Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the "Lancaster County Secrets" series (Revell) as well as non-fiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and Amish Values for your Family. She hosts a popular weekly radio show called Amish Wisdom and lives with her family in California.
Posted 10/31/13 at 1:16 PM | Suzanne Fisher
"Faith is the bridge over which we can cross all the unknown waters of tomorrow." Amish proverb
One Light Still Shines isn't the book you might be expecting to read of the "untold story" of the Nickel Mines Amish Schoolhouse shooting. Without glossing over the tragedy nor the bumpy road of recovery, Marie Roberts Monville, the wife of the shooter, invites readers into her thoughts as she processes the unimaginable that began with an eerie phone call.
A few themes were particularly inspiring:
Marie's startling wisdom about how to handle a crisis of this magnitude. She knew her children's lives would be forever affected by their father's violent actions. She was cautious about how much her children needed to be told and when--but she never avoided the reality of what they had to absorb. By week's end, she was resolved to regain "normal" for her family--moving home again, getting the children back into school. And most impressively, she sought to help them cherish good memories of their father. FULL POST
Posted 9/10/13 at 10:09 AM | Suzanne Fisher
"Mer muss Hoi mache, wann die Sunn scheint." Amish proverb
Translation: "Make hay while the sun shines."
A busy September sometimes makes late nights for the farmers, so they like to catch a snooze whenever they can. This one weary farmer was in the field raking hay one day last week when a shower of sprinkles went through.
He decided to just wait it out, out in the field, and lay down on the windrow for a snooze. He had just dozed off when a police car came across the field. Someone from the road had seen the horses, with the farmer lying on the ground. Thinking there had been an accident, they reported it to the police, who came to check it out.
Next time, honey, sleep under a tree.
From a Scribe's letter in The Budget.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, including The Letters, book 1 in the 'Inn at Eagle Hill' series. She has a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, for iPhone or Android, that delivers a daily Amish proverb. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Suzanne on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.
Posted 7/16/13 at 5:51 PM | Suzanne Fisher |
"It may be difficult to wait on the Lord, but it is worse to wish you had." Amish proverb
Mary Miller is a thin, attractive Amish woman of 46, a mother to eight children born within a span of eleven years. During the day, Mary wears a starched white organza prayer cap over her tightly pinned hair bun. In the night, she wears another covering. Why does she wear a head covering at night? “In case I wake up in the night and need to pray,” Mary explains in a tone that suggests it should be quite obvious. “And with eight children, I do. Often.”
Religion is 24/7 for the Amish. Everything they do, especially the manner in which they dress, is based upon their faith. Their simple clothing—a tradition of the Amish and the reason they are also called thePlain People—is a tangible reminder that they are a people set apart, belonging to the Lord. The Kapp or “head cap,” worn by every woman and even by infants, might be the most symbolic garment of all. As girls become young teens, they start to wear the cap: black for Sunday dress and a white cap at home. After marriage a white cap is always worn. The style and size of caps can vary among church districts, but it is essentially the same cap as that worn by the Palatine women of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Back in those days, the Amish were perceived as radicals. FULL POST
Posted 6/24/13 at 4:00 PM | Suzanne Fisher |
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
"The kind of ancestors you have is not as important as the ones your children have."
Not long ago, I was asked to speak to a young mothers’ group. The topic focused on incorporating some Amish child-rearing values into today’s modern families without “going Amish.” Later, a woman approached me to share a story. Attached like Velcro to her knee was a two-year-old girl, her curly-haired daughter. “Just last week,” this woman said, “a friend told me that I really need to have more scheduled activities for my little girl. We do attend a Gymboree class once a week, but that’s not enough, this friend said. She thinks I should sign my daughter up for soccer.” FULL POST
Posted 5/24/13 at 7:05 PM | Suzanne Fisher
Valerie Weaver-Zercher is the author of the newly-released Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels (Johns Hopkins Press). Valerie is a writer and editor whose work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Mennonite Weekly Review, and other publications. Valerie has been kind enough to answer some questions about the popularity of the sub-genre of Amish fiction.
Why is it important to know what draws readers to Amish fiction?
