When I plan on making Thanksgiving dinner, I take the week off work to have plenty of time for making each item from scratch. I do that partly because of food allergies and mostly because I love the excuse to spend the time cooking. As you can tell, the food can become a big production.
My goal is to have everything that can be done ahead to be finished and forgotten until the time we eat so I’m able to enjoy time with my guests. And to not be completely exhausted and spent by the time they arrive!
Martha apparently loved to serve as well, but she fretted over the work that needed to be done and resented her sister’s choice of not helping. So she complained to Jesus. His reply is one most are familiar with
Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.
The problem was not Martha’s serving – it was that she wasn’t spending time with the Lord. She was so focused on the preparations that she ignored the one she was preparing for. . .
Finding a Plain Christmas
by Laura J. Marshall, Amos Wyse
Series: Barnville Stories
Published by Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date September 30, 2018
Genres: Amish Fiction, Christian Fiction
Setting: Pennsylvania Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 24-35
Written for: Adults
Kirsten Bergman, writer for Harrisburg Magazine, is busy checking off the boxes on her Christmas lists. Her boss and secret crush, Richard Collins, unexpectedly assigns her to a story in Amish country, which seems like he’s setting her up for failure. But is he actually giving her the greatest gift of all?
I would like to thank Amos Wyse for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Finding a Plain Christmas could be considered a parable expounding on the account of Martha and Mary. Kirsten was a perfect Martha – driven, determined to do things perfectly, working to outdo her own parties each year and exhausting herself in the process.
I really appreciated the approach of this book. It was told from the perspective of the Englischer, Kirsten as she learns how wrong her conceptions of the Amish were and more importantly, learns that her focus has been on the wrong things. I loved the way the various Amish that she spoke to were dumbfounded at her questions. “But aren’t there parties and parades and things that go with it to make it more festive?”
The explanation as to why the Amish traditions are what they are was so clear and it made me think I’ve never seen it described before. I won’t tell you what was said, because it is so much better hearing it through the story. The conversations about the beliefs were done in such a way that they did not feel like information dumps. Yay!
Before you get caught up in the busyness of the holiday season, take a couple of hours to read this and get your perspective adjusted so you are really ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
The story included some of the characters from previous books by these authors, Caleb and Ruby, and Caleb’s twin sisters. It was fun to see them a bit in the future. Readers who choose to read just this story wouldn’t even realize that they were referenced in a previous book and would not be lost.
The voice of this book, because it was not told by the Amish, is different from the others I read, so be sure to check out the others in the series as well.