Written in Love

Written in Love

by Kathleen Fuller
Written in Love

Written in Love

by Kathleen Fuller

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Overview

"Dear Mr. Chupp"–with those three words, a pen-pal relationship is ignited and two lives are changed forever. 

Jalon Chupp has a past he isn’t proud to claim. He’s worked hard to overcome his youthful mistakes, and he has recommitted himself to his Amish faith. When he receives a sweet note included in a piece of misdirected mail, he can’t help but write back. Soon, the letters he receives from Phoebe are the highlights of his days, and with a hopeful heart, he suggests they meet in person.

Phoebe, too, looks forward to every single one of Jalon’s letters. Living with her overbearing aunt, Phoebe doesn’t have too much to look forward to. Then Jalon suggests they meet, and she panics—although she has shared some of the deepest longings of her heart with him, she hasn’t been entirely truthful about her past. But when Jalon shows up at her aunt’s doorstep, everything is revealed. And she can only pray he’ll forgive her for holding back the truth.

In order to reach beyond the errors of their pasts, both Phoebe and Jalon must put their faith in something—or Someone—bigger than either of them could pen.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718082536
Publisher: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
Publication date: 08/22/2023
Series: The Amish Letters Novels , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 335
Sales rank: 327,759
File size: 772 KB

About the Author

With over two million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the USA TODAY bestselling author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: @kf_booksandhooks; Facebook: @WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.

Read an Excerpt

Written in Love


By Kathleen Fuller

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2017 Kathleen Fuller
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8253-6


CHAPTER 1

November 2

Dear Mr. Chupp,

Your letter was accidentally sent to my house. I didn't open it but I thought it might be something important and you would want it back.

Sincerely, Phoebe Bontrager


November 4

Dear Ms. Bontrager,

Thank you for returning my letter. That was very kind of you. Looks like I accidentally wrote the wrong zip code.

Sincerely, Jalon Chupp


November 6

Dear Jalon,

I'm glad you received your letter and I hope you were able to send it to the right address. Sometimes the mail gets very messed up in this small town.

Sincerely, Phoebe

P.S. I debated whether to send this to you. Maybe you didn't want to hear from me again. If that's the case, please let me know. Or if you don't write back, I'll know.

P.P.S. I assume by your name you're Amish. I am too. I guess you figured that out, though.


November 8

Dear Phoebe,

I didn't mind hearing from you. Actually, it was kind of nice.

Sincerely, Jalon

P.S. Yes, I'm Amish.


November 10

Dear Jalon,

Thank you for writing me back. I hope you won't think I'm being too forward in sending you another letter. I'm visiting my aunt in Dover and it's nice to get mail. I'm not sure how long I'll be here. I do miss my home and my family but my aunt is taking good care of me.

Sincerely, Phoebe


November 13

Dear Phoebe,

Are you sick? Is that why you're staying with your aunt? I hope you are doing well.

Sincerely, Jalon


November 15

Dear Jalon,

When I said she was taking care of me, I meant we were helping each other. She's not as young as she used to be. She's actually my grandmother's sister, so she's my great-aunt. Have you ever been to Dover? Aunt Bertha doesn't actually live in Dover, but on the outskirts of it, in a very small Amish community. She's lived here for a long time, as long as I can remember. She never married, and since she's getting on in years, I thought I would help her out and keep her company. Dover is a lovely place, especially in the winter. I remember visiting here when I was a child and how the freshly fallen snow sprinkled all over the branches of the tall oaks and maples. It reminded me of thick layers of sugar. In February they tap the trees for maple syrup. Aunt Bertha doesn't have many maples on her property, but if I'm still living here by then, hopefully we can go to the family a few streets down and help them gather the syrup. I used to gather syrup with my brothers. There are eleven of us siblings, so we make quick work of the job. I'm the oldest and I usually spend more time in the kitchen than outside, which I don't mind. We've always been blessed with plenty of syrup for pancakes and waffles through the years.

