26 October 2014

"Pink Umbrella Attitude" Sarah Price - Breast Cancer Survivor

Author Sarah Price with Pink Umbrella

Sarah Price, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.  

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with my father’s family history. Both my paternal grandfather and my grandmother have histories that can be traced back to the 1500s.  In the early 1700s, they emigrated from Europe to escape persecution for their religious beliefs. I cannot imagine how they felt standing on the deck of a ship, watching as Europe disappeared as they sailed to the New World. 

I have a great admiration their determination to overcome their fears and stand by their beliefs, not matter what the cost. That motivates me. When I think about all of those people who left everything behind for religious freedom, I know that I, too, can overcome anything as long as I have God in my life.  

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? 
I’ve had several situations that have been difficult to overcome so it’s hard to answer with just one particular difficulty. However, dealing with breast cancer has been one of the toughest challenges in my life, not because of the cancer or the treatment but because I have been determined to avoid letting cancer impact my life. From the moment that I heard those words “We found cancer…”, I have faced cancer with the strength of my faith behind me. To this day, I believe that having cancer was a gift, a way of proving to myself (and to others) that there is nothing in this life that we cannot face if God is at the core of our lives.  

My nurses and doctors have all remarked about my attitude during the past eighteen months. My oncologist was amazed during my first months of chemotherapy that I was not ill or tired. From day one of my diagnosis, I have refused to let cancer dictate to me how I am supposed to feel. Instead, I let God guide me. He wants me to be happy, regardless of what happens today, tomorrow, or further in the future. And part of being happy is thinking happy:Keep your heart with all due diligence, for out of it are the issues of life(Proverbs 4:23 MEV). 

Another way of looking at it is by applying what I call my Pink Umbrella attitude. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was given these yucky, chalky drinks to take before certain medical tests (translation: barium sulfate suspension aka the CT Smoothie). I told the doctor and nurses that I wouldn’t drink them unless I had a pink umbrella to put in the drink. My husband went to countless stores to find me the little pink umbrellas, a fancy glass, and straws with pink flamingos on them! That’s a Pink Umbrella attitude. 

A more sophisticated way to look at it is a quote that I saw on the wall of the hospital as I was leaving my oncologist’s office. I loved the quote so much that I’ve adopted it as my personal philosophy: 
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain. 
The only thing that I like to add to that quote is to dance in the rain with a pink umbrella. You see, life isn’t about waiting for things to happen but it’s about living life…it’s about making things happen and, if they don’t happen, accepting it! 

I accept that I have no control over what happens. But I do have control over my efforts to contribute to my happiness by trying! And, remember, with God, all things are possible. Since He has a plan for me, if it doesn’t happen, there’s a reason. Who am I to question it? 

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

I always say “Who am I to question what God wants?” During tumultuous times in my life, I don’t ask “Why me?” The answer to that question would be Why not you? I’m not different than anyone else so why should I be exempt from issues related to hardship, heartache, or health? 
While I enjoy the good times in life, I have also learned to accept the bad times. I know that God has a plan for me. That doesn’t mean we should just sit around and wait for God’s gifts. I believe in hard work: physically, mentally, and spiritually. I make time to read Scripture every day. Most recently, I have been reading a new version of the Bible, the Modern English Version (MEV), and I have become even more convinced that God’s purpose for all of us is known only to Him. It’s a wonderful translation (I highly recommend it!). 

Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print?  

My latest book, An Amish Buggy Ride, is available in audio format. I’m very excited about this. Many of my readers have requested audio books and this is my first book that has been professionally recorded. I was at the studio at Brilliance Audio in Grand Haven, Michigan when Amy McFadden recorded it. What an amazing experience! To see the professional equipment and all of the technicians supporting her, including a dedicated director…it was a humbling experience, for sure and certain! Being a visual learner, I never thought that I would personally be able to sit through an audio book. Now, I am hooked. It’s a wonderful way to listen to my favorite books such as classics as well as historical biographies. 

