The last moments shared together; Jesus was feeling not only the loss of friends he so deeply loved; but I believe the weight of the cross before him was a great burden.
During the last supper he predicted who would fail him and deny him.
Of course the disciples were in disbelief that any of them would deny him.
Matthew 26:30 [On the way, (to the mount of olives) Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’] Of course they all denied that truth and especially Peter saying he would never desert him.
But Jesus put him straight and said, “tonight you will deny me three times before the rooster crows that you even knew me.”
Jesus KNEW what was coming.
In the garden of Gethsemane his heart was heavy and he knew so much was going to take place.
He told them, [“MY soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”]
[He prayed “Father! if it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”]
He returned and found the disciples sleeping.
[He asked, “couldn’t you watch with me one hour?”]
Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, [“My Father! if this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.]
He went back to the disciples and found them sleeping for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
[So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look-the time has come.
The Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, My betrayer is here!”]
(Jesus was speaking about Judas who was once a disciple.)
Just as in the birth of Jesus when the players lined up to allow the scripture to be fulfilled.
This was the very same way, all the players had a role in this very important scene.
The time had come, and the moments were now.
The last moments shared together; Jesus was feeling not only the loss of friends he so deeply loved; but I believe the weight of the cross before him was a great burden.
[The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.
And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21:10-11]
Some thought they knew who he was; but they really had no idea.
Only Jesus knew on that day what was the truth and what was to come in the next few days.
He continued to teach and it angered the leaders for they had no real idea who he was.
Matthew 21:23 [When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” (Can you even imagine talking to the Son of God in that tone?)
He asked them a question in verses 24-27 and they could not answer it. They didn’t know.
So he said, “I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”
For He knew they wouldn’t understand.]
[He continued to teach in parables and other forms so that they would be challenged and confused. The leading priest and Pharisees became angered, and they wanted to arrest him but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered him to be a prophet.] Matthew 21:45-46
Jesus understood the evil motives and intentions of those who were questioning him.
Jesus continued to criticize the religious leaders and they continued to be provoked stirring them to take action.
After all his teachings in Matthew 26 he tells the disciples.
26:2 [“As you know, Passover begins in two days and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”]
At that time the leading priest and elders were meeting and plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.
But not during the Passover celebration, “they agreed, “or the people may riot.”
In the meantime Jesus and the disciples shared the last supper together.
The days before Easter there was great anticipation.
Psalm Sunday was the beginning and Jesus was the only one who really knew the meaning and power behind the day; as it paved the way for what was to come.
He rode on the donkey before his birth, when Mary carried him to the stable.
In doing that she fulfilled scripture; and as the journey lined up she did all that was going to be done so that HE could be born in the stable.
The years went by and he grew. Then the time came for him to do what HE was HERE to do.
In the book of Mark it tells us how he approached Jerusalem.
Mark 1: [Jesus sent two of them ahead, “Go into that village over there,” he told them, “as soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden.
Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘what are you doing?’ just say,’ The Lord needs it and will return it soon.”
The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside the front door. As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “what are you doing, untying that colt?”
They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it and he sat on it.
(so much like his mother Mary when she rode the donkey to give birth to him)
Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. Jesus was the center of the procession, and the people all around were shouting, “Praise God!” Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!”]
It was a time of great anticipation and joy for the town people; yet I believe in his heart JESUS knew what was about to take place.
He was just days away from this powerful moment in time.
The players had to be all lined up as if in a play, one after the other set up the stage for the final moments.
A new place for us to call home and it feels good, and different and even kind of nice.
We are moved and somewhat settled. Many boxes are still in the garage and around several walls.
The carpet was cleaned before we moved in and the painter is coming in soon to freshen up the walls.
I can’t put away all the collectibles since he is going to paint. That has to wait till he’s done.
So much to adjust to and organize. It is a good kind of change, and so much of it is so different than our old home.
I love the big windows, God knows how much I love the Canadian geese and almost every day I am blessed with seeing them.
The way they fly in a V is so beautiful. I have seen many since living here we even think we saw an eagle.
The views out our back window is beautiful and private at least at this point.
We do have neighbors on each side but we are all seniors so there are no rowdy parties going on.
The neighborhood is quiet and we have met a few who live on our street.
Some are as new as us, so we are all adjusting.
I love the one level aspect of this home, no stairs and no reason to worry about falling.
The move was exhausting for both of us and my legs looked huge by the time we were done.
It was the hardest move we have ever done, but of course we are older and boxes were heavier.
There is a little restaurant in the senior setting where we live and of course we have gone a few times.
It is a five minute drive from our house, it’s so easy.
I also found a hairdresser a few minutes from our house, and she did a really good job.
