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Usually when someone asks how I’m like the Amish, I usually say I’m not like the Amish at all!
I love writing stories about the Amish, I love visiting Amish communities, and I especially love my Amish friends. But that doesn’t mean I wish I was Amish or think I could easily adopt a ‘Plain’ lifestyle. In my heart, I’m still the city girl from Texas!
But then, every once in a while, something will happen and I’ll realize that maybe I have made some changes based on my friendships with the Amish.
That happened just this week. Now that it’s getting to be the end of 2017, I find myself carrying around my 2018 calendar more often than not. I love to visit libraries and attend conferences and I usually book those visits months in advance. Since I usually turn in a book to my editor a year before it gets published, I’m also usually planning my work schedule way in advance. It’s the nature of my job. I bet a lot of you also plan for things several months in advance.
Anyway, what happened was that I was talking about vacations with some good friends and I told them I would have to wait to see what the Lord brought before I could book the trip. When they kind of looked at me funny, I realized that I had verbalized something that an Amish lady in Pinecraft had told me years ago. I’d been asking her if she was going to vacation in Pinecraft the following year-and she’d told me that she didn’t know. She was waiting to discover what the Lord brought her.
She’d been talking not only about money and time, but illnesses, grandchildren, and other blessings. I could relate to that. But what did struck me was her total confidence and acceptance of God’s will. While I might have said I hoped I could return, or I was planning on it (unless something unforeseen happened) she was absolutely waiting on His will.
There’s an obvious difference there.
I have a feeling that Amish lady didn’t even think twice about her comment. It certainly resonated with me, though! I’ve often thought about her faith and patience in God’s timing. Because of her, I’ve stopped putting so much emphasis on making special occasions ‘perfect’. For example, neither of our children could come home this Thanksgiving. Years ago, I might have whined a bit. (okay, I probably would have whined quite a bit, LOL). But now I realize that we can always celebrate Thanksgiving in December, or January, or whenever we’re all together again. Whatever happens is going to be just fine.
Obviously, I’m still a work in progress, and putting less importance on long-range plans is still something I have to work on. But I do have a renewed sense of peace about things that are out of my control, which is a true blessing.
Would my Amish friends say I’m becoming a little more ‘Amish’? LOL, probably not! But I do have a feeling that they’d say that I’ve learned to listen a little more, worry a little less, and savor my blessings far more than I used to. That’s something they’d be pleased about, I think. Me, too.
More about The Gift
A special Christmas story about love and blessings in the next book in the Amish of Hart County series
The Schwartz family is happy to be spending Christmas on their new farm in Hart County. But when Susanna Schwartz hears gunshots that causes her buggy to overturn, and then her little sister falls through a wooden bridge into the icy creek, it becomes clear from these dangerous “accidents” that someone wants them gone.
Neil Vance has been heartbroken ever since his parents lost their family farm. He knows it’s not the Schwartz family’s fault, but he can’t help but be resentful. Until he meets Susanna. She is kind-hearted and bold, and Neil can’t stop thinking about her pretty green eyes.
Neil thinks the accidents are just that, but Susanna’s father is convinced the Vance family is responsible. Susanna refuses to believe Neil would do anything to harm her. She’s fallen in love with him and knows he is a good man. But her family is ready to pack up and move, and time is running out to uncover the truth before someone gets hurt . . . or worse.