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Celebrate the Season | Not Quite Amish

Celebrate the Season

Hi NQA readers!

I can’t believe that we are knee-deep into November! Where did 2012 go? I hope you stick with us through the holidays because we have some great posts ready with you mind. 😉

One of the highlights of the end of the year for me is traveling to my hometown for Christmas! While I’m able to go up to Michigan a few times a year, Christmas is always tops all of the visits. Any time I go to Michigan, I visit with my grandma, or Mammie (mah-meh), as often as possible. She just turned 86 in October and is still Amish. She’s such a special lady, and I wanted to share her with all of you.

I was fortunate enough to attend our family reunion. This is always a great event. One of the best parts of the reunion is the auction! This year I had my eyes on a certain family piece. Not only had I seen it at my grandma’s house throughout the years, but it actually originally belonged to my great-grandma, my grandpa’s mom Annie. I did win this item and though it’s only a clothespin holder, it’s so special to me because I know the decades it belonged to two wonderful women. This item assisted in their responsibilities as a wife and mother.

My great-grandma Annie’s clothespin holder.

Isn’t it adorable!? Though I know I met my great-grandma Annie several times, I only remember the last time just before she died when I was about four. I know that she had fire-red hair, a sunshine spirit, and loved by anyone who met her. One of my grandma’s first memories of meeting her mother-in-law was watching her make meatloaf! She’d never had it before and LOVED it. Now I have a piece of Annie with me. Any time I look at it, I will be reminded of God’s faithfulness to my family through so many generations.

This is my grandma Lydia. Isn’t she precious!

My Mammie and my youngest daughter

My mom snapped this picture with her phone. I will cherish it forever. During family events, since there are several families now that aren’t Amish, our Amish family allows us some photos. This one, however, my grandma didn’t even know was taken, though it looks posed. It’s just beautiful and a treasure.

My book Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl is about my grandma, Lydia Lee Cobletnz. It follows her life through the Great Depression. She experienced such tragedy but through it all the faithfulness of God comforted and sustained her. Writing her story . . . her memories . . . her haunts . . . her life reminded me of this passage of scripture:

1For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

This is where the title first came to mind. When I sign a book to a reader I always sign it by saying, “Celebrate your Season!” And that is my message to you. Celebrate where God has you. Sometimes it is very easy to do this. I think we can all admit, however, that sometimes it is so very difficult. But, what a testament to His love and power in our lives if we can celebrate in all things. How His light could shine brighter if we aren’t always just looking forward to the next season or dwelling on the happenings of a past season . . . but living and growing in the season He has us in.

This has not always been easy for me . . . but I pray that we can all ask for the strength it takes to always celebrate our seasons.

In honor of the upcoming holiday season, I am giving away TWO Seasons books!

Please take a moment and comment on this blog post and tell me what you are most excited about in the season of life that you are living at this moment. Is it raising children or spoiling grandchildren? Is it a new career move or retiring from one? I’d love for you to share a small piece of you with me.

The drawing is open from November 8th to the 15. That’s one week! I will randomly pick 2 winners using www.random.org and notify you by email. PLEASE PLEASE leave your email in the comment section. If it’s not there, I will have to choose another winner.  

By the way, the winner of yesterday’s giveaway is Linda McFarland. You have an email waiting in your inbox for you!

Bis Schpatah,


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Elizabeth Byler Younts (29 Posts)

Elizabeth Byler Younts used to be Amish, and even after her family converted, she still grew up among her Amish family. She is still very close with them and still speaks Pennsylvania Dutch regularly. She is the author of an Amish memoir titled Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl. Seasons is the story of her grandmother Lydia Lee Coblentz who grew up in an impoverished Amish family through the Great Depression. Seasons was released in August 2010 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller in three categories. Elizabeth is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force Officer’s wife with two young daughters and makes her home wherever her family is stationed.


  1. Jasmine Augustine says:

    Its kind of hard to tell what season I am in since I seem to be in between but I guess the closest I can say is that I am most excited about Learning. I am spending a lot of time every week volunteering at my local Museum and Library. Not only am I meeting many new people and hearing wonderful stories about the past but I am learning more about little things like new books/literature and how to run the museum software on the computer, and also touching the things that make up the history of my town….
    Jasmine A.

  2. Susan Fryman says:

    It’s wonderful you got your treasure. Heirlooms are just the best. What I’m most looking forward to is spending time with our children and grandchildren. Blessings.

  3. Judith Cooper says:

    I am really enjoying Not Quite Amish. I am now enjoying my first great grandchild. He has brought me such joy, and has helped me so much with the love of our Lord, of course. I am entering a new season of my life after my husband passed away from cancer this past year. After serving the Lord as pastor and wife, I have found it to be a big adjustment. Living alone for the first time in my life. I cherish the times I have with my two children, three grandchildren and of course my new one. The Lord has blessed me so much and I know He will continue to walk with me as I seek my way. Bless you for the contest.

