"Our family will base our success on one thing...our impact for the Kingdom of Christ." -Rick Burgess

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Post of 2011

On this last day of 2011 I’ve found myself challenged by Tsh Oxeneider's 20 Questions.

What a wonderful way to reflect on God’s work in my life throughout this past year.

These questions were really tough for me.

Age has not been kind to my memory, so these questions really knocked out the cobwebs and made me dig deep in the vault that is my mind.

I really stirred up some dust in there.

20 Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

Our summer was one of the best, if not THE best summers that we have ever experienced. We took lots of short trips and spent tons of time at the beach with my in-laws, and spent lots of time with great friends that we love dearly. We truly enjoyed every minute of the Summer of 2011.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Without a doubt it was when Jeremy (sweet hubby) had to go back out of town for work. It was a HUGE adjustment after having him home for a year and a half.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

School has been a joy for us this year. So thankful that this school year has been smooth sailing. Another joy would have to be this blog. I never knew how much I needed to write things down. God has used it to mature my walk with Him. It’s great therapy from the Greatest Therapist EVER!

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

Ten months without progress on our house.

5. Pick three words to describe 2011.

Growth. Thankfulness. Joy.

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).

Strength. Patience. Love.

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (again, without asking).

Blessed. Humbling. Challenging.

8. What were the best books you read this year?

1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst, The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Sterns, Bringing up Girls by Dr. James Dobson, Journey to Significance by Kimberly Sowell

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

God will always be at the top of this list.

Then, my husband, Jeremy. My love for him grows with each passing year. 2011 marked 14 years that
God has given me with my best friend.

2011 also brought with it some very special relationships.

I’ve enjoyed relationship growth with church family, reconnected with old friends, and found some precious blogging friends. I have to name a few that have stood out in 2011.

First, Mrs. Jacque Byrd…I don’t have enough words to describe this blessing. God brought you into my life this year and I am all the better because of it.

Relationship with Mrs. J, led me to her precious daughter Jen, who has captivated our entire family. Her joy is infectious.

The year brought the blessing of “The Power Hour”. A prayer group started by my one-of-a-kind friend Sharon Morgan. Stay-at-home mother of 4 and strong woman of God. She started this group so that we could pray for our kids and their school. I gathered with Sharon, and our friends Andrea White and Candy Fain. Together with these women, I shared life and prayer. Some weeks that hour of prayer was the only thing that got me through. Thank you Father for them.

My Bible-believing, God-loving, Praying, Sunday School Class, led my Mr. Jerry Hawsey. I could write an entire post just about these guys. We’ve faced some tough stuff this year. I’m so glad God saw fit to let us go through it together.

I love it how God sends you who you need, when you need them. One of my dearest friends is Twilight Carden. She and I both encountered major life changes in 2010. Life got in our way, and pulled us in different directions for a while. I thank God for reconnecting us in 2011. I Love You!

And now for the end of 2011. I just didn’t know what I was missing by not being apart of the blogging world. The ladies I’ve met through blogging are simply AWESOME! They are going to change the world for God and I’m so thankful that He’s allowed me to read their words. I’ll put links to their names so that you can share in the joy that they’ve brought to me. Jana @ Grace for my Mess, Melissa @ Beautiful Mommy Feet, Sarah @ My Life is Like the Shoes on my Closet Floor, Val @ Stumbling Barefoot, Jamie @ Creating Home Journal, Ann @ A Holy Experience, Lisa-Jo @ The Gypsy Mama, Emily @ Chatting the Sky.

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

I’ve learned to choose joy….thank you Sara.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

I’m doing better at expressing my feelings, and not keeping them bottled up.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

I’ve gone from depending on Spiritual leaders to feed me, to feeding myself on God’s word. 

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

I’ve maintained. Is that an answer?

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

See answer to question 9... J

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

Working on our property, and our house and getting things accomplished. Learning to drive our tractor was an all time high for me. Talk about feeling empowered!! Woo Hoo!

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

The same as #15.

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

Pinterest. BaaaHaaaHaaa!

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

Studying God’s Word and Serving in my church.

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

How to REALLY give thanks, and how to find joy through that thanksgiving. It has really been life changing for me.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.

I think I’ll share the words to a song, maybe even a link….

The more I seek You,

The more I find You,

The more I find You,

The more I love You,

I want to sit at Your Feet,

Drink from the cup in Your Hand,

Lay back against you and breathe,

Feel Your Heartbeat,

This Love is so deep,

It’s more than I can stand,

I melt in Your Peace,

It’s overwhelming.

-Kari Jobe


SEE YOU IN 2012!!!

Lord Willing,



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favorite Tweets of 2011

Please keep in mind that I only started tweeting the last part of 2011.

The list of favs will be longer in 2012.

And the winners are....(no real prizes will be awarded...sorry)

