Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In the Garden (When the Caregiver Needs Care)

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

"In the Garden"
Charles Austin Miles (1912)

You can hear country singer Brad Paisley 
sing this old hymn here: In the Garden 


I asked my mom yesterday what her favorite hymn is.  First she started humming, "Oh How He Loves You and Me" and then my sister reminded her that she has said "In the Garden" is her favorite, too.  That one certainly goes with the flower pictures I snapped at her house.  Mom is an avid gardener and has created so much beauty for us to enjoy.  I think this hymn is also a good reminder to focus on our faith and God's help in our lives. I personally need to spend some more time alone with Jesus "in the garden" or anywhere else.  I often miss the spiritual intimacy that he provides.  He really cares and ministers to our hearts' deepest needs. 

Mom is still in the hospital with complications after back surgery two weeks ago.  She has been bouncing back and forth between hospitals and rehab facilities.  Thanks to a kind gift of airplane tickets from my Aunt Nancy,  I finally flew up this weekend to spend time with Mom and help out.  It is such a privilege.  That's one reason I wanted to give her the honor of choosing this week's hymn for my Strength in Hymn series.

My mother has always been a nurturer and caregiver of both plants and people.  Not only did she raise three children to adulthood, she also hosted some of her nieces and nephews during their college years.  Later, she was the primary caregiver for her elderly mother-in-law, mother, and father -- for years on end.  My grandmother finally moved to a nursing center last year.

And now Mom needs care herself!  Allowing others to take care of you after you are the one who has cared for others can be really tough.  Caregivers like to be up and doing, not down and needing.  Those of us who are close to caregivers need to make sure they are getting help for their tough job, whether it is a listening ear, or a good book, or a meal brought in, or an afternoon off.  Mom's pastor at New Hope Lutheran, Rev. John Sabetelli, visited yesterday and encouraged her to let others know what she needs.  He said he would let her fellow choir members know that she's still in the hospital.  Her therapist will be visiting today, too.

Mom has had a lot of family members visit in the hospital.  My dad's sister Camille, who lives in Denver, has been in town for other reasons, so it's been good to see her.

I also took the opportunity to go visit my Grandma Hess in her memory care nursing facility yesterday. I passed my intersection on the way to visit her, but providentially discovered a Christian bookstore at the next stoplight. I had just been wishing I knew where one was because I wanted to buy some little gifts for Mom and Grandma to encourage them.  

"He has made everything beautiful in its time."  Ecclesiastes 3:11. God sure made Grandma beautiful in her 98 years!

Grandma is another of those lifelong caregivers now needing care.  She wouldn't eat her dinner until the attendant promised to bring me a plate of the yummy chicken and mushroom potpie and green salad, too.  She's hospitable, even if she can't do it herself, and even if she can't remember my name when she hasn't seen me in several months.

Well, it's time to head back over to the hospital after a nice breakfast chat with my Dad.  I've got a heap of TLC (Tender Loving Care) for my Mom.  She deserves it!

Related posts:

Virginia Knowles

Please pray for us. My mother passed away last night, on Friday, July 19.  Six of my children and I had driven up there for two weeks and got back last Sunday.  Mom had been scheduled to be released from the hospital to home yesterday.  Instead, she was released from her body and went HOME to be with Jesus.


  1. I just read this to Mom, (singing the hymn!) She grinned when I said, "Caregivers like to be up and doing, not down and needing." Truth, sister. Truth. When I was done reading the blog post, she nodded and said, "Very nice."

  2. How wonderful that you can be with your Mom! And I had the hymn in my mind, Johnny Cash sang the song. He did it so beautifully.

    Take good care of yourself, Virginia. And keep us up to date on your Mom.

    Peace in Christ,

  3. Dear Virginia
    You are such a good example of a daughter who calls her mother blessed. Their wealth and wisdom are in their grey hair and Jesus shining in their eyes!
    Much love XX