Why I decided not to become Amish and a simple living lifestyle challenge

simple living

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Our lifestyles have become a non stop, fast moving cycle.  We run here and there.  Have our children in activities that make us run almost every day of the week.  We live by iphones and ipods, if we don’t have 4G speed online then it becomes frustrating.  We are involved in bible studies, book clubs, playdates, you name it, we have been drawn in.  Our closets are filled with clothing, our kids rooms with more toys than needed.  Our homes have become cluttered with things we keep buying and don’t really need.  We have become a life of stuff.  Stuff that made us happy for a moment but has now become a burden in our lives.  We buy food, food that is packaged and made with chemicals and additives that are doing harm to our bodies and we just keep filling it into our bodies.  We are so wound up and stressed about paying debt, there is no time to play and enjoy life.  We have become consumed by our own desires.  When does it stop???

Now lets take a step back and look to an Amish lifestyle. We see families working and playing together, enjoying the simple things in life.   We are fascinated by their lifestyles and that they remain so “different” from the world. They seem to have such a plain approach to life.   What is it about the Amish that is so intriguing to people?

I think what draws us into the Amish is their simplistic nature.  They have chosen to be disconnected from the world.  They do things with a love and peace for God and their families.  They don’t necessarily look to do things easier, but just simpler.  They live their lives plainly.

Is it possible to live a plain lifestyle in a not so plain world?

Some things that people do not know about me is that I attended an Amish-like church when I was a new Christian.  When I first got “saved,” the church I was attending didn’t really encourage women to  fulfill their lives as homemakers and wives.  I was attending my first bible study ladies group and it talked about being a better woman, all the beginner basics which I learned much from, but then I noticed something.  These women seemed different from me.

I was the only woman who had brought her children to the meeting because I homeschooled them(their children were all in school).   I noticed they all went out much with each other and left their children with babysitters, a something I had never done since becoming saved.  And none of them seemed the least bit interested in becoming a homemaker.  Now please before you keep reading and think I was being judgmental, I don’t think homeschooling, wanting to be a homemaker, or going out with your friends is bad, I believe God will put people in different positions in life and they will do what they have to do. I think God was just starting to mold my heart towards being a keeper at home without knowing anyone else who was doing that.

I was really starting to embrace the whole ” old fashioned” idea of  being a wife, making bread, wearing skirts, and loving being home with my children.  But I was realizing that there were no other women who embraced that same vision for their family around me.  I even remember asking one of our “mentor” Mom’s what she thought about being a keeper at home,  and she kind of laughed it off saying that isn’t so much for our times.  God placed it in my heart that day that something was not right in my spirit.

So I started looking…….

We had started doing some lifestyle changes on our own before ever attending the Amish church.  We had gotten rid of cable TV and kept only one with some  DVDs that portrayed godly lifestyles.  Little House on the Prairie was a favorite of ours.  Watching that show made me dream of wanting to live that way.  I even started wearing dresses and skirts to match the role of Ma.  We even shut all the lights off in the home at night and sat around the table by lantern and read books before bedtime.  We raised chickens and started making foods more from scratch.  We really started to grow closer as a family.  Weekends were spent doing things together, we stopped running here and there and started enjoying each other.  People around us thought we were crazy wanting to embrace this lifestyle.  But we knew in our hearts differently.

I wasn’t really into the internet but started doing some searching online and came across a church finder for plain people.  I was very surprised to find a church about an hour from our home.  We called and had a wonderful conversation with the pastor and decided we would make the trek to the church.  Remember at this point my husband wasn’t saved but still agreed about us wanting more as a family.  We took the drive and found the church.

This church was a very conservative Mennonite church.  Mennonite and Amish have very similar beliefs and doctrines but the Amish don’t use electricity. When we pulled up, we were the only “red mini van” in the parking lot.  Mennonite’s believe in being nonconforming to the world and most of their vehicles were all black.  Not flashy colors.  We were already the odd ones.  But as we pulled up and got out of our vehicle, a very nice woman introduced herself and welcomed us to sit with her.

