Mother’s Day… from an Amish perspective.

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I am beginning to understand…

As I stood before the congregation this past Mother’s Day morning, listening to the preacher extol the many virtues of these women standing alongside me, something happened to me.

I am not someone who enjoys the spotlight. In fact, I get extremely nervous when I have to stand up in front of a group of people for any reason. So you can imagine that I was not up there by choice. When the pastor asked all of the mothers to come up, my mother pulled me with her so I went.

But as I stood there sweating out my nerves, I began to look at the experience through the eyes of an Amish mother.

An Amish mother is the embodiment of Proverbs 31.

Proverbs 31:10 – 31 KJV

[10] Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

~ Amish women guard their virtue fiercely because they understand that virtue is a precious gift God has bestowed upon her.

[11] The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

~ Amish marriage vows are second only to the vow a young person gives to God upon their baptism. Many of us who are not bound so tightly in our faith have no comprehension of the strength this commitment requires.

[12] She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

~ Amish women understand that it takes a strong woman to “submit” herself to God and then to her husband.

[13] She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

~ Amish dress so conservatively that most of their clothing HAS to be made by hand. And tourists come from all over to purchase hand-made items like quilts and toys because the workmanship that goes into them is unequaled.

[14] She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

~ Amish women work hard to build wonderful gardens so they are able to feed their families well.

[15] She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

~ Amish women work at all hours of the day or night to take care of their families. There is a lot of truth in the statement “A mother’s work is never done.”.

[16] She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

~ Amish mothers consider how every purchase will benefit their family… or not.

[17] She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

~ Men may work “by the sweat of their brow” but a woman’s hard work involves a lot more than just the physical.

[18] She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

~ No Amish wife or mother is going to go off to bed when there are things that still need to be done.

[19] She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

~ Amish women spend time making things for their family – and not just because it might cost less. A child is much more comforted under a blanket made by their mother’s own hands.

[20] She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

~ Every time a family in the community has needs to be met, the women bind together to bake goods and make beautiful quilts or other crafts that can be sold to make the money that is needed.

[21] She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

~ Amish women are taught to trust in God’s will but they are also taught to plan ahead.

[22] She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

~ Amish women dress very modestly but every Amish is taught how important it is to save her true beauty for her husband.

[23] Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

~ Every woman, Amish or not, wants to feel that her husband is valuable to his neighbors and respected in the community.

[24] She maketh fine linen, and selleth it ; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

~ Amish women want to be a credit to their husbands, their family and their community.

[25] Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

~ Amish women know how important it is to present a good witness. They teach their children by example.

[26] She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

~ There are thousands of Amish Proverbs and mothers are the ones who hold them most dear – in times of stress and times of teaching.

[27] She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

~ You will never find an Amish woman just sitting around when there are things to be done.

[28] Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also , and he praiseth her.

~ An Amish woman is truly the hub of her home. Everyone counts on her and she holds a special place in each of their hearts.

[29] Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

~ Nothing pleases an Amish woman more than seeing her daughter continuing in the faith and taking care of her own family.

[30] Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord , she shall be praised.

~ Amish women know that the things of this world are fleeting. They put their faith in God!

[31] Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

~ And this is where my article comes full circle. Amish women don’t cultivate pride. They don’t expect awards or rewards. They don’t want applause or praise.

Amish women understand that mothers don’t do all of the things we do for praise. We do it because we love to.

Yes there are times being a mother is a thankless job but again, we don’t do it for Thanks.

A good mother takes care of her family because they’re important to her – they are her life and their happiness is all the thank you she needs.

 

God Bless!

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014

The Amish have it right – they really do!

Psalms 1:
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

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Recently we were watching David Gibbs Jr.’s talk at a previous ATI conference about Psalm 1 – Whatever You Do Will Prosper and I realized something as I was listening.

Psalm 1 explains why  the Amish are so staunch in their faith… at least it does for me. I don’t know if it is their explanation or not but each of the three challenges that God puts forth to us in the Psalm go along with Amish philosophy so it makes sense.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…”

David Gibbs explained this in a way that I’ve never truly thought about it. When the Bible says “ungodly” here, it doesn’t mean the worst of the worst – even though that is what it has come to mean in our society. It simply means anything/one that is not of God or following God – anyone who is not doing it God’s way, in other words.

The Amish purposely keep themselves apart. They don’t do it to be mean or secretive or because they think they’re better than  us. They do it because they do not want to be tempted. And that’s really all there is to it. They do not want to be tempted by the “ungodly” things of this world.

“nor standeth in the way of sinners…”

Again, this has been twisted and misunderstood for many years. It doesn’t mean we get in their way and it doesn’t mean we follow their path. It means we do not allow ourselves to appear like sinners. Obviously we are all sinners. We are none of us perfect. But we don’t have to look like the sin or the other people who are happily wallowing in it.

And that is why the Amish are so adamant to look different, and to put forth their best. They aren’t looking down their nose at us. They just want to show the world what it looks like to be a child of God.

Another of my favorite preachers who speaks at the ATI conferences is Tom Harmon. He said in one of his sessions that “The world is sick of our theology. They want to see our faith.” – Tom Harmon. And he is absolutely right. The world is so tired of hearing us say that God expects us to do things and say things a certain way – and then those same people see us out in public somewhere doing or saying the very things we just said we weren’t supposed to.

So the Amish LIVE their faith. They live it, breathe it and show it to the world!

and this next one was what really got me…

“nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful…”

I thought that meant to make fun or judge other people openly. And, while I admit freely that I’m not perfect and I slip and do that very thing sometimes, I thought I had that one down. Wrong again! That’s not at all what it means. It means we are not to complain, gripe, whine or moan about anything.

Well the Amish certainly have that one. Someone loses a spouse – they THANK GOD. Someone loses a child – they THANK GOD. Someone loses their home – they THANK GOD. The Amish are astonishing. And WOW wouldn’t I LOVE to have their perseverance.

I’m not there yet… far far far from it in fact – but I’m working on it. And God is working on me too. He always will be and I am extremely thankful for that!

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18

King James Version (KJV)

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

© Rachel L. Miller 2014

Do what you love… tomorrow?

A popular retirement company recently started running a new ad campaign. It says to “Start planning now to do what you love tomorrow”.

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“Apparently they’re unaware that we are not guaranteed tomorrow…”

Aside from the obvious flaw in their thinking, I’m more than a little confused by the idea promoted by this new campaign concept.

Wouldn’t we rather do what we love TODAY? Isn’t that better, smarter?

“I personally feel very strongly that this is one of the biggest problems with America today.”

We are so concerned about getting ahead in business, saving for the future, building our portfolio… But when do we take the time to enjoy it? People always say they will take a break someday… But for far too many of those people “someday” never comes because they work themselves into a heart attack at 40 or a nervous breakdown at 30.

 “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” – Acts 24:25

I am reminded of a wonderful sermon I saw recently by Tom Harmon (He speaks at most of the ATI Conferences we attend). He talked about how important it is to Follow God in the days of our Youth.

I believe it was his sermon “You can make choices but you cannot choose consequences” but I’m not 100% sure.

You can find his materials in the IBLP Store HERE and on Embassy Institute HERE)

What is even more confusing is that there are many secular philosophies that proclaim this message as well. So, if the idea of “quality time” and “living life to the fullest…” and “taking time to stop and smell the roses…” are so popular, why would this company think their new ad campaign is such a great idea?

Because we are locked in to the “rat race” mentality.

“Just one more reason I believe the Amish community has the right idea.”

© Rachel L. Miller 2013