By Kaity Jane Culbertson
Seth has returned from his rumspringe after an accident that scarred him for life. No longer having full use of his leg as it heals, Seth realizes that outward beauty means little. His attraction toward Miriam begins to grow, but can Miriam ever forgive him and realize that he loves her for her; not the way she looks?
A Choice To Forgive follows Miriam’s story but takes place with her sister, Lydia. When her childhood sweetheart, Daniel, disappeared suddenly leaving nothing but a note behind as explanation, Lydia built a life with his brother, Elam. Now widowed after her husband’s unexpected death, Lydia is shocked when Daniel returns in pursuit of her forgiveness. Lydia wants to forgive Daniel, but the pain from the past is making the action harder to do than she thought. Daniel carries with him a secret that could ruin his chances at befriending Lydia again…but keeping it hidden could cause more damage than exposing the truth, hurtful as it may be. Can both of them pick up where they left off and learn to love each other once more?
In One Child, Miriam and Lydia’s friend and nearby neighbor, Sarah, and Sarah’s husband, David, are coming up on the anniversary of the miscarriage of their child. Sarah strongly desires to have a child of her own, just one child, but so far she has been unlucky. David is trying to help his wife move on and have faith that God knows what He’s doing. When a freak snow storm overtakes Lancaster County, David and Sarah are met by an Englisch couple seeking shelter. Being stranded in the house of Sarah and David with only two weeks until the Englisch couple expect the birth of their baby, they are anxious about being isolated in fear of no medical care with the time for the birth comes. During the time, both couples learn great life lessons about God’s timing and the acceptance of His greater plan for their life.
And last but not least, the extra in the expanded edition is Christmas Cradle which is about Anna. When Anna travels a few hours to fill in for the local midwife and spend time with her family, she is awoken in the night to deliver a child. This is the first of the many deliveries she makes that night and the next morning. Luckily, she has her faithful driver, Asa. Though Anna has always loved quilts, she never realized how much a quilt could help her through her deliveries on that night, or how Asa could make his way into her heart on that one, snowy night.
This is a very good collection of Amish novels; all of them linked to one another in some way and taking place near Christmas. They were very clean, as most Amish books are, and only had some romance in them. If you enjoy Amish novels that have a sweet story and take place in this joyous season, then you’ll enjoy An Amish Christmas(Expanded Edition).
1) Miriam has lived with the hurtful words of Seth from childhood and it has lowered her self confidence, though it was only spoken from a young boys teasing mouth. Has someone ever said something to you that lowered your self confidence; even if they only meant it in jest?
Oh goodness, I can't name the many times this has happened. Of course I, we, have to realize that we can't be overly sensitive and also that not everyone is out to hurt your feelings -- specially your friends and family. Sometimes it is obvious that the words they spoke they spoke in earnest and were just mean, and in those times we must throw an insult back at them. Ok just kidding. :-P We must do the opposite; we must get over what hurtful things they say and live on. Don't let it hinder you being their friend still, either. If you know they meant it in jest but it still hurt you, just let it slide. There's no point in holding a grudge. :-)
2) Seth is trying to be forgiven of the past of move on to a better future, but Miriam is the only one refusing to let go. Have you ever committed a sin or hurt some one's feelings in the past and had someone hold a grudge against you? How did it feel?
Umm...I'm really trying to think here...I honestly can't remember a time that this has ever happened to me. But I do know that it would be very difficult for me if it did happen. I have a strong sense of guilt when I feel guilty about anything, so if I knew someone was holding a grudge against me it would really weigh heavily on my conscience.
3) Lydia is shocked when her old sweetheart Daniel shows up on her doorstep after abandoning her when they were teenagers. Daniel asks for forgiveness, and Lydia says she will forgive him -- but Lydia is finding it is harder to forgive him than she thought. Almost from Miriam's point of view in the last story, have you ever found it hard to forgive someone for past wrongs?
Of course this is a natural thing to do -- especially when it was a very heart-breaking happening. I have never really had as strong of a lack of forgiveness as Lydia did, as I have never been hurt that bad. But I hope I would be strong enough to follow Ephesians 4:32 - "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." - and forgive the offender, as God has gracefully and mercifully forgiven me.
Well there's part one! Tune in Wednesday for part two!