Fragrant Whiffs of Joy Giveaway!

When I read Dorcas’ new book, I felt like I was sitting across the table from her, drinking tea and talking. The time we did that in Poland, she spoke wise, memorable words to me, and her new book feels like an extension of that conversation. I consider her a writing mentor (she was the one who nudged me to self-publish my book, which I have never regretted doing), and a kindred spirit, whose friendship I treasure.

The crazy thing about this week when I readΒ Fragrant Whiffs of Joy was that I was experiencing another kind of whiffs in my kitchen. Apparently, a rodent has died somewhere inaccessible under the floor of the kitchen sink, and it’s been truly awful, and I still don’t know what do about it. You might say Dorcas’ book was good escape writing.

This is a user-friendly book, in that you can dip anywhere in the book, read a chapter (they’re quite short) and put it down til the next time you have five free minutes. Dorcas writes in a most colorful, fresh way, which means her metaphors and word pictures are so vivid you can see them, like the stitching on her dad’s barn mitts that showed all the national borders up to the North Sea. She writes these colorful descriptions and dialogues that take up most of the pages, then tucks in these little lines that reveal the point of the pictures and conversations:

This is what it means to be an adult, I think: to make peace with the life you didn’t foresee, to see spiritual significance in the daily repeated tasks, and to find fulfillment in doing them well.

That was in the chapter about fixing endless amounts of food for the multitudes.

This one is in the one about the minister’s wife, and how Dorcas fought the impostor syndrome:

We cannot go wrong with honesty and love, with flaws and laughter, with genuine joy or sadness. We would love to fix the world by distributing perfect solutions at arm’s length, but what people really need is for us to walk beside them until they figure life out for themselves.

I think that’s the main reason I consider Dorcas a friend and a lady I want to be like. She uses her words to express care and understanding without acting on the urge to fix and tidy everything up perfectly. She is honest and discreet. She is wise and humble.

When I got to the chapter about her son’s first mother, I started feeling all chokey, and when I got to when Steven’s mom sewed, I cried. I don’t know why. I don’t know anything about Africa or adoption. I think the tears came from awe at the beauty of an orchestration that’s way bigger than any person or family can arrange.

I giggled in the chapter about her fabric stash and New Year’s resolution not to buy more fabric that year. It made me curious about how that year went. I didn’t take time to ask her. Maybe we can find that out later.

You can order the book from Dorcas Smucker at 31148 Substation Drive, Harrisburg, OR 97446. Books are $12 each plus $2 postage. Checks or PayPal accepted. ( Or find it here on Amazon.

For now, I get to give away one of these books! Dorcas gave me one copy to keep, one to give to someone who is sick or in a hard time (that will be my mom, who was diagnosed with cancer last January and has been sick all this long year), and one to give away to one of you! I’m not going to ask you do anything like telling me your favorite cake, or saying what your deepest fear is. Just drop a comment below, and I’ll draw the winner on November 18. Ready? Go!

134 thoughts on “Fragrant Whiffs of Joy Giveaway!

  1. If one could have a ‘bucket list’ of people they’d like to get to know I think Dorcas would be on mine. As far as I know we’ve never met, perhaps someday.

  2. I would love to sit with you and chat over tea. I have good memories of being in your Christian Womanhood class at bible school. This sounds like a book I’d enjoy reading.

  3. I’m sorry about your mom, Anita…and I’d love to catch up with you sometime again! It’s been a long time since we were in second grade together… and I’d love to read Dorcas’s new book!

  4. Hi dear cousin! πŸ™‚ I enjoy reading what you write. It’s always refreshing. And just recently I started reading through ‘Life is for Living’ again…….I have read some of Dorcas’s books and would love to read this one too!
    Blessings and love,

  5. I love love to read Dorcas’ writings… and I would love her new book! I have her other books…and enjoy them when they aren’t loaned out to others! Dorcas has spoken wise words to me throughout the years and I treasure her friendship!

  6. Oh, I love reading Dorcas’ books! I love the way she makes you laugh and cry in the same book if not in the same chapter. Would live to have a copy!

