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Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring Paperback – July 16, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking (1971) and What Is a Family? (1975) have sold steadily in Christian bookstores for over a generation, and now Ashworth offers daughters (and sons) of Schaeffer's early readers an equally inspirational tribute to caregiving. Wife and business partner of Nashville musician Charlie Peacock, Ashworth maintains in this solidly biblical yet culturally aware book that caregiving loving and serving other people is to some extent the duty of every Christian. For certain Christians, caregiving is also a lifelong vocation that, though undervalued in our productivity-obsessed world, deserves as much respect as any paid employment. Ashworth is no Martha Stewart: she provides encouragement rather than crafts and recipes. Nor is she Pollyanna: she recognizes that caregiving can be tedious and exhausting, and only those who set firm boundaries and rely on God's help are likely to persist. Ashworth's own struggle with balancing business and home life increases her credibility as she promotes flower gardens, hospitality and leisurely conversations over dinner, though some may object that such unhurried attentiveness can only be a dream for most young families. If her abundant anecdotes evoke nostalgia for a bygone era, they also reinforce her point that "when we create beauty in our environment, relationships, music, cooking, poetry and celebrations we express our hope for the new heaven and new earth that God promises." Ashworth does not provide a detailed road map to her peaceable kingdom, but she clearly shows that if it is ever to be created, someone must care.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

Because we are made in the image of a creatively caring God, we reflect his love and concern when we respond to the distinct calling to care for families, neighbors, friends, and communities. As society grows increasingly technological, isolated, and lonely, those who take their caregiving gifts seriously can fill a tremendous void.

In Real Love for Real Life, caregivers of all kinds can find the help and hope they need to fulfill their calling. Through personal illustrations, timely research, and thoughtful quotations, Andi Ashworth addresses the practicalities, philosophies, challenges, and joys of providing care in the relationships of home and community?leading readers to a greater understanding of the value and the validity of their call to be caregivers. With the encouraging hope and creative insights they?ll find in these pages, they can serve others in more effective, more fulfilling ways?in the name of God.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Shaw Books; 1st edition (July 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877880484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877880486
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One afternoon while browsing around various websites, I landed on Charlie Peacock's site for a bit. While there, I discovered Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring written by his wife, Andi Ashworth. Intrigued by the title and idea, I placed an order for the book.
Andi begins by calling the work of caregiving a "misunderstood art." She says, "Full-time caregiving in its many forms can be difficult to describe in the usual introductory conversations when people ask the question, 'What do you do?' Most caregivers are at a loss to know how to answer. We know we're exhausted at the end of a day, but knowing how to explain the exact nature of our work is baffling. The work is varied, and each new day or season brings with it a different set of needs."
When I actually picked the book up and started reading it, I think I'd only read about three pages before I put it down, crying. I vividly remember saying out loud, "Okay, that's all the validation I can handle in one sitting, thank you!" It's not that I don't see the importance or value of what I do, or even necessarily that I need someone to say it all the time. But at the moment that I began reading her words of encouragement, I realized then that I really needed to hear them.
Andi goes on to say, "This idea [of success being equal to wealth or recognition] is so deeply ingrained in our thinking that people who are quietly and faithfully caring for one life at a time behind the scenes wonder if anyone considers the work of their hands and heart to be of value."
I've always viewed my role at home to be my calling. I'm supposed to be here with my girls. I'm supposed to take care of my family's daily needs. I'm supposed to, I want to, and, for the most part, I enjoy what I do.
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Comment 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Andi has written a call to arms. Let's not talk about "caring" and relegate it simply to the care of the elderly and emptying bedpans. This is a plea for us - no matter gender or age - to rise up and care for each other. The world would be a better place if this primer to living was read by all. Heartily recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Andi Ashworth's Real Love for Real Life is an excellent treatment of the Christian call to hospitality. Subtitled "the Art and Work of Caring," the book is of particular encouragement to those who are serving as caregivers on a full-time basis. In a world that pushes efficiency, speed and uniformity, Ashworth fights for the personal touch, for giving others our time and energy. Through her wonderful anecdotes, she helps readers to understand the importance giving of ourselves to create beauty and to make others welcome.

Ashworth helps readers to navigate the path of hospitality not entertainment and of true caring and not martyrdom. She doesn't sugar coat caring or pretend that each day will be wonderful and feel fulfilling. She is also careful not to overwhelm readers and spends time explaining that giving care does not mean always saying yes or seeing yourself as the only one capable of caring. She emphasizes the importance of making room in our busy lives to care for others well.

Real Love for Real Life was a call for me to glorify God in the details, not to impress people but to show them that I love them. It was a reminder that even if I don't always feel validated or encouraged for what I do as a full-time caregiver, I'm valuable and my work is of tremendous importance. I'd recommend this to any Christian woman, single or married, stay at home or working. It will be a tremendous encouragement to you.
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