Amish Values for Your Family: What We Can Learn from the Simple Life

Amish Values for Your Family: What We Can Learn from the Simple Life

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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For readers who long for strong families that know how to truly enjoy life together, there is much to learn from the Amish. Values like community, forgiveness, simple living, obedience, and more can be your family legacy--without selling your car, changing your wardrobe, or moving out to farm country.

In Amish Values for Your Family, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shows how you can adopt the wisdom of the Amish when it comes to family matters. In this inspiring and practical book readers will find charming true stories interlaced with solid, biblical advice about parenting, marriage, and all aspects of family life. As readers get an intimate glimpse into the everyday lives of real Amish families, they will learn to prioritize what's truly important, simplify decision-making, slow down as a family, safeguard time together, and let go when the time comes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441232632
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 461,013
File size: 782 KB

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Letters, The Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at and connect with Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe's Light, Minding the Light, and The Light Before Day, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop's Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction: The Disappearing Childhood 11

Section 1 Children Are Loved but Not Adored 15

The Rabbit Hutch 19

The Mud Hole 22

Workshop Raising 26

Family Vacations 30

Too Much Money 34

Christmas Day 38

Bill Coleman and a Quilt 41

Mothers-in-Law 46

The Christmas Bird Count 50

Section 2 Great Expectations 55

August Pies 58

Laundry Day 61

How to make a Marriage Last 65

A Teacher's Viewpoint 69

Snow Day! 73

Little Boys and Eggs 77

The Do-Over Boys 80

The Girdle 84

Amish in the City 87

Read, Read, Read 92

Interlude: A Year in an Amish Family 97

Section 3 Daily Bread 103

God doesn't Make Mistakes 106

Gas Thieves 110

Sitting on the Front Bench 113

Calvin and Goliath 117

Widow Maker 120

Northern Lights 123

A Rare Bird 127

Seventy Times Seven 131

The Miracle of the Neighbor 136

Section 4 Letting Go 141

Bear! 144

Chain Saws and Worries 147

Pastimes 150

A Dog's Life 153

Chuck and Henry and Two Eagles 157

Rumspringa 161

Singing to Cora 165

Wedding Season 168

An Early Good-bye 173

A Circle of Life 177

Epilogue: An Evening of Trivial Pursuit with the Amish 181

Recommended Reading 185

Notes 187

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Amish Values for Your Family 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
KateLloyd More than 1 year ago
While reading this outstanding book, I often wished I'd had a copy when raising our boys. Amish Values for Your Family is a lovely combination of personal Amish stories, laced with sage proverbs, amusing quotes from Amish or Mennonite scribes, and the author's invaluable take-away. I can't think of anyone who would not enjoy and benefit from reading it.
Adayriddle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of the neatest books on Amish values and beliefs. Although I have no desire to travel north and join an Amish community I do see the benefits of many of their beliefs regarding family structure. This book explores this through personal stories of the Amish. It is truly an insight to a people that are truly set apart from this world.If you are seeking to simplify your life - to return to a seemingly easier and maybe old-fashioned lifestyle this is a great book. The Amish have managed through the years to keep their life simple by focusing on the important things in life. I appreciated the reminders to value family above earthly things. From cover to cover this story is filled with encouraging ways to embrace a simple life in this hectic world. I especially enjoyed the Amish Proverbs at the top of each new chapter. One I particularly like is "We Pass on our convictions to our children by the things we tolerate." (page 69). In fact this was posted on my FaceBook wall. I don't think people think about how what we tolerate effects our children. I have adopted this as one of our Proverbs to counter the inevitable "Everyone else is doing it" or "So and So's mom doesn't care". I want my children to understand that we must be different and must stand for what the bible says - tolerating no iniquities in our life but being quick to repent and turn.At the end of each chapter is a section called Road Map: Getting There From Here. This section tells more in depth why the Amish believe what they do and how we can adapt this into our own lives. There is then a section called In their Words that has quotes from different scribes from different Amish Communities. I thought these were often funny and extremely personal. One that made me giggle was I have learned to be careful how I write Oleo when I send my husband to the store or he comes back with Oreos. I would recommend this book for anyone needing some encouragement that the simple life can be attained even in this hectic world.I received this book from Revell as a review copy.Available August 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
mrsboone4 More than 1 year ago
A good book/tool for educating yourself on appreciating what you have & the people in your life. Suzanne gives the Amish way of doing things, then how you can accomplish the same thing in your own life. There are also little snippets out of Amish newsletters that give little anecdotes about daily lives of the Amish.
ibjoy1953 More than 1 year ago
