EMPTY NEST? Not so fast.

Livs and Jay practicing the waltz for her debutante ball.

Olivia, our niece, decided she wanted to leave home where her life was chaotic and tumultuous, when she was only 14. She wanted to move in with Jay and me.  Our youngest son had just graduated from SMU and moved to New York.  Our nest was newly empty and my husband was loving it.  Do your husbands enjoy walking around naked and pausing in front of the mirror to maybe flex a muscle and admire their physiques?  (What I wouldn’t give to even have that urge cross my mind!) My theory is that women look forward to the empty nest because they imagine all the lovely free time they will have to relax, read, or maybe drink coffee and really get “into” their devotionals.  Or possibly they will go on a trip with girlfriends or take up something new, like knitting.  They basically can’t wait to have a time when there won’t be anyone demanding their attention.  On the other hand, men look forward to the empty nest because they will finally get their wives back – all to themselves. So, prepare yourself and try to appreciate that as a wife and mother, you will always be "in demand."

Anyway, when Olivia proposed the idea of filling our nest, Jay had to be convinced. Her Dad, my brother, had to be convinced as well but that is another story.  It wasn’t easy.  A couple of months before all of this, Jay and I had actually prayed that we were ready to do whatever God wanted us to do – we stressed the “whatever” even if it meant moving. But…but….you want us to do what, God?? Take in a teenaged girl?? Are you sure?? God was leading us down this path – I was sure of it.  Jay said, “I am going to take Olivia out for breakfast and talk about it.” I was a little nervous – I had been Olivia’s spokesman.  I was on my knees praying during that entire breakfast. The two returned all smiles.  Jay had been impressed with Olivia’s maturity and desire to change her circumstances. Olivia told me later that it took everything she had not to cry but she was determined. Bottom line: Jay said yes!

So, Olivia moved in just a few weeks later. It was very hard on her Dad.  Her mother was struggling with her own stuff.  Their marriage was about to disintegrate.  Jay and I were trying to wrap our minds around the idea of raising a girl after having a testosterone laden household. It was funny, after raising four sons, everyone was saying, “aww……you finally got your girl.”  I kind of hated hearing that to be honest.  I love Olivia and was happy she was with us but she was 14!  Just starting on those teen years in earnest.  Plus I felt like people were suggesting I needed a daughter to feel complete – not so. I have always loved being the mother of boys and when the fourth one was born (William) I was glad to have another boy.  Bottom line: God knows what He is doing.