  4. I am glad to be a follower of this site. I guess I would say I am in the Golden Years of my life. I am a widow, so sometimes a little lonely, but, I have moved near my children, so enjoy spending time with my family. I have 6 kids, 12 grandkids, and 19 great-grands. # babies in the past 6 months. I have always loved babies. From the time when I was 6 years old and my baby brother was born, I have always had a baby in my arms if one is around. I enjoy my church friends, and doing church events together. I came from a large family of 8 siblings, so we weren’t rich with material things, but very rich with love. It is interesting that you are a part of an Amish family. their life fasinates me. I used to have a clothes pin bag made like that. But, didn’t think the Amish used clothes hangers. I do have some jewelry from my mother, and an old flat iron. I can remember her ironing with those and helping do laundry in a wash-pot and washtubs. I live in Texas. I would love to read this book of yours. Maybe I can get lucky and win one of them. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

  5. My mother gave me her clothespin bag that looks just like this last week -they are so cute. I’m enjoying being a grandma this season of life-it’s wonderful

  6. I am in a dark season of my life right now BUT there is light at the end of the tunnel. The light is HOPE and I am moving in the right direction.

  7. Karen Schulz says:

    I’m nearing retirement age, but haven’t been able to work for several years due to declining health. This season is a huge challenge for me, and too many days, I’m useless. Very discouraging to watch myself turn into a disabled person, when in my head, I’m still physically vigorous. Without faith, I doubt I would get out of bed, but I still find some things to enjoy.

    aregeetee5162 at yahoo dot com

    • Isn’t faith so powerful!!! I know you are not useless to God…and He’s the one who matters.

    • Susan Fryman says:

      Karen, My husband and I both became disabled much earlier than we would have liked. I would like to email with you if you’re willing and be friends on FB. We are facing the same daily struggles as you and I assure you, you aren’t useless. Even when I was in bed almost 24 hours a day, I was useful and I’d like to visit with you about this. My email address is susanngarrylee@yahoo.com. I know your email address is up there but I don’t want to email you without your permission. Hang in there, God does have a plan for you and He does know what he’s doing. Hugs and blessings, Susan Fryman

  8. Melissa L says:

    I so enjoy reading this blog. I am celebrating the season of being able to homeschool my children. It has been an up and down journey since we only started in August and on both sides (mine and theirs) we are learning how to navigate this time. It has been a wonderful growing experience. However, the best part is getting to know my children on a different level. They are so fun. racky at carolina dot rr dot com

    • I find HSing such a creative way to be a mom. I just LOVE it also. Bless you & yours on your journey! You’re so right about it being a growing experience. We can’t expect our kids to learn anything if we aren’t growing and learning ourselves, right!

  9. I am in a season of growth. I am daily growing in Christ and finding out who I am in Him. My hubby is in the process of starting his own business, so we are growing in that area of learning, too. Also learning to be content and to be a constant soft place for him to fall when things look grim. Thankfully, I know that God will never leave us and that we can count on Him to pull us through. My email is nicolesearfoss (at) hotmail (dot) com

  10. My husband and I are so blessed in this season of our lives. We have such a happy marriage and home life, and have been reveling in each other’s company for 11 years now. 🙂 My e-mail address is c (dot) ravenwood (at) comcast (dot) net.

  11. I love this passage! Thank you for reminding me of the ‘seasons’. Thank you also for hosting this giveaway.


  12. Annita Huff says:

    Dear Tricia: I am in the season of “retirement.” I had to retire due to illness in 2008. God had plans for me and I am so happy now and look for ways to serve others.
    Annita Huff

  13. Isabella Tebeau says:

    This is a special season to me. It seems the families getting a little closer. It seems we are more aware of how blessed we are and it seems that we are more willing to lend a hand to someone who needs it. It will be even more towards Christmas but this is when it starts. Great food, long conversations on the dinner table. Everybody wants to sit just a little longer and talk just a little more. This is the time where memories are created. This is something you can not buy with money. This is priceless. I am very grateful for that.
    Thank you for your wonderful posts. They are very inspiring.
    itebeau (at) gmail (dot) com.