CFP: That is so cool, Sarah! I love audiobooks and that must have been so amazing to watch and listen!
Sarah Price at the Brilliance Audio recording studio

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
This is a fantastic question and I’m very pleased to respond with a loud (all capitals) YES! Several years ago, I had a most unfortunate experience with cyber-bullying that eventually involved police, lawyers, detectives, and the FBI. I realized that bullying is not something that is limited to the hallways of a school. Bullying can be done by grown adults (and professed Christians, at that) to the point of criminal conduct! Yet, most states do not have laws protecting adults from bullying. In fact, bullying across state lines requires that the proof of burden (and the expense, as well!) is the responsibility of the victim…thus victimized twice! Using this experience, I managed to write a series of novellas about bullying within the Amish community and I have been a guest speaker at numerous schools and organizations about bullying. 

Additionally, my two upcoming books published by Waterfall Press, An Amish Buggy Ride (November 2014) and An Empty Cup (April 2015) deal with two other issues: emotional abuse and depression. These books are unlike any of my others. They incorporate elements of my own personal life in the hopes that the readers will realize that they are not alone when dealing with such tough issues. 

Emotional abuse is a very serious problem that is often unaddressed. It can come from family members, professional colleagues, and, of course, spouses. In some cases, it can even come from strangers. The psychological damage, however, does not go away easily. How does a person deal with that? The result can often lead to depression. 

I’m not a psychologist, nor a psychiatrist. But I do know that the public stigma (whether real or imaginary) that goes along with being emotionally abused or having depression hinders women from seeking help. These two books help address the healing process and, I hope, will assist my readers to recognize the signs, whether in their own lives or in someone else’s. 

CFP: I was a psychologist for 25 years. The first intervention we were taught was the use of books, or bibliotherapy, to help clients cope with issues! Thank you for tackling these tough topics and I'm sure they will help many people out there!

Question you’d like to ask readers:
I’m going to address my question to readers of Amish fiction. For over twenty-five years, I have had the privilege to stay on Amish farms and in their homes. Through my writing, I share my first-hand experiences with my readers. My first question to my readers is whether they are more curious in the culture or the religion of the Amish (and why)? My second question is, if given to chance to meet an Amish person, what are two questions they would ask them? 

Bio and links:
Sarah Price, Best-Selling Author of Amish Christian Romances
ECPA Christian Fiction Bestselling Author & Amazon Top 100 Author
Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter: @SarahPriceAuthr
Amazon
YouTube: SarahPriceAuthor

Giveaway: OWG has a trio of pretty pink nail polishes, a decorative umbrella, pink containers, and a pink floral quilted car strap cover as part of our PINK giveaway celebrating breast cancer recovery this week! (USA only) We're also giving away a copy of any of Sarah's ebooks on Amazon - winner's choice of one for this interview.

41 comments:

  1. SARAH. Hi, my sweet, funny, special friend. What an inspiration you are to me. I have this yukky foggy head (I guess from anesthesia during 4 hr. surgery), that kept me from going to church today. How about every Sunday thus far! :( Well, I was right in the middle of my pity party today and you totally ruined it! I read a little of your testimony to my hubs and he said, "Sometimes there are just special people in this world." And I know that is also what the Amish say about you as well. SPECIAL!

    Thank you for agreeing to be with us at OWG this last week of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have grown to love you in the short time since we "met". You are the BoMb and I treasure our friendship so much. Looking forward to getting closer in the years to come and I LOVE your books! You are an inspiration to all.

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    1. Thank you for inviting me!!!! I'm honored to have been asked. As for yucky foggy head...I sure hope that goes away. I have had that for a while and it was so bad that one day I completely forgot where I was! I called it my On Golden Pond moment. It was a little scary...

      I'll keep you in my prayers that it goes away...FAST! Hugs and blessings! xxxooo

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    2. Thx for the prayers. Hugs back atcha!

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  2. I am more curious about the culture and how they think. I very seldom read about they handle anger or abuse.
    I would ask them if they would like a few modern conveniences and if so which one would they appreciate the most?
    I pray you will get to continue to dance in the rain for many, many more years. Thanks for the encouragement :)

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    1. Believe it or not, Deanna, some of the Amish "sneak" in modern conveniences. For example (and shhh! don't tell anyone), several of the older Amish will have an air conditioner installed in the summer months--a window unit. It runs off of solar energy but they aren't supposed to have it. The bishop will look the other way and pretend he doesn't know about it.

      Thank you for the prayers.

