Moon Over Edisto and Beth Webb Hart’s Compelling Question

It’s been said that all good manners boil down to making people feel at ease. Whoever said it could have been describing Beth Webb Hart and her innate grace that marks every page of her endearing fiction. Reading a Beth Webb Hart novel feels very much like sitting across an intimate table with the flesh and blood woman who pens them. She moves us through page after page of beautiful prose and it feels quite effortless.

In Moon Over Edisto, Beth Webb asks us to consider the subject of forgiveness from all sides. Will Julie be able to finally forgive? And what will her decision mean for everyone else involved? As the observer, we get to sit in a safe place and see both the damage of harboring un-forgiveness and the potential power of being willing to forgive and move on. It’s a subject that has literally been weighing on me.

This past January I was browsing a Christian bookstore during a break in the schedule of the Pulpwood Queen’s Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson, Texas when I found a large stone imprinted with one compelling word, forgiveness. It all but spoke out loud to me. I bought it impulsively and began toting it back to the convention center. It was heavy when I struck out. It grew increasingly so over the next two city blocks. As I tried to balance it with my purse, my to-go glass of sweet tea from lunch, and various other packages, the stone’s jagged edges began cutting into my forearms and the image of a certain person flashed through my mind. I found myself thinking of how much she must be hurting inside. I know full well that she has regrets and regardless of how much she professes otherwise, I also know she doesn’t feel forgiven.

How many of us walk with the weight of our mistakes even though God has made a way for us to lay them down? As I struggled on with my heavy stone, I felt the Lord begin to talk to me about how the guilt she carries is hampering every area of her life. Ever so gently the questions came.

So, how hard would it be to carry this around every day?”

“Tell me, could you carry this and help anyone else?”

“How difficult are you finding it to focus on anything other than the heavy weight tearing into your skin?”

By the time I reached the convention center, I needed a restroom makeover. I’d prayed for that wounded soul and cried most of my makeup off in the process, all because of a word picture.

Jesus taught in vivid word pictures when He walked the earth and His spirit continues to use them today through the everyday things around us and through gentle authors like our own Belle Tuesday. I’m so thankful for her talent and the unique way she shares it with the rest of us. For anyone who loves a great story and values the beauty of word pictures, Beth Webb Hart will charm you with her latest story of betrayal, second chances, and the choices in between.

Hugs, Shellie

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is an author, speaker, radio host, and Belle of All Things Southern who greatly admires the work of her fellow belles at Southern BelleView!

**WIN A COPY OF Moon Over Edisto!  One given away each day this week!

To celebrate the release of Moon Over Edisto, Beth’s publisher is giving away 5 copies of the book (one each day)! 

To ENTER: answer the question of the day: Have you ever dealt with someone who seems to find pleasure is lashing out at you?  How did you forgive and keep forgiving?  Share your thoughts.

For more info.on Beth Webb Hart’s novels click here

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  1. Jorie says

    Dear Ms. Tomlinson,

    I saw the etchings on the wall, that the weight of what you were carrying in the present would be a metaphor of what God was trying to shed light on,… He has the tendency to grab us right inside our ordinary lives in the most extraordinary ways! You never know when a lesson is around the next corner, or an encounter is going to change your mind about something else that was weighing on your heart and mind. There are moments when I listen to the minister’s sermon wondering if anyone else in the pews noticed how well directed it seem to be towards me? Or, rather a situation or experience I could directly reflect on as being part of my own personal journey!?

    I cannot say that I always dealt with bullies in the best way,… as I wasn’t always as strong as I became as I grew older. I learnt self advocacy at a young age, and inasmuch gained a lot of self confidence. In dealing with teachers who appeared to carry malice in their teachings and in their approaches with dealing with children who learnt differently, I can say, I always stood my ground. I was always the type to stand up for myself, even if it wasn’t popular to do so. In life,… wells, your not going to get on with everyone you meet, even if you greet them with a smile and are kind towards them. Sometimes I find, people lash out for no apparent reason, at least not one that you can recognise, but this parlays into my answer the other day… where sometimes you have to give people a wide birth?!

    The best response I can say on this matter, is that I tend to calm the fire that starts to boil in me, when someone kicks up my dander,… not to say that its always easy to bite ones tongue when one is being thrashed so heavily, but I’ve reached the point where I’d rather stay calm and walk away, rather than always get into a tooth and nail standoff because not everyone is willing to talk things out. Some people would rather feel they are always right and never wrong. So, you have to gauge the situation almost premeditatively in order to cause it to dissolve in front of you completely. I have noted too, that the best thing you can do if they are bent on injuring you,… is to shower them with kindess! Its not easy, mind you, but be as nice as you normally are, and do not let them ignite your fire!

    Always remember, those Madagascar Penquins! When in doubt: Smile and Wave!!

    • lisa Wingate says

      Jorie, this is priceless, and I’m definitely going to file it in my memory banks as great advice: Always remember, those Madagascar Penquins! When in doubt: Smile and Wave!!

      Who doesn’t love a smiling and waving penguin =D

      • Jorie says

        I am humbled by your reaction and have a heart full of gladness that my words resonated so much with you! :) Blessings, always!!