  14. Mary Peck says:

    I am sooo excited about this season of life when I get to be a granny to my grandchildren. They are growing up so quickly. 2 live with me fulltime and the 2 youngest are living away from me now just recent and i MISS THEM SOO BADLY. THis is the season that I should be able to spend more time with them. I am so blessed with family and friends. mmakingmagick@yahoo.com

  15. What a great post! I am in a new town after living in my hometown my whole life. I’m excited of all the places we have got to see since this move and also that we live near an amish community:)

  16. Betti Mace says:

    I am excited about this season of my life. We just moved into a small town, one in which I can picture going caroling at Christmastime, where I have a home that I can decorate – something I have never really been able to do. On top of all of that, we have a new job that is working out just wonderfully. Our daughter will be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so what more could I wish for? Just a new book to read, perhaps 🙂

  17. Hello! I think I recognize you from a video of you singing a song in dutch with your daughter? So cute! I am in a season of waiting…{waiting for a job, waiting for a home, waiting for oh, so much} however, God is SO good and I have many, many blessings during this season. Spending much more time with Him, growing in my faith, studying His Word. My son {12 years} and my neice {14 months} are my favorite blessings. I love the picture of your Grandma & daughter, preciuos!

  18. This is a sweet season of my life, blessed by God. Retired and LOVING TIME to be with my husband, to minister to our friends and church family, to read (would LOVE new books), to study the Word, to BE!

  19. this is a book that I’ve wanted for awhile and so glad that I connected and able to read your blog

  20. Cindy LaMay says:

    I also use a clothespin bag similar to yours. I enjoy reading the Amish Stories, as I live in a community with a large number of Amish Families. I would love to recieve a copy of your new book Seasons.

  21. Megan Parsons says:

    I am enjoying raising our family and watching the kids grow up. makeighleekyleigh@yahoo.com

  22. I have recently retired from teaching and a career as a school librarian. Although I miss the kids and other teachers, I am thrilled that I can spend more time with my husband and get to greet grandchildren each day as they get off the bus. I have been able to start a blog writing about books I read (mostly Christian fiction) and am spending lots of time at the sewing machine. I feel blessed.

  23. Jody Rigle says:

    I spend so much time working all year long ….I look forward to the holiday season, because I take off from work for a couple weeks. I get to spend quality time with my family and extra special Nana time with my grand babies. I look forward to it and the anticipation that comes with it all year long.
    I also take this time to get away to Lancaster PA with my wonderful husband for a couple days.
    God Bless
    Jody Rigle

  24. I am also really enjoying Not Quite Amish, with all of the great posts & good information & ideas you offer. That photo of your Mammie & daughter truly is priceless! I am in a season of spiritual growth, learning to trust God & stay close to Him no matter what my circumstances may be. We are on a very low fixed income, but God always supplies our needs. Two of our three grown daughters live much farther away now than I like, but I’m ecstatic about & thankful for the times when they are able to come home for visits. I am having knee replacement surgery on Nov. 19th, & am looking forward to being able to walk better afterward. I am enjoying living on a little 4 acre farm with my dear hubby of 32+ years & our 2 dogs & 2 cats, & come Spring a dozen chickens. Like Karen & Susan, hubby’s & my health has declined too much too soon for our mid-50’s, but we enjoy spending more time together since hubby now only works 15 hours a week. We are enjoying being able minister to each other through helping each other out with our physical needs & problems. God is teaching me that I truly “Can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). As our dear brother the apostle Paul said, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” I’m not tooting my own horn, I’m just saying this is where the Lord has me, & what He is teaching me right now. I haven’t learned it all yet, & sometimes I hurt so it’s hard to even get out of bed in the morning. But by God’s grace, if He lets me wake up, I want to get up & see what He has planned for me today. It’s not always easy, but it is always good, because I know I’m right where He wants me to be, & I am at peace. Blessings, Gina ~ grinny picker 55 (at) cave net .com.

    PS ~ SUSAN Fryman ~ You sound like a delightful Christian lady. Would you mind if I emailed you also? Maybe we can all serve to uplift & encourage one another.

    • Susan Fryman says:

      Gina, absolutely, please feel free to email me at susanngarrylee@yahoo.com. Sounds like we could lift each other up and have so much in common. Looking forward to getting to know you better. Blessings, Susan P.S. I’m going to try to send you and email right now, so if I’m not successful would you please try?

  25. I read this this morning in my email and just loved it! Love the clothespin holder and the pic of your Mammie and your sweet baby girl!

    (I’m sure you know not to enter me, but just in case. . .) Hugs!

  26. Kimberly & guide dog Abby says:

    We are in a season of growth and blessing. We just moved into our own home after being stuck in a bad rental for several years, and I began working again this past summer. Our marriage is strong and growing even after 10 years. Partnership with my guide dog has hit the sweet spot that exists from several years in until the partnership ends. We are so blessed!

    (mylab1122) at GmAiL (dot) com

  27. Linda Kish says:

    I’m hoping someday soon…well, in a year or two, I have a grandchild to spoil and give back to his or her parents.

