Friday, March 25, 2011

On becoming 40...

In my 40 years I can truly say that some of the best days were when we were pursuing joining the Amish church... 400+ days out of 14,600 of my richest memories...

God led us there


and God led us away



We still miss our Amish life... The decision has been bittersweet...


But we are glad that we did not tread farther as hard as it was to "leave"

Here is a journal entry of mine:


We brought in 2011 fairly quiet at the farm. We have many exciting things to look forward to this year spiritually, mentally, on the farm and more. I love clean slates don’t you? I do not have too many New Year’s resolutions. Just a few, to live even more simply, love harder than I ever have – even when it’s HARD, getting closer to the Lord and a soul winning goal this year.
I have a feeling that 2011 will bring some changes to our family. I am not sure what yet… I just have a feeling… I want to be willing and ready for all that the Lord has for us here and there. I say this a lot but you should know I truly mean it…


There is not too much to report on the home front. We have found a small local church that we are attending. When we left the Amish church we made a commitment to one another in our family unit to sit out a year from formal church. We knew it could be easy to go where we felt most loved and jump right it as we were pretty lonely at first and very sad…


We made a commitment to not say too much publicly about our year as an Amish family. Someone gave us some very good advice. They were missionaries in their past. When they got off the plane after being gone from home in a foreign land for a year someone from the missionary board said not to make any conclusions from their year away until they came full circle a year later. This kind missionary couple gave us this same advice. Looking back now it made so much sense. We are glad we honored this advice.


And today, January 3, 2011 I can say without regret that I am so thankful we did not join the Amish church. God is good to babies and fools. No, that is not a verse in the Bible. I am not saying we were foolish as I would live that entire year as an Amish family all over again! I am not saying we were babies to explore this lifestyle. I will say that there was a small touch of both of these in us though. By the grace of God, He led us out of the lifestyle that is idealistic to many. We learned more than ever to depend on our every next move from God with Him telling us what to do next. We learned what living simply actually means – it is going without a lot… Overall, I would still say the Amish lifestyle is about 90% correct! I bet that is closer to what we should all be than what we are living now possibly…


Some days I feel as if we are leaving our ultra-conservative lifestyle a bit. It’s hard to have lived 37 years as we did and not to be pulled back into some of that. We went Christmas shopping at a large local Amish store for some small gifts for the children. I left there crying silently. I cried because of what was gone and I cried for what could have been. I miss the smells, the shy smiles, the melodic language and the naivety. I do not miss the secrets, the pride, the lies and the coldness. Leaving the Amish has been bittersweet for us. But as we come full circle it has become more sweet… Sweeter as the days go by…
In the spirit of farming, family and faith,
HomemakerAng






9 comments:

Treasures Evermore said...

I can honestly say that your post made me weep...You have shared here more openly than ever before...and I have such a respect for you that it makes me weep and smile.

I always want God to lead me no matter where it is...and when the path changes, not to be disheartened because of what was before. You have showed such grace and incredible spirit through this post....showing your heart more. Not everything is for everyone....I would definitely love to live a more simple life...but my life is amazing and I am not Amish.

God has blessed us with a little homestead of our own...starting with five little laying hens. We are blessed with seven children four of whom are adopted from Africa and Thailand....and we are going to be grandparents in about six weeks.

I have never been more happy or thankful in my life....life is hard at times, but I would not want it any other way.

Thank you SO much for sharing this side of you. I know that God has amazing things for you and your family for the rest of 2011 and the next 40 years :-)

Blessings,

Connie

Frugal Queen said...

Hi- I don't usually comment but found your openess really touching, joining a 'closed' religious order is hard, leaving one is extremely difficult, i like what you say and agree that sometimes the lord leads us there and leads us away, sometimes he allows us to choose what's not right for us, just for us to learn that lesson for ourselves - i love your blog and read every post you write xxx

Happy Days said...

I remember when you joined the Amish church, you said at the time, you were so excited and yet reserved. We counted down the days. When you left their church, and posted about it, I felt sad for you, but then realized, not every religion is for everyone. Good that you realized it in the early stage. I've heard the Amish have a hard time with "outsiders" joining their church, and wondered, if after all that you had given up and all your sincere hopes, that some treated you as outsiders. God wanted you to be aware of how they lived, but didn't want you to "live" it. You have taken the good parts from them and added your own. And, you all have grown from the experience I'm sure. Thanks for sharing...debbie

Dani said...

having done something similar when we were young, I can really relate..we were in a Christian commune in our twenties that was wonderful for a time.and yes, its bitter sweet to leave..God will lead you to the right next place..He has us....and He will give you comfort also....are you still living off the grid?

Homemaker Ang said...

Dani, yes we are still living off grid :)

Nancy said...

I can identify with you. I agree with Happy Days advice.

Lynne said...

Huh? I had no idea you at one time were considering joining the Amish church. I have not been reading your blog for a long time.
I have always thought of "Amish" as a religion. I have always thought of their lifestyle as secondary to their religion.
I would find it very interesting to know why you did not join their church. Was it because of their doctrine or services? It seems like the off-grid lifestyle was not much of a barrier to you.
It also seems like "Amish" is a culture, and it would be hard to fit into a culture you were not born into.
Lynne in MD

Joe and Jeannie Family said...

Thank you for sharing so personally. You and your husband appear to be great examples of patience, spiritual wisdom and discernment for your family. May God richly bless you for your faithfulness to his plan for your family. You encourage me by your willingness to follow Him.

Also, have you been able to watch the BBC documentary "Trouble in Amish Paradise"? You can see it on youtube.com. Of course it is only one story, but for me (not being close to the Amish community), it left a great prayer and hope for the Amish who don't know Jesus personally and encouragement that some do! "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Eph 2:8-9

Renata said...

Hi Ang
Thanks for sharing so openly. I guess since I've been reading your blog for a fair while I always wondered about how long you had been amish & what the lifestyle was like. I'm sorry that it makes you sad for what you have missed, but I'm sure that God is leading you in the right path for your family. Sometimes we wonder why God allows us to go down these paths in the first place - only to turn us around again, but I wonder if it's because He wants to teach us a lesson or two. I've wondered that in my own life as well!!

I look forward to continueing following your journey through 2011 & beyond! Your blog is still one of my favourites - although I don't comment as often as I should :)

Have a wonderful day my friend (Oh & you certainly look very young for 40)
Renata:)

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