Monday, July 28, 2014

Why Do Amish People Leave their Life?

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Months ago an assistant professor of sociology, Dr. Caroline Faulkner, emailed. She was studying the curiosity, "Why do Amish people leave?" and asked me to help with names of ex-Amish from Old Order to interview.

We exchanged a stimulating email dialog. I explained that most of my relationships and personal experiences are with Swartentruber Amish (stricter and more mysterious than Old Order) but, I was able to provide her with names.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How Do Swartzentruber Amish bathe?

A benefit of writing this blog is answering the many questions received in the Comments section below or via email. If you've not read my previous 66 posts you're missing tremendous info, in the post and in the Comments!

One inquiring mind emailed, "without indoor plumbing, how do Swartzentruber Amish bathe? I presume by obviously filling up a tub with water, but how often would they take baths? Would they do so in the kitchen? I'm just curious as to how it worked, and if they'd get any privacy since the families are typically so large."

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Ex-Amish Mosie's English Wedding!

Happy July! 


2011, celebrating Mosie's birthday
He's our first "adopted" son from the Swartzentruber Amish. Lived with us for a year. Went with us on family vaca. After he moved out, he still spent holidays, birthdays, and Sunday dinners in our home. We believed then - still do - that our relationship was divine direction.

Then he moved from Ohio to North Carolina. We were a bit nervous for him to move and I knew I'd miss seeing him every week. But God had great things awaiting Mosie - a job, his childhood pal Joe, and - best of all - Crystal.

We were honored when Mosie and Crystal sent us their delightfully hand designed June wedding invitation. Mosie wanted his Amish parents to meet Crystal's parents but they were not "interested" and made no plans to attend the wedding.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Simple Life and Freedom to Choose?

I have “minimalists” friends. They live and decorate their home sparingly. Don’t subscribe to the newspaper – read it at our public library. 

I respect those who try to live simply or resist over-scheduling, over-technology, and over-abundance. Those who live off the land are my favorite. My grandpa retired from a factory to try his hand at farming. I've been a preschool teacher, hospital chaplain, parent educator, magazine columnist, and now an author, blogger, and speaker. We have the freedom to live by our convictions, right?

Not so the Amish - especially those of the Swartzentruber Order.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Amish Dental Lab Visit

"Want to go with me to the lady's house?" Sarah asked me.

"What lady?" I replied.

"The one who makes teeth."

Finally . . . a first-hand view of an Amish dental lab. I've often heard about these services within the self-sufficient Amish communities. In my post Amish Best Kept Secret I wrote about their own (unlicensed) dentists but now I actually get to see where the partials and dentures are crafted. What a cultural experience!

Sarah drove for about an hour, winding through curvy two-lane country roads into the small Amish-saturated tourist town of Berlin, Ohio. It's green rolling hills scattered with Holstein and Jersey cows are alluring eye candy to this city gal. Sarah turned from its main road down onto a narrow, unnamed, single-lane path. On the left stood a small ranch-style house. Sarah pulled into the driveway and turned off the engine.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Amish Blog Readers Come from Where?! Why?

One of my author pals, Stephanie Reed, who writes Amish fiction (yes, fiction and non-fiction authors can be friends) was amazed and fascinated with the diverse readership here. Stephanie suggested I write a post about the many readers from various countries.

It appears not just Americans are eager to learn about the Amish. 

Since my blog launch in December 2012,
United States composes the highest number readership at 79,916
Canada gives me 3,544 readers followed by the
UK with 3,180 readers and
Australia brings in 1,435 learners.

I'm appreciative and amazed. Thanks for your hunger, to learn real facts, about the Amish and feeding it at my blog!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Is Debate and Compromise Always Good?

Someone once asked, "Is there room for a healthy debate about practices or faith inside the Amish culture and still be in good standing with Church leaders?"

Overwhelmingly former Amish - from different orders - answered, "No!"

Ex-Old Order Amish pal John, whom I blogged about, replied, "In our community you could talk about it, as long as you didn't show any hint of disagreeing with any rules. I guess it wasn't a debate. If you openly questioned anything, it made everybody consider you odd."

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Ex-Amish. Where are they Now?

They come to me. I don't go looking for them.

If you've read back through my blogs - or you're a subscriber - then you know meeting then opening my home and heart to those who leave the Amish is an unplanned learning curve. But I take it seriously.

I've written blogs on ways to practically, accurately help former Amish adjust to the outside life. I've written about their struggle to earn a GED. I try to advocate for their needs so they have a step-up into our world.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mosie's Mom

My story, "Mosie's Mom," p. 65
Oops. I'd forgotten.

Then the book arrived. Imagine my surprise...

There, on page 65, was the story I wrote of my life with Mosie. He joined our family after he left his uber strict Swartzentruber order of Amish.

Last year, my colleague Nancy B. Kennedy had asked me to contribute a story of motherhood to her new book Miracles & Moments of Grace (Leafwood). I remember us talking about Leafwood because one of my other books is published via this terrific publisher. I'm honored to be among Nancy's top pick of 50 authors and professional women who write humorous, heartbreaking, or happy stories about one of the toughest jobs - motherhood.