GIVEAWAY ALERT: You can win the book Empty Nest, Full Life by this week’s podcast guest. Keep reading to find out how!
There’s just something about an empty nest. Sometimes you can’t decide whether you feel grief or delight. You’re caught between wanting to hold on to the past and letting go to grab your new freedom.
Empty nesting can be a disorienting time, but it can also become the very best season of your life … if you’ll let it.
On today’s episode of the 4:13 Podcast, author Jill Savage guides us through this unpredictable season. She’ll teach you what you need to let go of and what you need to hold on to. You’ll get practical tips that will give you confidence and clarity.
And if you’re a mom whose nest is full, Jill will coach you up to make this transition easier when it comes time.
So, let me introduce Jill, and let’s get to it!
Jill Savage is the author or co-author of fourteen books including Professionalizing Motherhood, Real Moms…Real Jesus, No More Perfect Moms, No More Perfect Marriages, and the book we talk about today, Empty Nest, Full Life. She’s been featured on Focus on the Family, Crosswalk.com, Family Life Today, and Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Jill and her husband, Mark, have five children—three who are married—and eight grandchildren, and they make their home in Normal, Illinois.
This was such a rich conversation, and it just might shed some light on things you haven’t considered before, such as:
- What are some things I should learn to let go of?
- How do I continue loving my child, but lovingly detach from their problems?
- Am I helping—or enabling—my adult child?
- Is my relationship with my child interfering with their relationship with God?
- Has my identity become wrapped up in my children?
- Have my children become my idol?
- How can a new season of empty nesting affect my marriage?
- Who will I nurture with an empty nest?
- Have I formed only “friendships of convenience” while raising my children?
- As a mom of little ones, how can I prepare to become an empty nester?
If you’re a new mom or seasoned empty nester, single or married, rejoicing or despairing, you will be challenged not only in your relationships with others, but in your relationship with God.
The empty nest is not just about loss … it’s about gaining, and I pray today you would gain a new perspective on this season of life.
So remember, my friend, whatever you face, however you feel—whether your nest is empty or your house is way too full—you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]
- You can win a copy of Jill’s book, Empty Nest, Full Life: Discovering God’s Best for Your Next. Hurry, we’re picking a random winner on November 26. Enter on Instagram here.
Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- Invisible: How You Feel is Not Who You Are
- Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
More from Jill Savage
- Visit Jill’s website
- Empty Nest, Full Life: Discovering God’s Best for Your Next
- Mark & Jill Savage Marriage Resources
- Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone
- Follow Jill on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Links Mentioned in This Episode
Related Blog Posts
- Live, Love, and Soar: How to Find Joy in the Season You’re In
- Can I Stop Being a Control Freak Mom? With Crystal Paine [Episode 150]
- Can I Let Go and Trust God? [Episode 82]
- Who Am I? Why You Need to Tend to Your Identity
- Do You Have an Idol Hidden in Your Closet?
- Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the 4:13 Podcast here.
- Were you encouraged by this podcast? Reviews help the 4:13 Podcast reach more women with the “I can” message. Click here to leave a review on iTunes.
4:13 Podcast: Can I Live a Full Life With an Empty Nest? With Jill Savage [Episode 168]
Jennifer Rothschild: There is just something about an empty nest. You know, sometimes you can't decide whether you feel grief or delight. You're caught between wanting to hold on to the past and letting go to grab your new freedom and the future. Empty nesting can be a disorienting time, but it can also become the very best season of your life if you'll let it. So on the 4:13 today, author Jill Savage will show you what you need to let go of and what you need to hold on to. An empty nest can be full of joy, I promise, so stick around and find out how. And by the way, if you're a mom who still has a lot of little birdies in your nest, Jill is going to coach you up so that when it's time for you to transition into an empty nest, it'll be a whole lot easier. All right, my people, let's do this.
K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and Biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Now your host. She's a woman who's never low on hope because she's never without dark chocolate. Never.
Jennifer Rothschild: Never.
K.C. Wright: Never. She keeps dark chocolate in her jacket pockets.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, I do.
K.C. Wright: She keeps dark chocolate in her boots.
Jennifer Rothschild: In my PJ drawer.
K.C. Wright: Uh-huh.
Jennifer Rothschild: Everywhere.
K.C. Wright: I'm sure even in this podcast booth right now.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, there is probably some hidden.
K.C. Wright: There's a button that maybe it drops from the ceiling like masks on an airplane.