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    2. An interesting little secret--thanks for sharing,

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  3. Hi Sarah,you are looking great.I love your books and you are such an inspiration.I think I am more interested in the amish culture.I guess because their culture interests me so much.Wow,the question part is hard,because I have so many.I would first be really careful,because I wouldn't want to ask something that would bother them.I am curious to know what one thing the english does that irratates them the most.Second would be what kind of books do they enjoy reading and their favorite authors.Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Jackie, I just laughed out loud! That's a great question. And I'll tell you what I know...The Amish people that I know are usually very patient and kind. Yet, they have all commented to me that Englischers can ask really brazen questions...and that irritates them!!!! A perfect example of a really awful question: "Is it true that you brush your teeth with ashes?" My Amish friends were amazed that people would even think of such a thing AND have the nerve to ask a complete stranger this question.

      Another irritating thing that happens is Englischers' trespassing on their property. I have heard numerous Amish people complain about that.

      Fortunately, for the most part, these types of incidents are few and far between. :D

      (The books question is answered in another reply below)

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  4. I have had the privilege of chatting some with Sarah, and I am so BLESSED by this story today that totally reflects the attitude I always see in her. You are such an overcomer, Sarah, and I know you are a blessing to all you've come in contact with through this experience. God bless YOU! And Amish--I used to live near Amish in upstate NY and they were such hard workers. I loved seeing their beautiful homes.

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    1. I would LOVE to retire out there on a farm...well, out there is PA for me. Maybe one day...Then I can invite everyone to my farm to "live like the Amish" for a weekend!!!!! That would be sooo much fun!!!! Hugs!

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  5. Hi Sarah!
    I love your interview and your spirit! I am a retired Oncology nurse and have seen first hand how the patient's attitude and faith affects how they respond to every part of treatment and recovery.

    I like to read about the Amish, their faith and culture. The way they incorporate their faith into all they do. I think we could take some lessons from them.

    I may ask them....do they find it difficult to let go of anger or other feelings and forgive?
    Their lives resolve around God and their faith, do they study the Bible on their own?

    Blessings,Tina

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    1. The communities that where I stay DO study the Bible. Well, I'm not so sure if they "STUDY" it, but every house has a worn King James version of the Bible (that seems to be the preference) and other inspirational reading such as daily devotionals. They also will give each other gifts of books such as Jesus Speaking (!). I've also seen the prayer books in their homes...usually on the end table by the big, comfy recliner where the father or mother sits at night.

      I have a habit of always buying more and more inspirational books when I'm out there (Gordonville Bookstore is my favorite place)...My husband just built me a new library off the bedroom to house all of the books!!!!! :D

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  6. God bless you Sarah, love you. And love your attitude.
    I don't know of any questions at this time that I would have, I only know
    that I wish I was in amish country enjoying the changing of leaves and enjoying
    the peaceful feeling that I always get when I'm there. But with family and holidays
    coming up, it won't happen.
    Take care of YOU. Huggles.

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    1. We have to find a new place to meet in Lancaster!!! ;-) <3

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  7. howdy Mrs Sarah this is Norman Ida is busy working on her hats for the C patients and she talks about when you came to Alabama for her birthday and that is one birthday she wont never forget. i hope Mr Marc is taking good care of you we love you and xoxoxo

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    1. Hi Norm (and Ida!)

      I'm so glad that she enjoyed our visit! We LOVED Alabama! It is definitely different than the north and everyone is very kind. Love you both too. <3 xxxooo

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  8. I have not had the opportunity to read any of your books, but your spirit is amazing. I live in Ohio and have many Amish and Mennonite relatives, so I don't really have any questions. There are no Amish in my immediate vicinity, so most of my neighbors think I am a little bit odd for the way I do things the "old" way. I can't imagine any of them wanting to spend even an afternoon at my house, let alone an entire weekend living like the Amish.

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  9. Sharon Dianne kingOctober 26, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Blessings

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  10. Love there simple life.. and strong
    Family's..
    I would like to ask them how to make some
    Of there goodies..
    Second question would be do they wish some
    Of there rules were more flexible..

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    1. To the first question about making goodies...for cooking, they DO use cookbooks. Some recipes seem to stick with time, though. My friends can make bread and cheese without referencing any books. I, however, don't always do so well at either (even WITH recipes).

      Rules...yes, some of them DO wish for more flexibility. But they do so privately with one exception: when it comes time for a meeting to vote on new rules...usually in the fall around their autumn communion and baptism.