 Katelyn Stephens
I can't make someone fall madly in love with Jesus, I only make the introduction. Ephesians 3:14-19
When the rhythm of my soul is survival instead of revival, I will come unglued.
Sometimes you have to give a man a fish to eat for a day. But eventually you have to solve why he was hungry to begin with.
EWomen Extraordinary Women
"The donkey didn't say 'Look how great I am that they are showering me with Hosannas'. He knew who it was for!"
angela_thomas Angela Thomas Pharr
Kids need their mom to pray in secret with the door open.
At the end of all things we will bring only what we have given away with us.
When a Jesus girl rises up to give unexpected grace when she could have done an attitude cuss, the mystery of Christ is seen.
In the moment you feel yourself holding your breath, stop and close your eyes. Take a breath. He's with you. Jesus. Faithfully. Loving you.
Because friendship is all that will show up at our funerals.
The only moments that matter, are the ones no one knows about. Link
"Wisely & slow. They stumble that run fast" ~Shakespeare. Yes! "Life isn't an emergency. Only the amateurs hurry"
Jesus laid it all down to wrap His divinity in our dust. I marvel again... At what dust-covered love looks like.
"Today I am a woman desperate for God to breath a great vision on my soul"
 Tim Keller Wisdom
Christmas is telling you that you could never get to heaven on your own. God had to come to you.
: God's plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day.
"...and the courage to show up for your own life."
Writing. It's not a competition. It's a calling.
 Jennifer Rothschild
People either make a way to overcome or make an excuse not to.
HolleyGerth "When life gets hard the lies get loud. But in the middle of all the noise, there is still what’s true."
AnnVoskamp "We give thanks to God not because of how we feel – but because of Who He is."
 Brooke McGlothlin
Don't let other people's choices make you feel judged. Do what God has called you to and let Him be your judge.
lwfministries Love Worth Finding
I want to tell you something big, plain & straight. Salvation isn't a reward for the righteous, but a gift for the guilty.
 Louie Giglio
Dear Iran, it's called the gospel dilemma. Execute Pastor Nadarkhani = more Jesus. Let him live = more Jesus! You can't kill eternal life.
Thanking God for a blessed 2011.
Looking forward to what He has in store for me in 2012.
Following His lead,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Perspective

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary and Joseph this Christmas Season.

Wondering what they must have felt in those days and months leading up to Christ’s birth.

As a mother I’m usually drawn more to Mary’s story. I can feel how uncomfortable she was riding atop that donkey. Pain with each bump as she tried to cushion the blows to the Baby King.

However, this year I’ve tried to see things from Joseph’s perspective.

I’ve tried to step into his shoes and walk the lonely path to which he was called.

A lonely path indeed.

How many men do you know who would have, stepped up to the plate so to speak, the way that Joseph did.

What a responsibility!

Not only was he taking on the responsibility of a child he did not concieve….he was taking on the responsibility of caring for God’s Own Son. The Messiah!

A friend blessed me this month by introducing me to Jason Crabb’s Christmas CD. My favorite track tells the story through Joseph’s eyes. I hope it blesses your heart as much as it did mine.

I pray that in these last few days before Christmas,  you can take time to walk around in the shoes of Mary and Joseph.

In the words of Ann Voskamp....take time to “steep long and slow” in the joy of our Savior’s birth.

Merry Christmas,


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


MOOOMMMMM!?!? Are we there yet?

Anyone who has ever been on a trip with kids has heard this statement resounding from the backseat pests passengers.

It always makes for such a joyful trip….NOT!

Yet, I feel like it’s the question that the Lord has heard me whining asking from His proverbial backseat.





I sound like one big fat, manna eating, meat wanting, cloud following, COMPLAINING Israelite.

You see, my family and I have been on our own sort of journey through the wilderness.

In April of 2010 God moved our cloud. We moved out of our home to do much needed renovations. Our family of five, moved from our 3 bedroom home of 12 years, into our 31 foot, fifth wheel, travel trailer. During the renovations, our house, which was on the market at the time, sold. We closed the sale in June of 2010 and God moved our cloud again. He moved it out to our dream property. The property that we’d waited 12 years for. The property that He’d blessed us with and had chosen just for us. The property that was ours free and clear. The property that we’d build our future on.

Fast forward to October 11, 2010. Six months of camping in our fifth wheel and we break ground on our new home. The home that God has led us to pay for our of our pockets. Our Word from Him is “NO LOAN!“ So we take our step of faith and we trust Him as His cloud hovers over our cozy little home on wheels.

I love seeing progress! I felt like we were really getting somewhere! Board by board, nail by nail we watched as it went up. It’s all dried in(construction talk for the walls are up and the roof is on). Then….HALT! No money means no moving forward. So we wait.

We wait…for a year.

October 2011.

We have brick!

I never knew I could be so excited about brick and mortar. But even in the midst of the brick excitement, I wander wonder. I feel doubt creeping in, and the doubt makes the complaints seep out. The questions come from the backseat…”HOW MUCH LONGER GOD?”

And still the cloud stays put.

I pray and I wait.

God leads me to the book of Numbers, where He walks me through the journey of the Israelites.

When I question...“ARE WE THERE YET?”

He answers…”We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you’. Come with us, and we will treat you well, for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.” Numbers 10:29


He answers…”…they buried the people who had yielded to the craving.”

Numbers 11 gives the account of the people complaining about the manna and asking for meat. So God gave them what they wanted..what they asked for…but the ones who yielded to the craving…the ones who weren't satisfied with what God had already given them…were struck by a plague. My craving is to be in my house…to get a loan from the bank to hurry up and finish it….but by God’s strength alone, I WILL NOT yield to the craving.


He answers…”Now when the people complained it displeased the LORD.” Numbers 11:1 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against me?” Numbers 14:27


He answers...“How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?" Numbers 14:11

So here we are….December 2011. Then end of another year. One year and eight months of living in our temporary home.

Our temporary home…

You know what? Really, the whole world is our temporary home.

PRAISE GOD! This world is temporary…this time is temporary….He has something so much better in store for us…we just have to be patient and obedient.

Our cloud WILL move…..in HIS time.

So until then we wait….with JOY in our hearts….with PRAISE on our lips….with THANKSGIVING as our song!

I close with words from JOB 2:10…

“Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”


Rejoicing as I wait,



Friday, December 2, 2011

From Tired to Refreshed

Today's post is a conglomeration of jumbled up thoughts that need to get out of my brain, and Five Minute Friday.

So here I go.

