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Archive for September, 2012

Why Sarah Price Writes Amish Fiction

The first time I was invited to an Amish canning party, I was twenty years old. Nearly twenty-five years later, I still feel the same rush of awe when I’m invited to attend birthday parties, celebrations, or work parties with my Amish friends. Each moment that I spend among the Amish opens my eyes to the spiritual goodness of their culture.  I am blessed to have this unique relationship with the Amish. And this is something that I can share with my readers in the hopes of introducing a sense of Amish peace and tranquility that is too often lacking in our own lives.

The Amish move slowly throughout the day. They are not rushed or burdened with activities, work, or abundant commitments. There is no competition among the Amish, no petty grievances or jealous rages. Instead, they focus on the beauty of three yellow finches that visit the birdfeeder every evening, the bluebirds that nest in the birdhouse across the street on a telephone pole, or the growth of their crops. The Amish focus on the small victories of living each day and sharing that joy with their loved ones.

When I visit my Amish friends, I observe everything with a writer’s eye. I see the colors of the dresses hanging from the clothing line, the different shades of green in the growing cornfields, and the unspoken pride they take in planting spring flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. When a member of the community is sick, neighbors from both near and afar come to help that person’s family with chores, both inside and outside of the home.

The sense of spiritual well-being is so overwhelming. It leaves me breathless and humbled. During times of crisis, such as something as tragic as the Nickel Mines School shootings from 2006 or the less severe current rash of vandalism that has recently been spreading through my Amish friends’ community, the Amish demonstrate a true sense of Christian love for each other. Never is there talk of retribution or retaliation. Such a thought wouldn’t even cross their minds. Instead, they demonstrate the power of being a true believer in Jesus Christ. They work hard, they worship true, and they live life, the life that God has given to them, not the one that they wish they had.

Perhaps that’s the secret, the Amish peace: hard work, true worship and a life that is lived to the fullest. I’s the secret that I hope to capture and share in my books.

Sarah Price 

You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
Psalm 128:2

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(Readers: Today I am blogging my LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY blog on page one instead of on its regular second page. Join me in a little trip of nostalgia.)

Sept. 4, 2012

 REMEMBERING MOTHER AND HER MENNONITE FRIENDS

BLOG POST NUMBER EIGHT

 

The last nice photo
I have of Mother
February 2010

Last week was the second anniversary of the home going of my mother to be with “her Jesus and her Joe” (my father, who went to heaven in 1998). Mom was 94 when she passed through Heaven’s gates. I can’t imagine the joy she had as she saw her Savior face to face and then was greeted by her husband of 62 years and other relatives who had gone on before, including her “dear mother,” whom she hadn’t seen in 72 years.

While Mother’s health declined over her last six months, I had some help from Mennonite friends, who came and gave Mom homecare and kept the house in order. Heidi Weaver loved watching over Mom when I had to run errands. And when Mom was gone and no longer needed her worldly possessions anymore, Heidi took bags and bags of Mom’s clothing, purses, and other belongings to a Mennonite re-distribution center that sent items to needy folk in Haiti and Romania.

Sheila Martin, the gal on the right, was, and still is my cleaning gal. For years, she

Sheila’s sister, my Aunt Dot,
Sheila, and Mother

has come once a month to help me keep the house in order. She also was a tremendous help with Mom, coming several times a week sometimes. She gave Mom my prepared meals and helped her get around. And being a dog lover, Sheila also was, and is, great with our two dogs.

Once in a while, other Mennonite friends would stop by to encourage Mother. When she could no longer go to church, a group of Mennonites (about 25, including children) came on a Sunday evening once a month to have a “church service” with Mom. They sang hymns in four-part harmony without any instruments, and then one of the deacons had a short devotional of encouragement. (I had asked to take pictures of one of their visits, but they asked that I not take any.)

Rusty the horse
& his buggy

On another occasion, an Amish woman stopped by to visit. She parked the horse and buggy in the yard and brought Mother some delicious sticky buns. I can’t remember the woman’s name because we didn’t know her. She just said that God had told her to come and visit us. (But since I’m a horse lover, I could remember the name of the horse: Rusty!)

So, blended in with the sadness of my mother’s last days are also some very fond memories of my Amish/Mennonite friends and their kindness. Those memories I shall take with me into eternity when one day I’ll meet my Jesus and mother and dad face to face on the other side. I’ll be looking for my Plain Folk friends as well.

Mom holding her Bible
while she napped

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