Wanda’s Journal

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?

Offering of Prayers

In my novel, The Robin’s Greeting, many scriptures were included in the story that helped the characters deal with feelings they struggled with. God’s Word also helped the King family deal with several unpleasant things that had been done to them.

In addition to studying God’s Word, praying faithfully and fervently, helped Belinda and other members of her family get through several trials.

Reading passages from the Bible and offering prayers to God can also help us as we are faced with various situations and unexpected trials. Are there any special verses found in the Bible that have helped you recently? Do you have a special prayer request you would like to share? I, and I’m sure others who read this post, would like to pray for you.

“The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much.” James 5:16

Amish Way of Life

My husband grew up in a Mennonite church in Pennsylvania, and getting to know my Mennonite relatives gave me a sense of yearning for the simpler life. Then, when one of our Mennonite friends introduced us to an Amish man he worked with, my desire went deeper. When I discovered that my great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith, I realized why I had such a deep yearning to know the Plain People. It wasn’t long after that we began making friends with many Amish families in several communities across the country. I decided to write Amish novels so that my readers would have a better understanding of the Amish people and their way of life.

Their simple lifestyle, and the fact that they put God first, and then family, is what makes the Amish people so special to me. I also appreciate their example of putting their emphasis on people and not things. When I’m with our Amish friends I see their family closeness, and my desire to be closer to my own family grows stronger. When I’m visiting our Amish friends I feel calm, relaxed, and closer to God.

What draws you to the Amish way of life?