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Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women

WaterBrook / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

The love of family, the fulfilling power of faith, the warmth of lasting joy and the pain of loss are common experiences that unite all Christian wives and mothers, regardless of denomination or place in life. Among these common threads, few of life's experiences can compare to the joy of true friendship. Amish fiction writer Cindy Woodsmall and an Old Order Amish woman, Miriam Flaud, found a vibrant friendship despite their apparent differences. Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and The Hearts of Two Women is a compilation of stories from their lives, both Englischer and Amish that encourages women like you, wherever you are in your Christian walk. This volume also offers a discussion guide for groups and even includes several recipes. Plain Wisdom is a heartwarming celebration of faith, womanhood, and the search for beauty and fulfillment that unites us all.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: WaterBrook
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 0307549349
ISBN-13: 9780307459343
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Two friends from different worlds—one Old Order Amish, one Englischer—share the truths that bring them together.
 
Best-selling novelist Cindy Woodsmall might seem to have little in common with Miriam Flaud, a woman immersed in the culture of Old Order Amish. But with nine children and almost 60 years of marriage between them, Cindy and Miriam both have found the secrets to facing life with strength and grace. Whether enduring financial setbacks, celebrating new babies and times of prosperity, grieving the crushing losses in the deaths of family and friends, or facing disappointments with their respective communities—through it all they find guidance for each day by looking to God. 
 
With poignant recollections, unexpected insights, and humorous tales, the two women welcome you into their unique friendship.  You’ll also gain a rare glimpse into the traditions and ways of the Amish as Miriam recalls special occasions and shares family recipes throughout the book.
 
Plain Wisdom is a heartwarming celebration of God, womanhood, and the search for beauty that unites us all. So grab your cup and your quilt and settle in for a soul-comforting read with Plain Wisdom.

Author Bio

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author of six novels whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
 
Miriam Flaud is an Old Order Amish woman who has lived within one of the most structured societies in the United States. She’s experienced the abundant joys of that lifestyle as well as troubled times. She and her husband have six children and five grandchildren.

Endorsements

"A treasure chest, for sure... The wisdom in these stories is time-tested and true-plain and simple." - Karen Kingsbury, New York Times best-selling author of Unlocked and Shades of Blue

"A fascinating comparison between two starkly different ways of life." - Donald B. Kraybill, author of The Riddle of Amish Culture

"A beautiful weaving of the lives of two very different women drawn together through their bond of faith and love of family. Their intertwining stories offer both timeless wisdom and sincere encouragement to inspire all women to learn from one another's experiences. You will enjoy their honesty, their humor, and their life lessons as well as some of their delicious recipes! Cindy and Miriam bring us back to the place where our hearts long to go-a place of simplicity and truth." - Karol Ladd, author of The Power of a Positive Woman

"Plain Wisdom provides a beautiful glimpse into the lives of my longtime friend Cindy Woodsmall and her Amish friend Miriam Flaud. Though separated by the modern world and Old Order Amish customs, they have a living faith that bonds them and invites us to embrace our experiences with greater hope, delight, and laughter." - Dr. Alan Weatherly, senior pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church, Madison, Alabama

"Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud have the unique ability to marry two very different lifestyles in a masterful way by focusing on their similarities in faith and in daily life. Their chapters are easily digested in short pages designed for busy women-be they Amish or English. I loved savoring the wisdom in this book as well as the mouth-watering recipes. Written with the true insight of women who have been there, Plain Wisdom is a serious guide to life that doesn't take itself too seriously...and offers something for every woman." - Ellie Kay, author of The 60-Minute Money Workout

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Plain Wisdom
 
"A treasure chest, for sure… The wisdom in these stories is time-tested and true—plain and simple."
—Karen Kingsbury, New York Times best-selling author of Unlocked and Shades of Blue
 
"A fascinating comparison between two starkly different ways of life."
—Donald B. Kraybill, author of The Riddle of Amish Culture
 
"A beautiful weaving of the lives of two very different women drawn together through their bond of faith and love of family. Their intertwining stories offer both timeless wisdom and sincere encouragement to inspire all women to learn from one another’s experiences. You will enjoy their honesty, their humor, and their life lessons as well as some of their delicious recipes! Cindy and Miriam bring us back to the place where our hearts long to go—a place of simplicity and truth."
—Karol Ladd, author of The Power of a Positive Woman
 
"Plain Wisdom provides a beautiful glimpse into the lives of my longtime friend Cindy Woodsmall and her Amish friend Miriam Flaud. Though separated by the modern world and Old Order Amish customs, they have a living faith that bonds them and invites us to embrace our experiences with greater hope, delight, and laughter."
—Dr. Alan Weatherly, senior pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church, Madison, Alabama
 
"Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud have the unique ability to marry two very different lifestyles in a masterful way by focusing on their similarities in faith and in daily life. Their chapters are easily digested in short pages designed for busy women—be they Amish or English. I loved savoring the wisdom in this book as well as the mouth-watering recipes. Written with the true insight of women who have been there, Plain Wisdom is a serious guide to life that doesn’t take itself too seriously…and offers something for every woman."
—Ellie Kay, author of The 60-Minute Money Workout

