Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness


The Amish and the practice of forgiveness

Suzanne Woods Fisher reveals what the Amish can teach about peace in letting go

Everyone has been hurt. Everyone experiences conflicts, great and small. Everyone has someone to forgive. In The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness (Revell/May 5, 2015/ISBN: 978-0800722036/ $12.99), bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher reveals the lessons that the Amish teach about what to do when we just can't bring ourselves to forgive someone who has wronged us.

The Heart of the Amish invites readers into the world of a people renowned for their ability to forgive. Her in-depth, personal research uncovers the astounding, yet fundamental way the Amish can forgive anyone — from the angry customer at the grocery store to the shooter at the Nickel Mines schoolhouse. Through true stories gathered from a variety of Amish communities, Fisher illustrates how they are able to release their pain and desire for revenge, living at peace with others. Readers will learn how to invite God into their stories, apply lessons from the Amish to their own circumstances, and find the freedom that comes with true forgiveness.

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For the Amish, living forgiven is woven into the very fabric of their faith. What does it mean to “live forgiven”? It means inviting God into the friction of our daily situations even when they might seem small, like a pebble in our shoe: not quite irritating enough to take off the shoe, but still there, wearing and wearing and wearing.

Readers will also learn practical tips for modeling forgiveness for their children, as the Amish do from a very early age, teaching them how to be the first to extend the olive branch to others and make forgiveness a habitual way of thinking. “They believe life isn’t fair — the toast burns, the milk spills, the car breaks down,” Fisher explains. “They believe we are part of an imperfect world, far from the Garden. So when the hard things come into their life — and they do, just like everyone’s life — they’ve had experience with how to manage them.”

What will spill out of us when we are under great stress is what spills out of us now in the day-to-day friction of living. Our ability to forgive what seems unforgiveable is deeply connected to how we handle these smaller transgressions: when someone cuts in front of us at the grocery store, when our spouse forgets an anniversary, when our family accidentally locks us out of the house. Fisher says, “Forgiveness is like a muscle. The more it’s exercised, the stronger it becomes. Each time you forgive, it becomes easier to forgive the next time.”

Fisher’s goal in writing The Heart of the Amish is to help readers truly make a habit of forgiving. Readers will be inspired in the art of letting go and finding freedom from anger and bitterness toward others.


Advance Praise

“Powerful! That’s the first word that comes to mind after reading this excellent book. You will be inspired to make changes in your life.”
~ Chandler Gerber, featured in the film From One Second to the Next

“Powerful. Life-changing insights shared simply. The Heart of the Amish can change your life for the better! Suzanne Woods Fisher’s stories of the Amish will arm you with tools to forgive and find the path to reconciliation as they draw you closer to God.”
~ Elizabeth B. Brown, author of Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People



About the author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction. Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, Pa. She travels back east a couple of times each year for research (for fun too).

Fisher has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. She has an underlying belief in her books — you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate many of their principles into your life: simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily, trusting in God.

When Fisher isn’t writing, playing tennis or bragging to her friends about her grandbabies, she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.


Keep up with Suzanne Woods Fisher at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com, on Facebook (SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor) or by following her on Twitter (@SuzanneWFisher).

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