Nothing in life is all Cake and Pie. Sometimes you can have the cake but never get to eat it. Life is bitter sweet, some things are hard to swallow. The trick is to make sweet lemonade with those sour, sour, lemons. So many times when I write here I try to find all the positive things in life to share because no one cares to hear another list of bad reports. In this present world, there are enough of those, indeed. Agreed. There is always a flip side to every situation. It is good and healthy to know both good and bad so that you can find something to compare things to and appreciate life in other ways. To give a new perspective sometimes is just what we need. Now, we have very much enjoyed our little homestead in Amishland but all the while we have been here we have had a very difficult time fitting in. The Amish are a very exclusive sect. In fact, I have been told by many of the members here in Amishland that you basically can only BE Amish if you are born into it. Although we have had very close encounters with some of them, even to the point of feeling as though we ARE one of them, we are still NOT Amish. It is a beautiful culture with very many great community activities for the families living there. I shared with you the romantic side of things. The things that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Still, I am one who can't help but share the truth. After the novelty wears off, reality will still have it's way of shining through. Reality is good. Without it we would all be just daydreaming all day long. And daydreaming can be very unproductive. I am a doer as much as my body permits. Truth is, I sit about 85% of my days, not because I want to or because I am lazy. It is because pain limits me. I am not out there canning and cooking, hanging out wash, beating out the rugs, skipping down the lane, because I am just not able to do very many things. I am not supermom. I do cook meals, but if I stand there long enough, I moan with pain until I have to sit. Sitting in a recliner is just not very glamorous, it is just not very homesteady or old fashioned. It doesn't make a great ring of simplicity or hard work to the many listeners out there. It just is what it is. But I do the best that I can. I am certainly not that productive on my own. That is a lemon. Lemons of lemons, sour, sour, bitter pain with the want of doing more. Add in the fresh cool water of family life and the sweetness of community and you have your cup of lemonade. Without many hands, I could do very little at all. I surely would not be able to butcher or can the meat. Reality coupled with a will to pursue more out of life. It is a different perspective, one that defies reason, I suppose. Living among people that never have time to kick back their feet and rest their weary bones is very hard at times. They can help so much and I appreciate that, but I can hardly give back an honest days work in return. They know that, and yet they are loving and kind towards me. They do know that I would if I could.
Back to Amishland. We have been around the trials and tribulations that come to the Amish. They have their own set of troubles. By trying so hard to keep what they have they lose the very thing that binded them as a community to start with. Many of their forefathers were burned at the stake for telling others of their faith. Although this was hundreds of years ago, in a very different time, they fail to remember what they stood for. They stood for Jesus. Anyone who was willing to walk the narrow path, give their lives for Christ were IN. It wasn't the blood that they were born with that made them a community, it was only by the blood of Christ that they were unified. There are stories upon stories of the terrible ways these people were persecuted in the 1500s. Tongue screws were used during executions to quiet these people so they could not proclaim the gospel in their parting words. That is how serious they were about their faith that it took tongue screws to quiet them. And now, they are so exclusive, they do not speak of their faith or share it with anyone besides a person who was born with their same blood. They learn so much growing up about God and his principles. They pray, they work in community. So many wonderful things they do have. Half of the people we have met here do not even know the faith their forefathers bled and died for. Each generation has to have a revival, for the blood of Christ is not hereditary. There was a minister here for the past 10 years that literally "hated" us. Not because we were doing bad things but because we were "English". That is our crime. Our kids were not permitted to attend their school, even though they drove by horse and cart, wore the Amish clothes, and lived in an Amish home. No matter, they do not share the blood of the Amish, or the language. In trying to keep purity they have become defiled. For only Christ can make sinners pure. Some of the families we work alongside here have a sincere walk with God, but they are hindered by what man will say. Everything that they do is like a merry-go-round. The same. Everything is the same as it was when they were young. These things are great in so many ways, but without Christ it can be all vain. I love these people so much and I have a heart for them. I love to look to them to see and study. So much can be learned both good and bad. Lemons of lemons the bitterness of legalism and rejection can be so hard to handle. Add the sweetness of Christ and you can have the best lemonade ever. We realize that we can not change them. We do not want to change how they live. They are so afraid of accepting in something new that it hinders them from really trusting Christ fully. It truly is a system, we are so sure of this. We have known them for many years and lived among them. We would never join such a system that would deny the work of the Holy Spirit. You would have to deny it to be in any man made religion. I think the best thing would be to have the cake and eat it. To have community life on homesteads without the system. It may never be possible like pie in the sky, but it would be something special. Please pray for our Amish neighbors as they are having some hard church issues. Pray for revival. Pray for their young people. That they would truly know Christ and be willing to follow him with all of their days here. We can not call ourselves Amish, we do not belong and we never will. We are just pilgrims sojourning in a strange land. There is nothing new under the sun. It is hard for the kids to be ignored when we go to events. Only because their blood. Being the outcast is hard for kids. I keep reminding them that Christ suffered without a cause. If He is our example, how can we think we should not experience a taste of this here on this Earth. I think that if life was all cake and pie, I would not hope for anything better. I would want to stay just where I am, but that is not the case. I will so much more enjoy the presence of Christ when I have lived a life that was filled with disappointments, pain, and tears. The joy on this Earth, though I feel I have so much Joy, I think will be nothing compared with the joys of heaven. I will endeavor to love these Amish people no matter what, keep trying to share my faith for someti
mes that is all I can share. It is such a great thing to be able to share, even if it can only be done from my chair. I will continue to enjoy this sweet lemonade. And I think I may just try to encourage my daughters to help me make some lemon bars. Sounds really good to me! And this time I will have my cake and eat it, too!