Thursday, August 24, 2017

Giveaway: Anything But Simple

I often get emails asking questions about Mennonites. I love emails and enjoy interacting with readers. But there are some questions that frustrate me - those that ask how Mennonites do this or that or what they believe about a specific topic.

Worse is when the one asking is doing a research paper on Mennonites. I'm glad they looked for a primary source, but how can I give a correct answer for a diverse group? It would be like asking questions of one Muslim or one Native American, and expecting them to have the same opinion, practice, and belief as the rest of the group.

I can only answer for myself. And my answers are going to be influenced by my background, my experiences, my beliefs, my personality, and my specific setting.

But I do love that there are many that are interesting in learning more about Mennonites, and if that is you, then there is a new book I can recommend for you.



Lucinda J. Miller wrote Anything But Simple to share her life as a young woman growing up in a Mennonite community. I couldn't have written this book. Not only do I not have the writing talent and skill of Luci, but her experience in growing up in a small farming community in Wisconsin, her sensitive and introspective personality, her myriad of friendships with a wide variety of people have influenced her life story.

Anything But Simple is beautifully written. I love the way Luci pictures farm life, her descriptions of her close-knit family, and her explanations of important church events such as baptism and communion. Luci also shares honestly about some of the hard things in her life, her father's youthful rebellion, church conflict, and her personal doubts about God. You might read the book and disagree with some of Luci's choices, but I appreciate her courage in revealing her weakness, mistakes, and pain.

I've had the chance to meet Luci several times and I know that Luci is genuine. This isn't a fake Mennonite/Amish depiction like one of those Amish romance books or the Amish TV shows. This is one young woman's view of what it is to wrestle with her identity as Christ-follower and a Mennonite and I'm glad she was willing to take us along.

Luci offered to give away an autographed copy of Anything But Simple to a Home Joys reader. I had bought several copies from Luci, thinking that I'd host my own giveaway, but I've managed to give all my copies away already. If you want a chance to win a copy, just leave a comment with your email address on this blog post.

You can view a trailer of Anything But Simple here. You can order your own copy of the book on Amazon or Menno Media. Or contact Luci through her blog to purchase an autographed copy.

Giveaway will be open for one week from today. Winner will be chosen by random.org. US mailing addresses only. This post contains affiliate links.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

156 comments :

  1. Sheepishly, I admit I like the fake Amish romance novels :) ....but I would love to win a copy of this book to learn more about the faith and culture. Daybyday

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  2. Wow, sounds like a good read. Living in a small church plant community I am so amused at questions I get asked. Today I almost got everything free of charge at a thrift store because, seeing my veiling, the lady assumed I was a sister from the convent adjacent. Or people ask if I bake bread and clean for other people and I smile because if they could see my house and the sticky floor they surely wouldn't bother asking! No, we don't all fit in one mold.

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    1. That's funny! I was at Walmart a few months ago and a man stopped his cart, made the sign of the cross and said "God bless you Sister" and walked off before I could say anything.

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  3. I watched the trailer a while back and would enjoy reading the book.

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  4. Looks like a very interesting read! Thanks for the giveaway!
    s_peachey@yahoo.com

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  5. The book sounds very interesting, and I would like a chance to win my own copy:-) Thank you!
    MZ

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    1. Sorry, by the way, my email address is zuvers2009@yahoo.com

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  6. I enjoy reading Luci's blog and think this book looks so interesting.
    weaver8808@gmail.com

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  7. Would love to win!
    Chandra@thejamesons.org

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  8. This book sounds like it would be very insightful and I would love to have a copy. What a brave woman to share so much of herself.
    Blessings,
    Betsy
    queenbetsy2@gmail.com

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  9. Thank you Gina for hosting this giveaway. My email is coffeeteamama at gmail dot com.
    I'm still praying dear one. Please let me know if you got my card.
    Thanks hon!

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  12. Gina - thank you for this wonderful giveaway! i am canadian so therefore can't enter. but i will be glad for whoever wins it! and i will be looking for this book online since you give it such praise.