Women and men sit on opposite sides of the congregation.  This woman, showed me what they did, through the church service and it was a huge change from what we were used to.  The sermons we were used to were the “feel good” sermons.  Not a whole lot of reading from the bible but much spoken about how we can have a better week.  This sermon was a lengthly reading from the bible and a few insights from the ordained ministers.  The singing was amazing, no music, but beautiful voices all sung in unison.  Very different from what we were used to.  Afterwards we were invited to the ministers home for supper and gladly obliged.

It was very different to have someone already have a large family, invite an even larger family(we had four children at this time),  without having to prepare beforehand.  They just put out some extras and we had a wonderful tasting meal and great fellowship.

We had many discussions about beliefs and thoughts on living.   My husband, who was  not saved, and myself who knew nothing about being “plain” inquired on many things, they sat with complete patience and love and just shared. We came up multiple weekends and spent the night in a tent outside and enjoyed and learned how to live a life of happiness and togetherness.  We were awed that these people had a completely different way of life.  They enjoyed being together, they didn’t want to go out on Friday nights and leave their children behind.  The same beliefs my husband and I wanted but everyone was telling us we were crazy for wanting them.  We enjoyed simple meals, had simple birthday parties, and simple entertainment.  It was this plain and simple lifestyle of peace.  It was always sad to leave and return to “the real world”.  It was also very difficult.  I didn’t want to live like my past life.  I wanted to wear skirts.  I wanted to have more children, I wanted to teach my children a less entertainment filled life.  This church helped us.

The women would invite us up or come down to our home and taught me how to sew.  Many women knew I wanted to wear a more modest clothing and gladly gave of some of their dresses.  They just walked into their closet and grabbed one out and gave it to me.  It wasn’t one of their “leftovers” it was one of what they wore.

I watched these mothers train their children and teach them how to behave.  They included their children in every activity.  There weren’t “toy rooms” to keep them busy, most had a small toy box in the living room filled with basic toys that they brought out to play with my children.  The older ones came out and joyfully served and helped with the little ones so that the Mom’s could talk.  It was such a change from anything I had ever seen.

I borrowed almost every book I could get my hands on from the ministers family to learn about Amish/Mennonite way of life.  There was so many things I was unfamiliar with.  But these women were very patient and loving with taking the time to teach me.  Each Sunday we had a different invitation from a different family.  There was always a large group of people to interact with and talk and meet and learn from.

One woman in particular, she was the one I first met at the church building, was one I grew quite fond of.  She has been the greatest blessing and mentor in my life.  She taught me so many things it is too many to name.  What I enjoyed about her, is that she had email. Most of them do not own computers but this woman and her husband had a business and had internet to do work on.  It was a great thing for me as I was able to keep in regular contact with her to share things of my heart.

Now as I was growing more and more in the Lord through this church, my husband did in the way of family.  It turned his heart to wanting to be more at home and with us as one.  He was more apprehensive of the Mennonites beliefs and doctrines and that was hard.  As a women who thought she found the “perfect” church to answer all of her prayers and could be part of for the rest of her life, it was heart wrenching.  My good friend, kept encouraging me and shared with me the importance of submitting to my husband even when I didn’t feel like it.

Time had passed and my husband was having a rather hard time working on our only car.  The minister took time out of his day and came down to spend the day with my husband.  He wasn’t mechanical at all but he handed tools to my husband and had small talk.  He even laughs at how my husband was using words “not of God” and the minister would just pray silently for him.  This man became a man whom my husband greatly respects for that reason.  He judged not my husband when he was the most heathenistic man ever:)  He continued to come up and help my husband without wanting anything in return.  During that time, my husband gave his heart to the Lord through the minster.  It was a joyous time.  My husband is very stubborn man and will not submit to anyone.  But David, the minister is someone whom he came to respect.

More time has passed, we did not become members of the Mennonite church but have learned so many things from them.  I still have regular contact with my dear friend.   Through this time, I have learned how great it is to have a plain lifestyle.  But I found it hard to return to my normal life and continue with the plain lifestyle choices.  The things I bought for my home were almost nonexistent at our local Walmart.  I purchased things through Amish mail order catalogs that were hand made and basic to living. I learned to cook with basic foods that I couldn’t purchase at our grocery store but from their bulk food store.  I learned to preserve food and eat a more basic menu.

