About the Author

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the...

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  1. Wow ~ Love is the most important thing ~ “Even in his dying, he is giving” so true

    blessings,

  2. Wow! I too am undone by this. I have been a reader of incourage for a long time and never felt compelled to comment. Until now.

    I don’t think I have ever read anything that boils the Faith down so simply and beautifully.

    Thank you!

    And many prayers to your family as you begin to say goodbye to your lovely father for a short time until you can be reunited in Christ Jesus!

  3. We all at some point find ouselves taking care of a loved one.

    Going through a time of dementia, sundowners, hospitalizations, etc. with my 84 year old mother & dad taking care 24-7 was tough, but now I see it as a chance to bless my parents and show them the true love of God!@

  4. Prayers for you and your family, Beth. Thank you for sharing the raw reality of pure and undefiled religion His Grace with us! Forever Thankful for His love, His peace, His Grace especially in our sorrow.
    I get to see my mom today!

  5. Dearest Beth and Family. I too remember the feeling. It is such an honor and blessing to “get” the opportunity to be at the bedside of a parent. It is so differnet than the word “have” to. Love and prayers. to all of you. Thnk you for continuing to share with all of us. Love, Kitty

  6. Precious…so precious…thank you for sharing your glorious treasured pearls…. I honor Christ Jesus and all that He is doing and continues to do in the lives of His people….He truly does save to the uttermost!
    May your dad be blessed with His grace, peace and filled with His perfect love that would cast out all fear… And that you & your family would be blessed with His comfort and joy.
    So simple….love God, love others.
    His peace & grace to you beloved one.

  7. So very beautiful.

    I am praying for Beth and her dad, that by fully entering each moment these end days will be stretched long. Long for savoring….

  8. Beth, thank you for sharing your beautiful gift today, it has sincerely touched my heart and I am thankful and thinking of your wonderful father.

  9. Your words this morning have brought me to tears! I, too, lost my 60 year old Mama to lung cancer on December 7, 2010. She was diagnosed on September 17, 2010. It rocked our world beyond words. So, I do understand how you must feel about your father and I just wanted to let you know that a stranger (among many) is praying for you and your family. It’s a horrific thing to watch your precious father deterioriate. It’s a hurt that I’ve never experienced before and I’m still trying to make sense of it all. Thank you, thank you for sharing your story and reminding me that even in those horrific times, I am grateful I was able to be with her, help her, talk to her, love on her and help her to accept Jesus Christ as her loving savior. I will forever be grateful for the day she whispered, “I DO ACCEPT HIM!” God bless you and be with you always!

  10. This so reminded me of the days before Momma’s death not quite 5 months ago. She was at my home, too. I did things I never thought I’d have the strength to do. While I was not thankful for a lot of them, I was thankful I got to have the privilege of taking care of her before she went Home. I am thankful I got to whisper “I love you” even when she couldn’t respond. I’m so thankful that I was able to hide what was turning out to be total chaos outside her room…her husband (NOT my dad) was causing my family a lot of grief.

    As I write my own list of gifts, I haven’t written yet about that experience. I think I’m still healing…but I know it will get easier to see how much that happened during that time that I have to be thankful for.

    Thank you, Beth, for sharing this with us.

    Thank you, Ann, for teaching us the depth of true thankfulness.

  11. Thank you so much for this post; I had the blessed privilege of being my wonderful father’s caregiver for an extended period of time. There came a point where it was necessary to place him in a private group home; however, I was still able to spend a good deal of time with him. Sadly, he passed away last April at the age of 100 1/2 + one day. I do wish he was still with us, but know he is in a better place. He was a fine example of what a Christian man should be and even in his dementia, he was able to quote Scripture which he had learned years ago and display much grace and love through his illness.

  12. Sweet Beth, I am so honored to call you friend, I am so glad our paths crossed in our every changing military world. We love you and your family so much and are praying for you all during this time. Thank you for sharing.

    Love
    Jillian

  13. Such a beautiful post. Thank you for gracing us with it. The picture reminds me so much of my grandfather who passed away after a long illness in 2006. It was a gift to help and be nearby in his last years.

    Praying for you during this time, Beth.

  14. This morning i sit poised to meet up with my sister, whose daughter Danielle, died in a car accident on 8 dec 2009. We have survived the year. The blessings; I now spend more time with my sister then before, has our life’s journey had taken us in different directions, and with her other daughter Charlotte. We are campaigning to change the speed limit on a very dangerous stretch of road and to change the law concerning those who may have had seizure. At the moment the law in the UK states that only those with a dignosed condition will have their driving licences revoked. Unlike Dan who had had a seizure just 2 days before but there was nothing stopping her from driving. If she had had her licence suspended even temporarily she wouldnt have driven, she would of been furious but she wouldnt of driven. Our mission now is stop another family from the same heartache, if we can.

    Spend every moment with those you love because you never know the day nor the hour when they may be called home.

    My prayers are sent heavenwards for you all today.

