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An Amish Love – Book Review

The wonderful people at Book Sneeze have provided me with another fantastic book to review. 

This is another of the Amish love story books, and like the last one I reviewed, it is a series of three novellas, written by three different authors.  Although it contains three totally seperate stories, they all interweave, so you get a wonderful chance to visit back with the characters you fall in love with in the first story.

A Marriage of the Heart by Kelly Long:

The first story is the story of a young couple.  He is returning to the community, she would like nothing more than to leave it.  I won’t give away how, but this couple ends up married, and has to figure out how to relate to one another.  The story is about their struggle to learn to live together as husband and wife. 

I love that you see this story through both of their eyes, and have the opportunity to understand each one’s individual fears and hopes for the marriage and for their lives.  At times I found myself hoping for her, at times for him, and often for both of them to find one another.

What the Heart Sees by Kathleen Fuller

The story of a young blind woman who lost her site, and the return of a young man who had previously fled from the community.  She fears no one will ever love her again because of her lost site.  He is wrapped up in anger over a love he can not let go of.    What happens when they start having feelings for one another?

This story was highly emotionally charged, and packed a lot of story into it.  I loved the way the author unwound the relationship between the two, as they struggled to figure out who they are and what their future will look like. 

Healing Hearts by Beth Wiseman

This is a real twist from your typical Amish love story, as it is not about a young couple.  Instead, this is the story of a married couple tried to rediscover one another.  He left a year ago, and now has returned, full of guilt for having left, and unsure of the marriage he is returning to.  She must deal with her feelings of abandonment and her anger towards him.  Can they renew their marriage, or will it come crashing down around them?

This was my favorite of the 3 stories.  Naaman and Levina Lapp are characters you can’t help but love.  Watching them struggle to figure out their marriage and who they are as individuals is moving, and sweeps the reader along with them.

All in all, An Amish Love did not disappoint.  Beautiful stories, that are wonderful quick-reads.

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This  update is a little late because my computer has been down all week. 

Monday – I was back for my weekly appointment with Dr. Mellor.  He feels I am doing very well for the few times I have been there, and I have to agree.  I feel great, much better than I’ve felt in a very long time.  He tested me for the Gf Thyroid, but my body was saying I did not need that, so I will not be adding that in.  I did however speak to him about something to help with the smog in California (when we visit) and he gave me some detox drops for smog and some R pills which are good for restoring lung health.  He also got me started on the wheat germ oil for my c-section scar that he has wanted to put me on since I started.   Came home with 3 new meds… really hoping that I don’t have to keep taking all of these for too long as the refill costs could get astronomical.

My T-Tapp workout video finally arrived on Monday (after 3 weeks of waiting).  Right now I’m in the “Bootcamp” phase where you are supposed to do it daily.  I’m going for the longest bootcamp, the 14 day one, although I will miss a day at Christmas.  Yesterday I finally did my starting measurements for it so that I can track inch loss.  It won’t be a true day 1 because I’d already done the exercises 2 days, but I don’t think that’ll make a huge difference.  I really like this exercise program, it feels like it aligns my back when I do it, and it totally takes away the lower back pain that I’ve been having a lot of lately.

At Dr. Mellor’s I also talked to him about diet, and he has suggested I do the Cellular Healing Diet.  I picked up the book on Monday, I’ve already read it (it’s a quick read), and have decided it will be best to start it after the New Year.   The diet is very low glycemic index, and involves no sugar (or any sweetners with the exceptions of Stevia and Xylitol), and no grains (YIPES!).  So I will need to pick up some non-grain flours and some of the sweetners I’m allowed.  My goal is to make sure I have all of the supplies the first week in January, and to start the diet on the 5th or 6th, definitely no later than the 9th. 

I’m very excited because this diet has everything that they say is really good for PCOS.  I’m very hopeful that between the detoxing, herbs, diet, and exercise that over the next year I will get my body much healthier, and hopefully as a consequence lose weight.  My planned schedule for now is as follows:

Dec. 13 – start T-Tapp
Dec. 13 – 28  T-Tapp daily (except the 1 day I will be driving all day and Christmas Day)
Dec. 28 until I reach goal weight (probably 1-2 years) – T-Tapp every other day (they do not recommend doing daily after the initial bootcamp)
Jan. 1-5 Gather Supplies for new diet, make menu plans if not already made (I may post them here, I haven’t decided)
Jan. 6 Begin Advanced Cellular Healing Diet, continue until body has reached balance and make goal weight (1-2 years), then gradually transition to the Intermedial Cellular Healing Diet, and then to the Basic (if the diet works and all is well I hope to stay on basic permanently to avoid regaining weight)

I’m feeling strong and wonderful and looking forward to growing healthier every day.

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An Amish Christmas

An Amish Christmas: A Choice to Forgive/A Miracle for Miriam/One Child is a compilation of 3 romance stories centering around a single Christmas in an Amish community.   Because they all involve the same community, the 3 stories reference many of the same characters.

A Miracle for Miriam is a beautiful story of a young woman named Miriam.  As a young teen, Miriam had her heart broken by the boy who she had held a long standing crush for.  When he suddenlly appears years later, she must decide what her relationship with him is to become.    Although this is a theme that is seen in many stories, the author does a superb job of handling it.  The emotions of both Miriam and Seth run strong throughout the story, as Miriam deals with years of self-doubt and Seth comes to grips with his past decisions.  The reader can not help but be pulled in to the torrent of emotions on both sides.