Back then, before there was a world of blogging, I thought how great it would be to share the things I had learned with my “worldly” friends.  Because I know I would of never heard of the things I did without attending that church.  Fast forward to 10 years later when God had me write my blog—plain and not so plain, with the tag line of “living a plain lifestyle in a not so plain world.”  I want to share with others how to live a plainer lifestyle to enjoy the peacefulness and joyfulness that comes with decluttering, cutting out, limiting, living debt free, in our lifestyles.  Some might call it being a minimalist, I call it living plain and not so plain.

So what about you?  Do you want to live your lives more plain and simple?  Are you up for the challenge? Keep reading simple  living lifestyle challenge.

 

64 responses to “Why I decided not to become Amish and a simple living lifestyle challenge

  1. How wonderful for you that you live close enough to these wonderful people that you had a chance to attend their church and get to know them. I have read many books about them, I admire their lifestyle very much. I try to live a simple life, I know I can do much more than I do, but it is not easy in this year of 2014.

  2. Thank you so much for this article! God has started guiding my husband & myself in lifestyle choices & your blog has helped so much. This was such a great article!

  3. I enjoyed your post. I marvel how God leads each of us on a journey in life and brings us into contact with people to further us in the kingdom of Christ. We’ve lived semi-plain for many years among various plain groups. There is definitely much to be learned from them. Also a caution that it is easy to let “plainness” become the religion. My husband has kept me in check many times as he’s seen my tendency to become too wrapped up in a particular aspect of plain living. I appreciate the tone of your blog as you share the benefits of simple living along with true spiritual encouragement.

    • Kim, thank you, yes I agree you can get caught up in the ‘plainness” of religion. I have learned that people are people, there is not a perfect group out there. I respect the Amish and their ways, I know I will never be “them” because God has given me a wonderful husband, to keep me in check, otherwise I too would be easily swayed:) But we sure do admire their simple living:) I look forward to writing and sharing more about plain living:)

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  5. Love this story (and also love the title of your blog). No, I suppose I don’t live as plain or simple as I could. We don’t have a garden and I don’t really sew, I don’t can fruit or vegies, etc. But we do tend to be careful with our money, so in some ways, we do live “simply” compared to others we know.

    When I started homeschooling, I was blessed to know one person who did it. She introduced me to others and soon I was able to get to know many people who homeschooled. But in the beginning, she was my only friend who homeschooled, and my other friends thought I was a little crazy, lol!

    • That is how it began for us as well. Little by little, God gave me the desires of my heart, without me even knowing it:)

  6. Oh how I enjoyed reading this post! Voluntary simplicity is anything but easy, but it’s such a deeper life – more vibrant and more meaningful. Disconnecting yourself from the mad rush of the world and slowing down to focus on what’s important to you is life changing. Thank you so much for sharing!

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

  7. I am so happy that I came across your blog. It is beautifully written and speaks to my heart for many reasons. I think that many of us, in our hearts, have become aware that our lives are “running away from us” and are reaching a level that is no longer sustainable on a personal or global level. I’m convinced that’s why the idea of homesteading and living more simply is catching on, on such a wide scale. I know that, as we’ve taken the first few baby steps toward a simpler lifestyle we’ve experienced a breath of fresh air! I can’t wait to read more about your journey!

  8. beth sanderlin

    I was raised as I say almost amish. I never wore pants, very little t.v.. We stayed home most of the time. We canned food and ate at home. I am way older now and as soon as I left home I missed the quiet and simple life style. I have a husband that is more then willing for me to go back to what i am comfortable with. I considered it the greatest gift that they could give me. No arguing. I am sure finances were very tight but it was the good life. Unfortunately from that life style I am considered different that I want to be home, bake, cook, and clean. Pray everyday and go to church on Sunday but I will always consider that the good life 🙂

  9. Hello! I found your blog through the link-up at Raising Homemakers, and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your article. I have wanted to be Amish ever since I was very young (when I first read the Ellie/Rebecca/Rachel books), and have continued to have very Plain leanings ever since. I am very much looking forward to following your blog and learning from all of your experiences!!

