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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 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.


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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 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.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    I have been a fan of Cindy Woodsmall’s Amish fiction since I was given her first book and that coupled with my fascination for the Amish led me to request “Plain Wisdom” to review. My ancestors are thought to have come from “Amish blood”, (my great-great-grandmother is believed to be Pennsylvania Dutch) and I have picked up my interest in the Amish from my grandfather. What I got from this book is so much more. Yes, I learned new things about the Amish, like they use processed food products like I have been a fan of Cindy Woodsmall’s Amish fiction since I was given her first book and that coupled with my fascination for the Amish led me to request “Plain Wisdom” to review. My ancestors are thought to have come from “Amish blood”, (my great-great-grandmother is believed to be Pennsylvania Dutch) and I have picked up my interest in the Amish from my grandfather. What I got from this book is so much more. Yes, I learned new things about the Amish, like they use processed food products like Crisco, corn flakes and condensed soup, but the snippets of wisdom from both Cindy and Miriam were priceless. The ladies told stories of their life that have moved and inspired me in so many ways. One of my favorites is something Cindy said towards the end about “practice makes perfect” and if we practice worry, we make worry perfect in our lives. Wow, I needed to hear that, especially as there has been something I have been worrying about. You are given an unprecedented peek into the Amish home (it truly feels like a warm invitation into a friend’s home) and see their world from both the outsider and Amish point of view. When I closed the book, I was impacted. Moved, ministered too, Uplifted. I highly recommend you pick up this book, it has touched my life and I hope to share copies with friends and family. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    After spending some time with these two women, at their invitation (as is printed on the front cover of this book) my final impression is that I'm just a bit disappointed. I'm sure these are both lovely women, and it might be interesting to sit and visit with them. I didn't sense any "wisdom" - more just an expression of common sense, things learned through experience and a deep conviction of their Christianity. I know many people who could pen just such a book without much thought. There didn't After spending some time with these two women, at their invitation (as is printed on the front cover of this book) my final impression is that I'm just a bit disappointed. I'm sure these are both lovely women, and it might be interesting to sit and visit with them. I didn't sense any "wisdom" - more just an expression of common sense, things learned through experience and a deep conviction of their Christianity. I know many people who could pen just such a book without much thought. There didn't seem to be anything really compelling - not even about their friendship. Somehow, the book felt a bit lacking in substance. That said, there were a couple passages I liked: "...that hard times go by much more quickly when hope is calling." "...I understood that poverty could not conquer love, smother hope, or hold us hostage forever." "If practice makes perfect, refuse to practice worrying."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    Chicken Soup for the Soul- Amish style.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Let me just say that I enjoyed this book way more than I ever expected to! When I first started reading it, I would read a couple of pages here, a couple there, and I didn't invest a lot of time with it in the very beginning. I finally decided to pick it up again a couple of days ago, and really allowed myself to enjoy it fully. Well....the rest was history! In no time flat, it became nearly impossible to put down! I soaked up each chapter, and the wisdom contained within. Some chapters spoke to Let me just say that I enjoyed this book way more than I ever expected to! When I first started reading it, I would read a couple of pages here, a couple there, and I didn't invest a lot of time with it in the very beginning. I finally decided to pick it up again a couple of days ago, and really allowed myself to enjoy it fully. Well....the rest was history! In no time flat, it became nearly impossible to put down! I soaked up each chapter, and the wisdom contained within. Some chapters spoke to me more than others, and some had morsels of wisdom that I would go back and read again. Even though Miriam and Cindy are from two completely different worlds, they share how similar they really are. Whether it was the daily tasks of being a mother, their commitments to their husbands, or their devotion to their friends, their goals were the same. They've trusted God to lead and direct their lives, and let Him shine through them to bless others. I think that anyone that reads this book will have something that speaks to them. My moment came almost at the very end in the chapter called "Opportunity for the Taking." Now, I have been a procrastinator all my life, and no, it's not something that I'm proud of. I've missed deadlines, had to eat some crow on a few occasions where I didn't step up to the plate like I should have, and missed opportunities for all sorts of things that I would've enjoyed being a part of, whether it was a benefit to me or a benefit to someone else. Well, this one little statement that Miriam made in this chapter brought it all into perspective for me--"One little deed done in time is worth more than a thousand good intentions." I had to stop right there and say a little prayer that God would help me take action quicker on the things that are important, and to focus my time on things that are meaningful. This book was such a blessing to me, and I have no doubt that it will be to so many people. For folks that are fans of Amish fiction (like me), this book provides a handful of insights into the daily routines of the Amish. It's a very quick read with short chapters, and there's even a few tasty recipes scattered throughout. I hope you'll take the time to read Plain Wisdom, and I pray it will be a blessing to you as it was to me. 5 Stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Yawn. After reading this book, I realize that the authors would probably remind me (in a very kind and non-assertive way) that such a review of their book is not very charitable of me. This is true. But it's also true that there's very little in this book to get excited about. For my LDS friends, you could easily consider this book Relief Society for the non-Mormon crowd. It focuses a lot on the universal sisterhood, on the role of wife and mother, and on neighborly love. It's mostly a collectio Yawn. After reading this book, I realize that the authors would probably remind me (in a very kind and non-assertive way) that such a review of their book is not very charitable of me. This is true. But it's also true that there's very little in this book to get excited about. For my LDS friends, you could easily consider this book Relief Society for the non-Mormon crowd. It focuses a lot on the universal sisterhood, on the role of wife and mother, and on neighborly love. It's mostly a collection of anecdotes with a helpful "The lesson to be learned here is..." at the end of each, with the lesson usually being "rely on God" or "Don't judge others" etc. So, as I say, it's not very charitable of me to give a less-than-glowing review to such a book, but I didn't feel like the authors' experiences (or, more accurately, their telling of them) was unique enough to warrant more than two stars. I feel like myself and any number of Relief Society sisters could write an equally inspiring book, which isn't saying a lot. Of course, there's the Amish angle that sets this book apart. I enjoyed hearing about some of their customs (Sunday worship, weddings, etc.) but I probably could have learned as much from Wikipedia, without slogging through the treacly reminiscences that made up the bulk of the book. I found the recipes the authors included to be very amusing. I thought Utah Mormons had cornered the market on cream of chicken soup-based casseroles (with some sour cream and butter thrown in for good measure), but apparently not. I didn't find any of these recipes to be appetizing, and some of them were down-right repulsive. One I especially liked was for peanut butter "spread" (isn't peanut butter already a spread?) that involved peanut butter, more butter, marshmallow cream and "pancake syrup" (not maple syrup, mind you, but flavored corn syrup). This concoction is not a dessert, as one would expect of something with that kind of fat and sugar content, it's just meant to be spread on bread. Yikes. Anyway, I digress. I'm sure there are many women who would enjoy this book, and probably appreciated the open-heartedness of the authors. It just wasn't really for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This is a heart warming collection of true stories told by two women from extremely different backgrounds and lifestyles. These two women share a special friendship. Reading the book helped me to learn more about author Cindy Woodsmall and where her writing comes from. It, also, gave me a wonderful insight to the Amish community. I feel that after reading this book, I have a better understanding of the Amish community and more respect for why they choose to live the way they do. It really is a won This is a heart warming collection of true stories told by two women from extremely different backgrounds and lifestyles. These two women share a special friendship. Reading the book helped me to learn more about author Cindy Woodsmall and where her writing comes from. It, also, gave me a wonderful insight to the Amish community. I feel that after reading this book, I have a better understanding of the Amish community and more respect for why they choose to live the way they do. It really is a wonderful example of how we, as human beings, are so much alike despite our differences. Thank you to both authors for sharing their story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rose Ann

