JUST RELAX – and enjoy the journey!

I am so excited today to have a guest writing this post. Her name is Joanne and she is a dear friend of mine. She has been a gift to me in this season of life. Joanne has a heart for women and loves seeing them become all that God has called them to be. She also loves traveling, searching out cafes for the perfect cappuccino, and spending time with her five grandchildren. We have a great time together when she and her husband make their way to South Florida (as you can see in this picture). After reading this post you will want to check out her blog “Flavours”. (the link is in my sidebar under Blogs I Follow)

JUST RELAX – and enjoy the journey!

Many of my friends are in seasons of transition right now – some are retiring, or semi-retiring; one friend is beginning to look after grandchildren full time (God bless her!), others are slowing down, changing jobs, cutting hours, downsizing from their beloved family home to a condo … and the list goes on and on.

Some appear to be sailing through the changing times easily, others – not so much.

In 2018 we transitioned the church we were lead pastors of for 33 years to the next generation.  So the past two years have certainly been transition years for me.  For sure, when you pour your life as a couple into something for that long, it’s like letting go of a child that you raised.  I think I have learned a few things along this journey that hopefully will help you, whatever season of life you are in right now. 

Here are five things that I wish I had embraced fully, two years ago when my transition began.

  • DON’T COMPARE! THIS IS HUGE! God’s word says that we are not wise when we compare ourselves to others.  Comparison can very easily lead to dissatisfaction or discontentment. Dissatisfaction leads to self-pity, and self-pity can easily spiral to depression.  I remember comparing my situation to a friend who is exactly my age, pastored for the same number of years I did, etc. and it was very easy to envy her life at this stage.  But her plan is different than mine, her journey is different also.  And there are things in her life that I wouldn’t be content with.  I love MY life!
  • DON’T RUSH INTO THE NEXT SEASON WITHOUT PAUSING.  I have to say, I blew this one.  It’s easy to fill your schedule with things because you’re so used to being busy all the time. But what if the Lord has something He is trying to lead you into, and you haven’t made room for it? My first year was so busy it was crazy.  Nothing productive is ever accomplished when you rush, and there is no quicker way to lose your joy than to always be moving to the next thing.  Enjoy the pause!  It’s a time to re-group, not blindly forge ahead.
  • DON’T DO THINGS OUT OF GUILT. Depending on what your job was, many times you do things because you are giving in to the expectations of others.  If there’s EVER a time to let that go, it’s when you’re in a season of transition! I know at this season of my life, I don’t do things because of someone else’s expectations.  I say ‘no’ totally without guilt. (Why didn’t I learn this years ago?)  I know that sounds selfish, but it isn’t.  Saying no to one thing always means saying yes to something else, and vice versa.  I want to spend my time doing things out of joy and peace, not out of guilt.
  • STAY CONNECTED TO OTHERS WHO ARE IN THE SAME SEASON AS YOU. We can be such an encouragement to one another. We can share ideas that motivate and inspire each other! One of my good friends in the same season of life as I am is currently organizing a monthly zoom call for a few of us who are spread out geographically but are walking through similar things.  I’m really looking forward to it!
  • LOOK TO THE FUTURE WITH FAITH AND EXPECTANCY, NOT WITH FEAR AND INSECURITY. There really are so many amazing adventures ahead.  Seek them out!

Make a list of what you want to do in this new season.  For me, it was things like – family time, trips with my husband, mentoring young women, going to the gym every day, reading, counseling, preaching or teaching when asked, taking time to be spontaneous, cultivating friendships both with girlfriends and with other couples, more time outdoors, and more.

I also know that I really don’t  know the whole plan for this season yet, and that’s exciting.

In any transition, we need to listen to the leading of the Lord.  He opens doors, he closes doors.  I know His plan is good, and I want to be willing and obedient through every circumstance. He is always faithful to direct our steps.

In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths!

Proverbs 3:6