Archives For Care

 

For those who Cultivate

 
A Feature Review of 
 

Letters from the Farm: A Simple Path for a Deeper Spiritual Life
Becca Stevens

Paperback: Morehouse Publishing, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Jennifer Burns-Lewis
 
 

“Love always has the last word. That truth gives me hope
that in simplicity we can find our way to heaven.
And, that, in the end, truth
will reassure us that we
were enough.”
– Becca Stevens

 

Episcopal priest Becca Stevens writes from the heart. A passionate advocate for victimized women, Stevens is a conduit for the healing love of God. Letters from the Farm is a collection of love letters shared across the miles and across the seasons of a year.  The founder of Magdalene, a group of residential communities of women who have been survived prostitution, sex trafficking, or addiction, the communities are supplemented by Thistle Farms, a fifteen year old consortium for employment for women, including a studio, café, and a line of natural body care.

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The Mother
L.M. Montgomery

Here I lean over you, small son, sleeping
Warm in my arms,
And I con to my heart all your dew-fresh charms,
As you lie close, close in my hungry hold . . .
Your hair like a miser’s dream of gold,
And the white rose of your face far fairer,
Finer, and rarer
Than all the flowers in the young year’s keeping;
Over lips half parted your low breath creeping
Is sweeter than violets in April grasses;
Though your eyes are fast shut I can see their blue,
Splendid and soft as starshine in heaven,
With all the joyance and wisdom given
From the many souls who have stanchly striven
Through the dead years to be strong and true.

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A Brief Review of

Working with Aging Families:
Therapeutic Solutions for Caregivers, Spouses and  Adult Children
.
Kathleen Piercy.
Hardback: W.W. Norton ,2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Jennifer Price.

As our population includes many more people over the age of 65, we are forced to address the question of how do we take care of aging people?  Our little nuclear families are not always equipped to take care of aging parents and more often other support is needed, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Our families often include step-children and step-parents in a mobile culture which add to the complexity of caring for our families.  This book provides resources for counselors and therapists in navigating the golden years in the outpatient realm.

In order to get a grasp on this challenge, one must start with understanding the family dynamics and the transitions that older people make.  This book offers help in the aging process in the earlier years of aging, as well as the later years.  It offers examples of families who sought out therapy, with challenges such as, how to communicate with a family member or spouse who has MCI (mild cognitive impairment) or lessons in communication in marriage counseling for the later years.  Piercy suggests, that addressing these challenges sometimes involves psycho-educational  seminars at a senior community center for those reluctant to see a therapist. She offers several vivid examples of therapy sessions that demonstrate how people learn to cope, problem solve, and give resources.  Her research is thorough; in coordinating the care of the elderly person’s families she provices resources for various contexts, both urban and rural.  This can ease the stress placed on families in such situations.  Many times the children of elderly parents like to reciprocate the care they once received, but with health issues it can still be taxing to the caregivers.  Piercy explores complex family situations such as elderly parents who have a developmentally disabled adult child for whom they provide  care.  Another complexity, which is happening more often, is grandparents who are taking care of grandkids whose parent is absent.

Through reading this book these problems are addressed with lots of counseling interventions and resourceful examples for families that are described in a practical manner.  WORKING WITH AGING FAMILIES is a good resource for church families as we seek to care for both our birth parents as well as our older brothers and sisters in Christ.