to also tell you that I experienced the very thing you mentioned in the comment you left on my blog - regarding the frustrations of blogging. Some bloggers really do act like they have adoring fans and don't comment back...weird how that all works, isn't it?! (Kinda funny, too - if ya ask me.) I honestly just don't bother with commenting them anymore :)

Hope you have a wonderful week and have special memories of this Christmas :)


Sondra said...

I have been feeling so blue all day so I came by to see what was going on with you. Looks like you are feeling the same way. Strange thing is, I was thinking about you this morning. I was thinking that this Christmas would be different for you because all the boys would not be in the house early Christmas morning with you. I was thinking how hard this was going to be for you. My sister is also having a hard time as this is the first Christmas that Bridgette is married and she is an only child. I wish I had some wise comforting words for you....but I don't know what to say. Our preacher was talking this morning about the song, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. He was giving the history and meaning of this song. In the original version there is a comma after the word Merry. The word merry meant happy and peaceful. So many people think the song is saying that the gentlemen are merry or happy. But actually it is saying that God will rest you merry or happy.The comma after merry stresses that. It is hard to get that across in the right text by typing, but I hope you understand. Sharon, I do pray that God will rest you merry during this holiday season.
Isaiah 40: 28-31
....the Lord fainteth not, neither is weary....He giveth power to the faint and to them that have no might he increaseth strength....but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint.......

Joyfull said...

Thank you for being so open and honest about what is going on in your life and heart. You are doing the right thing, and have a grateful heart centered on our Lord. My season is just behind yours. My oldest is a senior, both my older boys are busy, and are not home much, etc. I understand the tug of wanting them to stay close, but know that they must become independant. They don't seem to care about Christmas traditions, decorating, etc. Change is always difficult and you are handling this life change with grace. It is certainly ok and hopefully helping to post and share your heavy heart. We appreciate your honesty and we all are thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer.

Joyfull said...

Thank you for being so open and honest about what is going on in your life and heart. You are doing the right thing, and have a grateful heart centered on our Lord. My season is just behind yours. My oldest is a senior, both my older boys are busy, and are not home much, etc. I understand the tug of wanting them to stay close, but know that they must become independant. They don't seem to care about Christmas traditions, decorating, etc. Change is always difficult and you are handling this life change with grace. It is certainly ok and hopefully helping to post and share your heavy heart. We appreciate your honesty and we all are thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer.

Kathi said...

Sharon, I'm so sorry you have been feeling down. I will pray that God lifts you up and fills you with joy. I really believe it's the good mothers who poured out their lives for their children that feel this pain of empty nest. You are such a good mother. God will double your joy with grandkids some day. I really believe it.

I love you, kathi

Anonymous said...

I have had an empty nest for 12 years and it too me years to get use to it.
I hated it!! But you are lucky. Atleast your kids live close to you.
Both my son and daughter
and their spouses live out of state. And my sweet precious granddaughter
is just 2 years old and she lives 2000 miles away
from us. We have never spent Christmas Day with
our grandbaby. :=(
She is our first and only
and Hubby and I were borh 55 years old before we had a grandbaby.
I do not like Holidays.
Just hubby and I here. :=(
Menopause can cause ups
and downs. But I am done with that.
Hang in there Sharon it
does get better.
God Bless
Pamela Ohio

Sharon Kay said...

Sharon.......I do understand how you feel, I had to daughters and now they have there families. I use to have Christmas and now one of my daughters is having it. So much has changed and at this time of the year we sit and think of how it use to be. My mother father, and only sibling my sister are all together in heaven and I am having a hard time also. I do think it is a lady thing and only another mother would understand. You do have so much to look forward and this to shall pass. Just know we understand and you have spoke for many of us.

My Grandkids ROCK said...

