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Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women Paperback


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Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women + This Will Be Remembered of Her: Stories of Women Reshaping the World + How Coffee Saved My Life: And Other Stories of Stumbling to Grace
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307459349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307459343
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Plain Wisdom
 
“A treasure chest, for sure… The wisdom in these stories is time-tested and true—plain and simple.”
—Karen Kingsbury, New York Times best-selling author of Unlocked and Shades of Blue
 
“A fascinating comparison between two starkly different ways of life.”
—Donald B. Kraybill, author of The Riddle of Amish Culture
 
“A beautiful weaving of the lives of two very different women drawn together through their bond of faith and love of family. Their intertwining stories offer both timeless wisdom and sincere encouragement to inspire all women to learn from one another’s experiences. You will enjoy their honesty, their humor, and their life lessons as well as some of their delicious recipes! Cindy and Miriam bring us back to the place where our hearts long to go—a place of simplicity and truth.”
—Karol Ladd, author of The Power of a Positive Woman
 
Plain Wisdom provides a beautiful glimpse into the lives of my longtime friend Cindy Woodsmall and her Amish friend Miriam Flaud. Though separated by the modern world and Old Order Amish customs, they have a living faith that bonds them and invites us to embrace our experiences with greater hope, delight, and laughter.”
—Dr. Alan Weatherly, senior pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church, Madison, Alabama
 
“Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud have the unique ability to marry two very different lifestyles in a masterful way by focusing on their similarities in faith and in daily life. Their chapters are easily digested in short pages designed for busy women—be they Amish or English. I loved savoring the wisdom in this book as well as the mouth-watering recipes. Written with the true insight of women who have been there, Plain Wisdom is a serious guide to life that doesn’t take itself too seriously…and offers something for every woman.”
—Ellie Kay, author of The 60-Minute Money Workout

About the Author

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author of six novels whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
 
Miriam Flaud is an Old Order Amish woman who has lived within one of the most structured societies in the United States. She’s experienced the abundant joys of that lifestyle as well as troubled times. She and her husband have six children and five grandchildren.

More About the Author

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, and USA Today best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the second most popular author of Amish fiction, following Beverly Lewis.

She's a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

She's won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer's Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings' Best Books of the Year. She's been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn't realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn't allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy's house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them--afraid that if they didn't, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann's because her family didn't own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults' disapproval and the obstacles in each other's lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy's family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities--from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

If you'd like more information or to contact her, you can go to her website: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authorcindywoodsmall




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Customer Reviews

This book was an interesting and inspirational read.
C. Ward
As an added bonus, Plain Wisdom also includes several Amish recipes scattered throughout the book that sound delicious.
Rachel D.
It was one of those books that I just kept reading and did not want to put down.
Miriam from Wheels Have Eyes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Janes VINE VOICE on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By lisa Wightman on November 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book in record time for me excellent book and in great condition. Happy reading to those all others.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Rieger on August 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. Having been raised and spent most of my life near Lancaster, PA
have always been interested in the Amish and learning more about their way of life.
Would certainly recommend this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leanne Weber on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Yes, I have been sucked in. I do read the occasional inspirational Amish fiction novel. I have no desire to be Plain; the quilting alone makes me break out into a cold sweat! Still, there is a part of me that is fascinated by their culture, and one author whose novels I enjoy from time to time is Cindy Woodsmall.

Which is why, when given the opportunity to read and review a nonfiction book by Woodsmall, I jumped at the chance. The book, Plain Wisdom, was co-authored by her Amish friend Miriam Flaud.

What struck me most was the universality of the different themes covered - family, love, friendship. Even though the Amish lifestyle is vastly different from our "English" lifestyle, these themes are woven in and out of the stories told by both Woodsmall and Flaud.

It made me realize that, even though I don't churn my own butter and shun electricity, I have more in common with my Amish brothers and sisters than I thought.

The book also shared some recipes that are favorites of both authors, and insights from both of them from their years as parents. That is the only place where they lost me, to tell you the truth - as I do not yet have children, I cannot yet relate to the wisdom that comes from parenting.

But...my mom thoroughly enjoyed it!

If you are interested in the Plain culture or have enjoyed Cindy Woodsmall's books, definitely check out Plain Wisdom.

*Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of writing this review.*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Winnie on August 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
First I would like to say this isn't my typical genre of book to read. I don't normally read anything very spiritual or even that much non-fiction so I am not familiar with the typical format on this kind of book so it's possible that I am way off on my review of this book. Honestly I read the book a while back and have had a hard time really forming an opinion of the book.

Plain Wisdom is a sweet little book with each chapter having a section written by Mrs. Woodsmall and Mrs. Flaud that details how God worked in their everyday lives guided by certain principals in the Bible. In general I found the book to be well written, but it lacked continuity throughout the chapters and I felt as if I was reading a string of stories that were only slightly related to the previous chapters. I expected a book that would chronicle the differences in Mrs. Woodsmall's modern Christian life in contrast with Mrs. Flaud's Amish beliefs. Instead I found a book that showed that no matter how far apart Christian practices are, there are still the same guiding principals underneath all the artifice given in differing denominations.

Overall I found the book only mediocre.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review and it in no way colors my opinion of this material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tracy DeLoach on June 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
As hard as I tried I just could not get involved in this book. It was probably because of me more than the book. I just couldn't get caught up in the story with was more a book of insights. It is a book written by an Amish lady (Miriam) and an English lady (Cindy). The story is about two friends from two different worlds. One is an old order Amish and the other one is Englischer. They share the truths that bring them together. In this book you'll gain a rare glimpse into the traditions and ways of the Amish and the two different women's life's as they become friends.

The book includes several recipes and also a discussion guide in the back of the book. Both of which I like.
Though this book was not for me, I still feel many people would enjoy it. I would give it a 2.5 stars out of 5.
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