My Dear Reader-Friend,
In thinking ahead to the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, I've embraced the idea of simplifying the many trappings of our family celebrations. A conversation with one of my Amish consultants just this morning reminded me again of the joy of simplicity—of paring down the extraneous in order to focus on the meaning of these special times set aside for faith and family and friends.
What would it look like if we could be wholly in tune with what truly matters, and leave all the rest behind?
Well, my family and I have decided to find out! Beginning with Thanksgiving dinner, we plan to give away even more to the needy. Our actual "feast" will consist of only a single entrée and just one kind of pie, instead of the usual three. And also this year, we will join with other families, giving thanks together.
Our Lord commands us to care for the poor, to look after the orphans and the widows among us. What might each of us do to make a difference in our own small world—our neighborhood, school, or workplace?
Presently, I'm writing Book Two in my new series, Home to Hickory Hollow, having just returned from my beloved Lancaster County, where I was blessed to meet with Rebecca of Paradise Township—a dear Amish friend and neighbor to my mother's elderly cousins across the lane. Many in the area have struggled greatly during the recent economic downturn. "But God is ever so faithful," we kept hearing as we visited various people. "He's right there through the storm," one dear lady told us, eyes glistening.
There were also kind remarks about my little book, Amish Prayers, which has found a welcome place in the hearts and homes of many readers, bringing peace and a sense of hope where there had been fear. I'm grateful to have been able to share these powerful spiritual gleanings from those who lived so long ago, many of whom were facing harsher trials than most of us can even imagine.
On another note, it is with great joy that I offer my thanks to each of you who came out to bookstores and libraries during my fall 2011 book tour for The Mercy, as well as the numerous author events in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania surrounding the musical The Confession, based on my first-ever adult trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County. I am also looking forward to sharing with you in my next newsletter about the upcoming sequel to the Hallmark movie Beverly Lewis' The Shunning.
For now, I wish you and your family a truly blessed season of Thanksgiving, asking God to meet your every need—body, mind, and spirit.