I retired from active parish ministry just over two years ago. It's been equal parts exciting and unsettling. What "retirement" actually means to me is for another blog post. What I'm most grateful for in this new season of life is more breathing space. Today my sisters and I will take my mom out for lunch for her 88th birthday. We'll go to Red Lobster so mom can order lobster pizza with enough left over to take back to her assisted living place for later. For me there's no rushing back to the office to put finishing touches on Sunday's bulletin or sermon, squeezing in a hospital visit or two and then prepping for evening meetings. I can be present to my mom and sisters in ways I wasn't able to before. Tomorrow I'll spend time with my grandson, Teddy. I'd better not get started down the joys of grandparenting road. We'd be here all day.

John O'Donohue, in his book - To Bless the Space Between Us - shares this blessing for those who are "retired."

This is where life has arrived,

After all the years of effort and toil;

Look back with graciousness and thanks

On all your great and quiet achievements.


You stand on the shore of new invitation

To open your life to what is left undone;

Let your heart enjoy a different rythme

When drawn to the wonder of other horizons.


Have the courage for a new approcah to time;

Allow it to slow until you find freedom

To draw alongside the mystery you hold

And befriend your own beauty of soul.


Now is the time to enjoy your heart's desire,

To live the dreams you've waited for,

To awaken the depths beyond your work

And enter into your infinite source.


Goodness and grace to you today,