a little reality setting in…

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

This “getting ready for Rebekah to retire” business has been a little surreal up to this point. Yes, we have a specific date; yes, I have been running through all kinds of paperwork (all – I hope – that’s necessary to set certain things in motion); and yes there is some planning going on for a proper goodbye August 1.

Then of course there is this Top Ten Scriptures sermon series, where today will mark #4 – “Wrestling with God.”

But it all seemed very abstract until this weekend, when Rebekah and I drove to the church and moved a couple of personal items home from her office. Then suddenly it was – is – all too real.

The house shrunk!

This is Stage One of a lot of work we’re going to have to do to carve out some extra space at Maul-Hall. I mean, where exactly do you put a retired preacher?

Not only are there several thousand books, but there is furniture and a lot more – a church office/study full with with the accumulated physical trail of forty years as a pastor.

Suddenly our decision to downsize when we moved here eight years ago doesn’t seem like such a great idea anymore.

So we started with our living room, which we have decided could quite easily become our living/dining space. Hence the two “leather” armchairs out by the side of the road earlier in the week. Hence the drop leaf table in the newly designated eating area. Hence our plans to turn the old dining room into Rebekah’s workspace.

To be fair we have not been able to eat in that room since Rebekah requisitioned it for her remote study during COVID. Now it’s official most of the china will get boxed away, the table will become a desk, and bookshelves will appear where there used to be a sideboard.

And some stuff will simply have to go away.

Hard to define:

I don’t know. Redefinition after 40 years is going to be, well, hard to define.

In early 1980, when we drove from DeLand to Daytona Beach for Rebekah’s first Sunday as student intern at the Highlands Presbyterian Church, Rebekah and I were still both 23-years old. We walked through a door called ministry, and it has been our life together – 24/7/365 – ever since.

Redecorating a couple of rooms? I think what we need more likely requires an architect, a bulldozer, and a large scale renovation!

“Carpe Retirement” – Derek


  1. I gave about 5 large boxes of books to a small Seminary for Black preachers in Pinellas county. I discovered that school closed a few years lAter. But thankfully those books were gone forever. I kept some but almost never look at them.

    Liked by 1 person

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