“Beware of your thoughts; they may become words any minute.” Amish Proverb
Rebecca stood at the sink washing dishes as she watched her sisters Anna and Emma take clothes off the line. All morning she’d listened to them carry on about finishing their chores so they could get back to the project they were working on. They’d been keeping a secret, and it was all she could do to watch them whisper and giggle behind her back.
Reaching for the towel to dry her hands she leaned in closer to the window to see how much more they had to fold before coming back inside. Seeing that they still had two full lines of clothes to take down she quickly ran up the stairs to Emma’s room. She couldn’t wait a minute longer to see what was so important they had to keep it a from her.
Before she opened the door, she thought twice about sneaking in Emma’s room. But, not being included in their project was driving her crazy. Spread out across Emma’s bed were scraps of the yellow and blue fabric and the sewing machine and quilt rack had been moved into the room. She backed out of the room and ran back down the stairs before her sisters came back inside. How could they? They knew I was saving money to buy that fabric. She thought.
Still fuming she didn’t even open the door as they struggled to carry the heavy clothes baskets through the narrow door.
As she pulled her mamm’s recipe box out of the cupboard, she walked to the table and sat in a huff. Looking through the recipes, she couldn’t help but hear the hushed tones her sisters were speaking in as they finished putting the clothes away and retreated to Emma’s room.
Standing up and pushing her chair in with more force than necessary she busied herself making Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars for dessert. Try as she may ugly thoughts were swirling around in her head so much so she knew if either one of them came downstairs at that moment she might say things she’d regret.
Melting butter on the stove to stir into the bowl of oatmeal and sugar she mumbled to herself. “Let’s see what Datt has to say after he finds out they did such a spiteful thing.” Pressing the crust in the bottom of the buttered pan and placing it in the oven she washed her hands and headed out to the porch to sit while she waited for the crust to bake.
As she walked to the far end of the porch, she watched the chickadees flutter around the bird feeder fighting for the seed that had spilled on the ground. Sitting in one of her datt’s willow rockers she set the chair in motion and closed her eyes as she leaned her head back on the chair.The quiet of the moment was interrupted as she heard the window to Emma’s room open and was instantly privy to their conversation.
“Do you think Rebecca will love her surprise?” she heard Anna asked.
“Love it, I know she will, she looked at this fabric for ten minutes last month and couldn’t stop talking about how well the colors worked together all the way home.” She heard Emma say.
Startled by what she overheard she bowed her head and whispered a quick prayer. “Please forgive me Lord for thinking bad thoughts about Anna and Emma. Please help me to see the good in people before I judge them harshly and thank you for allowing me to overhear their conversation before I said something I would regret, Amen.” At that moment the timer went off to remind her she needed to take the crust from the oven. Standing to make her way back to the kitchen she overheard Emma say. “I sure hope we can keep Rebecca’s surprise a secret until Christmas.”
Feeling overwhelmed with guilt for thinking the worst of her sisters she quickly went back to the kitchen to work on dessert as she tried to come up with an extra special Christmas present for her sisters. She couldn’t help but think she needed to learn a thing or two from her sister’s. Both of them were kind and thoughtful and she was certain Gott had sent her out to the porch at that exact moment to learn a lesson about jumping to conclusions before she knew the whole story.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars Recipe
• 1 cup butter, melted
• ¼ cup sugar
• 2/3 cup brown sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 3 cups rolled oats
• ¾ cup chocolate chips
• ¾ peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in oats and press into a 9×13-inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool.
Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread over baked crust and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Tracy Fredrychowski is a country girl, author, homesteader and everything simple living. She has a passion for writing about the simpler side of life, much like the life she lived growing up in rural Pennsylvania.
Her life has always been intertwined with the Amish, and it’s only fitting that she has a genuine passion for their simplicity, sense of community and God-centered lives.
Growing up in Northwest Pennsylvania she spent her childhood immersed deep in Amish Country. The clip-clop of horse and buggy woke her each morning as Amish men drove past her childhood home on their way to work. As a young woman, she was traumatized by an Amish murder that involved a family member and changed her life forever.
Even though she currently lives in South Carolina her travels take her through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin’s Amish Country every year. During those stops, she researches the communities she visits and prides herself on writing Amish fiction that truly represents the Amish culture. She considers herself very fortunate to have made friends in those communities and values the information they share and wants nothing more than to represent their lifestyle as accurately as possible.