Wanda’s Journal

Keeping the Faith

My husband and I recently attended Half-Stitch the Musical, in Sarasota, Florida. This delightful musical play is based off my novel, The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club. There were six people who attended Emma Yoder’s quilting classes in the story. One of them was Ruby Lee Williams, the wife of a minister. Due to some problems they were having in the church where Ruby Lee’s husband pastored, Ruby Lee wanted him to leave the ministry. Is leaving the best answer when a preacher feels that the congregation is displeased with him? What are some other choices a minister might make instead of leaving a church he has felt called to shepherd?

Did Ruby Lee support her husband by suggesting that they leave? Could it be that she felt as if she was near the end of her rope and saw no possibilities of a positive outcome? What are some ways we can keep our faith strong when going through trying times?

Our Future

When an old year passes away and a new one takes its place, we tend to reflect on the past and focus on our future, which we hope and pray will go well.

In my novel, The Healing Jar, Lenore became discouraged and felt frustrated about her future and her desire to be married and have a family of her own.

Have you ever become impatient with God’s timing and plan for your life and tried to work things out your own way? Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn’t see clearly which direction the Lord was leading? If so, what did you do about it?

One thing I plan to do during the upcoming year is to spend more time thinking and praying about new insights, reading the Scriptures, and considering how to incorporate the things God reveals to me into my life.

The Most Important Gift

With Christmas coming soon, many people have begun thinking about gifts — what to buy for family and friends–and what gifts you might be hoping to receive. Some people may even wonder, “Is it better to give a gift or receive a gift?”

The greatest and most important gift anyone could receive is the gift God gave the world when He sent His Son, Jesus, into the world. Romans 6:23 it tells us that the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If you have not already done so, I hope that you will receive God’s gift this Christmas season. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. (KJV)

Relaxation

One thing I’ve noticed about most of my Amish friends is that they like to read. Many have often said that they enjoy reading because it takes them to places they’ve never been able to visit. Reading is also a good way to relax, and it allows us to be drawn into the lives of the characters in the book. Taking time out from our busy days for a bit of relaxation is good for our health.

In addition to reading and writing books, there are some other things I like to do that helps me to relax. Here’s a short list: Walking on the beach and looking for shells; getting a massage; walking or sitting in our yard, while listening to the birds; sitting in a quiet room with candlelight and pleasant music playing.

What are some things you do to relax?

Ways We Can Help

In my August 2021 published novel, The Walnut Creek Wish, Orley and Lois Troyer, an Amish couple who own an antique store, enjoy selling and refurbishing vintage items. However, their main focus is on mentoring and praying for any people who come into their store and seem to be burdened with some kind of a problem.

Have you ever found help or been counseled by someone you didn’t know well, because of a chance encounter?

What are some ways we can help others who are troubled and need a touch from God?

Back on Track

In my recently-released novel, The Walnut Creek Wish, Rhonda and Jeff did not communicate well and were struggling with their relationship. Jeff was a collector of antiques, which was one cause of dissension between them, because his hobby was expensive. Rhonda’s job as a hotel manager had become stressful, and she sometimes took her frustrations out on Jeff.

What do you think is the biggest reason some married couples don’t get along? Is there anything a married couple can do to prevent marital problems?

When Jeff and Rhonda’s issues first started she had wanted him to go with her to see a counselor, but he’d refused. Do you think it’s possible for a couple having marital problems to resolve their issues without professional counseling? What other things might they try in order to get their marriage back on track?

Forgiveness

In my novel, The Storekeeper’s Daughter, Abraham Fisher’s friend, Jacob Weaver, reminded Abraham that God’s ways are not our ways. He encouraged Abraham to pray for the person who had kidnapped his young son, Zach. Do you believe that healing can only occur when one forgives?

Do you find it difficult to forgive someone who has wronged you or some member of your family? What does the Bible say about forgiveness? Do you have some favorite scriptures that gave you insight during a time when someone hurt you?

One of my favorite verses that deals with the topic of forgiveness is found in Matthew 6:14 (KJV): Jesus said, “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

Walking in the Light

During one of our visits to Ohio, my husband and I were invited to an auction for a local Amish school. It was still light outside when we arrived, but by the time we left the auction, night had fallen. Since the Amish have no electrical lights, the yard and driveway were so dark that we couldn’t see where we had parked our car.

“I think we should have brought a flashlight,” I told my husband.
Hanging onto each other for support, we took a few tentative steps down the long driveway. We’d only gone a short ways when a voice from out of the darkness called, “Do you need some help finding your car?”

“Yes, we sure do,” my husband replied.

“I have a flashlight, so I’ll lead the way.” The Amish man who’d spoken, pointed a beam of light down the driveway and walked with us to our car. We thanked him for his kindness and were soon on our way.
As we headed down the road, I thought about how unprepared we had been, going to an event where we knew there would be no street or house lights to guide our way. But the lesson went deeper, as I thought about how, when we travel through life, we can lose our way if we don’t have God’s Word stamped on our hearts. We need to memorize Scripture, and never go anywhere in this dark world without it.
Just as the light was hidden from our view until the Amish man turned on his flashlight, others can’t see Jesus until we walk in the light and let it shine for Him. God gave us the sun, moon, and stars that we may have light. He, being the light Himself, guides and directs those who follow Him, so we won’t stumble, but will show others the way to Jesus, the sweetest, brightest light of all.

If you’re a Christian, how do you show others that you are walking in the light of Jesus?

Heavenly Father:
Fill my heart today with a desire to read, study,
and memorize Your Word. Help me to be a Christian example
so that others may see Your light living in me.

Remembering our Fathers

On June 20th we will celebrate Father’s Day. This is a special time when we can honor or reflect upon our fathers. Although my dad, who passed away several years ago, was far from perfect, he had many good qualities. I still think about him and some of the special trips he planned for our family when I was a girl. I remember one trip in particular when he took us to Disneyland in California. He stood in line with my sister and me for over an hour so we could meet three of the Mouseketeers and get their autographs. Dad also took us to the beach and showed us how to find agates and all kinds of seashells. Another thing he liked to do was plan camping trips for our family, where we often met my mother’s twin sister and her family who lived a few hours from us. I also remember my father’s enjoyment of cooking. When I was a teenager he taught me how to make many things, including a delicious savory stew, which I still make periodically for a supper meal.

Do you have some great memories of times spent with your father while you were growing up? Please share them here on my Journal.

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6 (KJV)

Gifts

In my novel, The Gift, which is the second book in my Prairie State Friends series, Leah felt that her ability to help people with reflexology was a gift from God. However, some people, like Adam, didn’t see it that way. He did not believe in reflexology and thought it was bunch of superstitious hogwash.

Have you ever had an ability that you felt was God’s gift, but others did not? How did you deal with their negative comments? How can a person tell if some ability they have is truly a gift from God?