Wow! I have been a busy girl for the past six months and way out of my comfort zone!!! As I reflect on the opportunities God has provided for me since "retirement",
I am amazed and awed and just continue to love, love, love this life He is giving me (struggles and all)!!!
I have had to rely on Him DAILY as I have taken on the role of "traveling educational consultant" for a major publishing company. I have literally texted/called Jimmy night and morning asking for him to PRAY continuallly to get me through the day. And bless my sweet husband - so dilligent to pray, encourage, support, and hold the fort down on the home front - he and GOD got me through these initial months of learning the ropes of traveling and effectively supporting teachers from one end of the country to the other!
On the road, not long ago, I was praying for confirmation that I was, indeed, following His will and plan for my life with all this going and doing - AND that very day I met a sweet, little ole bilingual teacher who put her arms around me and said (please insert the accent), "I am a Believer. I think you must be one, also. Thank you for coming and teaching our teachers. One day when you learn Spanish we may read the Bible together in that language." (I was probably the ONLY one in the building who was not bilingual! Bless her, she had hope for me!) And thus I met a sweet sister in New Jersey! I ALSO spotted a door decoration for the Crimson Tide in another school that week and cold chills literally went up and down my spine. It was like a MESSAGE that Someone had known I was coming and posted a welcome for me. (Well, of course, Someone DID know!)
AND now - not quite so busy during the winter months. Thanksgiving - what a blessing to have family together. Christmas - a sweet memory. NOW to reclaim some "MARGINS" in my life! (Thank you, Brother John, for the concept of margins.) Now, Brother John refers to "margins" as gaps in the busy life that allow for the working of HIM. And although He has been working overtime to get me through the past six months, I have had little time to reflect, rest, ponder, and just simply BREATHE!!! But I am extending the MARGIN concept a bit to include not only TIME, but SPACE as well.
Space margins have grown exponentially during my subsequent purge of excess. The charity bins overflow! I hope my stuff finds a new home! (Have you read the book, 7 - An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess ?) Jen Hatmaker was my inspiration here. She just got me started. I plan to do more. I have been cleaning and organizing like crazy just to increase my margins in this area!!!
Time margins are another matter entirely. Retirement opens up a new spectrum of possibities for use of time. So, now that my parttime job (that sometimes feels like fulltime), has eased up a bit, I am finding time to plug in more reflection time, thus my current reentry to the blog scene!!! When I contemplated retirement, I thought I would be reading, studying, reflecting and blogging daily, then lunching with buddies!!! Not a bad plan - just not HIS plan!!
Getting up a bit earlier to have some quiet time and reflection and letting Him guide my "to do" list increases my daily margins - believe it or not!!! I still have the same amount of time. Yet I find that with Him guiding the day - there is not this URGENCY to move on to the next thing. If He is making my plan - I can be current and intentional with whatever I am doing, because I know it is HIS plan not my plan! And I can contemplate how He will use this activity for my good or for the good of another. Daily RENEWAL imparts a sense of PEACE.
Reflect, Reclaim, Renew - That's what I'm after this New Year!
Please help me develop healthy margins in my life that honor You and allow for You to work daily to guide my thoughts, words, and actions. Amen
A few family photos.