Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shipshewana Is More Than A Funky Name

Shipshewana~~~ isn't that a great name?

When I was researching where to stay in Indiana I came across a site dedicated to a small town that carries a big punch!  It looked like a great place to stay, so our first day of travel took us from our home here in Iowa to Shipshewana, Indiana.   It is a small town of 700 people several miles off the tollway and located in an Amish community~~ but it is a year round busy tourist area for Amish life and quilters, special events, and the largest flea market in the Midwest held every week throughout the summer.  Horse and buggies were everywhere and many of the people who work in the shops and hotels are Mennonites. 
The Van Buren
Beautiful solid wood...this held fridge and microwavec
We stayed at what turned out to be our favorite hotel on the trip.  The Van Buren.  Good size rooms filled with Amish crafted wood, cheerful staff, relaxing atmosphere and a good hot breakfast.   We loved sitting in a comfy chair in our room during the quiet of the evening with a fresh breeze coming in the window, listening to the clip clop of horses hooves as the buggies went up and down the road.  Serene.  We enjoyed it so much we came back on our way home and stayed  two nights again to decompress. 

On our first stay we visited with a couple over breakfast from western New York who were going around to a few Amish areas for quilting materials.  One store in Shipshewana had over 4,000 bolds of fabric for customers to choose from!  The topic of Lyme Disease came up with this couple.  Out east it seems everyone knows someone with it and it is as common as the flu.  Later the woman came up to us in the Blue Garden Gate Restaurant and asked us how we were healed of Lyme.  Once again we were able to share our healing stories (Joel's overnight and mine a process) giving God the glory! 

One of the buildings had an enormous tree trunk that went right up the middle of the staircase to the three levels of shops.  This was a 370 year old Douglas Fir from British Columbia (hello Kerin!) and the grand staircase was built around it.  Joel was intrigued by it, of course.

We are not shoppers, but we did look around some of the shops and on our way home Joel purchased a wool vest and I found a great pair of Haflinger shoes that I love.  A German brand of shoe made with wool like my slippers at home. 

 Speaking of shoes, my hot pink tennies traveled with me and went along for walks everywhere.  Along the way we walked in a Shipshewana subdivison, on the Appalachian Trail, in hotel and church parking lots, the beaches of CT, NYC streets, Niagara Falls....and more. 
Such a pretty sunset we saw while walking
in Shipshewana

Out of obedience to God, throughout the trip we were looking for a natural spring for me to drink from.  Long story.......but when God bugs you about doing something, you do it.    We spent quite a bit of time searching online for springs near places we were staying.  Finally on the way home Joel said to God, "We need a spring Lord, so make it easy on us and hard on You.  Just let us know where and when. " So when we spent two nights in Shipshewana, Joel felt led to talk to the hotel desk clerk about a location of a nearby spring.  The custodian knew of one used by the Amish.  Joel then asked God to confirm that this was where we were to go.   Later Joel went to get gas and visited with an Amish man who came into the station on a bike.  Joel asked the man if he knew where a natural spring was available at which time the Amish man questioned why we were looking for one and where we were from.  Joel and the man got into a discussion that resulted in Joel sharing his healing story and our need for a spring.  He had a great time talking with this man who knew his Bible so well.  How super~ A theological discussion with an Amish man!  Only God!!!  Another only God?  The man told Joel how to get to the natural spring which turned out to be the same one the custodian knew about and it was only 4 miles from our hotel!  Confirmed and accomplished.  Easy! Thank you Lord.

Shipshewana is such a funky name for a town.....and it was a fantastic place for us to stay for the first and the final legs of our great adventure!  It holds a special place in our hearts.

1 comment:

Annesphamily said...

Isn't God amazing? How well he knows what we need and when we need it! Beautiful story!