/Eileen Benthal

About Eileen Benthal

Eileen Benthal is a writer, speaker and wellness coach with a B.A. in Theology from Franciscan University. She and her husband Steve live in Jamesport and have four young adult children. Their youngest, Johanna, is a teenager with special needs. Eileen can be reached at FreeIndeedFreelance.com.

Fox & Friends

Elizabeth Hasselbeck interviews Eileen Benthal as a Mom responding to Sen. Harry Reid calling ObamaCare victims liars. For more on Johanna's story please visit Eileen's website http://freeindeedfreelance.com/caregiver

2017-01-08T20:42:48-05:00 February 28th, 2014|Categories: In The Media|0 Comments

Save yourself from drowning in the circumstances of life

Before my youngest daughter Johanna was born, I enjoyed play dates at the beach. I was a decent swimmer, having taught myself how to swim when I was growing up and then taking formal lessons in high school. The past 17 years, I have taken a different kind of swimming lesson. It has little to do with strokes and everything to do with breathing. I have shared in this column a few times about my water dreams that started just before my daughter was diagnosed with a brainstem mass when she was three months old. In the reoccurring dream, I am out in the middle of the ocean holding my baby in my arms, treading water to keep us alive. One night God spoke to me in the dream and told me to let go and to trust that we were in the ocean of His mercy. He promised that [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48-05:00 February 23rd, 2014|Categories: Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Valentine Reflection: The Secret to Enduring Love

Eileen and Steve Benthal on their wedding day in 1986 and in 2013.   I remember the first time we met. It was right after Mass at Christ the King Chapel. A mutual friend introduced us. We had been sitting in the same pew, but I hadnʼt noticed him until I looked into his eyes. Those deep blue eyes caught my attention right away. He remembers the first time we met. We were standing in the long line for Sunday brunch at the cafeteria. We talked about the eggs and the french toast. No matter. He noticed me and I noticed him; and the rest is “his story” - and mine. We met during my sophomore year in college. We had similar interests, especially music. We were part of a traveling music group that toured around the country giving concerts in churches and private high schools. We traveled [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48-05:00 February 9th, 2014|Categories: Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Boundaries and fences: Our limitations are filled with possibilities

When we applied for a CCI service dog, for my daughter, Johanna, I was worried that they might not give us one because we had a history of being really bad dog owners. The first three dogs we owned ran away and two of them got hit by cars. The other one watched me go into labor with my fourth child and decided she had enough. She took off to find another home, probably one with no kids. The application process helped me to let go of the guilt I felt about being such a terrible dog owner. The trainer assured me that the service dog would be well-trained, and I would also be trained to handle it at home and in the public. Over these past 10 years, CCI has really helped me to understand that a well trained dog is a secure and well-behaved dog. After two years [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48-05:00 February 2nd, 2014|Categories: Life on Purpose|0 Comments

A time for every purpose, even snowbound in N.J.

It was if I had known her for years. I was speaking on the phone with Angela, a woman that I had never met and yet we immediately clicked. We both were moms to kids with special needs. She had adopted her autistic brother when her parents passed away and she struggles herself with chronic illness. Despite the busy commitments of our lives, we both shared our passion to advocate for the rights of the disabled and their families. I called Angela after I reached out to Allyson Scerri of New Beginnings, whose local advocacy for brain injured patients and their families hits home as we eagerly watch the progress of Brendanʼs House on Sound Avenue. Allyson directed me to Angela when I offered to contact some doctors who I thought might be willing to advocate for Jahi McMath, the little girl from Oakland, Calif. who was declared brain dead [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48-05:00 January 26th, 2014|Categories: Life on Purpose|0 Comments

‘A person is a person’

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful.”(Psalm 139:13-14) January 22 marks 41 years since the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the legality of a woman's right to have an abortion under the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The 14th amendment, section I states, ”No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” A new era of an interpretation of this right to abortion began in the United States with that decision. In the wake of that decision, a polarization of groups of Americans based on opinions for or against [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48-05:00 January 19th, 2014|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Epiphany: A day to reflect on gifts

Merry Little Christmas! I hope you still have your Christmas tree up and some lighted garland around the house! Today is a very special day! Today is the day that we celebrate the visit of the three wise man to the stable in Bethlehem — it is the Feast of Epiphany. This feast ends the 12 days of Christmas- and what a lovely way to end. I love this day of Christmas because it is one more opportunity to focus on the amazing gift of the Incarnation, without all the chaos of Christmas! As I shared last year, Little Christmas has always been a special time for our family. Having had many hospitalizations around the holidays, this day has served as a “do-over” for Christmases spent in the PICU. For more than a few years, we have waited to exchange gifts until Little Christmas because of Johanna being critically ill. [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48-05:00 January 6th, 2014|Categories: Life on Purpose|0 Comments

What’s in a name? So very much

When a couple is expecting, one of the fun preparations is to come up with a name for the baby. Before the advances in ultrasound, parents had to have at least a name for a boy and a girl. Some parents decide to wait to meet their newborn face to face before deciding on a name. Whichever way itʼs decided, most people would agree that a name can have a powerful affect on a personʼs life. We gave each of our children Biblical names which help to point them towards role models who lives reflect Godʼs love. For two of them, they also were named after relatives; my eldest son and daughter share their first name with great-grandparents. Sometimes names are much more than we expected. When I named my daughter Mary Angela, we never imagined that her namesake and adopted grandma, Angela Mary would die suddenly, just one month [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48-05:00 December 22nd, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

We should pray for our leaders

God gets my attention best in the early morning. He created me that way. My finest hours of focus are typically between 5-10am. Typically, I wake up with a thought, a song or a scripture that the Lord uses to get my attention. Sometimes I wake up with a picture of person’s face whom I being called to pray for. The other day, I woke up with President Barack Obama’s face before me in my imagination. There was a pained look in his eyes that struck a chord in my heart. I was immediately filled with a sense of sadness and conviction that I don’t pray for him or any elected official often enough. As many readers of RiverheadLocal and followers on Facebook know, our own situation with insurance and healthcare issues made national news when my pediatrician and I were interviewed on the nationally syndicated, Sean Hannity Show [click [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48-05:00 November 24th, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments