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One Day at a Time ? Meditations for Carers

Author: Dorothy M Stewart
Published By: SPCK (London)
Pages: 86
Price: £8.99
ISBN: 978 0 281 06172 3

Reviewed by Chris Skilton.

The author of this book is the principal carer for her husband and it is estimated that about six million people in the UK today are carers. The book emerged from her conviction that many carers like herself needed a very short Bible reading, prayer and reflection for each day. It reco1gnises that many carers are themselves short of time and energy and concentration and something longer and demanding is not what is needed.

Each of the forty pieces follows a common pattern of reading, reflection, prayer and most importantly a “self care suggestion” to put into practice at some point in the day. These range from “choosing one small thing that makes you feel special and cherished” to making sure that there is even just a short moment to stand outside the door and breathe some fresh air. The aim of the book is to be both practical and reflective.

The meditations ring very true and address precisely those issues that many carers experience - coping with the seeming chaos of life, recognising that illness is ‘boring’, coping with a much loved person becoming confused and violent, learning straight talking with God and others. They could well be something to which a carer can return. Many of the readings are short enough to hold in the mind and learn and store away for times when even a brief respite to read seems out of the question.

But two important reservations...nearly 10.5p per page doesn’t seem the best value - certainly if a church wanted to keep a stock of these to give to its members who have become carers. And the book is entirely words, when some pictures and images would provide some valuable alternative resources to feed wearied imaginations and encourage tired spirits.

Chris Skilton

Archdeacon of Lambeth and Board Member of Ministry Today

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You are reading Issue 48 of Ministry Today, published in March 2010.

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