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Too often we rush through life. We speed through our neighborhoods and cities without truly seeing what we're passing. We don't have time for friends, and because of that when we truly need a friend no one is around.
In the Amish community, travel is done at the speed of a buggy. They attend church with those who live closest to them. They help a neighbor, knowing they will have a day when help is needed. And because of that, peace comes. It's peaceful to wave at a friend as your buggy travels past her home. It's even more peaceful knowing that your friend has your back.
What inspiration can we get from the Amish to live a slower and more peaceful life?
Decide What's Important. Make a list of three things important to your family, your job, and in your life. Years ago my husband and I decided to make dinnertime a priority. We gather our children (and sometimes friends) around the dinner table nearly every night.
We protect our evenings. We don't sign up our kids for many activities because knowing the people around the dinner table is more important. What is important to you? Too often we fill our days with too much and because of this we are always in a hurry. When you focus on the most important things you'll give up much busyness.
Do Less Each Day (Yet Invite Others to Join You). Efficiency and accomplishment are prized in our society, but crossing off a to-do list isn't as meaningful as connecting with others. The Amish appreciate family farms because they're able to work side-by-side with their children. Even preschoolers are taught how to work and have responsibilities.
Mothers don't hurry through a chore. They do it at child-speed, knowing that their child's help will someday lighten their load. The Amish also gather for tasks, such as canning, cooking, and quilting. They focus on one big thing and do it together. This brings peace to their schedule and their hearts.
Simplify Your Choices. The Amish wear the same type of clothing. They don't fill their lives with media entertainment. They cook the same recipes that their parents and grandparents cooked, which means they don't waste time trying new things.
It takes time to make choices, to try new things, and to follow the latest fads. Instead, pick fashion based on function rather than fads. Make a small list of favorite recipes. Spend time with a few favorite books. You'll be surprised by how much time you'll find!
Be Thankful. Instead of being busy trying to get more things — or feeling anxious by what we don't have — thankfulness brings an inner joy. Today try a new phrase, “I have all I need, and I thank God for that.” God has given us so much, and when we take time to thank Him peace comes.
Tricia Goyer has written more than 35 books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and nonfiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31, and HomeLife Magazine.