Tag Archives: Praise

True Life

Do you know how a certain song can grab hold of you & hit those areas that no one else sees? That happens to me often with contemporary praise & worship music.

Living life, learning hard lessons, finding hope & creating lyrics for it. It’s like a Psalm turned into a modern song. Words that cause your heart to fill with His peace as you reach your arms to the heavens and worship the Father with deep awe and adoration. Reminders that our life belongs to Him, first & foremost.

Only Jesus by Casting Crowns is one of these songs for me.

I’ve heard many mixed messages about the meaning of life. Dreams are being chased while people are left behind. Trophies and medals that once held value now collect dust and are forgotten as time rushes forward. Moments are wasted on earthly things and relationships suffer. Wants are invested in only to find out they are temporary desires that quickly lose their importance. Bibles are left on the shelf, tables are rarely set for a meal, family members are apart more than they’re together. Days turn into months and then years. The latest trends in clothes, books, movies, music & technology pull people away from what really matters. It’s chaos.

People are still people, no matter what era you live in. What you value might change with the times but why you value things doesn’t. That comes from the heart. We have a world full of endless distractions. The reason we allow ourselves to be pulled in so many directions goes right back to the why. I think that’s something most of us would rather avoid thinking about. I know I would.

If you saw a movie reel of your life from childhood to today, what would you see? What have you committed yourself to?

For me, I know I’ve wasted a lot of time chasing falsehoods that the world offered. Time I won’t get back. A hard question I have to ask myself is— what does my life point to? If the Lord called me home today, would people remember me or would they remember that I loved Jesus? I pray it’s Jesus.

In Christ Alone,

Tracy

The Word of God is our sword–

Isaiah 26:3-4        Philippians 4:8       1 John 1:9       1 Corinthians 10:13

True Gratitude

Life can leave you feeling like you’ve been kicked in the face. I hear ya. Thank goodness for the promises of God to stand on! I’ve been doing a whole lotta standing.

I skipped writing this year on dates I normally write about. It’s not that I didn’t have the words. It’s more like I didn’t know what to do with them.

Written words are a way to express the raw emotions that change us at the core. I guess my ability to express was on silent.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I remember the first Thanksgiving after the accident & how hard it was to face that day but how thankful I was for the children I still had on earth. It was a different type of thankfulness. A new kind. Thankfulness that can only come with deep loss.

The Lord placed four in my care. One he kept. One he took home.

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They aren’t little anymore. I wish I knew then what it’s taken me years to learn. I wish I had an ounce of understanding on what true gratitude was. Oh, how I wish.

What I had were roots of ingratitude. I’m grateful the Lord is showing me now how to humble myself & confess my need to Jesus. He has planted the seed on what it looks like to be a radically thankful person.

Colossians 2:6-7

I can tell you, I had no idea what roads I would walk from last year’s Thanksgiving to this year’s. No one really knows, right?!

Time doesn’t stand still. It moves whether I’m ready or not. I’ve been picking up pieces all year. Pieces of the puzzle I thought I was working on. Only to find out that not only did God have something else planned but I didn’t even have the right puzzle.

Jesus is the healer of all. I haven’t done any of this alone. He’s with me as I reach for each piece on the ground. Some pieces I wanted to leave right where they were but He bent down with me & helped me pick it up.

The piece of forgiveness. Gratitude. Grace.

Hurts can strangle gratefulness right out of a person if we’re measuring with the wrong things. Don’t let it happen. Please, don’t lose hope because of your circumstances. Shift your thoughts to Him. It’s the only way.

I know it’s hard to forgive. It stinks to be thankful when all you thought was real wasn’t. Extending grace might seem impossible but you can do it! Follow the example of the Savior.

Praise helps! His Word helps! Psalm 103 helps!

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I’ve decided that the best way to share what I’m learning about gratitude is to be vulnerable & show you a tiny bit of what I’ve written while studying what real gratitude is. Here goes……

I need to let the Lord speak to me through His Word (that means being in it), respond to Him in humility, obedience & seek true gratitude. Jesus is there to start my day & WILL light my way IF I seek Him first. Christ’s words are rich & need to be alive in my heart. I have no wisdom. Wisdom comes from pouring God’s Word over my wicked heart.

I need to love what I see IN JESUS more than I ever have. I need to really draw close & look.

As I grow in faith, I don’t rise to the next level. I actually drop down, more & more, until I’m on my knees……..

Being thankful, really thankful, as in grateful beyond words is way more than the thanks I half hearted gave. Being grateful is not an option. It doesn’t matter what’s happened this past year or in the days to come.

My joy & hope don’t have a earthy source. I have moments of joyful times but that’s something different. The joy I’m talking about comes from Christ. Jesus deserves honor & praise. He lives in me so I can be who he’s called me to be. His divine enabling is how I can live a life always being thankful.