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  13. Of course, I'd love to read this book! :-)

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  14. I would love to read the book and so would my daughter. My prayer have been with you family. glendagroff68@gmail.com

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  15. I would love to read this book. :)

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  16. I really enjoy reading your blog. I'm usually a silent reader, leaving no comment. I appreciate your sharing some of your journey. I'd love a chance to read Anything But Simple! Sarah mksauder@gmail.com

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  17. I love to read although since I am mom to 4 busy children blogs are about the extent of my reading! I went to bible school with Luci about 13 years ago and just recently discovered her blog, would love to have her book! My email is tmweaver@yahoo.com -Melissa Weaver

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  18. Sounds intriguing! -Hannah

    mhfields04@gmail.com

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  19. I'm a new reader and am so blessed by your perspective. This book has been on my wish list!
    sspencer1204@gmail.com

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  20. I would very much like to read this book. Thank you for the opportunity. Many blessings and comfort to you and your family. mulledo@mtco.com

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  21. would love to read this book! smokisno@yahoo.com

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  22. would love to win!
    bgkg1214@yahoo.com

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  23. I enjoy reading your blogs. I would love to receive a copy of "Anything But Simple" for your giveaway. mbreidigan69@gmail.com

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  24. We were talking last evening about the fake books and TV shows. I've been eyeing this book, and it would be so fun to read it! <3 Thanks for sharing, and continuing to pray! ~Eunice tigergal01ATgmailDOTcom

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  25. I would enjoy reading this book. nrfaus2000@gmail.com

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  26. I would love to read this :) onceuponaridge at gmail dot com

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  27. I have had some contact with Luci and would love to read her book. I enjoy reading both of your blogs.
    dalelou92@afo.net
    Lucinda

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  28. I would definitely enjoy reading this book! thanks!
    Rhoda
    Rez84girl at yahoo dot com

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  29. would enjoy reading this; thanks for this giveaway! jeh4281@gmail.com

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  30. This book looks like a "must read" for me!

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  31. Appreciate this opportunity to enter the giveaway. I definitely enjoy nonfiction books over those books that get written by peoplet hat have no idea what the truth really is. Thank you, Gina. tmiller2056@gmail.com

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  32. I'd love to read this. She is a distant relative of mine!

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  33. I would enjoy reading this book. Luci and I met when we were young girls, our Mom's being good friends. Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid, do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go.A verse that has meant a lot to me recently. Your family is in my prayers. keithnjulieforever@gmail.com
    Julie Nolt

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  34. Id enjoy reading the book tho maybe i should leave it for those with questions about the Mennonites. I was at a yard sale once buying someone's left over pampers. They made some comment about thinking Mennonites used cloth diapers. I told them i like conveniences too. Makes me wonder what kind of preconceived ideas i have? anjshowalter@gmail.com

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  35. We are neighbors with several Mennonite families. I greatly admire the values the place on God and family. As a result my husband and I are making changes with our family. Starting by disconnecting from tv and placing our kids in a small Christian school. I would love to win the book, but if not I'll order it! I hope your family are doing good.
    3cfarmmom@gmail.com

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  36. I would love to win a copy of this book. We are trying more and more to live a simple life. God is first in our home and has blessed us so much. Money is tight right now but God provides always. I am so grateful to be a child of God and I know if he wants me to read this book it will happen. Your family is in our prayers daily and I know God is blessing you.

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  37. Looks like a "must read" for me! bearsden82@gmail.com

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  38. Forgot my email address.trancekimba@aol.com. God bless again ( we can never have to many blessings)

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  39. Want to get one since I personally know Luci. But hey, if I win that would be fantastic. ;)
    abloom4jesus@yahoo.com

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  40. never read any of your books.......sounds like a good book

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  41. Dear Gina,
    I hope that all is alright for you and that the health of your husband is better. I think often to you and your family. With love of your French friend. Marlène

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  42. I would love to win this book. Lately I have been trying hard to increase my relationship with God. My e-mail is rayannemark@gmail.com
    Thank you

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  43. We are praying for you and your husband and children! We have many Mennonite friends that we love - and always want to learn more from them. Would LOVE to win the book. jimandeugenia@windstream.net

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  44. As someone so enamored with the Anabaptist faith (and a descendant of many German Anabaptists) I would love to win this book!! Thank you for offering this chance!
    My email is yamachele@yahoo.com

