Thursday, October 6, 2022

Retirement Pt 5, New Beginnings

Hi Everyone! Audra here.

Thanks for following along on my journey into retirement from the day job. Retiring due to age gifting you the right isn’t as easy as people believe. There are pitfalls that occur as we change our years’ honed routines into a world of self-made decisions:

Time Management



Health and Exercise

Still, for those who looked forward to the time when you can make your own schedule and pursue long-awaited hobbies, volunteering activities, devoting more time to family and friends, or (fill in the blank), these bumps in the road aren’t anything for alarm. With a bit of concentration and effort, you too will be ready to live the dream.

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Speaking of living the dream, my life now dreams of picking up where I left off in my writing career and has captured a spot on my Prayer Hit Parade. Funny thing, prayers – God has a way of answering them, even though the particular scenario He chooses isn’t exactly how you’d envisioned the answer when you submitted the prayer.

You see, I started writing for publication a looooooong time ago. I prayed the good Lord saw favor with my work. He did. I began to win contests. I prayed He’d steer me to the right editor and publisher. He did. I was honored to join with other contest-winning, contract-driven, God-loving writers who became known as the Seekers, uniting together to pray each other into publication.

God smiled and blessed us with contracts at various publishing houses.

I enjoyed the honor of becoming an author writing for Love Inspired. I envisioned contracts ahead and ideas for future books peppered my brain as I’d never experienced before. My dream had come true.

My Love Inspired book!!

I enjoyed a year of living the dream until a series of events – some book related, some not – caused me to choose between the hit-and-miss, contract-to-contract life doing the work I loved (novel writing) and my stable, but increasingly demanding work I liked very much (admin position). It became increasingly obvious I couldn’t do both and the admin position offered more for my future and for my family.

Fast forward now to my saying good-bye to the 40–70-hour work weeks for an employer who was demanding, but awesomely great to work for. After leaving, I took my time to unwind and enjoy freedom. Then I sat down to write a book.

Photo by Max Saeling on Unsplash

I had a great idea for a series, but every time I sat down to write, the ideas all jumbled together. The idea revolved around a series of books set in a small mountain town in Colorado. I wrote pages, but the story didn’t come alive, it seemed the characters could care less if they saw the light of a printed page.

So, I went back to cleaning out closets and folding laundry (see prior posts about retiring). I’d get an idea and start to run with it but hit a wall. I couldn’t believe God kept the desire to write burning with in me only to stymie my efforts to re-engage with words-on-page.

Friends, it all comes down to timing. God’s timing.

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

With most of the COVID-19 restrictions lifted for travel, I decided to go to the ACFW conference hosted in St Louis and get some hugs and loves from fellow Seekers and author friends I hadn’t seen in forever. That event was so good for the soul!

I traveled and roomed with a fellow author from Colorado and between reuniting with friends and making new memories, we also spent time brainstorming book ideas. From that very first night, ideas sparked and plots ignited. By the time we left the conference, she had 3 books ready to write and I came away with detailed concepts for 6 (count’em 6) novellas that would coincide with an historical romance series I had tried to complete for decades.

Photo by Marcin Nowak on Unsplash

God has taken a book of my heart that He wouldn’t let me complete for years and He whispered, “now is the time.”

So there, my friends, is the conclusion of my retirement saga. I hope you find the first 4 parts helpful as you transition away from the work force someday, and that you find hope in resurrecting your dreams that might have been put on hold for the greater good.

Like I said earlier, prayers are a funny thing. Yep, the good Lord answers them, you just have to be open-minded to His plans because they are so much better!!

Your turn! Have you retired from your day job? Are your dreaming about? Please share, I'd love to hear your thoughts and plans!!

And, for sticking with me while I muddled through these past few months, if you leave a comment, you'll put in a drawing for a mystery gift from my recent trip to South Dakota! Check the WE on Saturday for the winner!!

