Preparations

Exodus 23:20
I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.

Realtor’s Advice

Lord, now that we’ve selected a new apartment,
we’re putting our house on the market.
We’ve decided on the realtor
who helped our daughter
sell her house and buy another.
He noted positive features of our house:
New roof, modern appliances, new windows,
good furnace and air-conditioning,
and close to a good school.
Then he suggested that
we remove the wallpaper in the dining room,
take up the wall-to-wall carpeting,
and refinish the hardwood floors.
“That’s what younger buyers prefer,” he said.
Amazing! I was glad to have carpeting
and not have to dust around rugs
like my grandmothers did.
Whatever changes we decide on,
O God of my childhood,
youth, middle age, and now old age,
we can rely on you to be the same.

Malachi 3:6
For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.

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DOWNSIZING

O Lord God, in getting ready to move,
our newest challenge
is downsizing.
How to reduce the contents
of an eight room house
to a three room apartment.
We have to decide
what to take,
what to sell, give away,
or throw out.
These things,
saved through the years,
have many memories.
Help us to keep our eyes
on eternal values
as we let go of these
temporal things.

Deuteronomy 33:27 (KJV)
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

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PREPARING THE HOUSE

Father God, the realtor said
that in preparing to show the house
to potential buyers,
we should make the house
look as impersonal as possible.
The refrigerator magnets
have gone into a box.
We have stashed things
in cupboards, drawers,
and under the sofa and bed.
It’s hard to remember
where things are
when we need them.
I can’t wait to get settled
in our new place,
where we can put everything out
on tables and counters.
Are you laughing, Father?
Bare surfaces
just don’t agree with me.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 

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LIGHTENING THE LOAD

After all these years,
I am finally getting rid
of papers I have saved
from grade school and college.
I hate to see them go, Lord,
but the essence of them
is stored in memory.
Letting go of the old
leaves room for new possibilities.
Lead me forward, Lord,
that each new day
will be another memorable day
lived in your presence.

Psalm 16:11
You show me the path of life.  In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

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CLEANING OUT THE GARAGE

His Perspective

O Lord Jesus, I’m starting
to clean out the garage
and sort through my memories.
There’s stuff I’ll never use
in our retirement home.
Snow shovels: I’ve worn out a half dozen
in fifty-five years of home ownership.
When we were young, my wife
insisted on shoveling snow
to save me from a heart attack.
I soon took over and have survived
more than fifty winters.
The lawn mower: no more grass cutting.
Garden tools: if we get a garden plot
at Evergreen Village,
they have community tools.
My old hand-made workbench:
On it I made a toy box for my daughters.
There I taught my grandson
how to saw wood and hammer nails.
I’ve even used the wood vise
to hold pickle jar tops that were
too hard to open by hand.
O Master Carpenter,
I thank you for the experience
of working with my hands.

Deuteronomy 2:7a
Surely the LORD your God has blessed you in all your undertakings.

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LETTING GO

We will have less room
in our retirement apartment.
But, Lord, it is hard to let go
of the drawings
and other artwork
of our children.
Our children laugh at me
for saving their things.
I will still hide a few
but many will be let go.
The children are grown now.
They are not savers.
They may have a few things
from their own children’s schooling,
but not much.
Each age has its challenges
and special gifts.
Help me to see
the treasure to be found
in each special day.

Psalm 143:5
I remember the days of old,
I think about all your deeds,
I meditate on the works of your hands.

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ANXIOUS

With our house now on the market, Lord,
showing it is getting to be old hat.
When we learn that someone is coming,
we have a drill: turn on all the lights,
put out the lock box, and leave.
It’s hard to be ready all the time.
I’m afraid to start baking cookies
or begin a sewing project.
Our realtor is still telling us that
in order to sell the house
we need to take up the wall-to-wall carpeting
and refinish the floors.
It’s a big job, Lord.
We’ll have to think about it.
Give us wisdom and strength.

Job 12:13
“With God are wisdom and strength; he has counsel and understanding.”

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Hymn: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

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SURVIVAL MODE

Father God, it’s not only
my aches and pains,
but my husband’s blood pressure
that causes concern.
With no immediate buyers,
we’re thinking of lowering
the price of the house
so that it sells quickly.
How much will be enough?
The tension is killing us.
Lord, we need your arms around us,
but how can you protect us
from ourselves?
Give us peace, Father, and rest.
We can’t manage without you.

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Hymn: “Leave It There”