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  11. What a blessing you are to share with us today!! I love your attitude and try to have that same one when I struggle. As for the Amish, we see them often and I'm not all that curious about them any more. I grew up learning about them. Kind of funny how that goes!!

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  12. Thanks for the beautiful interview/testimony, Sarah and Carrie!!

    Unfortunately, I can relate to each of the topics you discussed - I have had cancer twice, the last being breast cancer resulting in a mastectomy this past May. I was bullied as a child re: weight issues, suffered emotional abuse from an alcoholic ex-husband, and have a father (his mother also, now deceased) who has struggled with chronic depression his entire life.

    I have loved the quote about dancing in the rain since I first saw it. It is so true, and I totally agree with your attitude re: accepting the "bad" times in one's life. One's attitude definitely has an effect on his/her recovery from surgery/illness. Maintaining contact with Christian friends who prayed for me helped me maintain a positive attitude - which in turn, allowed me to go through surgery and it's recovery more easily than I had first anticipated. The bible tells us to expect problems - like you, I believe "why NOT me"??

    I admire the Amish for their dedication to family, simplicity of life, and sticking to their convictions. I have eaten in an Amish home and enjoy visiting different Amish communities in the U.S.. Since I have some knowledge of their culture, I would probably be more interested in learning more about their religion. If I had the opportunity to talk to an Amish person - I would probably ask about their contentment level with their simple life and an explanation of exactly how Rumspringa works.

    Sarah, you and your writing are an encouragement to many people!! I'm saying a prayer for you - blessings and thanks for sharing with us!!

    Shared post!!

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    1. Bonnie! Shame on you! You were suppose to let me know how that turned out! I'm glad to hear you are doing well, & kept a positive attitude through it all too.

      Sarah, I loved reading about your attitude going through breast cancer-- I had the same attitude, and next month I'm celebrating 20 years as a BC Survivor--to God goes ALL the Glory! I shared my BC story here on OWG several months ago and I'm almost finished writing "Hope in the Shadows--My Breast Cancer Journey", to be self-published on Amazon soon. The scripture I used as a sort of motto during my journey, was also Jer. 29:11. Such a timely verse for me.

      As to the Amish. I love how simple their lives are and how strong they are to their faith and convictions. If I could ask them a question, I would like to ask how they would handle a breast cancer (or any other cancer) diagnosis. Would they have surgery and/or chemo or radiation? I really don't know much about their beliefs when it comes to medical.
      Thanks again for sharing on OWG. I believe EVERYONE should learn how much your attitude can affect cancer diagnosis & treatments.
      Vicki

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  13. Sarah, I love your attitude, your outlook and your wonderful smile. Carrie, thank you so much for your super interview with this super lady. My family and I once stayed on an Amish farm for a night and it was a wonderful experience. They were so warm and inviting an our delicious breakfast had the best coffee cake we ever tasted. We desperately wanted the recipe and our hostess was more than willing to share it. I would be more interested in their culture. I think it would be so interesting to learn about the Amish people and their practices of which I know little about. If in their company, I would ask if they would share their recipes with me and if they had any hand work or quilts I could see and possibly buy.

    Thank you for your great giveaway and hopefully one day, cancer will be no more!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. I bet they would happily share their recipes with you! They do with me. I mentioned in another reply that, believe it or not, they use cookbooks! Some recipes are favorites and they know them by heart, of course. Every time I ask, they always share their recipes with me. :D

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  14. To my wonderful friend...I love you more than donuts!! (Grin) You are an inspiration to me and women everywhere. I am so very blessed to have you in my life!! Big things are coming your way so buckle up and enjoy the ride♥

    Love and Hugs from The Donut Girl

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    1. Hugs back to my favorite donut girl! <3 xxxooo

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  15. I have loved watching your success and journeys. My mother has been remission for over 30 years.

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  16. I have to say this is one of the most uplifting testimonies I have read! Wow. Sarah, You are an inspiration!!! Thank you for sharing your strong faith in the Lord, and how it has impacted your battle with breast cancer. I read the first two books in the Amish of Ephrata series and enjoyed them both. I would love to read First Impressions :) OWG LADIES, The PINK goodies look divine! I could use them ;) {{HUGS}} to ALL!!!

