Friday, April 29, 2016

Interruptions. The life God is sending us day by day?

 I just got back from Lydia’s greenhouse and had to share something. I experienced Gelassenheit (quietly waiting while putting others first) in action like never before. This is personal, but I’ll share with ‘yinz’.

I cried my eyes out when talking to my Amish friends yesterday, right there in Lydia’s greenhouse. My youngest daughter, Kara, is moving thousands of miles away. Kara, my companion in ‘all things Amish’, has known Lydia since a young teen, but now she’s married with another baby on the way. Her husband, after battling brain cancer over the past 6 months, needs to be in an area where alternative medicine is more readily available.

I just stood there losing it, and Lydia listened, tearing up, helped me pick flowers for a ‘healing garden’. What I forgot all along was her husband pulling his beard, taking it all in. Oh, I felt so insensitive. After my meltdown, Lydia’s husband talked to me for a while about his first wife’s cancer. He accompanied her to Mexico fourteen times on the train to save the Amish community thousands of dollars on chemotherapy and alternative medicine. Alternative medicine had helped extend his first wife’s life.  This man opened a painful chapter in is life to help me get a perspective shift. My dear son-in-law’s cancer was caught, contained and operable. And he needs alternative medicine. And I will live; his children from his first marriage all live just as far away.

Oh, what an emotional day at the Amish greenhouse, but let me tell you, many Amish are concerned for us stressed out Americans. And if you ever stop by a roadside stand, or visit a shop and feel like crying, go right ahead. They’ll listen and quietly wait for you to finish and just be there for you. It’s part of their Gelassenheit, a pause to listen and care for others. Yes, there are grouchy Amish. I’ll blog around Christmas about the Amish in New York that made wooden children’s toys that were meaner than spit, (we told our kids they were Santa’s elves…wink, wink) But it’s a rarity to find a rude Amish person. It’s not part of their upbringing and culture.

I had to create a C.S. Lewis book club into the Smicksburg Tales because I get so much out of his writings. Too profound not quote, so Jeb and Jonas meet to talk about Lewis’ teachings when the women knit. But Lewis is sounding mighty Amish to me lately. Interruptions are a part of Amish life, almost scheduled in. They’re never too busy to talk.  Lydia’s husband (he has a name but says the internet is the devil and doesn’t want his name on it ;) could have kept on doing his accounting for their businesses, but he didn’t. He lived out a Lewis quote:

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own,' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life -- the life God is sending one day by day.”


  1. How I wish I could converse with some Amish. I've a huge fan of Amish stories,but have never met anyone Amish in person. Maybe I shall one day :) T'would be a blessing

  2. I see you're from TX Simply Shelley. Do you know there are Amish in that state now? Check out this link:

  3. How very sweet of them to comfort you in that way. I especially loved the idea of a healing garden. I too have long been enamored with the Amish culture. The slower life is what appeals to me and yes I know slower doesn't mean easier as I know they work very hard. We (meaning our family) seems so busy sometimes. We live about 20 minutes out from the nearest shopping town and often as I find myself driving there for shopping or the children's activities I think of how wonderful it must be to not be running around so much and how much more you would depend on your community when transportation is limited as to how far your horse can go. We've lived here in the country for 8 years and I've only met my neighbors across the road a handful of times. That seems so sad to me. I suppose there is no use wishing things were different... perhaps I need to do the changing. :) I am so happy to find you have a blog. I cannot tell you how much your books have added to my life these past weeks. Blessings, Theresa