Christmas, Hope, and Romance Abounds

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Nov 282010
 

Life is hardly ever tied up in neat little packages with a very pretty bow on it, no matter what your faith is. Sometimes, it is all we can do to move on from the past, forgive others, see the change in others and be open to what God is trying to tell us or lead us to.  Such is the lives of the four Amish ladies in An Amish Christmas, a collection of four novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron and Kelly Long.

The first novella is A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller. Can Miriam find it within to see herself the way others see her? Can she move on from the pain of a past rejection and open herself up to love? And has Seth really changed? Having struggled with self-worth in the past, and still do occasionally, this story rings true in how one who has a lower self-worth thinks and feels.

A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman is the second novella in the book.  Can Lydia forgive her brother-in-law and her late husband for events in the past?  Decisions were made that affected her life and she had no idea about them until too late.  Can she forgive and move on?

Sarah lost her first child to miscarriage a year ago. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she finds herself playing midwife to Englischers in the middle of a blizzard on Christmas.  Can this baby change not only her life and help her find healing, but also the the Englisch couple whom Sarah and her husband are helping, will they be brought closer together or farther apart in how they wish to raise their child? These questions are answered in One Child by Barbara Cameron

Christmas Cradles is a fourth, bonus novella added to the book.  It is by Kelly Long. Anna is substituting for her Aunt Ruth overnight as the area’s midwife.  Of course, it is the worst blizzard to hit in ages, and of course, everyone who could possibly be in labor is. Two births are dramatic and scary from a medical perspective, can Anna help these mothers whom have no other option for medical care due to being stranded in the blizzard? Can Asa who is escorting Anna around the area be open to the plans God has for him and be able to let go of his past? Can Anna see the circumstances she is in as being brought about by the hand of God?

This collection of novellas was very easy to read. I received the book on Friday and had it finished Saturday night.  The stories are warm, light hearted and full of hope.  However, being novellas, they are all rather short in length and the events, conflicts and subsequent resolutions all happen very rapidly. I would have loved to have these four stories more drawn out and much longer, but for the purpose of this book, I understand why they weren’t.  Also, the ends of each of the stories, eludes to what would be coming next, and lets you finish it yourself. The conclusions are good, they just don’t leave you at the end of the stories.

Until I received An Amish Christmas, I had never read anything by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Barbara Cameron before. I thouroughly enjoyed their writing styles and story telling techniques and will be finding more of their work to read.

This book is a great book if you want or need a quick diversion during this time of year when life is going to quickly. It would also make a great gift for the person on your list who enjoys stories about the Amish and romances.

I was given a copy of An Amish Christmas series of 4 novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron and Kelly Long by Thomas Nelson as a part of their Book Sneeze program.  All opinions are mine and mine alone, and no other compensation was received..

A Diet that I think We Could Stick To

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Aug 242010
 

Let’s Do Lunch is a diet book and program like none other I have ever seen.  For starters, it is fairly short.  Most others I have been acquainted with are much longer.  It also approaches weight loss from a totally different perspective than I have ever thought of before.

Let’s Do Lunch doesn’t start with counting calories, eliminating carbs, or doing some stranger things like only eating one kind of food. Nor does he impose strict exercise regimes.  In it, the author suggests starting by eating fruit.  And then reordering the way we approach our meals.  Mainly with our protein consumption.  After sitting and mulling over his ideas for awhile, I think they have some if not a lot of merit.  Our current diet as a culture is atrocious.  Roger advocates (without coming right out and shouting it) that we need to move from the processed and convenience foods that are prevalent in our society today and go back to where the food came from.  Eat food closer to it’s natural state if you will.  Weight loss can be achieved by eating the least fattening option, eliminating sugar and changing the order of the meals and moving our largest meal of the day earlier.

Roger isn’t just some nutritionist or skinny guy spouting off his theory of dieting and lifestyle change.  He did it.  He once had a waist that was five feet around and weighed in excess of 400 pounds.  He tried every diet that came along and nothing worked.  Sure, he would lose a bit of weight, but then it would all come back and then some.  He started by eating frozen grapes 15 years ago, and he lost over 200 pounds with the changes he made and has kept it off.  This is what simply worked for him and he felt led to share it with others.

My husband and I are planning to implement his ideas into our lifestyles. I need to lose some weight (we had two children 17 months apart…pregnancy wreaks havoc on a woman’s body, on top of being already a bit on the chubbier side before that) and I hope this is the answer.  I know that counting, eliminating totally and deprivation diets aren’t for me.  Nor are they good for the children.  I don’t want them growing up with a negative body image from watching Mommy obsess.  This diet isn’t about obsessing over food, and being legalistic with it.  This is about lifestyle changing and reordering.  Even if I don’t lose weight, I think we will be healthier with a better attitude about food and it’s purpose. Along with the kinds of foods we allow into our home and consume.

If you are looking for a new approach to weight loss and lifestyle changes, this book is for you. I highly recommend it.

I was given a copy of Let’s Do Lunch by Thomas Nelson through their BookSneeze program in exchange for my reading it and posting a review on it on my blog and a consumer website.  All opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone.  I received no other compensation..