Closing

Psalm 107:1
O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

Sold Our House

Hallelujah, Dear Lord!
We’ve sold our house!
After three months
and more than forty lookers
we received an offer we can accept.
We did what the realtor told us:
removed the carpet, refinished the floors,
painted all the walls and woodwork.
Yet no immediate offer.
He concluded that our backyard
with its azaleas and towering trees,
turned out to be a negative.
Young couples want grassy open
space for their children.
In contrast our grandson,
who came to our house every day
after elementary school,
enjoyed tramping through the bamboo jungle,
building a tree house, digging a fish pond
leaping out on a rope swing. Creativity!
But it’s not for us to decide
how a new family wants to live.
We’re just grateful that the house is sold and
that we’ll have the money to pay off the interim loan
for our retirement home.
Thank you, Lord.

Psalm 146:1-2
Praise the LORD!  Praise the LORD, O my soul!  I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

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ON THE SWING AGAIN

One last time—sitting on the swing—
writing in this garden of trees and bushes,
at our old house,
a refuge from the world,
where nature quiets
sounds of distant industry,
birds chirp, insects buzz,
and sunshine patches the ground.
Your presence hallows the space.
How I shall miss being undisturbed,
alone with you, Lord,
Our new space has benches
in quiet places,
but with people walking by.
Lord, open my heart and mind
to new ways
of being in your peace.  Amen.

Exodus 33:14
He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

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TRANSITION

O Lord, now several weeks after our move,
back at former house
I watch men pack the things
for which we don’t have room.
They will go to an auction house.
What a lot we accumulated
that will now be redistributed to others:
the guest room furniture,
the punch bowls, soup tureen and so much more
that we loved to use with company.
I hope the future owners
enjoy all these things
as much as we did.
In our retirement home
we eat with new people everyday
and share food in a buffet or served to us.
It’s transition time from old to new ways.
Lord, you are the glue that holds all together.

Psalm 136:1
O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

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CLEAN OUT

Guest room furniture,
lawn mower, books, vases,
Thai puppets, Japanese umbrellas,
doilies and pictures,
which are without places
in our new apartment
in a retirement community,
will go on auction
and will be picked up today.
Pillows, shovels,
tablecloths, and odd Jello molds
are released from our care.
These things were part
of a full life.
Thank you for their use.
Now, Lord, it’s time
to cut down on things and simplify.
Fill us with the riches
of your Spirit.

Ephesians 3:16-17a
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

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VICTORY SWIM

O Gracious Lord, we went for a swim
in the afternoon
in our retirement community pool
to celebrate closing on the house.
Alleluia!  Amen!
We are so glad to have it settled
and done—no further improvements
to take care of.
Lord, you know how it has weighed on us
to finish the last details,
clean the house,
and tidy the yard.
It gives us a settled feeling,
like we really live in our apartment now,
and not in a motel.
Thank you for holding us up
all along the way.
Alleluia!  Amen!

Psalm 147:1
Praise the LORD!  How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious and a song of praise is fitting.

Hymn: “Come, Christians, Join to Sing”

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SETTLED

Again and again we say,
“Now we are settled.”
Two weeks ago
my husband hung the last picture.
A week ago
I started reviewing books again.
Yesterday my husband bought
a humidifier and installed it.
Lord, we have been here six months,
our friend has been here one month.
We feel like old timers.
We have joined
various activities.
We have gotten to know
many other people.
You have been with us
every day as we combine
old and new.

Matthew 13:52
And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

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THANKSGIVING

We will be at our daughter’s
for Thanksgiving this year, Lord.
We will bring a side dish,
and my daughter will send
some turkey home with us.
But it’s not the same
as roasting the turkey
and looking forward
to turkey soup.
Am I missing the point, Lord,
the giving of thanks?
We are thankful for our family
and for this retirement home,
where we look forward
to living out our days
in peace and security
among friendly people.
Thank you, Lord,
for all our blessings.

Psalm 107:21
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

Hymn: “Now Thank We All Our God”

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CHRISTMAS CHANGES

Lord Jesus the celebration
of your birthday is coming.
In our new home
we are not allowed
to have real trees.
My husband and I
shopped for an artificial tree
with the lights already on.
We are not allowed
to have lighted candles,
but we have battery lighted
votary candles
which our daughter
gave us a few years ago
as a joke.
In spite of such changes
we will celebrate
the light of your presence
among us. Come Lord Jesus.

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

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NEW YEAR’S DAY

Dear Lord, on our first New Year’s Day
in the retirement community
we think back over the past year
with gratitude for your steadfast love.
And what a year it’s been:
Choosing an apartment, selecting a realtor,
downsizing, stirring up memories,
preparing our house to show,
getting out of the way of lookers,
packing, moving, unpacking,
finally selling our house,
settling in at our new place,
making new friends,
experiencing new adventures.
Every step of the way
your goodness and mercy
followed us as we moved
to our promised land.
For this we are eternally grateful,
O Lord, our sustainer and redeemer.

Psalm 23.6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.