I guess Lisa-Jo must have been reading my mind this week because TIRED is exactly what I've been. And when I say TIRED, I mean the crying kind of tired. I can sooo relate to Lisa-Jo as she was sitting in her warm car and the tears came. I've been there....this week even.

Throughout my week of "tired", God has been whispering to me.

"Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.

He sent my rest last night. We had no where to be, no homework, and we had supper at home!

Then this morning He put a cherry on top and gifted me with refreshing and renewal of my spirit.

I'll give you a sneak peak into my morning.

6 am...I wake to a phone call. A call for my oldest from a friend who needed a ride to school. This of course gets her up and at em' right away. Middle and youngest follow suit. Everyone is up on time! I even get breakfast cooked (and they actually eat it). Everyone is dressed, bellies full, teeth brushed, backpacks packed,  lunches packed and we are out the door on time! All of this PLUS not one single argument or whine. You see this is a rarity at our house. There is usually at least one person in a foul mood at all times. (Oh how I love tweens!)

So here we go...off to school...Christmas music streaming from the car speakers. When suddenly He makes His presence known.

He comes bringing the perfect gift for me today. (Because His timing and His ways are always perfect)

 He brings me the gift of laughter all wrapped up in the form of my sweet middle "KP".

She comes out of no where with something tooo funny and the oldest laughs...REAL...pure and genuine, long and sweet, from deep down.

They all laugh....I laugh.

And it feels like PURE JOY!

The weight lifts, troubles clear.
I feel the refreshing and renewal that you feel after a good cry. But instead of tears, He gifts LAUGHTER...sweet laughter.

Thank you God for this blessing...this timely gift of Your Grace.

Laughing all the way,

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Grow

Liking up with Lisa-Jo today for another fabulous Five Minute Friday!

Today's word is.......GROW.

Here I go.

My first thought when I saw grow was....Oh how I hope my waistline doesn't "grow" too much next week during Thanksgiving. Cause I'm about to dive all up in some turkey and dressing, cranberry salad, cheesy rice, green bean casserole and a pie of some sort. My pants feel a little tighter just thinking about it all.

OK so now that I got that out of the way....let's get on to some real meat.

Like ummm...the meat of His Word.

    "For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes ; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit."   Jeremiah 17:8

I love this description...being a tree planted by the water. Being a tree that grows deep roots. Being a tree that won't fear when the  hard times heat comes.

It blesses my heart to watch people grow in their relationship with Christ. It especially blesses me to see my girls growing in their walk. Seeing the fruit that they bare in their small sphere of influence.

Thank you Lord for the growth and the growing pains. Because with one usually comes the other.

Uggh! My time is up! Spent too much time talking about food. Sorry you had to "see" me being a glutton.

Thanking God for helping me grow,


Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 Days to Being Thankful (Day 17)

I've missed a few days, but here I go...time to catch up.


229. to be able to "meet" other bloggers.
230. for feedback.
231. for community
232. that she received the journal...in the mail, and in her heart.
233. that she's healing and growing in HIM.
234. for sweet text that say I was missed.
235. for friends that care.
236. that even though no one else understands our life, we do, and it's working for us, and we'll continue to make this way work until God shows us otherwise.
237. that God still speaks to me through His Word.
238. that I can learn from the wandering Isrealites' mistakes.
239. that God taught me to be patient, whether it's 2 days, 2 months, or 2 years. I will still praise Him.
240. that next week is Thanksgiving break! Woo Hoo! We get to sleep in for a whole week!!!!


About Me!

About me: Hey y’all! I’m Tracey. Jesus follower. Counter of thanks. Wife to Jeremy. Mom to the three KP’s. Not so many years ago God chose to redeem my story and allow me the privilege of walking through this earthly life with my best friend. For twenty years now we’ve been figuring out this marriage stuff along with charting the waters of parenthood. God saw fit to bless us with the responsibility of raising three remarkable young ladies. 

I started writing here in 2011 as a place to journal my gratitude. God then led me to encourage the hearts of women, and in 2015 I started using  this space to record my families journey through the world of cancer. 

We covet your prayers as we seek to walk out God’s plan for our lives. In turn, please know that we take each and every request you bring here straight to the foot of the cross. 

Thank you for being apart of our journey. 

“A threefold cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Journey to Salvation


When most people think of November the first thing that comes to mind is Thanksgiving. And to most, Thanksgiving equals turkey, pilgrims, and parades. Sadly, few think of the “thanks” in Thanksgiving.

Midway through 2011 I was given a new perspective on gratitude. EUCHARISTEO! Nothing radical, or “band wagon”. It was basically, common sense, slap yourself on the forehead kind of perspective. You know the plan God had intended all along, the one that will always work….but the one we seem to have the hardest time catching on to. This word eucharisteo opened my eyes to what being thankful to God was really all about. It was being thankful in good times and bad. It meant being genuine…sincere…living life on purpose and not taking it for granted. All of this combined together to awaken me to the one thing that I am most thankful for…..

My Salvation.

This blessed Salvation….my greatest gift….the gift that was always there waiting for me….the gift that Satan didn’t want me to find….the gift that my Sweet Savior, Jesus Christ, died for….the gift that I don’t know how I lived 27 years without.

My journey to Salvation….

I’ve been darkening the doors of church since the womb. Every time they were open I was there. So your probably thinking…“How could she not have been saved?”
Well, according to records, I was “saved” in 1991 at age 14.