    Amy Crow Roberts

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  45. I follow Luci's blog and would love to read the book. Meredith meredithanng@gmail.com

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  46. Would love to win this.. Thanks Amber


    Aacc442@yahoo.com

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  47. would love to read the book, prayers said daily for your family, I am so sorry you are going through this dbousquet@bridgew.edu

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  48. Would love to win this book!
    jeffandaudra@gmail.com

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  49. I would love a copy. Free, or a winner, is always a blessing.
    Nannie

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  50. I've read this book, enjoyed it, and would like my own copy to share ;-) eheatwole07@gmail.com

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  51. This book is intriguing to me. I don't know Luci personally but I have thoroughly enjoyed her blog, and her view (that is different than mine but our experiences are so different) on the culture we are both from.

    Sarahesh91@gmail.com

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  52. Would love to win! phyllis.benner@yahoo.com

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  53. This sounds like a wonderful book. Hoping ! barb60@zitomedia.net

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  54. I would like to win a copy of the book. Mknewswanger@gmail.com

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  55. Hi Gina! This book looks very interesting! I'd love to read it and be able to share it with others that ask me questions. My perspective is of course different, coming from a non Mennonite background. :) I do find great encouragement and strength in the journey of those that have battled through with the hard questions and chose to stay within the Anabaptist faith. God bless Luci for being willing to share so honestly! This sounds like a very timely and needed book! Blessings, friend! Billie Blevins Rexnbillie@gmail.com

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  56. I would love to win!
    gayleplank6@hotmail.com

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  57. Would love to win this book, and share with my lady friends. karen608@yahoo.com

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  58. This book is already on my wish list...
    kristajb99@gmail.com

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  59. Hi there. My mom and dad are both in the military and so this summer they sent me to live with my aunt and uncle in Georgia. They are hardcore Mennonites and I’m not really a church person so it’s hard. For instance I’ve had to transfer to a school down here and I had to go shopping for clothes. My aunt refuses to let me wear pants outside of the house and says I have to wear a skirt or dress when I go out. So shopping for school clothes has been a nightmare. What should I do? I tried to tell them that’s not what I believe in but my aunt just throws Bible verses back at me and says I’m being defiant and not following the rules. She says she’s already compromised by not asking me to wear it in the house.

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    1. I feel like I like to talk to you personally if possible. I come from a non Mennonite non-Christian background but have been with the plain people for 18 years. Perhaps you want to hear from somebody who has been on both sides of the fence. tara.joyfulmother@gmail.com

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  60. Just watched the trailer. Sounds very interesting. I am a reader and if I don't win the giveaway, I'll probably buy the book.
    I enjoy your blog very much. You and Ed are in my daily prayers and I have asked the church to pray for y'all too!

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  61. I would love to have this book! fivefeathersranch@yahoo.com

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  62. I would love to read this book!! Lifesgud.gingerich624@gmail.com

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  63. I think this would be a great read. I am praying for you, your hubby, and your children. Thank you for sharing even the hard times with others. It is a blessing and encouragement to see the strength in JESUS and to see the realness, that it is hard, even with JESUS, but your not walking it alone because of JESUS.
    Blessings,
    Carie Dirks

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  64. I want to read this book! tamapenner@gmail.com

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  65. Would be great to win this book and let my girls read it as well. jandmbauman@gmail.com

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  66. This book sounds interesting - Laura thehooversmail@gmail.com

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  67. I love learning about the wide range of lifestyles of Mennonites. We are all so different in many ways but certainly common in our Anabaptist faith. Thanks for the chance at a giveaway. Kathyalderfer@gmail.com

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  68. i'm unconvinced that you would be unable to write a compelling story! I haven't read Luci's and can't compare, but your writing is elegant in it's simple message.

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  69. I saw this book earlier and would love to read it!

