Wanda’s Journal

Simple Living (Part 1)

On two occasions this week, two individuals I spoke with commented that they wished so many things weren’t connected to technology. They both stated that they would enjoy living a simpler life, the way the Amish and other Plain groups do.

While we can’t all leave our modern way of life and live exactly like my Amish friends do, we can take the time to slow down and focus on some of the important things in life. For the next few months in my journal entries I want to share with you some simple living tips you can try if you want to experience some of the same things the Amish do in their everyday lives.

Tip 1: The Amish don’t normally have electricity in their homes, so they do not own televisions, computers or anything else that might pull them into the outside world through technology. Their time is occupied, among other things, with caring for their livestock, doing chores, cooking, sewing, making craft items, spending quality time with family, and playing indoor or outdoor games. So if you want a simpler life, why not try turning off the TV, and getting away from your cell phone and computer for a few hours each day? Alternately, you could go outdoors and spend time in nature, listen to the birds, enjoy the beauty of flowers and trees, and feel the soft breeze against you face.

Spending time outside helps me feel connected to God, and it’s a great place to pray and do daily devotions. Indoors, it’s nice to read a good book, put a puzzle together, play a game, engage in a craft, or visit with family and friends.

What are some things you enjoy doing that don’t require electricity or modern technology?

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  1. I love to read! Ever since I started learning to piece words together at 4 or 5, I could be found with a book nearby! I do often read using an app on my phone because it’s lighter to haul around, but also have an abundance of actual books to read as well. I’ve been spending much more time outdoors than I usually do (due to bad allergies) since my son has taken up cross country running. He competed in a State meet a couple days ago and came in 8th place! He’s also started running 5Ks as part of his training, so of course I’ve been going to cheer him on. Usually the only technology I’m using then is to get his picture crossing the finish line. When the weather is nicer, we like to sit outside and enjoy a fire in our smokeless fire pit, roast marshmallows and visit. And my kids just enjoy running and playing outside and using their imaginations.

  2. I enjoy being outdoors and working in my flower garden. I also enjoy sitting outdoors and reading a physical copy of a book .

  3. I enjoy quiet times to read and make cards. I also love to go for walks in our nearby parks. We don’t have a RV now but when we did, we would never put on the TV. We would sit by the campfire, read or listen to the crackle of the firepit.

    1. I love to read and sometimes will relax reading in a chair or my bed. I also like doing crafts and baking.

  4. I usually go outside and sit in the patio. Just contemplating the trees and feeling the breeze. Might be something simple but it sure relaxes me. I also go for small walks. We play ping pong and also sit and play legos with the kiddo. And all the time the T.V. is off. No cell phones either.

  5. With the weather getting warmer, will be able to be outside more to get away from the TV and read more. I enjoy doing deliveries in Amish Country and socializing with my Amish friends!

  6. I love to garden and to dig in the dirt. No electricity needed, no modern technology in that dirt! I love to read and prefer a print copy that I can hold in my hands! it can be done during the day or by candlelight, so electricity isn’t a requisite. I love to walk and view God’s creation. Again, no electricity or modern technology is required!

  7. I feel like we live such a fast pace life. We need to slow down and start enjoying life. Thanks for the tips and this post Wanda.

    1. I love spending time with family and going on walks on the beach. Love sitting on the beach and enjoying all the beauty God has gave us to enjoy.

  8. We enjoy playing board games and putting puzzles together. When the weather is nice we enjoy sitting outside and visiting with our neighbors. We also enjoy working in our flower gardens and vegetable gardens.

  9. I love to go outside with my grandbabies and play with them and look at flowers and play on the swingset with them. We love being outdoors!

  10. I have purchased Amish Hacks, Four Seasons cookbook, outdoor cookbook, and now I want to buy the Healthy Choices cookbook. Love your books and am looking forward to buying more? Gid bless you!
    Charlotte Jackson

  11. I enjoyed just walking outside in my yard and listening to the birds and watching the flowers and my garden growing since it is spring time. I like to look up at the sky and see the blue and sun and I thank God for all the blessings he has bestowed on me. This helps to calm my anxiety.

