Wanda’s Journal

Simple Living (Part 2)

Recently, while talking with a few friends, the topic came up about the world we live in and how technology seems to have replaced the more simple life that our parents and grandparents enjoyed. The Amish and other Plain people, although they live busy lives, aren’t tied to technology the way we “English” are these days.

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. Last month, with Tip #1, I talked about some simple ways we can experience some of the same things the Amish do in their everyday lives. I shared the first tip in last month’s journal entry, and this month I’m sharing a second tip with you.

Tip 2:

The Amish travel mostly by horse and buggy, although they do hire drivers when they need to go longer distances. They sometimes travel to places by train or bus. My Amish friends also walk many places, and some ride bikes or scooters. I have ridden with Amish friends in their buggies several times, and when I rode with them I noticed so many things around me that I might not have seen while riding in a car.

While most of us don’t have the opportunity to ride in a horse-drawn carriage, we can enjoy a slower pace by taking a leisurely walk in the country, or even a stroll around the neighborhood or in our very own yards. My husband and I live in the country, and our yard consists of 2 ½ acres, so that gives me a wonderful opportunity to take walks whenever I can. During this time I am able to see flowers in bloom, tall leafy trees, and a variety of singing birds I would not have been able to see or hear from my office window. I can smell the fresh air, hear the birds chirping, and feel the breeze against my body as I make my trek around the yard. The fresh air and exercise is good for me, too.

How about you? Have you ever had the opportunity to ride in an Amish buggy? Do you take walks, ride a bike, or simply enjoy the pleasure of sitting outside to be one with nature?

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  1. I love sitting outside just listening to the birds and all of natures pretty sounds . Sending prayers for your friends and family .

  2. Hi everyone! Am praying for your friends Wanda and for you all. I love these monthly newsletters. I am fortunate to live in the country where I have miles and miles of beautiful country roads to walk on. We have many Amish neighbors, but I have not been fortunate enough to take a buggies ride. Maybe one day soon. If you read this. Please pray for my friend Lisa Beth McDonald who has stage 4 cancer and for my Aunt Joan who was just diagnowith breast cancer and is having a complete mastectomy and starts treatments several weeks afterwards. Thank you. May God richly bless you all.

  3. Hello! My husband and I live in the country also. I just love it. Its so peaceful and nature comes and goes thru out the day. I love feeding the birds and just sitting on the front porch or patio watching them and reading or just talking with the lord. We can ride our bikes or just walk with our dog, as there is a trail just down from our house( course our dog loves the golf cart ride) There is farmland around us, so when the crops grow, its a different peaceful smell and sound. But, I love visiting Amish country( only an hour and a half away😁). It just makes you slow down in this busy world and count your blessings.

  4. Thank you for sharing!! I would love to go back to a more simple life, even to simple things of my childhood. The world seems so crazy. I’ve visited the Pennsylvania Amish country several years ago and had the pleasure of eating in one of their homes. I love simple life. I love sitting outside, especially in the mountains and reading!!!

  5. Just reading your newsletter journal inspires me to slow down and enjoy the journey that God is taking me. My 87-year-old mother recently passed away, and the time with her in her last days was precious. She loved to quilt and we spent a bit of time sewing (by machine), while my mother was losing physical ground, her quilts were perfect with seams and points matching perfectly. My quilts don’t seem as perfect and when people ask me about the kind of quilts I make, I respond, “Amish. My quilts are Amish because they are not perfect and the Amish intentionally leave mistakes alone in their quilts to remind that nobody is perfect but God.” Quilting helps keep me centered and focused, and if I’m making a gift I intentionally pray for the person I’m making the quilt for. We also have a condo on the beach in S. Texas. We go there frequently sit, and do nothing but watch the waves carry our cares of this world away. Keep up the great work Mrs. Wanda and may the Lord richly continue to shower His blessing upon you!

  6. Yes i love to go on walks! I have never rode in an Amish buggy but would like to, if ever given the opportunity.
    Rachel Maples

  7. I walk or ride my bike often. It is a good time to pray and thank God for all his blessings

  8. I have never rode in a horse and buggy but I think it would be cool to ride in one. I don’t take many walks . But I like to be out in the spring . The summer I don’t got out much because the weather is to warm.

  9. Prayers are going up for both Brittney and Zoie. May God wrap His arms around each family giving them strength to endure the illness of their loved one. May there be a total healing and a quick recovery of both Brittney and Zoie.
    A church friend and I have spent time in Shipshewana and love the peaceful way of life. We have ridden in a horse and buggy, been to your book signing, and been in the theater for Christian music.
    Best regards.

  10. I enjoy your newsletter so much and I especially love reading your books. I have quite a few and look forward to each new one. I had a fall March 29 of this year in which I broke my left kneecap, ribs, wrist in two places and also dislocated my wrist. I am so blessed because it could have been worse! Your books have been a blessing in my down time as I recover. Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to recover. Praying for your requests also. God is so good!! Have a blessed day.

