Today, after almost forty-two years of working for the same company, my wife, Diane, retires. Actually as we call it she laytires. She planned to retire a couple of years ago, but her company began downsizing at that time and she agreed to stay on for a few of years to help with a particular project.
I know there are quite a few people our age who are retiring. “After all,” as Diane has been saying ever since her birthday this past January, “I am almost 70!” But there is something that has always been the heart of whatever Diane does. That is what I want to share with you.
When Diane was first hired by Northwestern Publishing House so many years ago, she was a store clerk. Within a month or so she was offered a position of a photo typesetter. She share with them she really knew nothing about that position but was told that since she could type they would train her.
Through the next almost forty-two years, the technology and software changed. The jobs for which Diane was responsible evolved in difficulty and importance. Her office location changed five times. She saw administration, supervisors and coworkers come and go.
To add to all those challenges, she was also raising a family and sometimes by herself. In her early years at the Publishing House, I was still in my active alcoholism. I was also not working. So she bore the brunt of responsibility for our family. Diane was working forty hours per week, constantly learning new skills and techniques to do her job, and then coming home to children and many times a drunk husband.
I know she was frustrated and overwhelmed at times and even fearful of how this was going to all work out. Yet one aspect remained constant–her motivation for working, being a solo parent at times and dealing with my alcoholism. This is what has always amazed me about Diane.
She dearly loves her Savior and knows what he did for her in coming to earth and giving up his life to pay for her sins. The love that Jesus displayed is her motivation for everything she does. Sometimes when I question Diane’s choices, she simply says “It is a way I can serve God.”
I see this in the wife she is. She responds for the love she has for her Savior in how she shows love to our 5 children, their spouses, our fifteen grandchildren and great granddaughter. And for almost forty-two years she approached her job as a chance to serve her Lord and as an opportunity to spread the Gospel message to others.
How is she able to keep that focus on what Jesus did for her even through the mornings that waking up brings fear, anxiety or even the weariness of facing another day? Diane begins everyday, with no exceptions that I can remember, with time in her Bible and prayer.
Now, Diane does not really put all of this out for everyone to see. She is more intent on serving her Lord. (Sorry Diane, I kind of let the cat out of the bag.) In fact, I can imagine when one day she is rescued from this sinful world and the Savior says to her “Well done good and faithful servant,” she will respond “Thanks but it was all you, Jesus.” That is Diane.
My whole reason for sharing this is not to brag on my wife. I am not sure how she will respond to this, although she may have a few comments as she edits all my blog posts and this will be online before she has a chance to see it.
I wrote this to say thank you to God for giving me such a wonderful gift as Diane. I wrote this so her children and grandchildren will know how much their grandmother loves Jesus–but I am sure they already know.
Finally I wrote this to say to you, Diane, I am proud of you. I do not tell you that much. But I am. Almost forty-two years at any job is impressive. Forty-two years of doing a job out of love for your Savior, that is a witness. I love you.
Anyone who knows Diane, is aware that music is not really her thing. But I know she likes this song and better than that, I think is is a portrait of her life and her time at her job.