Lord Jesus Christ, take all of my freedom, my memory, my understanding and my entire will. All that I have and cherish You have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by Your holy will. Your grace and Your love are wealth enough for me. Give me only these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more. Amen.
This prayer, written by St. Ignatius of Loyola, seems a fitting one to pray during these days. While we've had more active moments, with a number of visitors and several meetings with the hospice team, most of the days this week were still pretty quiet. Dad had a bad headache Sunday night that left him in a fog for most of Monday, and other pains have ebbed and flowed throughout the week. We've spent quite a few hours together on the living room couch, all five of us with Nick home now. “Couch time,” as we affectionately refer to it, usually involves talking about life, processing things that are happening, and sometimes praying together as we did this morning.
This time spent together has been a great blessing. Our moments of prayer help to orient our days and keep us in God’s peace. This season of my dad’s life is a gift for all of us, but it’s not always easy to maintain that perspective. We need Jesus to invite us every day to continue the journey and we need to be reminded that we will be given everything we need in order to keep walking. We expect that there will continue to be challenges, both physical and emotional, in the coming days and weeks, but rest in the providence of God and in the comfort of one another’s companionship. We're also grateful for the friends and extended family members who are accompanying us so graciously, many of you reading this blog who have given of yourselves and helped to carry our burdens.
Gorgeous days like this also do a lot to lift our spirits. My dad and I spent the better part of an hour this afternoon puttering around the garden and doing some weeding. With the 4WD walker he was able to get around pretty well, perching on the walker seat to weed the raised beds. The temps are forecasted to be in the mid-70s through next week, so we are hoping to get plenty of good work done outside in the next few days.
My dad plans to continue sharing his journey with all of you through this blog, even if some posts come from yours truly filling in as guest blogger. Please stay tuned. This may indeed be the valley of the shadow of death, but God makes it a place of springs, a garden that blooms as surely as the springtime now unfolding before our eyes.