  12. When I have free time in the evening, I enjoy cross-stitching & reading Amish romance novels 🙂 After work, every nice day even in winter, I like to get out for a short hike in the sunshine. As early as February it’s exciting to see the first signs of spring such as crocuses, snow drops & even robins! Last week we spotted trout lilies on our hike. Sometimes I bring my wildflowers book to ID wildflowers or I’ll take pictures on my cellphone so I can ID later. If we’re lucky, we might spot a blue heron, a deer, or even a fox or bobcat! Special surprises like these always feel like a present from God just for me! 🙏 On Sundays we enjoy family time after church, such as hiking, enjoying a picnic lunch & preparing a Sunday dinner. With busy & varied schedules, it’s the one day we are able to eat dinner together a family.

  13. I knit and knit and knit! Now that the snow is melted here in New England, I am starting to purchase plants for my 4 new raised gardens! I rarely have the TV on. I like quiet! Just came back from Bird in Hand for a mini vacation. So hard leaving but I know I am very blessed with what I have at home.

  14. I love going for an early morning walk. I listen to the birds and have a long talk with God as I am walking. I also enjoy gardening, just sitting in my yard with a good book and baking cookies to give to loved ones.

  15. Love reading your books and would love the prayer jar devotional as I have all 3 of the books from the prayer jar.

  16. I, too, miss the simpler times. But unfortunately disconnecting technology won’t take me back to visiting with the neighbors over the backyard fence. Or piling the kids in the car to go to a drive-in movie the whole family can watch. Times have definitely changed and not all for the better!

  17. Yes I do use my Amish cookbooks.I love that you have included some of their recipes in your books. We have Mennonites in our area. I used to buy their homemade products and baked goods before they closed.

  18. Thank you for the reminder to get off of technology. I have found it has really taken hold of my family. I need to be the example, and get off the technology and focus on what is around me, in person.

  19. I love to go camping outdoors with family and friends there I can take in the beauty of nature with no technology to interrupt me. I love to read a book while sitting outside watching the wildlife roaming around.

  20. My favorite way to disconnect from technology is to be outdoors. I love listening to the birds as I’m working. I also love to sew gifts for others. Just listening to the hum of my sewing machine is soothing to me.

  21. I am blessed to be able to play piano for a small church in a small town with a mostly aged congregation. I love to just play through hymnal, loving the closeness I feel to God as I praise Him with those beautiful words penned so many years ago, focusing on his love for us, his gift to us, and his grace and mercy in our lives. Though I don’t have the gift of singing, I let my fingers pour out my heart to my Father, letting the music swell as my heart soars on wings of praise and thanksgiving.

  22. I leave to read all and any Amish books I can find. Also, my husband and I love to go the mountains for picnics and camping for family and friends.

  23. What I love to do most is be out in my yard taking care of my animals in the morning. Them moving on to my plants and garden. I have been trying to work on having a simpler life for myself and family. At night I love to read books and homesteading magazines.

  24. What I like most to do is to read. A good book outside on my front porch is a blessing. I am able to enjoy the sounds of the birds, the sunshine and a good book all at once. My husband finished my porch last summer and it has become my favorite place.

  25. Thank you for your Newsletter. I am writing to enter into the book giveaway this month. I really like the Simple living comments. I have your Amish book on “The simple life “with recipes. I gave one to my Mom. I just love the God directed life they live. Its one of my devotional I read or try to each day. My heart feels so much peace to see the faith in the life’s of the Amish. I also just read another book of yours, “Amish Front Porch Stories “, such a wonderfully written book of short stories. Thank you so much for the books you give us to melt our hearts and give us peace, with your faith based literature.

  26. I love those suggestions! Hope to implement them. Need to simplify my life. God bless you, Wanda!

  27. I love sitting around and talking to my family. I also love reading books and I take a book everywhere I go.