Why We Love and Respect the Amish

Why We Love and Respect the Amish by J.E.B. Spredemann

Someone recently asked a question in one of my Amish-themed Facebook groups. “Why do you enjoy reading about the Amish?” This got me thinking of the Amish, how I came to know about them, and what led me to write about them. And that story begins back in the summer of 1986.

I grew up in a wonderful family and my parents (fortunately) loved to travel and visit new places. As far back as I can remember, we’d always owned a motorhome. I caught the travel bug and enjoyed visiting new and exciting destinations as much as my parents did. We lived in California and traveled across the United States on two separate occasions. Since I was the youngest of the family, my memories of our first excursion across the Land of the Free are pretty dim, as I was only about four or five years of age.

But our second trip – that was memorable! Like I stated earlier, it was 1986 and the summer before seventh grade. It was a very impressionable time for me and everything was a big deal. We visited so many historically significant destinations – Plymouth Rock, The Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, The Liberty Bell, Harpers Ferry, a Quaker village. We also visited Niagara Falls, Old Faithful… what a great trip it was! Out of all the places we visited, two were my favorite.

The first was Black Hills, South Dakota where we had the blessed opportunity to see the Passion Play. (These were the days before films like The Passion of the Christ, so you couldn’t just go to a theater or rent a VHS and watch it.) The glorious Gospel unfolded right before my eyes—that was so awesome! It was an experience I’ll never forget. If you’ve never been, I encourage you to add it to your bucket list.

The other place I fell in love with was Pennsylvania. I loved all the trees and the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. We visited Gettysburg and Amish country. Since that summer, I always wanted to move to Pennsylvania.

That summer was the very first time I’d ever heard of or seen the Amish. Imagine my thoughts as my father described to me that there were people that still lived like they did back in the olden days. I was intrigued and I’d thought it was pretty cool.

Fast forward twenty or so years to my introduction to Amish fiction. I admit that, at first, it didn’t appeal to me. But I loved to read and I decided to give the books a try. After a couple of books, I was hooked and Amish fiction was my genre of choice.

Over the next couple of years, every time my in-laws would mention something from their past, I’d think ‘that sounds so much like the Amish.’ My husband grew up Mennonite in Brazil and there were many cultural similarities. At that time, I didn’t know how closely related the Amish and Mennonites were. When I began researching for my own books, it all made so much sense.

I guess you can say that I fell in love with this old-fashioned lifestyle, although I think I’m much too spoiled to ever live it myself. I never dreamed that I would someday purchase and live in a former Amish home in the heart of Amish country and own a horse and buggy! (We did add plumbing and electricity to the house, by the way.) Now, twenty-plus books later, it’s hard to believe there was a time in the not-so-distant past that I knew very little about this wonderful culture.

Amish home

So, what’s your story? How and when did you come to learn about the Amish? Was your introduction to their lifestyle through books? Do you have Amish ancestors or perhaps grow up Amish yourself? Or, like me, did a trip to Amish country introduce you to this unique culture? I’d love to hear your story!

Blessings! <3

J. Spredemann

P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up one of my books yet, you’ll be able to find A Secret Encounter at Walmart by the end of the month. If you email me (jebspredemann (at) gmail (dot) com) with your name and mailing address, I’ll send you a free bookmark.

A Secret Encounter

By the goodness and grace of GOD, Readers’ Favorite GOLD & SILVER Medal Book Award Winner J.E.B. Spredemann, Author of the beloved Amish by Accident and Amish Secrets series, was born and raised in California and now resides in beautiful southern Indiana Amish country. Amish by Accident (by J. Spredemann) was first released in November 2012, and the author held a steady spot in Amazon’s Top 100 Authors in Religion & Spirituality, topping out at #4. Find J.E.B. on Facebook or visit jebspredemann.com.

First time visiting us? Subscribe for email updates or find us on Facebook and Pinterest!

18 thoughts on “Why We Love and Respect the Amish by J.E.B. Spredemann

  1. J.E.B., your post had me smiling and crying in turn!

    Crying because I had a flashback to what I was doing in 1986…and now I feel so old! (I’ll give you a hint – my oldest son was two years old in 1986!)

    And smiling because I also had parents who loved to travel! I got to see all those wonderful sights you named, and loved every one of them. 🙂 And now that we live in the Black Hills, we visit Mt. Rushmore on a regular basis. It’s so beautiful when there is a light snow in the air….

