Saturday, January 18, 2014


Sheri rolled her eyes as she glanced at the clock.  "UGH, does that say it's 11:30?  I'm going to have to drive home with all of the Amish buggies."  My husband is "English" but he grew up in Amish country.  Sheri is my sister-in-law who has a sweet husband who will put her children to bed so she can visit with her big brother.  My first trip to Mike's home was only a few weeks after we had returned from South Africa.  I knew he was from Amish country, but I had no idea that he really meant Amish country!   His parents share a yard with the Amish on one side, and then 2 doors down on the other side is an Amish farm…and across the street, and down the hill.  It never gets old to me.  A few years ago while we were up I told Mike that I wished I could be Amish and he lovingly smiled and informed me that I wouldn't last 3 hours.  He's probably right, especially in the winter!  It is certainly hard, I'm sure (obviously I don't know myself, but those fences are REALLY long that the ladies paint in the summer!), but the simplicity of it causes me to envy.  Now, I have watched videos and have heard enough…I know they sometimes borrow dryers and have phones in the middle of fields (I've seen them walk to them!), but over all…they are simple people.  While we were there the neighbors had their 8th baby.  Right next door.  It seemed so very magical to me that while we were laughing and playing games and doing our thing….a new baby was entering the world.  A baby girl.  It made me want to wander over and sit in the simple, uncluttered home bustling with children and ask, "How?  How do you continue to fight against a world that is blinking and talking and changing, and continue to raise barns, cows,  and children with so much joy?  How do you remain simple when MORE, MORE, MORE seems to be the new National Anthem?  How do you walk in the light with no electricity while many of us grope around in broad daylight for a piece of quiet and solitude?  How do you do it?  Please, how?"

I am so tired of saying, "No."  "No, you do not need your OWN iPod, or iPad, or Wii time or another movie, or another Veggie Tales, or anything!"  We are pretty lean by the world's standards when it comes to technology and screens, but it is a battle to be sure.  Anson struggles to know that his friends and his cousins (especially his cousins) have access to technology when he is so limited.  I just will not allow mediocre habits to form that will take the place of excellent habits.  Whether it's reading or playing outside…or talking to someone.  This is so stinkin' hard!  I'm a child of the 80's…born in the 70's, but spent my fair share of time running through sewers and riding bikes all over the neighborhood until the street lights came on.  Now we are safe and sound in the comfort of our own homes lulled to numbness by the white noise.  I just want to know how to do it.  I think the Amish have it right with how they surround themselves with community.  They were ALL over the place over the holidays.  Visiting and celebrating.  Caroline stood in the front yard and jumped up and down waving at the buggies as they passed.  The kind faces smiling and waving from the small window made me jealous that I had to return to the busyness of my life.  They drive buggies because they are not in a hurry…which is what drives most people up the wall.

How?  How do we slow down while still working and growing.  How do we balance the changes around us without allowing them to bring change within us?  I really don't have the answer, which is why I wanted to wander next door.  The Lord has certainly been kind in helping keep my life simple.  We have been blessed to live in a  relatively small space which makes many things easy!  My children spend their days with me which limits how much running around I do.  I just hope that the Lord will continue to lead me in simplicity.  There is a certain beauty about it that is breathtaking and alluring…and something I will strive for in 2014.  How about you?  What do you do to attempt a less hurried and more simple life?  If you have any great ideas…please pass them along!

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