The sheer number of Amish-themed novels on the market made me realize that something substantive was going on in terms of readers’ desire for this particular kind of novel, and I knew it was an important part of my task to figure out what was driving readers to yearn for Amish stories. Readers of Amish fiction frequently told me that the novels provide “escape” or transport away from their daily lives. So as I began to question them about what, exactly, their daily lives consisted of, or what they were trying to “escape” for a while, I listened carefully to try to hear any common themes that might emerge. I became convinced that two main factors—hypermodernity and hypersexualization of popular culture—were at the root of Amish fiction’s appeal to its readers. FULL POST
Posted 4/28/13 at 1:46 AM | Suzanne Fisher |
"A man cannot be robbed of his learning." Amish proverb
For many children in Africa, the gift of books is a gift of hope. Revell Books partnered with the authors to provide copies of Life with Lily, a children's chapter book of a young Amish girl, for Children of Grace (CoG), a ministry operating in Uganda.
Started in 2001, CoG offers hope to Ugandan AIDS orphans through education, nutrition, healthcare and empowerment programs to enable children to have a better future. Through child sponsorship, children are provided with the opportunity to attend local Ugandan schools. CoG supplements their education in many ways, including a “Read 2 Succeed” program.
“A headmaster told me,” CoG board member Karen Jones said, “that the Ugandan culture is not a reading culture. This is evident not only in children’s homes but also in the schools. Often, it’s difficult to find books that are appropriate for the Ugandan culture.” FULL POST
Posted 4/10/13 at 12:05 PM | Suzanne Fisher |
"Conscience: that still, small voice that makes you even smaller." Amish Proverb
The school year is ending early in Bergholz, Ohio. The Bergholz Amish community decided to wrap up school a few weeks ahead of schedule so some of the children could spend more time with their parents. Five of the parents--four women and one man--are preparing to enter federal prison on Friday. They have been convicted of hate crimes in hair- and beard-cutting attacks on other Old Order Amish in Ohio.
Nine others are already serving time. Two more are expected to report to prison later. Altogether, sixteen people of that particular group have been convicted, sentenced and imprisoned in separate facilities in various states.The ringleader of the clan, Sam Mullett Sr., has been sentenced for fifteen years. His followers have been sentenced for one to seven years, depending on their involvement. FULL POST
Posted 4/3/13 at 1:05 PM | Suzanne Fisher
"Keep your words soft and sweet just in case you have to eat them." Amish Proverb
Ever wonder what the fuss is about whoopie pies? Or how it got such a silly name in the first place?
A whoopie pie is a sandwichy-treat that toggles the culinary line between a cookie and a cake. It has other names: moon pies, black-and-whites, gobs and bobs. And it’s all the rage in the dessert world. FULL POST
Posted 3/14/13 at 9:13 PM | Suzanne Fisher
"There's one sure way for a doctor to make a patient worry. Tell him he has absolutely nothing to worry about." Amish proverb
Recently, I was speaking to a book club and was asked if the Amish use modern medicine. “Of course they do,” I said, trying not to roll my eyes.
Many people mistakenly believe that the Amish live an eighteenth century life because they dress old fashioned and use a horse and buggy. (I wish this book club could see the solar panels on Amish farmhouse roof tops. Or the propane tanks that feed their kitchen appliances.)
But I did admit the Amish are open-minded to alternative medicines—chiropractors and reflexology, natural and home remedies—and often use traditional medicine as a last resort. In most Amish homes I’ve been in, I’ve noticed a well-loved, dog-eared book about home remedies tucked nearby in the kitchen. FULL POST
Posted 2/24/13 at 1:09 AM | Suzanne Fisher |
"Tackle the problem, not the person." Amish proverb
A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of my dogs on my author Facebook wall. Within hours, a number of people posted indignant, belligerent comments. They assumed I was a supporter of puppy mills because I’ve written books about the Amish.
Over the years, there have been some high profile news reports of animals kept in deplorable conditions. Pennsylvania supposedly has the reputation of being the ‘puppy mill capital of the East,’ due in large part to some Amish breeders in Lancaster County.
First, I want to make it clear that I’m a dog lover. In fact, I’ve raised ten puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Secondly, I do not support puppy mills. Anybody's puppy mill. Period.
Still, there’s something disturbing to me about the way those people attacked my Facebook Wall. It was a little taste of how it might feel to be an Amish in the news--unfairly accused, painted with a broad-brush, lumped together in one-size-fits-all. FULL POST