Tuesday, April 24, 2007

CHOOSING SIMPLICITY

"Amish Quilt"

For most of my college years, I had the privilege of attending a small, Christian college nestled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I'd come there to study Nursing; and, like most college students, I'd come at a time in my life when I was figuring out my own beliefs and values.

This was no ordinary college, for it had its' roots firmly planted in the soil and heritage of the Mennonite community . I had no idea when I enrolled as a student (so many years ago!) that I was also about to embark on a cross-cultural journey...

One of the life-changing lessons I learned while in college was the value of living more-with-less. I gradually began to discover that living simply was a deeply held value for the Mennonite community. These were people who thought globally and acted locally. They talked about being good stewards of the earth. They helped me see how a minority of the world's people live affluently, while a great majority of others live every day in poverty. They challenged me to develop a lifestyle that focused on service instead of accumulation. They showed me how to think "outside the box" about recycling, reusing, and renewing our worlds' limited resources. They helped me discover the value of living in community.

I will forever be thankful for my years living among the Mennonites!! Their teachings about simplicity and the way in which they modeled a lifestyle of more-with-less influence who I am and how I live to this very day.


My cooking "Bible" continues to be "The More With Less Cookbook" by Doris Jansen Longacre (c) 1976 Herald Press.


4 comments:

Wild Thread Studio said...

Patti...This is a wonderful post! Your writing is powerful and made me stop & think. I do not live simply - although I do believe I get the most pleasure from simple things. Thank you for giving me food for thought.
Denise

Patti said...

Thanks, Denise, for your lovely comment! :)

Melanie said...

Hi Patti!
I just found your blog! Love it!

"The More With Less Cookbook" is one of my favorites too!!! It's wo worn out and naturally opens to some of our favorite recipes!

Very lovely thoughts you share.

Patti said...

How cool, Melanie, that you use "The More With Less" cookbook too! :)

Mine is dog-eared & scribbled in, but I love it!!

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