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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Twenty Minutes

I think I’ve finally figured out why God moved us out to the middle of nowhere. And when I say middle of nowhere I mean at least twenty minutes in any direction from anything. Anything being, the gas station, the grocery store, church, friends, school, etc.

I think He got me out this far so that He could talk to me on those long trips to town. I walk through each day, trying to talk with God. Trying to hear from Him. Our conversations usually get drowned out by a number of things. But it seems that every time I get behind the wheel of my car and head toward a destination, I feel this overwhelming peace come over me and He starts to talk with me. He has given me so many words on these trips. I’ve decided I’m going to have to start taking my laptop everywhere I go so that when He gives me these words, I can stop and get them down in black and white. Cause like I’ve said before, my mind is a vault and I don’t want them to get lost in there.

That leads me to my post for today…gotta get those words and thoughts organized in print.

I’ve been reading all the buzz about everyone’s “One Word” for 2012. I really like the idea…just not sure that’s the direction I’m being led in 2012. I feel like this is year, for me, is going to be filled with so much more than can fit into one word.

I started this year out with one word on my mind.

I woke up Sunday, January 1, 2012 feeling overwhelmingly….DEFEATED.

A cloud seemed to be looming over me. And with each step I took I tried to shake it.

I was determined to make it to church on this gloomy morning. I was met with much resistance from two overly tired tweens who, over Christmas Break, had taken far too quickly to sleeping until ten o’clock. Their grunts and groans seemed to chisel the letters of DEFEAT onto my heart.

When we finally make it into the car I immediately start to pray. I pray, “Lord, I don’t want to start this year defeated. This is not the way that I want to spend 2012. I know I have power in you Lord. I know that my strength is found in you. Help me Lord not to live this day or any other day….defeated.

Again He meets with me. Not in words….in presence. His comforting presence.

He meets with us all as we gathered that morning for worship. We are challenged to come to God as a family. To spend time in His word together. Our pastor invites us to come to the alter and commit this year to God. To come and bow before Him and lay our year at His feet.

And so I did. I laid my year before Him. I laid this burden of DEFEAT before Him and asked that He take it from me. And this week, day by day He has done just that.

He started by using Kelly @ Exceptionally Average.

She challenge me to memorize His word. So I picked my verse for January. Colossians 1:9-10 “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” When I picked it, I thought, “Hey, I might have a ONE WORD after all! My word is KNOWLEDGE” Wrong…God had more in store.

So I have my verse.

He then brings me Jamie @ Creating Home Journal.

In Jamie’s post she presented this question….“What does being successful look like for you? How will you know if you have hit the mark if you haven’t defined what the mark is?”

The following is the comment that I left on her blog, and God’s response for me through her.

ME: This quote really hit me today. When I think of success I think of spotlight and my automatic response is fear. Defining and hitting the mark is something that I’m going to have to work on in 2012. Thanks for the challenge!

JAMIE: I was someone who was terrified of speech class in high school. And still to this day, I hate it when all eyes are on me…except for when I am preaching. I don’t think about it at all when I am preaching because I am so passionate about what I am saying.
When God calls you, He qualifies you. Every time I take the pulpit to preach, I remember that this is all about God and not at all about me. In that, my hatred for being in the “spotlight” has become a weakness through which His strength has shown through.
So, my encouragement to you, Tracey, would be to fully embrace all that God is calling you to and in that place He will qualify you for the work.

Through Jamie, God started whispering to me….”Don’t fear.”

He reminded me of, what I’ve dubbed, “My Modern Day Miracle”

Let me tell you the story…(short version)

I took piano lessons for eight years. 2011 marked 16 years that I had gone without tickling the ivories. December 2011 would introduce me to the keys all over again. Only this time it would be for His glory. You see God worked it out so that our pianist would find out that I could still play. (GULP) She then asked if I would start playing the keyboard in church along with she and Mrs. J our organist. (insert sweaty palms) So out of nowhere comes my voice answering, of all things, “Yes.” I couldn’t believe I’d said yes. Was I not aware that it had been 16 years since I’d played, was I crazy, what was I thinking? So the day arrives for me to play. My stomach is turning flips, hands are shaking. I pray, “Dear God, the only reason I am doing this is for You. I am soooo not equipped for this task. I’m reminded that you don’t call the equipped, you equip the called. Please give me what I need to make it through this, and I pray that the glory is Yours alone. Amen.” And so He did it….He preformed “My Modern Day Miracle” I got through it…hit every note…and made it back to my pew without fainting.

