“I’ll bet you never expected to be where you are at this age,” my friend Kathy Carlton Willis emailed me recently. And she was correct. As I look backward—not over just this year but my life—I’m amazed at how differently it unfolded than I would have expected.
This year has been especially full of changes.
In March, I felt it was time to slow down and move toward retirement. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful career writing fulltime for 32 years. Since July 1, I’ve turned down every writing project that’s come my way and said no to teaching at writers conferences.
I plan to continue doing some writing, and I’m scheduling speaking engagements for 2016. Almost every Sunday when I’m in town, I do substitute teaching for four different adult classes.
This year, 90 Minutes in Heaven finally came out as a film, which also increased book sales. Don Piper and I are both amazed that the book has stayed so popular since its release in 2004.
Ever since Ben Carson announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination, sales of Gifted Hands have increased dramatically. Although I wrote the book in 1990, it has never been out of print.
In December, I took a two-week trip with a group to Cuba, my first true vacation since 2011. Good experience and I met delightful individuals and enjoyed Cuba immensely.
In early January, I’ll teach three classes on writing for the Book Writing Camp at Sea Cruise, and enjoy a relaxed trip to the Eastern Caribbean. That’s a nice way for me to start the new year.
At the end of this year, I’m especially grateful for God’s love and the warmth of so many I’ve met through my unexpected career.