Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Well Done Good & Faithful Servant...

August C. Schwark
June 10, 1917 - September 22, 2008

My dear father in law was welcomed home yesterday morning at 6:15am. Yesterday was also our 18th wedding anniversary. Jim and I both said we could not have received a more wonderful gift than sharing our anniversary w/ our father's homecoming! We rejoice knowing he is with our savior!

I posted on Friday that he had taken a turn.. we are so grateful for the time we had this past weekend. Although his body was very weak, his mind was so sharp. On Sunday we got out pictures and walked through his life with him, from childhood to now. He knew all the pictures, when they were etc. It's a testament to also being so healthy up until now.

There are so many other wonderful moments that happened over the weekend. One moment I want to share today happened Saturday afternoon. My sister in law Ann and I were sitting on either side of my father in law. We had the front door to the house open. The front door has a storm door with a window. While we were sitting there relaxing a woodpecker landed on the tiny corner of the storm door window. It was absolutely amazing, as that is something that is just out of character for this type of bird. The tiny woodpecker sat there on the tiny ledge, looking in the window for a few minutes and flew away. When I say looking, I mean looking. Not like he was just resting there... he was looking in on us. Right after that moment, my father in law looked at me and Ann and said "I see them coming, they will be here soon." I truly believe that woodpecker was a messenger from our Lord, sent to speak to my father in law and to us as well.

I have to tell you, a downey woodpecker is now my favorite bird!

We had many more cherished moments that I will always treasure. On Sunday night we were all sitting around the hospital bed that was set up in the living room. He was struggling a bit by then. I read the 23rd Psalm which happens to also be the Psalm that my mother in law and father in law's wedding sermon was based. We prayed the Lord's Prayer, we sang Jesus Loves Me, Beautiful Savior and Abide With Me to him. What a blessing, to spend your last days at home, surrounding by loved ones, wrapped in the arms of our savior!

My father in law was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and servant of Christ.
I have included the link to my father in law's online obituary which will tell you a bit about his life and what his work for the Lord entailed. I will miss him like crazy, but as my husband said when he bent down to kiss his dad's forehead "I'll see ya later pop!" Yes, we have that promise! This is not the end... we will see him later! Glory!!!

Gracious Father, Your love never ends. When all else fails You remain to help, heal and make us whole. I thank You this day that in our time of sadness You give us peace, strength and hope. I thank You for placing me in this family and for giving me my Father in Law. He loved me as if I were his own and I am so grateful for the special relationship we had. Strengthen our faith and our our hope, for all time, through the all-sufficient grace of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Well done good and faithful servant, welcome to paradise! Amen

I know that my Redeemeer Lives! What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives who once was dead; He lives, my ever-living head!

He lives, all glory to his name! He lives, my Savior, still the same;
What joy this blest assurance gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!

Online Obituary & Tribute


Sarah said...

Kristen (and family),
I am so sorry to hear of his passing. What a wonderful time it sounds like you had with him before he was in the arms of Jesus! And what glorious hope that we will ALL be reunited one day. I look forward to meeting him! My grandfather's name was August (I've always loved it!), so I know the Lord will bring you to mind frequently to pray for you.
Sending prayers and love to you,

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Know that I'm praying for you and your family as you walk this road of grief, and celebration!

What comfort we find when we know our loved ones are resting in Jesus' arms.

Hold tight to the amazing memories you've created....

I'll be praying that God lifts you all...during the next week weeks, and months to come.


Tracy said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your beloved Father-in-law. What a special man. How gracious of the Lord to give your family such special cherished final moments together with him. Those memories will no doubt be a comfort in the time to come. Know that I'll be praying for you, your husband and the rest of your family.


Sandy Toes said...

I am sorry to hear on your loss but your wording is so inspirational and full of hope! May our Lord comfort you and your family!
-Sandy toes

Yolanda said...

What a Sweet Home Coming!


CTLarson said...

Wonderful words, Kristen! Your tribute to your dad-in-law is lovely. You remain in my prayers.
Love from NH,

On Purpose said...

May you and your husband continue to live in this beautiful peace provided by our God and know He does everything for good!

Love to you!

Ang baylis said...

Oh, Kristen! I'm so sorry about your loss. I am mostly happy for a few things... I'm glad he had his mind til the end. That's such a special gift. The other gift is the relationship you had with him. I didn't know my husband's father as he passed away before I met my husband. I'm so happy for you, that he treated you like one of his own. I love how your husband told his dad, I'll see ya later pop!" Such comfort at a sad time. This song came to mind as I read your special post today...

Because He Lives

1. God sent His Son - they called Him Jesus,
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

2. How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because Christ lives.


3. And then one day I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory - and I'll know He lives.

I'll keep your family in my Prayers during these difficult days ahead!
Love you,
Angie xoxo

Paula said...

Kristen, so sorry to hear that your father in law has passed away. My prayers will be with you as you and your family adjust... I know you'll miss his presence. Hugs.


Cindy said...


What a beautiful tribute to your father in law. How special that you were all able to spend time together in those last days before he met Jesus face to face.

We should all learn to spend more quality time with those we love. So many of us don't get that chance and need to remember how fragile life is and oh how short our time really is on earth compared to our eternity.

I'll be praying for your family.

Elinor Dashwood said...

Wow, I stumbled upon your blog tonight for the first time and read this post about losing your father-in-law. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, but I can totally relate. Peek at my blog, you'll see why. Any day now my own Dad will be going home to glory too. I agree with what you said about seeing them again...I know without a doubt that I'll see my Dad again once I get to heaven...that makes losing him a little bit less painful. We're still waiting for God to call him home, and it's tough to wait patiently when we see how much pain he is in. My Dad has Alzheimer's Disease, so his mind is not clear.

Again, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad I popped in tonight...I know it was no accident. Have a blessed weekend!


Amy said...


I am so sorry for the loss of your father in law, but what a blessing his life was!
I love what you shared about the woodpecker. What a sweet reminder of God's presence!
I will be praying for you and your husband.

God Bless,

Ang baylis said...

You are on my heart this morning and I wanted to stop by to tell you. I hope you are doing okay?!
Much love,
Angie xoxo

Sarah said...

Still praying!

PS. Our Nalgene "collection" is so big, it's in a container in the garage! The won't even fit in our cabinets!

Anonymous said...

Kristen ~ Understandably, you've not been on the Contessa board in a while, so I checked in here to see how you were doing. In doing so, I read your beautiful tribute to your father-in-law and his obituary. What a wonderful life he had and led. I can't think of anything better when we leave this earth than to be loved and have loved. He had both. God Bless you all.


Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Know that I'm continuing to lift you and your precious family up in prayer!!

Praying that God's peace, love, and comfort continues to flood your hearts and souls.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've been out of blogland for over a week. I'm thinking of both you and Jim tonight as you continue to walk through these mellow days of mourning. I am comforted by your Father-in-law's walk of grace that has led him safely home to the arms of his forever!

There is coming a day. There is coming a day.

Love u~elaine

Christy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss but rejoicing in knowing where your father-in-law is now. What special and tender memories you have during those last moments with him. That is such a treasure.

I will continue to keep you in my prayers!