My Review Amish Values for Your Suzanne Woods Fisher Amish Values for Your Family is one of the best books I have read about the Amish life! For many years, I've been fascinated with their lifestyle. I think the reason I cherish and respect the Amish lifestyle is because our family was brought up a lot like them as far as the working conditions. We grew our own food and put it up for the winter. We butchered our own beef and pork, milked our own cows, we had electricity but no TV and no indoor bathrooms. Our faith was different, but we lived on a farm and worked! And life was slower for us, we spent time together as a family, my parents and grandparents always took time for us. Yes, we had nothing as far as material things, but we were truly blessed with parents and grandparents that love the Lord an loved us enough to give us their time and teach us to live for the Lord. They are all in Heaven now, but their legacy lives on in the lives of their children, grandchildren and great-children, until we see them again. There are many values I can mention but I will mention the time they spend together as a family. I know firsthand how important this is. Even though we have things to entertain us, if we would just schedule valuable family time each week we would see a huge difference in our kids, teens and our families. And I have to mention the faith and trust they have in the Lord, and this resulting in the forgiving spirit they all have. The forgiving spirit is the one thing I wish was stronger in my life. Sometime I wonder just how they can be that way! It is because they want to be like Christ! I loved reading this book, and will keep it with my stash of books! I enjoyed the family stories and how they live. I appreciate the author taking time to research and interview to write this valuable book. My pray is that we as Christians will strive to take these principles to heart and try to incorporate them in our daily lives. I was provided a copy of this book by LitFuse Publicity Group in exchange for a review. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
I think the one thing I love most about their lifestyle over anything is their love for the community. Whenever anyone is in need, they don't turn the the government, they turn to their neighbors and no one is too busy to say no! They all work together to make their communities better, they don't believe they are owed anything except to be great stewards of the land God has given them. They are self sufficient and work hard. They don't have the issues we have in our society with our children being disrespectful or lazy, and they are up when most of us are still asleep to begin their days. So when I was asked to review the book, Amish Values for Your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher, I jumped at the chance. We were asked to go through the book and find one simple value in the book and share how it has impacted my family. It was difficult, not because I couldn't find anything to share, but because I had to pick only one, but it's the one profound one my family would say is one that stays on our mind all the time. It's to put God first in our lives and I love the Amish proverb that accompanies the section titled, Our Daily Bread. If God is not first in our thoughts each morning, he will be last in our thoughts all day. How true, and how simple this truth is. Too often we have a tendency to bargain away our time with God over pressing daily issues, like our kids, chores, work, making dinner, dealing with issues with family and friends, that so often we only take the time for God when we are in crisis mode. We fail to thank him in the most simple of times, for the rising of the sun, the hot water for our showers, clean water to drink, a roof over our heads, because we are simply too busy. But the first thing the Amish do before starting their days and ending their days is giving thanks to God for everything. For blessing their meals before they eat, to praying for a great harvest, for healing over sick friends and family and the best example of all, is even in accidents involving the Amish buggy's that claim the life of one of their children, they simply say it's God's will. They don't sue the drunk driver that hit them because he shouldn't be driving, hoping it will at least compensate them for the loss of the child. They gather together as a family, as neighbors and as a community and work together to heal. That's what I respect the most and what my family is been doing differently these past weeks. The change has been extraordinary! By starting our day off with a simple Bible devotion and prayer, our days are more peaceful, less fighting, less stress and best of all, we are doing what is right and it shows. We are laying down a solid foundation for our kids that is working. They can see the results. I would encourage you to go back to a more simple life. A life where neighbors unite, where communities are working together instead of simply waiting for what you feel you deserve. This book is filled with amazing ideas to get back to simple basics and a much more peaceful life. I received this book compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and I refer to it each day along with my Bible to simplify my own life and set an example I hope my family will follow! Hands down this is an exceptional book and one I highly recommend! I award it 5 out of 5 stars!
amomwithablog More than 1 year ago