    Thanks so much for writing,
    Diana

    • Diana, I am so thankful to have met you here. I love the Amish as well, but know that it is not my time or place to be like them. But I do know I can do many things “like” them —thus my simple living challenge. I look forward to writing more. God bless, amy

  10. Love your story! I’ve always been so intrigued by the Amish/Mennonite lifestyle. I told my husband I’d love to be Amish Muslims, if there was such a thing. He’s not convinced… he likes his convenience items, though he likes when I do the work of cooking from scratch and other old-fashioned things. LOL

    So glad to find your blog from A Little R & R!

  11. Amy LOVED this! Thank you for your wonderful insights. You have put into words what I wish I could have figured out a long time ago. I want to live what I believe! I said that once about Christianity and the Bible. I believed the Bible to be true and wanted to live as if I did and changed, but I have always felt out of place some how. Now I realize that it is a more simple life I have wanted, and I am on that path. You were the most clicked link last week so this post will be featured tomorrow at Wow Us Wednesday.

  12. DeEtte Myers

    We too, have been on a journey to a more simple lifestyle for the last almost four years. What we have found is it is a lot more work – that we choose to do gratefully. We really felt God was in this change. My husband says working with and taking care of the animals is like a good therapy. He doesn’t think about anything (and I mean nothing else) while he’s doing it. He is a million miles away from his business. If we didn’t know if before, we do now, that we are lifelong learners. Wish we could have started years ago. It has been quite a ride.

    One question, where can I find the Amish catalogs (other than Lehman’s). Our priorities have changed, especially since we bought this place, Good wood cookstoves, don’t come cheap, but was probably one of the smartest things we could have invested in. We spend a hundred+ when we go to the Amish hardware a two hour drive from here. We make it a day trip. Not a very big store though. Good values and prices too. Things you don’t find anywhere else too.

    Thank you for sharing. Your an inspiration. I feel like I am being mentored by a younger women.

    Sincerely,

    DeEtte

    • I believe what your husband and you have found is the key to a happy life. It isn’t so much how much money we make or our “rise to fame” what makes us successful and happy. It is the peace that our daily work brings into our lives. People will search their whole lives and still never find TRUE happiness, one that can come only from being in God’s complete will.

      I agree on finding those Amish stores where you find things for cheap:) and good quality. We have one about an hour from our home as well and we frequent there about every 2-3 months. I would ask at the store if maybe they know of some magazine mail order catalogs that they might receive. GVS is one for the smaller mail order items. You can’t just do an internet search for them as they don’t do online things:) I am sure if you speak to an Amish/Mennonite family from the store or your area they would be able to direct you to a source.

      I am glad that this is an encouragement to you, give God the praise as we only seek to do His will:)

      Amy

  13. Hi Amy,

    I just found this post through Google actually while in my own searching for others who respect and love the Amish/Mennonite lifestyles. I felt like I needed to comment on this post since you literally took words right out of my mouth! I am in such a similar place as you were right now it is almost scary!! I currently have no women in my area that I know who feel the same way as I (and you) do, along with other similar situations we share:) Thanks for sharing this!

    Warmly,
    Tori

    • Tori, so blessed to hear from you, I LOVE the internet now that I know there are other women, who seek to live like this, they were just a click away:) Be blessed, amy

  14. Elizabeth Key

    This is a great article and I am looking forward to reading more!!

  15. Francesca van Rijn

    I love what you have done for yourself and your family. I too am a fan of simple living, and would like nothing better than a simple live when I have a home of my own. I’m also a great admirer of the people in “the little house” stories.

    Bless you, Amy

    Thank you for sharing your story online.

    Francesca

  16. Very inspirational to read. It’s refreshing to know that there are a handful of ladies who long for the simpler ways of life.
    We are simple, but not Plain…sort of how you explained. We did a lot of thinking on the Mennonite ways a few years back after moving into a Mennonite area. They sure taught us a lot. I agree that you will never find that perfect circle of plain people. It just does not exist. People are human, no matter what religion they follow.
    But, I sooo admire their ways and truly have learned a bunch from the simple, plain people.