Jennifer Rothschild: In case of an emergency.
K.C. Wright: Would you make welcome Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Sorry. Hold on. I got to smell of my chocolate. Okay. Hey, it's Jennifer. I'm just here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of. We are so glad that you are here. I am also not low on hope because K.C. is my buddy, and we love showing up on the podcast with you every week. Thanks for hanging with us. I also want to just give a quick shout out thank you to those of you who have been leaving reviews. They mean so much. In fact, K.C. ran into one of our 4:13ers, Heather, and she was just saying how much the podcast meant to her. And I want you to know, Heather, and to all of you out there who let us know how this has impacted you, it means so much to us. Thank you. Thank you so much. So if you've not left a rating or review, it really does help. So thanks for being a part of the 4:13 family. And speaking of family, Thanksgiving is on the way, and that means our son Connor's coming home for Thanksgiving.
K.C. Wright: Oh.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. It used to be that we paid attention because it was fall break, you know, but now he's graduated and so -- anyway, it's coming up. So some of you have kids home, and they'll be home for fall break, and yay you. I just love that.
K.C. Wright: Let me tell you -- you're talking fall break. First of all, this time of the year is one of my favorite times because of all things tree foliage here in the Ozarks. But also, you have dark chocolate, your passion is dark chocolate. My passion is the pumpkin concrete --
Jennifer Rothschild: I know.
K.C. Wright: -- from Andy's.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yes.
K.C. Wright: Drive through and get extra pumpkin. Why aren't they sponsoring our podcast?
Jennifer Rothschild: I don't know. You're supporting them.
K.C. Wright: But my daughter tried to get me -- a couple weeks ago, she had me thoroughly convinced -- my eleven-year-old Eliana Joy, fifth grader, she had me convinced that it was fall break at her school. I'm serious. I remember picking her up on a Friday, and she goes, "Daddy, I'm off the next four days." She somehow got this in her little head that it was a fall break at her school.
Jennifer Rothschild: Like on Monday and Tuesday she didn't have school?
K.C. Wright: Right.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay.
K.C. Wright: And so Sunday night she's telling me of all the things we're going to do on Monday, including bike riding and movie watching and maybe some shopping. She had a day planned. Well, true story, I wake up Monday morning, and Holy Spirit scratches my heart. And I started thinking, I've never seen fall break on an email. I've never seen fall break on a school calendar. And so I message her teacher, and she says, "There's no fall break." Could not believe it. And we were, I'm telling you, 25 minutes to go until we were late for school. But anyway, it was a moment that I'll never forget. And the secretaries at the school when I checked Ellie in, they looked at me and said, "Oh, this is just the beginning." Buckle up, Buttercup Daddy.
Jennifer Rothschild: It's true, K.C.
K.C. Wright: Did your boys ever try that on you?
Jennifer Rothschild: No. But they probably did things that I'm not even aware of. But here's the thing that's blissful about an empty nest: you just don't care anymore. You just don't care. Aging is fantastic because either you don't remember or you just don't care.
K.C. Wright: Right.
Jennifer Rothschild: So God bless all of you who aren't there yet. Hold on, because someday you just won't care.
K.C. Wright: Oh, that's so funny. Oh, gosh.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Introduce Jill.
K.C. Wright: Jill, she's a Savage. No. I'm sorry, that was so funny. Jill Savage is the author or co-author of 14 books, including "Professionalizing Motherhood," "Real Moms...Real Jesus," "No More Perfect Moms," "No More Perfect Marriages," and her most recent release, "Empty Nest, Full Life." She's been featured on Focus on the Family, Crosswalk.com, Family Life Today, and Today's Christian Woman magazine. Jill and her husband, Mark, have five children, three who are married, and eight grandchildren, and they make their home in Normal, Illinois.
Jennifer Rothschild: Jill, it's so fun to talk to you. And I love the title of your book, "Empty Nest, Full Life." So obviously you live in an empty next, and you have a full life, but I want to know this: How did you feel when the last birdie flew away? You know, like what emotions did you feel? Was it grief or fear or relief? Invite us into those feelings. Give us a picture of that.
Jill Savage: Yeah. Well, you know what, it's really interesting, because initially I felt excited. I really did. I felt excited because I thought, oh, you know, this is -- I mean, we've been raising kids for a long time. I mean, had 13 years between our oldest and our youngest, so, you know, that was like 33 years of raising children.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. Yeah.
