When I was teaching full time, it was often overwhelming to keep bulletin boards current, let alone creative! I especially disliked putting up those big cut out letters. I had them sorted alphabetically, but it took time to pull all the ones I needed. And how many times did I have to change the color scheme or go with random colors because I couldn’t find one last red “e” or a capital “T” that had to be blue?
Even worse was getting the letters spaced evenly on the board. I’d measure and figure and measure again. How wide is the fat “O” compared to a skinny “I”? No matter what, I’d still end up with letters allsquishedtogetherattheend and have to start over. So I avoided letters whenever I could. Pictures are worth a thousand words. Right?
Then there was bulletin board envy as I visited a colleague’s room. Where did she get the time and energy to make 20 hot air balloons, decorate them with each child’s picture and favorite things… and get the title, “Up, Up and Away! Our Class is Soaring High!” spaced just right??
I did do some very creative bulletin boards, but they took many, many hours, and who has that kind of time on a regular basis? In a teacher’s store I once saw a sign that said “Under Construction,” and I thought that was the best idea since spring break. It was ideal for that time in early March when green St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks needed to replace red Valentine hearts, but there was no time between lunch duties and report cards. Of course, there was a danger–the temptation to leave that sign up through Easter and Memorial Day and Flag Day and… oh wait. Is it time for fall leaves and squirrels already?!!!!
You’ve probably guessed where I’m going with this! I feel like I need to put that “Under Construction” sign on my blog and even on my life right now. We retired from full-time ministry about a year ago, and I haven’t posted since! We are so thankful to be able to retire, but we’ve been struggling to figure out this new part of our path–praying and seeking God’s guidance on what ministries to get involved in, what church to attend (we’ve never had to do that before), and how two people, one a planner, the other a-spur-of-the-moment person, can handle time together, as in: “You want to visit the botanical gardens TODAY??? I’m sorry I’m going to the Y at 9, meeting _______ for lunch, and then I have a dentist appointment at 3. How about we put it on the calendar for next Thursday?” Then… there’s our differing space and noise needs: one likes silence, while the other likes music and TV.
One major direction the Lord has moved us is even farther West–to Colorado, where we are closer to a part of our family. I never thought this Maine girl would move that far west, but I thought that about Oklahoma and Texas, too. And we enjoyed Oklahoma’s wide skies and fiery sunsets and Texas’ warm winters and now miss the churches we served and the friends we made in those places. It is such a blessing, though, to be here in Colorado,
and attend soccer games and plays and be in on some of the upcoming wedding preparations!
So just as bulletin boards need to change with the seasons, I need to be open to the seasonal changes that life brings. One thing that will never change, though, is the Lord’s loving kindness. He will continue to guide us through those changes.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:7-10
Amidst the many changes, I am praying that the Lord will help me to continue my writing. I have had some devotions and stories published in adult and children’s magazines and have other things out there, including a children’s chapter book. Next month I am visiting a field research site to continue my research for a children’s nonfiction article. I’m excited to be able to go and see a scientist at work in the field!
And a fellow writer is working on a website for me, and I hope to use that to get back to speaking to groups about art and Christian history and doing some drawing and art workshops for homeschoolers and other adults and children.
Then there is this blog! Many of you have been so faithful to read it and have told me you’ve missed it, which I really appreciate. But the blog too, needs some construction work to stay current. The problem is I’m still looking for the Lord’s leading for how to reconstruct it. One day I think I should do more art projects for children. (Quite a few of you liked those). Another day I decide to do the Life of Christ through art. Sometimes I think I should chronicle this retirement adventure! I just don’t know yet
So until I know, I will leave my “Under Construction” sign up.
Please pray with me for inspiration and not too much procrastination! And let me know if you have any suggestions.