"Retirement"....a word that many look forward to with great anticipation while others dread the day when they will no longer have the careers that have filled their time for so many years. Well, for my husband, Mike, the word has been a dream that began many years ago. He longed for the day when he would hang up his "legal hat", say goodbye to hours of legal research, depositions, hearings and trials and draining days that left him spent of emotional energy. Well, that day has arrived. Amazingly at the young age of 48 my husband will be officially retired as of the end of June. The road to this time of life has been paved with much hard work, sacrifice, prayer and tremendous blessing from the Lord. Many have asked us why would Mike want to leave a successful law practice that he has spent 20 years building at a time when he is "at the top of his game" having carved out a niche of practice of which he is very good. For years he has had the luxury of taking only certain type of cases and being a sole practitioner he has been able to set his own hours and has represented some wonderful clients but despite all of these luxuries his passion faded and when you lose your excitement for something that you do every single day it makes it difficult to keep up a positive outlook on life. Each day he entered in a world filled with arguing and fighting and while Mike was a bright light in a sea of animosity he often wondered what he was accomplishing by simply fighting other peoples battles. He did his job with great commitment, care and integrity and strove to give his clients the very best service. In those rare occasions that I had to see my husband in action, I was amazed. He was respectful, considerate and kind yet was an eloquent advocate for those whom he represented. I believe that his reputation in our community was one of great respect not only for his legal expertise but for his integrity. He never fit the mold of the type of attorney of whom people tell jokes. Despite his incredible talents as an attorney as well as the nice comfortable life to which we had become accustom he longed for the day when he would place his head on his pillow at night feeling as though he had made a difference in someones life as well as doing something to further the Kingdom of God here on earth. That day has arrived! Through a series of amazing circumstances, Mike sold his practice to a young attorney who is very much like Mike was 20 years ago.... a young attorney starting his family....someone who will take the baton of something that has Mike's heart and soul stamped to it and continue giving the people of our community legal representation.
The new owner of Mike's practice began work in Mike's office (which we affectionately call "the cockpit") yesterday. As we spent the weekend cleaning the office and transferring all of Mike's personal things to our home, emotions and thoughts flooded our hearts and minds. Precious memories filled us as we recalled the significance of so many things which were housed in these rooms for 20+ years and although we are excited at what lies ahead for Mike and the opportunities that he now has available to him we were saddened to be saying goodbye to something that has been so much a part of who we are as a family and who Mike is as a man. It felt a little bit like losing a part of ones body...an emptiness that can and will be filled but for the moment it feels like something is missing. And many may ask...what will Mike use to fill the void? Well, until the end of June he will continue to help with the transition of practice to the new attorney. He will still have a few cases remaining which will require his time but once those are complete and the new attorney is settled in he plans to say "aahhh" and relax. The word that I have used recently when asked about Mike's future plans is "decompress". I know that there will be a time of decompression from the stress that filled his days which I am sure will accompany a time of transition. Establishing new routines and new ways of doing things and getting used to the fact that Mike won't have to go to work in the morning will take some time as well. As we all settle into this new way of life Mike plans to fulfill the desire of his heart to write full time. For many years Mike has been working on book, a collection of thoughts about the meaning of life and our purpose here on earth. He is eager to have the time to devote to finishing this work and seeing where it goes. But mostly Mike is looking forward to having lots of time to spend with us. Being able to fulfill his role of husband and daddy in a greater way brings much excitement to him and to me as well. He is looking forward to participating in homeschooling next year and being able to enjoy watching our kids absorb all that we have to offer them next year through teaching them at home. Beyond those initial things he has no idea what awaits him. He simply loves knowing that he now has the ability to be open to whatever the Lord has to offer. We are both incredibly grateful that at this stage of life we have been given the blessings that allow us the opportunity to explore a new horizon of life. I pray that we are faithful stewards of all that God has given and that we always give glory to the ONE who has made all of this possible. My husband has been "given the desire of his heart" and we are exceedingly thankful for this gift. We greatly appreciate your prayers for us as we embark on this exciting new chapter of our life. May we always have the ears to hear the voice of God wherever He may call. Here is a pic of Mike in "his cockpit".
Before I close this post I want to apologize for not being able to personally announce this exciting news to many of you who may be checking in with us and find this news surprising. We have tried to touch base with our family and friends and share our news with them but as you can imagine "news travels fast" and with the busyness of the past couple of weeks we haven't had the time to tell all of you. We are in the process of planning a celebration party and hope to see many of you as we toast Mike's new beginning.