Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Almost Amish
 
I came across an article months ago that was focused on a book called "Almost Amish". I ordered the book (ahem, cause I was curious) and read it. It's written by Nancy Sleeth, wife and mother of two. After reading her Introduction, I immediately clicked with her and her story because, quite frankly, I could relate. I could relate big time.
Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life 
 
We live in this fast-paced, technology-driven world where talking to someone face to face is rare (because let's face it, we'd rather text for a quick responce), living in a community of fellow believers is unheard of (we all have to drive a vehicle to get to our church or family/friends' homes) and we don't know where in the heck our food comes from. Even if we do (as a faithful food co-op customer...and hooray for those!), we're not growing it ourselves and teaching our children the value in the process of growing food itself. We've lost our identity to supply our needs and it's hurting us, big time.

"For since the creation of the world God's inisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been  made, so that  men are without excuse." Romans 1:20
 
In today's day-in-age, if we genuinely care for our earth and its creation, we're called "hippie tree huggers" or you fill in the blank here. There are so many devout Christians out there who care just as much about our earth, our food, tight-knit communities, etc. but they're helping the cause because there's an even BIGGER reason. It's God's creation and He has commanded us (Genesis 2:15) to take care of it.
This earth is not ours. It is on loan to us by God.

 (Psalm 2:1...The earth is the LORD's and everything in it."
 
For the next 10 blog posts (unless the Lord lays it on my heart to interrupt this series), I'm going to be using Nancy Sleeth's "Almost Amish" book to explain my and my husband's desire to move into a more simplistic way of life. A meaningful way of life that we can pass down to our children and grandchildren (debt-free is the ultimate goal!). A way of life that I truly believe is God-honoring. A way of life that we have lost in our American culture, in which very few still live by. One of the groups that hasn't strayed from this way of life is, in fact, the Amish and Sleeth's fascination with them and study of them is truly inspiring.
 
I'm not telling everyone to go out and buy a long, black dress with head covering (although I would never condemn anyone for doing so if they felt lead by the Holy Spirit to live such a life of modesty!) and drive a horse and buggy around, but there is something to be said about this fascinating group of God-fearing people. Their divorce rates are below 1%. Their obesity rates are below 4%. Their children are obedient and respectful at such young ages. Their lives are centered around family and their church body. They know the value of hard work and their respect for God's creation is so inspirational.

Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set beofre your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?"

~St. Augustine (354 - 430)
 
Last night, I watched this film...below...(not Hollywood produced, but let's just say that that didn't matter...I bawled like a baby...no it wasn't the pregnancy hormones, ha!). It's about the school shooting that took place in an Amish community years ago and the lesson in forgiveness, true forgiveness, is a lesson that is easier said than done. Please take time to watch it (when little ones are napping as some of it is disturbing and not appropriate) and if you so feel lead to purchase the book and follow along with me, it'll be fun!

The next 10 posts will be concerning (her 10-chapter book):

1. Homes: Homes are simple, uncluttered, and clean; the outside reflects the inside
2. Technology: Technology serves as a tool and does not rule as a master
3. Finances: Saving more and spending less bring financial peace
4. Nature: Time spent in God's creation reveals the face of God
5. Simplicity: Small and local leads to saner lives
6. Service: Service to others reduces loneliness and isolation
7. Security: The only true security comes from God.
8. Community: Knowing neighbors and supporting local businesses build community
9. Families: Family ties are lifelong; they change but never cease
10. Faith: Faith life and way of life are inseparable


*For some reason, the You Tube movie isn't downloading to this site. Please go to You Tube and type in "Amish Grace" and you'll be able to watch the film. Have some tissues on hand.

2 comments:

Joy Comes in the Morning said...

This is off topic, but are you using Mystery of History? I think you mentioned switching to it, and I was wondering if you like it.

Melissa Dobson said...

I checked out Almost Amish from our library. Can't wait to start reading it. Am I going to wish I bought it instead?