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MORE THAN JUST A CHRISTMAS NOVEL!
 from Oklahoma,  Dec 6, 2013

Annie Yoder did something different during her rumspringa, she went into the English world and became a nurse. Upon her return she married herbalist, Samuel Yoder, who took care of the local Amish’s basic medical needs. As the story opens they are expecting their first child and her brother, Adam and his wife Leah are expecting for the first time too. Leah is carrying twins. The two women are very close. Annie wants to make Leah a special quilt for the babies. Thinking she has time to spare, (Leah isn’t due for two months), Annie gets a late start. Leah unexpectedly goes into early labor, endangering her life and the babies. She is must be taken to a hospital in Philadelphia where she and the babies can be cared for. Annie agrees to stay with her until the babies are born. Adam and Leah have been having struggles in their marriage since Leah became pregnant. Neither knows what the problem is and the distance grows between them. The sudden separation they experience while Leah is in the hospital causes both of them to view their marriage through different eyes. Annie and Leah work on the quilt together and to pass the time share stories that illustrate the nine fruits of the spirit from Galatians chapter 5, one for each quilt square. The community pulls together to have an auction to help pay for Leah and the babies hospital stay. Adam is overwhelmed by their love and generosity. While this book would be a great read anytime, it is especially so for the Christmas season. Not because the story takes place around the holiday, but because of the many lessons associated with Christmas that can be learned from it. Adam and Leah’s marital problems stemmed from losing focus on what was important. Adam was worried about finances and being a new father. Leah focused on her pregnancy discomfort and began to be selfish and ill tempered. When faced with the possibility of losing one another their priorities became very clear. I was reminded of how we lose focus of Christ, during the Christmas season. He is the true reason to celebrate, yet people caught up in buying gifts, decorating, preparing special food; everything except the Child that was the greatest gift of all. He should always be our priority and focus. Annie made a great sacrifice to stay with her sister in law. She spent many days away from her husband whom she missed and loved. She sat long hours caring for Leah and keeping her company. The Amish community made sacrifices of time and possessions to help earn money for the young couple’s medical bills. This time of year the greatest sacrifice ever made began with the birth of Jesus. God sent His only Son to begin life on earth only to give it up for us. I enjoyed the examples the women shared to illustrate Galatians 22 -23. It gave me the idea to do the same thing. I plan to find nine examples of each “fruit” from people and situations from my own life. This would be a great thing to do in a group as a Bible study too! There are more examples I found, those were just a few. How many can you find? A wonderful heartwarming book! This is the first of Ms. Chapman’s I have read and I look forward to reading more! I received this book free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes
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