I am fascinated by the Amish.
It’s true. I don’t know if I can effectively explain why they intrigue me. Okay, well, maybe I just don’t want to admit that inside me somewhere is a girl who just wants to be Laura Ingalls. I am convinced that I could totally thrive in a little house in some big woods. I cannot even say how much I want to milk cows, and fetch eggs, and embrace the simplicity of family and faith without all the distractions.
There a few flaws in this plan. Hence, the reason I do not live on a farm. Number one, getting up at the crack of dawn. Nope. Not this girl. That is literally a reason that I never sought out having horses and cows and chickens the way my heart wants to.
Number two, the really hard, constant work. Just being honest here. I know I’m a hard worker, but I don’t think many of us have it in us to work like farmers on a day-to-day basis. Honestly, our family dreads our turn to do kitty chores every night. Hmmm…scooping litter or mucking a stall?
Number three, the bathroom situation. Outhouse. Need I say more?
Obviously, I’m a modern girl with a pioneer spirit.
Back to the Amish.
Due to a plethora of Amish fiction on the market today, I can consider myself a quasi-expert on all things Amish. One of my favorite stops on one of our trips was Bird in Hand in Lancaster, PA. I was surrounded by all things Amish, and that buffet was pretty unforgettable. Have you seen those little Amish boys in their hats??
The desire of the Amish to remain separated from the world and its temptations is at its very least admirable. Most people are aware of their old world dress and lifestyle, but not everyone understands that they are pacifists to an extreme we can’t understand, and that their strong sense of community precludes the need for social security, welfare, or unemployment. In the case of the Amish school shootings in 2006, when a man and father of three brutally shot ten little Amish girls, the families of the victims demonstrated remarkable forgiveness to the perpetrator and his family rather than seeking any kind of vengeance or harboring any bitterness. They live out their faith in a way that is not often seen.
My children have introduced me to a word that has been stuck in my head for at least a week now. This came about in a discussion they were having in which they were encouraging each other to avoid overexposure.
Overexposure–The act of exposing someone excessively to an influencing experience.
In photography, overexposure is used to blur the edges and washout an image.
So, how in today’s crazy world do we find the line between a horse and carriage and Lady Gaga? How do we choose to not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind so we can know what God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will is? (Romans 12:2)
I am a firm believer that the most important purpose I have in my life is to parent my three children in a way that honors God. Since God has given them to me, I’d better be faithful to do my absolute best by them. What enters their mind and spirit is, up to a certain age, my responsibility and I believe I will be held accountable. To many, I know I have seemed over-protective. Good thing I don’t answer to many! Just One.
Today, I asked each of my three what the word overexposure spoke to them. Justin (who was on the phone on his lunch hour) said that overexposure affects our sense of right and wrong. He said that ever since the beginning when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, overexposure became a problem. All of a sudden evil became apparent in their beautiful world.
Well, that worked out great, didn’t it?
All of my three are musicians and listen to all varieties of music. Well, within reason. Thankfully, they have each drawn very specific lines for themselves as to what is okay to enter their minds and spirits. They do listen to all styles, however.
Is there a danger to listening to anything and everything?
What if you were in a McDonald’s at the playplace with your child and a song with the F-word was blaring throughout the restaurant? Would it shock you? Last year, Christian and Addie were in Europe and everywhere they turned a song just like that was being played. Shocked them. Normal to the Europeans.
Today, Addie listened to a snapshot of today’s music, and came out to tell me how she felt disgusted at what is viewed as normal. Things we wouldn’t have discussed within the same walls as our parents before are amusing song lyrics today. This from my daughter who isn’t necessarily drawn to today’s Christian music.
She agrees with her mother’s thinking that allowing a child to mature before being submerged into society and its version of “normal” may not be so crazy after all. Practically Amish of us, right?
I just asked Kyrsten, my twelve year old (going on thirty) what the word overexposure spoke to her. She told me a story she heard this morning on a Perry Stone podcast about how there are these little flies that the sheep can be exposed to that seek out the nose and ears of sheep to lay their eggs. This makes the sheep itchy and agitated, and the sheep butt heads out of frustration. She learned that if we are like sheep, those flies’ eggs are like thoughts that we shouldn’t have that go where we are vulnerable, and the only solution is the special oil from the Shepherd. The sheep are anointed and find relief.