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READ: Review, Because You Care by Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk

Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Because You Care, Caregivers, Cec Murphey, Christian living, Read, Twila Belk | 10 comments

“How is he?” I find myself asking when I see my friend. Her husband suffers from dementia, and although both are aging, she has become the gentle caregiver for her often-childlike spouse.

“Lord, give her the strength to meet his needs today.” I pray these words often for my mother, now my father’s caregiver. Diabetes and three cancer diagnoses have changed him from an active, robust man to one whose narrow world revolves around doctor’s appointments and treatments.

When I opened Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers by Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk (Harvest House, 2012), I expected to find a gentle, peaceful read—and I did. Beautiful photographs add to the book’s overall aura of calm. But I also found something unexpected: conviction.

As Cec, Twila, and selected others shared thoughts about their own caregiving experiences, I reflected on the growing number of caregivers I know. The journeys described in this brief (48-page) volume challenged me to become more sensitive not only to those who require long-term care, but to the heart-breaking responsibilities of their caregivers.

How much should I do for him? How will she know I truly care? What will the future hold? The authors’ honest reflections on these and other questions provide empathy and inspiration to caregivers and those who love them. The prayers, summary statements, and practical suggestions presented in a brief, easy-to-manage format make this book a perfect companion for caregivers’ busy lives.  

Thank you, Cec and Twila, for this thoughtful, transparent work. Next time I see a caregiver, I’ll ask, “How are you?” before I ask about anyone else. I’ll focus my prayers as much on the needs of the caregiver as on the one who receives care. And I hope to display more sensitivity to the delicate balance of the caregiving life.

I plan to give a copy of Because You Care to my mother, but I’ll donate my review copy to someone who leaves a comment below. Tell us a bit about yourself as a caregiver or another caregiver you know. I’ll choose one reader at random to receive my review copy which you may share with your favorite caregiver. US addresses only, please, and include your email address or link to it in your comment. 

(FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to post a review or a positive response.)


  1. I’m an unexpected caregiver, Marti, following my son’s auto accident in January. It’s a time of long, slow healing and I’m learning so much. My contact info is on my blog. I’d appreciate your prayers, too. Were you at FCWC? Take care.

  2. Laura, I can only imagine how much you’re learning. I learned a great deal in only a few weeks of caregiving for my son after he broke his leg last spring. You’re in my prayers. And yes, I was at FCWC where, among many other blessings, I enjoyed getting to know the Writer of the Year. I think you know her name. ; )

  3. I became the caregiver for my daughter after she suffered severe injuries in a car accident four years ago. There was one person that looked into my eyes and asked, “How does this effect your life for the next few months?” I will never forget those words and how they soothed my pain.

  4. I am the caregiver for my older sister who is mildly mentally retarded. About 3 years ago she was diagnosed with melanoma. Our mom is in her 80’s and trying to take in everything the doctor’s were telling her and keep up with all of the appointments was immediately too much for her. After my daughter did some research she identified that my sister Beverly should be seen at the Brown Cancer Center in Lousiville, KY. We live just across the river from Louisville. So my husband and I offered for Beverly to come and be at our home to see the doctor. That was almost three years ago. She has stayed with us off and on when she had doctor’s appointment until around November of 2010. At that time she had a reoccurance and needed surgery. Then other treatments have followed, etc. At the present she will be living with us permenantly. I really appreciated seeing your review of the book. No matter how much you want to be someone’s caretaker, it is hard work. I very much appreciate the prayers. I do similar work in my job. I support victims of domestic abuse & sexual assault. At this time my sister is doing great and is always an inspiration to everyone in the medical field that treats her. She is completely trusting God.

  5. I am the caregiver of my ill husband and have been for most of our 17 year marriage.He has several rare diseases and had a kidney transplant with several complications requiring painful surgeries. I would love to read this book. It can be very difficult to raise young children and care for a spouse at the same time. I pray God is glorified somehow though our pain and tears. Mary,

  6. I appreciate your comments so much, Sue, Terry, and Mary. They show the need for a book like this (and for more wisdom in ministering to caregivers). Thank you!

  7. Marti, while I have been a partial care giver of my parents, my in-laws, and my aunt, the “paid”care givers must also be rembered. Working in nursing homes takes special hearts and those must be encouraged on a daily basis also. Durning this time I read a book ” Quiet Moments for Caregivers” and shared it with them. I am thankful there are other books to help encourage these givers of love.

  8. You are right, of course. Any kind of caregiving work requires a special calling, and (as my husband says) no one is over-encouraged.

  9. Marti, thanks for your thoughtful review of Because You Care. You’ve brought up a lot of good points and have facilitated a great discussion here. Cec and I appreciate you.

  10. You’re welcome, Twila. MARY is the winner of my review copy! I’ll be in touch soon about mailing it. Thanks to all who shared in the discussion.

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