Jill Savage: So initially I was excited. And that happened in December. So our youngest graduated from college and then got married two weeks later in December. So I'm excited going into the spring, and I'm excited in the summer, and then August hit. And you know what happens in August? All the back-to-school stuff.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.
Jill Savage: And there was all these back-to-school sales, and I'd see women talking about taking their kids back to school shopping, and that's when it really hit me. I started bawling in the middle of the grocery store aisle. Because I thought, oh, my goodness, I'm not going to -- you know, I've been doing back-to-school shopping for -- you know, and that was always a special, precious time with my kids. I think I loved it because I would take them each individually to get what they needed for school, and to get them set up for success, and to get new clothes. And so all of a sudden it really hit me, and that was when the grief set in.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's interesting. I remember when our youngest --and our boys were ten years apart, so I had already done this one time. But, you know, ten years in menopause, you forget things. So I remember when our second one left, I started to clue in and I did what was -- I call anticipatory grief. Like, I started feeling it before it happened with this awareness of, oh, his room's about to be so empty. But I will say this: Because he was happy and thriving, once it was about a month into it, I was like, oh, his room is so empty, this is so awesome. But I get it. We go through a roller coaster, really we do, of emotions. And so it seems like for me, one of the hardest parts of the empty nest is letting go, just plain letting go. So for you, I'm curious, what has been the hardest part to let go of?
Jill Savage: Well, you know, it's really interesting because when I wrote my "Empty Nest, Full Life" book, I actually based it on Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, where it talks about that there's a season for everything. A time to laugh, a time to cry. Well, I was reading it in The Message version one day and it said there's a time to hold on and a time to let go. And I was like, oh, my goodness, Lord, that's what I need to understand, is what do I need to hold on to, as I transition into this new season, and what do I need to let go of? And so as I really began to pay attention to that, there were several things that I realized I had to let go of. And I'll tell you what one of them was, Jennifer, it was -- I had to let go of opinions.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah.
Jill Savage: My opinions about what my children should be doing, you know. And I think that's so hard for us as moms, because we have been leveraging our opinions on their life for 18-some years.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, right.
Jill Savage: Right? I mean, it was kind of our job, was to figure out what was best for them. And so it's really hard, when you've been in the habit of doing something for 18-some years, to actually let go of that and realize, oh, wait, wait, wait, you mean that's not my job anymore?
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, it is hard, because your opinions have sustained their life for the last 18 years.
Jill Savage: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: So it is hard to let go of. But I know also you talk about in the book letting go of your child's problems, which I think is really insightful. And that's so much easier said than done, of course. So how would you recommend or advise that a parent keeps on loving their child, but at the same time learn to lovingly kind of pull back, detach from their kids' problems?
Jill Savage: Oh, yeah. And that has been so hard. You know, we have five children. And two are walking rock solid in their faith; three wandering and not always making choices that we've agreed with, and that has been really hard to watch. And so part of that has been really recognizing that we were sucked into their problems. Their problems were our problems for the first 18 years. But when they begin to make decisions on their own, we have to recognize that it is no longer our job to solve their problems. Now, if they ask for wisdom, by all means --
Jennifer Rothschild: Sure.
Jill Savage: -- you know, we want to be there. We want to be there to give them that wisdom if they request it. But if they -- you know, it's not our job to bail them out anymore. And in some case that might be literally, you know, if they get in trouble with the law or something like that. But it is no longer our job. And learning to lovingly detach was the most important thing for us, especially -- we have one son that has just made poor choice after poor choice after poor choice, and so we really had to learn. I had a friend that told me, and she said, you know, Jill, in the addiction world, they talk about lovingly detaching. So you still love the person, but you detach from their problem. And that has been such wisdom and we have found such release in that. So we're able to love him well, but not try to fix him.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow, that's good. And so I'm curious in that process -- of course, that's what's going on in your and your husband's heart and head -- right? -- you're making that choice. Did you communicate that choice to him so there was clarity?
Jill Savage: Yes. Yes, absolutely we did. And, you know, I can remember the day that we really kind of -- like, we've been dinking with it a little bit, but it was like all the sudden, okay, we really need to communicate this, and so -- he had lived with us off and on, and he was in his early 20s, but it was not healthy. It wasn't healthy for us and it wasn't healthy for him. And here's the question that I had to ask myself: Is our help helping?
Jennifer Rothschild: Ooo. Right.
