Empty Nest Moms

Have you ever had one of those nights, where thoughts about your adult child swirl in your head, keeping you from the sleep your body craves? 

Do worries tend to steal your peace and vain imaginations wreak havoc on your relationship?

Seriously, I’ve been there, bought the tee-shirt, and drank the Kool-aid!  When I’m chewing on negative thoughts, not even Tylenol PM can put this momma to sleep.

Negative Thoughts destroy your peaceYou know the drill, your son or daughter hasn’t called or contacted you in over a week.  First, you begin to wonder if they’re okay?  Has something happened to them?  Are they suffering from amnesia and, therefore, they don’t even remember their name, much less yours?  But then, you see they’ve posted on social media (hmmm…).

Now, you’re just a tad bit upset (but at least they’re alive), and you play back the recordings in your head of your last couple of interactions with them.  Did I do something wrong, you wonder?  Did I offend them?

Or, perhaps, you have a confrontation with your child.  They forgive and forget about it and think everything is fine, but you continue to stew, thinking of the things you could have and should have said.  You dwell on your feelings; how offended and hurt you are.  You think about how you have been such an excellent parent to these precious jewels.  How could they be so indifferent, you wonder?  After all I’ve done for them!

Do these scenarios sound familiar to anybody?  Somebody?  Am I alone, here?


More often than not, I’ve found that I tend to blow things out of proportion (I can just hear my daughter saying, “ya think!”).  I allow my mind to be kidnapped by the enemy of my soul, leaving me thinking like a madwoman instead of like the Blood-bought child of God that I am.

Paul admonished us about our thought life in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

There is a place of obedience to the Lord, where He promises to fight our battles for us.  When we let our thoughts get out of control, we are no longer walking in that obedience.  Therefore, we leave a door open for the enemy to come in and bring division in our relationship with our children (or anyone for that matter).


Mommas, we have to become victorious over our thought life!  I know that can be easier said than done but we have the greater One living in us to help us in our weakness
(1 John 4:4, Romans 8:26).

I’ll admit, keeping my thoughts captive has been a daily struggle for me throughout my walk.  I know that if I can get this life-lesson down, my relationships will be better for it.  I’ve witnessed the hurt in my children’s eyes and heard the bewildering disappointment in their voices because I’ve let my unbridled thoughts determine what comes out of my mouth.  If I only had a dollar for every time I’ve confronted my children based on faulty thinking, my husband might be able to retire by now.

Have you ever heard the saying: Your Thoughts determine your destiny
“Watch your thoughts; they become your words.
Watch your words; they become your actions.
Watch your actions; they become your habits.
Watch your habits; they become your character.
Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.”

Our thoughts have the power to shape our destiny.  If we are not cautious about the thoughts we think, our destiny may not include a flourishing relationship with the people we love.

I remember a time when the Lord prompted me to think about the thoughts I think.  Have you ever done that?  My goodness, those negative thoughts pop up at a monumental rate.  So how do we take them captive?

  • Negative thoughts that creep into my mind like an uninvited visitor are dealt with quickly. I rebuke them (out loud…or at least in a whisper) and command that they leave.  Sometimes I may have to do this several times an hour.  The enemy doesn’t give up easily!  You have to speak to your mind and tell it, “I ain’t going there!”  If you resist the enemy, he will flee! (James 4:7)
  • I pray over my mind on a daily basis. I also pray for my children each day.  Covering them with the Blood of Jesus and confessing God’s Word over their minds and hearts.
  • I replace a negative thought with a positive one.


Taking captive our thoughts is spiritual warfare.  The enemy hates it when we have healthy relationships with our family.  Why?  Our family is supposed to be a model to the world of Kingdom living.  If we live in a state of continual dysfunction, we are not portraying to those around us the power of the Gospel, the love of God, or the ability to overcome in difficult circumstances.

Bringing every thought into captivity I’ve noticed that when I’m dwelling on negative thoughts, I often tend to be a bit grumpier, a tad depressed, and I open the door for bitterness to creep into my life.  It’s not worth it!

I encourage you this week to take captive those thoughts.  Pay attention to the thoughts that roam freely inside of your head.  For most of us, this is not anything new for us to learn.  It’s just that sometimes we forget to put this important principle into practice.

In the movie, Hook, Peter Pan can only fly when he thinks happy thoughts.  I leave you with this…if you want to soar with God…think happy thoughts.

Feel free to email me and share with me some of your trials, lessons learned, and the experiences you’ve had as your children have left the nest so that I can share it on my blog and others can learn from your journey.

Leave a comment, and please…share with friends that, along with us, need strength for the journey!

Learning to soar,



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Cindy Schroppel is an author, blogger and speaker

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  • Great post! I definitely know those moments when the enemy invades my mind and sets up camp. Yes I certainly have had to allow Holy Spirit to help me capture those negative thoughts! Thank you for sharing and encouraging us to practice capturing negative thoughts.

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