Holiness in our Midst: Session 65

Holiness in our Midst


A fun fact about myself is that I inhale Amish novels, at the rate of about 10 per month, year after year. Yes, there are that many out there. Authors keep writing them in single volumes, compilations of novellas and series.

Aren’t they all the same with minor changes in locations and circumstances? Well, yes and no. Most are coming-of-age stories of young women faced with the choice of living out in the English world with its myriad temptation and marrying within their familiar and comfortable (but limited) community life. Each character, though, has a twist that complicates the choice: like a controlling family (Will the father stop the marriage?), a hidden ailment (Will he still love her if he finds out she can’t bear a child?) or a yearning for higher education (Will she have to forgo her interest in becoming a veterinarian to stay in the community?).

Most are easy reads, but quite well written. Descriptions of Pennsylvania Dutch meals make my mouth water. Recipes are often included. Between the lines, authors infuse their favorite sayings (“The good stuff lies on the other side of fear.”) and philosophies of life (“We are all just people in training.” Shelley Shepard Gray), which I find quite applicable to my own. If you think you might like to enter deep into the joys and heartaches of Amish families, here is a list of authors to start with: Wanda Brunstetter, Amy Clipston, Jerry S. Eicher, Shelley Shepard Gray, Beverly Lewis, Beth Wiseman and Cindy Woodsmall.

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: What are some fun facts about yourself?


  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. In your journal, write down a few fun facts about yourself. Explore whether they give clues to life changes you might want to make.


  1.   Read aloud Session LXV  
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

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