Saturday, February 14, 2015

An Amish Cradle

An Amish Cradle

By Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston,
Kathleen Fuller  and Vannetta Chapman

Published by Thomas Nelson, Feb 10th, 2015

There is nothing more natural and joyous in an Amish family than the arrival of a new baby, but even for the Amish, a new baby can prove to be a challenge and change family dynamics. This interesting collection of stories looks at how  new arrivals change the lives of four extended Amish families.

In His Father's Arms by Beth Wiseman

When Ruth Anne and Levi's eagerly awaited baby, Joshua, is born with Down's syndrome, it is a total shock as they are only nineteen.   The young couple struggle to talk to each other and retreat further into isolation and misunderstanding each other.  When Joshua is subsequently diagnosed with a heart defect and other problems, he needs regular reviews and tests, causing added anxiety.

Ruth Anne struggles hard to be a good Mamm to Joshua and deal with what she fears is the disintegration of her marriage. Levi appears to have withdrawn both from his wife and his son, and it is only when he visits the bishop to ask advice that we find his cousin had Down's and died at a very young age; Levi is afraid to love baby Joshua  in case he dies too and is finding it hard to open up about his feelings, anxieties and fears about what lies ahead of their family. Levi's relationship with God is losing strength and although he begins to help care for Joshua, all is not well at home.

Can this loving young couple get their marriage back on track and unite in their love and concern for their wonderful little boy?

A Son For Always by Amy Clipston

Joshua and Carolyn are rejoicing in the birth of their baby girl, Sadie Liz, but Carolyn still worries that she needs to provide for the future for her son Benjamin, born when she was a young unmarried mother. Joshua loves Benjamin dearly and treats him as his own son, and struggles to convince Carolyn that he loves both children equally and for ever, and will always provide for both of them, no matter what. Carolyn feels torn between her desire to stay home and nurture her family and feeling she should go back to her job at the hotel to continue earning money; this causes tension between her and Joshua, and an interfering mother-in-law makes everything ten times worse.....

A Heart Full Of Love by Kathleen Fuller

Ellie and Christopher are overjoyed  about Ellie's pregnancy, but Ellie's mother has expressed concerns about how they will manage with a baby due to Ellie's blindness. When it turns out that Ellie is expecting twins, her mother's concerns threaten to spiral out of control, no matter how well Ellie is coping with being a wife and homemaker.

Even after Irene and Julia are safely born, Ellie's Mamm Edna allows her concerns to overrule what is best for the new family and makes Ellie feel threatened and inadequate. Poor Christopher is caught in the crossfire and wants to wholeheartedly support his Fraa while worrying about what is best for the twins. Edna's constant presence allows the young family no chance to settle down together. When he takes his courage in both hands, he inadvertently makes the situation worse before it gets better.

An Unexpected Blessing by Vannetta Chapman

Etta and Mose thought her days of childbearing were over at the age of 42, but God blessed them with an unexpected pregnancy, a joy after the sadnesses of the  stillbirth of their daughter Sarah and the moving away of their son David.  When Etta goes into labour in the midst of a blizzard, they struggle to reach the birthing centre in time, and when they do, Etta's labour proves not to be straightforward.

 The whole family's rejoicing over baby Hannah's arrival is muted when it looks like financial problems means they will need to sell their family home, even though they still have treasures such as the family cradle handcrafted by Mose and used by their own children and grandchildren too. Can David's unexpected return home alter their future?

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