Today, she wants to share her Triangle of Blessings: Amish, Writing and Readers
I was first introduced to the Amish when I was only eight years old. It was my grandparents who took me to Lancaster County, PA. I sat between them on the front seat of their Cadillac, bouncing up and down with excitement as we passed each horse and buggy.
My grandparents came from a long line of strict Old Order Mennonites. Back in the early 1700s, our ancestors escaped persecution and travelled across the ocean to accept William Penn’s offer for free land in Pennsylvania. I often think about that journey and how terrified they must have been. Seeing the shores of Europe disappear over the horizon, facing an uncertain future in an unknown land…how courageous they were and how unfaltering in their faith in God.
There is something magical about the Amish. In today’s world of technology, information overload and crazy schedules, there is something to be said for a people who manages to maintain a simpler way of life. A people who takes care of each other. A people who lives for honoring God through their daily routines. How can you not fall in love with such people? They are truly blessed.
Likewise, I consider myself a blessed person. For almost twenty-five years, I have been staying among the Amish. In the beginning, I found an Amish family that rented out an apartment over their mule shed. For several years, I would rent the apartment and travel back and forth from my home to their farm. In later years, I was introduced to an Amish woman who rented me a room in her home. Through these connections, I have been permitted the rare opportunity to straddle the fence between my current world and this of my ancestors.
There is another blessing in my life (and I believe we all have many). I have been blessed with the desire to write. Since I was a child, I wrote books. It was my passion, my dream. I love writing, telling stories that entertain and inform. It’s in my blood. I believe that a true author writes for that reason: they have a passion to write. That’s it. It’s as plain and simple as the Amish.
The beautiful thing is that I have been blessed to combine the two: my passion for writing and my passion for the Amish. It’s a marriage made in heaven, as far as I’m concerned. Like my friend, colleague, and fellow author, Karen Anna Vogel, my knowledge of the Amish comes from first-hand experience. It allows me to write authentic books, books that are rich in true knowledge of the Amish, a special knowledge that I love to share with my readers.
That brings me to my final blessing, one that is so important to me: the readers. How fortunate it is that so many wonderful people desire to know the Amish and to learn about their faith! These readers are faced with so much stress: busy lives, illness, uncertainty, and hardship in a time of economic distress. It is such a blessing to know that, even if only for a few hours, they can slip away from this stress through the stories that I love to write.
I invite you into my world, to pick up one of the many Amish books written by wonderful authors that are available in bookstores and online, and to sit back in order to escape, even if just for a few pages. Who knows? Maybe you, too, will find some relief from the everyday stress in your own life as you explore the world of the Amish through our eyes.