It's been a LONG seven days.
When my daughter received this beautiful hand forged cross from a member of our church on Sunday, I couldn't hold back the tears. After the week I'd had it just meant so much to me.
Let me preface this by sharing something about myself: I LOVE routine. I LOVE stability. I thrive on everything being orderly in my world. I devote a lot of my energy to making sure my life is calm and predictable.
My life has been the OPPOSITE of all of those things this week.
It all started last Sunday when my dad was admitted to the hospital. We didn't think it was serious at first, but a week (and 2 surgeries later), my 83 year old father is still in the hospital, struggling to recover.
Then, last Thursday afternoon, before Grant's piano lesson, I stopped by my father-in-law's house.
He didn't seem "right" to me - he told me he thought he was getting a cold and that he just needed to rest. I didn't feel "right" about that, either, so I called another family member and had them check on him.
By Thursday evening my father-in-law was in the hospital with Sepsis and Pneumonia. Very serious stuff.
During all of this on Thursday, my husband received wonderful news (which I can't share JUST yet, but I will - soon), but this excitement was tempered by the grave concern we had for our dads.
You see, my husband and I have GOOD fathers.
We have fathers who are/were in LASTING, faithful marriages. They stayed in the same job most of their lives. They value hard work, honesty, integrity, and a belief in God.
We have fathers who have dropped everything to be there for us - and in the past 13 years of being a parent I have gained a new appreciation for that sacrificial kind of love.
We have fathers who were there for every swim meet and basketball game - fathers that drove us to college, put up with our dumb mistakes, and made sure we had the best of everything.
My husband's father is like a second father to me. He's the kind of man who would leave Sprite and roses on the front door step when Anna was sick.
Being without either of these men is not something I want to contemplate, but I know our lives on this earth are finite.
While each of their conditions are still tenative, I think they are improving. We never know what tomorrow holds, but for today they are recovering slowly but surely.
The past week has been a blur to say the least.
We've learned a lot of medical terms, navigated insurance, and spent endless hours on the phone.
Sunday morning my husband and I made it a priority to be with our church family. Our church is a source of strength for me. Many of our friends at church are as close to us as family.
My husband and I had tears streaming down our cheeks as we listened to the prayers of the church:
Lord God, your Holy Word commands us to pray without ceasing. When we are disheartened, help us to pray for encouragement. When we are feeling alone, let us take our despair to you and find peace. When we grieve, let us take our tears to you in prayer and find solace. When we are joyful, let us offer prayers of thanksgiving and share your love with others. In all things, at all times, let us seek your wisdom and grace in prayer. Help us remember to take one day at a time and one prayer at a time.
So I'm taking things one day and one prayer at a time.
Amidst the events of the week, there is SO MUCH to be thankful for. I'm choosing to focus on this, because it is every bit as important as the hard stuff.
If you are having a difficulty in your life right now, I encourage to just take it one day, one prayer at a time.
That's the most we can do - and I am confident that IS enough.