A Simple Life

In my novel, The Seekers, which is book 1 in the Amish Cooking Class series, five people from various walks of life come to Heidi Troyer’s home to learn how to make some traditional Amish recipes. One of these people was Loretta, who was seeking a simpler life for herself, as well as her two children. In addition to learning to cook some Amish dishes, Loretta found other ways to simplify, such as gardening, and hanging her clothes on the line.

Do you long for a simpler life? What are some things you have done to simplify? What are the benefits of living a simple life? Why do you think the Amish have continued throughout the years to keep their simple lifestyle?

Comments

  1. Shirley Chapel says:

    Sometimes the fast pace of this world makes me long for a simpler time. A time when we all ate together at the table same time every night. Grace was always said before the meal. After the meal we did the dishes by hand right away. We helped mother get things cleaned up. Willingly. Then we did our home work or watched TV till bed time. Weekends we might go for walks if homework was finished during Saturday evenings. We might also play a game together as a family.
    Later on in the evening Father would go out and pump up some pails of water that mom would eat up on the old wood stove we had at the time. Saturday night’s were bath night’s as we wanted to be clean for church Sunday morning. We were a family of six and mom and dad always packed us 4 kids in the car every Sunday morning and off we went to church. That was what we did. We lived in rural Ontario Canada . Yes life was simpler then. The family stronger then and I think we enjoyed playing outside back then more than kids do today.
    I can understand why the Amish place such importance on families and the community. Today we don’t seem to know our neighbors very well unless we put the effort out to get to know them. The Amish are helpful to their neighbors. There’s been a lot of change over the years. I’ve seen it as the years have come and gone. The Amish don’t change with the trends and fashion. More importance is put on what is truly important. God and family and community. Hard work and helping one another out when there is a need.

  2. Darlene Truax says:

    I make my own granola. It is so much better than anything that might be purchased. It’s packed with walnuts, honey, sunflower seeds and flax seed. All good and healthy and yummy! I love to cook and bake so Wanda’s new book is right down my alley! I’m enjoying reading it right now!

  3. Connie Saunders says:

    I believe that many people think they would like a simpler life and as I get older, I long for it more. Perhaps it is because that I know that my earthly time is so much shorter. My mother passed away in mid February and my brother and I are in the process of sorting and eventually selling her belongings. She wasn’t a hoarder by any means and I myself tend to “keep and save” so I am resolved to purge some of my things also. The Amish are very strong in their faith and perhaps they remain true to their simple life because of their beliefs and to uphold the tradition of their ancestors.
    Blessings to you!

  4. Jane I Staiger says:

    It seems to me, that life today goes too fast. Not only with cars and other modes of travel; but just living life. We always seem to be in a hurry to get things done. I just would like to put on the brakes…slow it slow a bit. I am 75 years old now….I want to enjoy the rest of my life simply by taking the time to enjoy it. Just sitting on the deck watching the birds, listening to the water lapping against the bulk head, reading one of your books on my Kindle…..I just want to s-l-o-w down a bit.

  5. I feel that I live a pretty simple life, we have recently ‘downsized’ by moving into an apartment and selling our house. We have moved ‘back home’ and reconnecting with family we have missed seeing and enjoying life in our retirement.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  6. tish applegate says:

    I love the Amish simple life. I visit Lancaster several times a year and enjoy it. I bake all my own baked goods and cook from scratch. I enjoy reading your books and I feel I am living a simple life.

  7. Mary Roelke says:

    I enjoy reading your books & relaxing. Altho I am a crossing guard that only takes two hours out of my day & enjoy seeing & talking with the little ones, staff, & parents.

  8. Irene Menge says:

    I would much prefer a simpler life. I enjoy cooking and have my own garden to grow vegetables which I then freeze or can for winter use. I don’t think I could do without electic lights or heat and since I live in a mobile home comminity, there is not enough space or strength to my roof for solar panels, so I guess I’m stuck on the grid. I couldn’t do without my washing machine. I tried doing laundry in my bath tub when our power was out for three weeks due to Hurricane Sandy, but that was physically exhausting. I’d have no problem hanging my laundry out to dry. I would actually prefer to do so. It smells so much better-fresher. However, there is an ordinance against it in the town where I live. Apparently all the newcomers to town who have escaped from the city think clotheslines are unsightly. Hmmm.

