Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wrestling Match

Have no fear. I'm not going to be discussing WWE or WWF or whatever wrestling "organizations" exist these days. Although, there was a time eons ago that I used to watch "professional" wrestling with my mom. Not sure why she was into that, or why I got into it, but we bonded over many a Von Erich match. Don't judge.


This weekend I spent some time wrestling with God. You see, there are some things in my life that are not as I would like. There were some things that happened last week that I'd really wish hadn't. There are some plans I had for the summer that God effectively shut the door on. Let me just tell you, one of them really broke my heart. I can almost feel the physical pain. Did I mention that it really broke my heart?  It did. And so, I got a little down. Okay, a lot down.

My husband has a knack for knowing when I'm wrestling with God. On Sunday he asked if I was having a "want to cry about it day". Why, yes, yes I am I responded. He thought laying down and resting might cure me. As much as I appreciate his efforts to help and console me, I knew that wasn't the solution. I needed to go to the source. And that meant a wrestling match.

I went over to my footstool, plopped my pillow on it and started to pray. And cry. See, this is nothing like professional wrestling. This is the "get down on your knees and beg God to help you be content" kind of wrestling. It's the "ask God why you can never seem to maintain your joy" kind of fight. This is the "asking God why he can't won't show you the "better plan" He has so at least you can feel better" kind of wrestling. It is the "list everything you see wrong with your life at this valley moment" kind of fight.

This, my friends, is what faith is about. It is following God no matter what. Even when we don't want to. Even when it doesn't make sense. Even when we feel justified in being a Jonah. Even when we're mad at God.

Even then, we go to Him. Because only He can make sense of it. Only He can help us walk through it even when it doesn't make sense. Make no mistake. It's not easy. That's the part I often struggle with. I want it to be simple to follow and trust. I want it to be easy to be content. It's not. At least not for me. I know I am tremendously blessed. There are so many things for which I am grateful. But contentment and complete trust in God is still not easy for me. But at the end of the day, as I lay my head on my pillow, I know that God is ready for our next wrestling match. And I think that's a good thing. Because when I stop wrestling with Him, it means I've given up and walked away from my faith. And that will never do. I'd rather wrestle like Jacob did  (Genesis 32:22-32) and walk away with a limp. At least I'll still be walking with God.


How about you? Have you ever wrestled with God? Tell me about it.

As always, blessings to you!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Makeover - After Shot

Stop by WRAL.com's Go Ask Mom blog to see the final product of my makeover. Then pop back over here and let me know what you think :) Enjoy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Makeover - Before Shot and Interview

I recently received a makeover courtesy of  the WRAL.com Go Ask Mom Blog. My before interview with the editor, Sarah Hall is up on the blog. Stop by and watch. Tomorrow, the after shot will be posted. Be sure to also stop by later in the week if you are local to me and enter for a chance to win your own makeover.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Guest Donna McDine

Happy Saturday! Today I welcome Donna McDine to the blog.  Who is Donna you ask?

Donna McDine is an award-winning children's author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions. Donna’s stories and features have been published in many print and online publications, and her first book, The Golden Pathway, was published through Guardian Angel Publishing as well as her second book, The Hockey Agony. McDine’s interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Ms. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Musing Our Children, and The National Writing for Children Center.

Quite the resume! Today Donna is going to teach us a little bit about the Underground Railroad.

Code Words Were Essential in Conducting the Underground Railroad
By Donna M. McDine

The Underground Railroad was a pivotal time in American history. The bravery and determination of those opposed to slavery is one to admire and emulate. To take the time out to have compassion and empathy of others’ plights will certainly bring a greater understanding of each other. Beyond the bravery, the organizing of the Underground Railroad came to fruition through the use of code words. By utilizing code words it assured that those for slavery would not “catch-on” to the escape routes and intentions of the slaves to achieve freedom.
Some of the most common code words:
Abolitionist – a person who demanded immediate emancipation of slaves.
Agent – a person who coordinated the course of escape.
Bundles of wood – escaping slaves to be expected.
Conductors – the people that helped the slaves along the Underground Railroad.
Drinking Gourd – Big Dipper and the North Star, which aided the slaves in their nighttime travels to ensure they were traveling in the correct direction.
Forwarding – the transportation of salves from one station to the next.
Freight or Packages – the slaves were considered passengers or cargo.
Heaven – referred to Canada because once there freedom was imminent.
Load of Potatoes – slaves hidden in wagons under farm produce.
Moses – Harriet Tubman, a conductor who was instrumental in aiding slaves to freedom.
Quakers – white folks that did not believe in slavery.
River Jordan – The Mississippi River or the Ohio River.
Shepherds – people who escorted slaves from one station to the next.
Station – place of safety, a safe house.
Station Master – the keeper of a safe house.
Stockholder – one who donated items to the running of the Underground Railroad.
The use of code phrases was also instrumental in communicating along the Underground Railroad:
“A friend of a friend sent me” – this statement indicates that the slave was sent by the Underground Railroad network.
“Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus” – a phrase from a spiritual hymn to alert other slaves an escape attempt would occur soon.
“The dead trees will show you the way” – a telling sign that moss grows on the north side of dead trees, hence providing direction.
“The river bank makes a mighty good road” – since dogs cannot follow a human’s scent through water this is the best way to travel.
“The river ends between two hills” – visual directions to the Ohio River.
“The wind blows from the South today” – this signals the workers on the Underground Railroad that fugitive slaves were in the area.
“When the sun comes back and the first quail calls” – early spring was the best time to escape via the Underground Railroad.

The wealth of information on the Underground Railroad is immense. Interested in learning more, I offer the following resources to get you started:

Carson, Mary Kay. The Underground Railroad for Kids: From Slavery to Freedom. Chicago Review Press, January 2005.

Afrolumens Project, Central Pennsylvania African American History for Everyone.
“Names Used for Enslaved People in Pennsylvania”

Oracle Education Foundation – The Think Quest Library.
“Underground Railroad, The Fight to End Slavery – Timeline”

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Please visit Robert Medak's blog tomorrow to meet another great author, Shelby Patrick!