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An Amish Miracle
     

An Amish Miracle

4.6 16
by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Mary Ellis
 

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Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman

Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees

Overview

Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman

Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees her prayers answered as food and temptation lose their hold over her. She’s finally pleased with how she looks, but does she like the person she has become? And has the man she has dreamed of been right beside her all along, loving her exactly as she is?

Always His Providence by Ruth Reid

Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She’s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community’s widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.

Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis

Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this secret from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends her isn’t a new baby but the fifteen-year-old boy she gave up years ago.

Includes Reading Group Guide and Old-Order Amish Recipes

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401688714
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
12/10/2013
Sold by:
THOMAS NELSON
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
110,927
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

An Amish Miracle


By Mary Ellis, Ruth Reid, Beth Wiseman

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2013 Mary Ellis, Ruth Reid, Elizabeth Wiseman Mackey
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4016-8870-7



CHAPTER 1

Paradise, Pennsylvania


Stephen Bowman switched off the generator, swiped his brow with a handkerchief, and straightened his spine. Not even nine o'clock and the July day was already sweltering.

Since dawn he had milked, fed, and watered the animals and turned them out to pasture. The milk was now stored in the cooling room, awaiting pickup, and he was ready for breakfast.

He headed for the house, his stomach rumbling. What might his fraa have made this morning? Buttermilk pancakes swimming in maple syrup? A mushroom omelet covered with melted cheddar? Maybe a thick slab of ham with an over-easy egg on the side?

He entered the kitchen to find a box of cornflakes on the table, along with a banana. The pot of coffee had grown cold on the stove.

After thirteen years, he knew his fraa well. Hope usually only served a cold breakfast when pressed for time or when—

Stephen bolted toward the front room. "Hope?"

His wife sat in the rocking chair with her sewing basket at her feet. Sweat beaded at her hairline. The tiny white kapp she'd been crocheting lay abandoned in her lap.

"When did the contractions start?" He tried to keep his voice calm so as not to frighten his daughters. The three girls sat on the couch staring at their mother and holding hands.

Hope said nothing for at least half a minute. Then she spoke through gritted teeth. "A few ... hours ago."

"Why didn't you send Josie to the milking parlor for me?" His glance flickered to his eldest dochder, who peered up at him through thick lashes.

"Thought I had plenty of time to finish this kapp and pair of booties." Her speech improved as the contraction loosened.

"You know what the doctor said. Things move along faster with each new bundle of Bowman joy." Stephen chucked his youngest child under the chin. Little Greta's green eyes sparkled as she giggled.

"True enough, but I still thought I had enough time. No sense dragging Jane Beachy out too soon." Hope's voice returned to normal, and her fingers released their grip on the chair. "She has her own family to tend."

"Midwives are accustomed to being called out at all hours of the day or night. At least she's not sleeping at this hour. I'll leave now to fetch her."

"May I ride with you, Daed?" asked Josie. She scrambled from her position on the couch to land on the floor near Hope's feet. "I could help Jane carry in things."

"Nee." Stephen gave her kapp ribbon a pull. "You stay and help mamm get things ready." He felt himself blush. Discussing babies-on-the-way was not a proper topic between father and daughter. "You understand God is bringing us another boppli?" He peered at one pair of rounded eyes after another.

"Of course I do," she said, as though mildly insulted.

"Ya," replied the younger two, heads nodding. "Mamm said so. Bruder this time?" asked seven-year-old Emily.

"We'll soon find out." He buzzed a kiss across his wife's kapp. "I'm off. Put down your sewing, fraa. I believe you should start moving in the direction of our bedroom. But don't pick up a paintbrush to give the kitchen a fresh coat."

Stephen smiled at the memory of a woman in their district who decided to paint a room during labor. Things happened so fast she gave birth in their bathtub, assisted solely by her eldest daughter. By the time the midwife arrived, the mother had been bathed and was resting comfortably with her new son sleeping in the crook of her arm.

Suddenly, Hope grabbed his sleeve, her brown eyes huge. "I've prayed all morning for this one to be a boy." She turned her face up to him.

