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.

23 Dec

mary did you know?

Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord.
Let this happen to me as you say!” Then the angel went away.
Luke 1:38 {NCV}

“Let it be as you say!”  A few simple words of faith uttered that day.  Do you think Mary had any idea that her baby boy would one day be the Great, I Am?

Do you think she had any idea that agreeing to deliver this Child would cause her pain, trials and suffering?

This Christmas song gets me every.single.time I hear it.  I can’t listen to it without being covered in chill bumps.  “When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?”

Do you think she had any idea of the Glory to come through her simple words of faith?

By trusting God, accepting His wishes for her … her Son was Lord of all creation.

What an incredible story … example … of faith.

Oh how I could learn from Mary … “Let this happen to me as you say!”  In our human understanding and knowledge, we simply have no way of knowing what glory beholds us.  But what if we simply believe?  Believe that His plans are far greater than we could ever imagine?

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!
Luke 1:45 {NIV}

Won’t you believe with me today?

Mary Did You Know?
:: Clay Aiken ::

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know …

The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.

Posted in christmas, faith, family thoughts, music

21 Sep

does anybody hear her?

These are the current words of my heart.  And I know for sure I’ve got two daughters living these words right now.

Moving to a new place is something I’ll never take for granted again.  Both when someone I know moves, or when I meet {or hear of} someone new to my own town.

I know three of the five of us are feeling quite lonely these days.  For me, it’s okay … for the most part.  I’ll feel much more satisfaction knowing and seeing my girls form friendships, than I would for myself to make friends.  But I have to admit, when I see girlfriends having coffee, or sitting at lunch with freshly painted toes {pedicure slippers still on}, I can’t help but feel twinges of loneliness.

My heart though, hurts mostly for my girls.  I’m so desperate for them, I actually asked a babysitter if she would mind if Taylor facebook friended her and maybe they could hang out.  Embarrass much?

And then just when I think there’s light at the end of the dark tunnel … playdates for my girls … a sad, sad situation occurs that I’m still praying over.  It broke my heart and left me reeling.  And honestly … I’m pretty sure that I’m feeling the rejection more than my girl is … but man-oh-man, it just seems unfair.  Not right.  But let’s just say it’s given me the title for a new chapter “Google, God, and Me.”  I naively thought we could start fresh with our move … but that wasn’t the case.  Apparently the baggage follows.

And it’s left me thinking … how can we judge others?  How can we?  Before we even get to know someone, or their situation?  It’s just not right.

If we are to be His hands and feet … we need to reach out.  To embrace.  To care.

All it takes is one act of kindness.  Just one act.  To take someone in one direction or the other.  I believe we’ll have to answer someday as to which direction we pointed people in.  I know when I see the “big picture playback” of my life … I want to see happy, loved, embraced and included people.  I don’t want to see people that I passed by, or turned away.

Lord, help me to see the broken-hearted.  Give me your eyes to see.  Your ears to hear.  Your heart to love.

Does Anybody Hear Her
:: Casting Crowns ::

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon’s ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She’s another two years older
And she’s three more steps behind

:: chorus ::
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she’s going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

:: chorus ::

If judgement looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can’t see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her …

:: chorus ::

He is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction

Posted in family thoughts, music, quote

9 Aug

love is not a fight {repost}

Marriage.  I know many people struggling in their marriages right now.  Marriage is hard, hard work.  Hard.  I received a lot of feedback from this post and even continue to.  That whole “hand on the doorknob” thing speaks volumes to many people.  If you’re struggling in your marriage today, I pray this post encourages you to step away from the door … and full into your marriage.
{original post 3.8.10}

I posted a couple weeks back about the Love Dare book and how it’s been an incredible source of martial strength for me.

I’ve gotten some comments and emails about others who have the book, but it’s collecting dust.  For about a year, mine did too.  But when I picked it up again and decided I was determined to do it, be open to the words, be open to looking within, and most importantly … let the Lord convict me … my marriage has been blessed beyond measure!

