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Welcome

I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

6 Dec

my “hairbrush” story

So … I mentioned yesterday that I would share my own “hairbrush” story … and what I’ve decided is, I’ll share mine, if you share yours! :)

I’ll go first.

Last Thursday night the girls were whining a bit about going to their extracurricular classes, so we skipped them.  Visions of jammies, pizza and movie night suddenly filled my head so I was on board without much convincing.

We got home a little later than usual because they had a special art camp they attended right after school.  By the time we got home, unpacked book bags {that’s southern for backpack!}, got a snack, and started homework … I remembered.

We’d volunteered to bring bag lunches to church … and they needed to be delivered by 6:30.  A glance at the clock told me it was already 5:00.  It also told me our peaceful night was just thrown out the window.  Sigh.

And now I realized why I had the nagging feeling to get to the food store all day.  I knew I needed to go, I just couldn’t remember why!

So here it was 5:00 pm and I needed to run to the food store before I could make and pack the lunches.

I scramble to said store … reach for my purse … and d’oh.

Run back home and grab my purse.  5:20 pm.

I get back to the store, deposit $$ into the Salvation Army bucket and then frantically run through the aisles gathering what I need.

I check out and head back out the door.  Past the woman ringing the Salvation Army bells.  I get in the car and God tells me to buy her a hot chocolate.

But I’m already in the car.  And I’m late.  I’ve got to get these lunches to church … for other people we’re trying to help.

I keep glancing at the woman.

I’m already on my way to help those in need.  I don’t need to buy her a hot chocolate.

And have I ever mentioned … I get kinda hot & sweaty and nervous when I approach someone with a good deed.  Like when someone’s out asking for money, I usually help, but I get all nervous and sweaty.  What’s with that?

Anyway.

I drive around the parking lot.  Literally.  Arguing with God.

Alright, alright!  You win.

I park on the opposite side of the store and go in the other entrance.  Like I was worried she’d think I was crazy for going back into the store.  {p.s. there’s a Starbucks in our food store}

I order a hot chocolate and a piece of pound cake too.

Goods in hand, I walk to her entrance and tell her I have a surprise for her … or something lame like that.

And that’s it.

I don’t have a miraculous ending to the story.  She was obviously very happy to receive the unexpected surprise.

And I walked away smiling too.

The point of sharing my story is to encourage you to listen to that still small voice.  We have no idea what a seemingly small act does in someone’s life.

More important than that … the more you listen … obey … that small voice {God, the Holy Spirit}, the stronger that voice gets.  When that voice tells you to pick up a piece of trash at the edge of the sidewalk … do it.  Before long, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you’ll be buying hot chocolate, witnessing to people, and ultimately … brushing their hair.

Scary thoughts to me.  Scary.

But I know God is equipping me.  He’s equipping you.  He knows what we can handle.  What we’re capable of … what pace we need … baby steps are workin’ just fine for me, thank you very much!

I have more stories to share this week … I pray you’ll join me!  And be sure to stop by later today when I announce the winner of this giveaway!

Alright … fair’s fair!  I’d love if you shared a moment when you heard God speaking and you were obedient to the call.


Posted in faith, inspiration, intentional, jesus


5 Dec

filled to the measure with christ

I’ve made no secret that I’m a fan of Beth Moore’s.  I love her passion for God.  Her in depth and very real knowledge of the Word.  Her wit.  And her ability to share a story.  The story she shares here shows every one of the traits I just mentioned!

It’s lengthy, but I promise you won’t be sorry you took the time.


Now, if you know me … you know I’ve got much in my heart to say about this. But because I can’t top the 8 minutes of wisdom Beth just shared, let me leave you with something to think about …

Are you filled to the measure with the fullness of Christ?  Are you in tune with Him, His Word, and His wants of you?  Most important … when that still small voice speaks to you … do you act?

Join me tomorrow as I share my own “hairbrush” story.