Stephen patted her hand. "We shall be grateful for another healthy child, whether boy or girl." He gazed at his family, then strode from the room. Within minutes Stephen hitched his fastest gelding to the buggy and raced down their lane. Not much traffic crowded the country roads, no speeding cars that could panic a skittish horse. And so far, no buses with tourists leaning out of windows snapping pictures.

He used the time to say his prayers and count his blessings. God had smiled upon the Bowman family. His wife and daughters were healthy; he'd inherited a fertile, productive farm from his father, and his large herd of Holstein cows supplied an abundance of milk. Even the new bulls had drawn decent prices from the veal producers, providing necessary cash to pay taxes, and medical bills, and to buy diesel fuel.

At thirty-five, Stephen Bowman was content.

But a son would be nice.

It would be good to have help with the harder farm chores. Although Josie could already plant a straight row of corn and pick more than her weight in beans in a day, he didn't want women riding dangerous equipment. Some chores like plowing, harrowing, and harvesting remained men's work. Growing up, he'd witnessed firsthand his father's challenge of having only one son. His sisters eventually married and moved to other parts of Lancaster County or to different states altogether. Stephen remained on the farm helping his daed until a heart attack took him to the gates of heaven.

Would an early death be his destiny? Only God knew the future, and whether this coming child would be another girl. He didn't feel comfortable praying for one over the other.

"Still, a son would be nice, Lord."

He whispered the words against his better judgment and added a hasty, "But Thy will be done."

Turning into the Beachy yard, a red-cheeked Nathan Beachy hurried to greet him. "Come for Jane, ya?" Nathan shielded his eyes from the glare of a hot July sun.

"We'd be obliged if Jane could lend a hand, if she's not too busy." Both men spoke in even tones as they marched quickly toward the house.

"Fraa?" called Nathan. "Stephen Bowman has come." They waited less than a minute before the experienced midwife bustled down the stairs into the kitchen.

She carried her black satchel, a diaper bag, and a sleeping infant. "Time has come, then." Jane issued a statement rather than asked a question. "Our kinner are dressed and fed," she said to Nathan. "They should be fine while you're in the fields since the oldest aren't back to school yet." A shy teenager peeked around her mamm. "No telling when I'll be home." Jane kissed his cheek, then hurried out the door with Stephen at her heels. Flanked by his brood, Nathan remained on the porch, waving.

"Might be home sooner than you think," murmured Stephen once they'd climbed into his buggy. With another man within earshot, it would have been embarrassing, but he didn't mind discussing the delicate topic with a professional midwife.

Jane pivoted toward him. "Why? How far along is she?"

Stephen shook the reins and released the brake. "Can't say in terms of minutes between pains, but from what I could gather, I should have fetched you at first light, if not sooner."

The midwife picked up the seldom-used crop and slapped it lightly on the horse's broad back. "Git up, there," she commanded. "Save the meandering for the trip back. We've got a boppli on the way!"

Stephen Bowman felt his excitement ratchet up a notch to match her enthusiasm. Another one of God's miracles was about to take place, right in his own family.


* * *

Hope experienced a moment of panic when the door closed behind Stephen. She was alone with three little ones with a fourth about to make a grand entrance.

I will never leave you or forsake you.

God's promise gave her strength as she struggled to her feet and dropped her crocheting into the basket.

"Come, Josie, we must prepare. Emily, Greta, I want you to stay in your room. You may play or read, but do not come downstairs until Josie calls you." Hope touched each of their cheeks tenderly. "Mamm will be fine."

Emily hugged her around the waist, then took Greta's hand and scampered up the steps. Greta glanced back at Hope but left obediently with her sister.

"What should I do?" asked Josie. Her dark eyes glowed with the eagerness of new responsibility. At twelve, the girl was ready for all but the most delicate portion of childbirth.

"Fill both kettles and the soup pot with water. Then bring them to a low boil. Jane will need plenty of warm water to bathe the boppli and me." She walked gingerly toward their ground-floor bedroom, her belly feeling impossibly heavy. "First, help me put the rubber sheet on the bed and set out the towels. And we'll need blankets to keep the baby warm. Jane will bring whatever else is needed."

