Time to consider more spiritual matters now that we've spent the last couple of weeks focused on the financial.
Just to have an easy, enjoyable read, I recently picked up "A Simple Spring," by Rosalind Lauer. This is Lauer's second Seasons of Lancaster novel, the first being "A Simple Winter."
By now you may have guessed that this story involves an Amish family. Nothing like immersing yourself in a story of the Plain people to make you rethink priorities.
However, this story about Sadie King, a young woman in her rumspringa, surprised me with the difficult situation the author set up for Sadie. Being in rumspringa means Sadie has a little more leeway from the normal Amish rules while she determines if she is ready to commit to baptism in the Amish faith.
Of course, she is expected by her family and her community to choose the Plain life, the life she has grown up in. But Sadie has a special gift and feels a calling to use it -- and the only way to do that is to venture out into the Englisher world.
Is Sadie being lead astray by her Englisher boyfriend? Will she return to the fold and choose Amish ways?
This is one coming-of-age novel that manages to explore the difficulties faced by young people trying to find their place in the world without forsaking a chaste story for a sensationalized one.
For the Catholic mothers out there, Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle has written a thought-provoking book that provides encouragement to moms trying to raise children in the Catholic faith while living in a world that doesn't necessarily share the same values. "Embracing Motherhood" approaches parenting as a vocation, as something more than just an assignment a woman takes on at a certain stage in life.
Mothers that haven't viewed motherhood this way before may find a helpful new perspective that could stand them in good stead, especially on the tough days. Those of other faith traditions may find O'Boyle's perspective helpful in general, too, but readers will know that this book presumes the reader is Catholic.
A similarity between Lauer's novel and O'Boyle's nonfiction work that may jump out at readers is that both books portray work, or a person's calling, as having the inherent dignity of doing God's will.
In other words, whether it's tending to chores on the family farm or raising children, the attitude with which you approach your work can make all the difference.
Both these books feature people who are strong in their particular faiths.
Coming soon to these pages will be some information regarding a novel that has a main character who has a different approach. Keep an eye out for a copy of "Breakfast with Buddha," by Roland Merullo, if you want to get a jump on things.
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