I even got the senior rate since I live in the community.
There are a lot of bonuses for us to live here and as we settle we will find more reasons to like it.
A new place to call home, and for now it feels good.
In this place we call home; there have been many memories shared.
We have lost dogs and cats while facing their age related issues.
We have lost friends and family; both sets of our parents have passed away while living here.
We have had ups and downs in our relationship with each other and we have come out stronger in the end.
We have seen a preemie grand daughter grow from a peanut to a cashew (as I jokingly call her).
We have had six grand children call this ‘our grandpa and grandma’s home’.
We were even surprised with a set of identical twins, and then three grandsons later from our son.
We have had experience with hospice when my sister was here, in our family room resting in a hospital bed.
We have had experience with detox and desperation; then healing and hope when after six weeks she survived.
We have known God was with us through the many health issues; illnesses and aging.
We have forged our way through knee replacements, shoulder surgeries, and other major surgeries.
We have been in complete shock when the mumps hit me two times when I was 55, then shingles.
We have faced retirement and settling into a new routine; while living in this place we call home.
We have taken trips we never thought of doing; flying to Hawaii and driving to Seattle.
We have purchased a travel trailer and a large towing vehicle while living in this place.
We have also retired my old Toyota and then purchased a new Kia soul.
We have faced our ‘aging issues’ head on, doing what we know we must do to survive them.
We knew that would include a move to a single level home.
We have seen miracle after miracle that God has provided throughout the journey of our life together.
We know our next phase, our next season; will be blessed as we seek to follow Him who gives us life.
In this place we call home, we pack and will leave this chapter soon.
As we drive away to another home; I will claim these verses.
[My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.] (NIV)
[My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood — in safe houses, in quiet gardens.] (message)
The time for saying good bye is coming soon.
The chapter will close on the house we live in as we move to the next.
It has been hard. It has been freeing.
We have lived in this house for twenty three years.
It has been a walk down memory lane as I opened boxes that have been closed for years.
Through this process I have:
Found my original Barbie doll with her case full of clothes all hand made by my mom and grandma.
Found old letters my husband wrote to me in high school before we were married. (We were dating off and on.)
Teenage stuff, I also found yearbooks, and cards given to me from friends many years ago.
They are keepsakes to me.
Someday my kids who are now grown will probably throw them away but for now they stay.
Memories of friends is good.
I found pictures and more pictures, and magazine articles and books. School memories and brochures.
Some I didn’t keep, others I did.
It is a cleaning up of the old and recycle, remove, shred or re-home.
It will be less burdensome to have things less cluttered.
I am by nature a sentimental messy. I have notes and drawings my kids and my grand kids have given to me.
You can’t get childhood back but you can walk down memory lane at times.
I found old pens, old tablets and all kinds of assorted things I imagined I would use or need years ago.
Retirement changes things. What I needed when I worked is not what I need now.
I was able to re-homed sweaters, sweatshirts and shoes, and other items that were good.
I am not one to give to good will but I have chosen some things to go there.
We gave furniture away and appliances in this process of downsizing.
I have had to focus on what is really important. What is my bottom line, too keep.
Someday I will have to purge again, I know we are packing way more than we need.
The walk down memory lane has been good. It validates many things for me.
It also allows me to say, that was then; this is now; I don’t need it anymore.
The journey is almost over. Soon I can settle into a new office space and a new time for writing.
Till then keep us in your prayers we sure need it.
It’s hard for me to believe I have not written in a few weeks.
Life has been crazy busy with getting ready to move and packing boxes and going through old ‘memories’.
I will return with good words and thoughts as soon as I get settled and the boxes are unpacked.
Many things have been looked at, gone through and removed.
I am able to say, “take it away”, without a lot of regret.
It is a good feeling but we are still taking too much and in time I will go through it all one more time.
Moving has been an exercise of discipline and also determination.
It has been very hard and very fast.
Our house sold in three weeks then we had fourteen days to find another one.
We found a small one and it will work well for us.
Single level, no stairs, in a senior community.
Not the one we originally wanted but it will be fine and a good fit we hope.
So much will change, so much will be different and new.
New is ok. It is good to shake the comfort zone sometimes.
I am a creature of familiar things and I really don’t like change.
So this will be a journey of many levels. Grief included.
Saying good bye to our community, our neighbors and familiar stores.
It will be hard, and very stretching. My cats are even a bit disturbed.
If you pray we could use some right now. The days are often filled with overwhelm.
Where do I start and where do I stop and how is it ever going to be done?
Change is good.
“For I know the plans for you” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
In those days when you pray, I will listen.
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you.” says the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11
This verse has been a key for me during the last few weeks preparing to move from one home to another.