    I am thrilled to have the opportunity to win this giveaway! What a wonderful treat! I started reading this book, thinking it was going to be a continious story and would read in a timeline type manner. It does not. They are small snippets of friendship/life. I have always been intrigued by the Amish, and I love reading about the Amish way of life. There are so many notes I have jotted down to myself, which I will add later, as I like to keep many details for browsing later. I suppose I could have ma I am thrilled to have the opportunity to win this giveaway! What a wonderful treat! I started reading this book, thinking it was going to be a continious story and would read in a timeline type manner. It does not. They are small snippets of friendship/life. I have always been intrigued by the Amish, and I love reading about the Amish way of life. There are so many notes I have jotted down to myself, which I will add later, as I like to keep many details for browsing later. I suppose I could have made some notes about each story, actually..lol There are so many things I loved about this book.....the recipes, the friendship, the wisdom....I feel like Cindy and Miriam are two of my closest friends! (I suppose I am blessed to have friendships like theirs). As I was reading, I made note of specific pages...for whatever reason, I enjoyed it, it hit home, touched my heart, etc. This book is definetely a keeper and I rarely read a book more than once...this one will be an exception. (looking back at all these pieces I have noted..I really wish I had others to discuss this book with) MAYBE WE ALL NEED A GREEN THUMB From Miriam: 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. FINDING PEACE I absolutely LOVED Cindy's story about eyeballs needing washing. So true and something I need a reminder of!! From Cindy: 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. NEW DAY This is something that took me awhile to learn, as I have always been soft spoken. I really enjoyed reading this story. From Cindy: I learned alot that day about being soft-spoken but not silent, about responding calmly and yet saying all that needs to be said. And I learned that it takes only one person to make a new beginning feel hopeful. A DAY IN THE LIFE From Cindy: I realize that self-worth cannot be based on another person's opinion. It must come from our own hearts. And if we don't have a balanced viewpoint of who we are? If we often feel buried under condemnation and guilt? Then remember what 1 John 3:20 says: if our own hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts. A DAY IN THE LIFE From Miriam: Looks can indeed be deceiving. People may look a certain way on the outside when in their hearts they're completely different. This incident reminded me not to judge a book by its cover, or a woman by her kitchen. THE COMFORT ZONE From Miriam: We get only one chance at making a good first impression. Being imperfect humans, we tend to be overly cautious, afraid of messing up. But when we're not our true selves, we can lose more than we gain. THE STING From Miriam: "God is our security guard, always on duty" I really don't need to write more on that quote...it speaks volumes. I remember this incident and my heart broke for all those involved. LOVED 'A SONG IN MEMORY' by Amanda Flaud UNEXPECTED REFUGE From Miriam: As opportunities arise, we need to search for ways to help those in need, overlooking differences in color or culture and concentrating on what we have in common: the same heavenly Father. SIMPLE CELEBRATIONS Loved the ideas for celebrating Christmas. Cannot wait to try the overnight blueberry french toast MOTHERS AND CHILDREN "BLESSINGS" by Amanda Flaud OPPORTUNITY FOR THE TAKING From Miriam: "One little deed done in time is worth more than a thousand good intentions"

