"A young adult who returns to live with parents after a period of living away from home." The above definition is straightforward and precise. However, there are so many unwritten experiences that this definition does not explain. Our family dynamics have drastically shifted within the past few months. What once was an empty nest has become a full home once again. We are now three generations living in one house. We are a 23 year Air Force family. Moving, changing, and uprooting our lives have been our normal. Our address is our future and our new beginning. Our children are the one thing in our life that has total control over us, without us having very much control over them. Becoming a parent exposes you to your real character.

The best parents are not the ones who have all the answers and have everything figured out. The best parents are the people who understand that their greatest expression of love is selflessness. Having a plan is excellent if it is in pencil. Flexibility makes life easier. "She or he who is flexible is not easily broken." We live in a time where love, grace, and kindness seem to be lost virtues. Having our daughter back at home is a gift that reminds us of the importance of putting others before ourselves. Gil and I have been married 31 years. Love, communication, and selflessness and out servicing one another is the foundation of our relationship. In life, every foundation will be shaken. When you have a house with three headstrong women, a newborn girl, and one man, you are destined to experience estrogen overload. We are all human, so we have good and bad days. Here are some of the things we practice to keep our full house harmonious: JOY- we used this when our girls were going up as well.

Jesus, others, and yourself equal JOY! It goes back to being selfless. Without Christ, in the center of our life, it's impossible to put others before ourselves. Open communication is a must because, as parents, we sometimes forget that we must share our concerns and complaints with our adult children and remember that they are still adults. We use "I" statements. For example, "I have a problem when you do or do not do something." "I feel like…..when you….." Remember, we only control ourselves. I can only address how I feel, not the other person. We use the "sandwich" method, where we share two good things and only one issue or concern at a time. We always go to the source of the issue, the person you have a problem or conflict with. We don't discuss it with other people. Problems can't be solved when you discuss your problem with another person. Relationships are redundant and complicated; conflicts are only a problem when they become personal. Share everything with love, truth, and grace. We hope that our experiences will enhance your story today or in the future by sharing our story.

Read Chapter 14: John 14:5 King James Version (KJV)

5 Thomas said unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

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