By the time the next contraction stole her breath, the birthing room was ready. Josie went to prepare the kitchen while Hope climbed into bed, covering herself with their oldest sheet. "Won't be long now, Lord," she whispered.

Hope squeezed her eyes shut and concentrated on not screaming as a contraction hit. Just when she was about to call Josie to help, Jane Beachy bustled into the room, her sleeves rolled up and her hands still wet from scrubbing. A grin stretched across her face.

"Did you figure to pull this off alone to save yourself my fee?" Jane said. "Nothing doing, Hope Bowman. Nathan and I plan to use that money to visit Paris, France, in the springtime." She pulled long gloves up to her elbows.

The joke distracted Hope from counting breaths. "Please don't make me laugh until this is said and done." Josie retreated from the room, and Hope positioned herself for examination.

"From the looks of things, you won't have to wait long to appreciate my sense of humor." Jane rushed to prepare for the final stage. "You cut this one a bit close to the wire. Did you think that I charged by the hour?"

Her quip almost sent Hope over the edge. She had to wait several minutes to retort. "Remind me to come to the birth of your next baby. Between now and then I will save up a bag of jokes."

And so, together the two longtime friends brought a life into the world. The newest little girl to the Lancaster Amish community.

Hope swallowed down an initial pang of disappointment when Jane announced, "Looks like we have a fourth daughter for the Bowman family. All ten fingers and toes with plenty of hair—she looks perfect to me." A loud wail signaled a strong pair of lungs as well. "I'll get her cleaned up and warm and be back in a jiffy."

Jane disappeared from the bedroom, leaving Hope alone. "Thank You, Lord," she whispered, "for the smooth delivery and another healthy child." She didn't put words to her dissatisfaction and hoped God would overlook her discontent.

This is nobody's fault but mine.

Jane bathed Hope and helped her into a fresh nightgown, then she took the baby into the kitchen to examine, weigh, and bundle into a warm quilt. Hope could hear Jane instructing Stephen and Josie on their tasks for the next few days. When she returned to the bedroom, Hope reached for her hand, forcing a smile. "Danki for all you've done."

"All in a good day's work." Jane pushed damp hair off the new mother's forehead. "You've been blessed, Hope Bowman."

"Ya, but not as much as you and Nathan, with three sons." The words escaped Hope's mouth before she could stop herself. She felt a hot flush rise up her neck into her face.

Jane bundled the laundry and tidied the bedroom. "Ya, sons are helpful, but who's to say what your next one will be? The next dozen or so might be boys." She winked and plumped an extra pillow behind Hope's back.

Hope pressed a palm on her still-swollen belly. "Let's not talk about the next dozen quite so soon."

"I'll be back tomorrow to check on you. The paperwork has been filled out except for the baby's name." In a rare display of affection, Jane leaned over and kissed Hope's cheek. "You and Stephen put your heads together and come up with something gut." Then she bustled from the room.

But Hope had no chance to wallow in self-pity. Just as she finished feeding her infant, her best friend, Rosa Hostetler, marched into the room with a broad smile stretched across her face. "I heard from Jane Beachy on her way home you might have someone new to show off."

"Goodness, word travels fast." Hope pulled back the coverlet to reveal a pink face. "Meet the youngest Bowman dochder." She lifted the baby for inspection.

"May I hold her? Oh, she's just perfect. I'll bet she'll be a cheerful boppli too." She took the infant in her arms and strolled around the room explaining doors, windows, and vases of flowers as though the newborn were ready for language instruction.

"Let that boppli sleep. You can start the lessons next week." Throughout Rosa's fussing, the littlest Bowman slumbered peacefully.

"What do you suppose you'll call her?"

Hope's smile faded. "I'd selected David or Joseph—names of strength and fortitude. I was so sure this one would be a boy." Unbidden, tears streamed down her face.

"Ach, the next one will be." Rosa kissed the infant before settling her into the crook of Hope's arm.

