How to Thrive After Your Kids Leave Home
IT’S HAPPENING! You weren’t always sure you’d get here, but the kids grew up and are surviving—more or less successfully. But what now?! If you’re like most moms, you’re caught between grief and delight, and full of questions, loose ends, hopes, and regrets. Empty nesting can be a disorienting time, but it can also be the best time of your life.
Jill Savage, an empty-nest veteran, offers you
WISDOM for the murky waters ahead. Teaching you what you need to let go of and hold on to
ENCOURAGEMENT for when you’re feeling confused and discouraged. Full of stories and new insights, you’ll find your spirits lifted and hope renewed.
IDEAS for when you don’t know "What’s next?" Jill offers loads of practical ideas for coping and thriving in this encore season.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Getting Started: The Roller Coaster of Emotions 13
Part 1 Let Go!
1 Let Go of Expectations 39
2 Let Go of Guilt 49
3 Let Go of Opinions 61
4 Let Go of Traditions 79
5 Let Go of Your Child's Problems 93
6 Let Go of Idols 117
Part 2 Hold On!
7 Grab Hold of Your New Mission Field 135
8 Grab Hold of New Passions 163
9 Grab Hold of New Friendships 183
10 Grab Hold of Your Marriage 201
11 Grab Hold of Gods Hand 219
12 Your Encore 233
Appendix: Junk in the Trunk 239
Discussion Guide 247
Connect with the Author 277
What People are Saying About This
Praise for Empty Nest, Full Life
Empty Nest, Full Life is a winner! This book is as real as writing gets—the good, the bad, the funny, the sad, the exasperation, the decision-making, the stress, and the joy! Jill Savage writes truthfully and vulnerably—and her readers are the recipients of powerful strategies for turning the empty nest years into a season of rich opportunities and purposeful living. Jill’s advice—to give yourself grace, keep your mouth shut, and to love no matter what—hit me smack-dab in the heart! Buy this book for yourself, then gather your friends together for a book study. I highly recommend it!
Carol Kent, speaker and author, When I Lay My Isaac Down
Like having a cup of coffee with a trusted friend, Jill helps moms look beyond the empty nest and into an exciting future. Just as a mom cheers on her children when they spread their wings and fly, Jill cheers on the empty nester to dust off her own wings and soar. Empty Nest, Full Life is a must read for any mom who has waved goodbye and wondered what comes next.
Sharon Jaynes, bestselling author of Enough: Silencing the Lies the Steal Your Confidence
Mom, the REST of life can be the BEST of life—and Jill Savage shares just HOW to make the most of life’s second half!
Pam Farrel, author of 48 books, including bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and 10 Secrets of Living Smart, Savvy and Strong; codirector of Love-Wise
Jill is a faithful friend through every seasons of marriage and motherhood. She graciously gathers women in pursuit of wisdom, passing on what God is teaching her along the journey. This book is no exception. Motherhood doesn’t end when the kids leave the nest. There are new griefs, joys, and challenges. Jill is a trusted guide in navigating through it all!
Juli Slattery, founder of Authentic Intimacy
Is your adult child making decisions that are seriously stressing you out? As a new empty nest mom, I needed Jill’s wisdom and practical advice to help me navigate what I’m letting go of and what I can look forward to in this new season of my life! Not only does she tackle the tough and sensitive topics that Christian moms truly need and are afraid to talk about, but Jill shares her experience with transparency, humility, and with a loud voice of hope! Let Jill be your guide, your friend, and most of all, allow her words deepen your hope and trust in God’s plan for your adult child’s life.
Barb Roose, speaker and author of I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessings in God’s Delay and Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua
Empty Nest, Full Life will fill the hole in your heart that’s been left empty when your child has left home. Jill has a compelling way of making you feel like she’s sitting across the table from you, hot coffee in hand, reminding you in her sweet, gentle way that God has not forgotten you nor is life over, but instead has a great adventure planned for you with an incredible full life ahead! It’s a must-read for anyone who has, or is, experiencing the empty nest. This book is going to help SO MANY women!
