Empty-nester List

There’s a recurring theme in my life right now.  Everything around me is telling me to slow down and simplify.  I am even telling myself that, but I’m not really listening.

Last Sunday at church I learned three lessons:

  1. Talking too much is exhausting; being quiet conserves energy
  2. No matter our circumstance, we can make it a peaceful one
  3. There is great power in a Christ-centered home

These 3 lessons remind me of one thing: there are too many things in my life that I think are the end of the world.  I want to briefly relay the stories in the lessons that helped to teach me this one thing.

•Several weeks ago, a woman ran a 5K with her young daughter.  At the start of the race the mother decided that it would be helpful to her daughter if she gave her something to keep her mind off the distance.  She began to tell stories, set goals, and explain ways to conserve energy.  Eventually, the little girl said “Mom, talking doesn’t conserve energy”.  Lesson learned.

“Why are we embarassed by silence?  What comfort do we find in all the noise?” -Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

•174 years ago, a man was persecuted and arrested for his religious beliefs.  After several months in jail with seemingly no hope of relief, this man pleads to his Heavenly Father in prayer asking how long he will be asked to suffer this awful oppression.  God speaks peace to his heart, ensuring him that this will be such a short time but will benefit so many.  His name was Joseph Smith.  Perhaps we have to be placed in lonely and difficult circumstances in order to force us to find a minute to listen.

•An apostle for my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), Elder Richard G. Scott, said in a talk:

Many voices from the world in which we live tell us we should live at a frantic pace. There is always more to do and more to accomplish. Yet deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, regroup, and re-energize to prepare for future pressures.

He explains that we can achieve this by teaching our children to be trustworthy, accountable, loving members of our family and of society, and reminds us that there is a season for everything and that we don’t need to simultaneously do all things at once.

I can’t imagine that someone lives at a more frantic pace than I do.  When people ask how I stay so skinny my auto-response is always “Well I don’t ever sit down and I don’t have time to eat”.  Even just thinking about having a “place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail” gives me a calm feeling.  So in order to achieve that, I’ve decided to make a list (I love lists!).  And not a “bucket list” like I mentioned in the last post, but a list of things I want to accomplish while I have my children here with me.  As much as I hate to admit it, people are dead on when they tell me this season will go by so fast and I should enjoy every moment.  I want to enjoy this season.  I need to have goals, things that make me excited to get up in the morning.

Goal #1: Go out with my husband more.  I think I’ll start today.  Thanks in advance to my mother-in-law for watching the little ones.


6 thoughts on “Empty-nester List

  1. I love this post so much. I really needed to read it. The quotes and message are seriously what have been on my mind a lot lately. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I hope you’re going out to that great new place you recently discovered that you’re going to take me to next time I visit. Enjoy! and hope you have/had a wonderful evening out alone together! But shouldn’t this post have been titled “Full Nester List?” I think it’s funny how once you become an empty nester you just continue to still make lists out of habit and not necessarily because you have to.

    But I LOVE lists as well! In fact sometimes, if I misspell a word on one or my ink blots, I’ll even start over with a fresh sheet of paper… ha

    Looking forward to Goal #2!

    • “Empty nester” is right because a bucket list refers to what you want to do BEFORE you “kick the bucket”. So an empty nester list should refer to what you want to do before you’re an empty nester. Right?

      • Oh, ok I get it now. I never thought about “Bucket Lists” in that way, (as in prior to) so I guess you’re completely right. Gonna post gramma’s response now… 🙂

  3. Haha, I do the same thing with lists mom, they need to look perfect. Sometimes I write things on my lists that I’ve already done just so I can check them off.

  4. This is a terrific post, Whitney!
    There is a lot of wisdom in those three things you learned.
    Just learning, and applying, them should make you life more peaceful!

    Remember, the Lord doesn’t take away our trials but he can definitely make them tolerable, so you are on the right track to make your home a Christ centered home.

    You’re also on the right track to set goals for the short amount of time you have with your little children. They say, if you haven’t taught your children what you want them to know by the time they are 5, (some people even say 3) forget it. So what is it you want them to know, do and BE? What beliefs and values do you want them to have?
    Making a list is not all bad! LOL! Where do you think you, your mother and your sister got their gene’s for making lists. From Me of course. I’m a list maker, Pro Tem, or whatever you call it.
    I even do like Daryn does. Sometimes at the end of the day I’ll find I have done a lot of things that I didn’t even have on my list, so I write them down, just so I can cross them off and see how much I’ve accomplished. lol!
    Aren’t we weird? But somehow, doing that, makes me feel that I’m doing pretty good after all, that I’m winning, not losing.
    Right now I’m going to put on my list that I have written to you, which I did not have on my list for today.

    Love you much !!!! Grandma

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