Sincerely, Phoebe

P.S. It was very nice of you to ask about my health. I hope I didn't worry you. Then again, why would you be worried about me? We don't know each other all that well, although I'm enjoying getting to know you better. Wait, that might sound a little forward, and I don't mean it to be. I'm just glad someone cares, that's all. I should probably end this letter right now before I stick my foot farther into my mouth.

P.P.S. I hope you're doing well.


November 17

Dear Phoebe,

Thank you for your letter. I'm glad you're okay, and don't worry, you aren't sticking your foot in your mouth. It's nice getting to know you too. I've never had a pen pal before. I don't really like writing, to be honest. But I don't mind writing to you.

You have a lot of siblings! I have only one sister. She's a year younger than me. Where do you and your family live?

Pancakes and syrup? One of my favorite breakfasts.

Sincerely, Jalon


November 19

Dear Jalon,

I used to wish I didn't have so many brothers. I'm twenty-three and they're all a lot younger than me. The oldest brother is Devon, and he's fifteen. I also have two sets of twin brothers. Zeb and Zeke are thirteen and Moses and Mahlon are three. The rest of my brothers fall in between the twins — Owen is fourteen, Ezra is eleven, Nelson is nine, Perry is seven, Jesse is five, and Elam is two months. They can be a pain sometimes. But now that I'm here with my aunt, I miss them. They are all busy with school, except for Devon and the baby, of course. And all the boys help my dad with the farm. We live in a small district outside Fredericktown.

I love pancakes and syrup, too, but my favorite breakfast is eggs Benedict. Have you ever had them? I don't fix them very often because they're kind of fancy, but they're a nice change from a typical breakfast. I enjoy cooking a lot, and try to do it whenever I can. I definitely know how to cook for a crowd!

Sincerely, Phoebe


November 21

Dear Phoebe,

My father was a farmer, too, but he doesn't farm anymore. When I was a kid I used to help him, just like your brothers help your father. I liked farming when I was younger, but as I got older I didn't enjoy it as much. By the time I was fifteen I wanted a different job, so I've been doing construction ever since. I think I'm more suited to using a hammer and nails than I am a plow and hoe.

No, I've never had eggs Benedict, but they sound interesting. It's nice that you enjoy cooking. I happen to enjoy eating.

Sincerely, Jalon


November 23

Dear Jalon,

Do you mind if I keep writing to you? I don't want you to feel obligated to write me back.

Sincerely, Phoebe


November 25

Dear Phoebe,

I don't feel obligated to write to you. Like I said, I like your letters. I like them a lot. I have to be honest, though. Sometimes I don't have a lot to say. I mostly just work, go to church, and keep to myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hermit. I've just been working a lot of overtime lately, so it's made for a pretty dull life. Your letters are a definite bright spot.

I hope you and your aunt have a nice Thanksgiving.

Sincerely, Jalon


November 29

Dear Jalon,

Whew! I was worried I was being a pest. Can I ask you a few questions? How old are you? Where is your construction job? What size town is Birch Creek? I've never heard of it before. I would look it up on a map but I don't get to the library very much. It's a good thing I brought some of my books from home with me. When you're not working, do you have any hobbies? One of my favorite things to do other than cooking is watching birds.

Sometimes I draw them in my sketchbook. I like having the reminder of what they look like. Especially cardinals. I don't see them very often here, so when I do I like to have a picture of them, even though my drawing skills aren't great. I can't let my aunt know — she wouldn't like it if she knew I was drawing. The district here is very strict, and Aunt Bertha is even stricter. But I understand. Breaking rules brings nothing but trouble.

On second thought, maybe I should get rid of my pictures.

Phoebe


December 1

Dear Phoebe,

To answer your questions: I'm twenty-five and I've lived in Birch Creek since I was eleven. Before that I lived in Mesopotamia, which is near Middlefield. Birch Creek is about an hour's taxi ride from Canton. It isn't very big, but we've had a few more families join our district in the past couple of years. I guess you could say we're growing. Our district used to be strict, but we have a new bishop and he's relaxed a few of the rules, which is nice. I'm glad he hasn't done away with all of them, though. I agree with you that rules are important.

