Friday, June 26, 2015

Amish, Shunning, and Unforgiveness

When the subject of Amish and forgiveness comes up a lot of people seem to think that they are somewhat hypocritical because they shun those of us who have left the Amish.

While I don't agree with that practice, I don't see it as being unforgiving.

The Amish believe that those who have left their church have been deceived and are no longer pleasing God.

They base their practice of excommunication and shunning on 1 Corinthians 5. It's not that they don't still love those who have left, but they feel their duty and devotion to God and the Amish church requires them to not have too much contact with those who have left so that they don't also become deceived.

Our decision to leave the Amish was one that we didn't make lightly. We knew doing so would change everything. That as long as we didn't go back we would be shunned. We don't hold that against them. It's what they believe, and they have the right to practice that belief even though it is hard for everyone. On both sides. Not just the ones who leave, but the ones that are doing the shunning don't like it any more than we do.

There is a whole lot of hurt, but there isn't unforgiveness.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. June 23rd is National Pink Day. What's your favorite something pink?

My favorite something pink to drink is Pink Lemonade. Haven't had any since last summer so I really think I need to make some soon.

My favorite something pink that I can't consume is a cover I have for my treadle sewing machine.

2. What did you enjoy most about gym class when you were in school? How about the least?

We didn't do gym in our school, however I don't think I would have liked it at all. As it was recess was something I dreaded. I much preferred my books than being outside and participating in games.

3. What memory is brought to mind by the smell of roses?

I can't smell roses. However I really like them, and one memory that always comes to mind when I see roses is how LV gave me a beautiful rose from his prized rosebush. It was the only rose ever to be cut from it. I dried it and still have it tucked in a nice little box.

4. Do you prefer to read or write?

That all depends on what kind of mood I'm in.

Some days I love entering the world of friends that live between the covers of a book, and other days there are some characters in my head that simply have to have their story told and I have no choice but write.

5. Sam Keen is quoted as saying, 'Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.' Would you agree? Is laziness ever respectable? How will you be lazy this summer?

Heat saps all the energy from me and I slow down. I wouldn't necessarily label it as being lazy, more of a survival mode.

I don't think actual laziness is ever respectable.

This summer I'll be trying to get quite a lot of writing done.

6. The Florida Keys, Disney World, or a resort somewhere on the Gulf Coast...which Florida destination would you choose (and why) if the trip were today?

Disney World is out for me. I don't enjoy crowds or standing in lines. I have always wanted to see the Florida Keys someday, though not during the summer. It's hot enough where we live that I don't want to visit somewhere that's even hotter.

7. What question do you hate to answer?

How much do you weigh?

I absolutely refuse to answer that question, and thankfully the state we live in now does not require your weight to be on your driver's license. I used to really, really dislike having it on display for anyone asking for ID when we lived in Missouri.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

On Sunday I saw something I had never seen before since we live here. I had to go pick up LV and Sailor after their day of hiking which required me to drive on a very narrow dirt road that had trees growing on both sides. Their branches touched above the road creating a tunnel of sorts. The little bit of sunlight that filtered down through it gave a mellow light. That would have been pretty enough, but what made it so much better was that there were hundreds, if not thousands of butterflies fluttering about.

Sunbeam had gone with me, and she was absolutely speechless, something that hardly ever happens.

Once we were through she got her voice back, though it was dripping in awe. "Mom, that was absolutely magical!"

I'm still kicking myself that I had not taken the camera along.

Friday, June 19, 2015

What is a Big Family?

Growing up in a family with six children, when people used to ask me how many siblings I have I would say, "Only five."

Our family was not considered to be a big family among the Amish, and I often wished for more siblings, especially sisters. My parents both came from big families, and most of their siblings went on to have large families as well.

I still don't think having six children is a big family, but have discovered what is thought of as a big family varies a lot from culture to culture, from one church denomination to another, and even what part of the country you live in.

The area we live in now a lot of people have only two children, there are of-course still families that have more, but it isn't as common as it was in the Midwest.

With our four children I am still amused when people think we have a big family, and recently at church when we were doing our meet and greet time between song service and the message this one visiting lady who had been sitting in front of us turned around and counted our children. "Oh my!" she says. "You must be really busy and have your work cut out for you. I'll be sure and pray for you."

I wasn't sure how to respond to that, for several different reasons.

1. I don't consider us to have a big family.
2. Our children were standing right there!! How were they supposed to feel? She made it sound as if they were a burden.
3. I never turn prayers down ..... but ...... really??

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Heart of the Amish

"Time heals clean wounds. Soiled wounds fester and infect."  This quote was one of my favorites as I read The Heart of the Amish.

   Growing up in an Amish home intentional forgiveness was something that we were taught by example. Thinking back over certain happenings I'm thankful for my parents calm response and how they showed us the power and freedom that comes through forgiveness, whether or not the offending party ever feels remorse for their actions or words.