It is a trust issue, and a believing that ‘all things will work for good.’
I like the promise that say’s, “if you pray, I will listen”… but there is condition, it has to be from the heart.
He knows when we are sincere and when we are not.
Just as a parent knows when their child is telling us something that is not true.
It is a discerning moment of truth or ‘not’, confess to me or there is going to be a consequence.
I know when our kids were growing up I could always tell, I have a sense of discernment and could know if something was not true.
I cling to the promise that God knows a head of us, what is going to happen.
He is in the planning and the preparing and we only need to be still and wait on him.
Is it easy? nope but it is necessary.
He knows what we need before we need it, we only need to wait and listen.
Is there something that you are wrestling with that has you praying and asking?
Is there an internal struggle and or anxiety about something?
It’s time to regroup and remember the promises HE has given us.
Also I think it’s a good thing to humble ourselves and lean into what we do not fully know.
God has plans for us we only need to trust and wait. Do we know the final outcome? Nope
Shall we encourage each other in this ‘process?’
Yes we shall. Always be encouraging and always challenging ourselves to trust with our whole hearts.
Let us pray:
Father God you have shared with us that you know the plans for our lives.
You do not want us to go through hard times, you want us safe and secure.
Yet should we find ourselves in the middle of hard times, you are with us.
So as we gather ourselves for this new awareness of your truth; protect us, listen to us and walk alongside us.
Help us to fully know and understand we are not walking this road alone.
Thank you Lord, Amen
Plans are moving at a very rapid pace, changes are taking place and attachmenets of the heart are being challenged in every direction.
I do not do change well. When I put roots down I want them to be deep and strong.
Our house has sold and we had 14 days to find suitable housing for us.
We purchased a small two bedroom, two bathroom home that is quaint and cozy, with an over size single garage.
The more space you have the more you fill it; so this should be a great little simplified home.
It is in a different town than ours, maybe that is good. I am not sure yet.
This is a senior community but not the one we originally wanted.
We prayed, we searched, we talked, we waited, and we found one.
The first three homes we really liked we were not allowed to purchase for some reason or other.
Mostly we got bumped off with a cash buyer. The real estate market is a very tricky one these days.
This is not a fancy home, built in1973 they have remodeled it and it is a place that is comfortable.
The next ten weeks will be busy, we will be packing and packing and packing.
We have a double size garage that has to be cleaned out enough to fit into a single size.
There will be many changes but we are not leaving our church. We have friends we are not leaving.
Our grandchildren will get used to it, once they know it’s our home.
The couple who bought ours are young, first time buyers.
That is exciting for them. I think it will be a great house for a young potential family.
I don’t know if they have children or not but the yard is perfect for them, fully fenced.
I am not yet ready for my heart to catch up with the news.
When we first moved into this home I didn’t really like it.
As the years have come and gone it holds many memories both good and bad.
All of our grandchildren know this as ‘our home’…grandma and grandpa’s.
I guess we will all adjust.
Even my kitties are pretty disturbed with all the new behavior we are showing as we are coming and going a lot more.
It will settle in time. It will feel like home eventually, I will be ok in time.
For now there are many changes for our lives as we move through this process.
If you pray send one up for us, we need all the help we can get.
During the final move we are hiring a moving company, they are efficient and fast since they are most likely young and able to do the work.
Keep us in your prayers we need it.
The decision to put our house up for sale was not an easy one for us.
In our hearts we know it’s the right thing to do, but emotionally it is hard.
We have lived here over 23 years and I have roots here, in this house and in this town.
Our grand children have known this home as ours. The place where they come and hang out.
Grandma and grandpa’s place. The yard with the tree one can climb or the landing at the top of the stairs where they sit and share stories.
The stairs are the main reason we need to leave, they are steep and they are a hazard as we grow older, no one needs a broken hip or leg. Falling is not a choice.
The new place wherever it may be; will have a single story layout.
I am looking forward to something new and fresh and yet at the same time I am sentimental and don’t want to leave this home.
We know our neighbors and told them about our plans; of course they don’t want us to leave.
Life is often a series of choices. As we get older it becomes more difficult as we settle into our comfort zones. Our places of peace.
We have looked at other houses and neighborhoods and none have felt ‘like home to us.’
There is one little community we had an offer on a condo and it was denied because our house was not sold yet. We like that 55+ community and the builder; and it is becoming our first choice.
So the decision would have to be prayed over, talked through and decided as a firm plan.
I love our home and I also trust in this process. We cannot be overwhelmed or exhausted.
The journey is one we are not taking lightly nor are we rushing out to purchase something just because we think we need to.
In the right time it will happen we just have to keep trusting, praying and waiting.