He reminded me of this when I read Jamie’s words.

He whispers again, “Do not fear.”

Yesterday was a low point for me.

I struggled hard.

He brought me to Hope for the Weary Mom.

They acknowledge a mother's job.

“Mothering demands body, soul, mind and heart. And when the work doesn’t pay off…when the pulling and tugging and coaxing and dragging and pushing and begging and praying don’t seem to change anything, we can be left empty, exhausted, worn down. Wanting to just give up. Weary.”

Here He tells me He understands about a life poured out. He teaches me that even Jesus grew tired. And when He did He withdrew the wilderness for prayer. (Luke 5:16)

He tells me of Peter, a man who was weary, yet he cast his net again. For Jesus. And Jesus met him there and filled that net with more than his boat could carry.

I hear Peter thoughts…Lord, I’ve fished all night, I’m tired, I don’t want to try again. But I will…for you Lord.

God has used these precious ladies at ModSquad to tell me that….my choice “to blow on the flame of hope one last time” could overflow my boat with success. They tell me He hurts with me, and that His plans for me are good.

He tells me…”Do Not Fear”

You see the bottom line is that I’ve been living in fear and didn’t even realize it. I’ve been praying for His will to be done in my life but in the back of my mind I’ve been giving Him this list of exceptions.

I’ve prayed for His will….prayed to be used by Him….told Him I’m His vessel….but all the while I’ve been scared to death that He’s actually going to follow through and really enlarge my territory. So I haven’t really prayed…”Give me all you got Lord.” Because truth is I’m afraid I can’t handle it.

But then that’s just it….isn’t it. It’s not about what “I” can handle. It’s not about “ME”. It’s all about HIM.

So here I am, saying…”I’m all in Lord. I’m scared to death, but I’m all in. I’m stepping out in faith. Ready for whatever You are going to equip me for.”

My guts are turned inside out at the thought of hitting publish on this post.

But my “ONE WORD” is FEARLESS. So here I go….

Walking in faith and not in fear,




  1. I loved this post, God really showed me alot about my own fears and trust issues in the past year. Now that you have your word, find an anchor verse that you can mediate on and recall when things get crazy!

  2. Wonderful post. And I love your word, fearless. I think it is awesome that you recognize that God may have moved you so that you have those long drives as time with Him.

  3. Sweet Tracey, I'm so proud of you! I can identify with so much of what you've said here - the paralyzing fear that God will choose to use me and I just won't measure up, that I'll let Him down. I'm so glad it's not about me (us), but all about Him and His glory and power.

    Thank you for sharing your fears and inviting Him to rock your world this year. Praying you'll live fearlessly in the strength of His might, my friend.

    (And about Kelly? Yeah, she's awesome. So glad you've discovered her, too!)


  4. Tracey, seriously, we are so connected somehow, in our thoughts. I so admire you for taking these things He places on your heart and doing something with them. I have read so many of the same words as you have, and it all overwhelms me so much that I just tuck them away in my heart not knowing what to do or where to go. Your thoughts about your word of 2012, the Hope for the Weary Mom, feeling fearful, defeated etc. etc.
    I have been thinking on these things so much this past week and all I have come up with is that I need to Be Present more and to do this (and to do so many other things) I need discipline. That's all I got. Not sure how to go about it or when or where or how. I just hate that it all overwhelms me so much.
    Anyhow...thank you for writing what has been on my hearts. Now, if you read something similar from me, please know that I am not copying! :)

  5. Sweet Sarah! My words are yours to share! They're God's words to me, and He didn't give them so that I would keep them to myself. Everytime I sit down to write, I pray that He would use my words...my life...to help someone. Even if it's just one. I could care less about blog stats. God will lead to this place, whomever He wants, whenever He wants.I pray it's a place where everyone feels welcome. Like we're gathered around the kitchen table having coffee, and no one minds the pile of dirty dishes in my sink. ;) Big hugs to you Sarah. We'll stumble through this life as partners in prayer, and sisters in Christ.

  6. GREAT word!!!

    Excited to see how HE develops it and you throughout 2012.

  7. Tracey, this is such a great post! I related with you so many times throughout the time I read it. Fear is my "biggie" that God has chiseled and molded bit by bit out of my life as I grow in Him. I know I'll never be completely free of this human tendency, but I know that we can find a healthy fear of Him in the process of overcoming the human kind. I get excited when I see other people working through this along with me! Praying for you!