Once a month I open up, give you a life update, and share my heart with you. I wish I could sit down and have coffee with each one of you, and we could have a good long chat in person. This is the next best thing! So, In the spirit of those old SNL “Coffee Talk” skits with Mike Myers as Linda Richman, let’s have cawfee, and let’s tawk! Here’s what’s on my heart this month.
I had big plans for the blog this week. I had big plans for myself this week. But when you’re a mom, and your kids need you (like, REALLY need you), you drop everything, and you GO. That’s what happened with my daughter this week. When she came home last weekend, she pretty much fell apart, and it was clear that she needed me. (Don’t worry, her problems are not life-threatening or anything like that, but more a matter of multiple life struggles all hitting at once.) We had already planned a girl’s trip to NYC for a few days next week, but she needed me NOW. So I took Monday to pack, made hotel reservations, and WENT. I am so thankful for a job that allows me the flexibility to do that, for a husband that “gets” it, and for the freedom of the empty nest that allows me to be where I’m needed. If you’re an empty nester, I know you can relate to a little something called the Ministry of Presence.
When They Ask for Help, You Take it Seriously
I was so thankful that my daughter reached out and asked for help. That’s not easy for anyone. Ever.
I’ll be honest. Initially, I found myself thinking that she needed to handle things on her own. (“This is just a part of learning to be an adult…”). But then I realized that this time was different. She wasn’t asking for me to bail her out in some way, but rather, to come alongside her as she worked through some life challenges. I’m so honored that I’m the one she wanted by her side to provide the Ministry of Presence.
My job doesn’t look like a lot of jobs, and I love what I do. Just like most jobs though, there’s more to it than meets the eye. I don’t want to bore you and go into details, but suffice it to say that actually writing blog posts only takes up about 30% of my time as a blogger. It may look like I have it all together (So false!) or that I know what I’m doing from the outside (Hahahaha!), but just like with any job, there’s a whole lot that goes into making it look effortless! I also spend a great deal of time on social media, both posting and interacting with Empty Nest Blessed readers. I love it, but I struggle with work/life balance just like everyone else. (Especially because a lot of my “life” time is what y’all love to hear about the most!) We’re living in an age where we could just choose to work 24/7!
There comes a time when I have to make a choice. Do I work now? Do I share this on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter? Or do I just stay engaged and present in the moment? When it comes to my family, I’ve realized that my actions today are their memories tomorrow. That’s helped me put things into perspective.
When my daughter reached out for help, there was no doubt about what I needed to do and where I needed to be. I needed to be all in, all there, and I needed to be there with all of my heart and mind focused on her. Even though I made promises to you all last week about what I would be sharing this week on Empty Nest Blessed, the Ministry of Presence was just more important. That’s why you haven’t heard from me this week.
The “Ministry of Presence”
My wise mother-in-law was the first one to teach me about the Ministry of Presence. It happened at a time in my life when I really needed someone beside me. I didn’t need someone to call me daily and check on me. I didn’t need someone to drop off something and run off quickly, so they didn’t bother me. I didn’t need someone to tell me they were praying for me. (Although I’m always grateful for prayers on my behalf!) Nope. I needed someone to sit in the trenches with me for a little while. Dictionary.com defines the verb “minister” as giving service, care, or aid; to attend, as to wants or necessities; or, to contribute, as to comfort… Sometimes the Ministry of Presence is simply what’s required.
One of the things empty nesters struggle with the most is the feeling of not being needed anymore. It’s been so sweet to be needed this week, y’all! I’ve been practicing the Ministry of Presence, and it’s been a privilege. The thing is…you must be present…to win.
Thanks for the coffee, and the talk. 🙂 I’d love to know how you handle things when your adult kids REALLY need you. What do you think about the Ministry of Presence? Please share your advice and wisdom!
My daughter and I are headed to NYC Sunday through Thursday next week. (We are SO ready for a getaway!) Be sure to follow our adventures on Instagram and Facebook. (Especially on my Instastory and Facebook Story.)
It’s Friday, and you know what that means! It means I’ve pulled together the best weekend sales (and all the details on each one) in one convenient spot for you. You can click any of the pink links to go straight to the retailer’s sites.
LAST CALL | Up to 85% off direct from Neiman Marcus merchandise in the Season Finale sale.
SAK’S FIFTH AVENUE | Up to 70% off designer merchandise.
SHOP THE POST
(You won’t believe it, but my top is from Walmart!)
Photos by Megan Weaver.
P. S. BTW, if you know someone who is a new empty nester this year, would you please consider sending them this way? Telling them about Empty Nest Blessed is the nicest compliment you could every give me! I’ve got lots of resources to help them through those tough first weeks. Also, for a limited time new subscribers to my email list get a free copy of my guide “Adjusting to the Empty Nest.” Thank you!