Amish Values for Your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher is simply a book about living... simply. Filled with stories from the Amish themselves, you will discover how they keep their lives focused on what matters most and how that decision affects not only the whole family, but the entire community as well. One of my most recent goals in life has been to SIMPLIFY. Get rid of all the 'stuff' so I have more time to enjoy what matters most... God, family, and people. This book has not only increased my desire for simplicity, but it has shown me even more reasons for doing so. Filled with heart-warming stories from the men and women raised in the Amish community, it has only made me wish I had made the decision sooner. One of the stories that struck me the most was of a man who worked for a company that builds houses. He said that they worked on custom built homes, some with a price around a million dollars. He said "I see these folks wanting these big grand houses, strapping themselves to pay the mortgage. Both the mom and the dad have to work to make those big payments, and then the house is empty all day. Little kids get stuck in day care, or older kids come in to cold, empty houses..." I see this happen in all income brackets. If we only thought of these things before we get ourselves into debt. While no family is perfect, we can always seek to improve the quality of our lives and those around us. The Amish seem to have it right... keep God, family, and others as a priority. I could learn a lot from the Amish and I'm glad that Suzanne Woods Fisher is willing to share what she's learned with us. :) *Revell Books and Baker Publishing Group have provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. ~ Thank you!
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings readers a book centered on good, solid, family values, from an Amish perspective. Amish Values for Your Family takes the principles and ideas of the Amish faith and translates them into the everyday life of the reader. What can we learn from the simpler pace of life, deep family connections and solid faith of the Amish people? Through proverbs, real life stories and practical applications, readers will be able to see how the values of the Amish can benefit their own lives, without having the electricity turned off or trading in the family Sedan for a horse and buggy! Suzanne Woods Fisher is well known for her Amish fiction novels, but in this book she takes the practical knowledge she has learned from the Amish and shows readers how they can apply it to their own lives to build stronger families. In today's society the family unit has taken a real beating, with high divorce rates, deteriorating social standards and and overall lack of faith. Through all this the Amish have stayed grounded and strong in their beliefs, attitudes and actions. Though many people do not understand why the Amish people are so different, they do respect their values and faith. The author does an amazing job of showing readers how they can institute Amish principles like, community, forgiveness, and obedience into their lives without actually "going Amish." Amish Values for Your Family is divided into four sections: Children Are Loved but Not Adored, Great Expectations, Daily Bread, and Letting Go. Each section then has several chapter headings that discuss specific values. Woods Fisher delves into many practical areas of the daily Amish life, that readers can glean tidbits of wisdom and ideas to cultivate in their own lives. I really enjoyed the overall format of the book. Each chapter begins with an Amish proverb, many of which I now have hanging throughout my house. Then the author has a story straight from a real Amish family that illustrates a particular value and follows it up with practical applications that readers can use to instill these values in their own lives. One idea that comes through in every single story and every quote is that the Amish life is based on faith and a strong belief in God. The Amish way of life is not a lifestyle choice, it's all faith based. The way they view the world is a lot more cut and dried than the average person. It's either pleasing to God or it's not. When the Amish marry, they are not making vows to each other, they are making vows to God. I think that Christians from every walk of life, should take a page out of the Amish book and apply some of their reasoning in daily life. This is such a great book of wisdom that I think readers who are interested in the Amish will find informative and full of great ideas. These are values that families need to possess no matter what religion they aspire to or believe in. I recommend this one to all of my Christian readers and even those who are not. You don't have to wear funny clothes or never turn on a light switch to implement these wonderful concepts into your daily life.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Suzanne Woods Fisher in her new book, "Amish Values for Your Family" published by Revell teaches us what we can learn from the simple life. Some individuals can look at the Amish and see buggies drawn by horses, a particular style of clothes and no use of electricity. However those individuals have missed the best part and that is family and how they work together. The Amish have a belief in God and a deep faith that gets them through some tough situations. Suzanne Woods Fisher doesn't want us to drop all that we do and adopt their lifestyle what she wants for us is to learn what their values are and adopt them to ourselves. "Amish Values for Your Family" is divided up into four sections: Children are loved but not adored, Great expectations, Daily bread, Letting go. However this does not give you the flavor of the book. What would you do if some kid on a school bus threw a rock at your son hitting him causing a night in Emergency and many stitches for your boy? I would have my lawyer draw up lawsuits for the school district, the bus driver, the school and each and every kid on that bus. However that is not what this family did. They just forgave and moved on. What would we do if we had a few families over for Trivial Pursuit? Well things would be very competitive and insults and sarcasm would abound. Not so with the Amish they all laugh and enjoy their time together with kindness ruling the night. There is much we can learn from the Amish and this book has many values to teach us. I recommend this book highly. If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours a day non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. 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: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." "Available August 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
