Monday, October 22, 2007

The art of giving care

I first learned about this book here, and when I mentioned wanting to read it to my sister, Monica, she told me she owned it and I could borrow her copy. It sat in my stack for months, never making it to the top of the pile. I'm so glad I waited to read it, though--because when I finally picked it up, it was at a time when I really needed to hear the message. I felt compelled to underline a statement on the very first page of the very first chapter, and knew then that I should order Monica a replacement so I could keep the copy I'd just begun.

This book is an inspiration to caregivers of all kinds, but was very affirming to me as a mother, particularly one who stays home full-time. Ashworth says that we need to value "faithfulness in the ordinary, daily needs of life." She writes about boundaries and identity struggles, and she encourages, challenges, and leads by example.

A couple of noteworthy quotes:

"Seeking the good of another person fills our lives with purpose and meaning."

"We can never be all things to all people at all times, but we can be intentional about caring for the relationships that surround us in the present. People will come and go from our lives, and our caregiving responsibilites will shift with the years. Our own needs and our ability to meet the needs of others will change, but our ultimate calling to care remains."

One of the practical ideas Ashworth offers is to write an account of what she does each day. She says, "It helps me understand the calling God has given me so that I can be more faithful to it even when others don't understand." Do any of you write down the activities of your day--whether before or after? Has anyone else read this book? I highly recommend it!


thehomespunheart said...

Carrie! My new copy arrived Saturday while I was outside glittering pumpkins with Grace - thank you so much!

Niki RuralWritings said...

Hmmmm...another book for my stack!!! I hope I live long enough to get through my
I can attest to the fact that even once your children are grown you are still caring for them actively not to mention others in your life.
I do write down my days, not in a journal style, but more in a list style with notes etc. It is really affirming.

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...


Sounds like a book I should add to my wish list. I sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to be everything to everyone! It is so hard for us to say no when we are asked to help out. This weekend is a great example. We spent so much time away from home helping others with task that we feel like the homefront was neglected this weekend. Oh to find the right balance!

Anonymous said...

Dear Carrie -- another book recommended by my dear daughters that I haven't read!

I like/agree with the quotes you share -- caregiving responsibilities indeed shift with the years. I would add that it is important to take care of ourselves as well (maybe this is brought out in the book). I don't think I really "got" that until I read "Simple Abundance" -- doing things you enjoy or that maintain your health/well-being make it easier to care for others.

You're doing a great job and I'm proud of you! Love you, Mom

Rochelle said...

I truly need this book in my library! No, I need it next to me in my favorite chair so I read it now!

Judy said...

That is weird Carrie, I sent an e-mail to you the day you announced the winner. I can't figure out why you didn't get it. I would like the book "Going Over East:Reflections of a Woman Rancher". I will e-mail you my address again. If you don't get it, please let me know. Sorry.

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

That sounds wonderful! Thanks for the good review!

Katie said...

Thanks for this post - I'll have to take a look at this book!

Thanks for your comment about my question with the shepherd's hook - I like your idea... I'm trying to visualize something...

Have a great day!

Ewokgirl said...

Oh, that does sound like a good book!

I've never written down my daily accomplishments (other than the occasional blog post, I suppose), but that sounds like it could be an interesting thing to do. I often feel as if I'm not making much of a difference in the world, so I really appreciate that quote about faithfulness.

WorksForMom said...

Wow, those quotes are indeed quoteworthy Carrie!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Carrie:

I have been a caregiver most of my adult life, with the recipients of my care ranging from my own infants to my aged 99 year old mother, as you well know. Now that I have noone in my daily care, I am at "loose ends". I'm sure God has something for me to do or someone in store for me to care for, but right now I am trying to just "rest in Him" until He shows me what or who is next.
I'm very proud of both you and Monica for being such wonderful caregivers of your children by staying at home with them. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us via your blog.


justabeachkat said...

Thanks for sharing about this book. I'll look for it.


Grace said...

Your dear sister let me borrow the copy you sent to her. She read a favorite passage of hers and it really touched my heart. I can't wait to read it and get encouragement out of it.