    Sadly, the Passion Play no longer exists. It lost the battle with time and other sources of entertainment. But there are other similar plays that you can visit…if I remember right, there’s one in Branson, Missouri. And of course, there’s the original one in Oberammergau, Germany!

    I was first introduced to the Amish by my grandmother. I had grown up with horses and buggies, and the Amish were a familiar sight whenever we visited Grandma in her small, northern Indiana home. But I distinctly remember when she told me that our ancestors had been Amish. I was probably around ten years old. Ever since then, they’ve had a special place in my heart.

    1. Hi, Jan.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂
      It’s too bad the Passion Play no longer exists. One place I REALLY want to go, but haven’t yet, is the Sight and Sound Theater. I’ve heard so many great things about it. Have you been there? (Okay, I just looked up S&S and saw the one in Branson. I’m guessing that’s what you were referring to. When/if I go, it will probably be the one in Lancaster, PA.)
      I’ve been to Medieval Times and can’t wait to go back.
      Also, have you ever traced your Amish ancestry? That would be cool, I think.
      And, no, you are NOT old! 😀
      Jennifer Spredemann

  2. my great aunt and uncle lived in Millersburg I used to go their with my grandma she always took me to see the big clock and we would eat supper I think of those times a lot.

    1. Hi, Kathy!
      Thanks for reading.
      I have yet to see that big clock, but I’ve heard about it. Maybe I’ll get to see it this summer when I visit Ohio Amish County, Lord willing!
      J. Spredemann

  3. I was young, maybe 8 or 9 and Mom and Dad took us ( my brother, baby sister and me) on a road trip from the Jersey Shore to Lancaster, Pa. We visited the Central Market right in town. We saw many Amish buggies. Years later, married and with two children, my husband and I bought a camper. Our favorite camping area was Lancaster. We actually became friends with a few Mennonites.
    Life changes…..I am a widow now but I still drive out to the Lancaster area, with my daughter or a friend for the day and a delicious meal.

    1. Hi, Debbie.
      Some of my best memories are of camping with my family and friends. I don’t remember exactly where we stayed when we were in Pennsylvania, except that there was a swimming pool and cute guys there. (Hey, I was 12, give me a break! 😉 )
      And life is always changing. Sometimes it amazes me how quickly it goes by. (As a believer in Christ, it is wonderful to know that I will see my saved loved ones again someday and that God will wipe away every tear.)
      I’m glad you still get the opportunity to go and visit Amish country once in a while.
      J. Spredemann

  4. There is an Amish community about 50 miles from where I used to live. There was a shop in a larger town that sold their products. The bread, noodles, and pies were wonderful. I think that is what interested me in the Amish. I have loved the stories for several years and have a good collection of books. I feel like their lifestyle represents a time in my life when many of us lived similar lives. I don’t remember not having electric but I do remember outdoor toilets and wringer washers. I am glad don’t have to live that way but it brings memories to me.

    1. Hi, Syble.
      Isn’t some of that Amish food just wonderful?! One of the communities near us often puts on dinners to raise money for the Amish school. We love to go to those. I especially love their homemade raspberry ice cream – it’s delicious! Also, around Christmas time, my husband came home with a dozen whoopie pies from one of his co-workers. He often comes home with bread as well. Jah, I’m just a bit spoiled! 😉
      Thanks for reading!
      J. Spredemann

  5. As a young child I have always wan’t a large farm house , about 20 years ago I took a trip to Shipshewana Indiana when they had a festival going on I was in awe of the people & homes and why Amish women wear different caps but what really got me is when I got up at 4:30 am took my coffee out side of the hotel and sat at a table and watched the sun come up and just listened it was so quiet until I heard in the distance clip clop of horse and buggy for one hour watched buggy after buggy come to town I was hooked , but not quit all the way until I read my first Amish book and then that was it . I craved the bible and the word of the Lord I can’t get enough and for that farm house I still don’t have one but everyone has a dream maybe one day.

