"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
~ Galatians 5:22-23
A few days ago, I was sorting through old photos and letters when I came across a note written by my aunt Aleta after the publication of one of my first books. Her words were so encouraging and congratulatory! I had forgotten that I'd saved it, and the note was yet another reminder that Aleta has long been an encourager to me and to my family, as well as to countless others--family and otherwise.
I was privileged to live with her and her husband, Bob, for my freshman and sophomore years in college. During that time, Aleta taught me to sew some of my very best dresses and suits. She also typed out her most delicious recipes, which I still have in the original recipe box. For many years, Aleta was a first-grade teacher, and to this day, her long-since grown students and their families contact her with thoughtful notes of praise and gratitude. Her talents and interests are numerous, indeed!
Recently, Dave and I spent time with Aleta in her home, marveling again at her energy and positive outlook on life. We were delighted to take her to explore new places, out to eat, and even to tour a lovely historic chapel in a nearby town. We laughed and prayed together, and we reminisced and pored over her wonderful travelogue scrapbooks from her and Uncle Bob's world travels.
This month, Aleta will celebrate her 95th birthday, and it is evident to all who know and love her that the blessing of health certainly rests upon her. In prayer, she asks the Lord for specific guidance each morning--whether she should go out to run errands or wait for another day. Yes, God is very near and dear to Aleta, and the fruit of the Spirit are plentiful in her life. Long ago, she committed herself to walking by the Spirit’s leading, a wise choice for us all.
I rejoice in Aleta's attitude of gratitude and in her prayer life. She is grateful for everything, especially the miracles that make it possible for her to live independently at her “mature age,” as she calls it.
This Thanksgiving season, may we count our blessings, including the precious people who help mold our lives for Christ and His Kingdom. Paying attention to the important stories they share can enhance our lives as we listen with an open heart. Doing so while gathered around the Thanksgiving table this month might be a very good place to start.
Blessings abundant for Thanksgiving and always,
1) The edit for The Heirloom has begun, and my September 2023 novel is on track for release next fall! Ella Mae Zook and her courting-age niece Clara Bender offer up an endearing generational story--a prequel to The Shunning. More to come on this exciting novel!
All books on sale will be priced at 50% off with free shipping (U.S. only, while supplies last) now until November 28. I know many of you appreciate a good deal, and this is a great chance to purchase new books as gifts for family and friends.
3) NEW for this 2022 Christmas Season: My sister and partner at Amish Cheer cards, Barbara, and I have created "Light of the World," and "Christmas Cardinal." See interior and backstory for both cards, as well as the ordering information at our secure website: www.amishcheer.com
I am very thankful for your enthusiasm for my novel, The Orchard, putting it at the #1 spot last month. And thanks so much for your interest in my Amish-themed cards with my sister, Barbara. We have the most delightful customers! Blessings to all!