  7. One of the things I especially like about Dorcas’ writing is her conclusions. It gives the chapter (or post) a crowning finishing touch. LRM

  8. Oh, Anita! I enjoy Dorcas’ writings, but yours are just as delicious. If I win, draw again because I can get one from our bookstore. Have you read Dorcas’ blog about the solar eclipse? Absolutely hilarious. Our family laughed till we cried at the breakfast table one morning. Bless you!

  9. Reading your post brought back memories of the time you came to our home with your sister Esther and family. We each brought a traditional Christmas food. At the moment I can’t remember what those little tarts (an Irish tradition) what those little tarts are called that Esther and you brought. Happy memories…………..

  10. I would love a book! I enjoy her writimg and your review just took me in, making me want more. πŸ™‚
    I am sorry about yoir mom. I didn’t know. I will be praying for her. ~ Kim

  11. My favorite cake is cheese or chocolate, and my deepest fear is that of something bad happening to one of my children, but that’s gratuitous information. {grins}
    I’d love to have this book. I’d read it first myself, and then pass it to my mom, who knew Dorcas when they were little girls, and who has eagerly devoured anything Dorcas has written ever since she knew it was out there. 😊
    I’m so sorry about your mom…

  12. What people really need is someone to walk beside them…is so true.. how often I’ve been blessed by someone doing tht. I enjoy all ur posts;)

  13. I’m thankful for inspirational writers like you n Dorcas… I enjoy both of your blogs n books πŸ‘I’d love to enter the giveaway!

  14. I have really enjoyed reading an earlier book of Dorcasβ€˜s, and this new one sounds every bit as good! BTW, I always enjoy reading your posts as well. 😊

  15. I like too, what she said about walking beside someone until they figure life out for themselves…that is both ministry and friendship at times! I’d love to read the whole thing, so put my name in too. I always enjoy your blog posts 😊

  16. Pick me! Baha! πŸ™‚ I’ve read Dorcas’ other books (I think all of them, although maybe she published one since Footprints on the Ceiling…or something like that. πŸ™‚ Your description sounds delightful. AND…btw, your excerpt that you quoted from “Well” by Sarah Thebarge has inspired me so much this week. I think that book needs to go on my Christmas list.: )

  17. If it’s you who introduced me to Dorcas Smucker’s blog, thank you! I found it so delightful that I read way, way back into the archives. PS You’re invited to tea at my house next!

  18. Keep writing! Your posts (and your book) inspire me so much! I love your honesty, it resonates with my heart! I’d love to read this book!

  19. I would also love a copy of this book! I also have a question for you: You’ve self-published a book; how did you go about doing that, and how do you go about selling your book? I have a story I’d like to publish, and I’ve reached out to several publishers, but have only heard back from one, who rejected my story. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!

  20. Just the few tidbits that you posted of Dorcas’ book were full of relevance to my life…her books are always like that, and I read them over and over as the years go by. Glad to now also discover your writing too!

  21. Oh Anita – I am so sorry about your mom and welcome you to the “Daughters of Moms with cancer” Club with a hug from me to you and a tear in my eye. It’s not a club any girl wants to join but it’s a club where the mother/daughter bond is strengthened, treasured and given great priority.

    I didn’t know you had a blog or were published – it’s been such a long time since we chatted and your book was still a dream. I would love to read your book. Where could I buy it?

    I would also like to introduce my mother to Dorcas’ latest book and will gift it to her if you choose to share it with me.

    Thanks and have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas season with your family.

    • I just reviewed your blog and realized you are not the Anita Yoder I know (Mennonite names seem to cross pollinate). I am still sorry about the “Daughter of Mom’s with cancer” Club – my mother has been fighting pancreatic cancer for 3 1/2 years. May you find grace and an abiding joy as you encourage your mother on this journey.

  22. I have read and l loved most of her other books. I love how she captures the joys of the everyday in her stories, and pulls out life lessons from seemingly insignificant moments!

