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Book: Going South
Author: Marsha Moston
Genre: Christian nonfiction—humorous, inspirational, Christian-living memoir
Release date: January 2021
When Bob and Marcia Moston told their friends they were moving south, they meant it as a geographical move. They didn’t expect their plans to go south too.
Trusting his wife’s previously sound judgment, Bob agrees to have Marcia go ahead of him and pick out a house—an efficient, low-maintenance one. It was a good plan. If only Marcia had stuck to it.
But when she veers from the plan, the couple find themselves overwhelmed with the consequences of a seemingly bad decision. Marcia looks for encouragement in the story of Jacob—the patriarchal bad boy, remembered more for the predicaments he got himself into than for his commendable deeds—and the God who is not deterred by our plots, plans, stratagems, and side trips.
Written with heart, humor, and biblical insight, Going South—with the God of Jacob’s and My Mistakes offers hope and encouragement to those who find their lives upturned by a geographical move, a chaotic economy, a backfired dream, or just a plain bad choice.
“You know you’re in trouble when you look for encouragement from the story of someone remembered more for the predicaments he got himself into than for his commendable deeds. But like Jacob, some of us have to wrestle an angel of the Lord all night before we get to the end of ourselves and trust that the Lord can and will orchestrate all he’s appointed for us, in spite of us – even when we make bad decisions and big mistakes.”
I loved reading through this memoir, as it had me laughing one minute, and appreciating Gods character the next. I enjoyed reading through her struggles and mistakes, and rejoiced as the lessons she learned from them were revealed. It definitely had me pondering on many of the mistakes I’ve made in my life, and the wisdom that I’ve gleaned from them (and am still wrestling through). My favorite quote was,
“Fishing bobbins – they disappear under water for awhile and then pop back up in another place. Often these insights seem so simple, you’re sure you’ve mastered them – until they resurface sometime later and test you once again”
I loved how the author weaves the story of Jacob throughout the book. I’ve often pondered on this story, as I’ve often found myself feeling afraid and crying out to God in frustration. In this bible story Jacob knew that God was with him, but was still terrified. Jacob wrestled with God as he demands that God bless him, and God honors his determination. Jacob saw God face to face, and that changed him. He not only got a new name, but was no longer fearful. Jacob realized he could obey God, no matter how scared he felt. He could trust that God always keeps His promises.
This memoir was a wonderful example of Gods faithfulness to us, and the grace He surrounds us with daily. I loved the encouragement this book provided, and the reminder that despite our bad decisions and constant changes in life, we can trust God is working it out for good.
“We’ll be surprised one day to see how much the little glass-of-water moments we thought were so insignificant ended up watering a field of fruit in someone else’s life. All those “seemingly insignificant acts of daily life”.. are the places where we can prove being faithful in little leads to being faithful in much.”
About the Author
Marcia Moston, the award-winning author of Call of a Coward—the God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife, has contributed to several magazines, anthologies, and newspaper columns. She loves to write about the possibilities of life in the hands of a very real God. Marcia teaches workshops in narrative nonfiction and makes home in South Carolina with her Bob.
More from Marcia
We were no superstar, sledgehammer-wielding, Fixer Upper Chip and Joanna Gaines. But I was confident my husband and I could handle the repairs that the house I had bought needed. After all, we were handy—solid do-it-yourselfers, excited about starting a new phase of life in a part of the country we’d never lived.
Armed with enthusiasm, experience, and degrees, we didn’t anticipate any problems finding jobs or making friends. And I certainly didn’t anticipate I’d be hanging telephone directories on doorknobs or stuffing vending machines to make ends meet. But our ravenous little fixer-upper had a bigger appetite than we expected and was devouring our funds in record time.
Before long we began to realize we’d left life as we knew it somewhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line. I wondered if, instead of running strong to the finish line of our lives, we would be crawling across it, covered in sheetrock dust and regrets.
It’s one thing to suffer for a noble cause, but quite another when you find yourself in messes and muddles of your own making time and time again. Like Jacob, some of us have to wrestle an angel of the Lord all night before we get to the end of ourselves and trust that the Lord can and will orchestrate all he’s appointed for us.
I wrote about our southern saga foibles in Going South with the God of Jacob’s and My Mistakes as an entertaining reminder for all of us trying to find our way home, that even when we make bad decisions and big mistakes, the Carpenter of Nazareth can fashion something beautiful from the dust and debris we trail behind.
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To celebrate her tour, Marcia is giving away the grand prize package of an All-Things-South gift box!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.