Wednesday’s Wanderer: Lyn Cote

Quakers and Slavery and Abolition by Lyn Cote

I don’t know if you realize it or not, but the Amish are just one of the several sects of “Plain People” in the US. The others are the Mennonites (Amish are a branch of this faith), Shakers, Amana, Hutterites, and Quakers. I am fascinated by this last sect which is just as old as the Amish. If you’re unacquainted with the Quakers, rent the old Gary Cooper film, “Friendly Persuasion,” or the older film John Wayne’s, “The Angel and the Badman.” Both excellent films which portray the Quakers, or members of the Society of Friends. They are most noted for their use of “Thee” and “Thy.” They are also pacifists and were at the forefront of social reform in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Recently on my “Strong Women, Brave Stories” blog, I featured videos on Mrs. Elizabeth Fry, an early English reformer, concerned with the plight of women in English prison. Here’s a link if you’re interested in what she managed to do. (Quite a lot actually!)

My upcoming September book, Honor,  is the first in my “Quaker Brides” series and my heroine, named Honor, becomes involved at the very beginning of  the Underground Railroad. I put up a board on Pinterest about Quakers and Slavery and Abolition. Here it is–if you’re interested. I also put up a board featuring the Underground Railroad use of Quilts as a code to guide the runaway slaves. You can view that HERE.

In September three authors will join me on my blog discussing these different Plain People, stop by!

Honor web friendly (1)When unexpected circumstances leave Honor Penworthy destitute after the death of her grandfather, she is forced to leave her Maryland plantation—and the slaves she hoped to free—and seek refuge with a distant relative. With no marketable skills, her survival hinges on a marriage arranged through the Quaker community to local glass artisan Samuel Cathwell. Samuel is drawn to Honor, but he has been unwilling to open his heart to anyone since scarlet fever took his hearing as a child.

A move west brings the promise of a fresh start, but nothing in Honor’s genteel upbringing has prepared her for the rigors of frontier life with Samuel. Nevertheless, her tenacity and passion sweep her into important winds of change, and she becomes increasingly—though secretly—involved in the Underground Railroad. Samuel suspects Honor is hiding something, but will uncovering the truth confirm his worst fears or truly bring them together as man and wife?

Set against the backdrop of dramatic and pivotal moments in American history, the Quaker Brides series chronicles the lives of three brave heroines, fighting to uphold their principles of freedom while navigating the terrain of faith, family, and the heart.


Lyn Cote Headshot (1)

Author of over 40 books, award-winning author Lyn Cote writes contemporary and historical romance. Her homepage blog features “Strong Women, Brave Stories.” Visit her website/blog at http://www.LynCote.com and find her on Facebook, GoodReads and Twitter.

Monday’s Musing: Turning Amish (Week 4): Weed the Garden

Many years ago, an employer gave me some advice:

Weed the garden so your flowers can bloom.

time-to-weed-2Three days later, I resigned.

Isn’t that similar to what I’ve been doing…cleaning out closets, emptying drawers, organizing “stuff”?

My garden has been full of far too many weeds. If you look at your garden, sometimes you’ll notice that weeds mask themselves among the flowers. And while some weeds can be pretty and create a breath-taking backdrop, most of them are not very kind to the flowers that we actually planted!

This week, I’m going on a weeding binge. There is one last clutter-area in my house: the coffee table in my bedroom. For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to eliminate piles of “stuff”: papers, mail, cords, things that I don’t know what they are. Just yesterday, I stared at the table and commented to my son that I should just sweep the entire tabletop into the garbage.

I didn’t.

Now I realize that it’s a weed. And I’m going to pluck it. If I don’t rip it out by the roots, remove its oppressive negative energy from my sight, it will grow and spread.

I give myself five days. After that, I’m weeding it…no excuses or hanging onto one item. Remember that the Amish focus on quality, not quantity. They keep a pristine and orderly household (well, usually) as if they know one little secret that most Englischers don’t: your environment reflects who you are.

I don’t mean that you have to have the biggest and the best in order to feel more powerful or successful. But if you hang onto things, things you don’t use or really need (like weeds), it says something about your own insecurities.

So this week’s challenge is for all of you to weed your personal garden. Let me know how it goes.  :D

Sarah’s Saturday Smiles: Cat Falls In Love

Some of you may have seen this video already. However, the background story might interest you.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I love animals. After all, Scripture tells us that “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10 KJV). In different versions of the Bible, the word regardeth is translated as care and looks out for.

Of course, we all know that Adam was given dominion over all beast of the air, land, and sea. And Noah was chartered with tending to all of the animals during the flood.

Maybe I take my god-given duty too far when I save little bugs in the house or carry worms off the driveway to the dirt (yes, I do that). I have little patience for people who do not understand or appreciate the people who work so hard to save the discarded, abused, and abandoned animals. Nor do I have patience for those who adopt an animal only to throw it away later (and then adopt ANOTHER animal to repeat the cycle).

Well, apparently, my daughter Cat has inherited this love of animals.

Since she was four, she had been in love with horses. It started with ponies. When she was five, she got dressed up, put on her shiny Mary Jane’s, and took her Elmo purse out of hiding. She walked up to me and said in her lispy voice, “Mom, I need to go to the barn. I have business dealings to discuss with Marc.”

cats purse

After I got over the shock that she was in a dress (!), I obliged.

Not even tall enough to look over the counter in his office, she cleared her throat and waited until Marc looked up and realized someone was waiting to talk to him.

“Marc,” she said. “I’m here to buy Elvis the pony.”

He raised an eyebrow and asked her how much money she had.

“Two nickels and a quarter,” she said and opened her purse, took out the precious coins, and reached up to put them on the counter.

Transaction done, she walked out of the office and announced that she was the proud new owner of Elvis the pony.

