Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Our Transition to Retirement


It's been a bit silent here, as we've been transitioning into this new season of life for us. After 49 years of marriage, and 48 years of being in full-time ministry together, this is definitely a new season!

Also in addition with our transition to retirement, we, along with the rest of our country and world, have had quite an unusual year 2020.  We're all charting unfamiliar waters, filled with many challenges, but also, filled with unexpected joys, as we are held in God's faithful, loving care.

Two of the unexpected joys we've experienced recently have been two wonderful trips! Unexpected because of the extended Covid quarantine life we all have been living in one degree or another. 

These two recent trips in September/October have truly been gifts from God! There's nothing like a long road-trip to make a person feel the joys of retirement! Here's a little peek at our 15-day trip with dear friends, Jack & Linda! We started planning this trip in mid-July, and left on Sept. 9th ...

First of many digital scrapbook pages from our Glacier Trip.

There are no words to describe the joy of traveling with kindred-heart friends! Our main destination was beautiful Glacier National Park in northwest Montana, followed by Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, Arches NP, Canyonland NP, and Rocky Mountain NP. Also the gorgeous Grand Mesa National Forest near Grand Junction, CO. Such beauty everywhere, even on the roads and highways traveling between these parks in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. We're thankful for God's protection as we traveled, and for the soul-filling fellowship and fun that we enjoyed!! 

We also greatly enjoyed the very special treat of being with Cristy & Mark, and their family in Wylie, TX (near Dallas) the beginning of this month! Even more special during this Covid year when we haven't been able to be with family as much as we would love to. Cristy & Mark are down to only having one of their four children still at home now ... our sweet granddaughter, Brianna (8th grade). We timed our trip so that it would be over a weekend when we could watch Brianna cheer at a junior-high football game! We loved being able to be there for that!

We were also able to spend time with Luke, a freshman at nearby Dallas Baptist University, when he came home during the weekend. It was very fun to meet his girlfriend, too.

Also some sweet times with Crystal, who is an intern at a recording studio in Dallas, after graduating from DBU in August! It was such a treat to see her, and also Luke, as we had missed both of their graduations (Crystal from college, and Luke from high school) during the summer because of Covid.                                                                                                               

We sure missed seeing Abigail & Addison on this trip to TX, as they are now serving in Japan with World Venture! We love connecting with them in various ways that social media, and texting provide.

It has been a big transition for us from full-time ministry for 48 years, to now actually being retired! There have been many details to care for, and with these two amazing trips, we definitely are now "feeling" the joys of retirement! The challenges of life continue (daily tasks, doctor appointments, responsibilities, also the challenges of this Covid season and election season), but we continually are thanking God for clearly leading us to this point. It has also been a joy to connect with Jake (now as the Cru Omaha leader here!), and also some former Cru High students in the area!

We took a day to enjoy the fall beauty along the Loess Hills scenic highway in mid-October. Here is a scrapbook page picturing some of what we saw ...

We cherish the gifts of family, friendships, and the beauty of God's creation! And we look forward to keeping in touch here during our retirement.

Also, here are some links to blog posts Cherry has written during this month on her Pursuing Heart blog. Gary also looks forward to writing his thoughts on a variety of subjects here in the weeks/months ahead.