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Most of us only know about the Amish through books and movies. 'Witness' was my introduction to the Amish. My first encounter with them came in August 1996. I was visiting my future husband's home town for the first time. I had been told there was an Amish community in the area. Still, I was stunned when I stood in the town's grocery store one day and observed a young Amish boy open the cooler in front of me and grab a Coke. The Amish drank Coke? In the 14 years since, I've become used to noddin Most of us only know about the Amish through books and movies. 'Witness' was my introduction to the Amish. My first encounter with them came in August 1996. I was visiting my future husband's home town for the first time. I had been told there was an Amish community in the area. Still, I was stunned when I stood in the town's grocery store one day and observed a young Amish boy open the cooler in front of me and grab a Coke. The Amish drank Coke? In the 14 years since, I've become used to nodding a greeting to other members of the Amish community in that same store. Not everyone lives in such a place, of course. The intention of Plain Wisdom is to show that, while there are plenty of striking differences between Amish and Englisch, our two communities do have plenty in common. Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud have been friends for over a decade. They have raised children, faced financial difficulties, experienced highs and lows, and kept their faith throughout. So what if one drives a car and the other a horse-drawn buggy? The book is divided into seven sections, each containing several chapters. Cindy and Miriam split the writing in each chapter, writing on a common theme. That theme is expressed in the Biblical verse at the start of each chapter. Recipes from Miriam are scattered throughout. As a result, you can read as much or as little at a time as you want or are able. They write in ordinary language; there are no difficult terms that may have you re-reading sections or reaching for a dictionary. There are no mentions of differences in doctrine, which is probably as it should be given that the book is about the similarities. If I have a problem with the book, it's that I didn't feel the 'wisdom' part of it came through clearly. Some of this, however, may be down to me not being a parent, and much of the book is about children. Nor do I have elderly parents living close by. These are my differences, though, and both writers show how married women with children from both the 'plain' and 'modern' worlds can share experiences and emotions. Which is, after all, the aim of the book. Sale Date: 15 March, 2011. Publisher: Waterbrook Press. I received my Advanced Reading Copy of this book from Blogging for Books, by Waterbrook Multnomah, in exchange for a review of my honest thoughts.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    I really "Loved" this book. I felt like I was sitting down with two of my best friends. A very warm feeling of sharing with those who would understand our hurts and the Love of God. Two different world and yet not so different. It was a very hard book to put down, you become so absorbed in each of their lives! I quickly turned and cheated and went through the yummy recipes! Know there are some new and great things coming from my stove and oven. Two friends from different worlds—one Old Order Amish I really "Loved" this book. I felt like I was sitting down with two of my best friends. A very warm feeling of sharing with those who would understand our hurts and the Love of God. Two different world and yet not so different. It was a very hard book to put down, you become so absorbed in each of their lives! I quickly turned and cheated and went through the yummy recipes! Know there are some new and great things coming from my stove and oven. 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. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, the opinions are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Brand

