Our Fascination with the Amish

Our Fascination with the Amish

 

Life in our culture moves fast.  We have fast cars, fast food, and fast computers.

Life in our culture is busy.  We have busy husbands, busy children and busy friends.

Life in our culture is full.  We have full bellies, full closets and full calendars.

But sometimes, even with life so very full –we feel…

empty.

And we wonder what it would be like to have a life that was not so fast paced, not so busy and not so full.

I started reading some “minimalist” bloggers in 2013.  These were new bloggers to me and I read and read and read.  They fascinated me and  I am convinced that my “stuff” is bogging me down in life. Which is where the Amish come to mind.

A place my kids and I like to visit monthly is Books-A-Million.  My kids do reading charts. Based on how many minutes they read, they can earn money towards new books.  So every month – off to the bookstore we go.  First we go to the kids section, then we always take a stroll through the Christian section and *BAM* –there’s this HUGE section of Amish Fiction novels!

What is our fascination with the Amish?

Maybe it’s their pace of life.  It appears they have a more simple life.

But I am quite sure that just because they go without electricity and cook everything from scratch that their life is not necessarily “more simple”.  Washing clothes without a washing machine or raising chickens for eggs –is NOT simple.  Sewing their own clothes and homemaking their bread…nope, those are not more simple either.  Taking care of the horses and buggy, that take them to the store in the middle of these frigid Ohio temperatures, -nope that’s not easier either.

So what is it about the Amish that so captivates us?

Maybe it’s that they can live pleasant lives without their iPhones and Facebook…or television…or that they fear God and have strong family values.  Maybe it’s that they have managed to escaped the pressure of having their kids in every activity under the sun or the need for college.

I personally think the draw to Amish fiction is to escape.

We just wish we could escape and stop the crazy train that is filling our calendars full while emptying us of all our joy.  The Amish appear to have found something we seek after – they have found joy in God, their families and their home.

We can’t escape and all become minimalists or Amish.   And good news! We don’t have to – praise the Lord. Lol!  BUT we can change our space.

I’ve been pondering this verse from Ecclesiastes a lot lately:

“Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.”

~Ecclesiastes 4:6

It seems our world tells us we need to have two handfuls in order to find true happiness.  But I’ve been letting stuff go, and saying “no”, and cutting back and throwing away and guess what is on the other side of one handful = tranquility!

God’s word is true.  We need only to read it and obey it and let it transform our lives.

**Chime In:  Tell me – do you read Amish Fiction or enjoy going to Amish towns ?  I took the photo above 20 minutes from my home and we had our wedding reception at an Amish Restaurant.  What is it that fascinates you about the Amish?

Walk with the King,

Courtney

 

We begin this Monday, January 13th through my book titled:

Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home.”

I hope you will join me on this 8 week journey as we seek to find joy in God, your man, your kids and your home.

WLW Book Club 2

The reading plan and all the details are in this post >>here<<.

 

 

 

Unity With Our Sisters in Christ & WLWW Link-Up Party!

Photo credit

I love this image above – it is SO powerful. It shows how the two eggs on the outside may differ but on the inside they are the same. I think of my two children – one boy and one girl. On the outside, they are very different and when they fight it makes this mama miserable! All I want is for my two children to GET ALONG! When they play cheerfully for over an hour together without needing a referee, this mom-heart is blessed!

You see what’s on the outside is different but their hearts are the same. The cross says they are both sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness.

How Can We Have Peace With Our Sisters in Christ?

Visit me over at Good Morning Girls where we’re discussing this today. 

Now it’s link-up time! It’s Women Living Well’s Wednesday Link-Up Party!!! Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, finances, recipes, organization and more!)


To find the code go to the sidebar – or right click and “save as” the button and then upload it into your post! :)

Walk with the King!

 

The Problem of Envy and Selfish Ambition

The day you were born-again you grew in wisdom. Your eyes were opened to god’s wisdom and your life forever changed. There are many who are wise in the world’s eyes but true wisdom comes only from God.
Wisdom, does not mean knowledge. It does not mean information. It means the application of knowledge with divine power to the reshaping of life, transforming attitudes, transforming behavior into righteousness. Wisdom then is not what I know, wisdom is how I live. And so how I live according to the wisdom of God is a barometer on my spiritual condition.” ~ John McArthur
James tells us in James 3:14 that envy and selfish ambition harbored in our hearts is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic wisdom. Take note of where this envy and selfish ambition lies – it lies quietly in our hearts where no one may see it…but there it lies and it leads us down a path into disorder.
This next quote is LONG lol!  but bear with me as John McArthur says it so much better than I ever could:
So earthly wisdom is spawned by demons, it is reflective of sensual feeling and it goes no further than the fallenness of mankind. That is earthbound sensual demonic wisdom. And that’s the way most people live. But Satan calls it wisdom.
When Eve was in the garden in chapter 3 verse 6, she looked on the fruit because she heard that the tree was able to make one wise. That was a lie. Satan always promises wisdom. And he always promises that you will know and be in the know and understand and be erudite and be educated. But the wisdom of the world proceeds from evil spirits. It proceeds from fallen angels. It proceeds from demons. It proceeds from Satan and his agents who are disguised as ministers of light when in fact they are ministers of darkness.”  
This video below touches on worldly wisdom, God’s wisdom and how I pursue peace in my daily life.  Peace is my theme word of the year!