As Hope tucked the blanket beneath the tiny chin, her tears fell unchecked. "You don't understand," she whispered. "There'll be no boys for me—not after what I have done." The words strangled in her throat. "God is punishing me just as He punishes all who disobey Him."

Rosa perched on the edge of the bed. "I doubt He would punish a sixteen-year-old girl. You had no choice." She slipped an arm around her friend's shoulder.

Hope shook her head violently. "We always have a choice. I could have refused. I could have run away. Now, because of my shame, I'll never give Stephen a son."

"Hush," Rosa demanded. "Stop those tears. You don't know what God has planned. No more worrying. You must have faith."

Faith. Hope looked into Rosa's eyes. The woman had lost so much. She had been married for five years without the blessing of a child. And then, two years ago her husband, Uriah, had died and left her alone. Alone and struggling, both financially and emotionally.

And yet here she was talking to her best friend about faith. About trusting God, no matter what the circumstances. If Rosa could have faith, Hope certainly could.

She nodded and swallowed hard. "You're right. There's no place for wallowing in self-pity. You've given me the perfect name for our new little one—Faith." She brushed a kiss across the downy head. "And faith is what I shall have."

CHAPTER 2

Within two days Hope returned to most of her housewife duties. Stephen would still carry heavy cases of canning jars up from the cellar, and Josie did most of the weeding and harvesting in the garden, but Hope resumed cooking, cleaning, and ironing for her family. Rosa offered to come over each laundry day for the next month, and Hope's sister Rebecca volunteered to stay for several weeks—an offer Hope declined.

Baby Faith was thriving. Stephen loved the name, so when the midwife returned the next day, she completed the birth certificate. One week later, on a morning sunny and mild, Hope fixed a plate of sandwiches for Stephen's lunch, packed her four daughters into the buggy, and drove to her mamm's farm, a dozen miles away.

Hope spotted her mother near the barn. "Guder mariye," she called. "I brought the newest Bowman to see you."

Mamm shifted the basket of tomatoes to her other hand and hobbled toward the buggy as fast as her bad knees would allow. "Good morning to you. I wondered when I'd see my new kinskind." She paused with a hand on her hip as the Bowman daughters sprang from the buggy. "If you didn't show up by noon, I would have told Silas to hitch the team to go to you. I started to worry something was wrong." Martha handed the basket to Emily and took hold of Josie's arm for support. Together they moved slowly toward the house.

"Everything went smoothly, no problems. And here is little Faith." Hope shifted the baby closer and peeled back the cover.

Martha chuckled. "Look at those eyelashes. This one will be a beauty like the other three." She patted the top of Greta's head. "Faith is a gut name too—none in the family yet and we're up to fourteen kinskinner."

A grimace pinched her features "Let's go inside. I'm ready for a cup of coffee."

Hope prodded Emily and Greta down the path. "Your knees acting up again?"

Martha waited until they were in the kitchen to reply. "Ya, I knelt in the garden yesterday. Even though I used that foam pad you bought, it still was a mistake. When I couldn't get up, your daed had to pull me to my feet. But I couldn't bear to leave plump, ripe vegetables hanging on the ground."

"Folks drop by often to visit. Send somebody young out to finish the rows." Hope placed the coffeepot on the burner to reheat while Josie set out cups, milk, sugar, and a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

"Suppose that's what I should do, but I hate not keeping up with my own chores." She angled a grin at Josie. "Danki, dear heart. Now let me hold that boppli; I've waited long enough."

Martha performed her own inspection of Faith, making sure all appendages were accounted for. "I'm your Grossmammi Klobentz," she whispered into the baby's ear. "And it will be my pleasure to spoil you terribly." She turned back to Hope. "She's on the thin side, but as long as she nurses well, that should take care of itself. God bless you, Faith Bowman." She kissed the tiny nose lightly, then settled her in the baby carrier they'd brought in. "How did Stephen take the news?" Martha asked as Faith drifted back to sleep.

Hope shifted on her feet. "What news?"