I’d like to dive in a little deeper and share some of the things I’ve learned … so grab some coffee! ;)

Most important … this book has taught me about unconditional love.  Unconditional.  No conditions.  No matter what … you love.

The first “dare” is about patience“When you choose to be patient,
you respond in a positive way to a negative situation.”

The second, kindness“If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative
circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance.
Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing.”
“Love makes you kind.  And kindness makes you likable.”

Third, unselfishness“If there were ever a word that basically means the
opposite of love, it is selfishness.”  “The bottom line is that you either
make decisions out of love for others or love for yourself.”

And so it goes …

You know the statement, “be the change you want to see” ? … never more true than in a marriage.

CJ and I have been through stuff.  Icky stuff.  Hard stuff.  Challenging stuff.  And I’m not talking about him throwing a wet towel on the outfit I’ve just picked out to wear for the day {oh yes he does!}, nor am I talking about leaving a fresh box of cereal out on the counter wide open and left to get stale {oh yes I do!}.  I’m talking about stuff that divorces are made of.  Deal-breakers if you will.

Only thing?  I’ve learned there are no deal-breakers in a godly marriage.

Various times in our marriage … almost from the beginning, we had some deal-breaker things to work through.  But it was maybe 3 years ago … something happened to rock my world {in a bad way}.  I questioned, “How much is too much?”  “When is it okay to say I’d had enough?”  “How much more am I supposed to forgive and endure?”

My dear friend Lori, in all her wisdom, told me God wanted me in it for the long haul.  It boils down to forgiveness, or love if you will … and you can read Matthew 18:21-22 for that.  Basically for as long as it takes or how ever many times it takes.

After that conversation, I’d realized I had my “hand on the doorknob” so to speak.  And as much as we can all deny that.  I think in today’s culture, it’s the norm.  “I’m not happy, so I’m leaving … I’m moving on … I deserve happiness.”  I’m the first to admit that was my mindset in my first marriage.

But once I took my hand off that doorknob and realized that I am 100% committed … I fought.  And I’m still fighting.  And it’s not easy.  But I’m committed.  I’m not leaving.  The song I’ve posted below speaks to this …

And because of this book {and God’s blessings!}, I can honestly say {at this moment-in-time}, my marriage has never been stronger than it has the last few weeks.  And believe me! if you knew {and I’ll tell all one day} what we’ve endured, you’d be shaking your head in disbelief right now.

CJ’s noticed a change in me.  In fact, he recently told our counselor that he’s feeling guilty because he feels he’s being left behind in the “happiness” category and is trying to catch up.

Little sidebar: when we met, I was “happy Tracie” … but happy Tracie has fallen apart of the years and it’s been a complaint of his for a long time now.  He wants “happy Tracie” back.  Crazy!  But it’s his wish.  Anyway … she’s back!!  At this moment-in-time … she’s honestly, truly, and purely back.

Okay … so here are some things that I’ve learned in reading this book:

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is not selfish
Love is thoughtful
Love is not rude
Love is not irritable {can I get an amen!?}
Love believes the best
Love is not jealous
Love makes good impressions
Love is unconditional
Love cherishes
Love lets the other win
Love fights fair
Love takes delight
Love is honorable
Love intercedes
Love promotes intimacy
Love seeks to understand
Love is impossible {without God}
Love is Jesus Christ
Love is satisfied in God
Love is faithful
Love always protects
Love vs. lust
Love forgives
Love is responsible
Love encourages
Love makes sacrifices
Love’s motivation
Love brings unity
Love meets sexual needs
Love completes each other
Love celebrates godliness
Love is accountable
Love is God’s Word
Love agrees in prayer
Love fulfills dreams
Love endures
Love is a covenant

I came across this song recently and found it so encouraging!  So true!  So in line with what I’m learning and living!  I pray you’ll take the time to listen, to read the lyrics, and let the Lord speak to you and your marriage through it.