  17. I enjoyed this read, thank you.
    I have a question. I am Quaker, but have been considering attending a Mennonite church. How to they feel about the roles of a man and woman?
    Our situation is reversed from the standard, my wife is the wage earner, and I am the home maker. She has the college degree and makes more than I ever could provide. So she took on that role, and I took on the role of stay at home Dad and husband. Would our lifestyle be welcomed?

    • As with all churches they all vary in degree. You can find a very conservative Mennonite church who was very biblical in their roles and then you could find one that was very lapse in standards, would depend upon where you went. Would check it out beforehand.

  18. In past years, I did manage to connect with these plain living Mennonites and was blessed to know them. Of course, nothing in this life is ever perfect. I even noticed that some degree of minor “rebellion” existed in some of the Mennonite ladies toward certain “rules”. One lady was gleefully rebellious by having a little doll and some other forbidden toys for her children. – My husband was never receptive to this way of life; and persisting in trying to live that sort of life on my own would, to my mind, be somewhat hypocritical. He was very resistant to the idea of me dressing in that manner. Too bad; I thought the women looked really nice, clean, and not obsessed with makeup and new clothes. – So, I muddle on, still not perfected, and to be honest, guessing I’m likely not the only imperfect human being in existence. – I do try to keep a head scarf to cover my head during prayer; but will likely never be real clear on this teaching. I must admit; it’s a teaching that appeals to me.

    • I agree that there is no “perfect’ group of people. I think with all groups of people you take the good things from people and leave the bad things alone.

    • Why does it seem like I see so many stories of men not wanting their wives to follow their hearts?

      • I think if we were to ask men the same question they probably would say the same thing…..why don’t more woman submit and honor their husbands. smile. God wants our hearts to be knit with our husbands first and then God will give us the desires of our heart. If we desire that simple lifestyle, and go about it in the “right way” by submitting to God and our husbands, God will give us what we want but it will work out because it is Him and not us.

  19. Julie Turner

    Hi There, My name is Julie and I live in Australia. The plain church is just beginning here, but my nearest church is 2000km across the other side of Australia. I began living a simpler plainer lifestyle many years ago.
    Im still the only one I know, that wears a covering.
    Its so good to meet people who are likeminded. I love my plain clothes and I was so happy to declutter my home and stick to just the necessities.
    It truly has been a freedom for me. Love jules xx

    • Hello Julie, so good to hear from you. What a blessing that we can connect even though we are miles apart. I encourage you to keep doing what the Lord has you do so that you can be a “light” in your own life. Be blessed. Amy

  20. This is a dream come true. I am so pleased to hear your story. I am a biracial woman who has read the bible several times. I suddenly discovered that I needed to cover my head for praying regardless of whether or not anyone agreed with me. I am the only one who does this and thank God my husband accepts it. However, we attend a church where people look at me as if I am lost, a “recovering” Menno, or perhaps legalistic. They just don’t get it. I am literally moving in the opposite direction from the world. I am reminded to rejoice when you suffer shame in His name! However, I cannot say that I am a Mennonite or that my multi-black family would even fit in to the more conservative sects, but I definitely admire their simple life and it would be so lovely to have sisters that I have not been able to have in non-denominational churches.

  21. Hi Amy. I love your blog post on simple living. I have been in contact with a Mennonite family a couple of hours away from where I live and they are so nice and uplifting to me. I have started living a more simple life a couple of years ago, gradually. Their entire lifestyle is more in line with God’s word. You stated that you never became a member of the Mennonite church, do you attend another church that is similar to the Amish/Mennonite?

