Simple Living

While we can’t all leave our modern way of life and join the Amish faith, the Amish way teaches us to slow down and focus on the important things in life.

Here are some simple living suggestions:

1. The Amish do without electricity and modern technology like television. Why not try turning off the TV and sitting quietly? Or you might go outside and enjoy the sounds of nature. What could be more pleasing than listening to the melody of birds singing or hearing the whisper of the wind as it caresses your face?

2. Since the Amish have no electric dryers, they hang their laundry outside to dry. When you have the time and the weather is nice, try hanging your laundry outside to dry. You’ll not only be saving energy, but the fresh, clean smell will relax your senses.

3. The Amish travel mostly by horse and buggy. They also walk many places, and some ride bikes or scooters. Whenever I ride in an Amish buggy I notice so many things around me. Why not take a leisurely walk in the country, or even a stroll around your neighborhood? It’s amazing how many things you’ll see when you walk instead of ride in a car. The fresh air and exercise is good for you, too.

4. One thing I’ve noticed about most of my Amish friends is that they like to read. Many have often said that they enjoy reading because it takes them to places they’ve never been able to visit. Reading is also a good way to relax. So as you read one of my novels, allow yourself to be drawn into the lives of my Amish characters.

5. At every Amish gathering I’ve ever been to, there’s been a lot of visiting going on. For the Amish, simple living involves spending time with their family and friends. Try visiting with a friend or family member, without the distraction of TV or radio in the background. You’ll be surprised at how enjoyable the conversation will be.

6. My husband and I have had the pleasure of eating in many Amish homes, and the home-cooked meals have always been delicious. Eating out less and fixing more home-cooked meals is a great way to simplify your living. You’ll not only be saving money, but there’s satisfaction in eating a delicious meal that’s been made from scratch.

7. While the Amish do buy some gifts that they give to family and friends, many of the gifts they give are homemade. Rather than buying all your birthday and Christmas presents, why not try making some handmade gift items to give friends and family members? There’s something satisfying about making a gift with your hands.

8. I’m always amazed when I see my Amish friend’s vegetable gardens. Besides the abundant crop that will help feed their family, their gardens are virtually weed-free. One way to live more simply is to grow a garden. If you don’t have room in your yard, you can plant vegetables in pots. Nothing tastes as delicious as fresh, homegrown produce.

9. Since the Amish don’t have electricity, they light their homes with propane or kerosene lanterns. Some also use candles for extra light in their rooms. When you want to live life a little more simply, try turning off the lights and eating a meal with only candlelight. Soft candlelight can be soothing and relaxing.

10. The old saying, “Many hands make light work,” is certainly true among the Amish. At work frolics and barn raisings there’s always more than enough help to get the job done. Even for things like preparing meals, cleaning the house, and doing outside chores, everyone chips in. Try getting together with some of your friends or family to do yard or household chores. It will get done much faster, and you’ll enjoy the fellowship that comes with working together.

11. The Amish take part in many volunteer activities. In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, many Amish men belong to the volunteer fire department. Many Amish women make quilts and other items to sell at benefit auctions which help people in other parts of the world, like Haiti. After the terrible hurricane that struck Louisiana a few years ago, some of our Amish friends went there to help rebuild. Part of simple living is helping others, so why not devote more time to volunteer activities that involve helping people in need?

12. One of the things that impresses me the most about the Amish is their strong family values. If we want to experience simple living at its best, then we need to reinforce family values and strong family ties. Why not set aside a certain time every week to spend quality time with your family? You might play some games, work on a puzzle, or do whatever you enjoy together.

13. The Amish wear simple, plain clothes, and they wear no jewelry. Many of their clothes are homemade, and they don’t own a pair of shoes to go with every outfit. Buying fewer clothes and unnecessary material things is one way to simplify your living. We can often get by on much less than we think.

14. My Amish friends seem to have a more relaxed attitude than most English people I know. Whenever I’m with them, I feel more relaxed and patient. Try slowing your pace, and don’t be in a hurry to get everything done quickly. You’ll feel calmer and more relaxed.

15. The Amish I know have a time set aside every day for devotions. Even a few minutes in prayer and meditation each day will make you feel closer to God and the world He created.

What are some things you do to simplify your life?


  1. Lisa Flora says

    I have also lived among and drove for the Amish Family’s in my community. I have grown to know them well just like you said. I have ate with many of Family’s, in many different states. I am from Kentucky and can go to New York and feel at home. How many people can say that ❣️

  2. Vivian Furbay says

    I read a lot and like to quilt. I need to get out and walk more which i enjoy.

