Last week at the Festival of Faith & Writing, I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Cunningham whose spiritual memoir Picking Dandelions:The search for Eden among life’s weeds was recently published by Zondervan. I had stumbled across Sarah’s blog a month ago and left a comment. We exchanged a couple e-mails, and I have her to thank for making we aware of the Festival. Zondervan was handing out copies of her book at the Festival, and since I already have a copy of my own, it’s my pleasure to share it with one of you today! Just leave a comment on this post by Monday 5 p.m. EST, and I will announce the winner that evening. This drawing is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.
I had to chuckle at the title Picking Dandelions because there were many, many spring days in my childhood when my parents sent my younger brother and I out into the yard and the open lot across the street to pick dandelions until our hands were thoroughly stained yellow. My great-grandfather made dandelion wine. Yes, dandelion wine. Now, this culinary delight was not for the purpose of inebriation. Oh no. This wine was a cure-all. No matter what your ailment, dandelion wine would cure it. I confess, I have never been brave enough to try dandelion wine, but my brother has. And he, like the rest of my family, swears by it. Ahem. Back to the book….
Sarah’s narratives of her early life growing up in Pennsylvania and Michigan as the daughter of a Baptist minister made me chuckle and brought up fond memories of my own childhood in the Midwest. She shares poignant stories of her internships in Chicago working with the homeless, and of the time she led a team from her church helping with relief efforts at Ground Zero days after 9/11. Through all of the stories there is an undercurrent of the necessity for spiritual change in our lives, how our salvation isn’t just about a prayer and a moment in time, but a lifetime of growing and walking with Christ.
In the last section of her book, I felt like God did a sneak attack on me. As Sarah reviewed a period on her own life where God revealed areas that she needed to be more like Christ, I felt sucker punched as I realized, I too had been avoiding some of those areas of change. In the days after finishing the book, I began to take my thoughts captive, so much more aware of my own areas of weakness that I needed to turn back over to God’s loving hands.
Picking Dandelions is a delightful read, spotted with humor and poignancy. I believe you will enjoy it as much as I have. Leave a comment below for your chance to win my extra copy!!