    Initially I was really excited to read this book as I'm fascinated by the Amish, but in terms of tit-bits and trivia, there wasn't much included in this book that I didn't already know from word-of-mouth, novels and the occasional documentary. I ended up treating this book as a devotional and reading a chapter each morning, as I found that you couldn't read too much of this book all at once. Some sections provided some interesting reflections on life and God and made me consider how I could appl Initially I was really excited to read this book as I'm fascinated by the Amish, but in terms of tit-bits and trivia, there wasn't much included in this book that I didn't already know from word-of-mouth, novels and the occasional documentary. I ended up treating this book as a devotional and reading a chapter each morning, as I found that you couldn't read too much of this book all at once. Some sections provided some interesting reflections on life and God and made me consider how I could apply certain proverbs or snippets of advice to my own life. Others were simply interesting as they provided a bit of added insight into Amish life. But there were also some sections where I would read a little story from Cindy's life than another from Miriam's and not feel like I had gained anything from that morning's reading! But the same can be said from all non-fiction books and devotionals; not every aspect is going to appeal to your life. Some sections seemed disjointed, as if the authors had tried to squish to stories or anecdotes together that didn't really fit, and nearly every single one of Miriam's stories started with the same scene-setting style of writing that got a bit annoying after a while. While I picked up this book to learn more about the Amish way of life, I found myself enjoying Cindy and Miriam's musings on their Christian lives more interesting than the facts and snippets about the Amish. It was encouraging to see that Cindy and Miriam shared so many viewpoints on God, despite the differences in general Christian theology and that of the Amish. So while I was slightly disappointed in this book, it did provide some food for thought and it was generally encouraging. If you're already an avid Amish fan you probably won't learn too much in the way of new facts about their lifestyle but this does work well as a devotional and provides a lot of topics to pray over. 7/10

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Before starting Plain Wisdom, I had read Cindy Woodsmall's first series and thoroughly enjoyed it. She has such a powerfully motivating voice in her words that have you eagerly reading each page constantly wondering what will happen next. When I saw this was an option for me from the WaterBrook Multnomah group, I jumped at the opportunity to read her in a nonfiction text. And boy, was I pleased that I chose this! Though I had a hard time starting it (I was reading a couple of other books at the Before starting Plain Wisdom, I had read Cindy Woodsmall's first series and thoroughly enjoyed it. She has such a powerfully motivating voice in her words that have you eagerly reading each page constantly wondering what will happen next. When I saw this was an option for me from the WaterBrook Multnomah group, I jumped at the opportunity to read her in a nonfiction text. And boy, was I pleased that I chose this! Though I had a hard time starting it (I was reading a couple of other books at the time), once I devoted my time to this book and this book alone, I could barely put it down! I read the majority of the book on vacation and in two or three days flat. Both of these women have wonderful advice. Though I could not completely relate because like both of them I am not a mother yet, but that is not to say there was not wisdom for me in this book as well. A couple helpful chapters for me were I Am Who I Am; Having It All Together...Or Not; and Nevertheless, I Believe. Every chapter is set up with a verse from the Bible and then a turn taken each by Miriam and Cindy. Sometimes a story is told, sometimes just an inner thought, other times it is their personal advice, but wisdom is certainly a theme throughout the entire book. These women make everything so relateable. You feel like it is two friends or in my case two role models just conversing with you for ol' times sake lol! I really, really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a little perspective, thought, and advice with things wordly and everyday. You will be surprised what you have learned about yourself by the turn of the last page. This book will just make your day anytime you sit down to pick it up. It will definitely be going on my 'keeper' bookshelf and I will refer back to it when needed. Wonderful job to both Miriam and Cindy! This book was furnished to me by WaterBrook Multnomah for my honest opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tammi

    I felt that I was sitting around a table visiting with these ladies as I read this book. I laughed and cried with them as stories were told. Some stories brought me pause as I stopped to think about the truth of what was being said. The book is sectioned into these topics: The Rhythm of Life; Timeless Beginnings;Challenges Great and Small; Laughter In Odd Places; Beautiful, Ashes, and Things Between; In His Hands; The Shapes of Tomorrow. Each topic has short chapters within. The chapters are quic I felt that I was sitting around a table visiting with these ladies as I read this book. I laughed and cried with them as stories were told. Some stories brought me pause as I stopped to think about the truth of what was being said. The book is sectioned into these topics: The Rhythm of Life; Timeless Beginnings;Challenges Great and Small; Laughter In Odd Places; Beautiful, Ashes, and Things Between; In His Hands; The Shapes of Tomorrow. Each topic has short chapters within. The chapters are quick to read, and I have been found reading them as I cook supper at night. One of my favorite chapters is Laundry, Anyone? This story by Cindy was easy to relate to. Being a family of 7 we tend to have a lot of laundry, but when we moved into the place we now live in, I had to wait two weeks for the washer and dryer to be set-up. While I waited all of my laundry baskets, as well as, my bathtub were quickly filling up with dirty clothes. I was so glad to have my washer and dryer back in service after those two weeks I happily put them to work. It took 2 or 3 days to get completely caught up, but I didn't mind. It was pleasing to see the piles diminishing and the bottom of my tub again! The book also includes recipes which range from main dishes to deserts that I am looking forward to trying. Plain Wisdom is a unique book authored by two friends Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud. Who come from two different backgrounds; Cindy is an "Englischer" and Miriam is an Old Order Amish. I recommend Plain Wisdom to anyone, but especially those who are thinking about marrying, or have been married 1 day or 50 years. I haven't been blessed with an older women to mentor me, but Cindy's and Miriam's advice is like having two mentors with years of wisdom and experience. **Plain Wisdom written by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud was provided for me free by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mar'ah