  9. I looked at the foods we buy and quit buying things, a few at a time, and made them from scratch. When I got the recipes in my head, I’d add more. I also quit buying many things and use what I have. Our grocery bill has dropped significantly.

  10. Michelle P says:

    I live very close to an Amish community, so quite often interact with them. I try to support them regularly when they are at the local farmer’s market. I try to live a somewhat simple life in that I love reading and I try to use mostly fresh items to cook. It helps that I love to cook also!
    I think the Amish benefit from a simple life because they don’t have all the modern problems, divorce and crime etc. They understand the importance of family values in their lives.

  11. Alyce Taylor says:

    Reading your books takes me to a whole new world, a place where peace exists. It’s always exciting to hear about your new books and look forward to reading them.

  12. I’d love to simplify. I hoard horribly. I’ve often thought of how awesome it would be to be living an Amish lifestyle. They work very hard but they also enjoy the simple things in life. No distractions with TV, cell phones, computers. I lived long before these were invented and those are my best years.

  13. Marla Erick says:

    I’m the Director of a small Library and boy have things changed with the coming of the computer and downloading e-books, and if it doesn’t happen RIGHT NOW, people wonder what is taking so long. We are living in a fast pace world for sure, fast food, fast lane everything. I agree with Jane, I would like the world to slow down.

  14. Sherri Hines says:

    I desire the benefits of a simpler life – better relationships, time for the important over the urgent, a clearer focus – but I have trouble making it a reality, as I do like all the conveniences of 21st century modern life. I found myself with a multitude of “simple life” how-to-books and finally decided if I could do one thing from each one and make it a habit, things would change for the better. Right now, my life has spiraled down into chaos not simplicity – so time to get back to the work of simplifying my life/lifestyle. Looking forward to these books. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I enjoy reading about the Amish way of life, but I would not want to live that way. I like having access to the Internet and having a computer.Using software -word processing, spreadsheets, etc.-has made life simpler for me. Currently I am getting up some items to donate to a local thrift shop where the proceeds benefit Hospice patients. That is my ongoing attempt at downsizing.

  16. Brenda A. says:

    Yes we live in a very fast-paced modern world., but I have to admit I enjoy the cell phones for keeping in touch and electric appliances., as well as medical advances. I very much admire the simple life, but how much would I be willing to give up?

  17. Suzanne Sellner says:

    My husband and I have planted a patio garden since we’re suburban/city dwellers, but we have found great satisfaction in cooking with/eating the produce from the garden. I love having enough to give some away as well. We also simplify by reading in the evenings rather than going to or watching movies at home.

    I think the Amish continue their way of life because it is satisfying and safe in their fairly closed societies. They are a kind and loving people.

  18. apple blossom says:

    I would love being able to do with less junk in my life. The simple life would be great for me.

  19. Karen Tackett says:

    Oh yes, we talk all the time about simplifying our lives. Some of that has happened as we have reached 70 and do not have the responsibilities of a family at home, etc. I have gone through my home and cleaned closets and drawers seeking to get rid of that which is not needed and to make our lives much simpler. We read a lot and when we do travel we try to do things that create and help maintain an atmosphere of peace and less stress. We have visited and so enjoyed Amish Country in Pennsylvania and came home seeking to decompress and live life simply. Love your stories and books. Thank you for the free ebook of recipes. Just downloaded it and have already gone through and read the recipes to Charley. I believe the Amish have maintained their simple lifestyle partly because they put such great value on family and the simple lifestyle helps to maintain family relationships. Working together and worshiping the Lord is such a blessing in our lives and in their lives. I always enjoy your monthly newsletters. Love you!

  20. IDA ELAM says:

    Way back when I was collecting Angels, Dolls, Teddy Bears and Mother collecting Thimbles
    and Bells. It was a good thing to do. But now with Mother gone and me getting older each day.
    I sure wish we had never started those things. Now I need to start getting rid of them. Just
    have too much stuff sitting around. So wish I had been more simple back then. I know that
    the Amish just keep things that they can use. Wish I had been that smart.

