After thirty years, I’m still gleaning secrets to a simpler life from Amish friends. I was afraid of them at first, thinking they were stoic, judgmental people. Maybe it was the drab black and blue outfits worn by the Troyer Amish in Western New York. Their curtains were navy blue and well, they certainly didn’t seem welcoming. After getting to know a few families, I can see why “off the gridders” to Spiritual enthusiasts are flocking to them for plain and simple advice.
Amish are now in 40-some states, so…hubby and I are getting ready to leave for a three-week road trip from Pennsylvania, to get some R&R but also visit many Amish settlements. Something deep within makes us seekers and lifelong learners of the Amish and Mennonites. I’ve wondered about their appeal and lately, I think they’re similar to St. Augustine and some of the Desert Fathers & Sister who left a materialistic world in 300 A.D. to embrace simplicity and be off-the-grid. Today, all the buzz about tiny house living and modern day minimalism, are we at the breaking point? I think so. Tim and I are. We may live tiny after seeing how we fare in a little RV for 3 weeks.
I also want to get back to the old-fashioned way of life. Both of my parents were first generation immigrants. My mom passed on some Italian sayings and my dad his Croatian. When I was a teen I was shocked to find that “cleanliness is next to godliness” and “charity begins at home” were not in the Bible. I checked “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ was in there, and it’s not either.
So, I do understand the Amish with their sayings. They’re taught to their children as little nibbles of wisdom to steer them in life.
Regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow are twin thieves that rob us of the moment.
Live each short hour with God and the long years will take care of themselves.
I’m so blessed to have learned so much from the Amish. I hope to inspire and point not only to God in my writings, now to include non-fiction and a lot of blogging at Amish Crossings. I yearn to help readers to walk a path a bit less chaotic. Granny Weaver, an elderly Amish woman character who finds her way in most of my books, knitting needles in tow, is a lover of Robert Frost. (The Amish love poetry.) She reads and ponders The Road Not Taken:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
So, as Tim and I adventure across America to visit new Amish settlements, I’d really appreciate your prayers. I’m on an earnest quest to write about the Amish in a realistic way and want to get it right. And as we travel…Tim tends to take the road less traveled…as in…he’s lost and won’t ask for directions!
Be sure to check out the many Amish eBooks available for Kindle by Karen Vogel: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Anna-Vogel/e/B005LTBBJY