 In A Choice to Forgive Miriam’s widowed sister Lydia is also faced with a decision of whether to forgive a past love.  To add to her troubles though, the past love is her deceased husband’s brother!  The story primarily features the tugs and pulls of Lydia’s heart as she strives to make sense of her relationships with her deceased husband, her brother, and her children.

The third story, One Child, has a very different theme from the other two.  In this story, the couple we are following are married, and are facing the anniversary of a heart wrenching miscarriage.  Another couple unexpectedly comes into their lives on the night of First Christmas, a relationship that causes profound and no doubt lasting changes in the way both couples look at life.

When I first saw the book, the title piqued my curiosity.  Amish romance stories…. not really the first thing that would come to mind when one thinks of the Amish.  I adore a good love story though, and hate romance novels because they rarely about love, and generally much more about lust.  I hoped that this book would avoid that trapping, and it did not let me down.  The love stories were heartwarming, realistic, and beautiful, and left me truly caring about the characters in them.   

While that would certainly have been enough, there was more!  The faith of the men and women in these stories was inspiring.  I feel a better person for having “known” them. 

The journeys of the characters as they learn to better relate to one another, to forgive one another, come to peace with God, and love one another is touching and beautiful. 

A few other notes:

While I would generally avoid romance stories for teens, this is one I personally would not hesitate to share with a teenager.  It is a great example of couples working together, learning to communicate, and trusting God to direct their paths.

Disclaimer – I was provided a free copy of this book for review purposes.  The review is my personal opinion, and the free book did not alter my views on the story in any way.

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Real Prayer

I’ve been reading “Called to Question” a spiritual memoir by Joan Chittister for a few days.  Last night I was reading a section about prayer and just had one of those moments that you read something and it says exactly what you think, but in a way more eloquent than you ever could.    This passage is so profound to me I will no doubt end up writing about it for days to come, in fact I want to meditate upon it, memorize it, make it part of me.

“I don’t pray,” people say to me.  And I say back, “Neither do I.  I just breath God in and hope somehow to learn how to breathe God out as well.”

The purpose of prayer is simply to transform us to the mind of God…. We go to prayer to be transfigured ourselves, to come to see the world as God sees the world, to practice the presence of God, to put on a heart of justice, of love, and of compassion for others.  We go to become new of soul.

Wow, that’s all I’m going to say in this post, because I want to give you a moment to think on it and digest it.  I hope you will love it as much as I do.

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I just got a couple of books i ordered off of amazon. I’m especially excited because I got to use the gift certificates I’ve been saving up from Swagbucks, and even have lots left.

Anyways, the books “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day” and “Make Your Place; Affordable, Sustainable, Nesting Skills”. Both books bring with them their own adventures!

I LOVE to bake homemade bread. I don’t think anything tastes better, and the wonderful smell in the house when it is baking is just heavenly. I’ve been trying to move our family away from processed breads to healthier breads. I’ve been making wheat bread with home ground wheat for a little over a year, but now I’m so excited to have some new healthy bread recipes! I’m going to try making a bunch of different recipes from here, and I’ll tell you all about it!

The second book is full of make it yourself recipes for cleaners, first aid products, etc. I’m hoping I can find some great, inexpensive cleaners that will work as wonderfully as our homemade laundry soap recipe does! I’ll post my adventures and findings on this one too as I go!

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Commonplace Book

It is finally done! It took me a month to get it made up, but I’ve finally got my commonplace book made and today I got everything I wanted to put into it that I’ve done recently moved in. I’m excited about how it came out, especially since I made it myself. There are some problems with the inside of the covers, some glue got on them and is shiny. I also ended up transferring some paper from elsewhere because the notes I had on the book I’m currently reading really needed to be in there, and there were way too many to just copy over. But still, I am quite happy with it. It is exactly the way I want it to be for this time.

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New Learning Project

The time has come to embark on a new learning experience. It’s actually been longer than usual since God last sent me on a learning path, but it’s time. I’ve been feeling the urge to begin something for a little while, but wasn’t sure what would come of it. I’ve had some idea of the things I’ve been wanting to learn about, but wasn’t sure which direction it would go in, and was having trouble finding books or anything to help me learn about it.
The other night, I was talking to a friend online, and suddenly had to search for a book. I found it almost immediately. I am now reading the book You Have Chosen to Remember. I’m not very far into it, just a few sections of the first chapter, but it is awesome. It’s going to be a slow read because there is so much to think about. Primarily the book is about changing our thoughts and core beliefs in order to approach the world with a more positive, loving, and accepting attitude, so that we can experience our trueselves. (This is a terrible summary, but you get the idea).

A day or two before I found the book, Tracy, who is running the classes I’m taking right now, sent over a bunch of questions to help us examing and challenge our core beliefs also. So, it looks like I have a project for the next little while. I don’t think it’ll be fun, but I do believe it has the potential to be incredibly life changing.

My project: Examine and revise my core beliefs, and learn to approach the world in a more positive, open, accepting way, and in doing so learn more about who I truly am, my true, spiritual self.

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