  21. Margaret Fraleigh says:

    I have found that now that I have been retired for 16 years I love to spend time with our daughters and their families. Life is so hectic at times, and just being together is relaxing .

  22. Melinda says:

    The simple life will be nice .I am old enough to have been around before technology took over. I remember helping canning in the summer and fall. We got more done that had results than now.

  23. Betty Lapp says:

    One thing that we have done to make our lives simpler was to sell our home and move into a two-bedroom condo/duplex. We do not have to do anything toward the landscape or the outside of the home, the Home Owner’s Association takes care of all that. In the process of moving to a smaller place, we got rid of a lot of “stuff”. We do a lot more relaxing and less running around now that we are retired.

  24. Linda Critcher says:

    I long for the simpler life of being back in touch with family. Life is too hectic. We hardly ever talk to family (it’s texting), we can’t get together as too many other things are already planned. We can even get too busy in the ministry! I believe we need to attend our churches services and be faithful, but there are conferences, classes, other activities that can actually take away from being a family. Eating a meal, it’s either reading the phone messages, texts, Facebook posts, or watching TV, etc. No time to talk to one another. It’s like I’ll give you Five minutes of my time if something else doesnt interfere and that’s it, there’s more important things for me to do. That’s the attitude!
    When we had our children, I was home which I know isn’t always possible with today’s generation. But children just need to be home when possible and have their parents attention. We’re raising a generation that depends on electronics and not interaction with caring loving people. One day family won’t be there and it’s going to be a lonely life. Who will care for the elderly if we have no time! Electronics and friends shouldn’t be our priority.
    I love to read, especially in summer. It’s my special relaxing time of year. I live sitting on my front porch, soaking up the sunshine and breeze. Or if possible go to the beach and listen to the ocean sounds. Times flies too quickly, we must redeem the time.

  25. Dear Wanda,
    our books are the only ones that I want to read now with the exception of the Bible. I have read many other books over the years and can only settle for yours now. Have your new book on order and waiting for more releases….keep writing about those wonderful Amish people. Would love to see you again as we did a couple of years ago in Berlin, Ohio with my good friends. Keep us posted!!! God’s love to you and your family!

  26. Even though I really enjoy the benefits of many of the more up-to-date inventions, the things I miss about the simple life (which I realize that I had in my childhood) revolve more around such things as the freedom that I had as a child. We could go anywhere in town and our parents were not afraid of predators. I realize now that the predators were always out there, but I sometimes wonder if they don’t seem more prevalent now because some who have the impulses have the ability to actually research, not to mention that the news can and does announce them. We had the ability to use our imaginations without needing electronics. The weekly trip to the library was an important outing.

  27. I smiled when I read the sentence descriptive , ” . . . One of these people was Loretta, who was seeking a simpler life for herself . . .” Why, because my name is Loretta. After working in the business world for 45+ years, I retired not too long ago. After the merry-go-round of a super busy life with no time to my own, I started my adjustment period. It took a while (2+ years) because I was so caught up with the importance of having a job. Of course, and I read in the other comments, down-sizing occurs, which takes time, effort and thinking, and had I been thinking I would not have accumulated to much “stuff” that I don’t need and more than likely will not use. Then I found periods of quietness, which allowed me NOT to do anything, but sit STILL, and enjoy nature whether it is sitting on my porch or in a room. I am making changes and found that I do enjoy cooking and have gone back to it rather than bringing home “dinner in a brown bag.” I look forward to each day because I can make choices and my life does not have the strict structure. Some days will be for reading, or cross-stitching, or writing, and some hours I will devote to being STILL.

  28. Debra Terry says:

    Being a paramedic for almost 20 years, I see what living in the “fast lane” does for some people. It is always rush here to there with children or just life. You never get to stop & “smell the roses”. Simple life is what I want. In fact, I am moving to a town with a much slower paced life style. Just being one with GOD in HIS glorious beautiful mountains will be like a taste of heaven on earth. The Amish people have it right. They enjoy the bounties GOD gave them! While not engaging in modern inventions that distract from GOD & family,they enjoy what we were put on this earth for. I always think of the company NOT OF THIS WORLD when I get discouraged. GOD has a mansion built for me in GLORY!