It was “Revival” week at our church. You know the week of the year in all Southern Baptist churches, when we bring in a different preacher to shake things up and get the people fired up for the Lord again after a year of backsliding. (I mean no disrespect, but those of you who grew up in church…especially a Baptist church…know what I’m talking about)

So the evening service was upon us. All the Youth were seated down front, instead of in our usual spot in the Amen corner. I don’t remember who the pastor was…all I remember was that he was loud and commanded our attention. You see our pastor was very soft spoken so the sheer volume alone held our attention. I was transfixed as he shouted about…of all things….hell. I don’t think any of us (Youth) blinked or even breathed through that entire sermon. We were probably sitting there, mouths gaped open.

Then comes the alter call.

All I could think about was that fact that I did not want to burn for eternity in hell…I knew how it felt to get burnt on the stove for goodness sake…I surely didn’t want to be set on fire for all of eternity! So when the pastor gave the OK to come on down, I…(A) went up front out of pure fear, and (B) went up front because all my friends went up…apparently they didn’t want to burn either.
So it was all taken care of…I was going to heaven…WHEW!!!

Fast forward to 1995.

Still in church every time the doors opened. I did, after all, have social obligations.

Trying to make it on time on these Sunday mornings since I could now drive myself. Trying to stay awake during the sermon, because I’d stayed out late the night before. Trying to make it through my Senior Year of High School so I could get out of this small town that I’d lived in all my life and had grown to despise!

No part of my life (other than the fact that I occupied a pew every Sunday) gave witness to the fact that I’d been “saved” four years prior.

Life after High School led to College. College meant freedom and no time for church. Two and half years into college…here comes marriage.

1997. Marriage in the church that I’d been “saved” in six years prior. Marriage to an unbeliever. But that didn’t matter…it never even crossed my mind. Because you see while I did have the advantage of a life spent in church…and while I did have a piece of paper saying that I was “saved“…I was just as lost as my husband was.

Here come the kiddos!

June 1999. The birth of our first child. Six weeks later….on the road we go. Out of town with my husband’s job….no church.

October 2001. Birth of our second child. In and out of town with work. We’re home for a while and I connect with a friend whose husband works with my husband. We travel together some. She starts talking to me about the religion that her mom follows. She’s starting to go to meetings with her mom. She and I, strangely enough, start talking about the Bible. It’s been years since I cracked open a Bible, so I have to go home and find mine. I brush off the dust and start searching because some of the things she’s said just didn’t sound right.

God used my friend, my Jehovah’s Witness friend, to get me back to the Bible. This was my first step toward Him.

So I kept searching, and I found the truths written in His word, and shared them with her. She was not receptive.

2003. Time passed, and children grew. It was time to come home to stay. Kindergarten was fast approaching. We got settled back at home after several years of being on the road.
My friend still pulled at me to follow her religion. I instead ran hard and fast back to my roots. Back to my safe harbor. Back to the very pew in which I’d sat years before and heard the message that scared me down the aisle…the message of “dying and burning in hell”.

This time that pew felt entirely different. I sat there older, bearing the scars of an unholy life, a life not lived for Him. But I also sat there as a mother of two. A mother who knew that her children needed to be in church. I sat there knowing that the beliefs my friend was offering were wrong. I sat there knowing that I’d been taught all the right things. I’d been taught all the Bible stories. I’d been taught the law.

The thing I had not been taught was that I could have a personal relationship with God…with His Son Jesus. I didn’t know that what I had been running away to find…what I had been searching for…the thing that would fill that empty spot inside me was an intimate relationship with Jesus. I’d never realized that He was Someone I could talk to about anything. That He was the One who had always loved me and always would. For me God was always some far away entity looking down ready to strike and send people to hell.

So I sat in the pew on that Sunday morning with a longing that nothing could fill….lost. I sat there feeling out of place in a place that was so familiar. I sat there and listened with an open, wounded heart as the choir sang. And with each word they sang, God filled the empty place inside me. He whispered, “Welcome Child, I’ve been waiting.” For the first time in my life I knew what the Love of God felt like. I knew what it meant to have a relationship with my Heavenly Father. I had a longing, but this time the longing was to know Him more.

I couldn’t tell you what the sermon was about that day. I can’t even tell you what the song was that the choir was singing. All I know is, that Sunday, I was willing to go and Jesus met me there. He met me…I laid myself bare before Him and He saved my soul.

Proverbs 22:6
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Are you lost? Hurting? Longing? Confused? Weary?
Run to Jesus sweet friend. He’s the only Cure.

Matthew 11:28
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Stumbling along,
Following Jesus,

Special thanks to Melissa at Beautiful Mommy Feet. First...for being a willing servant of God... second, for inviting me to share in this blessing of 12 Stones during the month of November.

172. for the stories He gives us to tell.
173. the courage He gives me to tell those stories.
174. the smell of glue as she cuts and pastes.
175. that halloween is over and we can watch cartoons again without them trying to tell my child that she has to dress up and be scary.(Soap Box moment)
176. that my husband appreciates me and he's not afraid to let FB know it. :)(BEAMING!)
177. for Fall
178. for my tree that bares delicious pecans(pronounced pi-ˈkän, but since your reading you can pronounce it however you choose.) ;)
179. spellcheck
180. for my sweet nephew who changed my worn our brakes.

My Road to Salvation

This blessed Salvation….my greatest gift….the gift that was always there waiting for me….the gift that Satan didn’t want me to find….the gift that my Sweet Savior, Jesus Christ, died for….the gift that I don’t know how I lived 27 years without.

Read the rest of the story....follow me over to Beautiful Mommy Feet today where I have the honor of guest posting.

It is a  privilege to share my story with the followers of Melissa's wonderful blog.

Join us as we celebrate this Thanksgiving of Praise.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Days to Being Thankful (Day 9)

Thanking Him...

