Saturday, July 22, 2017

Seamless Transition

Some people may get sick of hearing this, and if so, they can move on to the next blog.  But, I am amazed at how seamless my transition to retirement has been.  First, there is the miracle of it at all.  There are a handful of people who know why it is a miracle, and it will stay that way.  They know that, given the facts, it is only through Him that it happened.

So, I should not be surprised at how easy the transition has been.  My NC friend always says, "He's got it," or "He's already worked it out."  The thing that sorta-kinda surprised me is that I don't miss school.at.all. At.all.

I was always one who was chained to the work email, and I had one boss for a very long time who expected it.  Our fabulous tech person told me my email account would be closed in July; well, I was locked out the last week of June.  At first, I thought I made a mistake; I kept trying for about three days.  Then, reality sunk in:  Ginger, you're out.  

And, for this recovering work email addict, I didn't need rehab.  

I still can't believe I am free at 54 years-old.  I can do whatever-I-want-whenever-I-want-without-asking-permission-or-forgiveness.  I have so many projects around the house when this summer is over and cool weather comes.  I have to power wash the house and finally get fifteen years plus of yard debris from areas of the yard that have yet to be revealed.  Then, there are painting projects.  Oh, and my crocheting ministry that I have joined.  All of these along with my other ventures will keep me busy---*my* kind of busy.

I can not begin to express what freedom feels like.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Thankful

Sometimes, I think we just need to stop--really stop--and count our blessings.  I tend to be a worrier, though I am SO much better than I was twenty years ago.  God has done so much in my life that I could fill many blog posts. In fact,  I have written many about what he has done, but today I was struck again by his faithfulness to the point I was almost in tears.  And, I do need to journal about it tonight.  I won't go into specific details here, but let's just say yesterday and last night were not good for me. He knew I needed encouragement, and he sent two people via Facebook Messenger to do just that; one lives an hour away, but the other is in Sweden or Finland right now with his son's soccer.  Well, that's pretty close to Russia, so he couldn't be much further; yet, God uses the power of the internet.  How awesome is that that God is tech-saavy?  Anyway, I *KNEW* beyond a shadow of any doubt that those messengers were godly-sent.  So, today, I am taking time out to count my blessings.  These are simply as they come to me; they are not ranked in any order at all:

1.  my health and my family's health
2.  my son's job and volunteerism
3.  my retirement (that itself is a miracle)
4.  opportunities He has opened
5.  provisions He has made
6.  a really, really good friend in the form of a former student who is God's mouthpiece to me (quite often)
7.  ability to "be there" for my parents when needed
8.  a dependable friend who is more like a sister from "another muther" who has been with me through all my cancer surgeries and tests
9.  pets' health (even my poor Miles in kidney failure is still pretty active for 20)
10.  plenty of food and a roof over my head
11.  the ability to do for P
12.  the calling for another service, but it seems to have been spurned.  This needs prayer.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Rebirth








If you read my last blog post, you know I have been battling the demons my entire life.  I have been damaged by nasty comments about my weight and appearance (STATURE) since childhood.  I have to throw God in here with this post because I truly feel He is leading me to healing.  If you have time, pull up a chair and keep reading.

So, if you know me in real life, you probably know I am retiring this summer (this month) after 29 years of teaching. To those who taught with me or whom I taught, I probably came across as loud and self-assured, and perhaps even brash.  The classroom was *my* domain; it was comfortable, and I was in charge.  Most of my former students will admit that about me if nothing else.

However, in my personal life, at the core of who I am, I am an introvert and very shy.  I know now it stems from being damaged from a lifetime of being bullied about my weight and stature, from family, colleagues, and even strangers.  God's timing is everything.  Forgive me if I ramble, but I'm writing as I think with this post.

Yesterday, as I was leaving the house to go to my parents' house, I felt God speak to me and say, "You're not going to spend the rest of your life in the house."  My parents are 86 and 89, so if the world keeps spinning, I could live another 30 years or so, based on my genetic pool.  Many people have asked me, "What are you going to do when you retire?  Won't you get bored?"

Some people know I have side jobs; I'm Nanny G to Charlie the doodle and kitties Harper and Radley (from To Kill a Mockingbird), plus a yet-to-be-acquired lab pup; I'm also a tutor and mentor with an online tutoring company.  So, technically I have three part-time jobs.  Mentoring requires specific work, but when I want within certain time frames; tutoring is optional, so I can do as much or as little as I want, up to a total of 28 hours a week for both jobs.  The thing is, all of these jobs are done alone, wherever I have an internet connection.

But, the title of this post is "Rebirth," so let me get to that.  Back in March or April I was following one of my favorite bloggers, (well, she doesn't blog any longer) on Instagram and FB.  She is the young woman who made all my poppy headbands years ago.  But, we had never met.  Anyway, I found out she was a distributor for this amazing lipstick called LipSense through the SeneGence company.  It's an international company, but it's not well-known in SC because it's still in its growth stage.  Anyway, to say I got hooked is an understatement.



                                                        (6 colors and 5 glosses)

Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend.  I think I placed my last order with Ilene this weekend because we finally met after all these years when she delivered the product.  (Her parents live about 5 minutes from me.)  I got to thinking.  It is ridiculously low cost ($55) to join the company for the distributor discount.  I could either keep paying her full price, or I could join for the distributor discount.  To me, it was a no-brainer.  I knew I was going to join; I just didn't know when.




Fast forward to last week.  Again, God is funny about timing.  I had the feeling early last week that I should give it a shot at selling LipSense because I love it so much, and it would be great fun to play with makeup and get paid.  Yet......there was that DEMON of self-doubt that kept cropping its ugly head up (the devil, actually, because fear is not of the Lord).  I prayed about it, and I asked others to pray.

I "went to" online training one day after God opened that day up to me to do so.  This is not about the money for me; yes, the money will be nice; however, more important than that are these goals God has put on my heart:

     1.  Get OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, GINGER!  This is WAYYYY out of my comfort                   zone.  I even went live in my FB group GingerLips for the first time this weekend.
     2.  HELP other women who may be having the same self-confidence issues I have dealt
           with my entire life.

So, if you are reading this, and think you want to hear more about this incredible lipstick that stays on for up to 18 hours (I even slept in it to test it.), or if you are dealing with self-esteem issues, look up my FB group, GingerLips.  I'd be glad to add you.

So, back to what God told me yesterday:  I am NOT going to spend the rest of my life in the house. It is no coincidence that I am retiring now, and He presented this opportunity to me now. (If I had discovered this last year, I would never have considered it.)  There is still teaching to do, and this cocoon is breaking open.