Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life
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Have you ever stopped to think, Maybe the Amish are on to something? Look around. We tweet while we drive, we talk while we text, and we surf the Internet until we fall asleep. We are essentially plugged in and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Rather than mastering technology, we have allowed technology to master us. We are an exhausted nation. No one has enough time, everyone feels stressed out, and our kids spend more hours staring at a screen each week than they do playing outside.
It’s time to simplify our lives, make faith and family the focal point, and recapture the lost art of simple living. Building on the basic principles of Amish life, Nancy Sleeth shows readers how making conscious choices to limit (and in some cases eliminate) technology’s hold on our lives and getting back to basics can help us lead calmer, more focused, less harried lives that result in stronger, deeper relationships with our families, friends, and God.
norm in our neighborhood, but it seems to have paid off. As young adults, both of our children are very responsible with money. They spend little and live lightly. We have friends with young children who have a birthday tradition that I admire—an excellent on-ramp for parents who want to tone down the feelings of entitlement so many of our children seem to have. As birthdays approach, they ask their children to select three charities for relatives to give to in lieu of presents. They focus on
The park is well used by little kids on swings, skateboarders with tattoos, basketball players in high-tops, and baseball teams young and old. One afternoon, we saw college students string a cord a few feet off the ground between two trees and try tightrope walking—far harder than it looks in the movies. A few days later, we watched a young man impressing his date—and us—by juggling bowling pins. With dozens of countries and ethnic groups represented, the park is a regular United Nations. The
faith and the environment. People began to grow curious about this evangelical Christian family who “hugged trees,” and a man-who-bit-the-dog fascination with our story widened. After we had our own house in order, we felt called to share our journey. Matthew wrote a book called Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action. Using stories from our family’s life and his experience working in the ER, he explained the theological and medical reasons why our family made these changes,
equals in death as in life. After the graveside service, family and close friends return home and share a meal. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust” is often quoted at funeral services. The point of this phrase is not to make us believe that life is meaningless; rather, it is to remind us that belief is what gives life meaning. As with all other Amish rituals, the simplicity and humility of the Amish funeral keep the focus where it belongs—on the Creator who groans when a single sparrow falls from
work for them. Too easily, our homes and the stuff that fills them can become false idols, tempting us to break the first of the Ten Commandments. The Amish offer a simpler, less cluttered, more sustainable way of life. We have much to learn from their example. Chapter 2 Technology Technology serves as a tool and does not rule as a master. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who make lists and those who don’t. I do. Lists are useful not just at the grocery store: they