It may be difficult to wait on the Lord, but it is worse to wish you had. —Amish proverb
Mary Miller is a thin, attractive Amish woman of 46, a mother to eight children born within a span of eleven years. During the day, Mary wears a starched white organza prayer cap over her tightly pinned hair bun. In the night, she wears another covering. Why does she wear a head covering at night?
“In case I wake up in the night and need to pray,” Mary explains in a tone that suggests it should be quite obvious. “And with eight children, I do. Often.”
Religion is 24/7 for the Amish. Everything they do, especially the manner in which they dress, is based upon their faith. Their simple clothing—a tradition of the Amish and the reason they are also called the Plain People—is a tangible reminder that they are a people set apart, belonging to the Lord. The Kapp or “head cap,” worn by every woman and even by infants, might be the most symbolic garment of all. As girls become young teens, they start to wear the cap: black for Sunday dress and a white cap at home. After marriage a white cap is always worn.
The style and size of caps can vary among church districts, but it is essentially the same cap as that worn by the Palatine women of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Back in those days, the Amish were perceived as radicals.
But to a modern world, the Amish still seem radical.
This excerpt is taken with permission from Amish Values for Your Family (Revell), a book that invites you into Amish farmhouses for a hearty meal, to explore the topic of rearing children who are “in the world but not of it” (John 17:16).
Enter to win a copy of Amish Values for Your Family below!
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction, and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. The Search won a 2012 Carol Award. The Waiting was a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. The Choice was a finalist for a 2011 Carol Award. The Letters is a finalist for a Christian Retailing 2014 Best Award. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011). Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She travels back east a couple of times each year for research.
Be on the lookout for Suzanne’s next book, The Imposter (releases October 6)