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Tall in Spirit: Meditations for the Chronically Ill [Paperback]

By Joni Woelfel (Author)
Our Price $ 8.46  
Retail Value $ 9.95  
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Item Number 130003  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   127
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.53" Height: 0.36"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1999
Publisher   ACTA Publications
ISBN  0879462086  
EAN  9780879462086  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
More than forty meditations for people suffering from chronic illness. Each meditation contains a scripture passage, a heartfelt prayer and a reflection on one aspect of living a spiritual life while struggling with long-term illness.

Buy Tall in Spirit: Meditations for the Chronically Ill by Joni Woelfel from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780879462086 & 0879462086

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More About Joni Woelfel

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joni Woelfel is the author of five books. She is a featured author at Resurrection Press, and her work has appeared in The National Catholic Reporter, Ministry and Liturgy and other publications.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational   [3852  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Devotionals   [5748  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Meditations   [1837  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Devotionals   [5739  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General   [11744  similar products]
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Meditations   [1148  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Like visiting an old friend  Mar 19, 2007
Reading this book is like visiting with an old friend. I am impressed with the candid and insightful essays. This book would make a wonderful gift.

Having a chronic illness myself, I can relate to the feelings that Joni describes. Buy a copy for yourself and for a family member/friend who doesn't quite understand how it feels to cope with illness every day.
A Very Helpful Book  Nov 9, 2005
I really like this book. It helped me realize what people who have chronic illness go through. It is a useful book for people who are caregivers, relatives or friends of an ill person because of its revealing nature. Psychologically, I found this book to be insightful and well-balanced. Spiritually, I found it to be deep, honest and inspiring, written through the authenticity that can only be derived first hand by an author who has experienced firsthand what she is writing about. I also liked the format of this book which lends itself well to easy reading. A touching, creative and well-written book.
A Book To Uplift One's Spirit  Jun 4, 2001
As I began reading each meditation, I was struck with the positive outlook in her writing. Her unique way of sharing each meditation brought me images that seemed to increase my understanding of the importance of her message throughout this book. When trying to cope with chronic illness, it is so easy to forget about one's spirituality. Persevering through the constant emotions caused by chronic illness is extremely difficult. Frustrations mount and adversity can cloud our perception and reception to the spirit that we so badly need for our inner strength. As Joni says at the close of her introduction, "When we are tall in spirit, we have the grace to see beyond dark days and dark times, even when we are still in the midst of them. Hope arrives, inner strength grows, and endurance grounds us. We begin to view the unknowns of our lives as an unraveling. We learn that there is rhythm to waiting". Tall in Spirit provided me with many images and brought about many reflections with regard to my own illness. When I read the last sentence above, "We learn there is rhythm to waiting", I began to make a connection to Joni's thoughts which continued throughout her book. Tall in Spirit will make you smile. It will cause you to search your soul. It will allow you to renew your hope. More importantly, you will begin to realize that the spirit you may have left behind while enduring illness, is still present and just waiting for you to embrace it. You would never know that this book is Joni's first. Her ability to share her own life through these meditations gives the reader so much hope and I cannot recommend Tall in Spirit enough. Truly a book to renew one's strength but will also help ground you in the spirit needed for coping with chronic illness.
"Tall in Spirit" Can Inspire Us All  May 30, 2000
"Tall in Spirit: Meditations for the Chronically Ill" by Joni Woelfel Reviewed by Don Gadow, Associate Professor of English Winona State (MN) University

Although Joni Woelfel suffers from debilitating and incurable illnesses including Meniere's Disease, facial Bell's Palsy, lipid storage myopathy, and a heart disorder, Tall in Spirit is no ordinary "how to" book filled with advice for victims and their loved ones. Instead, this collection of 40 brief essays celebrates the lessons taught by her everyday experiences, dreams, family memories, and, above all, the spirit of the land around her.

Tall in Spirit, the author's first published book, is upbeat but honest. Woelfel compares living with incurable illness to flying a kite. "It's not too hard once you get the hang of it." She tells us that illness does not make us gentle, but authentic. This book defies pigeon-holing,it's the world in microcosm, perceived by a mind rich in analogy revealed through her titles: "The Killing Frost," "Alligators of Fear," "Snakeskin Shoes and Pink Refrigerators," "Diamonds for Toads," and "Prayerful Howling."

Living in Seaforth, Minnesota (pop.87), in a remodeled former country church nicknamed "Annie," Woelfel is no reclusive Emily Dickinson even though poor health keeps her at home most of the time. Through her many published newspaper and magazine articles, she has become a "strand gatherer" who draws a wide range of writers and thinkers into her web of spirituality.

There's something of the Earth Mother in the author, who adheres to Wordsworth's prescript,"Let nature be your teacher."" A legacy of the land and its people informs her writing. Woelfel's Norwegian grandmother has been an important influence. This "woman of the land" only raised her voice to call the cows, yet endured the cold winters of family illness and tragedy. Woelfel remembers her grandmother wading "knee-deep in the tides of life."

Philosophy Point, Snake Stream, Little Fellow's Fishing Hole, A Path Untrod, the Great Grandmother Trees--favorite spots along the meditation trail near her home. While balancing on the rocks mid-stream at Red Rock Rapids in the early stages of illness when no one knew exactly what was wrong with her, Woelfel saw a rusted lock and key in the clear water. Soon after, during a consultation, the neurologist gave her support but not much hope. First discouraged,Woelfel then made a connection: hope and support are one and the same, like the lock and key. "There is no shame in saying, 'I can't make it through this myself.'"

Each essay is prefaced with a relevant Biblical quotation and ends with a meditation addressed to one of God's many faces: Healing God of Support and Hope, Enchanting God of Trees That Sway When There's No Wind, God of All That Howls, Dassling White Mother God, Tender Hearted God of Fallen Trees and Bare-Branched People.

"Move On" is about the clutterbug in most of us. According to St.Matthew, "Do not worry about your life....Is life more than clothing?" The author's youngest son, not yet 13, threw out all his childhood things.Several years later the author discarded her own 20-year accumulation. Ambivalent, she expressed a feeling of loss to her son, who responded, "Well that happens. Move on." The essay ends with a meditation is addressed to the Awesome God of Order and Simplicity, who tells us, "Too much clutter, no room for the soul."

One of my favorite characters is "Bone Woman," a small statue that had been rescued from the nearby woods. "Bone woman wears a green moss-covered skirt, and on her back she carries a basket--now broken in half and encrusted with black earth. She is bent over in a hag-like pose, and her face is so corroded that it looks skeletal. The plaster is so weathered that it is porous and full of holes, resembling bone." Woelfel recognized it as a once-lovely lawn ornamentthat had endured storms, rains, and insects for 15 years after she had thrown it out. Now it stands in a place of honor in the family home where it represents "the holy work of coming into fullness through deepening and diminishment." This is "paradox at its most beautiful, embracing level."

The book doesn't tell us how to cope with incurable illness and pain, but we come to realize that the ill need not only love and support but also time and space to be alone. We must accept their changeable moods, understand when they want cheering up and when they don't, know that there may be "a lot of area that still needs melting and healing."

In the final essay, "The Dream," Woelfel tells of falling into a deep sleep, exhausted from a day's writing. She dreamed of her death. She was "energized in a calm comfortable way." She felt herself being lifted out of her body. She rose above everything, "watching, feeling safe, unafraid and happy to be free of suffering." In the author's words, "Perhaps it was given to me as a gift for doing this work, to let me see that it is possible to experience inner, personal transformation on a sacred level, and that we can be spiritually lifted out of suffering and struggle."


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