Jill Savage: And what we realized is the answer was no. He was still unemployed, he was still making poor choices, he was using substances. And, no, our help isn't helping. And so what we realized then, that means it's enabling.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, right.
Jill Savage: So if it's enabling, then it's no longer helping. And so we actually -- you know, we sat down with him and we said, you know, I know -- you know, on the outside it probably feels like we're helping you, but helping would really be that you are standing on your own two feet, you're learning from your mistakes, and right now we don't see that happening, so -- we love you, we want to always be your mom and your dad and your cheerleaders, but we can no longer be providing a roof over your head and some of the things that you're depending on us for because it keeps you from actually learning how to do that yourself.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's so good. And that's so hard. I know there's some moms listening right now who are like, aah, I know her story, I am living it. So it takes courage to do that. But I will say this: We can have courage when we really do understand that our kids are in the hands of God. They are.
Jill Savage: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And we're not God, and we can't do better than him, but to live with obedience and trust his Holy Spirit does free up our children, then, to have a relationship with God that we're not interfering with.
Jill Savage: Yes. Well, and I think that that comes down also to the fact that sometimes we make our children into idols. That's hard for us --
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Jill Savage: -- and we don't realize it, and that's part of what keeps us trying to help them. And then we feel like they are an extension of us -- right? -- and so, gosh, we want to kind of even save face. And it's just -- we have to recognize those places. And that was one of the things I had to let go of, Jennifer. I had to let go of some of my idols. You know, one of my idols was my identity was in my children. That was an idol. And I had to move that off the throne and put God back on the throne in the rightful place in my life. And when I was able to do that, then I was able to let go of my child's problems just a little bit easier.
Jennifer Rothschild: You know, I know you talk about in the book how the empty nest exposes idols, and I think that's -- it's interesting, we don't think of identity as an idol, but it sure can be.
Jill Savage: Oh, yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: Anything else that was exposed? Like, what about your marriage? I mean, how did all that survive the empty nest?
Jill Savage: Well, our marriage went through a really rough time right before my nest emptied. So when my last two were 15 and 17, my husband had a midlife crisis. And he had been a pastor for 20 years, and left ministry and really kind of lost himself. And in the midst of that, he had an affair. It's now something that we talk about very openly because it's become -- God has redeemed it and it's become a major part of our ministry. So as we were coming out of that, my nest was emptying. And so we were kind of rebuilding our relationship. And it actually has thrived in the empty nest season because we've had the time to be able to do that. But what I find is for many couples -- and we just hit it a little bit before the nest emptied -- is the empty nest begins to reveal gaps in their marriage, in their relationship, because the children have filled those gaps. And so we just don't even -- you know, we might feel it a little bit, but we don't recognize it fully. And so what I had to begin to realize is we had just begun to address some of those gaps because of the crisis that we experienced. But I do think that that is a really important part of the empty nest journey for those who are married, is that they're going to -- you need to expect that it's possible that some of those gaps are going to become revealed. And it doesn't -- it doesn't mean that your marriage is over, it doesn't mean -- you know, you may even get to the place where you go, I don't even know if I like this person.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right. Yeah.
Jill Savage: You know, that is normal sometimes in the empty nest season of life, because the one thing that has held you together is the children and their activities, and now you kind of have to reinvent yourself.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Jill Savage: And that's certainly what my husband and I have done. We've become marriage coaches, and we love what we do, and we specialize in helping couples overcome infidelity. And I'm so grateful for that. But we had to be willing to look at those gaps to get there.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, to be honest. And to our listeners, I will make sure we have a link to your ministry too, because I know there's some that are probably struggling with a marriage that feels like it's in crumbles because of infidelity, and I do trust and know that your ministry can answer a lot of those needs. You know what I was thinking too, Jill, as you were describing that, sometimes the children leave home. But it's funny, if they have been our idols or if our identity as the mom was the idol, or if we're carrying around instead of letting go of their problems, then there is that invisible presence right there still in the home that can be tugging and pulling on the marriage in ways we don't even realize.
Jill Savage: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And I think -- I have some friends who just freaked out when the kids left home because -- well, basically they were a buffer between them and their husband. And now they felt that insecurity of, oh, my gosh, what are we going to talk about? What are we going to do? Interesting. I think it's an important insight. And I love that you said, "Don't panic." Don't panic. This is a great chance to build or rebuild. I mean, you had a crisis, obviously, prompting you guys, but we don't have to have a crisis. It can be a place where you can just patiently, slowly build and rebuild and even redefine. What a beautiful time, right? I love that.
