For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…Jeremiah 29:11
I turned the page and I’m blazing into the next phase of this great life God is continuously unfolding before me. At the beginning of this month, I became a retired teacher. It was a decision that involved lots and lots of prayer and it was absolutely the most bittersweet thing I’ve ever done but there has been great peace. I think the peace is a direct result of that 30 minutes for 30 days before Jesus last winter. He has blessed me with contentment and is laying out the next leg of my service like a red carpet before me. I have to trust Him with my whole heart because I truly left the best job on the planet, working with the most amazing group of teachers and staff in the most authentically Catholic school you could ever imagine. Teaching at St. Mary is like working at a Catholic Disneyland and my heart aches a as I step away from my friends, the students and the families who have allowed me to be a part of their children’s lives. It absolutely was a spectacular experience and it will leave a hole! To have been a part of something so wonderful, I am truly grateful to God and the community of St. Mary School.
Just as the thought of retirement was beginning to settle in, my ministry took me to Boise Idaho last weekend to lead a weekend retreat for the Deacons and their wives. The Father showed up in such a powerful way there, that as I got on the plane to come home yesterday my heart was so full, I almost needed a second seat. I marvel that of all the people walking on this planet, He chose me to do this work! As I was reveling at the way the Holy Spirit had been at work over the weekend the next series of events just made me laugh. I have a deal with Him when I travel. I give Him permission to do anything He wants to do with my return flight and I will be grateful and not complain one bit as long as He doesn’t mess with the front end of my travel and gets me where I need to be on time. He took me up on it yesterday in a rather comical way. I actually had a chance to fly standby on a 9 am flight instead of my 3pm flight and I was so excited…but then we boarded the early flight and spent 7 hours on and then many hours in the Minneapolis airport it so I got to Grand Rapids about midnight. I just smiled, told him thank you and sat in my seat and watched 3 movies. He truly is a God of surprises.
I’ve spent a lot of time since I decided to retire praying about what my goals during this next phase of life are. I can absolutely say that being a grandma is priority number one! I cherish every minute I get with my family. Ministry and writing are the second thing that will be a big part of my days but I felt like I really needed a clear purpose. As I prayed and read, being open to His plan, it hit me right upside the head! I was reading and these words mapped it out perfectly. The goal of a life rooted in Christ is; Simply spend each day practicing being like Jesus. There ya go! I love that it said “practice” because being good at anything involves lots and lots of practice. The very next day I read these words in another book on my table; “You will be able to enter Jesus to the extent you go outside of yourself.”
I remember wondering one day in the middle of the chaos of May; what will my days be like? What will my routine look like? What do retired people usually do? Just as I was puddling these and other thoughts in my head, I read these words; “God is calling us to be unusual.” If we live the usual way, we do the same things, watch the same shows, cook the same meals, hang out with the same people, repeat the same activities, worry about the same things and think about the things we should do differently. I guess now is the perfect time to make a list of the ways my days will be unusual!
The final snippet He sent me in my prayer about this next adventure came after a few days of trying to be realistic with my plans and new schedule. “Don’t worry about being realistic, NOTHING Jesus did was realistic, don’t be afraid to be, think and dream ridiculous!” So if the goal is to practice being like Jesus I’m plugging forward with a desire to get outside myself and my desires and plans in unusual and ridiculous ways. I think that sounds like an excellent plan! As I was asking him to show me where to go and what to do, I came across these words of St. Catherine of Siena, “To the servant of God, every place is the right place and every time is the right time.”
A Seed To Plant: Pick one of these quotes and jot it down and pray with it to see where the Holy Spirit might be inviting you to go and grow.
Blessings on your day!
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