Audra Harders writes "rugged stories with heart" featuring fearless men who haven't a clue about relationships, rescued by ladies who think they have all the answers. In real life, she's married to her own patient hero, has two adult children, and a very strong-willed Corgi. She began writing right after her second kidlet was born and sold her first book to Love Inspired mere months before that same young adult graduated from high school. Surviving those years in between reminds her God does have a plan for her life...and that He has a tremendous sense of humor. You can visit Audra at:
Twitter: @audraharders


  1. Audra, it was so good to get to hug your sweet neck at ACFW. I'm thrilled you left St. Louis full of ideas. God does answer prayers. In His timing. And not always in the way we expect. ;-)

  2. Sorry for my late arrival today! We just returned from South Dakota last night and the visit with the area and, of course, MY DAUGHTER, were grand!!

    Mindy, it was so good to see and hug you in St Louis! What a boost of the heart was that entire trip. Put me down for the next gathering of all things writing and Seekers!!

  3. Hi Audra, God is so awesome and right on time! It's exciting when He speaks! I'm 1 1/2 years into retirement and love it. Happy writing!

    1. Awww, Karen! My retirement buddy! I agree 100% about the excitement of His directions...but I still need to deepen my ability to listen and really hear what He's telling me. The good Lord has had to pull out the divine 2x4 at times, LOL. Good to hear from you :)

      Audra, the anonymous

  4. Okay. This line made me smile: God has taken a book of my heart that He wouldn’t let me complete for years and He whispered, “now is the time.”

    I had the same experience when I was looking at retiring from homeschooling - that God whisper.

    I am so thrilled that you are full of ideas and ready to go. Enjoy the journey!!!

    1. Thanks, Jan! I've started and stopped this series I don't know how many times. I'd get excited about it and write and revise, but the characters never came to life for me. NOW, not only are my main characters chattering all over the place, but secondary characters have invaded my brain with their own novella length stories. I love it. And I love the good Lord for being oh so patient with me :)

      We just got back from Watertown last night. I loved the town and the people and everything! My husband is balking over moving due to the winters - I'm screaming, bring'em on, LOL. I guess we need to come to some sort of happy median...

    2. The winters are milder in the Black Hills than in Watertown. Just sayin'. :-)

    3. The entire state is wonderful. I can't wait to go back!

  5. Hi Audra. When I finally made the decision to retire from my library job, I was unaware that I was going to become a grandmother for the very first time! Yes, my daughter became pregnant at age 42 and suddenly, I was going to enjoy what so many others had been experiencing for years. I do believe that God was at work because it became necessary for me to be a very active part of this baby's care and nurturing. I've enjoyed Isabella for 8 years and even though my retirement isn't quite as I planned, it's certainly been very rewarding. Thanks for sharing your story and enjoy every new adventure! Please consider me for your drawing. Blessings!

    1. Connie, what a lovely way to fill hours - caring for the blessing of a grandchild. You go, lady! There is nothing more important in life than raising our children with love and knowledge of the Lord. I'm smiling ear to ear for you! I've got you on my drawing list...


  6. Audra! I am so sorry we didn't meet up at ACFW. It would have been fun to get together.

  7. Dana, this conference was so hectic with it being the first in person meeting in two years. I'm sorry we couldn't connect, too. But, we've plenty of events in the future. I'll catch you at one of them!!

  8. I am not retired yet. I am working as a substitute teacher, for maybe one more year after this. I am winding down, though, by not taking as many jobs as I used to. I am still working at the bookstore and probably will continue with that for a time. So I still need to figure out my writing time.

    1. Sandy, you're so busy! I can't imagine having the responsibility of multiple jobs plus writing. You're amazing.

      I'm praying you're able to cut back slowly and keep your enthusiasm for your time well spent. Remember, it's all in God's timing. Sometimes, it's hard to wait. I know all about that! Stay strong, my friend!


  9. Thanks for the encouragement!


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