Empty Nest

birds, nests and ribbons

100_2082Once my purpose was so clearly defined.

Boston Public Gardens

100_2082The day I learned that I was to become a mother I knew my purpose and I was so fulfilled.

Boston Public Gardens Swan

100_2082For many years I got up every day and the needs of my family drove what I would do that day. Drop this one off, prepare meals, clean the house, pick someone up, watch a sports event, drive someone to a lesson or a friend’s home.

Bluebird and Birdhouse Celebration

100_2082Busy, busy, busy and happy, happy, happy.

Amongst The Bluebirds

100_2082Then one day it stopped.

swan reflection framed

Bluebird oil on canvas digitally enhancedMy girls drove themselves everywhere, and no longer played games but created happiness for themselves.

Swans in Boston Public Gardens

Bluebird oil on canvas digitally enhancedRarely did they eat home, and my house no longer got messy because they weren’t here.

Beautiful Wings and Birdie Things

Bluebird oil on canvas digitally enhancedSo, this was the chapter called empty nest.


Bluebird oil on canvas digitally enhancedI filled my days with creating, painting, and classes. I learned how to use a digital camera by taking skatey-eight photos and joining flickr. Occasionally I was needed, but rarely, and so I began to blog.


My creationI created numerous blogs with my writing, artwork and this diary, A Scrapbook of Inspiration. I even created a blog just for Christmas, and wrote a book. Soon I met kindred spirits and was encouraged every day by beautiful words.


My creationI wrote a story years ago for my girls and I published it on my Children’s Story Blog. The name of the story is The Thankful Coat. This morning I read:

“I will use this story with my blind primary age students next week, just before Thanksgiving. Instead of coloring our Thankful Coats, I will have several 'coats' cut from different types of fabric which students may glue to a piece of paper. I will also have an assortment of buttons for them to glue on.

So many times my students my students are pitied or looked down upon. This will help them look at their own 'gifts' and what they can be thankful for.”

My creationWow, I was blown away. To think, what if I had been like my Grandmother and waited for her children to come for Sunday dinner, and if we all didn’t she would sit in her chair and sulk for days.


judy-15What if I hadn’t tried to repurpose my life and share the stories I wrote for my two wonderful little girls, and instead sulked that they didn’t need me anymore?

birds nest

judy-15I think whoever defined this chapter as “Empty Nest” was like my Grandmother.


Adventures in Altered BooklandI don’t think Grandma Moses was upset with the children being gone.

My creation

The-prayer-basketNo, she just got out her paintbrushes and said “I think I will paint!”

A little bird in prayer

Happy-new-year-2009-2I was so encouraged to think that my story will be used by this wonderful teacher to help her students think about being thankful.


My creationThis beautiful e-mail letting me know that I had received this comment, reminded me that God changes our life purpose every now and then.

bluebirds and Birdhouses Minis

Happy-new-year-2009-2Empty? I think not, my nest is full with the many friends that I have found blogging.

Nesting In New England

My creationFull with old friends and new ones. My life is full knowing that my girls have learned to fly and although I can no longer sit on the sidelines, I certainly can enjoy the fact that they are enjoying their lives.

Nesting In New England

My creationEmpty Nest...our nest is only empty when we refuse to accept change. We can fill our familiar nest with new things, new reasons to be grateful, and reach new horizons along the way.

From my nest to yours...

Perhaps God has to empty our nest at the proper time, so that He can fill it with new blessings.

Winter Bella-Zine

Happy-new-year-2009-2The Song for this post is Karen's Theme.

The Bluebird Tree, with a song in my heart
C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Oh Karen, this is so very beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes... Jack and I have no children... but still, I often have felt like I have "an empty nest" when I am home alone and thinking deeply about my mama, my daddy and my older sister who have passed away... then my beautiful nieces will pop in, or my little sister, and I am reminded my "nest" is not empty, just "renovated" so to speak... your photos and music are so pretty as well... love to you... Bisous... Julie Marie

Kifus said...

Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for such a lovely post.

Nancy Jo said...

Boy that was really nice , it would have taken me a lifetime to put that whole post together. Not all that handy with the know how of moving things to my blog from who knows where. Anyway, I feel about the same way.I love having most of myself back. My kids and four Grand Daughters all Live close by and I see them often but they DON'T LIVE HERE! ha. I had my three kids before I was 25 so I still have some power left. Maybe its the coffee.
I've known women that have a hard time letting the kids fly, and it seems to make for an unhappy situation. Sometimes its the kids that can't let go.
Well I better stop writting before you quit reading.
Nancy Jo

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

What a delightful post - I fear my mother has been going through the empty nest syndrome - for forty years!
I'm sending her the link to this post immediately!

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

sniff, sniff, this is beautiful...you captured "it" perfectly!!!

LiLi M. said...

I think I feel related to Tristan's mother: I'm having empty nest feeling before anybody has left the nest. Time flies with kids, beautiful post Karen!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Karen, in a blog of beautiful posts, I do believe this one is the most beautiful. Thank you for being YOU and for sharing that with us!