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  70. And my email address is dawnjnolt@gmail.com😁

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  71. Oh I remember when Luci started writing her book and how she fixed up her writers nook!:) Would be such fun to read! Tina

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  72. I would love to receive a copy of this book. evmcphee@gmail.com

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  73. opps forgot my email address: tina@zimmermanauto.biz

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  74. I would love to receive a copy. Sounds like a great book. evmcphee@gmail.com

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  75. Thanks for the offer to win this book. I grew up Mennonite, but not as conservative as some. Always interested to read and learn about different groups. sherylanne2u@yahoo.com

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  76. This book sounds interesting! Would love to own a copy.....
    accrisanti at yahoo dot com

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  77. I would love to read the book! Gre1970@yahoo.com

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  78. I love the Amish and Mennonite communities. I visit Lancaster, PA at least once a year, and we have Mennonites nearby. I would love to win this book. My email address is Rhonda@mother2motherblog.com

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  79. We have had some interaction with Mennonites over the years, and it's always been positive. When my pastor husband resigned at our second church after almost 14 years, we chose to go to the newly formed (and new simply built church building) to worship with them the first Sunday afterward. They were very warm and welcoming. Blessings and praying for your family.

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  80. Forgot to give my e-mail address for GrammaGrits - vmcml1@hotmail.com.

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  81. Looks interesting! Mohntonmonkeys@dejazzd.com

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  82. I'd love a copy. Praying for your family!
    jondorsolly@gmail.com

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  83. Would love to read this book! Your positive testimony in the midst of all your going thru is such an encouragement to me.. blessings to your family! jimang6@verizon.net

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  84. Thank you for the giveaway, I would love to read this. Athornoton@rocketmail.com

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  85. I would love to read this book

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  86. I'd love to win this. nikimomof3@yahoo.com

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  87. I do want to read this book. I follow her blog too. Continued blessings Gina.

    Our daughter Krista had to miss the oasis retreat. She was to be a speaker, but because of Marlita's death had to change her plans. She was going to talk about singlehood. She carries it with dignity. So many adjustments at our house as you can imagine. We sure miss Marlita.
    Diane

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  88. I would love to win "Anything but Simple" Thank you for blogging and for this give-a-way. Nancy bobnanmol at yahoo dot com

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  89. I would love to read Luci's story. I am intrigued by the Amish and Mennonite lifestyles. mikejulie1984@gmail.com

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  90. Gina I would love to read this book . noahfaith1123@gmail.com. Thanks!

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  91. Would love to own a copy of the book. rasouli.carissa@gmail.com

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  92. I too would be delighted to read this book. bdbrown105@gmail.com

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  93. I would enjoy reading this book !!
    lesbollfamily@gmail.com

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  94. I know Lucinda from long ago and would love to have this book!!

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  95. I would love to read this; thanks to you both for the giveaway! (And Gina, I would love one day to buy a book by you also; I love your writing style) belauvibes at yahoo dot com

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  96. I enjoyed meeting you at Penn Valley in 2016 and was challenged by your topic. Been praying for your family hope everything's going well. It looks like an interesting book. Brenda Bross Brosscoffeetime@gmail.com

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  97. I'd love to read this book. I enjoy true stories of people's lives. mhorst41gmail.@gmail.com.

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  98. Wow, so many comments already! It's highly unlikely that I will be the one drawn with so many competitors, but I would love to win the book. My name is Lori and my email is inspiredbygod@agapemail.com

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  99. I'd love to read this book. I have had questions too. Hdvixen@aol.com

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  100. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for your writing and sharing your journey. Prayers for you and yours, Rachel mnrluv4ever@gmail.com

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  101. I've been wanting to read this book, since I've followed Luci's blog for a while! -Karli
    joyonstonpaths.ky97@gmail.com

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  102. I would love to have that book!
    berthadueck@gmail.com

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  103. I have read her blog occasionally and would enjoy the book! Carmen
    7happylappys@gmail.com

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  104. What a very nice giveaway. I would love to read this book. Blessings to you and your family.
    greeneyed65@gmail.com

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  105. It would be delightful to receive this book. thegahobbsk1@gmail.com

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  106. I'd love to win this book to give to Holly. :) kimsknittingneedles@hotmail.com

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  107. I only just realized this book was out there! and I've been wanting to read it. Thanks for your review.

    This is the first online giveaway I remember entering, so you should be proud of me, but probably no dice. :) I need to just go buy a copy.