James 3:13-18 ESV
Wisdom from Above
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Selfish ambition leads to disorder.  Is there disorder in your home, work place, friendships or church?  Perhaps selfish ambition has reared its ugly head.  Pursue wisdom from above – be pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Walk with the King!

Today is Women Living Well Wednesday! It’s a Link-Up Day!!!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, finances, recipes, organization and more!)


I’m linked up here today: Mustard Seeds

My First Failure As a Mother

Pictures don’t always tell the whole story. 

I could post picture after picture of me smiling with my babies or toddlers and you might be tempted to believe that I must have birthed easy children or am some sort of super mom to be always smiling. 

The reality is I have found motherhood to be a very difficult road.  The daily sacrifice and demands of being a mom can be overwhelming at times.
The truth is – I have struggled since my first born son came out of the womb!  And I have been a reading maniac, trying to figure this thing called motherhood out!  I was quite shocked when my first born screamed and cried for the first few months on end. 
 
Let me take you back to a dark moment in my life, when I first became “a mom”…
I hold my 6 week old baby in the rocking chair. He is restless and crying so I cuddle him in and begin to nurse. He drinks for a moment and then cries. What is wrong – why is he doing this? He latches on again for a couple minutes and then stops to cry…we do this for 45 minutes and now I am sweating, unsure of myself and uneasy with how nursing is going. We stop and I just rock him. He is peaceful. We rock. He sleeps.
 
I go to my computer and google “baby crying during nursing”. I call my sisters – we discuss it – but I still don’t find my answers. I open books – no answers…never in my life have I not been able to will something I want – a goal - into happening…He awakes, we again nuzzle into our chair and I bring him to my breast. Again he cries and fusses. No one told me this would be so hard?
 
It’s Easter Sunday – I am so proud to bring my new baby out into public for the world to see – but I have a dark secret…our nursing sessions are stressful. I head up to my old bedroom in my parent’s house where I try to nurse him but he refuses to eat. Tears well up in my eyes – what is wrong with me – what is wrong with him – what do I do?
 
I sit with the lactation consultant at the hospital. She weighs him and then I nurse him for 45 minutes and then she weighs him again…I wait to hear how much milk he took in… he took in 1 ounce. “1 oz…1 OUNCE in 45 minutes!!! What have I done?  What is wrong with me?  My baby boy is starving!” He is immediately given formula – I go home cyring – Crying over my first failure as a mother.Just sharing this truth is hard for me…it’s hard to admit I did not do what is so natural for so many of you.  I want to give my children the best of me – studies show nursing is the best – and though I pumped for months and my son was a very healthy baby – I still feel guilt…and shame…over this failure. ~*I am teary even as I type this paragraph because it is still something that troubles me.  I hate the question – “did you nurse?”  and then my answer “I tried…I really did try…I don’t know what went wrong?…I failed…”
 
 
And so you may ask…well what happened when your second baby came along???  “I tried…for 5 weeks, I exclusively nursed her…then my husband went on a business trip and I was alone for a week with the 2 children.  And in my fear…the dark fear that maybe she wasn’t getting enough…and in my isolation with no one to reassure me…I gave up and gave her a bottle…I pumped and supplemented because I needed to see how much she was getting to have peace.  So the truth…I gave up…*tear…and I still have trouble forgiving myself for giving up so quickly…I failed.” 
 
Have you ever laid in bed awake at night and wondered – Why me? I don’t understand these circumstances God? Have you ever felt like a failure – like the rest of the world has it figured out and you are the only one who just can’t seem to pull it together? Your will and determination just simply aren’t enough? Your 2 year old won’t let you buckle them in the car, your 3 year old bites, your 4 year old hits, your 10 year old struggles with reading, your teenager is defiant, or your grown child is making poor decisions and you sit there helpless.
 So what do we do?
 
“Cast all your anxious thoughts on him because he cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7)

I remember laying in my bed one night when my children were toddlers and I had had a terrible day managing them.  I laid there crying over my motherhood failures and saying over and over until I fell asleep – “he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you.” When Satan tempts you to believe otherwise – speak this truth until you find peace. Peace washed over my soul and on a tear drenched pillow I found rest. If you are asking God “Why me?” Stop asking and remember his truth – He cares for you“- REST in this truth today.

Walk with the King!

Side note – I am not saying that not nursing your babies is failing them…but rather because I was so self-assured that I would nurse my babies till they were one yr old - I was shocked and disappointed at my failure to not reach “my goal”…God humbled me through this experience – I needed to be humbled…and he is still humbling me weekly lol! 

This post is linked to Raising Homemakers, We Are That Family, Hip Homeschool Hop and Time-Warp Wife.