    “Plain Wisdom, an Invitation Into and Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women,” by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud. These are the stories and musings of two unlikely friends, an Englisher and an Amish. Separated by more than just miles, they worked to forge a friendship and working partnership that few people would think could happen. They share insights into their friendship, families and their personal reflections on life. I know I am not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I could not h “Plain Wisdom, an Invitation Into and Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women,” by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud. These are the stories and musings of two unlikely friends, an Englisher and an Amish. Separated by more than just miles, they worked to forge a friendship and working partnership that few people would think could happen. They share insights into their friendship, families and their personal reflections on life. I know I am not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I could not help myself with this one! I think it was the blue of the sky and the horse and buggy that did it for me. I also am a lover of wisdom and appreciated an opportunity to learn much wisdom from the Amish. Not to mention…the recipes in this book are easy and wonderful! I am sure that most of them will please your palette! This book amazed me! I already had a love for the Amish people and their way of life, but in reading this book and seeing into Miriam’s heart, my love for these people expanded. I was amazed at some of the similarities we had in our home growing up. My family had a very tight budget and therefore gardening and canning were necessities as well as sleeping in the basement on hot summer nights because air conditioning was not in the budget. Reading this book brought back some wonderful memories and made me very glad for the family struggles that taught me what I know today. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging For Books®.com 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.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I loved this book. We read it for our family book club awhile back but somehow I missed our meeting and missed reading it till now. It is a collection of stories and thoughts from the lives of two friends, one Amish the other not. I enjoyed learning more about the Amish. I really admire the value they place on family, community and God. I especially enjoyed learning how much singing means them. I had no idea and think that is wonderful. I really knew so little. I loved the connection I felt with I loved this book. We read it for our family book club awhile back but somehow I missed our meeting and missed reading it till now. It is a collection of stories and thoughts from the lives of two friends, one Amish the other not. I enjoyed learning more about the Amish. I really admire the value they place on family, community and God. I especially enjoyed learning how much singing means them. I had no idea and think that is wonderful. I really knew so little. I loved the connection I felt with both women despite obvious differences and I loved how their words helped me reflect on my own life and myself. One of the last sections of the book, Cindy, talks about how she made the decision to "practice not worrying." This was a result of her oldest son getting his drivers license and the panic she felt every time he left the house. Oh, how I can relate.....now with the son with the drivers license of course....but with worrying needlessly. My mind tends to always jump to the worst and dwell there. I liked that she said she would picture in her mind throwing the negative thought or image to the ground and stomping on it and then replacing it with something positive. "Is it possible that when God created humans to need food, part of the plan had nothing to do with meeting physical needs? Newborns can't feed themselves, so their first connection to Mom and Dad is warm, tasty milk filling their empty bellies while the parents snuggle with them, making eye contact, cooing or singing. Putting a high priority on that bonding time is good seed for future relationships and self-esteem. Sometimes I wonder how emotionally distant we could become if our physical bodies didn't require sustenance. Fortunately, adults eat tow or three times a day, so we have numerous opportunities to come together and emotionally connect with those we share a life with." Cindy Plus recipes to try