  I remember how I used to think that their ability to forgive was something that comes with being grown up, but having been an adult myself for a while now I have come to realize this is not the case.

  Reading this book filled with true accounts of intentional forgiveness has been refreshing. What I didn't realize at the time I read it was how I would soon be glad I had my mind filled with all things forgiveness related as we were handed a doozy to practice on.

  I won't share any particular story from the book, other than mentioning the fact that one pertaining to something that happened in my childhood and how my parents chose forgiveness is included. I would recommend this book to anyone that has ever been hurt, anyone that has ever struggled with forgiveness, anyone that wants peace and freedom in their life. Yes, it is that good!

  I wasn't asked to do a review, I simply wanted to share a little about a great book with all of you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Feeding Cows

Yesterday Buddy was introduced to the joys of feeding cows. He had watched Sunbeam do it and I guess it looked like enough fun that he was sure he wanted to do it as well. At first he had needed a little encouragement from Sunbeam, those long, sticky, and somewhat sandpaper-y tongues seemed to be a little much at first.

By evening he had enough confidence to do it on his own.

Squealing as he presents another handful of grass to a friendly cow.

Laughing as he wipes his hand on his pants and watches the cow enjoy the tasty handful of grass.

Running back excitedly to get another handful while Sunbeam feeds her favorite cow, and Rosebud does some sketching.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Rosebud has been creating quite a list of things she would like to do. On it she had included "make every recipe in a cookbook."

She chose a cookbook that looked doable for this challenge and started with the plans to make a new recipe once a week. Seeing her enthusiasm for this challenge was contagious, so Sunbeam and I decided to get in on the fun and each choose a cookbook to work our way through as well.

With three of us doing this we get to try new food Monday-Wednesday every week. So far most of the recipes have been good. Some better than others, but still all good, except for one. A bulgur wheat and bean salad with an orange juice and olive oil dressing. It was so awful we don't even want to speak of it in our house again.


Buddy loves playing with balls. If he can find some one to play pitch and catch with him he's happy. Lately though we have been having a hard time finding any of his balls to play with. That changed on Friday when Sunbeam wanted to build a little blanket fort for Buddy and her to play in and she discovered where all his balls had vanished to.


The highlight of our weekend was when some of our friends from Missouri stopped in for a visit. You know you have good friends when you can pick up where you left off several years ago and it's as if there hadn't been all this time between seeing each other last.


If you would like to keep up with me between blog posts, you're welcome to send me a friend request and come join me on Facebook here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's something you're looking forward to in the month of June?

I don't have any special June or summery plans. Sailor on the other hand is looking forward to having hay season begin.

2. In what way have you come full circle?

I've been going in circles trying to come up with an answer for this one. I started off with not knowing how I'll answer it. Thought of a few things that I didn't really want to share, and came back a full circle .... still not knowing how to answer.

3. Lonely Planet lists 10 spots in America you should see in 2015 and the reasons why. How many on the list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

Queens NY, Western South Dakota, New Orleans, Colorado River Region, North Conway NH, Indianapolis IN, Greenville SC, Oakland CA, Duluth MN, and the Mount Shasta Region CA

I have seen Indianapolis IN, mostly just passing through and really didn't think it seemed particularly appealing as a place to spend a lot of time.

Of the options given, the Colorado River Region appeals to me the most.

4. A song that describes your mood right now?

5. Strawberry ice cream, strawberry short cake, strawberry pie, or strawberries right off the vine...your favorite?

Strawberry pie is one of my all time favorite desserts.

I really like them fresh off the vine too, especially the little gnarled ones. As a little girl I used to feel sorry for them being surrounded by big picture perfect strawberries, and here they were small, gnarled, and ugly, but they were always much sweeter than the beautiful ones, so they rarely ever made it out of the strawberry patch. I'd eat them as soon as I found one.

6. Aesop's birthday is celebrated on June 4th, although there is some disagreement as to whether or not that's accurate, or if he was even a real person. Regardless, the name Aesop is associated to this day with many well known fables. Which of the following best applies to something in your life right now? The Tortoise and the Hare (Slow and Steady wins the race), The Ant and the Grasshopper (Be prepared), The Fox and the Goat (Look before you leap) or The Crow and the Pitcher (Necessity is the mother of invention)?

The Tortoise and the Hare.

We've been patiently waiting and working towards a certain goal, and it looks like it will be paying off.

7. The answer is yes...what's the question?

Are you looking forward to start reading your favorite series of books this weekend?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

We had a very pleasant visit with my parents and brothers last week. I hadn't seen my two youngest brothers for years and had to blink several times before it sank in that they're young men now instead of little school boys.

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Babies

What a difference five years makes!

Soon after I started my blog I had shared this picture of Sailor and Rosebud.

Trying to recreate it today.

Excuse me while I go sniffle for a few minutes and then go enjoy my day with my children, because who knows what big changes will happen over the next five years, and I don't want to miss anything.