On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for July, 2012

Prosperity Gospel: the Kid’s Version | by Linda Brendle

I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church, and that meant every year as the end of the fiscal year approached, we had a pledge drive. Sermons focused on tithing, budgets were discussed and approved, and since any valid budget needs a fairly accurate estimate of income, pledge cards were passed out. Members of the church were asked to fill out a card promising to give a certain amount of money each week, month, or year, and on “Pledge Sunday” everyone placed their cards in the offering plate. The pledges were not binding. No one called or sent Luigi to your house if you fell behind, but I’m sure the hope was that by signing their names, members would feel somewhat spiritually bound and would be more faithful in their tithes and offerings.

When I was eight years old, I made a public profession of having accepted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized. This made me a full-fledged member of the church. I was a fairly serious child, and I apparently decided that membership carries with it not only privileges but also responsibilities. As Pledge Sunday approached, I got hold of a pledge card, probably from the pocket on the pew in front of me that held visitors cards, offering envelopes, and other pieces of necessary information. I carefully filled in my name and considered my financial situation. (more…)

Quality Family Time | by Linda Brendle

“The Family that prays together, stays together.” The two sources I checked disagree about who actually came up with the slogan, but both agree that it was first used during the Roman Catholic Family Rosary Crusade, the post-World War II brainchild of Father Patrick Peyton. The slogan has been co-opted by others. In February of 1954 Parents’ Magazine said “The Family that plays together, stays together,” and in December of 2001, the Times said “History has forgotten Catherine Hogarth, as her husband [Charles Dickens] eventually did. Those who cook together stay together. Maybe because they cannot decide who should get the blender.” My version would read “The family that spends time together, stays together.” Not very catchy, I’ll admit, but true nonetheless.

If you believe the ads you see on TV, quality family time consists of expensive vacations to theme parks or time spent playing video games or crowded onto the sofa watching the latest movie on demand while eating tasty snacks. I recently saw a version of quality family time that was quite different from the Madison Avenue version. (more…)

Things I Never Thought I’d Say | by Linda Brendle

One of my literary friends wrote an article today about being a mom. She ended with a list of things she never thought she’d say.   One of the really hard parts about caring for a parent is switching roles with them and becoming the authority figure in the relationship. Following are some things I never thought I’d say to one or both of my parents. (more…)

Top Ten Comments from the First Year | by Linda Brendle

I published my first post on this blog a year ago today. In thinking about how to mark the day, I thought about doing something like what I did when I hit 10,000 all-time view,  reviewing the numbers and stats, but I really wanted to do something with more meaning. (more…)

Senior Humor – Edition 8 | by Linda Brendle

When in doubt about what to write, or when too lazy to think deeply about a meaningful post, fall back on a little senior humor.

A concerned husband went to the doctor to talk about his wife.

“Doctor,” he said, “I think my wife is losing her hearing. She never hears me the first time I say anything.”

“Go home and tonight,” said the doctor, “stand fifteen feet from her and say something. If she doesn’t reply, move five feet closer and say it again. Keep moving closer until she hears you. This will give me an idea about the degree of her hearing loss.” (more…)

Puppies, Wasps, and Every Day Heroes | by Linda Brendle

Yesterday was an eventful day in a country living kind of way. It started normally enough with breakfast followed by coffee in front of our respective laptops, checking to see what was going on in the rest of the world. Neither of us found anything particularly interesting, so David put on his work boots and hat and went out to do battle with another tree stump, and I went to the garden to pull weeds. He told me later that when he was getting his tools, he heard a low growl under the shed. I would have investigated immediately, but his focus on the task at hand was stronger than his curiosity, so I was the first to meet our visitor. As I knelt in the garden, this little furball barreled into my backside. (more…)

Music Frees the Spirit and the Children | by Guest Blogger Maria Thompson Corley

I believe in the healing power of music, and I also believe it is our responsibility to care for “the least of these.” Maria Corley, one of my fellow AKA authors, asked for help in raising awareness about a new organization that combines the two. How could I say anything but yes.


Children of incarcerated parents have a 72% chance of being incarcerated themselves.  One in twenty-eight children in America falls into this category.  While Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and other charitable organizations are actively involved in serving children with imprisoned parents, there is only one charity in the country specifically devoted to breaking the cycle.  Even more shocking:  SWAN (Scaling Walls A Note at a Time) has only existed since December of 2011. (more…)

Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Write | by Linda Brendle

David and I recently took our first trip since Mom died.  On the drive home from her funeral, I looked out the window at the passing scenery and wanted to go home, pack up the RV, and head out. Along with the sadness and loss, I felt the lifting of a burden, of a years-long task finally completed, and I wanted to live out that freedom on the open road. But it wasn’t a good time and may not be for a while. Finances are tight, and we have responsibilities around Emory that we can’t drop at a moment’s notice. But short jaunts are doable, and last week we drove to Louisiana to celebrate the Fourth with David’s family. (more…)

Caregivers: Heroes with a Different Kind of Courage

I may be a country girl and a grandma, too, but I’m a pretty up-to-date lady. I even have my own Twitter account (@LindaBrendle in case you haven’t followed me yet). In the four months since I’ve been a member of the Twitterverse, I’ve met a lot of interesting people. One of my new friends is Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology at the University of Richmond, co-author of Heroes: What They Do and Why We need Them, and co-owner of a blog by the same name. When I tweeted him that caregivers are heroes, too, he was kind enough to invite me to be a guest blogger.  Read my post called Caregivers: Heroes with a Different Kind of Courage at:




Senior Humor – Edition 7 | by Linda Brendle

It’s been a long week. Friends in Florida battled Tropical Storm Debbie, friends in Colorado fought wild fires, I went to the doctor with something like Pink Eye, and David went to the dentist with an abscessed tooth. Time for another look at the lighter side of life. (more…)

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