    • Hello Sue I am glad that you have found fellowship with a Mennonite family. I treasure the memories that I have had with our experience. Now I know that not one specific group of people is made perfect. We all have flaws, no matter if we are the plain and simple Amish or the worldly Christian. I have taken what I learned from them and implemented that in my life. We do not have any type of community where we live now that is like them. But we have found where God has planted us in our current church. It is a very different from them, but it is where God has us. Sometimes I believe God will take you through things so that you can learn some things to take and use, but He will then move you on. We still hold many of the things that we have learned from them, and our current church does not uphold those. I think that is where you are living out your faith and your convictions. It doesn’t matter where God has you, it’s what we do with what He gives us that is important. I believe we can be happy in any church or any situation in life. It is never good to just conform to a set church because of it’s rules. We need to be living our lives as God would have us. God uses all our situations as long as we are lining up to what He says. Continue to pray and ask for the Lord’s leading as to what He has you to do. Be blessed

  22. Hi Amy, I just discovered your blog searching on google : amish lifestyle ! Months ago, I watched a video called amish a secret life ( probably 20 times) and I dont know how but something happened in my heart and it began an obession ! I am french and mother of 3 and am so pleased to read your story so close of mine ! Thank you so much for this article, for this bog ! God definitly guides me to you !
    Vanessa

    • vanessa, glad you are blessed by it!!! Amish have a different lifestyle than what the world offers, but they are just people like you and I. They just have a different mindset on doing things plainer. Not all of them, but some of them. I enjoy taking the plainer out of the things I have learned and leave the rest. Be blessed amy

  23. I’m in that boat with you. I love so many aspects of plain living. This may sound odd, but God is using a chronic illness to bring me home so I can be a SAHM. I’ve been wearing skirts and dresses for a few years but continued to wear pants, too, until my skin became too sensitive. Now I’m having dresses sewn in linen because the fabric is so healing. I’ve also started covering my hair again after about a year of not doing it because it was unpopular. We just got rid of our TV. We decided we wanted to go back to not watching it, as we’d done for a year after we were married. We’re getting rid of the Wii and the DVD player. We now dry our clothes on a clothesline. We’ve cooked from scratch for years. While I’d love to live near plain folk, the nearest are an hour and a half away. We attend a modern Nazarene church where my husband is the associate pastor. Talk about being under the microscope. Some tease me and call me Amish. I even had one tell me head covering was legalistic. I’m slowly learning to sew and garden. We’ll be homeschooling our daughter. I truly do feel the world has encroached on the lives of the modern Christian church. A friend of ours died last week. He was found Thursday but he’d last been seen on Monday. He could have died anytime in between and no one knew. He was all alone. I can’t see that happening among the Amish. They live and work together but modern Christians are so separated. And there is such a variety of ideas on conviction that one begins to wonder if they are on the right path. For me, I’ve never been called so strongly to plain living. My last few years have been leading me further on this journey. I’ve even joined a CSA, have a share in a goat for raw milk, will be harvesting my own produce and preserving the extra for the winter. I’m so glad to have found your blog.

    • amy, I am so glad to meet you and I enjoy reading about your life and your steps to living a simpler, less complicated life. I don’t mean to “idolize” the Amish in thinking that they are the “perfect” group to go after, because that is false. Amish groups have issues just as “worldly” churches do, they are just different. I think what God wants from us is to devote our lives fully to Him. When we do that all that extra “stuff” that we thought was so important,isn’t really that important. I am happy to hear you are in a church and being an example to those around you. God needs us to be lights in this dark world. Some will shun but some will want to get a glimpse of that light and search it out. May the Lord bless you as you venture and walk your path of life with Him.

  24. because men are lustful creatures. and when we want to follow God, it puts a barrier between us and our husband

  25. You go girl!
    Your Apostolic Sister

  26. Amy, thank you for your blog. I grew up in a Polish Catholic family (with Jewish roots). The lifestyle was plain and simple, patterned after some of the Saints we have read about. That lifestyle is preferred by some of us to the more ‘flashy’ types. By God’s grace I cover my head for a number of years…because a new neighbor who was Adventist at the time did. Then we had new neighbors move in who were practicing Mennonites…now Bretheren…who covered their heads even during sleep…in case they wake up…and are then ready to pray. A new Amish community is only 18 miles away. They are indeed great friends…certainly because of their emphasis on prayer/trust, family and work.

