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Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life

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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    Almost Amish

    The quest for the simpler life. This book sticks with the reader long after the testimony ends. An easy one sitting read. Thank you, Ms. Sleeth for reminding readers to focus on what is important and translating sane cultural lessons into an insane culture. Take more time to focus on relationships and amble in nature with friends. Focus on our children as a gift from God and not let them become and object of worship in our lives. Teach them to be citizens for the good of community. Invest in marriage, not in a wedding. Sounds simple enough.

    Experiencing burn-out from our high-paced culture, read this book. The author does idealize the life of the Amish, but keep in mind some practice within the culture can provide the balance of nourishment: mental, physical, and spiritual we (the outsiders) need. Ms. Sleeth implores readers to shop local, invest in communities, and know their neighbors.

    Need to bring to mind God's Ways, the solution: family devotion and study/ enjoy His creation. Watch the flowers, the the rebirth of spring, observe resurrection and redemptive work within God's creation. Ms. Sleeth brings to mind Jesus taught on field trips observing His Father's creation, investing in people, making time for relationship, and speaking to the heart through stories. The author references Romans 1 and Psalms 24. To tend and to protect (the calling of man from God for his creation), abad and shamar from the Hebrew.

    This book will transform how the reader thinks about lifestyle. Counter to culture, we do not have to run from pillar to post eating fast food. This does not help our children become smarter, stronger, or more prepared for adulthood. The results of a over hurried life style are staring at us. The mother sets the tone for the family. The kitchen is the heart of the home.

    When confronted with the challenge of living the more sustainable life, let us rise to the challenge.

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  • Posted June 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    They say "Don't just a book by its cover," but that's

    They say "Don't just a book by its cover," but that's exactly why I picked up this book at my library to read: something about the cover, title and subtitle, "One woman's quest for a slower, simpler, most sustainable life" really intrigued me. So kudos to whoever designed the very attractive cover and binding. :)

    Now, as for the book itself, I'll tell you why I loved it after I give you a bit of background. I grew up in a very conservative home (both morally and politically) in the fairly liberal, tree-hugging city of Anchorage, Alaska. So although we eschewed the earth worship and extremism of many of our fellow citizens, we always recycled, composted, grew our own vegetables and fruit (at least what we could get to grow here :)), etc. However, I've always been rather discouraged and frustrated that looking for ways to sustain, replenish and preserve the environment are such a low priority for many on my "side of the aisle." I guess there's something to that old saying of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater."

    All of this to say, I LOVED the balance Nancy Sleeth wrote about in her book! As Christians, we should be the most concerned about taking care of this earth we live on, as God entrusted us with it and commanded us to be good stewards of it. However, I think the radical extremism of putting the earth first, above all else and to the detriment of humans, who are MUCH more important, has turned off so many people that they just take the complete opposite view. So I think "Almost Amish" has some really helpful and important reminders, often from Scripture, that we should choose a healthy view somewhere in the middle.

    In addition to her chapters on sustainability, Ms. Sleeth does a wonderful job of showing some of the most admirable aspects of the Amish, again showing the foundation of their beliefs and rituals in Scripture. And again, while I think perhaps the Amish are extreme in their simplicity and beliefs (and I say this with respect, I am not belittling their lifestyle), we average Americans have become just as extreme in the other direction! We have become far too much like the world in the areas of our homes, finances, families and community and we would do well to take a page or two from the "Ordung." :) Yet, we do have to take it all with a grain of salt, and not become so legalistic, but rather just try to pay more attention to the spirit of God's Law.

    I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and family, and in fact have already done so. I really do think that it would be valuable reading for every person, as a lot the struggles and complications we face in this world are really new problems that didn't exist a generation or two ago, and we would really benefit from looking at our past to help us in the future. One of my favorite lines in the book is actually a quote from C.S. Lewis, "Going back can sometimes be the quickest way forward." I think that pretty much sums up the book and why YOU should read it! :)

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    I Wish I could do what this author did,but even through I cannot

    I Wish I could do what this author did,but even through I cannot do all she did I am going to try some of her suggestions.

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    I liked this book. I am going to follow some of her ideals and m

    I liked this book. I am going to follow some of her ideals and maybe try some of the receipts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Absolutely loved this book! This goes along with everything tha

    Absolutely loved this book! This goes along with everything that I've been thinking lately. We focus so much on social media and the internet and all this stuff that takes our minds from focusing on Christ. My family is already taking steps to simplify and I can't wait to do more.

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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    We live in an Amish area and these quite gentle people and their

    We live in an Amish area and these quite gentle people and their way of life have always fascinated me. I admire their simple living and have often wondered what it might be like to make that commitment. So when I saw the title of this book I was immediately drawn to it. While I respect their no frills way of living, I know without a doubt I would not be able to live that way completely.
    I was hoping that the book would share ways for me to make choices to incorporate their basic lifestyle into mine. The author did an excellent job of addressing the very core of their values and priorities. I was not disappointed.
    It was interesting to learn about their daily routines and family life in greater detail than I had known before. The chapters are divided into fundamental areas of life we share just as people and families (with the exception of the chapter on technology). She shares the Amish beliefs and practices in each one then compares it to how the majority of non-Amish folks live. She offers her personal experiences, ways we can simplify and integrate their practices into our lives, and she also shares many scriptures to illustrate the biblical truth of their culture.
    The book was a real eye-opener and made me examine how I was living more closely. She wasn’t preachy nor did she make me feel inferior for not making the same choices she did. I felt like she was merely sharing information for me to make a decision.
    At the end of each chapter I really liked the “Let’s Sum It Up”. It allowed me to review all the material in a nut shell. At the end of the book are some wonderful recipes to try.
    While I admire the author for the drastic changes her family made in their day to day living, I know I would not be able to go to that extreme. Her husband and children were all on board and that isn’t going to happen with me. Nevertheless she gave me all I need to incorporate these ideas into my life personally.

    I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    I admire people who are able to do what this author did in makin

    I admire people who are able to do what this author did in making the choice to limit or even eliminate technology that wastes time and resources, and choosing instead a simpler lifestyle patterned after that of the Amish. I live in an area that has large Amish and conservative Mennonite communities so I'm aware of the kinds of things the author is writing about and while I'm careful to not put the Amish up on a pedestal as being more holy or better than everyone else, I do admire their thriftiness, respect for natural resources, and the focus on relationships and community instead of Facebook status updates or following friends on Twitter.

    What I liked about this book is that, while based on Biblical principles, it isn't preachy about "save the earth" but instead offers tangible ways we can live a more sustainable lifestyle that benefits not only the environment but our overall health as well. By incorporating conscious choices about how we will eat, what kinds of homes we will live in, methods of transportation, how we will dispose of trash, and how we will spend our waking hours can all add up to a life that is less stressful and often more economical.

    The chapters include the topics of home, technology, finances, nature, simplicity, service, security, community, families, and faith. In each, Sleeth compares the standard American way of living in each of these areas to that of the Amish. She isn't suggesting that anyone live without electricity, meet in homes for Sunday services, resort to horse and buggies for transportation, but she does offer tips on how to transition from a wasteful, technology based lifestyle to one that is more simple.

    The chapters I appreciated the most were the ones on home (Amish homes are simple, uncluttered, and clean) and technology (technology serves as a tool and does not rule as a master). The chapter on security was also good as it points to the truth that the only true security, despite technology and everything else, is found in God.

    This is a great book for anyone who desires to live a simpler life. For me, it serves as a motivational resource without guilt or feeling I have to "go Amish" in order to achieve that kind of life.

    I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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