The Blue and the Grey, and Ashes in the Teeth

Weary soldiers in blue and grey have traipsed through our living room and minds the last few weeks. For homeschooling history we have been delving into books about the American civil war. Through soldiers’ own words recorded from 1861-1865, we’ve learned about their struggles and battles. I especially recommend Delia Ray’s book “Behind the Blue and Gray: The Soldier’s Life in the Civil War.” 
After studying this time period, I wanted my kids to watch two films to make the era come alive –seeing their clothes, homes, plantations, reasons for the war and stories. While waiting for the phenomenal movie “Glory” to arrive from the library request program, I had my kids join me in watching the epic “Gone with the Wind.” 
Despite the sweeping saga of the South’s grandeur and gallantry, and Scarlet O’Hara’s stubborn perseverance, the film fills me with sadness. Scarlet held happiness in her hands so many times—especially when she was married to Rhett, who loved her madly. Yet each time, her pride and obsessions destroyed her. 
I am reminded of the verse in Isaiah 44:20 that says,
“He/She feeds on ashes,
a deluded heart misleads her;
she cannot save herself
or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?’”
I fall into that trap too sometimes. Feeding on ashes with a deluded heart that misleads me… Contentment isn’t tethered on the house selling or the next thing. Peace isn’t waiting behind a certain season or stage. The grass is not greener. Life wouldn’t be better if…. 
With God speaking truth to me, I run to his word, open my journal, and get honest with God. And Joy is here. Peace is here beside us. Contentment isn’t tethered!
Is God talking to you about lies you are holding onto this week? Or, what films have you watched recently?

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  1. AmyAlves on February 15, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I love your post Jennifer! We also are a homeschooling family! The most recent movie my husband and I watched was "Courageous"…and it was inspiring for sure! It's so freeing to know we serve a God who does not withhold any good from us! -Blessings, Amy

  2. Jennifer Dougan on February 17, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Hi Amy,

    Homeschooling is such a fun adventure and challenge, isn't it? How old are your kids? Have you homeschooled for awhile?

    I haven't seen the movie Courageous yet, but I mean too. Is it a movie for your kids too?


  3. Mommy Emily on February 17, 2012 at 2:59 am

    thank you so much, friend, for all of your prayers and encouragement. it means the world to me. love to you… e.

  4. Jennifer Dougan on February 17, 2012 at 3:26 am


    My pleasure!


  5. Ms. Kathleen on February 17, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Thank you for visiting my blog… Your line hit me – Contentment doesn't depend on the house selling… SO TRUE! Mine is on the market. I can't wait until it sells but I trust God's timing is perfect. Love your take on it and you are so right about Scarlett … Nothing made that woman happy… So sad indeed.

  6. Karen @ Pieces of Contentment on February 17, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Lovely message Jennifer. Contentment indeed lies within our peace with God and in trusting in His goodness. It's a choice to view each day this way.

  7. Dolly @Soulstops on February 17, 2012 at 4:39 am

    It is so true and hard to remember sometimes that true contentment is found in our relationship with God – and He does not change…so grateful. Thanks for your encouragement on my blog…appreciate it, Jennifer 🙂

  8. tandemingtroll on February 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    How fun! Let me know how "Glory" is. Did you let your youngest watch "Gone with the Wind?"

    We have been studying the Space Race this week and I thought "The Right Stuff" with a PG rating would be good. I was pretty sure there was going to be bad language and warned the kids ahead of time. However, I had to fast forward a few scenes because of innuendo and there was a 2 second nudity shot that caught me by surprise. It created some good discussion about those who get the glory and those who quietly do glorious work and don't always get the recognition in Chuck Yeager vs. the seven astronauts. And then God had us read Matthew 6 about how those people who seek glory from others will only receive their reward on earth, where those who quietly do God's will receive their reward in heaven. What a great Godincindence.

  9. Cheryl Barker on February 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    The Lord has spoken to me recently, too, Jennifer, about contentment as I strain against a certain situation in our lives. Like Paul, I want to experience contentment, regardless of any and every situation.

    p.s. I think we're going to go see The Vow this weekend 🙂

  10. SteveS on February 18, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Hello homeschoolers! Have you seen "The Encounter"?

    Released less than a year ago, this film about five strangers stranded in a roadside diner cuts to the theological bone. Many difficult questions posed to the Christ-like proprietor and answered scripturally make this a film to initiate many conversations and or sermons. I was pleasantly surprised.

  11. Jennifer Dougan on February 19, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Hello Kathleen,

    Another person in the house-on-the-market adventure with us! 🙂 Those showings are exciting and tiring, huh? May your home sell in God's timing too, yes!

    Contentment isn't tethered. Such a freeing truth.

    Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen,

  12. Jennifer Dougan on February 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Hi Pieces of Sunshine,

    Thank you for stopping by. Yes, contentment lies in our relationship with our God, and in resting in who he is and what he has said.

    I wish I didn't forget that so often.


  13. Jennifer Dougan on February 19, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Hi Dolly, I agree! Thanks for stopping by.


  14. Jennifer Dougan on February 19, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Hi TandemingTroll,

    I haven't heard of that movie, hmm.

    Yes, I let my 13 and 16 yr old watch "Glory." I hadn't remembered that it was rated R. I don't normally let them watch stuff like that at all! This was an 80s movie, and was a very powerful film based on true events about the 54th regiment in the Civil war. Wonderful. Yes, there is some swearing, and a violent spot in the first five minutes of the film which surprised us all, but the rest isn't as violent at all. Worth it for my middle schooler and high schooler. I can't remember how old your kids are.


  15. Jennifer Dougan on February 19, 2012 at 1:44 am

    I was intrigued by the film previews for The Vow too. How was it?

    How is your situation going now too?


  16. Jennifer Dougan on February 19, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Hello Steve from CA,

    No, I haven't heard of or seen that film, The Encounter. I may have to check that out. Thank you.


  17. Dontmissyoursunsetlady on February 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm


    I am thankful each time I stop by! You are a gifted writer with such rich insights! Thank you for your comments, concern and prayers!

  18. Jennifer Dougan on February 20, 2012 at 1:55 am


    Thank you! I am so glad God was able to speak through me to you. Thanks for your encouragement.


  19. Elizabeth on February 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    love this post and that line: "Peace isn’t waiting behind a certain season or stage." so true!

  20. WhiteStone on February 22, 2012 at 5:03 am

    I've watched "Glory" more than once and was struck by its grueling agony. I never seemed to be able to watch "Gone with the Wind" because I was struck so by Scarlet's foolish self-centeredness. So many others loved this movie…I could not. Weird.

    War is an awful thing. We've been killing each other since Cain/Abel and we've learned to do it well. Death is our enemy and we have learned to mete it out very well. Individually as well as nationally.

    Someday death will be done. There will be no more. And that will be a glorious day indeed.

  21. Jennifer Dougan on February 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Whitestone,

    "Someday death will be done" — !


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