How are you doing, empty nest mom? Do you have some extra time on your hands now that the kids are grown? After all those years of pouring into your children are you now wondering—as I was a few years ago—what purposeful thing to do with your life?
Well, how about reaching out to a young mom… investing in the life of a woman who is walking the path you were on only a decade or so ago. Giving of ourselves to others brings such joy, such satisfaction. Plus, through giving, we receive… and often so much more than we ever give out, so much more than we could have ever imagined. I am seeing that play out in my own life right now, and I hope that my experience will convince you that it is a huge blessing to give of yourself to others.
Last spring, a gal from my church was put on bed rest with a difficult pregnancy. With three children ranging from 3 to 10, being down for several months definitely made for some challenges for this sweet lady and her family. Without question, they were in need of some tangible help. It wouldn’t have been enough to say “I’ll be praying that everything works out” and then not do anything practical to help her (James 2:15-16 ). Yes, this family needed prayer, but they also needed some daily assistance.
Though the family goes to my church, I barely knew them. Sure, I knew who they were, but with the mom being 20 years younger than I and the two of us being in different seasons of life… our paths didn’t cross much. However, they live close to me (about 2 miles away), and it was in my power to help.
God put upon my heart to take a meal to their family on a regular basis throughout the remainder of her pregnancy.
Now, I could have said, “Really, God? Surely you don’t want me to do that. I mean, I don’t really know her.” But knowing that I would have no peace if I sought to run from what God had put upon my heart, I stepped out in obedience. I took their family a meal pretty much once a week for about 3 months. As I popped by each week, I got to know the kids… and I got to know her. I prayed with her and for her, and I encouraged her with cards every now and then.
A friendship sprang up between us, and with each visit, it blossomed and grew. And not just between her and me, but between every member of both our families. Their family has become very dear to us, and we get together with them often. We love them deeply, and they love us. In fact, not long ago, my friend said to me, “You know, family’s not always blood. Your family is like family to us.”
Wow, what a gift! For the price of a few meals, I received a family! Talk about receiving far more than I gave!
It really is a blessing to give to others–to build into their lives. And I’m especially talking to those women who are in my season of life–the ones who are no longer busy with needy little ones, the ones who have a bit more time on their hands, the ones wondering “what now?” after spending years raising their own families.
Would you reach out to a younger mom? Would you seek to build a friendship with and give of your time to a woman younger than yourself? Would you invest in the life of the generation behind you? I have no doubt that you will be blessed beyond measure by doing so!