It’s My Turn is a collection of faith-based essays for women facing the empty-nest stage. Author Janine Hall uses the terminology “empty nest” to include not only children leaving home, but also retirement and loss of a spouse through divorce or death.
Hall’s aim is to “define the challenges…, outline helpful skills and attitudes…, and give you practical and godly ideas” for navigating the empty nest. Her essays, typically two to four pages, offer well-written bits of advice or information, organized into six categories: problems and possibilities, stress, relationships, Christian purpose (for life), personal development, and finding serenity.
These helpful pieces are based on Hall’s experiences, Christian faith, and research. In “Creativity,” for example, she relates her own interest in decorating and crafts, but further explains that creative outlets can be as simple as rearranging a closet or improvising a recipe. She quotes research noting that creative activities can slow memory loss, reduce stress, and help a person feel younger.
Departing from the informational tone of most other essays, “Until Death Do Us Part” connects on a personal level as Hall imparts her grief after her husband’s death: “As a year passes, I am functioning and doing things, but I feel dead on the inside. I wonder if spring will ever come to the frozen wasteland inside my soul.”
In most essays, Hall includes a note at the end crediting other sources, as in: “Contains some ideas from the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey and some Christian truths from the Bible.” This rather vague approach may cause readers to question which ideas are Hall’s versus others.
Nonetheless, It’s My Turn will be a welcome read to empty nesters seeking a combination of biblical and contemporary advice and information for finding purpose in later life. Women still working and parenting will also be gently prodded to develop interests in advance of the empty nest years.
Also available as an ebook.