Friday, October 20, 2023

Reflections from the Garden -- Bouquet of Wisdom

Bouquet of Wisdom is the third book I have been privileged to read and review by Deanna Nowadnick. As was true of the first two books -- Fruit of My Spirit and Signs of Life -- this book was quick and simple to read but filled with reflections bearing some deep gems of wisdom from the ordinary things in life. Deanna takes memories from her life, connects them with some of her favorite garden flowers, and draws from them lessons God has taught her through those experiences.

Deanna has a gentle way of sharing lessons. She doesn't tell her readers what we should learn. She tells us what she experienced and what she learned and leaves the rest up to us and God.

This Bouquet of Wisdom is made up of 30 "chapters." Each includes a photograph, a Bible verse or two, no more than a page and a half of text, and a couple of questions that give the reader a chance for personal reflection. The book can easily be used for daily devotional thoughts for a month, or it can be read at any pace you might choose. Whichever approach you use, I recommend Bouquet of Wisdom as being well worth your time.

I received a copy of this book from the author and am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Author

Deanna Nowadnick is a writer and speaker who loves helping women of faith connect our delightfully ordinary stories to God's extraordinary love and faithfulness, so we can be encouraged and empowered knowing God's been in the details -- always has been, always will be. She is the author of three books -- Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God's Grace, Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God, and Bouquet of Wisdom: Reflections from the Garden.

Learn more at and follow Deanna on Facebook @Deanna Nowadnick - Author/Speaker.

"What you're looking for isn't always what you find" -- Lost and Found

If you are a fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher's Amish stories, you will find yourself in a very familiar setting as you visit her Old Order Amish community of Stoney Ridge in Lost and Found. You will run across several "old friends" and spend a good amount of time especially with Trudy Yoder and Micah Weaver. We first met them and learned a lot of their story in A Season on the Wind.

Lost and Found includes a lot of elements common to many other of Suzanne's stories, with well-developed characters and story lines. You will find some romance, as well as other family and community interactions that make for a story that is enjoyable to follow. As an added point of interest, birding plays a big role in this book. In between chapters you can read journal entries Trudy shares about some of the birds she is interested in, including comments that offer clues about how she feels about people and relationships as well. The introduction of a Beachy Amish group into this story also sheds light on some of the differences in stereotype ideas readers might have about "the Amish" as a whole. All of this and more makes for another well-written Amish story by one of the best in the business.

I highly recommend Lost and Found to Amish fiction fans. As I mentioned, this does follow the story from A Season on the Wind, so having read that book first would definitely be a good idea. But I believe you could still enjoy a great story in Lost and Found on its own if you can't get your hands on the first book.

Thanks to Revell Reads for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

What you're looking for isn't always what you find.

Trudy Yoder shares a passion for birding with Micah Weaver--and she has an even greater passion for Micah. Their friendship is finally turning romantic when Micah abruptly grows cold. Worse still, he wants to leave Stoney Ridge.

Micah thought he was over Trudy's older sister, Shelley, who shattered his heart by running away to Nashville to pursue a singing career. Then out of the blue, she started leaving alarming messages for him.

So when the bishop asks for volunteers to scout a potential church relocation in Tennessee, Micah jumps at the opportunity. Despite scant details, he's confident he can find Shelley. After all, his reputation as a field guide is based on finding birds that don't want to be found.

But what he discovers in Tennessee is far from what he expects.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 books, including The Sweet Life and The Secret to Happiness, as well as many beloved contemporary romance and Amish romance series. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @SuzanneWFisher.