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    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 favori 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I really enjoyed this book! 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 a I really enjoyed this book! 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    In this small book lies huge pieces of wisdom sprinkled among antidotes of family life and community. Cindy Woodsmall, and "Englisher", becomes close friends with Miriam Flaud of Old Order Amish. Together they share lessons they've learned through life. As a teenager, I lived in a part of Pennsylvania where Amish buggies are as common as automobiles. I made a few friends a few Amish families, though they were not the Old Order Amish as Miriam is. In this book, Miriam tells what she has learned as In this small book lies huge pieces of wisdom sprinkled among antidotes of family life and community. Cindy Woodsmall, and "Englisher", becomes close friends with Miriam Flaud of Old Order Amish. Together they share lessons they've learned through life. As a teenager, I lived in a part of Pennsylvania where Amish buggies are as common as automobiles. I made a few friends a few Amish families, though they were not the Old Order Amish as Miriam is. In this book, Miriam tells what she has learned as a woman living in a tight-knit community. Some of her stories bring a smile; others bring tears. She shares some recipes such as "Chicken Spaghetti", "Chocolate Coffee Cake", and "Egg Custard." The instructions are simple and the ingredients easy to find. In each chapter, both women address a topic related to a Bible verse. Cindy shares her experiences as a wife, mother, and writer. Miriam shares her love of crafts, writing, and her family. It is a wonderful blending of two very different worlds by two not-so-very different hearts. Wonderful!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Cindy Woodsmall, an Amish fiction writer, and Miriam Flaud, a member of the Old Order Amish, collaborated on this book about their friendship and their cultures. It's an interesting read, but not something I would recommend to anyone who isn't already interested in the Amish. I am taking away some thoughts though and share them below: "I learned a lot that day about being soft-spoken but not silent, about responding calmly and yet saying all that needs to be said. And I learned that it takes only Cindy Woodsmall, an Amish fiction writer, and Miriam Flaud, a member of the Old Order Amish, collaborated on this book about their friendship and their cultures. It's an interesting read, but not something I would recommend to anyone who isn't already interested in the Amish. I am taking away some thoughts though and share them below: "I learned a lot that day about being soft-spoken but not silent, about responding calmly and yet saying all that needs to be said. And I learned that it takes only one person to make a new beginning feel hopeful". "Precious memories are the greatest inheritance anyone could leave behind. They can never be lost or stolen but can be recalled and cherished and shared for years." "One little deed done in time is worth more than a thousand good intentions". "If we all saw everything through the same lens, we wouldln't ever be challenged when we're wrong, need to reevaluate our point of view, or seek anyone else's opinion about anything because we'd all think alike....that's when all color would drain from life".

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wilma

    by Cindy Woodsmall & Miriam Flaud ISBN 978-0-307-45934-3 pages 224 This book is divided into about 50 devotionals and has recipes also.The devotionals have beautiful life lessons.It is not fiction it is part memoir and part devotional,literature and a how to book.It is very authentic feeling because Miriam is Old Order Amish. She speaks honestly about the blessings and challenges of her days.Both women respect each others lifestyles and have learned from each other. Cindy shares how she balances pare by Cindy Woodsmall & Miriam Flaud ISBN 978-0-307-45934-3 pages 224 This book is divided into about 50 devotionals and has recipes also.The devotionals have beautiful life lessons.It is not fiction it is part memoir and part devotional,literature and a how to book.It is very authentic feeling because Miriam is Old Order Amish. She speaks honestly about the blessings and challenges of her days.Both women respect each others lifestyles and have learned from each other. Cindy shares how she balances parenting,homeschooling and a career.They both also talk about marriage,cooking,gardening,cleaning,children and careers. they discuss some of there private struggles they have.What drew these two women together was the respect and love believers have for a kindred spirit that comes from having the same God.They hope readers will feel their spirit of sisterhood. Disclaimer:this book was send to me free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    This book is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about the Amish. Not only do you read about Miriam's life but also learn about her perspective - in her own words - on interacting with Englischers, raising a family, and being a godly woman. And, when one of Miriam's stories is preceded or followed by a similar story from Cindy, it's fascinating to see how very similar many of their experiences are. At the same time, there are many differences in how each woman deals with each situation, a This book is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about the Amish. Not only do you read about Miriam's life but also learn about her perspective - in her own words - on interacting with Englischers, raising a family, and being a godly woman. And, when one of Miriam's stories is preceded or followed by a similar story from Cindy, it's fascinating to see how very similar many of their experiences are. At the same time, there are many differences in how each woman deals with each situation, and the lessons shared by both women are inspiring and encouraging. Each chapter begins with a scripture that relates to the subject, and mouthwatering recipes from Miriam are sprinkled throughout the book. The chapters are also very short, so it's easy to read one or two chapters a day as a sort of daily inspiration. If you've read any of Cindy Woodsmall's Amish fiction, or simply enjoy inspirational stories from two honest Christian women, you will definitely enjoy Plain Wisdom.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    My first thoughts about the book were disappointing because it was not at all what I expected. I expected to be reading an Amish novel just from two different perspectives. Boy was I surprised when I started reading this book. However once I realized what type of book I was reading I really enjoyed seeing both points of view on a lot of different things. I enjoyed sitting alone reading bits here and there in between doing things. It is amazingly a fast read because of the short chapters and the f My first thoughts about the book were disappointing because it was not at all what I expected. I expected to be reading an Amish novel just from two different perspectives. Boy was I surprised when I started reading this book. However once I realized what type of book I was reading I really enjoyed seeing both points of view on a lot of different things. I enjoyed sitting alone reading bits here and there in between doing things. It is amazingly a fast read because of the short chapters and the fact that you are always wanting to know what each of the Authors are thinking. There are so many quotes that I had to go back and highlight though out the book because I loved them so. My suggestion, sit down with a friend and read aloud. You can see my complete review at: http://lovemy2dogs.blogspot.com/2011/...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa N