Sharon, Believe me I know how you feel. My kids are all grown up now too. My youngest is 16. I do buy gifts for the grandkids (3 of them) and that is fun but we started a new tradition last year. Because our kids have everything it was hard to think of something to get them. So we decided to give them each $500 for Christmas. That was our gift to them. But we told them they could not spend any of it on themselves. They needed to find people that needed help. What they did with their $$ was their gift to us. It was so much fun. They did so many good things. If we had bought them a gift, I'm quite sure they wouldn't be able to tell me now what they got for Christmas lst year. But if I ask them what they did last year they would tell me in detail all the people they helped out and how they enjoyed every minute of it. So this year they are doing the same thing. They are having so much fun. They don't miss not getting anything for themselves.
I do understand when they grow up and don't need you as much. But believe me, they do notice the things you do and how you care. Have a great day and I can't wait to meet you. Pam

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon, I understand how you feel and want you to know its fine to have these feelings they are perfectly normal for a mother whose family is growing up. My children are all grown and out on their own. My mom had 10 children; 5 girls and 5 boys so I come from a very large family.
Let me share a Christmas Tradition started by my sister about 16 years ago. All of our children where still young but some of us already had grandchildren. We found that it was getting harder and harder to get to each others house to see it decorated, thus the tradition began... We call it "Tree Night" it is always the second Saturday of December. This way each year we know we have our special day and can plan other holiday activities around "Tree Night". It started off with just the 5 sisters and our Mom in the beginning. We would visit each sister's house and have cookies or appetizers and something to drink. We would then exchange gifts. We did this at each house. We loved the tradition and it put us in a festive mood early in December. What fun it was to see each others housed decked out for the holidays! No children were allowed back then; it was just a night for us girls! This went on for quite a few years and then one sister got remarried and her husband wanted to come with her. Well that certainly changed things. My youngest brother at the time was about 36; he wanted to come the following year. Things then changed with our tradition and now our husbands come with us for "Tree Night" and some of the older nieces come with their husbands or boyfriends. We also go to the younger brother's house too! It has grown from 5 or 6 of us to 19. Three years ago our 2 cousins from out of town 2 and 1/2 hours away come and one brings her husband with her! It's growing still and yet I love it so much! What fun and madness it brings to us! My mom is 83 and loves every minute of it. We all gather the next morning for breakfast at one of my sister and her husband's house. We have also always gone to Christmas Eve at my mom's house even after we all got married and had our own children. My oldest is 33 years old and youngest is 25. We all gather with our family, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews... you get the idea. There are usually about 40+ of us. I don't think any of us have ever missed Christmas Eve at moms! We will continue this tradition as long as mom is able to!
Maybe you can begin a similar tradition as our "Tree Night" with your family and friends and other empty nesters. It will put you in the "Holiday" spirit, give you something to look forward to and give you a reason to enjoy decorating your house, etc.! I hope this will give you an idea on how to change with the times as your children grow! I wish you the Merriest Christmas of all time!
Happy Holidays,
Kim S.
PS. I just purchased 19+ gifts I found on clearance for next years "Tree Night"! Always thinking ahead!

beth said...

The good news is that you have plenty of wonderful empty nest bloggers (like me) to go through all the same emotions and we are there with you! Enjoy the family and the Holidays.

Beth said...

Hi Sharon,

I'm so sorry you are going through this hard time. I know my mom had a hard time when we all left the house. I tell you though, it was so awesome to see the joy in my parents eyes when my first son was born. It was such a blessing to them and even more for me to watch them with my son. I know you will be blessed with so many grandbabies, and you will be the most wonderful grandmother to them! Much love to you at this time.

Elena said...

Thank you so much for sharing you heart, Sharon. My mom went through the same thing when my older sister got married and moved away. Her husband was a Marine, so they never lived close. They always came home for holidays but it was so hard on mom. She got the Living Translation of the Bible and read it through 7 times the year my sis got married and it helped her a lot. I know about sadness at the holidays. My mom died when I was 28 and 5 years later my dad remarried a woman that was jealous of us kids and she is not good to my dad. So, my holidays were alone, as all of us kids went different ways. If it wasn't for the Lord and many sweet friends he blessed me with I couldn't of handled it. Now, in my later years, my cup of joy is full with a loving husband, healthy sweet child and my in-laws live near and are very loving and sweet. Also my 2 sisters live near by now and we get together often:) God is so good and I know He has and will continue to help you through this time in your life!

onlymehere said...

I'm a blogging buddy of Kathi's and I'm right there with you on this. I still have three of my four kids at home (oldest daughter married for 3-1/2 years and a 6-month-old baby) but within the next six months I will only have one child left at home. My son is getting married next spring or early summer, and my other son Travis leaves on a two-year mission for our church. He could end up almost anywhere in the world and I won't get to see him for two years. Empty nest syndrome has definitely landed at my doorstep. I'll keep your husband in my prayers that he may find a new job soon as I know that can be extremely scary and a trying time for the whole family. I enjoy reading your posts. I really liked seeing Grayson's party post today. What good kids he has for friends. He sounds like an awesome young man. Cindy

bella shabby said...

