Tag Archives: The Caregiver’s Notebook

Review: The Caregiver’s Notebook by Jolene Philo

Caregiver's Notebook

I want to let my readers know about a wonderful new resource that was published in November.  Jolene Philo’s new book The Caregiver’s Notebook provides a convenient way to organize in one place information that is often needed when coordinating multiple therapies and doctor appointments.  This is a great resource for folks trying to bring some organization to medical information. This handy binder has multiple tabs, including:

  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Medical History
  • Insurance
  • Legal Documents
  • Bible Reading Guide
  • Prayer Guide

This resource offers a great way to organize at your fingertips much information that is needed over and over again when coping with medical issues.  The Bible reading plan and prayer guide are very handy when spending many hours in waiting rooms and hospitals. The convenience of having a history of medical tests, plus current and previous medications, seems invaluable whether going to the hospital in the midst of an emergency or making a first office visit to a new physician or therapist.  In addition to being a great resource for caring for a child with special needs, I can see ways this book would also be useful in caring for aging parents or for anyone going through a medical crisis such as cancer. The Caregiver’s Notebook is well organized, thoughtfully laid out and beautifully presented in a durable hardcover spiral book.

About the author: Jolene is a well known and highly regarded expert in the special needs community. She speaks frequently at special needs and foster care conferences around the country and conducts special needs ministry training workshops for churches. Jolene Philo is the daughter of a disabled father, and she parented a child with special needs. She’s a former educator with 25 years of public school experience. Her books related to special needs include the Different Dream series and The Caregiver’s Notebook. Her blog, www.DifferentDream.com, offers practical resources and spiritual encouragement for caregivers. You can also find a video series on her site in which she demonstrates how to use The Caregiver’s Notebook. The link to the first entry is:  http://www.differentdream.com/2014/11/caregivers-notebook-vlog-series-how-to-use-it/


Jolene and her husband Hiram live in Boone. They are parents of two married children and grandparents to one adorable toddler, with two more babies on the way. You can connect with Jolene on Facebook (@A Different Dream for My Child), (Twitter( @jolenephilo),
Pinterest (JolenePhilo), LinkedIn ( Jolene Philo), and at her websites, www.DifferentDream.com and www.JolenePhilo.com.


Beauty in the Broken Places

Recently Jolene Philo at DifferentDream.com kindly invited me to guest blog on her site and I shared this story about what I’ve learned about letting go of perfection in a life with special needs. You can read the original post here:  http://www.differentdream.com/2014/10/beauty-in-the-broken-places-of-special-needs-parenting/

Who Me

I have lived with cats my entire married life.  They are naughty.  Every day as my son leaves the house he calls out, “Coco, don’t set anything on fire.”  This has yet to happen, but I tell you she has the potential.

I find that living with cats impacts my home décor. Knick-knacks need to be non-fragile, bottom heavy, or inexpensive.  Preferably all three. My mother visited Spain and brought back for me a tall and delicate porcelain figurine.  I’ve glued it back together so often that it is more glue than porcelain at this point.  Coco just looks at me all innocent, “Who? Me?”

When I was younger imperfections bothered me. Nicks and chips and brokenness have come to matter less. Maybe that has to do with the lessons learned over a decade or two with special needs. We all have brokenness somewhere. Maybe it’s the brokenness that says, “I’ve lived a life. I’ve taken some hard knocks. I’ve come out stronger for it. The chips and nicks mean I’ve been out there trying.”

There is a style of Japanese art work called Kintsugi. It means “beautifully broken.” It is pottery that has been broken and then repaired with seams of pure gold or silver. When I see these amazing creations of beauty from brokenness I see that perfection is over-rated. The real beauty comes from the brokenness.

Sometimes as a special needs parent I feel broken like that porcelain figurine. I’m sure you do too sometimes. Knocked about, nicks and chips out there for everyone to see.  I also know we are not alone.  God walks with us on good days and bad days alike, pouring his love and grace into the broken places.  Where God pours in the gold, we are made all the stronger for the journey.

“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.  (Job 23:10 NLT)

Prayer: Loving God, fill the broken places so that your glory shines in the world for all to see. Amen.

To see the beauty and variety of Kintsugi, search for images with your favorite search engine. It is stunningly beautiful art out of everyday simple things. Also, Keep an eye out for Jolene’s new book Caregiver’s Notebook coming out soon.  It’s a great organizational tool for special needs parents. You can read more details here:  http://www.differentdream.com/2014/10/caregivers-notebook/

Photo: “Who Me?” by Lorna Bradley