  29. Ann Burris says:

    I would love to say the Amish life is simpler than the “English, but is it really? Their commitment to their faith, family and community is what I admire. The tools the Amish choose to do without are those which we “can’t live without”. Call it simpler if you wish, but how many of us choose to farm using manual tools, raise gardens, can and preserve our food for winter, make our own clothing, make our own quilts? Let’s return to the “simpler” life where God is central along with family and community. I do enjoy reading your books and learning these precious people face many of the same complex problems we do and sometimes, many we cannot imagine.

  30. Catherine Hensley says:

    I work in a daycare all week. Love working with children but when I get home I enjoy cooking for my family and relaxing with a book, coloring or cross stitching

  31. Liz pierre says:

    I have been following you for many years all of books are ver inspirational
    I always feel I am right there with the Amish

  32. I like a simple quiet life.The most important things in my life are God,my husband,children,grandchild,family & friends.I like how the Amish are always helping each other.

  33. Nyla Kay Wilkerson says:

    I love the Amish lifestyle but am too dependent upon electricity, telephones, and cars. The Amish have kept those out of their lives for many years and do fine. Their love for family is so alluring. Thank you for writing stories about these special people.

  34. Ola Daniel says:

    I am trying to get rid of the things that clutter my life. Living a simpler life is something I enjoy experiencing in your books.

  35. I recently found out that I have MS and it has forced me to look into the simplier way of life, and of looking at what is really important, and only wanting things that we need and family.

  36. Sondra Thatcher says:

    My husband has 3 gardens and he cans the harvest from them. I love hanging my clothes on the line to dry. I love the way they smell. I try to simplify every chance I get. It lowers my stress level to about none.

  37. Pamela Pavkov says:

    I do wish to simplify my life and lately I have learned to leave the tv off and be content to sit down and read a good book or in my case several books. I have also decided that buying fewer frills for my house is good. After all the saying is less is more. So i have decluttered my house and donated to Salvation Army to help the less fortunate. I think the Amish way of reaching out to help others is a great way to live. If you help others then they may reach out to help othets and so on.

  38. I do not own a dishwasher. I do all the dishes by hand. Things were so much better years ago without all the recent gadgets that are now available. Thank you for the giveaway.
    Joan

  39. I do the wash by machine,but I do not have a dryer. The clothes smell much fresher when not in a dryer. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.
    Marion

  40. Marilyn says:

    I no longer have a car. Fortunately I can walk about 10 blocks to my Supermarket and CVS. They are located a few blocks from each other. I have purchased a new grocery cart and my sister and I each take one. The exercise does us good.
    Marilyn

  41. Lynda SKinner says:

    I wish ours was simpler. To be able to spend time as a family instead of being involved in things. Our family is not heavily into activities, but what we are, involves time. I think with a simpler life there is a little bit less worrying. I know the Amish worry too, but they seem to have less. They go at a slower pace and enjoy what is around them. We are such an instant society that we don’t time much time to enjoy what God gives us each day. My family and I enjoy home cooked meals, lots of home grown vegetables and reading. We all love to read and goes through a lot of books.

  42. Kris Ross says:

    I hope this is the place where we leave a comment in hopes of winning your book about the Hawiian Quilt….I LOVE coming onto your site and hearing the clip clop of the horses feet and picture them pulling the buggies…..well the simple life….we moved to the Georgia mountains June 2015….I was a FT Grandma in So Fla for 12 years….for 4 and sometimes more grands. While I loved it so and miss my kids and grands dearly, who are still in Fla. I cant believe how laid back I am…. in this move…..
    we do travel and visit so many sight seeing places….my sister and I have taken Civil War, URR and other country quilt classes (among many others) and love history so we enjoy visiting so many places of interest like that……I have started reading more again….enjoy sitting on the swing and deck rocking chairs…just plain enjoying life and quiet time….spending time with my husband …talking sitting making crafts canning at the local cannery playing board games and just enjoying the birds…LOVE watching and filling bird feeders….
    We had the joy of visiting Lancaster PA Amish country about 3 years ago and Ohio country last year…and going again this year….what peace fills you driving and looking at the farms and quiet
    peaceful life there….Cant wait to go back the end of June…. Just Thankful

  43. Deborah Throgmartin says:

    There are times I want to have my life simpler. There are family who do not write letters. Since I am over 60, it’s probably too late to have a simple life.

