I really think that there's a lot we can learn from different faiths, cultures, and ways of life; and I definitely think there are elements of the Amish way of life which bear further scrutiny to see if there are ideas and habits which might work when applied to our busy, first-world life.
So imagine my joy when I found out there was a book being released called 'Amish Values for Your Family'...and even better, I was offered a copy to review! 'Amish Values for Your Family' is written by Suzanne Woods Fisher, an author who is no stranger to the ways of the Amish, and in the book she weaves together anecdotes and stories quite beautifully. She then offers a 'road map' of how we might adopt some of the ideas which the Amish embrace into our own lives.
I really enjoyed this book. At first I was a little afraid that it might be a little heavy or difficult to read, but the very opposite is true! Fisher blends stories, advice and letters with ease, splitting the book into many small chapters which are easy to digest and full of interesting points. I particulary enjoyed the chapters exploring Amish teaching and will certainly be calling some of these ideas to mind when I return to school in September!
As part of the review process, we were asked to take on a principle of Amish life and apply it to our own. After some reflection, I decided to focus on the ideas put forward in the chapter 'Too Much Money'. The Amish are famously frugal, but I enjoyed the way this chapter explored how they organise their spending and finances. Fisher concludes that for the Amish, so much of the choice is down to prioritising what they hold most dear and spending their money on this. I took on this advice and have changed my finances quite drastically, as well as finding a newfound passion for bargains and 'making do'. In these trying economic times, there is much to be learned from a slower, more considered approach to things....money included.
I also enjoyed the Amish focus on home. I think that sometimes, living in London, I feel a pull to be out and about and spending money, when really there is so much I enjoy doing at home, or with friends, that is cheap and fun and cherishable. I think this school year I'll be spending more time at home or with dear friends, and this book gave me plenty of food for thought on this point too.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the Amish, looking for a new perspective on their family or school life, or who would just like to read something a bit different. Enjoy!
To learn more about the book and what other reviewers have to say about it, and to enter a giveaway for a Kindle, please click here.
Mandatory disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed here are my own!
PS This review has also been posted on my new book review blog, here. From now on I'll be posting book reviews, book blog hops, and reading lists over there too.