Product Reviews

4.6 Stars Out Of 5
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(21)
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Displaying items 1-5 of 66
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  1. Michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    As comforting as a warm afghan on a cool night
    November 11, 2015
    Magister
    Michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I think it takes a special person to be an author...and to me, fiction and non-fiction are two entirely different animals. But Cindy Woodsmall has bridged that gap and written a wonderfully engaging book with her Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. I love Ms. Woodsmall's fiction, but every once in a while I want to step back from my TBR pile and read something comforting - something I don't have to work hard to review or dissect. This is actually the second time I've read Plain Wisdom, and I enjoyed it even more this time around. These ladies are candid and genuine. Their memories and applications are often self-effacing, but always helpful to me as a mom/wife/daughter/soon-to-be-grandma. Somehow a talented fiction writer and a Plain housewife with an 8th grade education have managed to weave together a great compilation of spiritual tips to encourage women. They are so transparent and "hospitable" on paper. I would recommend this read to anyone interested in the Amish and the calmness of their old-fashioned lifestyle. As the cover states, it truly is an invitation into their hearts and homes.
  2. Indiana
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    I enjoyed this book / great subject material.
    December 31, 2012
    Anthony Garrett
    Indiana
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I think that all topics they wrote about are good material for a women's group discussion or for women's retreat. Every area they talked about was interesting and applicable to the lives of families of today. I enjoyed it very much.

    Jean Garrett
  3. Missouri
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great read - Lovely Book
    November 9, 2011
    A Restful Place
    Missouri
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    I really enjoyed reading through Plain Wisdom by: Cindy Woodsmall & Miriam Flaud. It was especially neat to read how these two women from totally different lifestyles were able to come together and become friends and learn from each other. This book is loaded with practical wisdom on being a mother to many or a few children as well as so many other things. There are several Amish recipes mixed in as well that look pretty good. There are a few I'm going to try someday, hopefully! :) One of my favorite quotes from this book is:

    Finding peace with our imperfect world and its imperfect people isn't always easy, but if we don't find a way to let go of our stringent ideals of how things should be, we'll never be free to enjoy the greatest gifts life gives us. ~ Cindy Woodsmall

    Cindy is a novel writer (written many other books), wife and mother, Miriam is an Old Order Amish wife & mother. In this book they share stories from their lives - their own childhoods, raising their children, homemaking, farming (for Miriam), and being wives. They bring their stories back to the scriptures many times and share the things they learned from the things they did or didn't do. I loved the easy read and it was a blessing to learn from this book.
  4. Newport, PA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Packed with ideas and inspiration
    July 17, 2011
    Lori Lynn Lydell
    Newport, PA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Several months ago, I got an advanced copy of the book Plain Wisdom through Blogging for Books. This book was like siting on a porch with an older mother gaining insight and advice. I have gleaned so many great ideas from this book. Some of the ideas are inspirational, some were practical, and I even got some gift ideas! I highly recommend this book, even if you're not an Amish Fiction reader. This is not fiction, but just what the title says, "Plain Wisdom."

    I received an advanced copy of Plain Wisdom through the Bloggin for Books program.
  5. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Wisdom, Amish Style
    July 14, 2011
    Kayla
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have long been fascinated by the Amish culture. Their lack of conformity to the general American population intrigues me. Some of this fascination and intrigue has come from living close to a Mennonite community (think "liberal Amish," if you can) and some of it is a result of a report I wrote on the Amish community for my Cultural Anthropology class my senior year in high school.

    It's written in "partnership" style; within each chapter, you will find an anecdote or moral from Cindy, an "Englischer" (the Amish term for a non-Amish person), and from Miriam, an Amish woman. It's neat to see how often they have learned similar lessons through very different circumstances. God is sovereign over all! And remember - I typically shy away from fiction books, so real life anecdotes keep my attention much longer. It was like sitting down to coffee/tea with two new friends.

    My favorite aspect of this book was the recipes! Many Amish favorites are spread throughout the book, and I can't wait to try them! Overnight Blueberry French Toast made me especially hungry when I read it.

    As I read through the book, I desired to be discerning. There were only two instances that I definitely disagreed with what was said (both times written by Cindy). On page 182, Cindy writes, "The problem with lies is that there's always a smidgen of truth inside them. Our challenge is to disbelieve the lies, and if we can't do that, we must choose to believe God more than we believe the lies." I disagree, because Satan is the father of lies and God is Truth. You cannot walk the line between the two; you must choose one or the other. The other statement I disagreed with was on page 195: "Parents are simply grown-up children." While this may be true of some (0r even "many"), it is not God's plan. Childhood should end and adulthood begin. "Grown-up children" is an often-heard lie the world believes and propagates.

    All in all though, I enjoyed the book. I recommend it to you, if this is anywhere near your preferred style of reading. On a scale of 5 stars, I'd give it 4.

    In the garden of life, being successful isn't just about hoeing your own row but also about slowing down enough to help your brother hoe his row until he is caught up, then hoeing the rest of the field together. -Miriam (p. 22)

    I received this book for free via WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The perspectives above (not quoted from the book) are entirely mine.
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