Learning to slow down and enjoy life can seem overwhelming, but with just a few small changes, you can live that simple Amish lifestyle you dream of.
I’m one of those people who romanticize about the Amish way of life. I love their simplicity, the way they put God and community first, and the way they live a simple existence surrounded by family. Their inner circle is small and they can count on those around them to get them through the trials and tribulations of the life.
I know they have worries just like us. I know first hand they suffer from illness, depression, family problems and at times money issues just like we do. But their faith is strong and they look to the Lord to pull them through.
Over the years, I’ve tried to model my life after that simplicity. I strive to bring peace and balance to my life and look for ways to adopt a simple Amish lifestyle.
Turn all inner noise off. – Rarely will find a TV or radio on in my house. When I’m able I open the windows and let the sounds of the farm bring me music. The sounds of birds singing, chickens chirping, the alpacas talking and even an occasional coyote singing.
Take the time to enjoy – I slow down and enjoy my tasks at hand. Whether it is washing dishing or feeding chickens, I take the time to enjoy what I’m doing. I gaze out the window while washing dishes, I listen to the birds in the trees when feeding chickens and am in my glory when mowing grass. Just slowing down to take in the world around me calms and gives me peace.
Turn the lights off – I’m aware of every light and electric appliance that is on in the house. When I’m spending a quiet evening by myself, there’s nothing on except one small light to read by. The visual noise of too many lights and the energy we burn makes me anxious…so the small glow from one light calms me.
Grow your own – We make every effort to learn to live without Walmart. We plant gardens, raise our own meat and make as many things we can homemade. For the things I don’t grow I visit farmer’s markets, local vegetable stands and make it a point to buy locally.
Make homemade gifts – Every evening I spend my quiet time working on projects that will provide me gifts to give throughout the year. Crocheting, quilting, and fiber spinning are some of my favorite ways to make homemade gifts.
Make home cooked meals – Eating out less and fixing more home-cooked meals is a great way to simplify your life. We cook and eat at home so much that now when I do eat out I find myself getting anxious about the food in front of me. I find myself wondering… where did this come from, how was it prepared, and what’s in it that I don’t know about?
Pick up a book – I’m an avid reader and enjoy immersing myself in a book. I visit places I’ll never go, meet people I may never meet and go on adventures I can only go on through a book.
Take a walk – Seeing the world around you can only be truly enjoyed when you’re outside. The fresh air, the peacefulness, and the beauty of nature is all I need to find that inner peace.
Put up a line – My mornings are not complete without hanging laundry on the line. The clean, fresh scent of freshly washed clothes, the sound of the snap I give them to release the wrinkles and the gentle breeze that dries them is about as simple as it gets for me.
And lastly…make time for prayer – I spend time every day in devotion and prayer. Starting my day with the Lord will calm any anxiety I have about the day ahead.
I know I’ll never drive a buggy or live without some form of electronics, but adopting some of the values the Amish live by helps me find peace and joy in my life.
What are some of the ways you simplify your life and live an Amish lifestyle?
By: Tracy Fredrychowski
Photo by Jim Fisher
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