  44. Vivian Furbay says:

    I would long for a simpler life out in the country. The noise in our crowded neighborhood can get to me sometimes. Thank God for His presence and peace!

  45. Mary Preston says:

    I have actually found that the best way to simplify my life has been to follow the traditional way of doing things. How my mother and grandmother, for example, did things in their day.

  46. Carrol Petroske says:

    I think the Amish people have continued the live a simple life is so they can continue all the tradtions that their parents and grandparents did.

  47. Denise Smith says:

    I long for a simpler life but I know that I could never live like the Amish do. I admire them so that they keep the old ways. I love their faithfulness and I love to read your stories about the Amish. There are so many authors now that write about Amish life but you were my first experience with Amish books and you remain my favorite. I am trying to purge some to make it easier on my children when I go home to Jesus but I find it hard to do. I am a keeper and very sentimental and find it difficult to part with many things.

  48. Sandra Hatfield says:

    The Amish have held true to their beliefs and live a simple life. In this day and age things tend to move so fast it is sometimes hard to keep up with the pace. Sometimes it is nice to just get away from it all and enjoy the tranquility. It gives a sense of peace when you get away from the hustle and bustle of day to day life and you come to respect the simple things in life that have been forgotten about in the fast pace. Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of Amish families on my travels. It was an awesome experience. To see that all the things we take for granted and think we definitely couldn’t live without, obviously we could. I purchased some baked goods and farm fresh vegetables and seeing all they accomplish and do in the run of a day is truly remarkable. The young and the old work side by side, no cell phones in the hands of the younger generation, they work hard. A good insight in to the day in the life of an Amish person. My hat is off to them! Time to slow down the pace and respect the simpler life.

  49. I have tried to make a simpler life by growing a garden and having the kids help with the growing. We also wash and hang our clothing out to dry in the wind when able to.

  50. I love the simple life, we visit Lancaster every summer, last year we took our friends from Texas with us!

  51. I grew up in the Middlebury area and my grandparents were raised around the simple life and they have passed it down to us grandkids, we were taught to do the simple things that would help us as we grew up. I do gardening and canning, when the weather allows I hang the clothes out to dry. I grew up with a ringer washer but do not own one now that I am on my own. I have tried to pass down the simple things to my daughter and the way to cook and not rely on fast food or frozen foods all the time.
    Keep writing your books I look forward to seating down and getting to know each character you write about.

  52. Andrea Nyers says:

    I am trying to make my life simpler with the way I think about things. I tend to lay awake at night and worry about things out of my control and wonder about this or that and drive myself crazy until I recently started reading your books. I try to relate the bible verses in the books to my life, keeping things more in perspective and just plain thinking simpler about things. One verse in particular, Psalms 46:10: “Be Still and Know that I am God,” is one of my favorites. It’s one that I find I say to myself almost daily and it brings me peace.

  53. toni coleman says:

    In a time where the messages are more is better,the louder the better, the simple life is a refreshing way of living.

  54. One way to have a more simple life is to avoid television. Also be selective music, magazines, books etc. It is helpful to make a list of places you need to go such as the bank, grocery store, etc. and plan an sequence for these locations to save time and expense. Read the Bible daily and let God direct your life.

  55. Lori Prince says:

    We always sit down and have dinner together asking each other about our day. We work together outside in our yard and try to cook the evening meal together as well. We have trimmed back on commitments and trying to do too much! We have found that if we do not use something within a year, we do not need it and have started donating items to our church, local origination and neighbors. Trying to take time, smile, talk and lift each other up, is the best way to simplfy your life.

  56. Amber Anderson says:

    I think that we are too connected to technology instead of our families. I wish sometimes I didn’t have a smartphone to distract me from what’s going on in front of me. One that our family does every night is have dinner together. This simple act allows us to reconnect and learn about each other’s day.

  57. Sarah Wilson says:

    I’m so excited to read your new book!! As for answering your questions, I think living simply is so much better than depending on technology or worrying if the car might brake down. I really look up to the Amish because they’ve continued to live simply. When we were visiting PA last summer, I loved driving through the Amish communities and wishing that we lived more simply.