Hi Sharon , I too know that feeling , we only have one daughter and boy did I cry when she left home. Then came the Grandkids and we did everything together. It was wonderful ! Well , now those 3 kids are so busy experiencing this good life the Lord has blessed us with that its hard to see them as much as we like. You really have a very good perspective on your feelings And its okay to feel those feelings. Remember God made you that caring Momma that you are. Oh , change bites! But then you get use to it. If its okay I'm going to add you to my bloglist. Merry Christmas! Sue

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Sharon, I don't know if I've shared this with you before, but I'm going to take a chance that maybe I didn't.

Ten years ago, when I turned 40, I went through a very bad period of depression because I needed to accept that we were never going to have children. I went to see a Christian therapist whose wife happened to be going through empty nest syndrome at about the same time. And he pointed out that all women go through this in mid-life--whether they are grieving over never having children or grieving having their children grow up. The task for this stage of life is to find new meaningful roles.

For me, that involved taking stock of my spiritual gifts and starting to look to see what God might want me to be doing in the world. You have so much creativity and so much love. Perhaps if you pray, the Lord will show you what your new roles might be. Maybe there is a ministry or a service for the family of God that could use your very special gifts and personality. Your family will still be the highest priority because you have your husband, and your sons still need you, and eventually grandchildren will come along. Yet, maybe there is a need and a role you can fill beyond the family circle, something that will satisfy the longing in your heart and help spread God's love in the world.

These are just the thoughts that came to my heart as I read your post. If they feel off base to you, then I hope you'll know I was just trying to be encouraging. Most of all, I pray that God blesses and comforts you.

Jan Parrish said...

Sharon, It gets better. Just remember that the best is yet to come. There is no feeling in the world like holding your little grand baby.

Guys don't experience this the way we do because we are the nurturers. And besides, they internalize everything.

You are still reeling from the wedding. It takes about a year to get used to those changes. Yes, you are happy for McKenzie and Brittany but that doesn't negate your feelings that your "little" boy is all married. I think there is a certain amount of grieving for what was. Your traditions will change,and you may even add a few good ones. I went through this exact thing last year. I'll be praying for you.

Sharon, you are young. The best is yet to come. Don't focus on the negatives - look at the positives. Ask God what He has for you in this next phase of your life.

God will carry you through all of this - even during times of lay offs and strained finances. So many of us are struggling right now. Just hold on tight. Things will get better soon.

Meanwhile, you also have your BBFF's to help you through. ((((h)))))

Judy said...

Oh Sharon, I've been feeling the exact same way for awhile now. It's so hard I know. I had to realize the my life is in a different phase now. My kids don't need me in the same way that they did when they were young and that was really hard for me because I was a stay at home mom raising 11 kids. How can I let them go?...I'm their mom they need me. We know they are supposed to get married and move out of the house or go to college but our hearts can't accept it as easily as our minds do. I'm just finally coming to terms that I'm needed in a new way with them and I kind of like it, but it took me a while to get there.
Have a wonderful Christmas with your family Sharon.

gail said...

Oh Sharon~ I just want to give you a hug. I am sorry for your blue feelings . I am praying for you.
I really appreciate your humility and that you are so real- and that you don't put up a front - I think that is one reason I truly enjoy your blog- you are so real.
I turned 40 this summer and have been feeling this way once in awhile-I recently learned that I am pre menopausal! How fun ;)
I know you are too young for menopause- but do you think you could have some pre- symptoms?
Our oldest will graduate soon and I pray that God will let me 'let go' as he is growing up- it is hard because being a mom is so important to me-and I can tell it is to you too. You are a wonderful wife and mother- anyone can see that!
You are right- God has a plan -even in this--and He cares about how you are feeling. I will continue to pray for you!

Yours is the first blog I check whenever I do my blogging- I feel like I know you and your sweet family-May God bless you!

Gail :)


haha..once I was telling my husband something about you and your family- and I said, My friend Sharon.. da da .. da da da....and he said...Sharon who?
I think of you as one of my girlfriends :)

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