  3. read and walk ……thanks !!!!

  4. Linda Auffhammer says

    I love making my own cards for all occasions. It not only saves money, but it is fun and very relaxing and I can use my creative nature.

  5. Stephanie Jenkins says

    I read a lot! I enjoy walks outside in tbe nature. I enjoy spending time with family and friends without electronics.

  6. Penny Sleeper says

    I love to read and spend time with my children. I get up early to get things done before they wake so i can spend time with them. Thank you Wanda for all the Great books and the news letters Enjoy them very much.

  7. Diann Larry says

    I wish I could simplify my life more. For me just having that quiet time in the morning by myself with my cup of coffee is wonderful.

  8. Stephanie Jenkins says

    I read a lot and enjoy time outside.

  9. Sarah gregory says

    My 11 year old daughter and I love to crochet. My mom use to make quilts and dolls. Love passing on a craft like crochet down to my kids.

  10. Cassandra Bullard says

    I love to sit on my apartment balcony with a steaming cup of coffee and my bible , watching and Listening to nature and wondering how can people not believe in God.?

  11. Suzanne Sellner says

    As an introvert, I especially enjoy quiet time to read. My husband and I have enjoyed planting some vegetables in a patio garden and then incorporating the vegetables in our meals. Your list of suggestions for simplifying our lives is excellent!

  12. Anna Hesser says

    I had the Hawaiian Discovery pre order and got it on the day of release, of course I have had it read a long time ago and also shared it with friends. Loved it as I do all your books.

  13. Heather Britcher says

    We have a huge garden that we grow food from every year. And your so right about nothing can beat a fresh off the vine tomato! I really need time to walk more and more time to quilt too!

  14. Sue Bennett says

    With just my husband and I here. I love to start my morning with a good cup of coffee, my bible and devotions. I would love to have the simple life again. 40 years ago it was. Because we didn’t have the money and raising kids we washed our clothes by hand and hung them out, we burned candles and kerosene, we ate simple. We didn’t have a lot of furniture and built things out of boxes and wooden skid! Oh yes, those were the days!

  15. I miss the country life where things were so much peaceful. Loved having a garden and feeling the soil with my hands. I could really feel God walking with me as I walked around our land. Didn’t have cell phone or computer to take my time away.

  16. I try to get up early in the morning before everyone to have a time of quiet and prayer, also pray before bed each night. We heat with wood and cook with propane. I would love to cook with a wood cookstove, we have in the past while in TN. I crochet, read, write and I would love to get back into drawing and painting again. I also love to garden but have not had a garden this year, hoping next year we can.

    Linda Marie Finn

  17. I love to read, and gardening. Whether it’s flowers or vegetable it doesn’t matter. It’s working in the dirt, and seeing the end results!

  18. Sharon Miller says

    I read a lot of books, have turned off cable tv, walk & swim, like to go to our community fellowships to get to know new people and much more of your 12 Amish suggestions. Such a good article to show how easily their simple life fits mine.

  19. I read a lot and always find myself totally engrossed in the characters. It helps me to see and feel exactly what is happening in the story. I never have success with a garden because my soil is too sandy. So this year I’m trying my hand at growing tomatoes in 5-gallon buckets. Wish me luck!

  20. Kris Ross says

    Try to keep off the phone, garden….sit on the swing and just look out over our property in the new to us house, we just closed on April 13 of this year and just thank God for my blessings of getting this house, having my own swing and rockers to sit in and enjoy….go the slower route in doing alot of things…..Enjoying life and God’s blessings!!!!

  21. irene debauche says

    Really enjoyed your Journal entry. I like learning all the facts about the Amish Life. They live such a simple life but yet are very hard working.

  22. joyce Gilbert says

    I read a lot. I live a lone and it gives me a lot of free time. I found your books one day and from then on they are my favorite.. I love reading about the Amish people and I respect their way of life.

  23. I read a lot, and I try to make some of my own gifts instead of buying them.

  24. Peggy J Moncus says

    I hardly ever turn the TV on during the day, love sitting on the porch swing, it is so peaceful and quiet. I read a lot and I crochet, I make potholders to sell and I give them away as gifts, that is what I gave my children for Christmas last year. I love your stories about the Amish and one day I hope to visit an Amish community.