  11. I have not had the opportunity to ride in an Amish buggy! I would love to do that. I have seen them in Indiana while traveling.
    . I do like to set outside and listen to the birds sing and see if i can hear other critters sounds. Its so calming and relaxing.

  12. I actually love this current topic of conversation and am looking forward to these tips. We live in the middle of several Mennonite communities and I find myself wishing often that I could just convert because of the simple way they live. We live in a rural area and there is definitely opportunity to commune easily with God and slow our pace. But we don’t (myself often included, unfortunately). I’m so weary and tired of this world and I can’t help but think if we all adopted facets of this lifestyle and chose to walk with God things would be so much better. We try to purchase everything we can from their market to support them and it gives me an opportunity to chat as well and just take time to visit in their community. I love it!
    2 Chronicles 7:14 kjv
    “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

  13. I don’t walk as much as I should. Thank you for your encouraging words about looking at God’s beauty. I will walk today and continue to lift up Brittany and Zoie.

  14. I have not had the chance to ride in a buggy. I do enjoy sitting on my front porch in the mornings and watching the squirrels and rabbits play. I love listening to the birds sing. It is so calming just to sit there and slow down.

  15. This is so true! Although we live in NJ, we are blessed to have a home in Lititz, PA, where we plan to live permanently when we retire. I love to go on walks when there and are at times passed by the Amish as they go by in their horse and buggy. A wave from them and a smile is always a joy.

  16. Wanda, i am praying for your friends and their recoveries. My family knows the power of prayers and the miracles of our Lord. Our son was in an accident and arrived DOA at the hospital; a week from now with be 10 years since his rebirth. He is now very happily married and they have our 2 beautiful grandchildren. We are truly blessed. We live in a VA city with many military people as my husband is retired Navy. We have a beagle that is walked daily, he and I especially love our normally casual morning walks. He helps me notice the many birds, squirrels, rabbits and flowers here. Our son and his family moved to the northeast about a year and a half ago and we enjoy taking the train up to visit them. It isn’t as convenient as flying as we take the train to Boston then spend the night and pick up a rental to drive the rest of the way. However it is soooo relaxing and we get to see things we wouldn’t otherwise see. Our daughter and son-in-law fly up from Baltimore arriving so we can pick them up at the airport. We all fly back together with our layover in Baltimore, and we are able to enjoy lunch with them before they head home and we fly to our destination. This time has helped to change my husband’s way of thinking and slow him down in some ways after his very long Naval career. We are forever grateful.

  17. Hi Wanda,
    I love reading your books and learning about Amish ways.
    It inspires me to declutter and slow down a bit.
    I often think about your friends while I work my small garden.
    Thank you for sharing your prayer requests & your faith in Jesus.

  18. Ahhh…the simple life. My husband and I took a trip to Lancaster and was able to ride in one of their buggies. A sweet teenage girl, barefoot and all ,took us on a sightseeing trip. She let us take pictures with her. I will honor your prayer requests and would like to add one of my own. I had left shoulder total reverse shoulder replacement surgery three days ago. I would treasure prayers for my healing and full use of my arm. Thank you.

  19. I have taken a couple rides in Amish buggies while in Shipshewana. I love the peace I feel while in the Amish community and the things I notice that I most likely would not notice rushing by in a car. Visiting Amish communities always leaves me with a calm and peace and a feeling of refreshing.

  20. I’ve never been on a buggy ride, I imagine it would be rather bumpy and take some getting used to. However, I also imagine being pulled into relaxation as the rhythmic clip clip of the horses dictate a slower cadence to my otherwise too busy life. Praying for your friends you wrote about with the car accident recovery and lung problems.

  21. Praying for healing for your friends! Our God is awesome 🙏. I live in the state of Tennessee and when my husband and I go out to our cabin it’s like a breath of fresh air. God’s plan is for us to live in his home. I need rode in Amish buggy but I do live near them. Continuing to pray 🙏

  22. I love to be out in nature. We have a large yard. I work in our yard and I especially enjoy listening to nature in the early morning before the noise of the neighbors wake up. We go for slow rides around our valley to look for birds, flowers and especially enjoy spring time when God is awakening the trees and shrubs. God is an AWESOME God.

  23. I love taking walks out in a park trail or even walk to places when it’s a short distance. Especially in the summer or early fall I love walking trails. It’s a great way to get some exercise!

  24. I do need to slow down and take more of my surroundings in,God’s beautiful creation, and I already pulled back on social media. I’m thankful I grew up before technology!

