Friday, February 12, 2021

The Living of These Days - review

 Last spring, I did a lot of reading about the Spanish flu of 1918 and wished that I knew how my great-grandparents and the Mennonites in my area lived through the fears and restrictions of that era. I wished I would have had letters or a diary from that time period to get a glimpse of their lives. 

My friend Erica Sauder was asking similiar questions. She knew that we were making history and future generations would ask what life in 2020 was like. Erica began compiling first-person stories and personal essays that included the challenges of finding toilet paper, traveling across national borders, and preaching to an empty church.

I had encouraged Erica to publish her collected stories, but the longer the pandemic and restrictions dragged on, I wondered if anyone would want to read these stories. Maybe we were just all sick and tired of hearing about the affects on the coronovirus. 

The Living of These Days: 46 Stories from the Covid-19 Pandemic arrived at my house a few weeks ago. When we arrived home at bedtime, we found the package, and I could hardly pull my children out of the books to shoo them into bed. Then I opened the book myself and kept saying "just one more story" until I read far after my bedtime.

I found the book strangely encouraging. Here are account of Anabaptists in many parts of the world, trying to live through uncertain times with faith and courage. An Amish wedding in Lancaster, an ordination in Ontario, a baptism in South America, a trip through Mexico that ended in an immigration prison--these and many more stories showed the faithfulness of God. These are stories of ordinary men and women, teachers, ministers, missionaries, and moms, who attempted to comfort the grieving, care for elderly, homeschool unexpectantly, and shop for household needs.

Depending on where you live, Covid restrictions may feel all too real, but already the memories of last March are fading. As the years go by, we may need the reminder that God carried us through 2020. The Living of These Days records history in a way that holds up our God.

To order your own copy of The Living of These Days, email to contact Erica. Books are $16.00 each with $4.00 shipping. Additional books are $1.00 shipping.

I consider Erica a personal friend and she included my short essay in her book and gave me a free copy, but the opinions of this review are my own.


  1. I'm of the mindset that I don't want to read about it! But I appreciate you sharing. Where we live though we are just coming out of lockdown/stay at home order and still lots of restrictions etc...I am very sick of it. It hasn't faded here since it began last March.

  2. I'm wondering if there is a place to buy this book in Canada?

    1. Brianna,
      I'm guessing there is distributors in Canada. Email Erica and ask.

    2. Thanks Gina! I'll need to do that!


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