Jill Savage: Yes. Well, you're kind of -- you know, you have grown. You have the opportunity now to figure out what do I love in life and what do I enjoy? And for the two of you together to go, what do we enjoy doing together? What would we like to try together? What would we like to try individually? So, yeah, I love the word "reinvent" for that empty nest season of life. And so I love that. I think that that is -- you know, if we don't expect it, then we're thrown off by it.
Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.
Jill Savage: But if we can expect it and to know that is normal -- it's completely okay for you to feel a little off balance both individually and as a couple -- then I think that that gives people permission to begin to explore.
Jennifer Rothschild: Good word. Because the empty nest is not just about loss. It's really not. It's about gaining.
Jill Savage: No, yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: Moms -- we all know this -- we're just naturally nurturers, and that doesn't turn off when the kiddies leave home, right? So how would you advise a mom? Like, what could she do to help her satisfy this real legitimate God-given need and ability to nurture when the kids are gone?
Jill Savage: Yes. Well, you know, that is the second half of the "Empty Nest, Full Life" book, is what do you need to hold on to? And we got to grab hold of new passions or maybe old passions or places where we -- you know, didn't have time to do that nurturing because we were busy with our own children. So a lot of moms in the empty nest season of life, they began to work in the church nursery where they can love on babies, where they can teach toddlers or grade schoolers. Or they could begin to volunteer at their local school or they reach out to the neighbors around them and they begin to use that nurturing, that love of nurturing for those that are around them. And if they're like me -- I mean, I thought -- you know, I never did the math and thought it out, but I thought, you know, okay, I'll have an empty nest and then grandkids will come down the road. Well, my grandkids came before my nest was empty --
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, my. Yeah.
Jill Savage: -- you know, because of the age range of our kids. And so we've just kind of moved right into nurturing grandkids. I mean, literally right before I got on with you, my granddaughter, who is eleven, was here, and she and I went on a long walk and we just talked. And so, you know, you don't -- even if you don't have grandkids or they aren't even going to be a part of your empty nest journey, there are children out there that need what you have to offer. And so ask God to start showing you, revealing places that maybe you've not thought about before, and he's going to answer that prayer. He's going to show you who needs your gifts, your talents, your passions.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Because the nurturing's not done yet just because that first-hand parenting is done with them in their home. That's a really good word. I'm curious also, Jill, what about friendship? Because some women, their children have been their friends. And then they find themselves alone and they're like, well, what do I have now?
Jill Savage: Yes. Oh, my goodness. And I think the other thing that catches us off guard is -- I think that sometimes when we're raising children, sometimes we have friendships of convenience.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.
Jill Savage: I like to call those bleacher butt friends.
Jennifer Rothschild: Proximity makes them a friend.
Jill Savage: Right?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, right.
Jill Savage: Because we sat in the bleachers next to each other in sporting events or choir concerts or whatever it was. And then suddenly those things aren't bringing us together anymore and we realize, oh, oh, so maybe they weren't really, like, the kind of friendships I need. So one of the things that has to happen in the empty nest season of life is sometimes we have to reestablish old friendships or we have to establish new friendships. And that caught me off guard. Kind of like, wait a minute, I thought I was kind of done with this. And, no, you kind of have to figure out who your empty nest buddies are going to be, and they may be different than the friendships that you had raising children. Now, some may transition into that new season of life, but some may not. And so we have to recognize that that does happen and we may need to actually get out there again and start building those relationships again. But you have a lot more freedom.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Jill Savage: You have a lot more freedom in the empty nest season of life, too, though. You know, you have the ability to go to lunch easier, you have ability to -- I had a lady tell me one time, she said, "Heck, when you become an empty nester, you get a raise." And I was like, "You get a raise?" And then I was like -- she's like, "Yeah. It only is divided between one or two people, instead of four or five or six or however many were in your family." "Oh, my gosh, you're right."
Jennifer Rothschild: I love that. And we need -- well, I know there's some single moms out there, and the empty nest has to feel especially empty for them. How critical is friendship then?
Jill Savage: Oh, yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: Even for the married moms. You know, your husband, he may be your BFF, but you need a girl BFF. You just need it.
Jill Savage: Yep.
Jennifer Rothschild: You just need women in your life. It makes us healthier.
