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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Almost Amish...Review

About the book: 
Have you ever stopped to think, Maybe the Amish are on to something? Look around. We tweet while we drive, we talk while we text, and we surf the Internet until we fall asleep. We are essentially plugged in and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Rather than mastering technology, we have allowed technology to master us. We are an exhausted nation. No one has enough time, everyone feels stressed out, and our kids spend more hours staring at a screen each week than they do playing outside.

It's time to simplify our lives, make faith and family the focal point, and recapture the lost art of simple living. Building on the basic principles of Amish life, Nancy Sleeth shows readers how making conscious choices to limit (and in some cases eliminate) technology's hold on our lives and getting back to basics can help us lead calmer, more focused, less harried lives that result in stronger, deeper relationships with our families, friends, and God.

While going completely green and off grid aren't practical things for most of us to do, there is a movement afoot these days to simplify and lessen our carbon footprint.  Nancy Sleeth and her family have done this, not by becoming Amish, but by embracing Amish principles.

I really liked the 10 Amish principles that Nancy refers to throughout the book:

1. Homes are simple, uncluttered, and clean: the outside reflects the inside.
2. Technology serves as a tool and does not rule as a master.
3. Saving more and spending less bring financial peace.
4. Time spent in God's creation reveals the face of God.
5. Small and local leads to saner lives.
6. Service to others reduces loneliness and isolation.
7. The only true security comes from God.
8. Knowing neighbors and supporting local businesses build community.
9. Family ties are lifelong; they change but never cease.
10. Faith life and way of life are inseparable.

Each chapter takes one of these principles and expands on it through personal experiences of the Sleeth family and anecdotes and stories from the Amish.  I found the book well written and thought-provoking.  I think there are ideas and suggestions and philosophies for any reader, whether it be someone who is simply curious or someone who truly wants to live a greener life.

While I found the portrayal of Nancy's family a bit too perfect, they sound like truly good people who are making a difference in their community. I commend them for that.  I liked the inclusion of recipes, some of which I am anxious to try.

Thanks to Tyndale House for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Nancy Sleeth here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 6/12

* * *
3/5 Stars

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