God has recently been telling me, “Give it away” and that is just what I am doing! I’ve invited some beautiful souls from my favorite Facebook community for women in the 50+ season of life, The Consilium:a Gathering of Wisdom and Grace. Enjoy the words from their hearts and, if you don’t mind, would you leave a comment to encourage them? Feel free to join us over at The Consilium – we would love to see you there!
Today I’d like for you to meet, Nannette Elkins:
As a little girl, I loved to play with dolls of all kinds. The older I became, those dolls turned into Barbies, and my aunt would make me extra clothes, extending Barbie’s wardrobe choices to impress Ken.
I created make-believe meals with my grandmother’s Tupperware (of course I had help from my older sister) and learned to tear up lettuce for a real salad with my mother’s assistance.
My grandmother taught me to iron at a young age. I practiced on pillowcases (yes, she really did iron all of her pillowcases!), my grandfather’s handkerchiefs and even his boxers. (Yes, even his boxers!) I can still picture me and my sister with the glass Coca Cola bottle filled with water and the red rosette on top, which guaranteed perfect sprinkling on all things cotton.
I loved children, babysat from the age of twelve and dreamed of little else than having my own home with adorable, blond haired, blue eyed, perfect angels.
I wanted to be a Mom.
My dream came true when I married The Sweetheart and we were surprised 18 months later with our first baby boy. Kyle was exactly what I pictured; blond hair, blue eyes and even perfect…in my eyes.
Kristopher came along five years later and Korey Ross surprised us another five years after that, completing my perfect family.
Blessed to stay home with them, thanks to a hard-working Sweetheart, I was living my dream.
One day I woke up and they were gone; all three of them.
Not at once, thankfully, but I was still young (so the calendar said). I wasn’t finished mothering. I wasn’t ready to quit making breakfasts, to stop reminding them to pick up their dirty clothes off of the floor and repeating the same thing every morning:
Did you get your lunch?
Don’t forget your keys!
Do you have money?
What time will you be back?
Is there practice after school?
Yes, it was over. No more running back in for all of those things they forgot. No more “Goodbye’s”. No more “Love you too!”
No more mountains of laundry.
You think it will last forever and then, in a heartbeat, a blink, it’s finished.
It is back to where it started; just the two of us.
Is it enough?
I struggled, I was lonely, I missed the chatter, the company; I even missed their messes.
I drove The Sweetheart nuts for a while. Forgetting that he was hurting too, it was all about me. How much I missed them, when could I see them, what in the world would I do now?
Then one day I remembered how it had all started. A wonderful man had asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. He had blessed me far beyond my dreams with My Three Sons; given me beautiful homes to raise them in and he hadn’t changed. He had not left; he was still right there inside that home with me.
My Three Sons have their own lives, thankfully we are included in their adventures, but we realize we have to let them go and not hover over them. We want them to WANT US to come around!
We were still young enough to have adventures so we started our first overseas missionary journey. Some said we were crazy at our age, but we said, “We have only just begun!”
My empty nest is blessed. It is blessed because God has been the center of it all for the last 35 years. It is blessed because The Sweetheart is still here; he still loves me, spoils me and at least acts like he wants to be with me. I trained him well.
The Empty Nest doesn’t have to mean an Empty Life. God can use us in our golden years just as much as He did when we were young.
He will use us, He will provide for us and He will bless that Empty Nest.
Over fifty and entering your second phase of life? Join us over at The Consilium.
Nannette has served in various ministry positions over the years, most recently as a pastor’s wife and missionary to Eastern Europe serving in the countries of Estonia and Latvia.
An aspiring writer, speaker, teacher and editor, she was kicked out of her comfort zone by the Lord and enjoys encouraging others through her blog, Hope in the Healing and monthly at Internet Café Devotions.
She travels with her husband as the North America Directors for Revival By Design, teaching church growth seminars from a Bible-based blueprint for revival.
She has been attached to The Sweetheart, Douglas, for 3 years and is happiest when the joys of her life, Kyle, Rachel, Kristopher and Korey Ross, are all gathered around her table.
You can find Nannette, a.k.a Candacejo, on social media @
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
- What God Can Do with A Shattered Heart - September 5, 2022
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This is beautiful Nannette and such a great reminder for all of us! I love hanging out, travelling and doing things with my hubby. Thank you for sharing your story.
Love your realization that your Sweetheart is there and the two of you have your lives to continue to enjoy together.
Nannette, This is just beautiful. You have so captured my heart – I always wanted to be married and have children. God has been so good to us. Although our children are now grown & married, they still come around – OFTEN. We so enjoy their company & hopefully, they enjoy ours. But when all is said & done, it comes back to being with the one we started out with. If I may add, it is so important while raising your children to keep a healthy connection with your spouse. You don’t want the years to pass & then discover the only thing you had in common was your children. Keep the relationship alive & fun. I loved this post! Thank you for sharing this with us all!
My grandmother used to make Barbie clothes for us. And ironing pillowcases and handkerchiefs? That’s how I learned too.
Oh, this touches me in so many places! “The Empty Nest doesn’t have to mean an Empty Life. God can use us in our golden years just as much as He did when we were young.” I’m discovering that too since I’ve been in the empty nest the past 2 years. Even though it’s different and I miss some things, it’s still a delightful season of life. Thanks for sharing this so beautifully, Nannette!
Wonderful thoughts. I agree with Lisa; it’s a “delightful season of life.”
You brought back memories. My first job was ironing for my grandmother, exactly as you described.
I love this Nannette! Oh, how our husbands still need our love!! And what joy when we can serve the Lord, as one.. “The Empty Nest doesn’t have to mean an Empty Life. God can use us in our golden years just as much as He did when we were young.”
I enjoyed your post, Nannette. It was real and oh the memories of children, demands and all that school stuff. I hate the word “empty”. We had it full with God’s blessings and now it’s their turn to take the fullness and spread it around. Nothing we reap comes back void. You’re doing a great job, my friend. A great job!
You have written this beautifully, Nanette. Husbands are a blessing to be treasured!
You all bless me so. I was so intimidated to write for Diane (she doesn’t make me feel that way!) I just still feel so young when it comes to writing and I look up to all of you so humbly. Love this group of wisdom laced ladies! ❤️
Such an encouraging post – makes me teary. Our kids are toddlers but I cannot help but think how sometimes we wish they would grow up. Then when they do we wonder what happened to the years and we miss them so! Thanks for linking up with us at Home Matters Linky party!