Gloria Yoder is an Amish mother from Illinois who writes the Amish Cook column (previously penned by Lovina Eicher). Gloria was recently asked by a reader “What five things do you enjoy the most about the Amish way of life?”, and in this week’s column, she answers.
Gloria starts with a couple of important disclaimers:
First, I will insert that there really are more different types of Amish that I could count and not all Amish are alike. Second, just because I have come to love our culture, I do not view it better than all others. May you all be blessed as you seek God where He calls you.
On the “different types of Amish” point, Gloria herself is a member of a New Order Amish church. Her second point is something I have heard expressed by Amish in various forms on many occasions, reflecting a customary humility.
After these preliminaries Gloria offers her five things. Here they are, summarized:
1. Knowing Jesus Christ – First and foremost Gloria is grateful that she has been taught about Jesus Christ the Savior. As she writes, “Only because of his death and resurrection are we washed free from all sin and guilt and have a connection with God as our father. This alone gives us joy and peace regardless of what we face.”
2. A Quieter Life – No TV, social media, or other electronic gadgets means a source of noise and distraction is eliminated right off the bat. In turn Gloria more readily appreciates things like her husband singing to the baby and the crackling of the fireplace.
3. Horse-and-buggy Lifestyle – Going to church on Sunday morning by buggy is a highlight, and no cars means more time together staying at home.
4. Lower Expenses – Overall expenses are lower – no automobile expenses or college educations to fund. This lets her be a stay-at-home mom for her five children. Gloria adds however, “we are deeply grateful for those of you who have a college degree allowing you to be doctors and many pursue many other careers that are a tremendous blessing for us plain people!”
5. Home Arts Heritage – That’s my term, for what Gloria describes as an appreciation for “what has been handed down to me in that of being taught how to cook, bake, clean, garden, sew and other essential things around the house.”
Gloria notes however that she’s not “the perfect cook or have all the information about housekeeping.”
What do you think about Gloria’s choices? I think most of these are available to those of us who want them…but not all of those who want them, actually make them a part of their lives.
Hit the link above to check out the full column, which also includes Gloria’s recipe for “Amish Stuff Casserole”.
Photo credit: ShipshewanaIndiana
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No social media
I would just love to live in a world where there’s no social media!
At this point it’s a little difficult to recall what that world looked like 🙂
LIfe before social media is difficult to remember only for the young. I’m 60 and remember life before computers and cellphones and such. I still write more letters than most people and don’t have a smart phone yet. I admire the Amish for the family and community connectedness. Thanks for continuing to share them with the rest of us.
We’re going to be in Holmes County around September 7-11. What should I not miss? It will be our first time to visit. Thanks!
Places to visit in the Holmes County Amish community
That should be a nice trip Diane. There are lots of Amish businesses in the area, one of the more popular ones is Hershberger’s Truck Patch not far from Charm, or just drive around on the country roads until you find somewhere that looks interesting for a stop. I would also add Raber’s Bookstore.
I like to visit the Swartzentruber Amish area, which is going to be in Wayne County and in the northern part of the Holmes Co. part of the settlement. These are the plainest Amish in the commmunity.
Mt. Hope is a bit like an “Amish town”, and there is at least one restaurant and also the Mt. Hope auction. Others include Berlin (the heart of the tourist area), Sugarcreek, and I like to drive down to New Bedford area in the southern end of the settlement, which is quite a pretty area.
You can also check out the Behalt cyclorama painting at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center if you don’t mind history and want to see a very unusual painting. Others might have additional suggestions but you shouldn’t go wrong with these.
Social Media is a choice
“We would love to live without social media” – then do it. If a person is in control of their life, they are in control of those things that are an impingement on their existence. I am pleased to report you can turn off the TV and not follow/listen to boxed entertainment, through either media outlet, and you can get by through choice in answering your phone, via text, Snapchat, or whatever. There was a 6 year period of time when I cut myself off from TV. It didn’t hurt – the ideas of ‘reality TV’ or ‘entertainment programming’ are oxymorons. There are sufficient good books and capable opportunities for discourse in an environment – seek them out. I have ‘given up’ Facebook for weeks at a time, and signing in and out is a 5 minute excursion to find what I am looking for and GET OUT. The bottom line word is discipline, and if you don’t have it, you can create it, a step at a time.
I like what is said about Horse and Buggy lifestyle, with a comment on the Sabbath. There are many in separate religions and from different doctrines who dedicate Sundays as altogether holy days. Restaurants in our area close down and the social context relaxes. It is a planned, chosen opportunity, especially if you don’t work on the weekends, to find a place of rest and a holy place for personal restoration. It is something to pursue rigorously, for the right reasons, as there are undiscovered dividends and benefits. This is your religion as well as mine, so discover the G-d who wrote these ideas, and find yourself benefiting from the same.