Posted in faith, inspiration, jesus, movie


28 Nov

the golden rule …

We have this print hanging in our main hallway.  We don’t look at it enough.  People don’t remember it enough.

Wikipedia defines these words as The Golden Rule.  But do you know …

{source}

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Luke 6:31 {NIV}

Jesus spoke those words while on earth?

I don’t know ’bout you, but I think it’s cooler-than-cool that something Jesus said. on earth. in scripture. is classified on Wikipedia as “The Golden Rule.”  #justsayin

As we’re moving into the Christmas {and giving} season, this week I’ll be celebrating here on the blog … with gifts, blessings, giveaways and love.  Today let’s walk a journey of love.  God’s love.

Since September, I’ve been studying 1 John with my Good Morning Girls group.  So much truth.  Well … I mean, all of God’s Word is truth … but as we’re dissecting it verse by verse, it all comes alive!

If you have a few minutes and can dive into just a few verses, I urge you to read 1 John 4:7-21.  For the purpose of this post, let’s look at:

Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters,
are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen,
cannot love God whom they have not seen.
The commandment we have from him is this: those who love
God must love their brothers and sisters also.
1 John 4:20-21 {NRSV}

Those some strong words right there!  Take a moment to digest them.  Pretty much, “how in the world can you claim to love God … know God … if you have hatred for someone else.”

Oswald Chambers says, “If what we call love doesn’t take us beyond ourselves, it is not really love.”

Love, forgiveness, grace … for me, it all goes hand-in-hand.  But what I’d like to share with you is my personal experience of having God’s love, overflow … to love someone else.  Someone I didn’t think … someone many still don’t think … deserves any kind of love.  Let alone a love filled with grace and forgiveness.

There I was.  Filled with anger and hate.  Anger.  And hate.  Ready for a divorce.  And the very next hour … literally … after prayer with my pastor and receiving an indwelling, overflow of God’s love … I was able to love.  Not only did I not want a divorce … but I was able to forgive and to love.

I need to make it abundantly clear … it wasn’t … and dare I say, most times still isn’t … my love.  I’m human.  I hurt, I feel, I anger … and I even hate.

But Jesus.  Jesus changed all that.

Jesus laid down His life for us.  He hung on a cross so that I might be loved … and forgiven.  I take freely of this gift … every. single. day.

The Bible also tells us it’s better to give than to receive {Act 20:35}.  Not easier.  When it come to love and forgiveness … definitely not easier.  But if I can so freely receive His gift of forgiveness and love, then isn’t it my responsibility … haven’t I been commanded … to give it?

In January of 1951, C.S. Lewis {in reference to Luke 6:27-31} wrote in a letter … “In praying for people one dislikes I find it helpful to remember what one is joining in His prayer for them.”

God is love.  He always was.  Always is.  And always will be.

I love God.  I want to honor Him.  I want to make Him proud of me.

In Matthew 7:13, we’re told to “enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.”

Oswald Chambers asks this, “Have you ever created what Mary of Bethany created in the heart of the Lord Jesus?  “She has done a good work for me.”  In The Message it reads this way, “She has just done something wonderfully significant for me.” {Mark 14:6}

I want to live my life … Jesus wants us to live our lives … following, always following The Golden Rule.

We need to get off our high horses … believers and non-believers alike … humble ourselves, see outside of ourselves, and start treating other people the way we want to be treated.  The way we’ve been commanded to treat each other.

#thereisaidit


Posted in bible, inspiration, jesus


12 Sep

it’s not about me …

I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be.
I have not yet reached that goal,
but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine.
Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason
he made me his. Brothers and sisters,
I know that I have not yet reached that goal,
but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past
and straining toward what is ahead,
I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which
God called me through Christ to the life above.
Philippians 3:12-14 {NCV}

Sigh.

