WARNING! THIS IS A LONG POST!!!
I didn't want to just post the photos here without giving the reason why I got them in the first place. They were the result of a "sending out" by God. The obedience to a command given to me by the Lord. What a blessing it has turned out to be for my family and I!
In the early spring of 2008 I was sitting in my dining room wondering how I was going to get out of the cluttery mess I was in. I was overwhelmed by the state my home was in. Once, I told a friend, "It is as if a Thing-Monster came into my house and vomited." Gross, I know, but that is how I felt.
So, there I was, talking to God about how I know He told me to simplify years ago and how I never really attempted it whole-heartedly. I was truly sorry-mostly because I was busted. I had come to the end of my rope and needed to bail out! I was one of those people who needed a day's warning before company came, and I would spend the entire day before dashing and stashing! I mentioned to God that I really needed a visual to attain to, something I could see to use as an example of what He thought was a simplified, bare-bones house.
I thought of how I had become sucked in to the superfluity of America. How, somehow, I began collecting so many things I no longer had room for them. I couldn't throw anything away, I felt I had to store it somewhere and began filling bins which ended up filling my basement and overflowing into my barn and then my garden shed.
My friends always teased that they were going to call "Clean Sweep" or some other TV show. This thought mortified me! To have everyone see my sin of gluttony...nationwide...the horror! Then I realized, who cares? God saw it all, the glut, the disobedience to Him and my lack of regard to a command He gave me-no matter how simple. Still, I knew He cared for me and in His love wanted to deliver me from this!
Simplify. One word from Him:simplify.
The Father keeps it simple for me. One word commands. No complications that way. No need to try to figure out exactly what He means.
So, I asked for a visual. I sat and wondered what He would show me. I sat in my dining room that day, waiting. Then, plain as day, the word "Amish" came to my mind. I had no reason to be thinking about Amish people. I had only been to Lancaster County, PA once, years ago, when I went on a couple's retreat with my husband. There was the conference and some sight-seeing, but no deep-down "Amish Experience"...and then we went home and forgot about it.
That's what I heard.
I immediately went online and searched 'youtube' for some kind of video about Amish people. I searched online for anything Amish that would show me some kind of example of Amish housekeeping. I got nothing. I could not find any photos of Amish rooms to use as my visual.
I let it go for the time being.
I don't think two hours went by. The phone rang. It was my friend Linda. She told me she and another woman were heading for Lancaster County, PA for a couple of days and would I like to go.
"ARE YOU KIDDING????????", I shouted!!!
This was my answer to prayer! My husband agreed to let me go and I was off on my "Amish Adventure"!!
I told the girls before I left that it was time for me to: sell all I have, give to the poor, and follow the Lord. I told them what had transpired earlier in the week. I told them that I was going to see if there was an Amish house tour anywhere down there and that if it was possible to take photos (knowing how they are about photos), and use them as my visual for my own home.
Well, long story short, I was so blessed on this trip! Not only did I find an Amish house tour before I left for home, I was able to attend Charity Christian Fellowship and their guest speaker, Jerry Mawhorr spoke on the very thing I knew God told me before I left for the trip!
Click here to listen to his message if you'd like.
After the wonderful experience at Charity (their online ministry had blessed me so much!)-and now to actually meet some of the people who had unknowingly blessed me and my family! It was a day I will never forget! (One day I'll share the story of my first trip to Charity-it is a joyous testimony of their kindness to visitors.)
Not only did I get to take my house tour, the guide told me I could lag behind the group, take as long as I wanted and as many photos as I liked. I was so very, very happy!
What you are about to see, was ordained by God in my life. It has been a blessing to me and a day I will always remember. The Lord said in Proverbs 29:18a, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." I was sent by the Lord to get my vision to bless my home, and I am still pressing on until I receive the reward of my simplified house and simplified life-no clutter to hold me back from what He has for me!
Here are some of the photos I took on the Amish House Tour:
This is the laundry room.
This was said to be a "Daughter's Room".
Another bedroom, with pretty light purple walls. The man said it was not a traditional color.
A Boy's Room. The walls were paler, my photo shop enhanced the blue color a bit. Ice hockey and baseball are favorite pasttimes!
There was this coffin in a room upstairs. He said it was in there to show it and he explained how Amish funerals were conducted. Morbid, but I guess some people would want to know.
Another bedroom. This one was downstairs. Notice the stuff on the dresser-that basket was an original diaper bag!
This was the sitting room. This is where the family would gather in the evening under the light of the lamp (which was very bright by the way) and play games or quilt or visit or read the German Bible.
And last, but not least, my favorite room in the house...
The sun room at the back of the kitchen was very inviting and the treadle machine was in a good spot by the windows-lots of sunlight to sew by.
So there you have it. Bare bones clean. Nothing in there to trip over, no excess, no superfluity. Simple. It was neater than I imagined. Nothing in there that didn't have a use. And that is my "Amish Revelation" from the Lord.
I still have a long way to go!! But I'm making progress! This trip and tour has led to a long and educational study about the Amish, their beliefs and lifestyle. We have been blessed in many ways by the Lord because of this. But that is for another post, another day.
Thanks for sharing my tour with me, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
God Bless you as you aspire to your own Home-Sweet 'Vision' from the Lord!