221. for waking me up on time this morning....I forgot to turn on my alarm last night.
222. for Vick's Vapo Rub.
223. for being able to breath out of my nose again.
224. that tomorrow is our Friday!
225. for giving me this opportunity to use this blog for His Glory.
226. for fresh greens and the neighbor that offers them.
227. for Kaylee, who cleaned up and put away last night before bed so that I wouldn't have to do it. It means so much when they do these little things without being asked. She couldn't have shown her love for me in any better way. Priceless.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days to Being Thankful (Day 8)

Today I am dedicating this entire post to my dear, sweet, hardworking husband.

Today I thank God for this man.

This man that stepped into my path almost 14 years ago and walked it with me.

The man that continued to walk beside me as God (little did we know) was directing the path.

The path that led us both to Him.

212. for his love.
213. for his support.
214. for his faithfulness
215. for his laughter.
216. for his love for our girls.
217. for his willingness to provide for our family.
218. for his love for the Lord.
219. for his talents.
220. for his assurance.

Now he called his name Noah, saying, "This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed." Genesis 5:29

more than words can say,

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days to Being Thankful (Day 7)

I feel like I've been hit by a truck today.


201. that I have not actually been hit by a truck. :)
202. that I can get out of bed on my own.
203. that I was able to remove the peanuts from her nostrils (one in each nostril) and that I didn't have to make a trip to the ER.
204. that there was only ONE peanut in each nostril.
205. that Friday is a school holiday.
206. that my car is getting me to and from the places I need to go.
207. that KP #2 was okay about not going on the field trip. I'm so proud of that kid.
208. that I only have two baskets of clothes to put away today.
209. for the good turn out at the shower, and that she got lots of things she needed.
210. that at least my ears aren't stopped up.


Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days to Being Thankful (Day 4)

1 Chronicles 16:34 MSG

"Give thanks to God - he is good and his love never quits."

Thanking my Heavenly Father for...

191. His unfailing love.
192. gut busting, belly laughs, filling the car...they missed each other so much...it's been far too long....absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
193. sleepovers.
194. best friends.
195. making lasting childhood memories.
196. The Hurricanes WIN!!!
197. Fall and Football.
198. new recipes.
199. the excitement and anticipation surrounding wedding plans.
200. the ability to drive myself where ever I need to go.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days to Being Thankful (Day 3)

Pulled a post out of the archives for today...

 It's a lesson that God taught me on choosing thanks...


113. that my house didn't get damaged by the storm.
114. that Kenny is in PA with Jeremy. It's always nice to see a familiar face when you're out of town.
115. that I've learned to how to find my joy when I loose it. I've learned to thank my way out of those dark places.
116. for my church...and the freedom to worship there without fear of persecution.
117. for my friend Sharon, and the fact that, without a second thought ,she was willing to run my daughter a snack to school because she forgot hers this morning.
118. for unexpected messages from old friends...the friends that you never get see or talk to, but when you do it's like you see each other everyday.
119. for things yet to come and the lessons I will learn.

Whew.....I feel so much better now.

I had to start out with thanks today. And now that I stop and think about it.....it should be that way everyday. I should start everyday with thanks!

I admit, this morning I started out with thanks in attempt to dig myself out of the ugly hole I'd fallen into this weekend.

My old enemy depression comes around occasionally trying to pull me back down....and I can usually brush it off and keep moving....but this weekend a little of it stuck and I didn't seem to have what I needed to shake it.

But thanks be to God that today is a new day! A day of sunshine and cool fall breezes. A day of awakening! And I awaken to the fact that I have to live on purpose. I have to push through the dark days and find the thanks. The thanks that leads to joy! It's impossible to be two things at once. If you choose to be thankful all the time (which will always result in joy) there's no room for anything else.

CHOOSING.....makes me think of the talk that I had with my girls this morning. Here in the South we like to refer to these little talks as a "Come to Jesus Meeting". They've both just had a little too much attitude for me lately. Too much arguing with one another....to little love and compassion, and considering others feelings. And this morning was the straw that finally broke it.

So in my best "I mean business" voice I let them know that we ALL wake up every morning with choices to make....and it's our choice how our day will turn out. We CHOOSE what kind of attitude we will have each day....we CHOOSE how we will react to others....and a lot of times our OWN attitude determines how our day will go.

As we sat there I realized that they weren't the only ones being taught a lesson. God was using this to teach me as well. We were all learning....learning a lesson in living life on purpose....taking control of our actions, our tongues, our decisions....learning that everything we say and do effects someone, somehow. And that the outcome of the days challenges have a lot to do with how we approach and react to them.

So as I sit here, with each word I type I inch my way out of the hole that I dug. I see the light of day....the positive.....the good....because I choose to give thanks to the God who created me.

My pastor gave me some new perspective on thanks during Sunday's sermon. He pointed out that giving thanks is a part of what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit and that there are three types of thankful people. I like to think of them as stages of learning thanks.

The first stage is the easy one....giving thanks after you've received the blessing. It's easy to give thanks for something that you already have.

The second one is a little harder....It is giving thanks before the battle begins. Remember the story of Jehosaphat.

The third is the hardest....giving thanks in the middle of the battle, when it looks like you've been defeated. That's giving thanks even when you don't understand...because you know that God has a plan and purpose that is perfect...you know that He works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Everyday the Lord reveals something new to me....I am amazed at just how little I knew about the importance of giving thanks.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."


Stumbling along,

Following Jesus,



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days to Being Thankful (Day 2)

Day 2

John 11:41-42
41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that You have heard Me. 4 2 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”

Jesus said “I know you always hear Me.”

Wow….do we have this same confidence? Confidence that Our Heavenly Father always hears us? Jesus’ example in this passage says that we should. His example also tells us that we should be giving Thanks to God in everything (yes the bad time too) and we should be doing it publicly. What a thought…people could actually be led to believe in Jesus because of our obedience in Thanksgiving to God.

I Thank my God today....

184. The girls had winter clothes from last year that still fit this year.

185. I finally got the winter clothes pulled out of storage and organized in the closet.

186. Almond bark (my waistline is not so thankful for this)

187. Satsuma oranges and the little stand on the side of the road where I bought them.      

        Lord Bless his business.

188. The laundry is done (for today).

189. It’s fellowship supper at church tonight!

190. We have bricks on our house. (one step closer to moving in!)

Stumbling along,
Following Jesus,


Follow the 30 Days to Being Thankful at Becoming a Strong Woman of God.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days to Being Thankful (Day 1)

Romans1:8 - "First I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world."

My MacArthur commentary tells me that in almost every letter Paul wrote, he expressed his gratitude. If thankfulness was that important to Paul, then I think I should take note and learn from his words of gratitude.

I take particular note that Paul thanked God "first".

A few months ago I read Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. It was life changing for me. The portrait she paints of thanks is astounding. Since finishing the book I've started my own journal of thanks. I'll be sharing some of those lists of thanks with you throughout the month of November as I participate in the 30 Days to Being Thankful Challenge.

I thank my God for...

181. a quiet house after everyone has gone to bed.
182. the chance to hear about the Godly influence my girls are being to their friends and teachers at school. Thankful more than words can express, for their boldness in speaking God's truths, and their willingness to stand up for their faith even when they are the only ones standing.
183. the pure, sweet, and innocent gratitude of my little one(age 3) who says to me today..."Mama, I'm grateful for you today and for the rice krispies you made."

I'm linking up with Sonya over at Becoming a Strong Woman of God to share in her Challenge. Be sure to swing by there and take a look.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm Back

So I've been on sort of a computer hiatus.

Not by my own choosing.

Hindsight has shown me that this hiatus was most likely chosen for me by the One who always knows best.

Having said that....this post is likely to be all over the place. Try to keep up! ;)

First...my detox from the computer.

I had to refrain from using my laptop for almost seven days! Can't even believe I made it as I sit here and type this.

You see, I've been online so much this month that I was dangerously close to exceeding the data limit on my MiFi. This tells me one thing....I've wasted way too much of my time. I can justify some of the time. Like my time spent managing our church's FB page, and my time spent on blog posts. But I can't justify the "time leeches" like Pinterest, FB updates and games, reading tons of Christian blogs (that I've used to replace my own devotion time), or checking my blog stats constantly (really got convicted about this by Dawn Camp and  Lisa-Jo).

I'm thinking that God saw that I was not going to give it up on my own so He hit me where it hurts (the pocket book). He knew that red flag would stop me. Bottom line...God put me in time out. :) Now don't get me wrong...I still had my phone...but I don't have a fancy phone so all I could really do is check my email.

Anyway, God used the past few days to remind me what life was like before computers, before FB, before blogging. I can even look back now and be thankful for that time. I got so much accomplished. Real world stuff that I've neglected.

He's also reminded me of why I said I started a blog in the first place. Oh how quickly we forget. Forgive me Lord for allowing the enemy to get me off track.

So here I sit....priorities back in order. The order that God intended.

Moving on....

Topic #2....

Anyone out there have tween daughters?

I have two! YAY!

I've never in my life seen two people argue as much as these girls do.

Maybe the fact that they are only two years apart has something to do with it. I don't know. But I do know it is driving me batty!

I'm just getting somewhat of a grip on my own hormones....I sure don't need any more crazy hormones in this house. But it looks like I'm getting two sets of brand spanking new tweenmones.

Add in a three year old to this picture and we've got a genuine circus!! LOL...I can't help but laugh...it's better than crying. :)

Speaking of the three year old. I just have to say that I think three has been my favorite age of all my girls...for a number of reasons....here are a few...

At age three they...
-can carry on a conversation with you.
-are interested in everything...this includes everything you say and do.
-are potty trained.
-can dress themselves (even if it doesn't match)

 Finally...my third topic....

I've been asked to post over at Beautiful Mommy Feet in November. This is way out of my comfort zone. I covet your prayers over this.

Congratulations! If you've made it this far you deserve some kind of award. ;)

Thank you Lord for confession and forgiveness.

I'm Yours Lord...mold me and make me.


Saturday, October 15, 2011


As women...wives....mothers....sometimes we think we have to make everything okay. We think we have to be strong when no one else can be. We place before ourselves an unrealistic set of standards and we judge, sometimes other women, but mostly ourselves, by them. Grace for the Good Girl Author, Emily P. Freeman, tells us to take off our masks. I tell you (more like I tell myself) stop trying to live up to what you think everyone else wants you to be. The ONLY thing that matters is what GOD, your Heavenly Father, wants you to be.

Let's follow the example set by Jason Crabb in the words of this song. These are honest, true, heartfelt words that I think a lot of you (and I KNOW I) can identify with.

Praise be to God.

He is our Comforter.

He hears our cries.

Falling before Him,

Tracey <><

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Learning from the Proverbs 31 Woman

For the past few days I’ve been reading and re-reading
Proverbs 31:10-31, the story of The Virtuous Wife.

I want to learn from this woman.

The woman that was pleasing in God’s sight.

The woman whose story, God chose to tell.

I learned in my study of these verses, that they are an acrostic poem. Each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, encouraging it’s memorization.

We do not know who this woman was, but it is very clear what she was.

10Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
(Thank You Lord for these words of affirmation)

11The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.

