Growing a spiritual garden with new book: Water My Soul

News release

August 9, 2017

Growing a spiritual garden
90-day devotional puts down roots to the love of Christ and service to others

HARRISONBURG, Va.—How does your spiritual garden grow? What do you do to keep your Christian life flourishing? Darla Weaver explores these ideas as she connects gardening to spiritual growth in a new devotional, Water My Soul: 90 Meditations from an Old Order Mennonite (Herald Press, September 2017).

Touching on themes such as humility, contentment, right living and forgiveness, each meditation includes a daily Scripture reading, prayer, and journal prompt or response idea, designed to motivate and strengthen readers.

“As I worked in my ever-expanding gardens, I was amazed how often God used the natural world to open my eyes to new spiritual truths,” Weaver writes.

As an Old Order Mennonite living in southern Ohio, Weaver spends her time gardening, cooking, caring for her family, and living as much as possible off the land. Weaver bares her heart in these 90 devotionals, all drawn from her home-centered life, and encourages readers to root themselves deeply in Christ’s love, and service to others.

Cindy Woodsmall, New York Times bestselling author of Amish fiction says the book is a “lovely collection of real events that whisk the mind to a beautiful way of life, while the insights resonate with the longings from the deepest part of our hearts.” Mary Ann Kinsinger, coauthor of the Adventures of Lily Lapp book series adds, “These devotionals provide glimpses of the presence of God that is all around us if we only open our eyes and see.”

Women especially will relate to these meditations sprinkled with stories from Weaver’s children, marriage, Old Order Mennonite community and wider friends and family.

Darla Weaver’s first book, Many Lighted Windows, was published in 2016, and she has written for Family Life, Ladies Journal, Young Companion, and other magazines for Amish and Old Order Mennonite groups. Before her three children were born she also taught school. Her hobbies are gardening and writing.

Water My Soul is available for $12.99 USD from MennoMedia at 800-245-7894 or MennoMedia.org; in Canada, the book is $15.75 CAD from CommonWord at 877-846-1593 or commonword.ca; or check bookstores and online.

To schedule a phone interview with Darla Weaver, contact LeAnn Hamby at (540) 908-3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

 

 

Live Your Call latest in annual Mennonite Women’s Bible study series

May 16, 2017

Live Your Call latest in annual Mennonite Women’s Bible study series
Series empowers women to use their gifts to further God’s kingdom

HARRISONBURG, Va.—What part do we play in God’s plan for our lives? Getting caught up in day-to-day routines, many may miss out on opportunities to use gifts to further God’s kingdom.

MennoMedia’s new Bible study guide, Live Your Call, encourages women to look for these promptings in their lives. This Bible study guide is the latest in the Mennonite Women’s Bible study series produced annually in conjunction with Mennonite Women Canada (MW Canada) and Mennonite Women USA (MW USA).

Author Anna Liechty Sawatzky draws from the gospel stories to inspire women to share the gospel and follow God’s leading for their lives. Noting Jesus’ personal interactions, such as with the Samaritan woman at the well, and the large-scale miracles, such as the feeding of the five thousand, the sessions are designed to challenge and inspire. The study includes opportunities for reflection and response, and the sessions aim to give a balanced picture of the complexity and vitality of following God’s call.

Live Your Call can be used for individual study and for group settings such as Sunday school, Bible studies, and retreats. The 12-session study also includes a full worship service, in keeping with previous studies in this series.

This book and others in the Mennonite Women’s Bible study series are available from MennoMedia at 800-245-7894 or www.MennoMedia.org

MennoMedia Staff
High-resolution photos available

An Unblinking Look at Midlife

News Release
April 12, 2017

An Unblinking Look at Midlife 

Veteran columnist explores the indignities and perks of midlife in When Did Everybody Else Get So Old?

HARRISONBURG, Va.—The questions of midlife are quieter and deeper than clichés involving motorcycles and illicit affairs suggest. Who have I become? Is this all there is to life? Why does God feel so distant at this
point of my life?
Or, to quote musician Paul Simon, “Why am I soft in the middle? The rest of my life is so hard.”

Author and veteran columnist Jennifer Grant takes an unblinking—and often humorous—look at the transitions of midlife in When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? Indignities, Compromises, and the Unexpected Grace of Midlife (Herald Press, May 2017).

From the emptying nest to the sagging effects of aging, Grant acknowledges the complexities and loss inherent in midlife. As she leads readers through the events of her 40s, stories of loss and crushing identity and faith crises are followed by chapters marked by acceptance and gratitude as she finally gets her footing in midlife.

“I started my forties looking too often into the mirror and getting tangled up in my thoughts—my goals, my shifting identity, my disappointments, my hopes,” Grant says. “As I leave this decade behind, I find myself focusing less on me and more on how I might, bit by incremental bit, help to make the world more whole.”

As Grant addresses issues like hormonal swings and a teenager’s scorn, Grant’s middle-aged readers will recognize themselves in the pages. More than just a memoir, When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? encourages readers to live fully and embrace this stage of life. Author Jon Sweeney calls the book a “necessary, awakening memoir,” and journalist and religion writer Cathleen Falsani writes, “What I didn’t expect was to have my breath taken away, torrents of tears followed—sometimes on the same page—by uncontrollable belly laughs.”

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, author of Start, Love, Repeat, notes, “This memoir, unexpectedly, helped me look forward to experiencing my forties and fifties.”

Of her own middle years, Grant notes that she and her husband will be empty nesters in four short years. “Our two daughters will be gone, grown, off discovering the people and purposes that will shape their adult lives,” Grant describes. “As much as my heart will strain sometimes, and feel as if it just might tear apart with missing my children, this is all as it should be.”

Jennifer Grant is a writer, editor, and speaker. A former health and family columnist for the Chicago Tribune, she is the author of four previous books, including the adoption memoir Love You More. Her work has also been published at websites such as Aleteia/For Her and on the Sojourner magazine blog God’s Politics. Grant is a longtime member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and lives in Wheaton with her husband, four children, and two rescue dogs. Find her online at jennifergrant.com or on Twitter @jennifercgrant.

When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? is $16.99 and available at Amazon and other retailers as well as from Herald Press at 800-245-7894. The book is to be released May 2, 2017.

To schedule an interview with Jennifer Grant, contact LeAnn Hamby at (540) 908‑3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

MennoMedia Staff
High-resolution photos available