Right now I'm working on renovations on a library near Akron. I work six days a week most of the time, since the project is taking longer than expected and we have a deadline. I don't mind, though. I'm happy for the work. That doesn't leave much time for hobbies. I do like to fish. We have a pond near our property that's well stocked.

I really hope you haven't thrown your pictures away. That would be a shame. They're for your own use, so I don't think it's a bad thing for your aunt not to know about them. We all need something that is just our own.

Jalon


December 4

Dear Jalon,

I'm so glad you understand what I meant by keeping my drawings a secret. Growing up with so many siblings, I had to share everything — beds, toys, food. My brothers also share clothes, and at least I didn't have to share my dresses with them! Still, it's nice to have something special that belongs only to me. I hadn't thrown the pictures away yet, so I'll keep them. Maybe I'll put up a couple of birdfeeders in the backyard. That should bring a good variety of birds to visit. Thank you for encouraging me.

Phoebe

P.S. I have to be honest with you, too — I'm glad to find out you're close to my age. I was worried you might be too old or too young, but you're just right.


December 7

Dear Phoebe,

This is a first. I've never been compared to Goldilocks and the Three Bears before.

Jalon


December 9

Dear Jalon,

Very funny. What I meant was that you are the right age for our writing letters to each other. Not that age has anything to do with it. Although it would be weird if you were a lot older or younger than me. Ugh, now that I think about it, I probably shouldn't have mentioned our ages. Let's forget I brought it up. Sometimes I do or say things that are impulsive and I'm trying to be better about that. I'd get rid of this letter and start all over, but my aunt has work for me to do this afternoon so I need to get it in the mail right away.

Phoebe


December 11

Dear Phoebe,

I'm the opposite of impulsive. My sister tells me I think too much, and that I'm too slow to make a decision. Maybe she's right. But I'm terrified of making a mistake. I've made so many in my life.

You know, I've never admitted that to anyone. Not about making the mistakes — some of those are hard to hide, and people find out about them sooner or later. But I've never told anyone about being afraid. I know God doesn't give us a spirit of fear, but sometimes it's hard to remember that, especially when you're faced with the fallout of the choices you've made. Worrying about making another mistake shouldn't get to me, but sometimes it does. Maybe one day I can throw caution to the wind and not have to rethink things over and over.

I'm glad you're a little spontaneous. We might not be writing to each other if you weren't.

Are you spending Christmas with your family in Fredericktown, or does your aunt still need you to stay with her? It's going to be a quiet Christmas here — just my sister, Leanna, and me. We'll probably go next door the day after Christmas and visit with our neighbors. I'm looking forward to the break from work.

Jalon


December 14

Dear Jalon,

I'm honored you would trust me with such a secret. And I understand about mistakes. I've made more than my fair share. I'm hoping I'm learning from them, through God's grace. He is merciful. Since you trusted me with something so important to you, I'll tell you a secret of mine — I almost didn't join the Amish church. I went through a period of time when I wasn't sure about a lot of things, including whether I wanted to remain Amish. Fortunately, I wised up and realized how much I needed my faith and my family. I love my family so much. I miss them too. I don't have any plans to see them soon, though. My aunt and I will spend Christmas here.

I hope you don't mind if I ask you another personal question. What do you look like? You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. I'm just curious. Not that I think looks matter much. A person can be beautiful on the outside but filled with ugliness, and vice versa.

Phoebe

P.S. I have a feeling you're handsome both inside and out.


December 18

Dear Phoebe,

Thanks for the compliment. I'm nothing special in the looks department. Brown hair, brown eyes, just a regular guy. I am tall, a bit over six feet. I guess that's not exactly average, but it's nothing unusual either. I hope you're not disappointed.

I agree that looks don't matter much in the long run. I've also known some of those pretty people who weren't so nice on the inside. But if I was a betting man, I would say your looks match your personality, which means you must be very pretty.

I went through a time when I wasn't sure if I wanted to join the church. I had friends who joined as soon as they turned sixteen, but I held back and didn't join until I was twenty-two. I love my family, too, but they weren't the reason I stayed. When I realized I didn't need anything but my faith, I joined the church. I don't have any regrets. Although I do miss driving a car.

