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Friday, August 26, 2011
Guest Post - Five Things I've Learned From The Amish - by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Today, I'm pleased to present a guest blog from author
Suzanne Woods Fisher from her new book, “Amish Values for Your Family."
This charming book is chalk-full of practical and down-to-earth stories and ideas on how to become closer to your family and get back to the traditional relationships that were once so important to our country. Suzanne shares a few of those ideas here in this guest post.
Five Things I’ve Learned from the Amish that Have Nothing to Do with being Amish and Have Everything to Do with being a Christian:
Being Amish is not a lifestyle. Life among the Amish has to do with faith. Faith can’t be squeezed to an hour or two on Sunday morning; it infuses their entire life like a teabag in hot water. What they do and how they do it is rooted in the spiritual question: What is pleasing to God?
Amish proverb: “Letting go of earthly possessions enables us to take hold of heavenly treasures.”
The Lesson: To pray about my day’s activities and offer them to God, first, for His purposes. And then trusting interruptions (seeing a friend in the grocery store, for example) or de-railings (those days when everything goes wrong!) to be God-managed.
Cherish your family. A family that works together, grows together. Amish families spend a lot of time together and try to keep their work close to home. Children are valued as gifts from God, wanted and enjoyed. They’re included in all of Amish life—from barn raisings to three-hour church services. An Amish bishop once said, "We don't prepare our children for the future, we prepare our children for eternity."
Amish proverb: “Tomorrow’s world will be shaped by what we teach our children today.”
The Lesson: Involving children in chores and activities may not be the most convenient or efficient way to accomplish a task, but the benefits are long lasting. Look for ways to get everybody involved—cook together, sweep out the garage together, set the table together. And have fun while you’re doing it!
Draw a land in the sand. The Amish want to be good stewards of God’s resources—time, money, material goods. They know that convenience comes with a cost. They don’t want to be dependent on outside sources (such as electricity or gas!). Convenience means loss of something valuable. For example, fast food means less nutrition. More stuff means more maintenance. They’re willing to say no.
Amish proverb: “Things that steal our time are usually the easiest to do.”
The Lesson: Technology has its limits. And technology isn’t all good. Evaluate purchases more thoughtfully. Think of where a purchase or an added expense will lead your family. More time together or less? More stress or less? Reframe your view of time and money and goods as God’s resources.
Watch Your Words. The Amish continually stress the importance of filtering their speech.
Amish proverb: “Words break no bones, but they can break hearts” and “Mincing your words makes it easier if you have to eat them later.”
The Lesson: Say less. Prayer more.
Nothing replaces face-to-face visits. Back in the day when telephones emerged on the scene, the Amish bishops made a deliberate decision to keep the telephone out of the house. They didn’t want to interrupt family life. But they drop everything for a face-to-face visit.
Amish proverb: “Use friendship as a drawing account, but don’t forget to make a deposit.”
The Lesson: Nurture relationships by investing face-to-face time in them. No technology can substitute for the real thing.
Honor the Sabbath. An Amish person would never think of working on a Sunday. But it’s more than that—they truly cherish their Sabbath. They spend time on Saturday to make Sunday a smooth and easy day.
Amish proverb: “Many things I have tried to grasp and have lost. That which I have placed in God’s hands I still have.”
The Lesson: Strive to make Sunday a different day than other days. A day of rest is important on so many levels—time to worship, time to reflect, time to re-energize. A re-charge your battery day.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of Amish Values for Your Family, her latest non-fiction release. "It offers loving ways to bring your fractured home back to life-Amish style. Read it and apply generously! It’s a beautiful book-funny, charming, soulful, and beautiful." -Mary Ann Kirkby
To celebrate the release of Amish Values for Your Family, Suzanne has teamed up her publisher Revell Books to giveaway a Kindle, and with Bill Coleman (the amazing photographer used on Suzanne’s book covers) to give away a signed Bill Coleman original.
One Grand Prize winner will receive an Amish Values Prize Package (valued at over $200) and includes:
* A brand new KINDLE
* A Signed Bill Coleman original
* Amish Values for Your Family (for KINDLE)
Winner will be announced on 9/2 at Suzanne’s blog. Be sure to stop by the blogs on Suzanne’s blog tour – many have copies of Amish Values for Your Family to give away.
But, wait there's more! Suzanne is running a Bill Coleman caption contest during the month of August on her blog. Title one of Bill’s gorgeous photos for a chance to win a print from Bill’s Amish Photo site and/or a copy of Amish Values for Your Family.
My thanks to Suzanne Woods Fisher for her guest post, and to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review and was not compensated for my opinion.