  25. Days go by so quickly. We need to stop and enjoy the simple blessings. Praying for you and your requests. Please remember me in prayer. I have cancer (multiple myeloma) and am facing hip replacement surgery. “The battle is the Lord’s. “

  26. I especially love to hear the birds singing. When 2020 shut us down I began to really hear the birds. I was so thankful that I purchased a birdie shower curtain so I would never forget how listening to them had been such an encouragment in an unsure time.

  27. I have ridden in an Amish buggy in Shipshewana, IN. I had a very interesting experience and conversation with the man driving the buggy. Your books have given me special appreciation for the Amish and their way of life.

  28. I grew up in Amish country area not far from Lancaster Pa.
    Since 1971 I got married to my hubby Greg from Kouts Indiana and it became our home raised our children there
    We have almost 4 acres in country about
    40 minutes from Nappenee , Indiana
    We love our humble farmhouse home here
    in Christian environment- God has Blessed Us!
    We are grateful!!
    Have a small waterfall pond lots of flowers and plants also some koi fish
    Love our birds – orioles, blue birds, hummingbirds and finches
    During my morning devotions God brings them to my feeders love their sounds !
    We are seasonal to Sarasota, Florida in winter months
    I always see you there and buy your books
    Hopefully I’ll see you next year also
    Lila Dunham

  29. There’s nothing better than taking a walk out in the quiet and calm of Gods beautiful earth, nature. To have all of the outside noise in our rushed lives to be turned off and to disconnect. There’s. Nothing like it. I have Amish friends and have taken a few buggy rides with them. Again, I noticed the simple noises of the wheels moving on the pavement, the horses hooves clip clopping and the gentle breeze and smells of the country flowing by my face. In some ways, the Amish have the best lives. I envy so much of their simple lives but, in turn, I shut off the noise of the English world, so I can relax in an Amish way.

  30. I’m praying for both of your prayer requests. I know God intervenes on all things. May God bless little Zoie and the young lady. May He continue to be with your daughter.

  31. Thank you, I needed this reminder to “unplug” and slow down from time to time. Sometimes, I get busy and forget to enjoy the beauty around me.

  32. I am in a wheelchair so I don’t go far from home but I do love seeing the changes of the seasons. God has made a beautiful world. My family and I live in the country and it is great for the my grandbabies to play outside. I don’t think I could do without my air condition but I do believe that the Amish has a lot better ways in life. A couple of weeks ago, we lost electric for about 25 hours from thunderstorms and my grandbabies went crazy. No phones and couldn’t go outside. I thought I would pull my hair out but we survived.

  33. After my Mom passed away 19 years ago I had the TV taken out of my home and replaced it with quiet time and focused Bible reading. I was never much of a reader but a quilting friend of mine brought me one of your books. I now have a
    Wanda Brunstetter Book addiction.

  34. This is a beautiful time of the year. I love outdoors. I will definitely be praying for your friends and family.

  35. Hi Wanda, I have a backyard that backs up to a greenway. Often times early in the morning I love to go outside and sit on my swing and listen to the birds chirping and watch squirrels jump from tree branch to tree branch and if I’m paying close attention I can hear the deer in the woods looking for nuts and berries. I can walk to my side yard and see our turtles in the small pond we made for them. My front yard has an oak tree that has grown to be quite large and I have several bird and squirrel feeders hanging and I see lots of different birds, squirrels who eagerly await me putting out their daily lot of peanuts and once in a while a rabbit comes around as well as the deer. I live just outside of Charlotte so I’m very blessed that wildlife is able to thrive in our greenway. A few years ago I was able to get my yard certified as a wildlife habitat. I feel God’s presence each time I visit with the animals.
    Prayers for both of your requests.

  36. I love the simple life, and have been trying to live it for the last couple years. We live in the city, but I do like walking our neighborhood with my family, and my toddler and I spend time out in our backyard. Today after lunch, we walked out back and watered the veggie garden and the flower bed. I LOVE being outdoors and away from screens. Nature is my happy place. 🙂

  37. I have never ridden in an Amish buggy. I spend a lot of time in the woods foraging and hunting. I am always amazed at the beauty I see.

  38. I do take walks and sit outside more in the summer, but I think my whole family could use more porch time. A time to eat a snack together, talk, laugh, and relax. We live on a farm, but we don’t always take time to enjoy what’s around us.

  39. I’ve never ridden in an Amish buggy, but we used to host a bonfire where we would give hayrides. That was always fun. I do take walks around our farm, but I haven’t gotten to as much as I’d like this Spring. This is a good reminder to slow down and get outside.

  40. I have had the opportunity to ride in a buggy. It was really nice, other than the occasional rock that was kicked up at me. It is in the moments, that you get to look at all of God’s handiwork. I love to take long walks. It’s the perfect time to talk to God. 💕

  41. I have never ridden in an Amish buggy. I live in the country and I love to sit outside and read.
    I also like to go for walks and see what different birds and animals I can see and hear. I pray that your friends and family make a full recovery and are restored to health.

