Fragrant Whiffs of Joy—Book Review and Giveaway

Some time ago, a friend asked me what books I’d recommend for mothers with older children. Books for mothers out there are all books about mothering little ones, she said.

She has a point. No one seems to mind writing about peanut butter fingerprints smeared on window glass and their two-year-old’s tantrums, but who’s brave enough to write about their teenager’s irritableness and parenting lessons learned the hard way?

No, Fragrant Whiffs of Joy by Dorcas Smucker is not a parenting book; not even a book for mothers per se.

Like all her books, it’s a collection of essays originally published in a column she writes for her local newspaper; short essays that each take only a few minutes to read, describing her life as a minister’s wife and Mennonite mom of six.

With an honest and humorous style, she shares stories of how she looks for and finds joy in her everyday life.

She finds joy in applying God’s Word to her life stories, getaways with her husband, ministering to women and her Sunday school class of “squirrely” ten-year-olds, cooking and canning for her household and guests. And she finds joy in her relationships with her adult children (this is where the ‘mothers book’ part comes in.)

She’s humble when her children teach her the techniques of modern communication technology. She cheers them on in their educational and career endeavours, and writes about them in a kind and honest and tender way.

Sprinkled about the book are tidbits of wisdom and inspiration for moms. My favorite:

“Rather than focusing on detailed parenting methods, we should all be seeking to be the best people possible-the bravest, the kindest, the most grateful and joyous and thoughtful. Because daily we see more of our mothers in the mirror and who we are is who our daughters will eventually become.” (page 51)

That being said, if you’re not a mother of older children–or not a mother at all–you’ll still enjoy this book. You’ll have a good laugh at two sisters dressing up like an Amish couple, and your heart will be warmed by accounts of time spent with her aged father.

And if you’re a writer like me, you’ll be encouraged to tell your story.

 “You have a life, a history, a story of your own. It is worthy of telling, and no one else will ever tell it quite like you can. It is yours to tell, and if you tell it well, I promise we will all be eagerly listening.” (page 72)

Dorcas blogs at


Order the book from Dorcas Smucker at
31148 Substation Drive,
Harrisburg, OR 97446.

Books are $12USD each, plus $2 postage.
Checks or PayPal accepted.
Email her at

The book is also available on Amazon.

ENTER to win the Giveaway:

Dorcas has given me one book to give away to one of you dear readers.

Where do you find fragrant whiffs of joy? 

Share your thoughts in the comments section–or email me at–or contact me in any way–and enter to win a copy of Fragrant Whiffs of Joy! I will choose a winner on Wednesday, November 22.

Note***The winner is Gabrielle Marcy.