Sheila :-)

Snap said...

Beautiful post, Karen. Hugs--

Dogwood said...

Thank you so much for such a sweet post about your empty nest. I have had an empty nest for many years. At first it was so odd and then as I filled my days with things for myself it felt good. My children still fill my nest but in a very different way...all good.

Sharon's Cottage Quilts said...

Karen, each time I read your posts' I am so touched. You are a splended writer and touch my soul! Hugs~Sharon

SharDon Exclusives said...

Karen what a beautiful post!!! Honestly, beautiful and comforting to know there is a tomorrow for all of us that can become empty or full of purpose. It is all in the attitude of gratitude, isn't it? Thank you always for your sweet posts but this one is a "super special"
Thank you for sharing your sweet thoughts,

Kathleen Grace said...

You are so right Karen! About the time I started my own blog, my girls were flying off and I was left wondering who am I now? Our lives are so defined by our children for so many years that it can be a shock to wake up and realize you just aren't needed in that capacity anymore. It is what we want for our kids but I found myself ill prepared for the feeling of being left behind. Blogging has given me a voice and a hobby and a purpose. I am so glad that your beautiful story can enrich others now! What an example you are setting for your own children by using the talents God gave you! Good for you dear friend!


Rhondi said...

Hi Karen
What wonderful thoughts on the empty nest. At first it was an adjustment for me, but now I love it! There is time to think, to create, to find out who I am.
Hugs, Rhondi

Secondhandrose said...

I stumbled here, but not by accident, I can see. Just what I needed to nudge me. And the music too...my name is Karen.

Carol said...

Very beautiful!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Karen, that was truly beautiful. Your words, your thoughts and heart; your photos and theme just speak volumes of truth that hit every woman. I have no children, but what you have said here is ministering to me as I get older and try to hang on with PURPOSE. Thank you for your lovely spirit. You have friends that love you, and I am one of them. Blessings, Anita

A Little Of This And That said...

Seasons... they all have purpose. How wonderful to actually find that purpose in the midst of each one. Beautiful post.

Donna said...

What a beautiful post, Karen.



Joyce said...

Hi Karen-
What a beautiful post. One of these days my nest will be empty again and I'll be able to spend more time on my art. But for now I will enjoy the chaos, even though somedays are beyond patience. Thanks for the gentle reminder to live one day at a time. WE certainly had a fabulous day yesterday didn't we. One day at a time.

vignette design said...

Thank you for a lovely post. I have been dealing with empty nest syndrome for a while. I was a stay at home mom who raised 4 kids. At first I scrapbooked my brains out. Ok, done with that. Then I volunteered at the local food bank. Still doing that! Now I'm blogging and have met some wonderful people in a very short time. Your post summed it all up. We have to find our way, like our children are doing. --Delores

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

What a lovely post Karen. As a mother, I know what it is like to have your nest empty...how wonderful that it lead you to be artistic and creative. And what an honor to have your story being used....

Gary and Elizabeth~ said...

Hi Karen,
Beautifully written, I agree with you. I am so thankful my girls have spread their wings and have grown into lovely women.
A wonderful post,
May you and your family have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

My heart is so full. What a great tribute to you and your gift from this lady. You are brighten this kids lives and making a big difference. You are sooo needed...love...Mary

Sharon said...

Just beautifully said. Lovely post. I am off to fill my nest with new projects! Sharon

Gabriela said...

Hello Karen,

This is such a wonderful post!

~ Gabriela ~

eileeninmd said...

I loved your post, it was so beautiful. The photos and your decorations were just awesome. Well done. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Alison Gibbs said...

Karen such a wonderful post - how lovely for your story book to be used that way.
The empty nest is only as empty as we let it become. Must admit I do like the cleaner house when the nest is empty - my fledlings always seem to come and go, so my nest is never empty of family for long

Lori E said...

I go through a lot of blogs in a day and sometimes the longer posts are just too much but you kept me reading right to the end. Your pictures played a role too but your words were so lovely.
I have one son gone and another at home. I have never thought my life would be empty with them gone from the house. I have looked forward to the days when they are self sufficient since they were babies. That is why we teach them to do things, so that they can become the wonderful adults they are.

Mary said...

Omigosh Karen, how very beautiful! Your words and your images and your WISDOM have brought a tear to my eyes tonight. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful post at MM. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend! :)

storyteller at Sacred Ruminations said...

Wow ... what a marvelous post filled with lovely images, thoughts, and beautiful mosaics ... truly inspirational. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours ;-)
Hugs and blessings,

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

So true, Sweet Karen....there's a whole bunch more life to be lived, isn't there? I still have lonely days when I really miss the time when my little (38 year old) daughter lived with me...and I could hear her chatter every day.....but mostly it's all good, and I'm busy. I'm so happy to hear you found contentment and fulfillment too.