Jill Savage: It does. And he will never fill that for you because he doesn't think the same way and -- yes, you absolutely need some girlfriends. And that's going to -- how many you need -- you know, I'm an introvert, and introverts tend to have just two or three close friends. Extroverts tend to have a wider range of friends. So be true to yourself, but recognize that, yes, you really do need to do that. And you know what? When you go to build friendships, you have to risk. You have to risk. Like, you know, maybe there's somebody you've seen at church or in a Bible study or in your neighborhood and -- you've got to pick up the phone and either invite them over for coffee or invite them to go out to lunch or -- you got to take that risk to see if this relationship is something that would be worth pursuing. And that's a little scary sometimes.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, it is. But it's worth it.
Jill Savage: It is worth it.
Jennifer Rothschild: You are too valuable to not take the risk. You and I have a mutual friend who has written a book about this, I was thinking as you were describing that, Lisa Welchel.
Jill Savage: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: She used to be on the Facts of Life. And so she grew up on a TV set and so she had to learn to make friends as a grownup. And that, in fact, is the name of her book, which I'll link to on the show notes, but "Friendship For Grown-Ups." And she talks about that, the value of taking risks and the benefits.
Jill Savage: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: So I would encourage all of us to constantly do that. We're worth it. We need friends.
Jill Savage: Yeah, absolutely. I would agree. And my daughter and I actually wrote a book in the same way, it's called "Better Together: Because You're Not Meant to Mom Alone." And so we did it from her being a young mom and me being an older mom, and so we talked about how do you build friendships in all the seasons of motherhood.
Jennifer Rothschild: Sweet.
Jill Savage: So that's another resource as well.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, we're going to make sure we link to that also because, yeah, we need this stuff. We just need it. And since you've got more time in the empty nest, you can read. All right. So here's my last question, Jill. This is so rich. What would you say to the mom, like your daughter -- you know, she's a mom of littles -- to help prepare her for an empty season of joy? What can she do now to make life the best it can be later?
Jill Savage: That is such a good question. There's actually two things that come to my mind. One is to recognize that as a mother, you are always working yourself out of a job. That's just the essence of motherhood, is that -- it's really the only job out there that you're supposed to be working yourself out of. And so to get that into your mind early on, that as they -- you know, even when they're little and they begin to take steps, they're taking steps, and those steps eventually work their way towards independence. So I would say having that mindset from day one, I think, is important. And the second thing would be that your identity is in Jesus Christ. That your identity is solid, it is grounded in who you are as an individual, who God has created you to be, and that your role as a mother is a part of who you are. It's an opportunity you have. But to have a wider range of an understanding of who you are in Christ, because then when the kids leave, that doesn't change.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. So good. Let me repeat her last two encouragements. Okay? Mom, you are working yourself out of a job. Dad, you are working yourself out of a job. And your identity is not in motherhood; it is in Christ. Your identity is not in being a parent; your identity is in Christ. And this applies obviously to dads too. Right, K.C.?
K.C. Wright: Yes. It includes all dads. Don't forget us dads. But do you think age 35 is too old for Ellie to move out? I've told her over and over again, "When you get married, that's when you're going to get your first iPhone." Nice to meet your husband, and here's an iPhone. Anyway. Well, clearly you heard what a great resource Jill's book is for every parent, and you can win one right now on Jennifer's Instagram. Go there @jennrothschild to enter to win. And you can also find a show link to Jill's book and the transcript from the conversation at the show notes right now at 413podcast.com/168. We make it so easy for you. So when you hear things you want to remember, we've got your back right there on the show notes. 413podcast.com/168. All right. Well, again this has been another good day on the 4:13. And, of course, you make it all possible. And it wasn't just because of Jill Savage, it is because you are a listener, a friend, and a part of this beautiful 4:13 family that God has formed. And like good families should, we would love it if you did leave us a review. If you haven't, seriously, please leave a rating and review. It really helps us out and we appreciate it more than you'll ever know.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.
K.C. Wright: So until next week, feel the podcast hug across the miles and remember, whatever you face, however you feel, whether your nest is empty or your house is way too full, you can do all things through Christ who gives you supernatural strength? I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I can.
K.C. Wright: And --
Jennifer Rothschild: And you can.
K.C. Wright: -- you can.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, you can. You know what, I will say empty nest is a rough transition. But for me, I remember when the second child left, K.C. And it was like, "Oh." I went home and went into his empty room and I cried. And I sat on his bed and I thought, I don't know how this is going to feel. And a week later I was like, "Hallelujah, this is the best thing ever." We had popcorn for dinner. Oh, my gosh.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.