In the past, anytime David mentioned the “r” word, I felt my chest tighten and my throat constrict. Retirement was NOT a subject I wanted to engage. That is until I started to notice that I just didn’t have the same energy for work that I’ve counted on for my entire adult life. What was happening!?
You may be chuckling to yourself right now, wondering if I’ve failed to look in the mirror recently or forgotten the age of my last birthday. No. I’m quite aware of my age and all that comes with it. It’s just that I’ve always had an abundance of energy and passion for work—work that I genuinely love! But over the last year, I’ve come to terms with the fact that while I still need and want to work, I need and want to work less.
This revelation instigated a lot of conversation between David and me over the last year, conversation mingled with anxious, uncertain feelings that go along with any transition in life. Yet, through processing all of this together, unexpectedly, A WAY HAS OPENED for us to downshift, while simultaneously keeping Fall Creek Abbey open as we invite others to help us with this good work. A win-win!
For Us: this means spending the last week of the month, as well as our July sabbatical at a sweet little cabin we’re building in SW Michigan. We’ve named it the Lily Pad, dedicated to our precious granddaughter, Harper Lillian, who has been in treatment for leukemia since last May. The Lily Pad, a 400 square foot cabin on a small lake near Three Oaks will be our get-away “pad” to replenish our souls and spend more time writing. (More on that later.)
For Fall Creek Abbey: this means that because we have a place to get-away to, we can have others come in to host for us and keep the Abbey at full capacity! We already have two more-than-able friends who will be filling in for us. Here’s a little about them.
Meet our good friend, Carol Collins, who is also our administrative assistant! Carol is a hospitality enthusiast and lover of supporting others through her careful attention to detail and administration. Before joining the Abbey, she oversaw a significant ministry department as a staff director in her local church. Carol is a trained spiritual director.
Carol, and her husband Doug, enjoy hosting game nights with friends or pulling pranks in good fun. Carol believes in the power of diverse perspectives and strives to create spaces where people from all backgrounds and walks of life feel welcomed and valued.
While hosting retreatants at Fall Creek Abbey, Carol is happy to also meet with them for spiritual direction.
Meet our good friend, Nancy Nethercott. Nancy was a missionary in Japan for almost 30 years and continues to teach and train internationally. She has hosted and led retreats for various groups, including church leaders, missionaries, and women. As an Anglican priest and spiritual director, Nancy knows the importance of silence and solitude, and time for retreat and reflection. Complementing her gift of hospitality, Nancy loves to cook and share good food and conversation around the table.
While hosting retreatants at Fall Creek Abbey, Nancy is available to meet for spiritual direction and facilitate guided retreats. She is also a sabbatical coach, and happy to meet with those on sabbatical retreat.
I (Beth) look back now with amusement at all the angst and anxiety I felt when David would bring up retiring. I’m humbled and in awe of the gracious way that this has all come about. It has been a truly unexpected and providential gift of God for us so that we can continue to do this work together for years to come—only less of it! AND we can keep the doors of our beloved Abbey wide open to you. Cheers to healthy transitions for us and Fall Creek Abbey!
Warmly, Beth and David Booram
Wisdom for Old Souls
If you’re curious and want to learn more about how to live a less work-centered life, you’ll find a lot of food for thought in David’s provocative new book, Wisdom for Old Souls. It’s a unique transposition of Ecclesiastes in which David muses with God about the deep questions Ecclesiastes poses.
Holy Week Silent Retreats
If you’ve not experienced coming to Fall Creek Abbey for a half-day silent retreat during Advent or Lent, you’ve really missed a very special experience! These retreats help us engage the two more important seasons in the Christian calendar with real, earnest, spiritual intention.
While you can come anytime during Lent for a silent retreat, we offer a special noontime lunch during Holy Week, April 3-7, for all morning and afternoon retreatants. You will be given a private room and a written guide to structure your time. It’s a perfect next step for those who are new to silence and/or new to retreats. Spots are filling up, so don’t tarry! For more information and to register, click here.
Pilgrimage to the Heart of God
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is a nine-month pilgrimage to the heart of God. Daily prayer and reflection deepen your connection to God and increase your awareness of the action of God in your life. If you find yourself desiring something more in your relationship with God, please consider attending an hour-long virtual information meeting on the opportunity to pray the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The retreat format offered through Fall Creek Abbey includes 4 retreat days at the Abbey and weekly spiritual direction as you are guided through the Spiritual Exercises.
The date of the virtual information meeting is Monday, June 19th @ 7 PM EST. To confirm your spot, please email Karen Block. If you are unable to attend and would like more information, also email Karen. For more information about the Ignatian opportunity at Fall Creek Abbey, please visit the website.