    • says

      I love your words! In the office I used to work in my favorite co-worker would always say, “Just smile and wave boys…smile and wave!”

      That phrase pops up whenever I’m in a tight situation.

  2. admin says

    Dear Jorie, I enjoyed your thoughts. Indeed, showering with kindness always works because Love never fails, amen? Have a great weekend.

    • Jorie says

      Thank you, Ms. Tomlinson! I thought that that was you, but a few times this week, I think the photo attached to the commenter picked up the wrong que! Yes, I think its one of the hardest things to realise, that the worst situations usually have such a simple answer! I think we try to complicate things too much! Laughs. Have a wicked sweet weekend in return! I’m going to be listening to a special musical program called: Music, Gettysburg! :)

  3. Lisa Wingate says

    G’mornin, Shellie!

    I loved that “Forgiven” stone when you showed it to me! It reminded me of an object lesson we used to do with kids, involving a pile of bricks and the “stuff” we’ll carry around with us when we could just lay it down.

    Beautiful, beautiful thoughts this morning on the porch!

    How do I deal with people who lash out at me? Sometimes better than others, to be honest =D

    In the future, I’m going to strive toward Jorie’s advice: Always remember, those Madagascar Penquins! When in doubt: Smile and Wave!!

  4. Rachel Hauck says

    I’m not sure I’ve dealt with someone over and over who lashed out continually, but I’ve dealt with people who have snapped at me or blamed me for something because of their own wounding.

    One time I had a conflict with a man on the worship team. He was really a mess, living with his emotions on the surface, and we had a clash at worship practice. He blew up at me and I tried to apologize and he didn’t consider it sincere and still lashed out at me.

    He never apologized but I did to him and the team. Had to take the higher road. It’s humbling to do that but so much better than to let tension remain. 😉


    • says

      Yeah, Rachel, it is always best to take the high road. My thoughts today were about how difficult that is when it happens over and over with the same person. Wow. So many lessons to learn. Love the Divine Teacher who is always breaking them down. :)

  5. says

    WOW, Shellie. What a powerful, tangible, striking image – the block of stone weighing you down and bringing a fresh revelation about the one who lashes out. God is so good – and your ears seem particularly attuned to Him. I’m greatly encouraged by your thoughts today as I still struggle with forgiveness with a few folks who I continually seem to get hurt by. Needing for Him to reveal life from their perspective today…. this helps a lot.

    Much Love,
    Beth Webb

    • Shellie Rushing Tomlinson says

      Glad you found something in my words that Father could use in your life, BW. It’s only fair– as much as yours impact mine!

  6. says

    Smiling and waving…Shellie, your posts always make me happy. And Jorie, you’re right…a couple of my comments have appeared as someone else, so I’m sorry if I’m putting words into anyone’s cybermouth. Wishing you all a fabulous friday and a very happy weekend. Cheers, j

  7. Kim says

    Wow. What an image your rock carrying story was to me. I tend to stuff, take it in over and over and over and… well, until I burst sometimes. Thank you for this today.

  8. Virginia Rush says

    POWERFUL IMAGE….don’t we all carry stones at one time or another?

    I love Beth’s book….and how she got the message across throughout the book, from the deep hurt back to the beginning all the way through to the end and beyond….

    Actually I think we’ve all been there at the forgiveness altar…..and yes I’ve had to forgive over and over, until one day I felt God tell me to walk away….and there was peace. The forgiveness can be in place, but sometimes like the praise team member, there is just something broken inside of them and thankfully rarely, we just have to walk away. then there are others you forgive everyday and pray they are forgiving you because your mouth just keeps hollering…”Drive safe, strap in!!!” and then as they grow older they are yelling the same thing at you!!!! Yes life is a journey, a great big wonderful journey….

  9. says

    Shellie…I think I tend to collect people that have tendencies to lash out. The great thing is that I had a Granny that instilled in me to always be nicer than I have to be. (She was a southern lady.) She would gently remind me that I didn’t really know what burdens that particular person was being asked to bear. That advice has done me well. (when I listen to it!)

  10. Velma says

    I loved the example of the stone. The Holy Spirit often speaks to me by examples like this.

    In answer to the question of someone lashing out at me, I am reminded of my childhood. I loved my mother greatly, but there were many times growing up that she would lash out at me. This was usually at unexpected times. She was never physically abusive, but she would get so angry, and she would yell and say things that would cut to the core. She and my sister were often at odds, and I found myself being the peace keeper in the family. Most of my life, I felt that it was my responsibility as the oldest child to make sure everyone was happy. When I couldn’t, I felt great guilt. My mother passed away at the age of 46. It has taken me many years and a lot of prayer to come to realize that it is not my job to make everybody happy. I still struggle with it, and often feel I have to fix everybody’s problems. I am learning daily to give it to Jesus. I don’t mean to speak ill of my mother. I know that her anger issues were due to some horrible things that happened in her childhood. She was a good mother who loved us very much, and overall, I had a good childhood. She just never learned to take the hurt of her childhood, and give it to Jesus. I want to learn from that and break the cycle in my own life.

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