    • Joan, so very nice to meet you. Isn’t it wonderful to come together with all sorts of woman from different backgrounds and diversities and we can all commune together with the Lord and appreciate the goodness that He gives us. Be blessed

  27. One thing for sure, if you have a pure heart God will draw his people together

  28. It’s so nice to see someone else with a lot of the same ideas of myself. I’d love to chuck the t.v. You the door, but my husband enjoys to relax to it.. I find it a distraction.. I don’t have a Facebook anymore, no Twitter accounts, or any type of social media. I find they seem to suck time away. While my heart does pine for acres and acres with all the animals and chores, but I do what I can on the acre the lord has blessed us with. I love the idea of skirts and head coverings, and admire the Amish/ Mennonite for their ability to get so much done while in a dress, but I have found it difficult to get the coop clean and the garden dug in a dress/skirt. I do love the idea of only having a few outfits though and less toys for the kids.. I down size a lot as family members must feel they are deprived and keep giving them things. We do use a Mennonite curriculum for our homeschool as the kids seem to be able to relate to a lot of the stories as they talk about farm animals and gardening in the curriculum. I feel I have made a few mistakes in keeping our lives simple. My daughter since the age of 2 has wanted to do ballet. We allowed her to join at 5. While that doesn’t seem so bad, but then my 2nd daughter wanted to join, and we thought how can you say yes to one and no to the other? So we let her join… My husband works full time and goes to school Monday nights to earn his degree in engineering.. Then Tuesday is ballet, and every other week is a bible study for the women, leaving my husband to rush home, take did to ballet then rush home to make dinner, so that I can go to the study. Then we’d he has school, and the kids and I go to church, Thursday is my other daughters ballet class and Friday I clean at my moms Saturday is Boy Scouts and Sunday morning and evening church. We have said no more to Boy Scouts… But I feel stuck with the ballet… After her wanting to for so so long, the. Finally allowing her join, and the. Ripping it away seems so unfair. But the running around every night feels so against my husband and i’s desire to keep things slow paced.. Iv been praying on what the right thing to do is… Iv not figured out the lords answer yet and In the mean time feel stuck. I just find myself wishing we would have just said no since the very beginning. I suppose it is what it is now. But if anyone here is feeling guilty about not allowing their kids into sports.. Don’t! It’s really not worth it! Lol.

    • Brenda, I appreciate all of your honesty in your post. I know for us, we did so many things “wrong” or so I thought. Skirt wearing has to be a conviction. It has to be something that you feel deep inside and that you “want to do it.” I can tell you, I have cleaned chicken coops, shoveled snow, weeded gardens, cut grass, and done everything in a skirt. I honestly like the skirts a little better, as they allow more
      airflow” during those hot summer months of being outside working;) Try looser flowier skirts for the outside work. Keep one as your “dirty” skirt and use that when you garden and clean the coop. I wear leggings under mine to keep covered. But there is nothing wrong with wearing pants to weed the garden in—so don’t get down on yourself. Take small steps. Start by changing one thing and working towards that. Tv, I understand completely. My husband is the same way, as a mother we have the power to control much of that for the entire day, those few hours at night won’t be much influence on our children. Take the children and do some reading together or play games—you might be surprised that Dad might want to join in once in a while:) No forcing or making him feel bad, do it with a cheerful heart and it will not be an issue. As far as ballet, I can tell that you feel you need to stop it. Let me suggest, when you ask God for wisdom to know what to do….the Bible says that He is faithful and just to give you an answer, he won’t hold back. He may have already told you it, it’s just that you feel “guilty” stopping it. My suggestion—-ask your husband what he thinks, without your reasoning, and then take his advice. One of the hardest things, and yes it was hard, was when my husband told me we needed to stop doing so much running, we needed to stay home. Ouch!! But I didn’t want to let others down, but guess what??? My life got normal, it was peaceful, I had time in my week to do meaningful things, and I actually can look back and be thankful I listened. Take the stress off of you and listen to your “head”. He is there for a reason:)If he wants you to end ballet, I can tell you that it will be much easier when your girls are younger than when they are older to take them out of it. Children will bounce back easily. Just find something else to do to replace that—-not an outside activity. Maybe something you can do with your girls, baking, crafting, etc. Don’t make it look like you are ripping away their fun, replace it with heart felt time together. It is never “what it is”—from your words——Life is what WE make of it. We can either choose to line ourselves up and be obedient or struggle through things—you know your answer—it just takes FAITH to do it!! I believe that you can. Praying for you. Amy

  29. Lani Ellingsworth

    They will only rebel for two weeks. After that they will appreciate the family game time. It made my son a better person.

