Whenever I have something positive to share, I have to struggle with the admonishments I grew up with — that one shouldn’t draw attention to oneself and that one should practice “Demut” rather than “Hochmut” (humility rather than pride). One admonishment came in the form of saying that we shouldn’t focus on “the big I” — in other words, don’t consider yourself important. A popular saying among the Amish was, “Jesus first, yourself last, and others in between.” This may be true, but I don’t believe it means “yourself not at all.”
There are things that I am grateful for that I like to share with others. And being the people person that I am, I have a hard time refraining from it. So, here are a few of the things I am grateful for.
David and I recuperating from our two-week book tour through the upper Midwest. We had a wonderful time. We broke our record for number of people in attendance — in Jackson, Minnesota, we had 225 people come to the talk. In Madison, Wisconsin, I counted as many people as I could in a room that usually holds just under 100 people. I counted 170, but I am not sure I counted all the people sitting on the floor, standing in the door, or standing in the back of the room where I couldn’t see. Three Amish people were in attendance there. At the end of the tour, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I delivered book talk 109. I have some time to regroup now, with only four talks scheduled ahead of me.
More and more, people come to me and tell me the ways in which my story has touched them. These are people from all walks of life. I hoped, when I wrote my book, that people would be able to relate to the story in ways that will help them reflect on their own lives. It is so gratifying that this is happening.
I always appreciate reviews on my book. David Crumm, who writes “ReadtheSpirit” wrote a review of my book on February 27, 2012 “PBS ‘Amish’ Proves the Truth is Neither Plain nor Simple.” Yesterday he posted another article, “Discovering Amish Culture, Grace and Good Food.” In his unassuming and eloquent style, David Crumm conveys exactly the aspects of my story that I was hoping people would take away when they read it. He really understands the nuances in ways that makes me see things I hadn’t consciously considered before. I am very touched by his understanding. Tomorrow he will be posting an interview with me.
ReadtheSpirit is a wonderful read, whether it’s an interview with Jimmy Carter about peace or a Conversation with Karen Armstrong. Crumm’s balanced and nuanced interviews with people from all walks of life examines spiritual issues from many different angles.
I discovered the other night that my book is a finalist for the 2011 Forward Reviews Book of the Year Award (BOTYA). The winners will be chosen on June 23. I am very honored that my book is a finalist in the Women’s Issues category, whether or not it wins a prize.
These are a few of the things I am grateful for. I am also grateful for hearing birds singing outside the north window right now. And, as always, I am grateful for the home I share with my husband, David.
A warm thank you to all those who have responded to the posts I put up while I was away from home. I will try to be more responsive to future comments. And I also appreciate all those readers out there who continue to read my blog posts.
Is there a dividing line between wanting to “go tell it on the mountain” and being humble? And if there is, does there need to be? I’d love your thoughts on this.