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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Word

Hi Guys!

I have been blessed today with the privilege of guest posting over at Grace for My Mess..

Head on over there and check it out.

GraceforMyMess.com

Be sure to look around...read Jana's beautiful words. Words inspired by God.

Be sure to tell her I sent you!

Praying you all have a wonderfully, fulfilling, joy-filled, productive, God-glorifying day!

Walking His path,
Growing more thankful with every step,

Tracey
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Who Am I?

I've been rethinking my "About Me" today.

I realize that it tells the basics about me, my family, my ambitions, etc. However, I find myself asking, who am I really. Who is the "bottom line me"?

Here's what I came up with.

I'm a sinner saved by Grace.

A woman whose sins have been forgiven and forgotten. Cast as far as the East is from the West.

I'm a born again, Holy Spirit filled, child of God, daughter of the King of Kings.

I am clay in His hands.

I am His vessel. His servant.

I am a woman who believes in Jesus Christ, and believes that he was born of a virgin, died on a cross to pay the penalty for my sins, rose on the third day, is alive and seated at the right hand of the father.

The End.

"For God so loved the world that He gave Hid only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Friday, January 27, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Tender

 
Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we want to, not because we have to. We write for fun, for joy, for discovery.

We just write without worrying if it’s just write or not.

Won’t you join us?


1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on: TENDER







Tender is me choosing soft words. Grace words. Instead of giving into my flesh, that is naturally hardened.

Tender is the heart of my children. Hearts that are learning. Learning, I pray, to be loving…to be compassionate…to be filled with Jesus.

Tender are the hands of Jesus that offer us Grace and Mercy.

Tender are our feelings when we open up to our Savior. To this opening of hearts and feelings He brings with Him His own tenderness. He brings His unfathomable love, compassion, and healing.

Stop.


Embracing Tenderness Today,

Tracey
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Home Again



I saw a face yesterday.

A familiar face, yet not.

It was a face that has been changed from the inside out.

Transformed by the Holy Spirit.

A sweet face that I’ve seen in my minds eye, as I’ve prayed, but not been able to see in person.

Yesterday was the day.

Oh what a glorious surprise it was!

My friend who had been lost…

My friend that only God Himself could find…

My friend that is healed and whole…

My friend that has been delivered and set free…

My friend came home.

Praise God! She’s home again!

The prodigal daughter, returned.

And Praise God, our precious church family chose to take on the role of the forgiving father, and not that of the bitter brother.

Yesterday I saw the family of God, open their arms and welcome my friend home. It was a beautiful thing to behold.

I witnessed the love of God in action.

He put feet on God’s love yesterday.

This burly, six footer. This steely, guarded, man of few words. He put feet on God’s love, and in the midst of the congregation singing our praise to God, he moved those feet.

From my bird’s eye view in the choir loft, I watched as He moved those servant feet to the place where my friend stood. What I saw next can only be described as God in this man’s flesh wrapping His arms around my sweet friend. It was the biggest, most genuine hug that I’ve ever seen. He opened his arms and welcomed our lost sheep home.

The moment was brief, yet it all transpired in slow motion for me and tears flowed warm. They were tears of joy, tears of praise and thanksgiving. The scene before me was God’s gift to me. His answer to my prayer.

It’s been a long year for my friend and her family. But they’ve fought the good fight, kept the faith, and praise God they’ve come to the other side of their storm as victors in Christ Jesus.

Do you have a prodigal son/daughter, sister/brother, husband/wife, mother/father in your life today?

Are you taking on the role of the father or are you struggling with the role of the bitter brother?

Give it to Jesus friends.



Rejoicing today,

Tracey

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Fight

Hello out there!

Anybody else out there fighting for their family?

I’m in the fight, and right now I’m feeling pretty battered.

I have a confession.

For a while now, I’ve been focusing on MY time with God. I’VE been spending time with God. Time in His Word. Reading, praying, and communing. Your probably saying, “Yeah, so what’s wrong with that?” Well, the thing is, while I’ve been getting MYSELF in the Word, I’ve let our families devotion time go lacking. Ok, I’m being honest here, so I’ll just lay it out there and tell you that it’s been over a year since I’ve sat down and had a devotion with my girls. Man, that sounds a whole lot worse in print.

I’ve talked to God about this and He is showing me how to reclaim family devotions….how to fight for my family.

So we started last night.

I had my devotion all ready. I even printed out a color sheet for little bit so that she could follow along. I got them all rounded up and ready. I started by apologizing to them for not upholding my responsibility to teach them God’s Word. For not being the spiritual leader to them that I need to be. I’m pouring my heart out to them and then it starts.

KP 2 says, “Hey mom can I read the lesson tonight. Can I read the verses? I really want to read. Can I? Can I?”

KP 1...”Be quiet and let mama talk. You always interrupt!”

KP 3...”I gotta pee!”

ME….(out loud) “SIGH” (in my head) “AAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!”

It was down hill from there.

I did however, manage to get the scripture read. I got the point of the verse across to them. We had questions, we had answers.

Bottom line.

We read God’s Word together. We shared. We prayed together. We strengthened our family.

I went to battle last night. It was a battle for my family. And although I came out feeling battered... through God’s strength I came out the victor.

I’m fighting for them now, so that later on, they will be able to fight for themselves.

 
Lord, help me live a balanced life. A life that honors and exalts only You.

Gratefully receiving His Grace,
Tracey
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday's Prayer

I come to You Lord. Leaning into You. My soft place to fall. Burying my face in You. Bringing You my heartache and my tears.

I bring You the offering of myself. As little as it is.

I come interceding for my family. For my husband. For my girls.

I come seeking guidance, seeking words, seeking wisdom.

Help me Lord to balance these circus acts of motherhood and wifehood.

I’m struggling to balance feeding myself on Your Word, and helping my children learn to feed on Your Word.

Help me teach them Lord.

Help me to show them how seek refuge in You.

As I learn that You are all I need, help me to translate that to them.

Create in their hearts a desire to know you more.

You know the trials I face Lord.

I thank You that You are for me Lord. (Romans 8:31)

I thank You that when ever I need to hear from You, all I have to do is open Your Word.

Thank You for meeting me here.

I thank You that even when I don’t know what to pray that Jesus is there making intercession for me. (Romans 8:26)

Lord deliver my loved ones from the burdens they are unnecessarily carrying with them. Give them spirits of compassion and understanding.

Help us to see past the here and now.

Help us to count it all joy.

Help us to eagerly await Your coming.

“For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Romans 824-25)



In the Precious Name of Jesus I Pray,

Amen.

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,

Tracey

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