  25. Susanne Collins says

    I truly do wish we, as a whole, could go back to living the simple life before technology came and took over! I think we feel extremely rushed, like we have to get things done right now and as soon as possible. If we would just relax and take things one step at a time and enjoy all the wonder God has put around us, we would be a lot happier and less stressed. I think living the Amish life would be great! I actually kind of envy them. 😉

  26. alberta wells says

    Since I have retired, I told myself now is the time to enjoy what you could not do before..I have started to read more. I enjoy all the Amish stories..People can learn a lot from the Amish. But I do love sitting on my patio at night listening to everything around me..It is very calming. We do have some Amish families that moved not far from me..I have made it a point of going to their stands to buy baked goods..Love their cooking..Wanda I want to thank you for posting the Amish Macaroni Salad on FB..I did make it and was delicious..I will be making it again..Thanks so Much.

  27. Mary Dupre says

    I enjoy reading, eating the fresh tomatoes from our garden, and my husband and myself have started walking, and you sure see things and notice the robins nest and Mama coming to feed the babies. We really have allowed the thinking of more is better when really a simpler life would be much easier to maintain. Enjoy everyday The Lord has given us. Also enjoy your buggy rides when you get a chance Wanda, you desire quiet thinking times and we will enjoy your books. Thank You for your writing journey.

  28. Samantha S. says

    What great suggestions. These are all wonderful things anyone can do to be more mindful in their daily lives. Taking the time to enjoy what you’re doing at the moment and who you are with are the keys to simplicity😊

  29. Annie Barton says

    A few years ago, partly as an attempt to save money on electricity, as where I lived you had to use an electric dryer, I began hanging my clothes out to dry. It really doesn’t seem to take that much time and they smell so fresh. Also it is good exercise and gets me outside more. Recently, in order to help my older dog get more exercise I have taken to walking him every day in our senior complex. I have to get out early, as I live in the desert, and it’s too hot later in the day. So I am out while it’s still cool and my dog and I both get more exercise. 🙂

  30. Carol Maldonado says

    I love to go outside and enjoy God’s creation. I love reading Amish books and do get drawn into the lives of the characters. I have had Blessing Boxes for for gifts and now I can’t make a prayer jar. Thank you for your normal entry and for your beautiful e -nails


  31. Glenn Gohr says

    To simplify my life, I try to live one day at a time. I have to also work on cutting out TV and other distractions, as well as the computer. Spending time with God each day and blocking out nonessentials helps me to stay focused and not be overwhelmed with life. Thank you for your rich insight into the Amish culture and their simple lifestyle.

  32. Now that I have help take care of several family members, keeping the house clean and perfect
    all the time, is just not as important. I enjoying reading and doing crafts. We enjoy watching
    the squirrels, rabbits , deer and our humming birds. They are so funny sometimes

  33. I love making things to give as gifts, too. I work with plastic canvas and yarn. There are so many things to make. And it relaxes me when I am working on something. I seem to always have something in the making. I’d LOVE to hang my clothes outside to dry, but in our neighborhood we aren’t aloud to. Very disappointing. I use to all the time, except in the winter, when I lived in IL>

  34. I’m on a fixed budget so have had to make some adjustments. Don’t miss Internet and computer at home (I have these at work), use candles in the evening and turn on fewer lights, often choose a book or just relaxing and reflecting over running the TV, and even boil my own hot water on the stovetop rather than run the electric hotwater heater. Saving money and feel more peaceful being less “plugged in.” Reading, taking a sunset stroll on the boardwalk with my boy (we live near the beach), visiting with my neighbors, having home-cooked family meals, going to church and baking brownies for coffee hour, joining in church activities like singing in the choir or helping with our local Food2Kids program, taking family hikes on Sundays, making jam and giving it away to friends and family as gifts, getting together with friends for a board game night or knit night…all these things add quality to my life, help me feel more peaceful and connected spiritually to my friends, family, and community. Also reading your stories about the Amish, they are chicken soup for the modern soul!

  35. I would like to simplify my life more than what it is currently, but sometimes I dont even know what I would do without some of the things we have today such as having electricity or even driving a car. I love to read and crochet or listen to music. I am currently reading The Hawaiian Quilt. I love this book and can’t wait until I finish with it so that I can read what happens in The Hawaiian Discovery.

  36. Your granddaughter is very pretty on the cover of your new book.I am looking forward to reading it.!

  37. Susan Digman says

    I think getting closer to God, spending time in prayer and thanksgiving will simplify life. Too much material things hinder us today

  38. Barbara Kesselring says

    Barbara Kesselring

    just finished the blessing great I enjoy your books so much. I have Brethren background in Pa..

  39. I enjoy my early time in the morning reading the Bible and being with God.I also like to walk in the woods and reading a lot.