12She does him good and not evil. All the days of her life.
(Reminder of what I vowed on my wedding day)

13She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.
(I’m working on the “willingly” part)

14She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.
(I will not complain about my 25 minute drive to the grocery store)

15She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.
(Ouch…the is the hard one for me. The past has shown me that my mornings go soooo much better when I get up before everyone else, fix them a good breakfast, and have their lunches packed and ready to go. Everything just runs more smoothly when I do this. But…..oh how I love my sleep. I honestly run better on 12 hours of sleep. Seldom do I get that. So this is another one that I’m working on. With God’s help, I will “rise while it is yet night”.)

16She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.
(Lord help me be a good steward of the things you’ve given me)

17She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.

18She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.
(I pray that at the end of each day, I can look back at my day with a smile and a sense of accomplishment)

19She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.

20She extends her hand to the poor. Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
(Help me reach those in need by partnering with World Vision and sponsoring a child)

21She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her house hold is clothed with scarlet.
(Thank You Lord for introducing me to L&M…what a great way to be a good steward of our money)

22She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband in known in the gates, When he sits among the elder of the land.

24She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.

25Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.
(Lord, I want to honor You)

26She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
(Often a hard thing to live out….yet again this is something I’m working on. Thanks to my dear friend Melissa, I’ve taken another look at this area of my life. Join us in a challenge that she has started…The Beautiful Mommy Challenge. You don’t however, have to be a mommy to accept this challenge. It’s applies to all women.)
27She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
(Lord help me to raise my children in Your way. Help me raise them to love You, and to look to You in all things. And help me to never get so attached to any one thing that I let all other things go lacking. I don’t want to dine on the “bread of idleness”)

28Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her.
(One of the greatest longings of my heart)

29Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.
(The words I long to hear from the Lord. I pray more than anything that I am found pleasing in His sight)

30Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing; But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
(AMEN and AMEN! So thankful for these words from the Lord. Thankful that He taught me to look on the inside of a person…to look on the inside of myself…where the heart is.)

31Give her the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.
(May my actions speak louder than my words. May I be a Godly example for those around me. I want them to see Jesus in me.)

Striving to be who God intended for me to be,



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Wonder of God

I've been spending some time out in God's Creation.

Walking around appreciating the wonder of His handiwork.

Thought I'd share some of what I had the privilege to see.

It's truly amazing what He has created!
                                                                                                 Photography by Tracey Padgett

I encourage you to take a stroll and enjoy the beauty that God has created just for you.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stuck in Neutral

I kicked it into neutral on Friday.

Hubby was coming home and I was going to do nothing but devote my time to soaking in every minute that he was home.

We made it through the trip to the airport on Monday for the return flight. I've written before about airport reunions and how joyous they are...well...departures...not so much. I think I'll have to save that for another time...just don't have the energy for it today.

Fast forward to Wednesday, and I'm still in neutral.

This whole idea of neutral is for some reason, humorous to me. Maybe because I just took our four wheeler to the shop because it won't go into neutral.

I digress...

So I'm stuck in neutral....can't quite figure out how to get it in drive again.

This departure has been really tough. Harder than usual. I think it's robbed me of my will to want to get out of neutral. I sorta feel like I just want to sit a while and watch life happen and not be involved.

But the reality is I have to kick it in gear and keep on keepin' on. :)

And as usual God is there.

Always with me...sending me beautiful feet to encourage me.

Letting me know that Daddy is here, Daddy is near.

Both for me and for my sweet girls.

I ran across a quote yesterday...of course I know Who sent it my way...and I'm standing on His promises....

"God has placed you where He has placed no one else. No one else in the world has the same relationships you have. No one will stand in the same grocery store line at exactly the same moment you do. God hasn't put you in those places merely to model the truth. Listen for the voice of the Spirit to whisper in your ear. Watch for the stranger on the road, and be aware of your opportunities to go where He would send you." ~Chuck Swindoll

Praying you grow where He's planted you today,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


"Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, 'Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.'" Luke 9:57

Really? Are we really willing to follow Him wherever He goes?

Luke 9:59 speaks of a man saying he's willing if Jesus will let him first go and bury his father.  His father, however, is not yet dead. This man is speaking in terms of getting his affairs in order. He's waiting for his father to pass in order to gain his inheritance. He was waiting to be financially sound before he set out on his journey with Jesus.

Ouch...that stings.

How often do we think twice about giving because we keep seeing the balance in our own checking account flashing in our head?

And then there's then man in Luke 9:61. The one who says, "Lord, I will follow You, but..."

Who new that a little conjunction...three small letters....could carry so much weight.

Oswald Chambers talks of this man that says, "but". The man that "is intensely ready to go, but never goes."

Do you find yourself here? Here in the place of, "Lord, I'm willing, but (fill in the blank)."

Life in Christ calls for total surrender.

For me, a DIY gal, the word surrender can be frightening.

But thankfully for me,  God is a patient and persistent teacher. He shows me that total surrender to him....saying I'll go without hesitation....means being in closer relation with Him.

It's simply obedience.

Be obedient to whatever God calls you to do.

When you think of being obedient to God's call, don't just think about the "big" things (for me the frightening things), like being called into the ministry or being called to the mission field. Think about the other calls. The gentle nudges that we get (and often ignore). The nudges that say, make that phone call, send that card, stop...and really listen to that prayer request. Those calls, matter as much to God as the ones we label as "big".

You may never know the impact God will have on someone, using you as the vessel.

Be obedient, be willing to be used by God.

It's likely that you won't ever witness the change that you make in someones life, but one change that you are guaranteed to see is the change that it makes in your own life.

Stumbling along, following Jesus,

Praying this week for a brother and sister in Christ, sad for them in the flesh, but rejoicing in the spirit, for the eternity that awaits this sweet sister. Thankful that she will have dear Sara to meet her at Heaven's gates.