  58. Cassandra D. says:

    Yes, I do long for a simpler life and with the days filled with technology, I try to incorporate the two. I balance the simpler things with some technology.

  59. Do you long for a simpler life? I SURE DO!

    What are some things you have done to simplify? MY HUSBAND AND I ARE SERIOUSLY DE-CLUTTERING BOTH OUR CONDO AND OUR GETAWAY HOME IN ANOTHER TOWN.

    What are the benefits of living a simple life? CLEARNESS OF MIND, LESS DISTRACTIONS, MORE TIME TO SPEND ON SPIRITUAL READING AND CHURCH ACTIVITIES, LESS HOUSEWORK – LESS DUSTING WITHOUT ALL THE “STUFF” AND EASIER, QUICKER CLEANING!

    Why do you think the Amish have continued throughout the years to keep their simple lifestyle?
    BECAUSE THEY LIVE IN A CLOSE-KNIT COMMUNITY WHERE THEY SHARE THE SAME VALUES AND BELIEFS.

  60. JoEllen Silvas says:

    Do you long for a simpler life? Yes

    What are some things you have done to simplify? I only own what fits in one room everything else I gave away

    What are the benefits of living a simple life? Pease please in the simple and most of all more in touch with God’s creation

    Why do you think the Amish have continued throughout the years to keep their simple lifestyle? Staying true to God Family Church and Community

  61. I sometimes long for a simpler life. I do enjoy the ways in which we can get things accomplished quicker, but then I wonder if the things we are doing really matter anyway. I want to thank you for letting us escape into that simpler world. I truly enjoy your books. I am way behind on them but they are all on my “to read list” on Goodreads. Right now, I am finishing up Kentucky Brothers 2, The Healing on Audible. The newest book of yours is sitting in my book pile waiting to be read. I can’t wait! Thank you again for sharing your talent with us!

  62. Another great book. I just finished the seekers and it was so good . loved the recipes. looking forward to book 2

  63. We live in a development with a Home Owners Association. The HOA means rules we find helpful (control of barking dog issues, cars not parked on both sides of the street, individuals must maintain their property, etc.) but also rules we don’t much care for…no clothes line. I miss fresh smelling sheets, being able to “dust” and freshen the curtains and blankets.
    Most new homes in our area are being built sans front porch. So I sit in the garage at the overhead door as weather allows. My neighbors know now that’s my porch. Moms and kids and dogs are all welcome to stop by all summer long (apparently dads are at work or doing something else). Conversation is usually short but usually cheerful.
    Blessings on your day.

  64. Nancy Jo Horton says:

    I like to hang out our clothes, bed linen and towels. I help when someone asks. Last week I made some curtains for my daughter-in-law, while she was away for a few days.

  65. Sarah Arnold says:

    I long for a simpler life. I want to appreciate the simpler things and realize that money is not everything. I try to trust in the Lord more. Amish people are beautiful souls that I wish I was more like.

  66. Pauline Wilemon says:

    I do wish for a simpler life. The ways & customs of the Amish simply amaze me. Some of the benefits of living the simpler life would be people are so much healthier because they don’t have the preservatives in the food they eat, there is no or very little stress & worry, & the Amish are a very close knit people. I think these are also some of the reasons that the Amish choose to keep the simple way of life.

  67. I try and use less products, but stretch what I buy. I try and cook several meals together, and not separately. I buy fewer magazines, and the ones I’m given, I pass on to someone else. I always make a point to save electricity, and gas. I reuse and repurpose things. I have not used cable television for over twenty years. I use the library books and dvds, and sometimes the internet, and newspapers.

    I find the older I get the more simple I like things to be. I work at being more content, and gives my thoughts on more simple things. I pray! I get thrifty items for myself. I cook in more simple ways.

    I love the backroads, green fields, and nature’s beauty!

  68. Becky Bledsoe says:

    I live a very simple life, I have my crafts and loved to do quilts, counted cross-stitch and many other crafts. I have my books and my cds and my records I listen to when working on my crafts. I love to read. I share my books with my neighbors and my craft magazines. I have two cats, Linda I brought from California and Emma. Linda is 16 and Emma is 1, I love animals and it breaks my heart when people abuse animals, these are God’s creation and are put here on earth for a very special purpose .I love your books very much!

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