Jalon

P.S. I wouldn't mind you telling me what you look like. You asked me first, after all.


December 20

Dear Jalon,

What do I look like? Well, I've got dark brown hair. It's almost black. I'm a little on the short side, I think five foot four but it's been so long since anyone has measured I can't really remember. My eyes are blue, although my mother says they turn gray when I'm angry. I have to take her word for it. It's not like I look in a mirror when I'm mad! But overall I'm pretty plain.

You used to drive a car? I drove a car once, when I was twenty. I felt so free at the time, even though I was breaking the rules and the law. I hope you won't think less of me for that.

Phoebe

P.S. Thank you for saying I must be pretty. That made me smile.


December 22

Dear Phoebe,

I could never think less of you. Remember, I've broken plenty of rules. I promise, you can tell me anything and I won't judge you for it. I'm the last person on earth who has the right to judge anyone.

Leanna's decided to go visit our parents for Christmas, so it's just me here holding down the fort. We've got a few pigs along with a pair of old draft horses, plus my buggy horse. Then there's Blue, Leanna's Maine Coon cat. I guess I'll have plenty of company anyway.

Merry Christmas, Jalon

P.S. I'm glad I made you smile.


December 27

Dear Jalon,

I'm sorry I'm late writing this letter. My aunt and I were busy finishing quilts for the other families in the district. She makes quilts for them every year, and she asked me to help. She's an expert seamstress, unlike me. I can sew a straight line and that's about it. It does take me longer and she lost patience with me a few times, but we got the quilts done and took them to the families the day after Christmas. My hands ache a little from all the sewing, but the families liked the quilts. I didn't know my aunt was so generous. She's full of surprises.

I did have some time to bake a few Christmas cookies like the ones with this letter. I hope you enjoy them.

How is work going? Are you still putting in lots of overtime? I know how important work is, but make sure you're getting plenty of rest. Also, find some time to do something fun! Obviously you can't go fishing in the winter, but surely there's something else you like to do that makes you happy.

Phoebe

P.S. I wasn't going to write this, but I changed my mind. I didn't like hearing that you were alone for Christmas. Animals are great, but they aren't Christmas company. I hope you weren't lonely. That's one of the worst feelings in the world.


January 1

Dear Phoebe,

These cookies are the best I've ever had. Seriously. You should go into the cookie baking business. My favorite ones were the candy cane sugar cookies. I was surprised they tasted a little like peppermint. I shared them with Leanna. Actually, I let her have only one, mostly so she'd stop pestering me. I wanted to savor the rest. She called me greedy, but I'm all business when it comes to food. Especially delicious food.

Anytime you want to send me cookies, go right ahead. I won't mind at all. I can pay you for them. They would be worth every penny.

I'm still working overtime, but we've had to call off a few days over the past month because of bad weather. I usually spent that time working around here. There's always something that needs to be done. My father started on a dawdi haus right before they moved away, so whenever I get a chance I work on that. I don't like the idea of leaving something unfinished, although my dad obviously doesn't have a problem doing that.

I did spend the day after Christmas with my neighbors, the Yoders. They have lots of kids. Not as many as your parents have, though. I had a good time.

I am doing something that makes me happy. I'm writing to you.

Jalon


P.S. I know what you mean about being lonely. Sometimes you can be surrounded by people and still feel alone.

P.P.S. If you ever get lonely, think about me.


January 3

Dear Jalon,

I'm glad you liked the cookies, but I don't think people would want to buy them. I'll bake some more and send them to you, but you don't have to pay me. They will be my gift to you. Who knows, maybe someday I could make pancakes with maple syrup for you. And don't forget eggs Benedict. I also make a delicious pizza. It's my brothers' favorite meal. They never complain when they have pizza.

Writing to you makes me happy too. I wish the mail delivered faster. I'd write to you every day if it did.

I do think about you, Jalon, and not just when I'm lonely.

Phoebe


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Written in Love by Kathleen Fuller. Copyright © 2017 Kathleen Fuller. 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.

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