Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Almost Amish: Opting Out

(As originally written, 10/24/2012)

I began reading a book tonight that has been on my book shelf about three months. On a rare trip to a Christian bookstore this book screamed at me to buy it as soon as I saw it's title: Almost Amish.

I'm not really sure why the book was so appealing except for a few reasons. I always secretly loved the idea of being Amish. Maybe it was because I saw Harrison Ford glamorize it in his movie WITNESS when I was younger. Maybe it was because of my first apartment - a one room haven that was simple, yet delightful. Maybe it was just because my life is so busy that I would do anything to slow it down.

After reading the first two chapters I am encouraged to make small changes, some of which I have already been contemplating (read: wanting to do but not yet succeeding at) like opening my home more and eating more at home. The thought that surprised me most was the idea of opting out of anything and everything you can. And while the author has a near 1984esque fear of Big Brother, she makes a valid point. For most of us, more coupons equate to more spending, not more saving. And so I have decided that tomorrow I am opting out. I know it seems random, but it is a baby step that may remove a few minutes from my daily routine, whether going through junk mail or e-mail.

She discusses the beauty of a less-technology life. Why do we need to plug in when we can experience God in the real world and connect face to face? Aside from the financial cost, there are emotional and social costs.

She also reference several compelling statistics and scripture for reducing our social media footprint (I should trademark that expression).

And as I set down my book and logged into Facebook (yes, I clearly see the irony in what I just said) I was greeted with this photo:

And I was reminded of the night my kids and I built a fort in our living room and watched CARS during our Not-Bummer-Summer of 2011. The joy was in the simplicity of our creation and being together, not in watching the movie.

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