How can I pray for you today? Leave me a comment, knowing that each prayer concern will be earnstly prayed over and never taken lightly.

thanking Him for....

paint, brushes, and easels
more paint on her face and hands than on the paper
face painting! :)
cool, breezy days
exciting vollyball games
points scored!
friends that come to watch(support) her
a small school
Homecoming parades
we're a three traffic light town ;)
photobooth pictures
learning to loom (because knitting and crochet didn't work out so well)
community (in real life and online)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Molding Can Hurt

Friendly Obstacles

For every hill I've tried to climb,
For every stone that bruised my feet,
For all the blood and sweat, and grime,
For blinding storms and burning heat,
My heart sings but a grateful song
These are the things that made me strong!

For all the heartaches and the tears,
For all the anguish and the pain,
For gloomy days and fruitless years,
And for the hopes that lived in vain,
I do give thanks, for now I know
These were the things that helped me grow!

'Tis not the softer things in life
Which stimulate man's will to strive;
But bleak adversity and strife
Do most to keep man's will alive.
O'er rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep,
But brave hearts dare to climb the steep.

For about two weeks now my daughter has studied these words. Words that I've heard her recite....words that I've checked to make sure she was reciting correctly....but also words that I've not really heard until today.

As my eldest recited them to me this morning, I sat with paper in hand and really read them....listened as she recited each line.

How powerful!

These last 14 days I've let life keep me so preoccupied that I've missed out on these powerful words.

What a blessing they are...what a message they deliever.

The author is unknown, and I wonder did this author serve my God? I like to think he/she did.

These words remind me of a few things.....

Of the old hymn...Have Thine Own Way...."mold me and make me..."

Of the parable of the potter and the clay (Jeremiah 18) Jeremiah watched the potter with the soft clay as it became misshapen....the potter pressed and molded it and shaped it back into a good vessel....so God does with us.

Life gets hard sometimes.

It can really just plain stink.

But through gratitude we can find our way past the here and now...past the pain of the moment....and see the bigger picture.

We can see what God is molding us into...what He is preparing us for.

Something greater than now.

Thank You Father for the things unseen....for the yet to come.

Ephesians 5:20

Have a blessed day,
Count it all joy (James 1:2-4),
And tell someone you love them,
Because Jesus first loved you,


Praying for Sara, her family and  her friends...
Praying that Kaylee did well on her poem recitation...
Praying that God gives peace to a few dear friends that need to feel His touch today.

133. for finding Sara
134. for meeting with God
135. for the happiness of a friend
136. for safe travel
137. for a new wood stove
138. for guidance
139. for wedding shower plans
140. for punch and cake :) {I love shower food}
141. for new friends and old
142. for progress
143. for laughter...and by laughter I mean I'm thankful for those little things that just get you tickled for no reason and you laugh so hard your face hurts...and when your done laughing you feel refreshed...laughter really is such good medicine. Come on let's all LOL!!!
144. for my sweet middle, Kelsie, who gave me one of those "laugh for no reason" moments this morning. It was just what I needed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God Can...

The Path Before Us - Photo by Tracey

We all have a choice in this life....we can either choose to give our lives to God and let Him handle things or we can limp along trying to take care of things ourselves. The latter never works out for me.  Will you choose to move forward with God today?
I received this in an email a long time ago...
I saved it so that I could go back from time to time and get my attitude in check.
While we should always have a heart of gratitude, fact is sometimes we don't.
We need reminders.
So here is your reminder today. :)
I pray that no matter what you're facing today, that you don't sit around and complain about it, or waste your time with worry...take it to God, and leave it with Him. He can take care of it far better than we could ever dream.

A preacher who was traveling by train noticed two other passengers, a well-dressed man and a magnificently dressed woman with expensive jewelry. The woman was complaining about everything -- the train ride, the weather, the news, the food, the service. The preacher decided to engage this couple in a conversation. He asked the man what kind of business he was in and the man told him. Then he asked, "What does your wife do?" He said, "Oh, she's in the manufacturing business. She manufactures her own unhappiness." There are a lot of people like that. They manufacture their misery because they fail to be grateful. Only Christ can turn our lives around and stir up a grateful heart within. Psalm 100:4

You say: 'It's impossible'
 God says: All things are possible
 ( Luke 18:27)

You say: 'I'm too tired'
 God says: I will give you rest
 ( Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: 'Nobody really loves me'
 God says: I love you
 ( John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 )

You say: 'I can't go on'
 God says: My grace is sufficient
 (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: 'I can't figure things out'
 God says: I will direct your steps
 (Proverbs 3:5- 6)

You say: 'I can't do it'
 God says: You can do all things
 ( Philippians 4:13)

You say: 'I'm not able'
 God says: I am able
 (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say:'It's not worth it'
 God says: It will be worth it
 (Roman 8:28 )

You say: 'I can't forgive myself'
 God says: I Forgive you
 (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: 'I can't manage'
 God says: I will supply all your needs
 ( Philippians 4:19)

You say: 'I'm afraid'
 God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
 ( II Timothy 1:7)

You say: 'I'm always worried and frustrated'
 God says: Cast all your cares on ME
 (I Peter 5:7)

You say: 'I'm not smart enough'
 God says: I give you wisdom
 (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: 'I feel all alone'
 God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
 (Hebrews 13:5)

You are not alone - For God is with you.
You are not defenseless - For God is your protector.
You are not inadequate - For God is your sufficiency.
You are not useless - For God has a purpose for your life.
You are not worthless - For God sent His Son to die for you.
You are not without hope - For God has a place prepared for you.
You are not unloved - For God loves you with an everlasting love.
You are not rejected, or abandoned - For God calls you His own.

"I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6 NLT