For years, she doted on that pony. Even when she grew too big to ride him, she cared for him. It was a sad day when Elvis passed away. And it took years for her to find another equine soul mate.

When I learned about my cancer and knew that I wouldn’t be able to ride for a while…(years…boo), I urged Cat to ride my horse, Undee, a gift to me from Marc on our wedding day. Undee was a baby at the time and has grown into a lovely, breathtaking horse with a puppy-dog personality. She was reluctant at first, perhaps intimidated by his size or youth or reasons important to a young girl.

But something happened this summer. I gifted Undee to her and, with the help of our instructors at the barn, secretly booked her riding lessons on him. There were tears. There were flat-out refusals. There were days when she longed for smaller, more manageable ponies.

But then…it happened.

I’ll let her video tell the rest of the story.

Friday’s Fare: Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Beets and Eggs

If there is one thing that I absolutely love and always pick up from the Amish markets, it’s canned beets and canned eggs. First of all, anything that is so rich in color (RED!) just looks really fun on your dinner plate. But, cool factor aside, I simply could eat these forever.

Last week, in Alabama, I made a very interesting discovery. The Yoder’s Family Tradition Gift Shoppe (our own Debe Yoder on Facebook for those who follow me) not only carries this product but it is LESS EXPENSIVE than when I am shopping in Lancaster.

I’m going to check whether she ships or not. If so, I may have a new source for when I cannot travel to Pennsylvania. And, since these come straight from the Amish in her neck of the woods, it’s a win-win-win all the way around.

This recipe is from my upcoming novel with Waterfall, formerly called The Giver which, for obvious reasons (recent release of Taylor Swift movie), will be renamed. However, I still wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Beets and Eggs

Ingredients:

8 eggs

2 (15 ounce) cans whole pickled beets, juice reserved

1 onion, chopped

1 cup white sugar

3/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

2 bay leaves

12 whole cloves

Directions:

Place eggs in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let eggs sit in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, and peel.

Place beets, onion, and peeled eggs in a non-reactive glass or plastic container. Set aside.

In a medium-size, non-reactive saucepan, combine sugar, 1 cup reserved beet juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and cloves. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Pour hot liquid over beets and eggs. Cover, and refrigerate 48 hours before using.

 

Wednesday’s Wanderer: T.L. Gray Plus Giveaway!

 Honoring God with Transparency

There was recently a trend on twitter called #ChristianHipocrite. My first response was to assume it was a non-Christian group saying hurtful things. But then as I looked at each tweet, I realized they were coming from Christians who were honoring God with their transparency. Here are a few of my favorites:

I am a Christian and have trouble believing that God has a plan, creating anxiety and a need for control. I am a #christianhypocrite

I am a Christian and I tell others how much God loves them but I struggle believing it about myself. #christianhypocrite

My heart swelled as I read each one, and I thought what a beautiful tribute to our Perfect God to admit we fall short.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says “My grace is sufficient for you. For power is perfected in weakness.”

Part of that weakness comes with today, but there is also a great amount that comes with our yesterdays.

We’re trapped by the ugly word that follows us wherever we go…Mistakes.

If you’re like me, you understand the struggle I’ve had in letting go of the past and forgiving myself for the missteps I’ve taken. I’ve found that Satan uses those things regularly to wage a precisely, pinpointed attack on my self-esteem.

But God has been showing me through his Word and through others that He has overcome our failures. He has shown me clearly that though my past may shape me, it does not have to define me.

I think that’s why I felt so inspired when I wrote my newest series, Set Apart. I wanted to show characters who were struggling with forgiving themselves for their failures.

Mercy’s Fight is Book 1 in the series and is my favorite book I’ve written to date. I think it’s because of the raw nature of my hero, Matt Holloway.

He comes from an abusive home, got in trouble as a teen and spent two years in juvie. Yet, he turned his life around and is devoted to helping others heal. His only fear is love. He is terrified his past will destroy anyone who dares to love him.

This story has resonated with so many because most people have been victimized in some way or another. For some, it’s horrific and life altering. For others, it may be self-induced pain.

Either way, I want my readers to know that they can live victoriously, despite being a victim. That God is in control and he can and will use our past to do amazing things with our future.

We are all Christian Hypocrites. We all fall short on a daily bases. But how much more remarkable is it that God died for us anyway. That He loves our scars and flaws just as much as He loves our victories.

I pray you are finding victory in Him every day.

Thank you so much for your wonderful blog post T.L.! I am so happy that you stopped by! Readers, T.L. is graciously giving away an e-book copy of her book Mercy’s Fight (which I loved by the way) to one lucky person. I hope you take the time to check out her fantastic book.

You can pick up a copy HERE.

Gray-MercysFightTo enter leave a comment below. Contest starts today Wednesday August,20th and ends on Wednesday August 27th. Good Luck!


T.L. GrayT.L. Gray  serves as a pastor’s wife in Ennis, Texas. It was her desire to see young girls know and experience Christ’s unconditional love that led her to write her debut novel, Shattered Rose. She loves writing stories that offer hope to the broken. T.L. Gray is currently working on Parker’s novella, a companion book to Shattered Rose. She is also starting a new spinoff series, Set Apart.

Her books are about redemption and real characters who struggle in this world. Her intent is to take the readers on a journey where they both cheer for and want to shake the hero/heroin. Her books offer a culturally relevant setting, while presenting an inspirational message that will stay with readers long after the book is closed.

Knowing that God has given her this call, she gives Him all the glory for her success. She has been #6 in Bestselling authors for Amazon in the Religion and Spirituality category.

I’d love to connect with all of you. Follow me on twitter @tlgraybooks and on facebook.com/tlgraybooks.

If you’d like to read a little about my testimony, follow the link below:

HEALING THE BROKEN