A Gift of Grace, Kauffman Amish Bakery Series #1A Gift of Grace, Kauffman Amish Bakery Series #1
Amy Clipston
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Rebecca Kauffman's tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her "English" sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.

Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessica's rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God.


 A Gift of Grace Discussion Questions: Amy Clipston


1. Rebecca’s life changes drastically when she brings the girls to Lancaster County.  Think of a time when one event changed your life forever.  How did you handle the changes?  How long did it take you to adjust?  Share this with the group.



2. Rebecca’s interpretation of “God’s will” changes throughout the book.   She is so set on what she wants (having children) that she doesn’t look to God for further guidance.  The answers to prayers are not always what we want or expect.  Think about a time in your life when you misunderstood God’s will.  Share this with the group.



3. Rebecca and Daniel’s relationship is strained when the girls join their family.  Is she listening to her husband?  Are they partners in the decisions that are best for the household?  Does their relationship grow and change throughout the book?  If so, how?



4. Think about a time when you and your spouse or partner didn’t agree or listen to each other.  What kind of strain did that put on your relationship?  How did you work through it? 



5. For Jessica, is it wrong to want “worldly” things?  Is she a petulant teen, or a determined young girl?  How does she change throughout the book?  Does she mature as a young lady?



6. Take a walk in Rebecca’s shoes.  How would you have coped with her roles as wife and guardian differently?



7. Gossip, even in a community that is supposed to be Christ-like, can hurt and lead to misunderstanding.  Do we do this in our own church communities—judge and gossip about our fellow Christians without considering the consequences?



8. How does Rebecca come to grips with her belief of God’s plan for herself and her family?  Have you ever had a time in your life when you were uncertain what God’s plan was for you or a member of your family?  Share this with the group.



9. Read and reflect on Hebrews 11:1.  How does this verse relate to the story?  If so, how?  Are you able to relate this verse to your life and experiences? 



10. Which character can you identify with the most?  Which character seemed to carry the most emotional stake in the story?  Was it Jessica, Daniel, Rebecca or Lindsay, or even Sadie or Jake?



11. What did you know about the Amish before reading this book?  What did you learn?



12. Reflect on Elizabeth’s favorite verse, Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  What does this verse mean to you?  How does it apply to your life?



13. What role does the bakery play in the family unit and community?  Can you relate this to your life and your family traditions?



14. How do the girls personify the title of the book?  In what ways are they a gift?



15. At the end of the book, Rebecca realizes that she must let Jessica go.  While she’s heartbroken, she believes she’s following God’s plan for the girl.  Do you think she made the right choice?  If you were Rebecca, would you have insisted Jessica stay in Lancaster?




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