/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.

Setting life’s priorities

This summer we are busy planning for a wedding in our backyard. One of my God-daughters was looking for a simple farm venue to marry the love of her life. When I looked at places they were considering, I invited them to cater the event in our backyard. The bride and groom graciously accepted. My God-daughter and her mom have been here a few times already to help us plant some colorful annuals for a striking display at the end of August. I don’t know many brides would be content with a tent, an old barn and a backyard that you had to weed and plant yourself before you walked down a grassy aisle in your wedding dress. But she seems quite delighted. I received an invitation to the wedding just the other day. It was decorated with a mason jar and fireflies. The bride is quite happy with a [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 July 28th, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

‘What is hidden in darkness shall be revealed’

Each one of us has secrets. Some of those secrets are wonderful dreams that we hold in our hearts, which we share only with those we know who will respect those dreams and encourage towards the future. My eldest daughter has a dream which she recently shared on social media, so I know it’s okay to share it here. Since Anna was a very young child, maybe as young as 6 years old, she has dreamed of going into space and seeing the moon. While my son and my middle daughter were busy building legos and and fortresses in the back yard, Anna was putting dolls in space and reading books on the sky and the planets, eager to plot her course. I’m sure she would say that her greatest Christmas gift was the cheap little Fisher Price rocket that came with astronauts and a few little space things. She [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 July 14th, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Finding rest for the weary

This year, I will officially be a mother for half as long as I have been alive. That is a pretty significant detail to me. It also explains why I am so tired. I wonder what I did before I became a mom. Oh wait, I remember. I planned out my day and did what I had planned. I ate independently without having to consider what other people had to eat. When I cleaned the house, it stayed clean (for the most part). And I am certain I went to the bathroom by myself, without someone knocking on the door asking me how to locate an item they lost. I remember the first night we brought my son home from the hospital. He was a little sniffly and every time he sneezed, I would wake up and check up on him. Each night, I moved the bassinet closer to my [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 June 2nd, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Lessons in mothering, taught by my children

Most things that I learned about mothering, I learned from my children. I remember the day I discovered I was pregnant with my first born son. I was so amazed at the fact that for the next nine months, I was never going to be alone! Being a people person, I thought that was just great! Little did I know that 25 years and four kids later, I would crave some time alone! Raising four kids and especially homeschooling for the better part of 20 years, I quickly learned that I actually like being alone. I like the cohesive thoughts that have a beginning and an end, with no outside interruptions. I have also learned many other lessons from my kids that have helped me to mature as a wife, mother and simply as a woman of faith. When I found out that I was pregnant, with each of my [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 May 11th, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Nothing can separate you from God’s love

I led the music and worship for a retreat last weekend. The speaker was a psychotherapist whom I have had the pleasure of serving with on other retreats. This doctor is a woman of profound strength and conviction who is passionate about sharing the Lord’s love and being used by God to heal others. In her practice as a psychotherapist and her work as a preacher and teacher, the love of God shines through. Having traveled all over the world to preach and teach, she had many stories of miracles to tell. Stories of people getting out of wheelchairs and people who were blind who now could see were just some of the miracles she has witnessed. She shared stories of miraculous financial provisions and deep interior healings of the heart; forgiveness and love abounding. But the story that touched me the most was the work she was doing with [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 May 5th, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Listen to the music of your soul

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the song of doves is heard in our land (Song of Songs 2:11-12). Have you heard the chorus of birds in the early morning? I have been enjoying their splendid melodies. You have to rise very early, just before dawn, to really hear the full effect. I love to listen to the birds, but honestly, their song often becomes like white noise in the background. I seldom stop to really pay attention and listen. However, over the past few weeks, I have been more attentive to their sound. What I hear amazes me. It’s a beautiful song, filled with many different notes, rhythms and trills. But rather than forming a chaotic menagerie of sound, this early morning chorus flows like the melody of an intricate symphony. The creativity [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 April 28th, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Are you ready to die?

  A nasty respiratory infection leads to a spiritual epiphany, just as news arrived of the Boston Marathon terror attack: Life on Purpose by Eileen Benthal. I felt the cough take hold of me as I steadied my coffee, careful not to dump it all over the floor or the person standing next me in the deli. I thought if I could just inconspicuously cover my mouth with my elbow and walk out the door, I would be fine. But it gripped me like someone was holding a hand around my neck. Thankfully the bathroom door before me was unlocked and I slipped in quickly just as the coughing bout escalated, causing my whole body to convulse. This episode continued for a few minutes. All I wanted to do was get outside so I could breathe. This virus hit me very hard the day before, as I struggled to lead [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 April 21st, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

“Why seek the living among the dead?”

If you woke this Easter morning, with the old familiar feeling that your life is never going to get any better, then think again. My mom used to say that if March came in like a lion, it would leave like a lamb. Spending the better part of March in the hospital with my daughter, I was hoping for a little quiet time at Easter. But instead, we began Holy Week at NYU meeting with my daughter’s neurosurgeon to remove the staples that crowned her precious head from this last round of surgeries. An increase in seizures, headaches and lethargy prompted her doctor to do an MRI of the brain. The scans revealed a significant change over the past two weeks; one of the malformations in her temporal lobe is hemorrhaging, causing swelling in the brain. The news wasn’t surprising, but it was more than a little discouraging, as I [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 March 31st, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Longsuffering: the bittersweet fruit

The other night I woke to a newborn baby crying. The cries startled me and wakened me from a deep sleep. I was disorientated, trying to figure out where I was and where was this baby who needed me in the middle of the night. After what seemed like a long time, but was really just a few moments, I came to my senses and remembered that I was still at NYU in the pediatric ICU, sleeping next to my daughter. As my brain put the pieces together, I was reminded of the day I realized that my daughter Johanna no longer cried like a newborn. We were in the same place, a pediatric ICU and Johanna was four months old and undergoing her third brain surgery. I heard that distinctive newborn cry which caused me to leak milk as my maternal instincts strove to comfort my baby, who was [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 March 17th, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments

Hearing God’s call to a new life

What does it mean to be transfigured? The answers to profound questions often come in unexpected places. Life on Purpose by Eileen Benthal. I love to hang out in my laundry room. It is just outside my bedroom; a cute little room with a window. I love the smell of fresh, clean laundry. But the main reason I love my laundry room is my prayer corner is tucked in between two walls and a window that looks out at the barn in my back yard. I like to think of this space as a place where heaven and earth converge. Here, the practical mundane tasks of my life become one with eternity. I ask the Lord to transform my daily life with an eternal hope of heaven and to show me His hand at work. Last year, I added a treasured painting to my collection of images in my prayer [...]

2017-01-08T20:42:48+00:00 March 3rd, 2013|Categories: Caregiver, Life on Purpose|0 Comments