Fragrant Whiffs of Joy by Dorcas Smucker. It’s book giveaway!
I have a friend who purchases brand new books to give as gifts. She reads the books first, being careful to open the pages only slightly so the reader will never know that the brand-new book she is given is not “brand new”. I suppose I could do that with the book Fragrant Whiffs of Joy that I received from Dorcas, but I can’t imagine reading an entire book with the spine only half-open. I’d get a kink in my neck for certain. Plus, I’ve decided I’ll keep it myself because I’ll want to be reading it again.
One thing I like about Dorcas Smucker’s writing is that she “shucks it down to the cob”. She does so gently, but firmly. There’s no question about what she thinks or where she stands. There’s also no question that this Mennonite minister’s wife loves Jesus, her family, and her community.
She finds beauty in the ordinary days. All of us have days that are ordinary and we could find beauty in our ordinary days, if we stopped and paid attention. Too often we don’t take the time to really notice the beauty in ordinary days like Dorcas does.
Another thing that I like about her writing is that, as she deftly tells a tale, she uses intricacies that most folks don’t notice to help us see the kaleidoscope of colors that can be found in our days. By the end of her story, she neatly wraps up the pieces she left floundering out there and puts it all together.
I’ve learned a lot from Dorcas. I’ve learned a lot about relationships and being authentic. In the chapter “The Minister’s Wife,” she relates this conversation.
“Are you looking forward to the conference?” my sister asked.
“I guess so,” I said. “Except that nobody intimidates me like a Mennonite minister’s wife.”
“But,” she sputtered. “You’re a Mennonite Minister’s wife!”
“Not really,” I said, and then whispered. “I’m actually just pretending.”
I’ve learned that it’s okay to “shuck things down to the cob” (actually, I knew that already, but Dorcas helped enforce my belief that it is something we ought to do, Mennonite minister’s wife or not). I have been reminded that family dynamics in relationships don’t go away just because we grow up and live in other communities and it’s still important to claim our heritage and our family.
“You don’t have to live someone else’s life or write another culture’s story. You have a life, a history, a story of your own. It is worthy of telling, and no one else will ever tell it quite like you can. . . “
Dorcas’ book Fragrant Whiffs of Joy is just what the title says it is. Small, simple tantalizing whiffs about life, wherein we find the joy that is ours if we but seize it.
The book has thirty-six chapters, but you don’t have to read it as a book. You can read just one chapter at a time and wait for days until you pick it up again. It’s good coffee table material as well as bathroom enjoyment. If you’re like I was when my kids were small, going to the bathroom was a place to go to get some space – and some good reading. It still is!
Dorcas writes about her family and her church. She writes about marriage and adoption.
“What happened next is unknown, but Steven remembers living on the streets, like so many other street children in Isumu, eating leftovers at open-air restaurants and watching the rivalry and violence among the older boys. Someone took him Into Africa. . . . they couldn’t find any family, anywhere, for Steven.
So we adopted him into ours.
Dorcas tells secrets that not many of us would tell. I enjoy her tales of her father and the way he sees life in slow motion. I delight in the prayer requests of her Sunday school class – from the hurt finger to the missing cat and the unborn calf.
Sometimes, when you read this book, you will howl with laughter. Other times, your heart will feel softened. And at times, if you’re a woman, you’ll find a tear in your eye.
If you’d like a chance to get a FREE copy of this book, enter your name in the drawing. If you are the fortunate winner, I’ll mail your copy – and it will arrive before December.
Christmas is coming, so if you’re looking for a gift for a special gal or woman in your life, consider getting one of her books. If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book, the cost is $14.00 ($12.00 plus $2.00 postage).
For copies of some of Dorcas’ other books, contact Dorcas at 31148 Substation Drive, Harrisburg, OR 97446. Checks or PayPal accepted. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Oh yes, don’t forget to sign up to be in the drawing! Sign up in the comments below, private message me, or send me an email at email@example.com. The drawing will take place on Friday, November 17, 2017. You have until 11 PM to register to win!
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