  40. Renee Burton says

    I stay home, don’t turn my tv on, read in my bible and/or read one of my Wanda Brunstetter’s books while both my Shih Tzu are in my lap!! So peaceful and relaxing!!

  41. Mary Roelke says

    I enjoy reading. Being outside keeping the weeds out of flower gardens. Just visiting with a neighbor who recently lst her husband of 50 yrs. I also bake a lot & give to neighbors & friends.

  42. Bonnie Yenser-Colver says

    I love reading your books. Yesterday I was in Lancaster County, PA I visit Lancaster County once a week. 1.5 hr drive love it. I visited the Central Market. I been hanging my laundry out for 45 years. There is nothing like line dried sheets. I have a friend that just turned Mennonite.

  43. Linda Thomas says

    It’s a true challenge to simplify ones life in today’s fast moving world, but I love to relax and read Amish books focusing on the spiritual and everyday lessons. Living in Ohio and traveling to Shipshewanna annually, and Lancaster, Pa escorting bus tours, I’ve met so many Amish people and witnessed in many areas of their lives how REAL the Amish communities are and how they stick together. I like to think these experiences have helped me to simplify and appreciate the way I use my days.

  44. Having visited different Amish settlements i have come to love everything that is so peaceful and more laid back. On the cover of your book I think your grand-daughter is very pretty. I look forward to ready another one of your great books..I have loved them all.

  45. I love spring and fall when it isn’t so hot and I can sit outside and read..

  46. Shelley Witham says

    I love reading! Another way I relax is visiting with my best friend. She and I have a lot in common, and can talk about anything!

  47. Darlene M. says

    Sitting outside reading is a special treat for
    me. I love watching & listening to the birds,
    Squirrels & occasional groundhog. It is peaceful & makes me feel closer to God.

  48. Erika Luther says

    I enjoy reading and gardening.

  49. Reading, Hiking, and trying to declutter the house

  50. Karmen Riddle says

    My Mom’s side of the family has simplified Christmas. Everyone makes a homemade gift and we play a gift-exchange game. It’s fun seeing what everyone makes. We have been doing this for several years.

  51. Mary Preston says

    I actually do a lot of these things too. It was the way I was brought up.

  52. Marilyn Ridgway says

    I do not dry my clothes unless necessary, I rather have windows open than AC on, I enjoy walking and observing nature, I prefer reading to watching TV, I can and fresh fresh produce, I make my own meals instead of using frozen meals and I have miminum decorations in my home. I enjoy living the simple lifestyle.

    Love your books and glad another series have been created into a musical.

  53. Patty fendall says

    I do t k ow that it simplifies my life, but I have a big garden. While working the soil, I often spend time talking to God. While the gardening leads to preserving work, my extra time spent with God calms me through out my day.

  54. Lucy Reynolds says

    I hang out my laundry on pretty days, I leave my TV off after watching Joyce Meyer each morning as I love listening to the birds, I raise a vegetable garden and can as much as God provides, we walk and ride bicycles for fun, I read a lot and make cards and gifts for family and friends. We rarely eat out. I have a meal made when hubby comes in from work and bake my own bread.

  55. Brianne Kennedy says

    I truly enjoy your point of view. Your books speak such positivity into my life and your journals put a cherry on top. Thank you for giving me a completely different perspective to look at life from. You are greatly appreciated!

  56. Cheryl shanor says

    I truly love reading your books. I have learned so much about the Amish way of living. There are times when i would like to live that simple life and the close family life

  57. Wanda, I love your website and love you! The recipes are so interesting and I want to try that
    Quick Root Beer one. Thank you so much for sharing it and for everything you share.
    I really enjoyed reading about the Amish ways of living and just feel in my heart that the simple
    way is the best way. I am praying that God will help me to develop a more quiet spirit as He
    cleanses me daily. How I love Him! I love your picture of you and the little one in the buggy. It
    is so precious. Thanks for sharing it with us. Your series coming up of the Daughters of
    Lancaster County will be so interesting! Your books are always very interesting and once I start one, I just can’t put it down. God bless you and your family, Wanda.
    With love and prayers, Andrea Leonard

  58. Sarah Arnold says

    I love reading your books. I read the bible and books to relax and simply my life. I wash clothes by individual in my home=easier to put away clothes. I try to plan and go to the grocery store once a week. I try to take care of something when it comes up and not wait and possibly forget.

  59. Read, have no TV, keep technology simple, make a list when running errands to save time/mileage, pray, read my Bible

  60. Eleanor Davis says

    I start every day sitting with my husband, drinking coffee and reading our devotions. Enjoy this quite beginning to our day.

