It always amazes me how neat and organized my Amish friends’ homes are. I have a real problem with clutter. At first, I attributed their neatness to the lack of technology. Of course, the Amish aren’t distracted by Facebook and television! They have plenty of time to clean! However, I soon learned it is more than that. The Amish, as a whole have an ability to stay clutter free and organized because these things are important to them. They consider it stewardship. If you consider your stewardship of the earth, and your home as a microcosm of that, if is easier to organize. As always, it is easier when you let God in. From one of my Amish friends, who wishes to remain anonymous, here’s the strategy. We will call her Sarah. Here are her best 5 tips.
Begin with prayer. When you offer your work as a gift to God it is easier to remember that it should be your best work and not some slipshod offering. Offering work as a prayer is something that we can all get behind.
Sarah said she makes lists, not of everything, but of 3 or 4 things she has to accomplish that day. For her it is dinner, bake pie and clean the kitchen well and give the bedrooms a lick and a promise. For me it is write that last chapter, edit the previous chapter and finally get that book up on the cantankerous kindle site! That often leaves little time for cleaning and baking. I do agree though, that lists can keep you on task, whatever that task may be.
Do one thing and do it well. Remember when multi-tasking was all the rage? Sarah says she thinks multi-tasking is a myth. Multi-tasking makes mediocrity. In her estimation when she tries to do too many things at once, all of them end up being less than her best. Remember if you are offering this job to our Lord, it should be your best, so no multi-tasking.
Sarah says: start with a clean counter top. Research agrees with her. Did you know your eyes process everything in your field of vision, every time you look at it? That means when you have a lot of cutter around you, it means your brain is processing the clutter as well as the task. I tried cleaning up the clutter and did work better. I wondered why I write better at a coffee shop than at home. I think it is because at home, I see too many things to do that are not writing. At a coffee shop, all I see is my computer and random strangers.
Sarah says: Simplify. As an Amish woman, she doesn’t have a lot of choice of what she will wear and doesn’t need a lot of clothes or shoes. I do have a bit of a problem with this one, but ask yourself what you can clear out. Do you really need another outfit, another toy? After all, you can only drink out of one coffee cup at a time. You can only wear one sweater at a time. (I still have 4 black sweaters. Black is basic though! I should keep them all right? ) Sarah said the biggest “extra” that she sees Englishers have is more than one television set. If you only had one, wouldn’t you and your children watch together and perhaps at least talk about the show? And if you turned it off occasionally you might even have more time to share with your children. Take time to simplify. Get organized and you will have fewer things to distract you from what is really important.
Will You Still Love Me in the Morning?
That question asked by women of yesteryear is still valid today, even among the Amish, although rarely asked in Amish Fiction. Still, it is an important question that women need to present to their daughters and granddaughters. How to do that without seeming hopelessly old fashioned, is the trick. The truth is, without God, it is a subject that is impossible to approach, but what young women wants mom or grandma to preach hellfire and damnation? Is that even the right thing to do? Jesus didn’t condemn the woman at the well. He forgave her. How to proceed? In many cases, an Amish romance novel may help to break the silence.
The truth is, today’s modern women think that free sex allows them to enjoy all the pleasures of sex that women of bygone centuries were denied. But does it really? Are today’s women really insatiable or are they just insecure? No longer does she have to worry about getting pregnant and trying to raise a child without a spouse, but is that really all that is happening here? Giving in to sex for his enjoyment or yours, all too often is still a sign of insecurity…just like it was in generations past. Sure, you can hold on to him. For a while. Or maybe you lost who you thought was the love of your life to that strumpet. But that’s just it, isn’t it? You are looking for the love of your life…the man with whom you will spend your life, raise children and grow old together. I believe the men of the Amish Romance Novels, are one of the reasons why Amish Romance is popular. They are populated with men who believe in chastity and LOVE. None is more rock solid in his own chastity than Jacob Byler, and we love him for it. We want this paragon of virtue in our lives. Similarly, Samuel's Sin, book 3 in series, is a sin forgiven and temptation avoided. These strong men are an inspiration and a hope.
In today’s society a night of sexual satisfaction only requires respect, not love. In the end, many single women feel lonely because the men do not love them. And that leads to yet more insecurity. Are you feeling like a liberated woman yet? Are your daughters and granddaughters feeling liberated, or used? Sharing Christian fiction can be a way of opening the door without preaching or condemning. You don’t condemn someone for being insecure. You love them; just as Jesus did.
The problem is that when you are insecure you think you can control the relationship by introducing sex into the equation or allowing your boyfriend, or even a casual acquaintance to introduce sex. In either case, it is not control. It is a loss of control. The truth is, the women of yesteryear who denied sex before marriage really had the control. Now, if you play your cards right, you could get most men into bed, but there is still no guarantee that sex will transform that encounter into something more lasting. Perhaps it will lead to Christian marriage. We think a night of sin can be transformed into a thing of beauty if he just loves you, but the truth is, it is still a night of sin and there is no beauty in sin.
As a mother on Mother’s Day, I find myself reflecting on God’s many blessings in my life: most decidedly, the blessings of my children, both my natural born daughters and my adopted son, Vincent, who is before the face of God. The short story, Mary’s Gift was very close to my heart as I also lost a son, Arthur, to crib death. This is a story that will make every mother remember that today of all days she should count her blessings--her children.
For many, children are not a given. The pain that comes from a lost child, or the grief of never conceiving, is a sadness that most mothers do not have to bear, and yet for some, Mother’s Day is a reminder of this pain. As always, Our Lord is there to comfort us. Each of us can be the hands and heart of Jesus as we minister to our sisters in the faith, those who are mothers, those who have lost a mother and those who have lost a child.
For those who have children, you may wonder as they argue and stress, what was God thinking? Surely, He should have blessed you with well-behaved children. Regardless, they are gifts from our heavenly Father who knows what we need to love and grow. Even their short-tempers and yours serve our Lord's purpose. Be filled with gratitude and love for these souls entrusted to your care. Each day remember that they are not really yours. They are God’s and only on loan to you for a little while.
Bless and praise Him.
Hello and welcome to Arwilda Allshouse’s blog. I’m so glad that you decided to visit. For many people reading Amish Romance or Amish Inspirational stories is a time to concentrate on simple living and a desire to grow in your relationship with God. I hope you will enjoy my Amish stories of wholesome relationships blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ. You can find them on Amazon. Read free on Kindle Unlimited.
Often I will include Scripture both in the blog and my books because we all need reminding of the blessings the Lord bestows upon us. When we let Scripture guide our lives we find peace and happiness. This is my prayer for each of you.
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God’s Blessings to you all.
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