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    1. I guess I should answer the questions so I can be entered in the drawing :-)
      #1 - After reading many novels set in Amish country, I think I'm more interested in their culture; the way they dress, minimalist furnishings, etc
      #2 - Why don't you use Velcro on your dresses? Or buttons? Surely, the men don't pin their pants :)

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    2. I know--Sarah's story is really inspiring, isn't it!

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    3. First Impressions is awesome, ANNE! After I read it I wanted to watch Pride and Prejudice again so badly!

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  17. Sarah I love all of your book and the topics that you write about. I have no questions right now to ask a real Amish woman but I would be honor to be in her house and I would treasure the moment forever.

    I am having Sarah Price withdraw so please keep writing so I have a book to read and hopefully soon.
    Happy Writing

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    1. I am, Tina!!! I promise...

      P.S. Glad you are safe from your not-so-small fender bender!!! <3

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  18. im so thrilled to hear this good news, i have been praying for this a long time, i would love to live a week with a Amish family, and ask to help make woopie pies, i dont think i have yet read any of your books but looking forward to it, i would love this giveaway to get me started

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    1. Believe it or not, I actually BUY whoopie pies to bring to my friends' children when I visit! Most of the families that I visit make cookies and pies on a regular basis. I guess it's like anything else...we bake or cook what we are really good at!!! :-)

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  19. did my comment post? I don't see it! I said...
    Carrie, you've done it again! Sarah, your interview makes me want to read ALL your books! I love your smile and I love your BIG sunglasses and I love that your husband found you some pink flamingo straws! He's a keeper! :) My agent has been going through a similar season and no doubt her and your great Christ-like attitudes of joy may be at least in part attributed in grabbing your victory!
    I read Amish books to satisfy a curiosity around their culture. Were I to get to visit a day with a sweet Amish grandmother, I'd ask her about how her grandchildren's generation are dealing with today's societal degradation, and what she thinks as Grammas we can do besides pray. ♫•✞•*¨*♪*•Don't worry!.✫*✞*•.♪♫.•*✫♥be Happy!♥♪•*¨✫♥*•✞
    Hugs and blessings from Texas! :)

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    1. If you mean today's societal degradation outside of the Amish community, they are always shocked at how poorly non-Amish children behave (my own, included--when they were younger...especially my little one who was a wildcat). And they will tell you that straight out! If you mean THEIR societal degradation, it's not as bad as we think. Interestingly enough, from what I've seen, the families that tend to stick to farming have a higher percentage of children who opt to be baptized (i.e. remain in the faith). The more that the Amish work among the English, the more problems they seem to have. At least that's what I've observed and heard from the communities that I interact with.

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  20. Hello Sarah. I'm sorry for all you have gone through, but glad you are still with us! I had a sister with breast cancer and she kept such a good attitude also. She inspired so many in our little town because of her attitude. I would just pray I could be half as good and sweet if something should happen to me. As to that yucky stuff you had to drink. It's a wonder they don't have everyone barfin". I almost did! LOL I love reading about the Amish. Their simple lifestyle reminds me of how simple things were when I was growing up. Lots of family time. I understand why they shun but still don't understand how they can do that when they believe so strongly about forgiving. I don't think I could ever do that. I also wonder about them being Christians, when they seem to act like they are working toward being able to go to Heaven. Different information I've read from different authors.Like the Bishop only letting them read certain parts of the Bible. I want so badly to visit Amish country but know it won't happen. Not enough money to travel. I would love to win your book. Thanks Carrie for inviting Sarah to be here. Great interview and testimony. Maxie >mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. In my communities, Maxie, the bishop does NOT restrict the readings from the Bible. As for shunning, they only shun people that have broken their promises to the church and community UNTIL they ask for forgiveness. So, if someone asks for forgiveness right away, there is no reason to shun. I've met a few shunned Amish and many of them still interact with family and friends...they just don't go to communion or baptism ceremonies. Of course, some communities are stricter than others...I just haven't seen them in Lancaster.

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  21. I am actually curious about both the religion and their way of life because they go hand in hand in my opinion. Idk maybe I'm wrong in that; I'm not sure.
    My 2 questions would be: How do they (especially as teens) keep themselves from being tempted by the conveniences the Englisch have? My other question is: Would you please teach me how to hand quilt? :)

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