I know that the title seems a little weird, but I am using a different definition of wrinkle. A wrinkle is also a useful piece of information or advice. Today is my husband’s last day to work. He retires today, and I am so excited that now we will be able to spend so much time together doing the activities that we both love.
But even more important to me, Douglas will have time to write some amazing posts for our blog, wrinkles that will bring joy to hearts and, I believe, increase your faith. His posts are always so liked, and he enjoys knowing that people are inspired or helped by his words of wisdom and find his words or information useful. Because he will be free to write, I can take a break from trying to write every day, although, I have become quite attached to the prompts, as I am sure many of you can attest. Admittedly, I have had plenty of time for writing.
I have been retired somewhat since December 2016, but I did go back and teach a couple of classes last August. It did not take me long to learn that when God takes you out of Egypt, don’t go back! So, in December 2017, I quit for good, and I have just been here every day blogging up a storm, and hoping that soon Douglas would decide to retire, so he and I can get busy on our bucket lists, and he can do some of the writing.
But, alas, Douglas decided that he was going to work until he was age 70. Then, we went to Portugal last May, and we both loved the beauty of the country and the friendliness of the people. Douglas spent so many hours talking with the men in pubs, and he discovered that many people there still think of faith by works, not by grace, and he asked me if I would agree to go there to live and work for God.
I was hesitant to move to a new country when we have our children and grandchildren here in America, and not a few of them are concerned about two sixty-somethings so far from home without family nearby. His daughter and my daughters questioned if this was a good move, mainly because of my past health issues. What happens if one of us gets sick and the other has no help? What if we are needed and it takes so long to get home if there is an emergency? These were valid questions that neither Douglas nor I had discussed.
So, I originally said no to returning to Portugal, but I could see how much it meant to my husband, so, it was important for me to seek God’s guidance on the matter. God, in His infinite wisdom, touched my heart and let me know that this ministry was so important to my husband, so I needed to support him on it. Then, I found all of the information that Douglas had accumulated regarding the trip, and, oh my goodness, so much paperwork to immigrate to another country! I was just flabbergasted at what it took to move, and that just reinforced my belief that maybe I heard God wrong!
Then, suddenly one day as I washing the dishes, it came to me in a way that could only indicate God’s intervention: You can go for three months without a visa and see what it would be like. I did not know that, but that was correct, so I thought that works for me! Also, I had been wanting to return to Europe for twenty years, to go back to places I had visited alone in the 1990s, and with Douglas, I could get to see the night life.
By staying in Portugal for two months, we could make it our base for seeing the rest of Europe. When Douglas needed a break from his work of evangelism and missions, we could get two Euro-rail train passes and travel to other countries for a few days at a time, without having to keep flying across an ocean. At the end of two months, we could go see friends of Douglas in Amsterdam and maybe go to Belgium and France. It was the perfect solution, but with one snag: Douglas wanted to do this after he retired, which was about two years in the future! How to get him to do it now was the new problem.
But, God worked it out for me in a way that I could never have dreamed. If you read Douglas’s post titled Adventures, you know that when he returned to work from having the flu, he found that one older colleague had died unexpectedly and one colleague near his age who had planned to travel after he retired had found that he had terminal cancer. Learning of those two events spurred my husband to take my advice and retire while he was still relatively young.
I had been saying to him let’s go while we are still healthy and can get around on our own, walking to places and climbing and hiking to new places to see the horizons! After learning of those two men, he applied for retirement that week, and to my glee, today is his last day! We leave for Portugal in 15 days, but whose counting?!!
The trip should be a blast! Douglas is the most adventurous of the two of us. I am convinced that there is a 10-year-old boy inside of him trying to get out! My husband will try anything once, and he tends to try to get me to join him, mostly without success, for I am the scary cat among us. In two trips to Hawaii, he alone learned to surf, climbed a dormant volcano, and scuba dived. He was so proud of all of his bruises and scrapes, while I nearly had a heart attack watching him.
While I am a creature of habit, Douglas wants to try something new each time, even new routes home, while I scream to go the “old” way. Oh, but what fun we have when I listen to him and follow him into absurdity! It ends us in such joy and good memories that I have just stopped asking him to act his age! He always ask, “What fun is that?”
Douglas is also so smart and well-read. He is a walking Bible concordance. When I was was preparing my sermons, I would just ask Douglas what book, chapter, and verse I could find certain words, and he would answer within one or two verses. He was a missionary in Kenya for three years, and he knows God’s word so much better than anyone I know, and he has survived great horrors and much sadness. So, the wrinkles that he will write for this post will be wonderful and you will be blessed.
So, I am leaving now to buy him flowers and a card to celebrate today, and I will take him out for a great meal tonight! To now share my days with him and go places that I would not go alone will be good. But we will not be tied at the hip, because I have my own bucket list and he has his own.
But, today is a great day, for he gets to rest from years of working at a company, and now he has years to work for the Lord. Happy days are here again! Be looking out for his morsels of good advice, and it’s my prayer that you will love every wrinkle he provides.
I thank God for going ahead of us and working everything out so that we could afford all of the monies to make the trip and be able to do His work. I am awed by His loving care and provision, and I am encouraged by the words of Matthew 6: 33-34: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
To God be the glory for the great things He has done for us!