    This was an interesting little book coauthored by an Amish woman and her non-Amish friend. They share personal experiences, compare beliefs, and even throw in several fun, funky recipes, full of ingredients like Bisquick and Velveeta. They explained how Amish couples get together, which I confess I have wondered about. It begins with rumschpringe, “running around,” which starts around the age of 16. Young people are given a lot of freedom to mingle, find a spouse, and decide if they want to join This was an interesting little book coauthored by an Amish woman and her non-Amish friend. They share personal experiences, compare beliefs, and even throw in several fun, funky recipes, full of ingredients like Bisquick and Velveeta. They explained how Amish couples get together, which I confess I have wondered about. It begins with rumschpringe, “running around,” which starts around the age of 16. Young people are given a lot of freedom to mingle, find a spouse, and decide if they want to join the Amish faith. I found this interesting--their congregations rotate Sunday meetings among members’ homes. The member who is hosting the Sunday service provides a meal afterwards for the entire congregation, usually well over 100 people. I admire the Amish, particularly their dedication to home and family.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    This was a lovely story told in turns by each of the two women, and I enjoyed it. It was a nice book. I was, probably not to my credit, a little disappointed that there didn't seem to be more meat to it. I know that was not their purpose, but I would like to have had a bit more substance. There was lots of wisdom taken from common life experiences, and that was nice. The friendship between Cindy and Miriam was genuine and, well, nice. I was interested in how much modern convenience and old Amish This was a lovely story told in turns by each of the two women, and I enjoyed it. It was a nice book. I was, probably not to my credit, a little disappointed that there didn't seem to be more meat to it. I know that was not their purpose, but I would like to have had a bit more substance. There was lots of wisdom taken from common life experiences, and that was nice. The friendship between Cindy and Miriam was genuine and, well, nice. I was interested in how much modern convenience and old Amish ways were used together in the Amish homes. I would like to have learned more about that, but Cindy explained why she wasn't going to do that at the very start. I liked the insight into how happy and easy going and open to outsiders this Amish community was. Even though I didn't learn as much as I would have liked to, it was still clean, gentle, sincere, and simply...a nice book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    April

    What things do an Old Order Amish woman and a modern American woman have in common? Amazingly, they have quite a bit in common! This book is a series of short 'essays' on topics by Cindy Woodsmall and her Old Order Amish friend Miriam Flaud. Each woman gives us a window into her life on various subjects. At the beginning of each chapter Cindy explains some of the Amish ways and beliefs. I found this book very endearing and easy to pick up at any time and read short segments when I had a few spare What things do an Old Order Amish woman and a modern American woman have in common? Amazingly, they have quite a bit in common! This book is a series of short 'essays' on topics by Cindy Woodsmall and her Old Order Amish friend Miriam Flaud. Each woman gives us a window into her life on various subjects. At the beginning of each chapter Cindy explains some of the Amish ways and beliefs. I found this book very endearing and easy to pick up at any time and read short segments when I had a few spare moments. I especially enjoyed the stories of when the two women did things together and how amazing it is to me that they can be such good friends despite living very different lives. I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anastacia

