Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Friendship by Laura V. Hilton

I’m reading a book for review called “Never Unfriended” by Lisa Jo Baker. I thought at first, “Nah, not interested,” then the cry went out that they were low on reviewers and I thought, “Okay. I’ll read it.” 

My mom used to complain that she never had any friends. I watched her visit with her neighbors for hours, drive to people’s homes for visits, and have people in for “coffee” or “tea” on a regular basis. I told her she was silly. She had a lot of friends! But she was basing her description of friends as the ones like her school friends. Going out to dinner, going to each other’s home, and basically hanging out all day long. Based on that, I can understand why she didn’t feel she had friends, but she was in a different stage of life then, as were her friends.

Now, I look at Mom’s friendships with her friends. They made an effort to visit each other in their homes at least once a week. They talked on the phone two or three days a week. They sent each other cards and notes in the mail. And they talked at church on Sundays (if they went to the same church).

When I was young I had friends the same way. We hung out in school, at church, went to camp together and talked on the phone when we weren’t together. And then we grew up, married and moved away. I made new friends in the area I lived in. We lived in the same neighborhood or attended church together and we visited each other in our homes. It was great.

And then women started working outside the home (or even at home) when their babies started school (and yes, this was the 90’s; some moms DID stay home until their kids started school). When we all got jobs, the phone calls stopped. Visits in each others homes stopped. We didn’t even have time for home cooked meals for our families! Grabbing something from the drive-through window at a fast food restaurant became the rule. Family time was more often than not shared with television sets and cell phones. Relationships—even family ones— disintegrated.

And everyone wants to know “What’s in it for me?” They don’t have time to reach out and care for others. Taking five minutes for a quick phone call is something we are too busy for. Lunch, maybe, if they are at the same time. Visits in each other’s homes? Forget it. Not happening.

No wonder we need a book about how to be friends! We don’t know how any more! Now, I don’t even know who my neighbors are, let alone know everyone in the neighborhood. I’ve never been in their homes. They’ve never been in mine.

My friend list consists of mostly complete strangers on Facebook and Twitter. We know nothing personal about each other. Most of them wouldn’t have a clue what my favorite color is, or if I what I would order if we were to go to Sonic. They don’t know or care that I may or may not be struggling with something in my day or life (unless they read this blog). Or that I maybe ready to shout, “I quit” and run for the hills. They don’t even know that I wouldn’t have to run very far, since I live in the hills. (Ha.)

So today, my challenge is to reach out to someone in friendship. Say “hi” to that overworked clerk at Walmart and ask her how her day is going. Do something nice for someone. Maybe even shut the phone off and have a conversation with your family. Or call a friend you haven’t made time for. And leave a comment telling me what you did and for who (names can be changed to protect the innocent).

And maybe, I’ll do a kind thing too and send someone a copy of one of my books. Signed, of course. To a friend…

Jesus, teach us to be a friend of people as You are with us. Give us eyes to see others and their needs and to take the time to listen. Help us to take them to You, the source of life. Amen.

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom, and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow GlobeThe Postcard, and The Bird House in September 2015.

See below for information on Laura's latest, The Amish Firefighter. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Connect with Laura
visit her blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/ & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Laura_V_Hilton or@Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

Amish Wanderer
by Laura V. Hilton


Desperate for a Ticket Out

Bethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven't stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Searching for a Home
Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own family's home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania, in the hope of some stability.

A Memory of Lemonade
When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Will their old love overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path?

Would you like to read the first chapter? Click here.