    1. Hi, Kim.
      Thanks for reading!
      You never know what God might have just around the corner – I know I didn’t. We, of course, had to add indoor plumbing (a necessity for me!) and electricity to our home. Other than that, we have left our house pretty plain. I wanted to keep a lot of the Amish aspects of the home and not change it too much.
      And, yes, I just love the clip-clop of the horses and the gentle rumbling of the buggies driving along the road. It’s so stress-relieving and peaceful to my mind. When I can sit out on my office porch in the quiet of the day and see a buggy up on the nearby hill, it makes me feel like I’m inside one of my books.
      The other morning, I took my camera outside to get a snapshot of the beautiful sunrise. I didn’t realize it at first, but it just so happened to be the same time some of the Amish children were walking to school just beyond our woods. I have yet to look at the photos, but I hope they turned out well. They were off in the distance, so it was just their silhouettes.
      I love living in Amish country!
      J. Spredemann

  6. Hi J.E.B,
    I was introduced to the Amish culture through Amish fiction. A friend of mine handed a book to me and said, “Would you like to read this?“ I took the book and said sure. Just a few pages into it, I could not put it down. It was the first book of the series and I read the next two books in the series as well. After I had fallen in love with the culture, I took a trip to Lancaster County Pennsylvania for three weeks during the summer of 2014. I especially enjoyed the Farmers Market in Bird in Hand, as well as the mud sale. Of course I loved the food, and the people were wonderful. I enjoy all of your blogs and look forward to reading your books.

    1. Hi, Brenda.
      There’s nothing like being in Lancaster County. I was also there in 2014. I hope to go back soon and spend more time there. My daughter has an Amish pen pal that lives in Ronks and we were able to visit the family while we were there. I just love the way the Amish practice hospitality!
      I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying the blog posts. I do hope you enjoy my books as well. Thanks for reading! 🙂
      J. Spredemann

  7. I was introduced to the Amish by my elder brother, (RIP). He was introduced to them many years ago by our Grandfather. My brother became very good friends with a few Amish families. When I was spending time with my bro he took me to visit his friends. We watched them harvest hay and oats. We attended a school auction where I met many more of his friends. I picked up books on Amish from the Christian Book site. Both fiction and nonfiction. And have been intrigued ever since. They would introduce my bro as their Englisher/Amish friend. The people were so friendly and kind. I loved how they made us feel so welcome. Unfortunately since my brothers passing I have no way to reconnect with that Amish group. As I only met them all one time.

  8. I was first introduced to the Amish, through my great grandmother. She gave me a book for my 16th birthday, “The Shunning” by Beverly Lewis. I became interested in Amish culture after that. The following spring I went on a fabric shopping trip with my Grandma to Shipshewanna Indiana, to gather material for some quilts we were working on. There I saw Amish men and women working in the small town. I asked a lot of questions, and grew to respect them. Around the same time (1996) a new Amish settlement was taking root in Wayne county Indiana. This past summer, when I returned to Richmond with my fiancé, I got the chance to show him the Amish run grocery store there in Fountain City. He loves whoopie pies and I do know how to make them.

  9. A friend gave me abook many years ago about the Amish. I fell in love with the simple lifestyle and the love of family and God. Thats it, i was hooked. It is great to find a new author and i am eccited to read your books. Thank you

  10. Daddy was from WV, ya know “God’s country!”, so part of me has “laid back, slow pace, relax” blood running through me!! When we’d visit my Grandparents, farms, large wagons delivering hay up and down the “back roads”, slow~paced work hard living was always there for us to see and visit!
    By 1986, I was a young Mom of two small children. Loved to take them to visit their Great~grandparents in WV!! The peaceful slow~down, it’ll get done pace. Beautiful landscapes and woods had my heart! We walked to visit “the next farm over” instead of jumping in our car. Trail through paths in the woods; think by the time I was 5, I could identify at least 10 different trees and countless birds on my Grandparents property! Miss this time of my life, but my love for reading took me places & no packing or carseats required!!
    In the late 1980’s, Mom, Aunt & I made our first “Girls Only Getaway!” and went to Landcaster, PA! We stayed at Bird-in-Hand motel, up front along the the curved driveway! Oh my what treat we got: many left their door open we came out to sit and listen to the night sounds and watch the buggies head home after long hours of work!! After breakfast there, we went “shop till ya drop” and BOUGHT my first Amish book! Have been in love ever since! Thanks for the wonderful books ya write and CONGRATULATION on all the awards!! God bless ya

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *