Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Review: Plain Promise

Recently, I saw where one of my friends was reviewing books sent to her (for free!) and in return, she just had to write a couple reviews. I decided I would love to do it as well. This is my first review, on the book Plain Promise by Beth Wiseman.

Set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Plain Promise is about a widow, Sadie Fisher, and Englisher Kade Saunders. Sadie rents out a cottage to Englishers who come visit Pennsylvania Amish country. Kade comes to Lancaster County, hoping to get away from his life and sort out the mess that's been made of it. While there, his autistic son comes to live with him for the first time since he and his wife separated three years earlier. Now facing raising his son alone, Kade realizes that things need to change in his life.
Sadie is worried what the bishop will think of the Englisher staying with her for three months, and becomes even more so when she starts to have feelings for Kade. She constantly wonders what God's will is for her life, and if it includes a husband and children. Plain Promise is a story that shows the faithfulness of God if we just wait on His plan and timing.

I've read several Amish fiction books, and I was at first skeptical about this one, thinking it would be like all the others. I was, however, surprised to find that the story was unlike any I had ever read, especially the ending. Beth Wiseman writes moving Amish fiction like that of Beverly Lewis.

**There are two others that precede this book, Plain Perfect and Plain Pursuit.**

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lightening Bolts of Clarity

Recently, I was lying on my bed, listening to some calming music. I had had a rough day and was exhausted. My mind was feeling the same kind of strain as my body, and thoughts about a past issue in my life kept rearing their ugly heads at me, hoping that I would take note of them. For most of the day, I was able to push them back and think about other things. It was an issue I had not thought about for a long time, and it wasn't even a real issue in my life now...not in the same way as before anyways.

Lying there, the thoughts resurfaced, and I was too tired to fight them off. One by one, each thought paraded across my mind, leaving muddy prints behind. Pretty soon, my mind was clouded with those footprints, and I couldn't see clearly anymore.

All of a sudden, BAM! lightening streaked across my mind, not only illuminating and blinding out where the muddy footprints had been left, but striking down on a realization. In that one second, my perspective on the situation completely changed. I saw myself as others had seen me then, and I understood what my friends had been warning me about. It was as if I had been removed completely from the picture and could see what was happening. Roger M. always said in my Bible class, "Sometimes you can't see the full picture because you are inside the frame."

Have you ever had a moment of clarity, the one where a lightening bolt strikes you, especially compared to a light bulb going off over your head? You wonder why you didn't see it before, whatever "it" may be. Sometimes, there is no warning. You are lying in your bed or reading a book, and BAM! lightening streaks across your mind, revealing the missing link, one that you might not have known was even missing. And for just a moment, life seems slightly less muddled.

I feel sad for those who have never experienced that. It's true that it is sometimes painful and doesn't always bring a warm feeling with it. However, I would never want to give up those moments, both the good and the bad. Without them, I think that I wouldn't see the bigger picture or in that one instance, see where something is more harmful than helpful.

I have no idea if this makes sense or if I just rambled for five paragraphs. Either way, those are my thoughts. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Life isn't very "shiny" right now. It's not horrible; there is just a dullness to it. I'm not sure what makes it that way. Perhaps falling into the routine of school once again, trying Weight Watchers, and knowing that life is waiting for me out there if I could just make it through this year. (Where does Weight Watchers come in? I make it very limiting so that I don't run out of points, therefore not eating all the foods I love.) I have somehow come to another season of waiting in my life, and I always grow restless when that happens. I think the difference this time, however, is the knowledge that I am about to step out of a covering that I've had since I was five. School will no longer be my main occupation, unless I am teaching it.
Although life has become rather "blah" to me, there are a few glimmers that get me through. Tonight, I baby-sat for a family that I've watched for seven years. After putting the two younger ones to bed, I waited, knowing that one of them would come to me with some sort of complaint or request. Sure enough, not five minutes later, the youngest found me.
"He won't stop making noises!"she complained.
"If you keep asking him to stop, then he will keep doing it because he knows it annoys you. If you ignore him, he will stop."
LONG PAUSE as she played with her stuffed puppy...
"Were you talking to me?" she asked finally.
"Yes, I was." I said, trying not to laugh.
"Oh, what did you say?"
I repeated what I had said the first time.
"But I'm not annoying him! He's annoying me!"she said, indignantly.
"I know. Ignore him and he will quit!" I replied, not sure how she could misunderstand me.
"...So you want me to annoy him?" she asked, confused.
"IGNORE HIM! Go to sleep!" I closed the door to her protests.
Maybe annoying him would have worked after all.