God is able to do more than we can ever ask for or imagine.
I never dreamed about my retirement years. I loved teaching too much; the challenge of reaching my students became my ministry, my passion. Even on holidays and summer break I continued to make plans, create lessons, design units of study.
And then in 2010 the fun was gone; I couldn’t see improvement in my students. By October I knew it was time to go. I told my principal I hoped I could make it to Christmas.
In retirement I have found opportunities I did not expect: time for relaxing, reading, and writing this blog, ways to minister and give mercy, a space and supplies to create in a variety of ways – even opportunity to teach some teens and pre-teens art.
I’ve found a group of prayer warriors who circle round each other each Wednesday night to pray for others and those among us in need. These women have battled cancer and other diseases that hover close when we reach our sixties and seventies. Some have become caregivers for their child or husband or other relatives. Together their collective wisdom can address most any crisis with a compassionate spirit of encouragement. Just this week, instead of spending half the hour in prayer we spent the whole hour praying for each other and others we knew.
The other thing about these women that challenges me is how many ways they minister to others, from collecting supplies to fill backpacks in the fall, organizing toiletry supplies for the homeless in the winter, preparing and delivering food to many in need, fundraising for a women’s shelter, visiting assisted living homes, sewing and crocheting items to send to Haiti, Honduras, and Africa. I’m leaving out more of their good works. They are widows, single mothers, married with grandchildren, black and white, who welcome all who enter our class.
I’ve also found a beautiful deep well of riches of spirituality from writers and bloggers. Women I’ve never met, except through their writing, have stirred my heart, challenged my thinking, opened my mind, and given me dreams to share my story and my writing.
The verse in Ephesians from the Amplified Bible says this about what God can do: far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]
Today I thank God for
- the blessings I have found in retirement
- Wednesday night prayer warriors
- His power that is at work in us
- writers and bloggers with hearts dedicated to their Father
Confession: I began this in morning and when I came back to at 7:30 P.M. it turned into a blog much longer than five minutes!