I have had the privilege of reading Amish Values for Your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher over the past month. I was so excited to receive my free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, because while I do not agree with everything the Amish believe I have always admired their lifestyle. This is not your normal book review. Instead of reviewing the entire book, the request was that everyone pick one chapter, or Amish value that they could apply in their own life, without becoming Amish. I picked the chapter "August Pies" because the story was one that I could relate to so well (only I would probably have had a different reaction then the mom in the story...). The proverb says: He is the happiest, be he peasant or kink, who finds peace at home.
Isn't that so true? The short story that was included in this chapter was about two mothers who baked pies and left them on the floor on the porch to cool, while their toddlers played outside. Low and behold, when they were taking the last of their baked goods to the porch to cool, they found foot prints in all of the pies (well, minus the one that was being polished off by the dog). The two Amish women blamed themselves for not paying closer attention and decided the next time they had a baking day like that, they would have someone help with the children. They put the blame on expecting too much from their children, and themselves, and moved on.
The point was that children and to-do lists, don't always mesh well. To adapt this Amish proverb into our life, we need to realize that even when we have days when our goals are not met, our time is never wasted if it is spent caring for our families. Children aren't perfect. Instead of expecting them to be, we should expect a little less from everyone involved, and then be delighted when situations exceed our expectations, and not angry when our expectations aren't met.
There are so many ways that I can relate this story to my own life. As a mom of four children, let's just say that I expect to much daily... One specific example is one of my daughters has always loved playing in my room. While my room is baby proof, she has recently picked up the habit of finding things she shouldn't have to take in there. Over the past month I have found a bottle of sunscreen, hand sanitizer, finger nail polish, shampoo, body wash, and multiple bottles of lotion all emptied onto my floor. At first, I was upset, the next time I was angry, but now I just put the blame onto myself. I know that she has this habit, so I have started locking my bedroom door, and keeping all bottles out of reach (although, I must admit, she is quite the little climber). If I find things emptied on my floor now, I only have myself to blame. It is now my own fault for leaving the door unlocked, and/or a bottle not put up. While she still gets informed that she was in the wrong, I can't excuse myself from blame. I think that is really the bottom line to this chapter. To find peace at home, we have to be willing to share the blame. We have to be willing to forgive, to work together, and to move on.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever had a fascination with the Amish way of life. Also, don't forget to enter the give away:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of Amish Values for Your Family, her latest non-fiction release. "It offers loving ways to bring your fractured home back to life-Amish style. Read it and apply generously! It’s a beautiful book-funny, charming, soulful, and beautiful." -Mary Ann Kirkby
Read the reviews here.
To celebrate the release of Amish Values for Your Family, Suzanne has teamed up her publisher Revell Books to giveaway a Kindle, and with Bill Coleman (the amazing photographer used on Suzanne’s book covers) to give away a signed Bill Coleman original.
One Grand Prize winner will receive an Amish Values Prize Package (valued at over $200) and includes:
* A brand new KINDLE
* A Signed Bill Coleman original
* Amish Values for Your Family (for KINDLE)
But, wait there's more! Suzanne is running a Bill Coleman caption contest during the month of August on her blog. Title one of Bill’s gorgeous photos for a chance to win a print from Bill’s Amish Photo site and/or a copy of Amish Values for Your Family.