Book Review: Plain Wisdom

Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women offers a pleasant view into the friendship of Christian novelist Cindy Woodsmall & Amish woman Miriam Flaud.

Woodsmall & Flaud share their hearts and wisdom in this book, a combination of stories, lessons learned, and recipes I look forward to trying.

I truly enjoyed my time with this book. The only way it could've been better would be hearing these stories in person, over Shoofly pie and coffee.

*Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Snow Days to Remember

Recipe for a Memorable Snow Day:

2 Sweet Girls
Hot Coffee & Hot Cocoa
Movies & Blankets
Coats & Mittens
Cookie Baking

Mix together. Photograph each part. Slow down & Enjoy!

"Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do -
or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so."
Stanley Crawford


Breathe In, Breathe Out

The golden sunlight washes over our small coastal town and I breathe in a deep sigh of renewed strength, and breathe out a breath of thankfulness.

Tragedy rocked our community last week. A 33 year-old mother and her 8 year-old daughter were killed together in a horrible car accident. Our little town is mourning.

As the questions and grief raged within our hearts, the wind, rain, and hail raged outside our doors.

Wednesday we gathered to remember this beautiful duo that was an integral part of our little town. By Wednesday night I was emotionally drained, exhausted from the tears shed over these precious lives and this week's physical pain and anxious about new symptoms. I went to bed and cried and prayed and tossed and turned, tangled in sheets and hard questions.

Sleep finally came and the next day my little home and its wooden floors were bathed in the same beautiful, soul-renewing golden sunlight we have today.

I breathed in a deep exhausted breath and breathed out all the hurt and the fear and the questions, and remembered that God is still here, He hasn't changed, and that no matter what comes, He will walk with us.


Sing Over Me

"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

Severe pain sent me to bed one day. Curled up, waiting for medication to deliver relief, tears spilled down my face. Hannah, my compassionate 6 year-old, crawled in next to me and stroked my hair as she began to sing to me, “Precious Girl / God loves you / God has a plan for you / Precious Mom.” I had never before heard the words or the tune Hannah sang and I felt incredibly comforted by her voice and her little hand on my head.

Peace and comfort settled over me like a warm blanket, and I knew that the words being sung over me and the hand delivering comfort were not just Hannah’s, but also God’s.

God speaks to us in many ways – through the Bible, through music, and through those willing to be His voice and hands. I doubt Hannah had any idea how much God was using her in that time of pain and fear, but I knew.

It is easy to feel a sense of isolation with chronic illness. It comforts me to know that God cares about all things, including my pain.


This post is featured today as Rest Ministries' daily devotional. 
Rest Ministries is a Christian non-profit organization serving people with chronic pain and illness.
Image is my own original artwork.


I'll Remember...


Last night, after my little girls were tucked in and sleeping snugly, I got to work...

I set the table for Valentine's morning with place mats, doilies, china tea cups & saucers, chocolates and candy hearts and tiny dishes filled with heart-shaped marshmallows.

In the center of the table, I filled a little tin basket with tiny notebooks and pens. {Because you just never know who you'll want to jot a little note to on Valentine's Day.}

I went to bed, snug in the arms of the man who has been my Valentine for the last 9 years, and fell asleep to music we listened to when we were dating.

Early this morning, I woke to the sound of little girls, as usual. I got up, eager to implement the day's plans...

Their little faces, 4  and 7, were filled with wonder as Hannah proclaimed,

"This is the BEST Valentine's Day EVER!"

and Natalie asked, "Can I eat my chocolate NOW?"

We had cinnamon rolls and apple slices and yogurt. Little girls had hot cocoa with marshmallows, while Jonathan & I enjoyed coffee with chocolate raspberry creamer.

For one morning, Mama was not ill. Mama was not in pain. All the world was magic. {That's what they'll remember.}

I'll remember their faces, full of delight, and Hannah saying,

"Valentine's Day is a day to let all your love out...
That's what it's all about."

I'll remember the handmade card she made me that said,

The BeST DaYes Kum Wenn You ARe NIR
{the best days come when you are near}

I'll remember little Natalie, sidling up beside me to wordlessly rub my back now and then.

I'll remember my husband walking in the front door at the end of the day, tall and handsome, carrying a bouquet of red tulips and an envelope which read


That's what I'll remember.

What will you remember?



As a writer and advertising designer, I just love this word submission. When submitting, whether it's an ad to a newspaper or a piece to an editor or publication, I breathe a sigh of accomplishment.

I've made something out of nothing, polished it, and turned it in. It's submitted. It's a sense of creation and a sense of relief to have finished. I've done my best and it's in someone else's hands now.

When I think about submitting to God, it hasn't had quite that same connotation in the past. I haven't thought of it as a sense of accomplishment to submit, or a sense of having done my best. But isn't that what spiritual submission is? We do our best with something, perhaps grapple with it in many forms, and then finally say, "I've done my best with this. I'm handing it over to You, God."

I'm submitting. I place it in Your hands. I trust You.

I give this to You for examination, consideration, Your say. Your will be done.

There's beauty and sublime peace in the letting go of control; there's peace in the submission.


Rest Ministries

I am pleased to be joining Rest Ministries' team of devotional writers. Rest Ministries is a Christian non-profit organization dedicated to serving people with chronic pain and illness.

You can find a bit of my heart here today.


Sweet Sisters

Today was one of those stressful days where there's far too much to squeeze into the hours. Both of my girls have colds and are well enough to be running around, but just sick enough to be whiny.

I was in the middle of cleaning and turned around to see both girls cuddled into the nook of our love seat, Hannah's arm around Natalie while she read aloud from a library book. Just for those few minutes they were still and sweet. I love their sweet sister moments.
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