Since my last post I’ve been doing a ton of thinking, praying … and believing.  You see, it’s just that … just as I felt I was breathing lighter again, a tragedy struck.  And then other things piled on top of that.  I felt like it was a dog-pile on Tracie!

I was still so raw and ripped open from my own pain, my own grieving … that I went right back into hideout mode.

But our gracious Lord, in His infinite wisdom has showed me it’s not about me.

It’s about Him.  It always has been … and it always will be.

I’ve said from the beginning {well … the beginning of me being so bold about my faith}, “if even ONE person finds Christ, draws closer to Christ, or can see what a real relationship with Him looks like … then I’ll keep putting myself out there and sharing my heart and story.”

Until I felt rejected.

Until putting myself out there was too painful.

Until a variety of things … all that boiled down to my own selfish pain … caused me to shut down.

Can you imagine our world today if Jesus had decided “it was all too painful” to continue?

And so … as I proclaimed in this post … I wouldn’t want my girls to back down and hide.  Instead, I would want them to share with the world … what the enemy has intended for bad … our Lord will turn for good!

{as a heads up, I may turn comments off on a few posts here and there.  Call that what you will … I call it guarding my heart and mind.} :)


Posted in family thoughts, jesus, random


18 Jul

god has plans

I’ve talked about it before, but I’m going to say it again … it’s worth repeating … I’m forever thankful my girls are growing in their relationship with God.

Piper’s heart has been heavy since we’ve moved.  Not all the time.  But it’ll surface from time to time and we’ll pray, talk, and do our best to work through it.  She came home from church a few weeks ago with a prayer request so dear to her heart.  It moved me to tears.  She made two copies and I keep one in my Bible so I can help her to pray over her need.

She’s also taken to writing on her hand a daily reminder that God has a plan for her life.

Last week something came up that troubled Piper and I asked her if she’d like to pray about it.  I don’t know if words can adequately describe what I saw … her big, brown, sad eyes immediately flickered with joy and came to life as she said “yes,” she’d like to pray with me.

It fills me with absolute joy to know my girls believe in the power of prayer.

Taylor will often text me asking for prayer for one thing or another that’s on her heart.

As I’ve said many times … sometimes I feel like I’m failing in having “great big teaching moments” with them, only to realize it’s in these precious quiet times … requests for prayer or something as simple as playing Christian music through the house … that I’m reminded again and again … relationship deepens with everyday walk, everyday talk … an everyday way of life.

Taylor said to me recently that one thing she loves is that I play the music I do through the house.

And Piper told me recently that she likes to lay out a blanket on her bedroom floor and lay there to rest because she can hear the music coming into her room from the kitchen below her and it makes her happy.

Taylor also said something recently that stopped me in my tracks … the words buried deep into my heart.  Taylor has been faced with some very difficult life struggles {putting it lightly}, yet because of a relationship with her Savior, yet because at her core she knows what grace and forgiveness look like … she said to me {regarding her circumstance}, “You know, in a way I’m kind of glad it happened … because it’s brought me closer to God.”

Her heart is pure.  God has shown up and wrapped Himself around her … in ways I’ll never understand.  It’s taken me 38ish years to get here and she sees Him at 16!?!

Because most people are looking at our situation through the world’s eyes … they don’t believe or understand how she could be looking at her situation through eternal eyes.  I suppose, though, that’s not for me to try to understand.

And then I have my little 5 yo … we were in the middle of devotion recently and it was pressed upon my heart to ask Hunter if she’d like to invite Jesus to live inside of her.  I explained what it meant and she said yes … she would like to invite Jesus to live inside of her.  And as she repeated the words back to me, it was the sweetest, most precious prayer a mom could ever hear!  Her sisters were there, ready with the high-fives, while sweet tears welled in my eyes.

Yes … ours is an eternal perspective.  A perspective that makes me one happy mommy!  But more importantly … our Father must be one happy Daddy!


Posted in hunter, jesus, parenting, piper, taylor