'Muffins and Miracles' dishes life lessons to readers

By Melissa DeMoux

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, March 10 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

"MUFFINS AND MIRACLES: Church Service in the Real World," edited by Linda Hoffman Kimball, Cedar Fort, $12.99, 160 pages (nf)

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, women play an essential role. Their insight and devotion to the gospel — as well as to each other — lays a foundation for leadership and service that is difficult to match.

“Muffins and Miracles: Church Service in the Real World” is a compilation of stories sharing real-life examples of that dedication and direction given by faithful, Mormon women. In the wake of previous compilation projects, Linda Hoffman Kimball set out to gather true accounts from women in all walks of life and all spheres of service in order to create this inspirational piece.

Focusing on the small and simple things that can deeply affect women’s lives, Kimball strings together narratives to uplift and encourage readers. These stories dabble in the pain of infertility, the strength found in mourning together, the beauty of friendship, the devotion of loving neighbors and the small miracles that change lives forever. Each tale invites gospel insights to strengthen and reassure readers that they are not alone in their struggles.

While not every story will appeal to every reader, with more than 50 unique teachings from 50 unique women there is likely something for everyone in this book. Some of the events shared bring a smile to the face and others pull gently at readers' heart strings. The stories are short and poignant, each teaching a modest lesson learned through life experience by its author. Some authors have written under their real names while some have chosen to conceal their identities.

Because the accounts are borne of life events they are heartfelt and earnest, giving the entire work a sweet and peaceful tone. Some stories definitely carry more weight than others, but the work as a whole is cohesive and insightful. “Muffins and Miracles” is a quick and enjoyable read.

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City. Her email is mddemoux@gmail.com and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.

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