Saturday, April 25, 2015

V ~ Vorsinger

At the front of the church house, the first bench facing the ministers was reserved for the vorsingers.

They were the men who would announce the songs we would be singing. Once the song was announced they waited for a few moments to give the rest of the church time to find the song in the little songbooks we used.

They led the first syllable of the first word of every line, and then the rest of the church would chime in and help sing the rest of the line.

I don't miss these slow church songs, but not much takes me back to those days more than listening to these old familiar songs.

Friday, April 24, 2015

U ~ Underlings

From the outside, the Amish in one community might all appear the same, and it appears to be a loving, accepting, forgiving environment.

Being a part of the Amish it looks quite different. Everyone is aware that not everyone is the same, and so far every community I have ever lived in had underlings.

Underlings weren't well accepted by the rest of the community. Their opinions counted for nothing, and it seemed no matter how much they tried they weren't well accepted and would often be in some kind of trouble simply because of who they were, and the family name they carried.

It was hard for the children from an underling family to find someone to court and marry. The family name was hard to shake, no matter how sweet or upstanding they were. Unless they moved to a community where their underling reputation was unknown they were fated to have a more miserable life

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T ~ Trouble

There seems to be an overly romanticized view of all things Amish, and more people than ever think it would be great to join them.

It is not an easy trouble free life they imagine it to be.

Amish are afflicted with the same kinds of troubles that anyone else faces.
  • Financial ~ Every family is responsible for their own finances, making mortgage payments, and paying any other bills they may have. 
  • Health ~ Contrary to some reports I have seen, Amish seem to have all health related issues that anyone else can have. Cancer, heart attacks, depression, etc. Plus they have some other problems that are basically unheard of outside of the Amish.
On top of troubles all mankind shares, they have a unique set of troubles that are kept hush-hush.
  • Rules that are enforced by public confessions and shunning.
  • Hidden sins that hurt others in the community, but are never dealt with properly.
  • Church problems that need to be handled by their own unique court system.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S ~ Salt of the Earth

In the community I grew up, the Amish were very concerned that we live as holy as possible. We were the salt of the earth and the fate of the world was depending on us.

The ministers and a lot of older people were concerned how so many Amish communities weren't being true to Jakob Ammann's vision when he started the Amish church. They'd shake their heads sadly and say "Once the salt has lost its savor, the end will come quickly." Apparently a lot of Amish churches were no longer salty enough. To make up for other communities backsliding or drifting they seemed to be constantly imposing more rules on us to ensure we could still be considered the salt of the earth.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Have you ever had to wear a uniform? If yes, tell us more. Did you love it or hate it?

In my opinion, I've never had to wear a uniform.

Some people view Amish clothes as uniforms, and no, wearing them never bothered me.

2. April 22nd is Earth Day. What is one thing you do personally to be a good steward of planet Earth?

We never litter, ever. How hard is it to dispose of things properly? I don't understand why anyone would simply throw things out the window.

3. Brown rice, quinoa, or couscous...your healthy grain of choice? How often are one of the three on your menu at home?  Given a choice between white rice, brown rice, wild rice, and fried rice which would you go for

Tried couscous once, and didn't really care for it. Brown rice isn't a favorite either, and I've never had quinoa.

We like white rice, and have it at least once a week, often more.
4. In your opinion, who has the best job ever?

I can't imagine a better job than being a mother.
5. What's a situation in your life currently requiring patience? 

Probably being a mother. It seems as if I've given opportunities every day to practice patience.
6.  Do you live your life around days of the week? Explain.

We do. There are specific things we do each day of the week. There's a laundry day, a thorough cleaning day, grocery shopping day, church day, and the other three days each have their own set of need to do's as well.
7. In a nod to the A to Z challenge happening around town this month, what 'R word' best describes your April? 


I'm not sure how to best describe this, other than after stepping back and evaluating our life applying a message we heard about Green Pastures and a Shepherds look at the 23rd Psalms, well..... recharged seems to fit quite nicely.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Spring is such a lovely time of year!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R ~ Raisins

For some Amish families, raisins were an important staple in their pantry. Cooked in oatmeal for breakfast and of-course oatmeal raisin cookies.

Raisins were often used as snacks for toddlers to eat during the long church services.

Some families seemed to be particularly fond of raisin pie, so fond in fact that they served them at weddings.

There were two variations of raisin pie, one with a custard type filling that was loaded with raisins. The other was simply raisins that were plumped in hot water and thickened with clearjel. None of which I found appealing.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q ~ Quiet

Growing up Amish we were used to quiet. Aside from the obvious of not having a television or radio to make noise, our house also didn't ever have the noise of a humming refrigerator or any other technology related noises.

Our house was a comfortable level of quiet, but staying overnight at my grandparents house took quiet to a whole new level. It was so quiet it almost felt loud.

Instead of the noise a family of eight creates, even in the middle of the night, there was absolutely nothing to be heard except the ticking of clocks, and weird night time creaks. As much as I loved my grandparents, I did not enjoy staying at their house overnight. The quiet was simply too much.