If you have ever been to an Amish community, you know that you see many wonderful sights. People drive hours, and spend money for a vacation to visit these communities, but for what reason?
What are we wanting to see and experience?
What are we longing for?
What do they have, that we can't have?
I know for me it is the peaceful, calm, quiet, and beautiful atmosphere that the community has. You see men who are out in the fields working on their land. No, they are not just working on the land for fun or entertainment. They are working the land for their own personal food, and income for their family. This is their life at stake. You see them taking the cows out to the pasture to eat, so that one day they become meat for the family. You see them painting the house so that their home looks neat and orderly. You see them driving their buggies to the hardware store to pick up lumber for their new barn about to go up with help from many other Amish men. You see them tending the gardens to be able to sell at their produce stand. This is their life.
You see women hanging laundry on the line, sweeping their porches, driving their buggies to the grocery store with their children in the back. You see them covered modestly with their attire. They are normally very quiet and reserved if you would see them in the stores. They are not loud and boastful about anything.
You see the children who are quiet and respectful in any situation you may see them. They are behaved extremely well, and it gives you a sense of peace to watch them play happily in the yard with no toys. We visited a barn sale on our last trip to Berlin, Ohio and as we walked into the barn to see the sale, the 3 children were the ones who were running the money and the sale. Answering questions from the customers, but also being quiet and respectful in all of their answers. They are content with being home. They are content with their life.
The tourist coming to these Amish communities long for this type of lifestyle....but why? Why can't we create this for ourselves?
No, we are not Amish. We do not worship the way they do. However, to have a simple, orderly lifestyle is not very hard to do.
We can slow ourselves down. We really need to do this.
It is a much healthier lifestyle.
1. Take time to tend the garden without running to the grocery store for every little item. We can make due with what we have, and sell things in order to get what we need.
2. Keep up with the cleaning of the home. Use a cleaning schedule, or totally de clutter in order to keep the house orderly. When you tend to the house daily it won't be a HUGE overwhelming mess. You never see a disorderly Amish home.
3. Teach your children and yourself to be content with what you have. There is no reason for your kids to have many shoes and clothes. In our home our boys have 3 pairs of shoes. 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of play shoes, and 1 pair for church. Same with clothes. Keep it simple! I put all of the boys church clothes in one closet. This helps them get ready for church very quickly, and also helps my husband when he has time to dress them. Everything is kept in there neat and orderly, and ironed so things are ready.
4. Buy USED! Save the difference. If you are a stay at home wife and mother, you know that your job is to help stay within your husbands income. You may have a large budget or a very small one. Either way, it is your job to stay within this budget and do well for your family. If your budget is small, then buying used is the way to go. Borrow items you may need instead of buying. Every year we always borrow my parents pressure washer to pressure wash our house. We wouldn't use it much anyway, so why spend un neccessary money. Same with a garden tiller, a log splitter, chainsaws, etc. I know you can't borrow everything and it is nice to have things of your own, but if you think about it, much of our tools and equipment just sits in the building or garage.
These are just a few ways to begin living a simple life. I believe that is why the Amish communities have grown so much with tourists. Our worldly ways are becoming too much for most people. We all crave simplicity!