Quiet Moments for Caregivers by Betty Free

Review by Rich O'Boyle, Publisher
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"Quiet Moments for Caregivers: Devotional and Worship Ideas for Caregivers and Care Receivers" by Betty Free

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Quiet Moments for Caregivers

In a Nutshell: Too often the strains of caregiving push individuals further away from their loved ones, themselves, and their spiritual centers. Betty Free's book of prayers is designed to bridge the divide and encourage a stronger bond among all those involved.

The prayers are arranged intelligently around themes that confront caregivers daily, as well as over the long term. She encourages us to meditate on love and family, but also change, worries, and fear. Like all expereinced caregivers, Betty knows the power of laughter and hope. She appropriately shares her prayers in those areas as well. With over 50 prayers, the book serves as a weekly missal or bedside reading.

Betty does not neglect the important wisdom that the role of the caregiver is tied to the role of the care receiver (as well as to higher relationships with family, society, and God). Betty shares additional prayers specifically for care receivers, making this a particularly unique and valuable book. The inclusion of hymns and spiritual songs at he the end of the book encourages lively musical interaction between caregivers and care receivers.

I began by saying that the strain of caregiving often strains one's relationship with God: caregivers ask, "Why me?" or "How can God be so cruel?" But I also note that the challenge of caregiving more often brings about a spiritual change and insight. This book can be a catalyst for anyone who seeks that insight but needs an experienced guide.

Excerpted Prayers

Adoration: Praise to God for being in control

"The One In Charge"

Dear Father in heaven,

How glad I am to be your child!
­I’m also glad my parents taught me to depend on you, because as they grew older,
I found myself calling on you for help more and more.

I praise you for being in charge of my dad’s life
from beginning to end, to glorious new beginning.

You brought Dad through cancer surgery and gave him almost twenty more years of life.

I praise you for being in charge of Mom’s life too.

You brought her through chemotherapy twenty-five years ago, and she is still here!

You’ve been in charge all along, dear Lord.

You’ve brought us through good and bad.

Now that Dad is with you and Mom at ninety-three
is still with me,

­I’m glad you continue to be in charge.

I have many decisions to make about Mom’s care.

And I need your help, dear Father.

I must allow you to be the Lord of my choices.

Forgive me when I forget who is in charge.

Help me not to try to do your work for you.

In the name of ­Jesus, my Lord and Savior.
Amen.

 

Family: showing love even when it’s not returned

"Total acceptance"

Dear Lord,

How thankful I am that my parents loved me and understood me.

Just as you first loved me and gave me a desire to be like you,
Lord, so Mom and Dad first loved me and made me
want to be like them—loving, caring, and forgiving.

Over the years I’ve come to expect total acceptance
from my family, as well as from you.

Father, I ask that you help me now when Mom
becomes angry with me.

Help me not to respond to anger with anger.

I know Mom isn’t herself when she throws a tantrum.

I know she is confused and frustrated and frightened.

What’s my excuse, Lord?

I still have the ability to reason and understand.

Forgive me for expecting from Mom what she is no longer capable of giving.

Fill me with your love so that I can offer total acceptance even when it may seem undeserved. After all, my parents accepted me in spite of my
faults, just as you do.

I need to pray the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi—
especially the part that says, “Grant that I may
not so much seek . . . to be understood
as to understand.”

In the name of my loving Savior.

Amen.

About the Author

Betty Free has been a caregiver for the past 10 years, dealing with issues such as deteriorating physical health, dementia, loss of purpose, and loneliness.

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