True thankfulness has roots in the King. My spilled puzzle pieces are nothing. He already has it figured out anyway. I might not understand it but that’s ok. I TRUST HIM.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

I’d change a thousand things but I can’t. I’d skip over many learning lessons & hurts but I can’t. It’s how the Lord has decided to teach me.

Maybe you don’t know what to do with your scattered puzzle either. It’s ok. He knows. Ask Him for help & offer him a thankful heart. I’ll be the one next to you opening another puzzle box.

Lets worship His holy name together,

Tracy

#rootsofhealing #thanksgiving #gratitude

What If

How important is trust to you? Is it a deal breaker? A relationship destroyer?

  • What if someone hid things from you?
  • What if someone lied not only to you but about you?
  • What if someone deceived you?
  • What if someone close to you shared your confidences?
  • What if  someone you cared about seriously wronged you?
  • What if you got hurt over & over again by the same person?

What if that someone is your spouse, parent, child, mentor, friend or a respected person in authority? Does that alter your answer any?

Let’s switch up the questions a bit.

  • What if there’s unanswered prayer?
  • What if you can’t hear God anymore?
  • What if you feel abandoned & left all alone?
  • What if no one is hearing you?
  • What if you’ve been in a season of waiting for a really long time?
  • What if you’ve suffered deep losses?

I could add in pages & pages of what if’s & I’d probably still miss a bunch. What if? What would you do? What should you do? Is there really anything to do?

I think the real question here is trust. For me, trust is super important. A trustworthy person is like a treasure. ~ Proverbs 21:3 ~ Trust & forgiveness are usually found together.

Being able to trust after hurtful situations can be so difficult. Are any of us completely trustworthy? If we’re honest, the answer is no. We all let people down in one way or another. The only one that doesn’t is Christ.

In steps forgiveness.

Choosing to forgive like Jesus forgives isn’t something I can do on my own. I can, however, do it through him. It’s another layer of dying to self & living in Christ. The Lord tells me I must forgive as much as I’ve been forgiven. That’s a huge immeasurable amount.

Forgiveness might seem easier if there weren’t feelings involved but they are & there’s no way to change that. The truth is, forgiveness is surrounded by emotions but it’s not a feeling in itself. It’s a decision. My feelings are usually stumbling blocks against forgiving anyway.

A wise person shared with me that forgiveness is daily. DAILY.

You might be thinking, ” I can’t, you don’t understand.” You’re absolutely right, I can’t either & no, I don’t completely understand but I can relate to a certain degree. I’ve had some things in my lifetime, let me tell ya. Oh, I’ve had some things.

The good news is, He knows I can’t. HE CAN! Forgiveness is possible through & with Him. He sends the right people, books, scripture verses, worship songs, devotionals, pulpit teachings, podcasts, emails, texts & whatever else he desires to use for guidance. He never abandons. I’m the one that can refuse to listen or turn away in rebellion.

Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting but it does mean releasing. I don’t have the right to hold anyone in chains. What actually happens is I chain myself in an internal prison. With God’s grace I can choose to not obsess about the hurt. I can have freedom. Not one ounce of this is possible without God.

Broken trust is a hard one for me. I’ve been studying on forgiveness like crazy & it’s not over. I need more of God’s Word to wash over my heart. I need Him to break me. Sorting out the differences between hurt & needing to forgive can get murky in my mind. It can take awhile but thankfully the Lord is patient with me.

At the end of the day can I change any of the what if’s that occur in my own life? No, not even close but I can change me with His help. It’s in the moments of coming to the end of myself & deep hurt that I finally open my tightly clenched fists & lay my hands out to Jesus. My flesh driven pride battles with my desire for humility.

You see, they can’t reside together. If I’m trying to be the lord of my own life then I no longer remain humble in the one true King. A prideful heart justifies actions. A humble heart can forgive & focuses on justification through Jesus Christ. Oh Lord, may you gift me with your humbleness.

What can be done to heal from broken trust? There is Worship! Lord, may I roar the praises of Your glory in worship. ~ Psalm 103  ~

There is Prayer! Lord, help me to pray for those who have hurt me. ~Mark 11:25 ~

Worship & prayer can soften the heart. Devoted worship can saturate the hurts in truth. All in. Complete surrender.

There is His Word! Ephesians 4…Lord, may it soak into me! Luke 6…Lord, may I meditate on it day & night!

Whatever you do, don’t give up! There is hope! Always hope! Hope in Him, in his Word & in his plan.

I’m right here with you. Forgiveness takes supernatural effort. I think it’s time, don’t you? May our actions not grieve the Holy Spirit.

In Christ,

Tracy

 

– I understand that some what if’s are way more serious than what I mentioned & I’m truly sorry if you have experienced any.