  23. I can’t wait to read this book. Enjoy your blog posts. It’s been a long time since 5th term 2007 but I enjoyed finding your blog πŸ™‚

  24. Hey! 😊 My mom knows Dorcas a bit and I’ve heard good things about her; we have two of her books (one is “Upstairs the Peasants are Revolting” 😁) and the whole family enjoys them. Thanks for doing this giveaway! It’s interesting to see all the comments so far and how many people I know. Thinking of/praying for your mom!

  25. I have read one of Dorcas’ books that was borrowed from a friend. I would like a chance to win one but if I don’t , I’ll purchase in the very near future.

  26. I’m curious, just the title of Dorcas’s book is enough to get me interested! I’ve wondered before if you ever considered writing a book especially for teenage girls (I am one). About guys, dreams and how to deal with all the feelings and emotions of this time in life. Make sense? I read my older sister’s copy of Life is For Living, and was blessed.

  27. Oh I’d love to win. I love to read your writings, Anita, and also Dorcas’. Will miss you this Thanksgiving…and BTW I ordered the book Well you recomended after reading your post. Sounds like something I’d love:) blessings….

  28. I would love to win! And thanks for not making us share our cakes and deepest fears. I don’t know who cares about the cakes 100 random internet strangers like to eat anyway.

  29. Thanks for writing this book review. I love your book Life is for Living not just waiting around. I would love to win this new book by Dorcas.

  30. As i read your blog the words of Francis Bacon came to mind. . . “Some books are meant to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.” I can tell you digested this book and now you’re whetting our appetites. Thanks, Anita!

  31. I have read Dorcas’ blog for years and have the first 4 books. This quote:” We cannot go wrong with honesty and love, with flaws and laughter, with genuine joy or sadness. We would love to fix the world by distributing perfect solutions at arm’s length, but what people really need is for us to walk beside them until they figure life out for themselves.” made me think of my friend that is walking with me in my hard journey right now. I would love to have this book to be able to bless her with it for all she does for me.

  32. The book sounds delightful and I don’t usually do comments! Actually I’d thought of commenting on your last one about Sarah Thebarge’s books because I needed to hear the comment about giving compassion and love being just as important here where I am now as it was in the places I used to live. I’ve gotten through the first year of adjustments to living in the US and I’d say a lot of things feel more normal now. But there are different more long term adjustments that have to be processed in year 2. So I’m in that now! The good thing is that each phase keeps pushing me on toward knowing God… seeing my need of HIM again and again. Blessings for sharing bits of your journey!

  33. Dorcas’ writing is liking eating a delicious brownie, rich and decadent but not unattainable to bake. I’m delighted to hear she has released a new book!

  34. Love the image of the mittens. Sorry to hear about the mouse. My apartment has been having mouse issues lately, though we can’t manage to catch them in our traps. =(

  35. Put my name in the drawing too, please:) really enjoy Dorcas’ books and blog. I Also have your Life is For Living book, Anita. Excellent job.

  36. I’ve recently discovered Dorcas’ blog….possibly through you, though I can’t quite remember the connection. I would love the chance to read one of her books!

  37. Any cake is a favorite if it is served with ice cream! And the best book is the one I am currently reading. If it were not so, I wouldn’t keep reading it! I have never read any of Dorcas’ s books because I just dis overed her this evening, but I have spent the last hour reading her blog.

  38. I’ve been thinking about buying some more of Dorcas’ books. I’ve only read one so far, and greatly enjoyed it. Didn’t realize she just wrote a new one, though. So thanks for telling us about it.

  39. The list of hopeful winners is getting long, but I’ll add my name just in case…!!! Thanks for hosting (and for making it easy to enter πŸ˜‰

  40. I teach. And I’ve just spent 2 1/2 hours after school visiting with several lovely young ladies. The main topic of discussion was writing/favourite authors/blogs/books/how to inspire students to write, etc. and I left with one of my “writing inspirations” fever. Such a delightful dilemma to have! Someone mentioned Dorcas Smucker, which is what makes me excited about this book! I love the title! What gives me a whiff of joy? Reading beautiful, captivating stories written by my students.

  41. Reading your blog made me miss you all over again! I have happy memories of us sitting on the bluff/field in Ireland watching the wild sky, the Irish Sea, and the sheep racing down their trail toward home!

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