  15. I love my dad to a very, very brief fight against lung cancer four years ago. We only had him about 5-6 weeks after he was initially diagnosed. However, I can look back and see God at work evern before he got sick. God tells us that all things work together for good to them that love God. I am thankful for the good things He puts in our lives and the way He can bring about blessings in the shadow of suffering. I will certainly put this book on my reading list. Thanks!

  16. Such a beautiful perspective. May God bless these precious few moments. God be with you all.

  17. So beautiful. My 6 year old son recently pointed us to the same truth, as we asked him what Valentine’s day was all about:
    “About loving Jesus!”
    — and how do we love Jesus, Ian?
    “By loving each other!”

    What it all boils down to. Thanks for another tender reminder.
    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight.com

  18. this is so lovely. I just read this slowly to savor it. I lost my dad to cancer years ago and the love and peace you wrote about came jumping back to me.
    this was just lovely. May our Lord wrap you in his loving arms and give you all the peace that truly only he can bring.

  19. I am undone. I am 40 and have not had my father in my life for 20 years. Cancer. I had one day to really know. They knew two weeks and kept it from me so I could get through finals at university. Later when my m-i-l spent years battling ovarian/uterine cancer I was able to care for her and love her. But, in her peace she shared her joy with us, of knowing she was going Home. I am thankful.

  20. So blessed, Beth, that you get this time. All I got was a phone call from my sister, “I just found Dad lying on the bed, no pulse, no respiration.” You get time to say goodbye. So blessed. Yet I was blessed to get to know my dad better after my mom was hit by a car and died (again, another phone call with the accident news.) For the next 16 years, dad came to my house for dinner once a week. As he got older, I used to wonder when he left, as I watched him walk down the driveway, if this would be the last time I’d see him. One day I got the phone call…again…two parents taken swiftly away…no time to say goodbye. Yes, you are blessed to get to care for him. May the Lord be with you in these blessed moments.

  21. The picture at the end touched my heart……Thank you for such a sweet message I am praying for your family.

    Margaret

  22. I totally relate to this. In caring for both my mom and dad during their last days on this earth I felt the gift of being able to tenderly care for them and show them how much they meant to me. They always felt bad, as if they were bothering me, but I would always reassure I loved being there for them. God showed me in the moments how sacred it was to love with no expectations. Many of my friends were worried about the toll all this caretaking would take…but I trusted God would provide the energy and allow me to see the gift He was given me. To Him be the glory.

  23. I am praying for you Beth and your father. I took care of my parents for 17 years. First my dad until he died then my mum who died on Dec. 8, 2010. I did things and faced situations that I never imagined I could. I bought myself a bracelet with the 10 Commandments to wear and remind myself I was honouring my parents, like God said to do. My dad was like Beth’s dad, a father to the end. I remember him holding onto my hand in the middle of the night as I sat by his bedside when he was very ill.

  24. Beth –
    Found you through Laura Parker . . .
    This post so touched me . . . my mom went to Heaven 3 years ago after a battle with lung cancer. I was being treated for breast cancer at the same time so could not do what you are doing although my heart ached to be by her side. We were there truly as much as we could be and God gives His peace, as always.
    Blessings to you and your family as you travel this journey – praying for your peace and even joy in these times.

  25. This post touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I lost my daddy to liver cancer almost 15 years ago. He was home with my mom and I was able to be there with mom and my sister when he passed away…but how I wish I had spent more time talking, taking care of and just being with him. I miss him so. Thank you for such a beautiful post and the reminder to all of us that life is not “all about me”…it’s about love, humility and honor and it can’t possibly be done without God.

  26. I can’t begin to thank you all for your precious words and prayers….I know they have carried us through…
    I wanted to let you know that Daddy died on February 28 at 8:50am. My mom, my youngest son (7) and I were with him. As expected as his death was, it still came suddenly, but quietly. I am sure it was God Who led me to have my mom come 2 hours earlier than usual that morning…another gift to us. He stayed in our home until about 4 that afternoon…it was such a precious time. Did you know that hearing is the last sense to cease? So his brother and my husband got to speak to him one last time on the phone…precious moments.
    Now that the funeral and all it entails is over…all the relatives gone…my husband back to work and us back to home school, we are trying to begin to understand how to navigate this life without Daddy…we miss him so very much. Taking care of Daddy was the easy part….
    Please continue to keep us in prayer as you are led…thank you so much…
    Love,
    Beth

  27. One more thought: We could not have cared for Daddy like we were able to without hospice…they were wonderful and helpful beyond anything we could have imagined. I knew nothing about hospice until January 21st, and now I can’t recommend them highly enough. God provided 2 Christian women through them to care for Daddy, and in the process they became part of our family. More gifts…

  28. Absolute beauty. We should love our parents unconditionally as they age, because we don’t know when we’ll lose them.

  29. 1) Love God
    2) Love others

    It truly is that simple and yet we chose to make it so difficult! I thank God for the ability to see my many shortcomings and the desire to try and overcome them!