    This is an engaging book cowritten by two Christian women, one Amish, and one every day American Christian. They take turns writing about their lives, their families, their faith, their hardships, and their friendship. I was hoping to see a little more insight into Miriam's life, like a lot of people, I'm fascinated by the Amish because they lead lives so similar to our pioneer past. Naturally I respect their privacy, but I was disappointed that I didn't really "learn" anything about their lives, This is an engaging book cowritten by two Christian women, one Amish, and one every day American Christian. They take turns writing about their lives, their families, their faith, their hardships, and their friendship. I was hoping to see a little more insight into Miriam's life, like a lot of people, I'm fascinated by the Amish because they lead lives so similar to our pioneer past. Naturally I respect their privacy, but I was disappointed that I didn't really "learn" anything about their lives, though I was interested to see that some Amish families do have telephones in a location separate from their actual home. The book also includes recipes, a few I bookmarked to try later on, bits of Bible verses, and so on.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I won this book through Goodreads First Reads and I am glad that I read it. Though it wasn't one of my top ten books of the year, but it was definitely a book that I feel is worth reading. Up to the point of reading the author's notes I was planning to give this book 4 stars, but then I recognized something very important... This book was not written with the same purpose as most of the books I read and it was an excellent book for it's purpose! These women have openned up their lives in order t I won this book through Goodreads First Reads and I am glad that I read it. Though it wasn't one of my top ten books of the year, but it was definitely a book that I feel is worth reading. Up to the point of reading the author's notes I was planning to give this book 4 stars, but then I recognized something very important... This book was not written with the same purpose as most of the books I read and it was an excellent book for it's purpose! These women have openned up their lives in order to inspire others. They have created a type of devotional, allowing the reader to look into his/her own life to see the blessings that God has provided. Most of all, I enjoyed reading Miriam's excerpts. Her kindness and faith shines through with each passage!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I really enjoyed reading about the similarities and differences between Miriam and Cindy. I found myself drawn into each of their stories, how they met, their lifestyles, children, husbands and extended families, especially to what life is like being Amish. I have read many fiction books and a few nonfiction about the Amish way of life but this book was so different, refreshing and enlightening. Loved all the different recipes provided by Miriam and have plans to try them all!! I hope that this I really enjoyed reading about the similarities and differences between Miriam and Cindy. I found myself drawn into each of their stories, how they met, their lifestyles, children, husbands and extended families, especially to what life is like being Amish. I have read many fiction books and a few nonfiction about the Amish way of life but this book was so different, refreshing and enlightening. Loved all the different recipes provided by Miriam and have plans to try them all!! I hope that this won't be the only joint book by both authors and just hated to say goodbye. What a fantastic book I highly recommend it! I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Jung

    I love this book! It is a sweet, short read that I talk about often to others. I often see it recommended beside books that romanticize the Amish culture and it look as though it's advertised as an Amish-focused book, but that is definitely not what makes this book great. This book fits perfectly into a genre I call "mom memoirs," and can be likened to the Chicken Soup for the Christian's Mom's Soul. I loved reading about the different experiences these moms learned from and how they related the I love this book! It is a sweet, short read that I talk about often to others. I often see it recommended beside books that romanticize the Amish culture and it look as though it's advertised as an Amish-focused book, but that is definitely not what makes this book great. This book fits perfectly into a genre I call "mom memoirs," and can be likened to the Chicken Soup for the Christian's Mom's Soul. I loved reading about the different experiences these moms learned from and how they related the lessons to that which we learn from God. Getting a glimpse into the lives and hearts of two moms and how they learned from certain circumstances and situations is what made me fall in love with this book. One of the moms just happens to be Amish.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    This book is on the UMW 2013 Reading List. I really enjoyed it, especially learning about the Old Order Amish ways of life--and the reasons behind some of them. At times it made me yearn for a far simpler life, without so many of our so-called "time savers". I wouldn't want to give up having a car or electricity, but realize there are some things that just clutter our lives. There are several recipes in the book also. Some of the reviews I have read mention that the writing is choppy. I tend to a This book is on the UMW 2013 Reading List. I really enjoyed it, especially learning about the Old Order Amish ways of life--and the reasons behind some of them. At times it made me yearn for a far simpler life, without so many of our so-called "time savers". I wouldn't want to give up having a car or electricity, but realize there are some things that just clutter our lives. There are several recipes in the book also. Some of the reviews I have read mention that the writing is choppy. I tend to agree, in that the sections consist of a short writing by each of the two ladies, sometimes only being a page or two long. Some reviewers said it was like a journal or daily devotional, and I agree with that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I normally read exclusively fiction. One of my favorite book series is The Sisters of the Quilt by Cindy Woodsmall. In reading this book, I felt I had a lot I could learn from the Amish way of life and couldn't wait until this book was released. This collection of stories and life lessons shared by both authors gave me a lot to consider about myself. I tend to feel busy all the time without accomplishing much. The glimpses into Miriam Flaud's plain life and Cindy's Englisher life gave my heart a I normally read exclusively fiction. One of my favorite book series is The Sisters of the Quilt by Cindy Woodsmall. In reading this book, I felt I had a lot I could learn from the Amish way of life and couldn't wait until this book was released. This collection of stories and life lessons shared by both authors gave me a lot to consider about myself. I tend to feel busy all the time without accomplishing much. The glimpses into Miriam Flaud's plain life and Cindy's Englisher life gave my heart a lift, and helped me redefine what it means to fulfill an expectation. I enjoyed this book much more than I expected.

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