What Does “Home Church” Mean?

Olivia Newport Door County churches

My mother grew up going to church. My unchurched dad responded to an altar call as an adult. These are two very different faith stories. Together they raised my siblings and me in a church with Sunday school, Sunday afternoon children’s programing, Sunday evening services, midweek boys and girls clubs, Wednesday evening prayer meetings, youth […]

Is It Safe to Ignore Irritation?


Parents pushed to the edge by a screaming toddler—or a recalcitrant teen. Kids pushed to the edge by one more math problem. A minor scratch that you ignore becomes inflamed. A rude coworker dominates yet another meeting. Every irritating situation has a tipping point. I’d bet that right now at least three scenarios are flashing […]

Why I Wanted to Write Historical Amish

Why I Wanted to Write Historical Amish

Have you ever wondered what your ancestors were like ten or twelve generations ago? I’m fascinated by those genealogy television shows that trace census and military and property records back and discover amazing details. That’s a bit of what happened to me. I discovered a family line that traced back to some of the earliest […]

One Free Copy of Meek and Mild

One Free Copy of Meek and Mild

It’s 1918 on the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Sunday school, hymns, and threats of shunning disturb a fragile peace between the Pennsylvania Old Order and the more progressive “Marylanders.” And with family on both sides of the border, Clara Kuhn is caught in the middle of it all. And will she be able to […]

Accidentally for the Best

Olivia Newport yoga pose

Have you ever literally stumbled onto something you didn’t even know you were looking for? About a year and a half ago I had that experience with yoga, of all things. I attend some regular exercise classes at the local gym. You know: weights, resistance bands, cardio blasts. One day, after missing one class, I […]

Wonderful Lonesome—Free Download

Meek and Mild cover

Wonderful Lonesome, which released September 2014, is a free download right now (Amazon and Christianbook.com) until January 19. It’s the first of a set of historical novels called Amish Turns of Time. The second book, Meek and Mild, is just weeks away from release. The stories are independent with separate sets of characters, but if […]

Why Everyone Says “Happy New Year!”


I admit it. This year (well, technically last year) I pretty much ignored New Year’s Eve. I have nothing against it. I just was busy doing regular stuff and it was ridiculously cold and my kids are grown up. For many years we met the neighbors outside at midnight to watch the fireworks going off […]

Meek and Mild Release Day


Meek and Mild is book number nine for me. (A couple more are in process for later this year.) And with every book come a variety of happy moments: turning in the manuscript; finish the edits; smiling and the galleys; receiving advance copies. And most of all, release day! The day when you can share […]

The Word Became Flesh

For to us a child is born,     to us a son is given,     and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called     Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. —Isaiah 9:6 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go […]

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

How busy are you? Shopping. Cooking. Wrapping. Christmas cards. Parties. Secret Santas. Ornaments. Crafts. Cleaning. House guests. Travel. Concerts and plays. Any of this sound familiar? I do love the heart of Christmas. The music of Christmas. The glory of Christmas. The story of Christmas. At the same time, I find myself asking: When it […]