    No excuses parents….

  30. Hello – I have a question for you re: this blog post, but would rather email it to you. How do I send an email? Thank you, in advance, for your time.

    Blessings,
    Gillian

  31. Such lovely comments, wonderful blog! I am a husband and father of a 10 year old son. My wife and I were talking about the problems I had growing up (ie, physical and emotional abuse, materialism, vanity), and through prayer I have once again begun having thoughts of just “escaping it all” by turning toward a simpler lifestyle, reconnecting with nature and the landscape, watching my language, being more compassionate toward others. Yes, I know we can do all of these things and not be Amish or Mennonite, but there is something deeply spiritual about their lifestyle and the rules they live by, and that spirituality has a way of making its way through those who live the lifestyle and choose to write about it, or those who have been exposed to the lifestyle and feel the urge to educate outsider about just how backward THEIR lifestyle is. Even reading about the Amish over the last week has inspired me to get my family and I out into 90-95 degree weather and FIX our garden. The garden looks beautiful now, it’s the prettiest garden I’ve ever grown, and I owe it all to the LORD for talking to me and telling me that working with nature rewards with more than anything money can buy. The time spent with your family outdoors and being focused on GODLY things is priceless.

    • Well said Tom! I couldn’t agree with you more. I think no matter where you are at life…..living in the city, in an apartment, in a subdivision, or out in the country….you can choose to live a less complicated life. Get rid of all the junk and get back to some basics. I love that you took your family out to the garden. Foster those moments with your child, spending time together is what will grow heart strings to them and that is more than anything you could ever buy. Be blessed.

  32. I want to thank you for sharing your story. I actually teared up reading about your desire for a plain lifestyle. I have yearned for such a lifestyle for all of my life (my dream was to live on a farm with the Ingalls from Little House On The Prairie.) It is so, so good to hear that someone else wants it, but acknowledges that it is difficult to achieve in today’s world.
    Thank you.

    • Oh that blesses my heart. We can have a “simplier” lifestyle by choosing to eliminate things in our lives. We don’t have to go completely back to the olden days, but keeping things simple and basic will allow us the freedom to enjoy life as we should. Plain and simple. Have a wonderful blessed day!

  33. Julie Turner

    Hello there, I just wanted to say that our stories are very similar. I too was searching for people who felt as I did about being a keeper at home and living a plainer life. Living in Australia, there is no one of who I have like minded fellowship with. We now have 3 Amish Mennonite/ Anabaptist churches here in australia, but they are all thousands of miles away from me.
    It can be tough when you feel God moving you in a direction, and no one understands why you’d want to live that way. But I follow the plain way regardless, and love my simple lifestyle. Thank you for your story. I knew exactly where you were coming from. Love Julie xx

    • I am very happy that we connected Julie! It is a blessing following the path that the Lord has for you–whatever that may be. Have a blessed day!

  34. Really enjoyed your article.I am always looking for ways to simplify my life, am so tired of thinking that I must keep up with the world. Time to clean out the clutter and things not necessary in life. All ideas would be helpful . Thank you

  35. Do Mennonites do the “shunning,” too? Is it just electricity that sets the faith apart from the Amish? A few dear Mennonites in my life started rocking out in the Baptist pews, as an after party of sorts, but I never knew much of their “other” church. I’m not quite myself these days, but I do prefer simplicity, if not total seclusion “Nelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll” lifestyle habits. Maybe I should research your faith a bit further. Lantern lit story hour, gardening without chemicals, less clutter, and doting on your lil’ ones sounds like a good life–Congrats.

    • Had to smile at your comment:) I believe that all the different branches of the Amish churches do things differently. Some shun–in their own special way:) We are all different, but if we can have one common belief—in the Lord, then that is great! I am a Pentecostal woman at heart. A complete opposite of where I came from–but it is where the Lord has me and I would NEVER have it any other way:)

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