Shari Braendel, founder of Fashion Meets Faith and empty nest mom of four
Practical wisdom, “get after it” ideas, and encouragement galore, Jill Savage astutely provides women with exactly what we need to not just survive, but thrive, in the empty nest years! Navigating changing relationships will be a challenge no more. Your heart will sigh and your mind will be fully engaged as you learn to navigate, celebrate and embrace your Empty Nest, Full Life.
Tracey Eyster,founder and director of MomLifeToday.com, author of Be The Mom, and empty nest mom of two for five years
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jill's wisdom once again shines through her work. Jill writes from her heart and she is honest. She can write about some hard truths that most of us would not write about. I wish I had this book a few years ago. You raise your children to leave, to spread their wings and start their own life. But no matter how you think you are prepared for this launch into the world you really not. It is never to early to read. Navigating emotions thru each stage of your child's life can be tough. Knowing your not alone in the journey is a great relief. Letting go of traditions is harder than I thought. Making new ones is the key!
I am a recent empty-nester, and although my husband and I did not find this transition too difficult, we have had some great conversations about what comes next in the life of our family. Reading Jill’s book helped me to understand that not only are my young adult kids experiencing a time of transition - but so am I, and so is my husband. My favorite chapter is Chapter 5, “Letting Go of Your Child’s Problems”. In our family, we call this “not jumping on the roller coaster” with our kids. I found Jill’s words about the emotional drain of carrying too much of our kids’ issues particularly timely. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to navigate the empty nest years with grace and purpose.
Empty Nest, Full Life is exactly what I need in this season; children that are already out of the nest and others that are still at home. It has helped me to see some things that we're doing right, things we need to change and adjust, and great adventures to look forward to in our encore years! I love how Jill shares victories, struggles and REAL insight!!
As a Christian mother of two adult children, I was the perfect target reader for this book. My youngest child graduated from college a year ago and I felt strange. As Jill Savage suggested, I was struggling somewhat with my purpose now. I have also been sad because neither of my children is walking with the Lord. This book is very encouraging to Mom’s. Although Savage has had a successful ministry to both mothers, and now to spouses, she and her husband do not have perfect children or have they had a perfect relationship. One of my favorite quotes is this near the beginning of the book: “God used your imperfections to perfect you and your kids.” There are chapter about how to relate to your adult children, about your marriage, and about how God may use you in this next season of life. There is also a discussion guide included and this book would be fantastic for a book club or Bible Study group. I highly recommend this book. I received a complementary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Empty Nest, Full Life is a must read for anyone in or nearing the empty nest season of parenting! Jill's pearls of wisdom and Godly advice give a refreshing look at how life can be beyond raising children. Let's face it. Because so much of motherhood is about preparing our kids to do life on their own, empty nest challenges can feel … well… empty. Jill’s vulnerability and experience will give you a renewed vision for life after your kids leave the nest as well as inspiration for a full and amazing second half.
Jill Savage is vulnerable, honest and to the point in her journey into and through the empty nest years. I have been an empty nester for 2 years now and it helped affirm in me that I was moving in the right direction relationally with my adult children. The subjects of expectations, guilt, traditions, and opinions were discussed along with new passions, new friendships and a new season in marriage! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and have told my empty nest friends all about it. I loved it so much that I will be hosting a bible study this Fall! Hats off to Jill! I highly recommend it!
Jill's newest book fills in a much needed gap on a very important topic. Whether your nest is fully empty, with some birds out and others still in, or looking towards this upcoming transition, THIS book is a must read. Her writing is full of great wisdom in helping navigate the full range of emotions this season brings. She's given me so much to think about in regards of where to hold on and where to let go. Packed full of spiritual guidance, practical solutions and constant self reflection questions that help you work through the countless emotional changes. So very grateful for how her book is helping me to make this adjustment with better clarity, emotional stability, practical guidance and a deeper spiritual walk. It's been such a comfort in knowing ALL the emotions are normal and reading it is like having a mentor walking beside you. Sometimes she writes hard truths and sometimes great encouragement, but that's the making of a great book you will reach for time and time again.
Filled with great advice, wisdom, and God's Word, "Empty Nest, Full Life," is just the book I needed to read as I prepare to send my firstborn off to college. If you read only one book about life after the kids fly away from home, this is the book to read!