Good points Dr. K, thanks. I am not great about staying offline but I haven’t had a TV for years and definitely don’t miss it. But, still feel a bit too connected via the smartphone sometimes.
Many fond memories
My wife and I became acquainted with an Old Order Amish couple many years ago in Lancaster County, PA. Once we got to know them, they introduced us to more Amish, and, before we knew it, we were spending a week at a time visiting and living with them, and others. What great memories we have living the Amish lifestyle and helping around the house and farm. Such wonderful people. Every time we visit, I think to myself that they have the right idea in living. We even convinced them to take the train out to our home and stay with us for a week. What a great time we all had! Sadly, as time wore on, our visits became fewer and fewer. We really need to get back there. We do keep in touch by writing letters.
That’s great Richard, it’s nice that they even came to see you. Keeping in touch is always the challenge nowadays, especially when we get used to digital modes of communication. I don’t speak on the phone nearly as much as I did say 10 years ago. Hope you’ll be able to get back for a visit.
5 Things I Like About Being Amish, According To Amish Cook Gloria Yoder
The Amish are the most grounded in Christianity because they adhere to the word of God. they are very kind, forgiving , loving people who are the most honest. As a matter of fact my ancestors were Menonites. I have huge respect for the Amish. God Bless all of the Amish throughout the country
I often think I should have been born long ago or live the way Amish do. I have social anxiety. Being able to stay home and learn from other women how to cook and clean. Have a quiet life so it is easier to connect with Jesus. I think we have less anxiety when we avoid media. Social media is a place to reach out to others. The downside is you meet a lot of mean and rude people as well.
Good points Judy.
Gunz Daenge fur deine endworde!! S’iss aa mei gedenk. Du hascht en gut schafft geschafft!!
I remember living a life similar to the Amish when I was growing up. My family was poor when I was young so we were forced to live without TV, many times without electricity. We had one pair of shoes and only a couple outfits, restaurants were not an option ever. Those times were rough socially as children and teens can be cruel but I and my sisters remember those as happy times. We always ate meals together, spent a lot of time outside in the fresh air, were grateful for what we had and most of all we had quality time with our families including aunts, uncles, grand and great grandparents. Today I am a widow alone with children and grandchildren scattered afar. If it wasn’t for all the technologies of today I would never have contact with others.
I envy the Amish and their faithfulness to God and family life. I also respect them for being able to continue their lifestyle through persecution and temptations of the modern world.
Thanks for sharing this article it brought back many good memories.
I enjoyed reading posts like this where Amish people tell what they like about being Amish.
I tend to agree…we have more choices than we sometimes realize. But those choices can be complex. I visited a lively 94 year old today who had her tablet close. She’s on social media regularly because it allows her to kept in touch with her many descendants, located far and near. She seems to be managing her use of social media in a way that fits her values and lifestyle. She didn’t keep checking her messages during our visit, but she did show us pictures. These choices do not have to become zero sum games. One of the things I enjoy about the Amish is their discipline. Decisions actually are made thoughtfully. What we think is weird can actually make sense if we engage our brains and focus on what our values are. A phone in a booth at the end of the driveway is about managing technology. Why do we not think about where we will keep our smartphones?
We might do equally well to acknowledge how easy it is to romanticize what we lack. My elderly Aunt was fond of saying, “They weren’t such good old days. We worked our butts off.” We had some funny conversations because she truly did not understand my attraction to a simpler life style that involved putting more wood in the stove. “Turn up the thermostat!” We were both right, really. The difference is for me it’s a choice.
I found most of the letters very interesting, but there was a few I didn’t understand. If some of the letter writers traveled outside of the Amish areas, they would see things differently. I was raised on a farm and learn how to cook and sew very early and keeping a clean house was a must. We canned almost everything. people are friendly and people helped one another.Of course, we had a crank telephone, when you cranked it up, the operator answer. We had no tv and when we did get one Mom and Dad controlled, how much we watched. We went to church every Sunday and durning the week. I loved Amish food, shopping in their stores,talking with them. Some readers and maybe some Amish (not all)that think we don’t teach our children from right and wrong, but we do all the time. Everyone, have a good day and please, love one another and be kind. God bless everyone.
5 Things I Like About Being Amish
I agree with the idea of controlling what you do. I recently got rid of my car. I couldn’t afford to get it fixed which had caused me to take the bus to wherever I needed to go or walk there. I did that for several years and don’t miss my car at all. There are times when I wish I had one but overall I don’t miss it. It gives me the opportunity to be better organized about my day rather than trying to cram everything into the day simply because the car can take me so many places in one day. I get out and talk to people and have made some friends on the bus whom I would never have if I had a car.
Thanks for the comment.