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Empty Nest and New Beginnings

My husband and I recently became empty-nesters. Our daughter’s wedding was in April. It’s a strange new reality for us, organising a life that was previously built around family and adult children at home, into a completely different scenario.

My husband and I both had a child when we got married, the kids were eight and six so we have actually never been married without children. As we watch the newlyweds build a new life together, in some ways we are doing the same thing.

Whether you are a newlywed, an empty nester, or somewhere in between, we are finding the same principles apply. Relationships are hard work, but so worth it. Anything worth doing is going to require heart work and having hard conversations.

My first tip would be to always keep God at the center of your relationship. Make time for Him individually, but make time for Him together as well. Work out what it looks like to put God first in your relationship and pursue that. It’s so much harder to respond from a place of anger and frustration when you are actively pursuing God together.

The second tip I have is to make time for each other. Dedicated time, just like when you first got together and you were dating. It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s so easy to lose in the hustle of raising kids and the craziness of life. Continuing to choose each other is so important at every stage in your relationship. Once the kids have left and it’s just you and an empty house, you have a choice to make about how intentional you are with your time together.

We made a deliberate decision to keep Saturdays for us as much as possible. We get up early, we go to the markets, go out for breakfast, check out a second-hand shop or two, and then try to do some projects around the house. It’s an intentional decision that no matter how busy life gets, time for us is a priority.

Life is so incredibly fleeting. Moments with family, with children, and with partners are precious and we need to prioritise them. We see a lot about being present in the moment. It’s all over social media. I have never felt it more than I do right now. Our kids went from little to big to out of the house in the blink of an eye. No matter what stage you are in life, take some time to reflect on how you spend your time. If there are changes you can make, make them. It’s so worth it.

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