  28. I am 50 and had to retire and go on disability due to health problems, so it is a whole new ballgame for me. My children are grown and on their own and we have stepgrandchildren and I adore spoiling them! Love the clothespin bag…my granny had one like it!

  29. We recently moved to a new state so I’m excited about new beginnings. I’m also excited to watch my 4 year old twins settle in and make new friends. And over the moon excited waiting for my oldest daughter to have my first grand baby.

  30. I’m enjoying an early retirement after working 37 years with the state. Have more time to spend with my husband who also retired from being a professional truck driver, have more time with my 94 years young mother whenever she is home from bowling 3 days a week and driving her friends around town and also more time to read, read, and read so more! I thank God every morning for letting me have each day to enjoy and for many more.

  31. I have just found you! I would love to read Seasons. What a wonderful story of faith. I have had my own faith journey. I am in the 12th day of my 40th year of following the Lord ~*~ October 28! I trust Him explicitly. My son, my firstborn and only son, died on June 3, 2011. Years ago the Lord gave me, “You gave him as a child, I hold him as a man.” I always understood this to be an undergirding, but now I take it literally. I love the Lord with all my heart. He has seen all of my days and walks through each one with me. My husband and I retired three summers ago and moved to be in the middle of our children in a long day’s drive. So thankful for that. Enriched. I volunteer one day a week at our community library doing whatever needs done, and quilt with other ladies another day. Each week day morning, I go to the Y for exercise classes. My husband is remodeling our home on a hilltop we love so much. Blessings. I review Christian Historical Fiction and appreciate all the research the authors do to place their characters within the time period events/happenings and it flows so smoothly, they are indeed there! Kathleen

  32. This is a season of trial and growth so with Christmas coming we are appreciating moments with our adult children and children that are still with us (we have a 20 year old, 18, year old and 5 year old twins). Our goal is to teach them the true meaning of the season.

  33. The season of life I’m in right now includes the pleasure of homeschooling younger children, the friendship of older children, and the special joys of grandchildren.
    I find that life is full of family and plenty of fun times together. My older children can make me laugh like no one else can and my younger children love on me to the point that I cannot help but feel adored. (Though I can assure you that I do not deserve such adoration!)
    My husband and I have been married for nearly 28 years now and with each passing year I am only more thankful that I married my best friend.
    Our parents are all still quite mobile and self-sufficient, so I have not entered the stage of being a caregiver for any of them yet. There are so many things to be thankful for in this stage of life!


  34. lisa seville says:

    I am in a wonderful season. My kids are grown and I don’t have to work for a season, but for a little housecleaning and freelance admin work and some volunteer work I do for a pregnancy solutions clinic, which I love. Most of my time is spent studying through history in chronological order, though, in a program that weaves in all the other disciplines – intercultural studies, art, literature, biblical languages, and many others . . . and my focus of study is new religious movements. This term I am comparing the biblical teaching of the atonement with the Mormon teaching of the atonement, and I may have the opportunity to present my findings on a TV program in Utah that reaches out the polygamist communities there. I did this before, as my first paper was on whether or not polygamy was sanctioned in the Bible, and I found that it was not. I am loving your blog, just happened upon it a few days ago!

  35. After suffering a life changing interruption in my life, I now enjoy spending my time learning and loving God’s word more and more. That takes up my days now, which is no better way I can think of. Loving on my grand-kids (2, ages 3 and 5 months) and loving on the church children.

  36. Linda Marsh says:

    This time in our lives is one of adjustment, as we near the age of retirement. We are blessed with family near us, with grandchildren! As always, we have found our Heavenly Father to be faithful. My interest now is deepening my relationship first with HIM, then with those around me! Your encourgement is such a blessing! Linda.. linda.marsh@gmail.com

  37. I’m trying to get my life back on track. After being homeless for several months and living in the hospital, I lost everything. Now I’m going to school to be a nurse’s aid and working in a hair salon. I hope to continue to get better and hope to continue to keep in my life the family I almost lost.

  38. I would love to win this book! Thanks!

  39. I so enjoyed your article today! At this time of my season I am in a somewhat different place then maybe others. You see I didn’t find the love of my life until I was forty and we couldn’t conceive so we prayed for 1 boy and the Lord sent us 2! We have been so blessed! Even though we are in our 50s and our boys are in their jr age (10 and 11) we seem to be able to keep up with them pretty good. Yes we have some health issues but we are coming along. We are enjoying this season in our lives because we see that as soon as we gave our complete lives over to the Lord.He begin to use us in a special way! And we are so grateful for this most special blessing! Thank you for allowing me to share.

  40. At holidays I learning to enjoy more time with my older grandparents, each year makes the time with them more precious!

  41. Melissa L & Judy B…I’ll be emailing you! You 2 each one a book! 😉

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