For those of you that have the book … blow off the dust and open it up.  For those of you that are curious … head over to amazon and pick it up!  Come on … I dare you! ;)

One last thought from the book, “Learning to truly love is one of the most important things you will ever do.”

Love Is Not A Fight {Warren Barfield}
Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It’s a house we enter in
Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We’ll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they’re falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do


Love will come to save us
If we’ll only call
He will ask nothing from us
But demand we give our all


I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It’s worth fighting for

Posted in inspiration, marriage, music

8 Aug

whatever you’re doing …

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we
can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 {NLT}

“It feels like chaos, but somehow there’s peace … it feels like chaos but I believe You’re up to something bigger than me … it feels like chaos but now I can see this is something bigger than me, larger than life, something Heavenly.”

For any of you today, who are struggling with the things of life … I pray you know, seek, and understand … when you are in Christ Jesus, there is a tremendous peace that comes in the midst of turmoil.  A supernatural peace.  Peace I don’t understand.  Peace we can’t, as humans, understand.  But it isn’t a peace that was created here on earth … it’s a heavenly peace.  A warm, fuzzy, wrapped-in-a-blanket-in-front-of-a-fire peace.  Don’t miss out on this precious blessing that is yours for the taking …

Whatever You’re Doing
:: Sanctus Real ::

It’s time for healing time to move on
It’s time to fix what’s been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It’s time to find my way to where I belong
There’s a wave that’s crashing over me
And all I can do is surrender

:: chorus ::
Whatever You’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there’s peace
It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see
but I’m giving in to something Heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything I surrender…

:: chorus ::

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I’ve wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You’re up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly

Whatever You’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This is something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly
Something Heavenly

It’s time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out

Posted in inspiration, music

22 Jul

waiting room {repost}

This post reminds me that our God is bigger … bigger than anything we can imagine as He holds the world in His hands.  All we need to do is trust Him to meet us where we’re at.
{original post 9.22.10}

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
Matthew 21:22

Are you in God’s waiting room right now? Do you have unanswered prayer? Or maybe it’s been answered, but not the answer you were seeking?

I think sometimes we can get caught up in the whole “but I seeked, and now I deserve” mentality … that we should receive whatever we asked for. The hardest part of that, is understanding that if it’s not God’s will for us or in His plan or timing … then we’re sort of stuck in His waiting room.

Maybe waiting for an answer to come. Or maybe waiting for the wisdom to understand we already have an answer … just not the one we wanted.

I once saw a great illustration of a man being hit by little pebbles. He complained that God was allowing him to be hit by these pebbles and why wasn’t the Lord protecting him? In the next scene you see a huge boulder being held back from hitting the man. The point being, that we have to trust our Lord and His plan. Only He has the master plan … we have no idea what we’re possibly being protected from.

I love, love this song by Jonny Diaz and feel led to share it with you. I have a feeling some of you are currently sitting on a hard, pleather chair anxiously waiting for your name to be called.

I’d like to encourage you today to let yourself lean into our Lord and not on your own understanding.  I pray this message sinks into your hearts and blesses you today.

Waiting Room
:: Jonny Diaz ::

Here in this waiting room yearning for You to say go
And though I’m convinced that a yes would be best
This time You’re telling me no

It’s not that I don’t have an answer
It’s just not the one that I’d like
But through this time Lord I must keep in mind
You’re always wiser than I

:: chorus ::
You have a much better purpose
And You have a far greater plan
And You have a bigger perspective
Cause You hold this world in Your hands

The things that I seek are from You
Like the strong healing touch of Your hand
But when You say no help me trust even though
There’s a reason I can’t understand

:: chorus ::

When that miracle comes cause Your answer is yes
I will praise you for all of my days
But when Your wisdom declares that a no is best
I will praise You just the same

:: chorus ::

Posted in faith, inspiration, music