  61. I do alot of reading.along with quiting,baking and spending time with friends and family

  62. Marion Morgan says

    Thank you for your insight on what on some of the things that make up the simple life. I realize to at hat there are so many simple steps I can take to simplyfy my life so very easily without much of an effort. I admire the simplicity of the plain life and I long to slow down. This is a good model for me to follow. Keep writing you delightful, insightful books.

  63. Andrea B. Brooks says

    Interesting facts about the amish and how they live is great. I love to sit outside and hear the birds chirping or go for walks.
    Their lifestyle amazes me and I would love to be able to visit an Amish community and ride in a buggy. Also I would love to try whoopie pies and other foods that the Amish make.

  64. Amanda Peters says

    I play with my kids, make time for them. I want them to grow up knowing that there’s excitement without technology. I also love enjoying time outside wether it’s taking in the scenery or just walking around enjoying the fresh air. Enjoying the simple things that are all around me. I have read all of your novels except for the newest ones. I do enjoy them.

  65. Melissa Ellison says

    I enjoyed reading all the simple living suggestions. I do plant a small garden, and enjoy sitting on the porch and read. And cooking our meals.

  66. I like to sit quietly in my spare bedroom to have my quiet time with the Lord in the morning.
    I go for walks and listen to the birds and watch the squirrels and rabbits. Sometimes I sit on our porch swing to read. I enjoy cooking meals from scratch and also baking.

    I grew up on a farm in Oregon, so I still enjoy living the quiet, more simple life in Alabama. Many Mennonite families lived in our area. They were our friends.

  67. Tammy Holzhausen says

    I love your books. I love to quit and watch my grandkids. I have 8 of them.

  68. Lori Buchanan says

    I love to read and always try to spend about 15-20 minutes reading before bed every night to help me relax! Your books are some of my favorites!

  69. Andrea Leonard says

    Hello Wanda, My Special Friend,
    Your newsletters are the very best and I do look forward to each one. I always intend to reply to
    each one but some circumstances have kept me from doing so. Last month, I was in the hospital
    and it was due to a serious RA problem and also severe Scoliosis that has ruined my back now. I
    had an MRI due to a lot of the most severe pain I have ever known in my life and now my back is
    about gone. I have a nurse who visits me regularly and they are trying to decide what kind of care
    I will need, perhaps Palliative care. Anyway, I want you to know that I LOVE every one of your
    Amish books and read them as much as possible. They take me to many different places and I love
    the way they all live. It is the best way to live and I have a deep respect for them all. I Love my
    Mennonite friends as well. They all live in peace and are peaceful to be around. Thank you for sharing the ways of the Plain people; so very interesting to me whatever you feel to share. It was
    very interesting to find out how they choose a Bishop, their deacons and ministers. Each time you
    write to us, you always have something very interesting for us to learn. Thank you so much,
    Wanda. You are so special. God bless you and your husband and family!
    With Love, Prayers, and Gratefulness,

  70. Love to read amd take walks around sometomes i turn off ebrrything amd light a candle really

  71. Margaret Domer says

    Hello Wand Brunstetter i would have to reading i ues to hate reading and some told me about your book i been hook every sense that . They make me like i am taken a journey right long with them. I really like learning alot about the Amish as well. I cant wait tell some more of your book come out . GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

  72. I love to read and we lived off grid in Russel Creek in TN for some time. Old order community, so we learned everything to the simple life. Love reading your books Wanda and love Richards Pictures as well !
    Linda Marie Finn

  73. Jackie Tessnair says

    I am going try my best to simplify my life.These are some great things I am going try. Thanks for sharing.

  74. peggy clayton says

    I have been doing many of the above since moving back here to the mid-west we live in a rural area . I stocked up on yarn and now for many years have been giving homemade gifts for every occasion and everyone loves them. I go to the dr’s office either with items from our garden or dish rags for them as I see them 1 time a year and she is the best dr and she comes from my home state Ca. So we both lived in Ca for a long period of time actually i lived there the longest 48 yrs to her 24 yrs then moved back here almost at the same time 2003. It is great when you step back and say hey I can try that !

  75. I love to read, we have a large garden where it’s nice to listen to nature, I also love to sew. Just being outside seems to calm the soul.

  76. I love to sew blankets. It’s relaxing and people appreciate them

  77. Darlene M. says

    What brings me joy are animals. I love watching the birds, squirrels, chipmunks
    Or any other living creature. I also enjpy
    seeing all the beautiful flowers & budding bushes as well aswatcing happy little babies
    belting out big belly laughs!

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