Martha frowned. "That he's got another girl and no sons yet." She held her cup with gnarled fingers.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from An Amish Miracle by Mary Ellis, Ruth Reid, Beth Wiseman. Copyright © 2013 Mary Ellis, Ruth Reid, Elizabeth Wiseman Mackey. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Beth Wiseman is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Daughters of the Promise, Land of Canaan, and Amish Secrets series. While she is best known for her Amish novels, Beth has also written contemporary novels including Need You Now, The House that Love Built, and The Promise.


Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She’s a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Visit Ruth online at ruthreid.com Facebook: Author-Ruth-Reid Twitter: @authorruthreid

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An Amish Miracle 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
WOW. What a fabulous novel! Miracles are all around us...from conception (which is a miracle in itself) and all through life. The successful surgery? Yep. Even successful diagnosis. The sun rising. Flowers bursting into bloom. Yes and yes. An Amish Miracle highlights three different miracles, but as I read these novellas my heart expanded and I thought of so many other miracles I see each day. These stories take place in an Amish setting, and though that causes some obstacles we might not face in today's society, it does not take away from the miracles of life. All three authors have done a fantastic work to place the reader in the settings, and I did not see the conclusion coming, which made the miracles so much more miraculous. Vivid imagery had me not only working beside the women as they struggled with their issues, but I found myself praying for their miracle! In my own life, the miracles came after a dark moment, which is, I suppose, the definition of miracle!  Those that have actually lived a miracle, or those who long for one in their own life or for their loved ones, will gain fresh insight, a fresh breath of life when they read this book! I read this in an Ebook, but will be buying the paperback in order to share with friends and family! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always ablessing to read about the Amish way of life. I never have to skip pages due to trashy actions and language. Never feel like my brain needs scrubing with a brillo pad due to content.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In a world that appearance means more than character and morals this is a refreshing change. A young girl places appearance before her faith. The results cause ripples through her world. Find out how this changes her life.
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
I generally don’t like books that have to put a glossary or character reference guide at the beginning of the book, but the glossary feels necessary here and not trite. These aren’t made-up terms. The phrases are true to the purpose of the book and much needed to allow the reader to fully enjoy the stories. I liked these three novellas and thought they went well together. They were easy-to-read and engaging. This book would be great for a lazy day in the summer reading outside.
SweetPeanutsMom More than 1 year ago
These three authors worked well to bring this piece of Amish fiction together. Lately I have been shying away from novellas. They're usually so short that the authors don't have time to really help you get acquainted with the setting let alone with characters. That's why I was so surprised with An Amish Miracle. This novella was a great book from beginning to end and really flowed between the different authors. I like how they covertly introduced a character in one story that would feature in the next. And it was just enough that I was wondering a bit more about that character. Not only that but there was a bit of follow up of previous characters so that you aren't left wondering. I received a copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
I had the privilege of reading The Amish Miracle The Amish Miracle by three great authors: Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, and Mary Ellis. It was terrific. It takes real talent to be able to blend three different stories about three women from the same community and keep the characteristics of each woman similar while writing in your own style. It was wonderful. I found another community I would love to live in. I fell in love with the Bowman’s first and as always, Ms. Ellis drew me in with her strong male characters and servant-hearted women. Ms. Ellis’ writing is truly a gift and I love reading anything she writes. Next, I thoroughly enjoyed the style and story brought by Ruth Reid while continuing the story of Rosa who was first introduced in Hope’s story. Lastly, Ms. Wiseman did a great job concluding the entire book series with her depiction of Becky Byler, again, first introduced in Hope’s story. If you don’t have time to sit and read three full novels, this book is perfect. You get the blessings of a full novel in each shorter story - freeing up some time in your busy schedule without losing any substance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read and reviewed a fair amount of Amish fiction over the past couple years, and I liked what I considered to be less formulaic story lines in the three short stories that comprise "An Amish Miracle." In the stories, Hope Bowman deals with the guilt she's felt for giving up the son conceived as a result of rape; Rosa Hostetler worries about possibly losing her farm because of back taxes; and Becky Byler struggles with being overweight. While two of the three stories ultimately end in happy couples come together (Hope already is married and has several children), I liked that the stories weren't just boy likes girl, girl likes boy, misunderstanding keeps boy and girl apart, a chance meeting brings boy and girl back together, boy and girl live happily ever after. So, especially if you're fan of Amish fiction, I'd add these stories to your collection. Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite If you love "feel good" stories, the collection, An Amish Miracle, will surely brighten your day. Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, and Mary Ellis have combined their talents to create three stories about Amish life that appears to be one fluid tale of everyday problems in a closely-knit community. In "Always in My Heart," Mary Ellis presents the dilemma of Hope and Stephen Bowman who have three daughters. Hope is about to deliver and she prays for a baby boy who will assist her husband with the running of the farm. When Hope delivers a fourth girl, she is haunted with dreams of the baby boy she gave up for adoption when getting pregnant at the age of sixteen. "Always His Provision" by Ruth Reid features a character in the above story, widowed Rosa Hostetler who longs for the child she was never able to conceive. Her husband died in a barn fire attempting to save his neighbor Adam and Adam now feels the responsibility of caring for Rosa. Because she has no income other than that from the sale of her eggs, Rosa gradually moves into a position of having to give up her farm due to overdue taxes. Adam attempts to help but his kindly gestures are pushed away by a proud Rosa. "Always Beautiful" by Beth Wise addresses a problem which is plentiful in current society in general. Becky has been overweight for as long as she can remember. When she starts a strict diet in order to become the woman of her dreams, Becky attracts the attention of the handsome Matt and she focuses on superficial things uncommon in the world of the Amish. Loving the attention she receives, Becky begins to imagine a different kind of life for herself. All three stories feature issues common in everyday life, no matter the religion or culture. The stories are tastefully and respectfully done such that the reader is absorbed, learning personal lessons along the way. I loved the book for the flow from one story to the next and I encourage the writers to get together again for even more "feel good" stories for their readers.
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
 This is a delightful Amish novella collection by Mary Ellis, Ruth Reid, and Beth Wiseman.   In Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis, Hope is given a second chance with the son she was forced to give up for adoption.   God sends this young man back into her life at the age of fifteen.  Will James want to stay with his birth mother and get to know his family or will Hope's heart be broken once again?  Ruth Reid shares the story of a young, childless widow in Always His Providence, Rosa Hostetler is in desperate need of funds to save her home but she is too proud to ask for help from the Amish community widow's fund.    The man her husband died to save has promised to look after her and he wants to help her but she does not trust him enough to share her needs.  Will she let go of her pride and open her heart?  Becky Byler struggles with her weight and is the laughing stock of the Amish community in Always Beautiful.   Becky is pushed to the point of suicide because of her low self-esteem and asks God for a miracle.   He grants it as she loses weight and has not one, but two suitors.   Will she discover what both young suitors already know?  Will she learn that inner beauty matters far more than outer appearance?  Read the three novellas to find these answers and more.   The authors do a beautiful job of portraying forgiveness, love, inner beauty and sacrifice.   I love the way that the three novellas blend together and have characters who share in each others' lives.  I am quite curious to know if there will be a sequel to the three novellas as I would love to know what comes next for Hope, Becky and Rosa.   I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
This is a collection of three novellas by three different authors set in the same Amish community: Always Beautiful, Always His Providence, and Always in My Heart. In Always Beautiful, Becky Byler struggles with her weight and the difference of inner and outer beauty and whether outward appearances matter in the question of true love. In Always His Providence, widow Rosa Hostetler faces losing her farm to taxes and refuses assistance from her neighbor. In her struggles, she learns to rely on God to provide and to wait on his will, but will it take her away from her home before she is able to open her heart to love? In Always in My Heart, Hope Bowman faces her grief after giving up her firstborn son, especially after she and her husband have four daughters. Will God grant the desire of her heart for a son? When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if all the stories were inter-related and was thrilled when I got to visit with the same characters in each of the books. My happiness is a testament to the likability of the characters. Each of them are well-written, and you want everything to work out for them. Typically in romance books, there are not a lot of surprises, but these offered a few unexpected twists, which is always nice. I enjoyed everything about these novellas, the characters, the plot, the description of the life of the Amish and how it merges and intertwines with our culture, yet remains separate. I also enjoyed reading the recipes in the back, which I have not tried yet, but hope to soon. If you are a fan of Christian romance, or like to read about the Amish culture, you will enjoy this book. Very nicely written, and a very fast read as well. I look forward to reading more books by these authors. I received a copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
