The years of time between age 35 and 65 are the PRODUCTIVE years. These are the years when many are settled into their career, married and having children. The hours and days are filled with career and taking care of family. Couples who have worked hard usually find a home that suits their family and they fix and furnish it to suit their growing needs. They enjoy holidays with extended family and vacations with friends and family.
I remember back in those days, having an older travel trailer that Ron and I fixed up, and then we enjoyed camping experiences with family and friends. Our daughters loved to go camping! Since Ron was a pastor for twenty of those years, many of our activities centered around the church and we planned outings and social gatherings to benefit us all. I look back now at the days when our children were having special friends and we so enjoyed meals and fun times with their friends and their friend’s parents.
During those years of precious family and friends and careers, we worked hard so that we could play hard. We accomplished many things, and so did our friends. My grandparents and parents were still living and they were an integral part of our lives. As we pastored, we were usually about a two hour drive from them, and frequented their home, usually getting there late Saturday afternoon after church and going home on Sunday evening. Those were precious moments with Gram and Bumpa. I remember renovating several churches we pastored during that time, as well as visiting the ill and afflicted with Ron, when I could.
When at age 51, with our children grown and married, we left pastoral ministry to begin our worldwide Family Ministry, life changed dramatically. Grandparents had passed away, and so had my father and Ron’s mother, so only my mother was still living. Bless her heart, she followed us, and even though we traveled a great deal, we kept in close touch with her, and still enjoyed holidays together. Our work load increased greatly, as we traveled in our converted bus from place to place to conduct seminars, and then later began to fly, when bus travel was not possible. These were, for sure, our productive years! During that time, we wrote four books and two complete recovery programs with videos too.
In 2009, we had to retire from all the travel, because Ron became ill with Parkinson’s Disease, and the traveling became arduous! But guess what, while we attempt to retire, we still keep on, keeping on to a degree, entirely by God’s grace. So while we remain in our Mountain home most of the time, we still actively pursue our life’s work. We feel that God gave it to us as a gift, and we hold on “for dear life.”
Wait a minute, you say. I’ve done the Math, and it doesn’t seem to add up properly. Productivity was ages 35 – 65, and you two are beyond those years! Yes we are, but when your life’s work is your great joy, you keep on, keeping on!
With the next article, we will look at the years of age 65 onward. Those are interesting years, and if you have accomplished all the steps as far as age 65, then the rest of your days become enjoyable. We Promise!