  42. I have never had the opportunity to ride in an Amish buggy, although I would like to. I do enjoy sitting in the gazebo behind our apartment building and watching the birds, bunnies and deer that visit the area.

  43. The simple life would be a blessing to live for awhile but unfortunately so many of us have become too involved in the ways of life that’s so fast paced we barely take time to breathe.
    Sitting outside here on the farm is so relaxing as
    I read one of your books I get the time I need to lose myself in the words on the page to be in that simple life. I feel as though I am right there in the moment with the characters. Thank you for sharing your writing and wisdom and your family with us readers.
    I humbly ask God to continue to Bless you and your family, to lay his hands on those who need His healing support and to Bless us the readers that we may continue to hold Him dear in our hearts and lives.
    Let us all take time to bask in His glorious sunshine on earth as much as we can.
    Kathy Walden

  44. I plant flowers and enjoy gardening fri. Porch because of health issues. I will pray about woman hurt in car accident. I been in two. Also about girl with lung problems. Yes I believe in the power of prayer. I just cast some mountains away and expecting miracles – my husband’s job, my health, and our vehicles

  45. I’ve actually traveled in a buggy numerous times. We have Amish friends and I’ll always choose the buggy and the slower pace it brings. You see and observe so much more.

  46. Over the past year or two, I have found myself slowing down and enjoying the peace and quiet. Often, I find the TV annoying, unnecessary noise. I crave quiet.
    I would love to ride in an Amish buggy and enjoy the beauty of nature, listening to the birds and the clip clop of the horses hooves hitting the ground/pavement.

  47. I have never had the opportunity to ride in an Amish buggy but would definitely enjoy the experience.
    I truly love to walk, especially very early in the morning. All of one’s senses come alive-seeing dawn break to another glorious day, hear the roosters crowing(along with all of the other creatures of nature), feel and taste the early morning dew, and smell all of nature’s bounty(fresh cut hay and grass for example). I love to say my prayers and send up intentions when I walk. At this time I truly feel closer to God and have the chance to thank Him for all of life’s bounties and challenges.

  48. I have ridden in an Amish buggy, twice. I enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed it very much. I would trade the craziness for the older quiet times. I wish we weren’t so busy and always on our phones. I still take walks around my neighborhood and take my children and grandkids to parks for picnics. We try to keep some of the quiet with us.

  49. Your journal article came at the right time. Yesterday my husband and I walked our yard and saw the many beautiful flowers and plant that our hidden among the weeds. We are dreadfully behind in cleaning, trimming and weeding. But I love seeing how our work in the yard is changing and looking better.

  50. Thank you as always for this. I do love to be in nature going for walks at the duck pond or some park. I live in an apartment so I enjoy the birds singing outside of my window since this place has trees and a well manicured landscape. I also read alot of amish books an visited Penn Dutch area several times as a child and as an adult. I do try to sew in evening when tv doesn’t have shows I like. I love MPT mostly. Love to cook and just do the domestic things around the house.

  51. We own 37 acres of wooded land. We are outside more than we are in! I love just listening to the birds and feeling the breeze. I have never ridden in an Amish buggy but I bet it is quiet and relaxing!

  52. Hello to all your wonderful readers everywhere. I think you’re a wonderful author and have enjoyed your books very much. I would very much appreciate prayers for my son. He and his wife are going through marriage difficulties. I am praying for you all as well. Thank you.

  53. Hi Wanda. I was born and raised in Northern Indiana in Goshen to be exact. When we were kids I remember on Sunday afternoon we would always go for a ride and it was normally through the country. We always seen the Amish in their buggies or walking usually.
    When my kids were young we lived in Topeka Indiana and we all loved it. The kids rode in the buggies several times and really enjoyed it. My oldest son had an Amish friend that he would go visit a lot and he was amazed at their life style. He always bragged about her mom making her own ketchup. They are really very nice people and do all they can to help their neighbors. I actually miss those days.

  54. I’ve never had a chance to ride in an Amish buggy but I would love to do that. I definitely believe in prayer. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer and he lived almost 11 years with it. He was taking different oral chemo treatments the whole time. I know of a surety that God let him live that long. He was not supposed to live over 4 or 5 months. He got to see our last two grandchildren born and got to help spoil them. They were 7 & 8 when he passed away August of 2021. With much prayer God let us keep him for a long time beyond what he was supposed to live. We are very grateful!

  55. I love to walk around our park and for the first time in a long time I am healthy enough to go hiking and I am so looking forward to it. We have had many Amish move to our county and I have enjoyed meeting them. It is great to take life sold and see all the Wonderful things the Lord has made. I love reading your books they take me to places I wouldn’t normally go.thank you.

  56. I have ridden an Amish buggy in Lancaster County, PA. I love it and wish I could do it more often.