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  108. Looks like an intriguing book! Would love to win it.☺ twilarohrer2000@gmail.com

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  109. Gina, I've followed your wonderful blog since first discovering it. Now I've added Luci's bog to my reading list. Like everyone else, I'd be very happy to win this drawing! chbqdsq@gmail.com

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  110. Sounds interesting...kimzook78@gmail.com

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  111. I would love to win this book. knichols@kuhncom.net

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  112. doublejoys@msn.com

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  113. Sounds like an interesting book! qrutt@yahoo.com

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  114. I would love to read this book!!!
    cjmyer@yahoo.com

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  115. My name is Rhoda and my email is friendlywiggles@gmail.com

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  116. I would love to read this book. my email is sixrubner@iowatelecom.net. my name is Denise

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  117. I would love to read this book!!
    carolsensenig@outlook.com

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  118. Yep, would like to read it sometime =) hebrongirl22@gmail.com

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  119. maryk2534@gmail.com

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  120. Please enter me. Thanks, Cindy cnrclc@teleclipse.net

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  121. I would enjoy reading Luci's book! I am a Mennonite.
    lyndon.unruh@yahoo.com

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  122. Looks like an interesting book! My email is rlk29689@email.vccs.edu
    ~Rachel

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  123. I have a lot of girls that could read this book...thanks and I pray for Ed. janiceartman@yahoo.com

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  124. I would win this book but if not it will be on my list to buy. TLCSchip@gmail.com

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  125. The book sounds very interesting..hope to read one way or t'other!singin4theking@gmail.com

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  126. I am a new reader of your blog and have enjoyed reading the posts, I love true stories of people working through their faith backgrounds and making the choice for Jesus for themselves. I grew up conservative Mennonite and know how it is to view everything through your own tinted glasses and try to figure out what is good and what is not! zimmermanlucy@gmail.com

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  127. I would love to read this book.

    Kelseymurray10@yahoo.com

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  128. I have been wanting to read this book. Thanks for a chance to win it!

    Mary Beth
    richlyblest@live.com

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  129. Would love this good read, Anything but Simple. coskoh@gmail.com

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  130. This sounds like such an interesting and insightful read. Blessings to you and your family. Stacey stacey66@comcast.net

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  131. This looks like a wonderful book! If I don't win, I will probably put it on my Christmas wish list :)
    Thank you for the opportunity to win it!
    ~Michele
    micheles@ameritech.net

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  132. I'd love to read this book. I did not grow up Mennonite but as an adult have attended several Mennonite fellowship. We have some good experiences and friendship from that.
    My email is southerncountryfarm@gmail.com

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  133. I would love to have a copy of this book. My email is katmcgarry99@gmail.com

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  134. I have been enjoying your blog for a while now. you certainly stay busy.
    Cyndy
    cyndy.canfield@gmail.com

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  135. Hi Gina
    As I mentioned to you before, I'm interested in the book but I'm Canadian. ☺ I'll try to obtain a copy another way.

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  136. Thank you for the offering. Peace & Blessings.
    Sandra
    inthewoods at myway dot.com

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  137. This book looks fascinating.
    sylviaeby04 @gmail.com

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  138. Would love to get this! susannafaith1997@gmail.com

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  139. I'd love to read this book!
    sweetmommy04@gmail.com

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  140. this sounds like a good read. I love to hear what others are reading, especially if it is an uplifting Christian book. foxyfarmers@gmail.com

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  141. Also my first time ever to enter a give away! Thanks for your encouraging blog, Gina! sashoover@comporium.net

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  142. Would love to have this book. mgoering793@gmail.com

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  143. Looks like a good read. And blessings to your family as you journey this cancer journey!
    Dorcas Siegrist

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  144. I just met Lucinda. I enjoyed speaking with her and would love a copy of her book. molliemj07@gmail.com

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  145. Would love to win this book.
    midgetmama51@yahoo.com

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  146. heathernolt99@gmail.com
    this book sounds interesting!

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  147. I'm catching up on blog reading so I missed the chance to win it, but thanks for the recommendation. The whole series looks very interesting.

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  148. I'd LOVE to have this book! trevaeicher at gmail dot com.

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  149. I bought the book and it is very well written. In fact i haven't laughed while reading in a long time like i did when reading this book. So much honesty and so many real feelings from a real person.

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