Melanie-Ski More than 1 year ago
I like to joke around with my kids when they don't have something that their peers have, like a cell phone for example, "Just tell your friends that your parents are Amish"! Oh I admire the values and character of the Amish people, the simplicity and the family dynamics that we so much seem to miss in the rest of America. As I began to read Suzanne Woods Fisher's book I saw many ways that we can easily take the simplicity and apply it to our own lives, without becoming Amish and giving up electricity and higher education. Aside from religious preference, we can be very Amish in character and learn from their example. Suzanne frames each value with a Amish proverb that sets the tone for the story to follow. She then provides a real life example from an Amish family. Her next section is the 'Road Map, Getting There from Here' which shows how we can take the value learned and apply it to our own lifestyles. She then has quotes from the Amish in their own words. I love how she has organized the book, you can read a page or two at a time, and spend some time reflecting on each value. It doesn't need to be read in one sitting, though you can if you want to be submerged in Amish values. I found when reading that many of the values that the Amish hold, were similar ones we took on when we moved out to the country. I think the country feel lends itself easily to the 'simple' life. And in simple, I don't by any means say 'easy'. The simple living is actually much more work involved than the 'easy' way of living. Raising your own animals, eggs, crops, baking your own homemade meals without convenience, sewing clothing and repairing things that break.. there is an easier way to do it, but the simple way seems to be developing more character in my family. Suzanne breaks the book down in to 4 sections. Section 1 Children are loved but Not adored. Now don't read that and think the Amish don't love their kids like the rest of the world, not at all. They don't put the kids on the pedestal that we typically tend to do. Learn from each other, admit mistakes to one another, and embrace the extended family together. Make it about the family as a whole, not what best serves the children. Section 2 titled Great Expectations provides examples of values that ready children for mature living. The Amish provide a working example of sharing the household and farm responsibilities as a family, and on the job training that many youngsters aren't getting today. In section 3 Daily Bread, the Amish Proverb "If God is not first in our thoughts in the morning, he will be last in our thoughts all day", truly sums up what the section is about. They are putting God first in your day, and keeping Him in the forefront throughout. Draw on the characteristics of God, humility, forgiveness, joy and let them anchor each of your days. Finally section 4 is titled Letting Go. I love what Suzanne says in the intro to this section "If we've done our job and prepared our children to the best of our ability, we can let them have a little age-appropriate breathing room to practice decision making, to spread their winds, and learn from mistakes." So true! This section not only talks about letting go in the teen years, but as toddlers, marriage and even death. Fantastic book full of wisdom that you can truly apply to your own family and you don't even have to give up electricity to do it! Suzanne has done a great job taking the Amish values and helping us
rtwins More than 1 year ago
Amish Values For Your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher shares what we can learn from the simple life of the Amish. The author, as many of us do, shares a love for and fascination with this culture. We admire their strong family units, hard work ethic, and deeply held values. But what simple gifts can we learn from these families? Suzanne Woods Fisher's unique approach to her observations of the Amish makes this book a wonderful addition to your family library. It includes, but is not limited to these topics: ?safeguarding family time ?slowing down ?discovering what is truly important ?community ?forgiveness ?truly loving your children The author divided this book into four sections, subdivided into chapters. Each chapter begins with an Amish Proverb followed by a story she has been told by the Amish. Each chapter contains a life application, which I found the most interesting. Suzanne Woods Fisher applies the truths of this culture into our lives, as those living ourside the Amish world. The chapters conclude with a story straight from the pen of an Amish individual, many of whom live in central, PA, where I reside. Are you looking for a starting point to begin family time, or an excellent resource to weave into family devotions? Look no further. With almost enough chapters for one each week of the year, this book will encourage discussion between parents and children leading to ways to improve their family units. An assignment could be given to further reinforce the truths shared. The author states that we likely will not become Amish, but our society has much to learn from their culture.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think you would enjoy reading this book.
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