I never wanted this book to end. I wanted to stay right here and keep absorbing their lives. There are three separate stories here, and each blends into the next author's story. We begin with Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis. A story of tragedy brought full circle. Book Blurb: Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this secret from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends her isn’t a new baby but the fifteen-year-old boy she gave up years ago. I can just imagine how Hope felt, the missing piece of her life. Will she ever be able to tell her husband?? Will she be able to forgive her Dad? Strong feelings of emotion on all of the people in this story. The next story is Always His Providence by Ruth Reid and the blurb about this book: Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She’s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community’s widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor. We find Rosa is such a proud woman, and she is still protecting the reputation of her late husband, and she is doing this to the point of possibly loosing her farm. There are so many surprises and lots of action in this read. There is even a bit of romance. Again we are with people who we met in the first book, and continue with their story. The third and last story is Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman: Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees her prayers answered as food and temptation lose their hold over her. She’s finally pleased with how she looks, but does she like the person she has become? And has the man she has dreamed of been right beside her all along, loving her exactly as she is? We met Becky in the first story, and now we are going to focus on her. A novelette of not seeing really what is in front of you. Having your prayers answered by God, but not really seeing his answer, because one is focused on what we want. These are really get reads all by them selves, but especially great as they are a continuation into the lives of these beloved people, that will feel like family, by the time you finish! I received this book through NetGalley, and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of AN AMISH MIRACLE, which is a collection of three novellas, from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. I was thrilled at the chance to review it, and ordered it to do with as I’ve done with past Amish books: read, enjoy, and pass on to my mother. Every summer, we spend a week in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, visiting Amish shops and enjoying the peaceful, country life. Books like this one bring back those happy memories. My mother and I have also read AN AMISH LOVE, part of the same novella series, and enjoyed that one as well, so we were doubly pleased with this one. The first novella, Always in my Heart by Mary Ellis, involves Hope Bowman and her troubled past. As a teenager, she was raped, and her father forced her to give up the baby to an adoption agency. She is now unable to have a son, and feels it is because she surrendered her first one to the state. Hope is tormented by that deed, but is given a chance for redemption when her long lost son runs away from his foster family to meet her. Yes, the story was sweet, and I had tears in my eyes by the end, but overall, it felt very farfetched. Ruth Reid wrote the second novella, ALWAYS HIS PROVIDENCE. It also felt far-fetched, but left me with a contented smile. Rosa, a widower from the first novella, reappears as her back taxes catch up with her and she faces losing her farm. She makes a living off selling eggs, but the new neighbor’s dogs start attacking her chickens. An old friend of hers who rents her barn comes to her rescue, and they sweetly fall in love. The final story is ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL by Beth Wiseman. Another reoccurring character, Becky, struggles with her weight. Since she is overweight, she struggles with her self-worth and starts dieting. Her lifelong best friend loves her as she is, as does a handsome young Amish man, but she strives to lose pounds. I found this novella inspiring, and will recommend it to my friends who also struggle with their weights.
wfnren More than 1 year ago
3 wonderful personal stories Three novella's all taking place in the same community by three different authors, all are among my list of favorite authors. Two of the main characters are good friends, Hope Bowman and Rosa Hostetler and Becky Byler is a younger person in the community. All three stories deal with modern day circumstances and tell how the ladies deal with them. I could associate with one of the stories more than the others but they were all very touching and I really enjoyed this book. These women each show their strength and their strong faith. I would recommend this book to those who like stories that deal with personal feelings and trying to overcome those feelings, no matter what the outcome may be. "An Amish Miracale" goes on sale December 3, 2013. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”