Books to help you in your empty nesting walk

I don’t know about you, but when I am going through something, I like to find books to help me through. Don’t get me wrong, God’s Word is where I always go first. But, finding Christian authors who have written about the subject can bring me wisdom and good direction. So, today I am going to share some book reviews for you in case you are like me and want to find something to help you in your {relatively} empty nesting stage of life. Two of the books I’ve already read, one I am currently reading, and three are on my “to read” list.

If you want to add any reviews, please do so in the comments! I’d love to see what you have found to help.

The Two I’ve Already Read

Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it by Ken Ham & Britt Beemer

I mentioned this book in a  previous post. This book is filled with the results from a study that Answers in Genesis and America’s Research Group did to find out why our young people are leaving the church. If you don’t care for statistics, it can be a dry read. I fall into that category, but found some of their results to be interesting and helped me to understand what was going on with my two young adult children. The big take-away for me from this book was that these kids have left the structured church, they haven’t necessarily walked away from their faith. This would be a great read for those involved in church leadership especially with children and teens. Ham & Beemer give great ideas on how to slow the exodus starting at a young age.

You Never Stop Being  a Parent: Thriving in Relationship with Your Adult Children by Jim Newheiser & Elyse Fitzpatrick

I picked up this book when our son returned home after dropping out of college. My husband and I realized he was living a life far from the one we desired for him and were lost what to do now that he was back home. This book is filled with personal stories gathered by Newheiser. This book helped me tremendously in wading through the waters of parenting a young adult. Our son coming home was now an adult, no longer a teenager–how was that supposed to look? How did we allow him to be an adult but still require respect for us and the conduct we expected from him? While wading through disappointment and confusion, this book gave me some great advice.

Currently Reading

The Afternoon of Life: Finding Purpose and Joy in Midlife by Elyse Fitzpatrick

I started reading this book after one of the gals posted about it on our {relatively} empty nesting Facebook group. She had not read it herself, but had run across it. I’m finding this one to be just as helpful as Fitzpatrick’s other book above. In this book she delves into marriage after the kids are gone, becoming a grandparent (particularly timely for me!), boomerang children, prodigal children, and ministry during our midlife. She is hitting on all the topics that are poignant for me right now. This book would be great to do as a women’s small group study. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter for group or personal study. I highly recommend this one for you ladies out there wondering what this next season of life is supposed to hold.

On the “To Read” List

You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church… and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman

From a review on–“In this book, Kinnaman argues that young people are leaving the church not because they won’t listen or aren’t trying to fathom what the church has to say; actually, quite the opposite is true: a large majority of young people consider themselves spiritual, seeking, or as possessing some sort of faith. However, at some point the message the church is sending doesn’t add up with what they are experiencing in the rest of their lives. As a result, we’re losing them, not just figuratively.You Lost Me, which focuses on the church from the inside out, seeks to explain why young people who have grown up in church are now departing from it, and what older generations of Christians can do to fix the problem.”

I want to read this book for the same reason I read Already Gone. To help me understand where my kids are coming from in their walk and what maybe I can do as their mother to bring them back to life in a community of believers, aka, the church.

Engaging Today’s Prodigal: Clear Thinking, New Approaches, and Reasons for Hope by Carol Barnier

I found this book in the book store at Willow Creek Church outside Chicago. My husband was attending a conference there and one afternoon while I was waiting for him to finish, I wandered around their large book store. The title of this book captured my attention. When looking at the Table of Contents, it grabbed my attention even more–Part One is “Debunking Myths” and Part Two is “Dos and Don’ts”. The author is, herself, a former prodigal. It looks like the book is written with some humor, but also with some very good information and helps for us parents of those 2/3 of 20-somethings that have left the church.

Blessing Your Grown Children by Debra Evans

I, also, found this book on the shelves at Willow Creek.  The book’s description says “Being a parent of an adult child is a delicate balance of loving and accepting the child while maintaining healthy boundaries. Many parents find releasing their grown children a challenge, and while parents usually want to be supportive, the choices adult children make are sometimes unacceptable to them, leading to disappointment, anger, and guilt feelings. Both parents and grown kids have many adjustments to make as the child separates from the parents’ control. With this book, parents will learn to move forward into a new type of relationship with their kids.”

This book interests me because it has a more positive bent. Instead of focusing on the path our children are taking (that we may not like or agree with), it shows how we as parents of adult kids can have a positive influence and give them blessings/praises instead of discouraging and disparaging words. It is a more active book than just gathering information type of book.

I hope in this list you’ve found some books that might be of interest/help to you. Remember, if you’ve found some books to be of use to you, please list them in the comments. Also, if you’ve read any of the books I’ve listed, please let me know what you thought of them. It’ll help others to make a decision on whether they should read them also.



7 thoughts on “Books to help you in your empty nesting walk

  1. Pingback: Books for empty nesting women « Teresa's Thoughts for Today

  2. The Afternoon of Life looks like something I could really relate with right now. I need to be sure and get that one soon. I have You Lost Me that I got for free on Kindle some time back, but haven’t yet read. Blessing Your Grown Children looks really good too. Always nice to get some book reviews and hope to read what others say about these books.

  3. Thanks for the list. I’m going to purchase “Blessing Your Grown Children.” That could only be good for me and them! It will take me a while to read it since I have quite a few books to make it through but I’ll get back to you when I have an opinion/review.

  4. Thanks for posting this list! I’ve always loved reading so I’m thankful for this time in my life when I can dedicate more of my time to reading for my own pleasure. I’ve read “Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it” by Ken Ham & Britt Beemer. I would agree with you that it is a bit dry but I was able to glean some valuable information. Recently, I’ve read “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church… and Rethinking Faith” by David Kinnaman and found it to be very interesting.

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