An Amish Way of Life

     Sometimes I like to sit and picture my life as if I were living it in the shoes of another. I think it's healthy for the soul. I'm not talking about wishing I had somebody else's cars or houses. But a lifestyle. One such lifestyle I have always pined over is the Amish way of life. I think it all started when I began reading those addicting Beverly Lewis love stories, set right smack dab in Amish country. Who wouldn't fall head over heels in love with their way of life when the characters have hearts of gold, backs of steel, and kitchens full of food straight from God's hand? 
     I realize the real Amish way of life is not always so glorious. My longing comes straight from a heart that is tired. Tired of endless phone calls. Or guilt from not making phone calls to certain people. Tired of microwaved dinners and not enough time to fix "real" food. Tired of people who would rather watch television or surf Facebook than engage in conversation and relationship (I, too, am guilty of this.) Tired of constantly worrying about whether or not my car is going to run out of gas before payday, or if I will even have a car next month. 
     When you change lifestyles, you exchange one set of "problems" for another. I am aware of this. I do not have this picture of myself smiling and rolling out dough while Jeremiah plays in the creek and Trevor happily harvests corn. I know it would be hard. I know it would be laborious and full of toil and pain and blood and sweat. 
     And I want that. I want that so badly. I want to feel the dirt under my feet all the time. I want to be focused on my family at all moments, not on a screen. I want to be focused on friends and the relationships I have with them, at all times, not on the fake relationship I form with them via Facebook/Twitter. It's not real people. You can say a lot of things on Facebook, and act a lot of ways, then when you see that person face to face, who are you? It's a shadow of what you should really be having with that person. I want to labor for clean clothes so I appreciate them more. I want to labor for my meals so I appreciate them and am really thankful for them. I want my boys raised knowing the blessings and benefits of hard manual labor. I want to focus on what's truly important, like rising with the sun and going to bed with the sun. 
     If I were Amish, or some sort of branch of it, probably Mennonite, life wouldn't be perfect. You are probably wondering, "You can certainly start implementing Amish-like lifestyle changes into your life right now, so  why do you need to be so drastic?" Because no matter how much I try to distance myrself from electronics or media or whatever else fills us with stress and lies, however much I try to purge my home from it all, it creeps back in. Excuses are made, deals are set, and we give in. I would want to be around people who feel the same way, live the same way, and support me.
     Some may disagree. Please do! I welcome opinions that are different than mine. And please, realize, these are all opinions. They are how I and I alone want to live my life. In a simpler, richer way. You can find that in other lifestyles, you don't have to become Amish. This is just my way. And gracious knows, I'm not going to sell everything tomorrow and join a colony. Or am I?

Comments

  1. i have often ponder this amish life style, although i do not think i would like to personally live it but i would like to try it. just for a little while so i can apprecate all i have. all the labor that use to be mandatory to live life, and how we have to come to live such an "easy" life style. Kevin and I often talk about living in the times of medieval time or renaissace time area, where things where Simpler but harder at the same time. SO i to totally understand where you are coming from.

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  2. I know these feelings. Hubby and I have talked many a time about moving out into the boonies and living self sustained. I think that's why I enjoy agriculture so much (my goats, chickens, gardening) it's something you have to invest in -- out of good moral and conscious. I have to devote time to tending to them, out of good stewardship, or they'll *gasp* die. ;)

    Just like with our families, we have to choose to devote our time to enabling them to thrive. I've also come to find that genuine people are few and far between. So when you have those few in your life, cherish them. The others don't keep track of your phone calls to them, it's the part of us that craves genuine fellowship that does.

    When we get our eyes off of the goodness and simplicity that is Christ, we start to really feel the chaos around us. Simple is good, and Christ is simple. The way He loves, the way He lived...nothing complex about it. Just genuine.

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  3. You said, "...however much I try to purge my home from it all, it creeps back in."

    That doesn't surprise me at all, actually. I figure, I have a decision to make every morning. I eat of the tree of life, or I don't. I decide to serve God or I don't. (I can also change my mind on this throughout the day.)

    The thing is, I reinvent myself for awhile. Find good discipleship for awhile. Then I get tripped up. My kids join cub scouts and I spend more time with them (a good thing!) and end up a bit more tired on Tuesday morning...

    The thing about the Amish is that they do this stuff in community. That's the key. They hold each other accountable and maintain the shared value of simpler technologies.

    Who shares that value with you now? How can they help you lead a life of simpler technologies?

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  4. Hi MaryBeth.
    I love your name & just ran across this blog while trying to see if my new blog/website shows up online. It is under construction at the momment.
    I grew up Amish & while maybe somethings are facts in what you wrote above I can assure you one thing; there is a ton of stuff that is totally fairytail in what the outside world is assumes it to be like! :)
    It makes me very sad that people are given that false picture and yet at the same time you are so right when you say there are things that can be simplified.
    I'm proud of you for the work that you do in your family to lead them to that true simple life with peace & joy flowing from Your Savior. That is something that is often missing in it's truest sense of the Word among Amish & Mennonites around the globe.
    My husband & I LOVE the freedom that we have since we left the Amish! And when I say freedom, I mean freedom in the LORD and freedom to live a simple lifestyle without the iron hand behind it.
    It is this that I am passionate about & I'm excited about sharing tips soon with many in my blog. :)
    God bless you, sister!
    Verna King

    And if you so wish to see my site; it will be called http://amishlifestylechanges.com
    or befriend me on FB. :)

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