Saturday, January 9, 2010

"LYDIA'S CHARM," by Wanda E. Brunstetter

This fall I was asked to model for a book cover, by author, Wanda E. Brunstetter. Wanda's first novel was released by Barbour Publishing’s book club, Heartsong Presents, in Dec. 1997. She now has written nearly fifty books, with over 4 million in print. Many of the novels she has written are Amish-themed, including the character I portray for her latest book, "Lydia's Charm." Lydia's Charm has not been sent to print yet, but will be featured in Barnes and Noble's across the nation.

Modeling for a book cover was an exciting fete for me to achieve.  I have been on the cover of many magazines, and I have been on the cover of a few calendars, but never, until recently, have I been on the cover of a book!

Magazine covers will last a month or so, calendar covers will last a year or so, but a book cover will be on the shelves for a lifetime!  It was fascinating for me to depict a written character, like Lydia.

Portraying an Amish woman was actually a lot of fun for me because it was something I had never done before.  I have modeled for several high fashion shoots where my face has been painted, or I've been placed in funky clothing, with crazy makeup, or even underwater.  On the contrast, I have also done a ton of commercial modeling where I have been in swimsuits, prom dresses, and wedding gowns.  One thing, however, I had never checked off my list, was sporting a long, puffy-sleeved Amish dress and white bonnet to match! ...haha

In order to "get into character," I visited Wanda's Website to learn more about the Amish Community.

Here's a link if you would like to learn more about the Amish way of life as well!

(Naturally, portraying an Amish woman, I was not aloud to wear ANY makeup whatsoever, but powder. And for the record, they photoshopped my eyes blue, but they are most definitely green. ;) ...haha)

~~Here is what I learned...~~

After reading through the website, I came to have a profound respect for the Amish Community. I feel a lot can be said about their simplistic lifestyle and I genuinely appreciate their example of putting their emphasis on people, instead of on things. For the Amish, simple living involves spending time with their family and friends and they deeply cherish their family closeness. One of the things that impressed me the most about the Amish was their strong family values and strong family ties. The Amish are also very creative and incredibly frugal.

My family, like every other family in America is familiar with what it's like to have as well as what it's like to not have, especially with the slumped economy we face today. We can ALL follow the example of the Amish by similarly enriching our lives with a sense of unity that goes far beyond materialistic possessions.

With that said, try to take this time of economic hardship to see the positive in our circumstances, rather than the negative.  When we are unable to eat out as often, or go to movies as often, etc, we are enabled to be more creative, like the Amish Community and think of new ways to entertain ourselves and spend time with loved ones.

Within Amish homes, all of their meals are home-cooked. If we instill home-cooking in our lifestyle, we will not only be saving money and living healthier, but we will have satisfaction in eating a delicious meal that’s been made from scratch.

Instead of going out to dinner once a week, gather with your family around the kitchen for good conversation, good company, and pitch in to make dinner. Substitute going to a concert or a movie, for watching a movie at home that you already own or for playing a board game. (Or as cold as it is in Oklahoma, for sitting by the fire and chatting up a storm!)

What I'm trying to say is that there's something to be said about traveling to simpler times, like the Amish, and appreciating what's truly valuable in life....relationships. Not things, or events or possessions, but fostering relationships and spending time with your dearest friends and family.

Family and friends do not have a price tag on them. The love we share and the memories we build are truly invaluable, especially in these hard economic times when we are reminded of what is truly important in life.

-From the heart,
Morgan Woolard
Miss Oklahoma USA 2010

Here are some other suggestions that I appreciated from Wanda's Website.

In Summary:

1. Try giving/making a homemade gift.  (There’s something satisfying about making a gift with your hands. Plus, it means more to your loved one when you put a lot of time and energy into it!)

2. Turn off the TV every once in a while and enjoy the peace in quiet, a good conversation, or the great outdoors!

3. Walk more places, take a stroll through your neighborhood, or ride your bike. (The fresh air and exercise are good for you, too.)

4. Spend more time with your family and friends. (Set aside a certain time every week to spend quality time with your family, play games, etc.)

5. Have strong family values and strong family ties.


  1. Ooh, I'll have to look for that book! Makeup or not, you're naturally beautiful. Hope you're well. Whatever hardship you're family's going through right now, I'm here for ya if you need anything.

  2. I'm the author of the book Morgan posed for, "Lydia's Charm." I appreciate your remarks about the Amish, Morgan. These special people are near and dear to my heart.