Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ON FIRE TO RETIRE-by Heidi McLaughlin

For years people have been asking me, “So when are you going to finally retire?” For years my response has been: “Retire from what to what? I will KNOW when it is time for me to retire.”

I knew God would give me absolute clarity when the time was right, and that time has come. I woke up one morning and in my spirit I clearly heard the words, “It’s time to retire.”  At the moment it is an exciting yet daunting and mysterious time in my transitional life. At the time of this blog, I have 9 working days left. 

I have had a fulfilling and exciting career for the past 35 years. I have managed a large law office and for the past 21 years I have been the controller for two car dealership franchises. For the past 18 years I have juggled my career with a speaking, writing and mentoring ministry, being a pastor’s wife and being a mother and step mom of a large family.  It has been a rich, fulfilling and satisfying era and an exciting and mysterious future awaits. For over 35 years I have had a scheduled routine of getting up at 6:00, doing my devotions, going to work, working all day and then doing my other ministry in the evenings and weekends.  When the glow wears off, what does the new future look like?

I have discovered that when it comes to the subject of retirement there at two camps.
Camp #1 – “Oh dear, you’re finally going to retire. What are you going to do?”

Camp #2 -  Great news, you are finally retiring. You are going to love it.  You will now have a new freedom and you will wonder how you ever managed to hold down a full time job. I know God has great and mighty projects waiting for you.”

At the moment I am chomping at the bit to finish my 9 working days.  God has richly provided for me all these years and I know without a shadow of a doubt that He will care for me and meet all my future needs. I am on fire to discover:
  • What it’s like to write a book during the week, and not until midnight and on weekends in my P.J.’s
  • What it feels like to NOT have to get up early each morning.
  • To be able to take vacations and long weekends whenever I want. I can’t even imagine.
  • To take the time to write articles, submit stories to publishers, and linger during the beautiful summer evenings.
  • Not get agitated with interrupted interruptions.
  • Embrace divine moments.
  • Linger with friends.
  • Leisurely plant the flowers on my deck and take the time to beautify my garden.
  • Be fully engaged in what God has for me in this next season of life.
Our wonderful God tells us in the book of Ephesians 2:20 that “He has good works for us to do”, and I eagerly await the picture of what those good works look like.

For those of you who have already embraced this season; I would love your words or encouragement and wisdom to help me transition through this most marvellous and mysterious season.

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends. You can reach her at:


David Kitz said...

I have made the transition to official retirement and find that I am still very busy and active, just with different things. I wouldn't want it any other way and you strike as someone who will stay active as well.

Glynis said...

Oh Heidi. I am excited for you. I am sure you are going to easily fill every waking hour as you retire, though. But the beauty of it, is you get to call the shots in most areas. I have recently retired from 18 years of tutoring, but it has been exchanged for 24 hour care of my father - that said, I am managing to get a little more writing in than I did before. I think the key is to be grateful and then God blesses. I know you are and I know you will be (blessed). Thanks for the great post and 8 more days to go! Yay! Sleep in the first day.

Peter Black said...

I sense your anticipation Heidi, and it has a familiar ring and feel, for I retired almost five years ago.
As others have also experienced, I wonder how I ever managed to accomplish so much - including writing, when I was in fulltime pastoral service.
Still, this is about you, and so I wish you every blessing and fruitful success with joy and peace, in all that the Lord leads you to do. ~~+~~

Heidi at Heart Connection said...

All your words are sweet to my ears. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences.i believe when we are serving our Lord, there is always another adventure around the corner. I love it that I can share some of it with like-minded, wonderful people-like you.

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