Tag Archives: Trust

Anchor

I went for a walk down the lane to clear my head and have some quiet time with the Lord.

Right away I noticed how cracked & hard the ground is from a lack of rain. Things tend to make more sense when we see a cause and effect situation with our eyes, but what about when we can’t.

Everyone has circumstances surrounding them this very second. Some have simple explanations, like a lack of rain & others don’t. It’s the ‘others’ that can be such a struggle.

Lord, help us not to just see our circumstances, but to search for You in them.

I’d guess the plants I was walking by have pretty shallow roots. Ever since the seed went in the ground, the rains have halted. Plants need a deep watering to have deep roots.

It’s like us. If I only sprinkle my day with a quick prayer & a few verses then my roots don’t have much to draw on. I need a daily downpour to have roots that can anchor me in His strength.

Colossians 2:6-7 

anchor

The hope of Jesus is an anchor for our soul. I believe that with every ounce of everything in me. I can sink myself into His entire being to find hope.

Hebrews 6:19

Sweet friend, are your days hard right now? All I can offer is…Jesus. Please reach for the only One that can ease the pain. There is nothing else. Only Jesus. He fully understands.

It’s in the vast areas of water that anchors need to be mighty to go into the depths. During our stormiest times, we have an anchor unlike no other. He is the Great I AM!

Are you anchored in Him?

God’s Word is the rope that attaches us to the Anchor. Worship. Prayer. Scripture Meditation…each is a strand that adds to this indestructible rope.

It’s in the most uncertain times that growth happens. The hard ground & cracks of life can be used to bring Him glory.

Will you join me in trusting Him with the unseen’s & searching for Him in the midst?

Adopted by Him,

Tracy

 

 

 

 

Entrusting the One

There will be days, months…even years that shake you.

The unexpected can leave you—

facing each day with the same raw realities, climbing out of bed with weights on your heart & feet. Sunrise bringing new mercies that you desperately need, but the heaviness…oh, the heaviness.

It’s a hard place to be.

I can honestly say, I’m probably two steps ahead or behind you…traveling a road I never wanted to be on. I’m fairly certain more roads are to come. Until the Lord takes me home, there’s going to be rough paths here & there.

Strahlengang 3

Do you know what the good news is in all of that? I don’t travel alone. He doesn’t abandon His own. Ever.

The day that He opened the door & embraced me- sin stained, rebellious, prideful, broken, lost me…is the moment I gained a forever Father. Jesus fully loves me. So much that He died for me.

It’s because of all that He is that I can strap His sandals over mine & journey on.

If I’m carrying too many other things, I can’t fully hold onto Him. My grip will loosen on something. It can’t be Him.

So what do we do when the heaviness of the load becomes too much? Eventually, I let go—

entrusting people & situations to the One who set me free is the best possible thing I can do. I can’t handle the choices of others. I can’t change losses. I can’t heal hurts. I can’t prevent things from happening. I wasn’t created to do any of that.

The losses…I entrust to Him.

The pain & hurt…I lay at His feet.

The unimaginable…I surrender.

I don’t do it perfectly.  Even my letting go is messy & that’s OK. He knows I’m still learning. Still growing. It’s when I don’t let go that it’s not OK. If I hang on too tight or too long then the weights get heavier & I start sinking.

How do I know this? Because I’ve done it.

I wish I could give you step by step instructions, but I can’t. The letting go process has no time table. There’s no ‘right way’. All I can offer is stay close to Him, His Word, prayer & you’ll know when it’s time. The Holy Spirit will guide you.

‘Letting go’ is a phrase that’s misused by many. The thing is, with letting go, I have to be ready. It can’t be forced. Do you know what, “I have to be ready means?” It means I fully turn to the Lord, fully trust Him, fully release my wounds into his Hands. Fully.

Bumps will come. I don’t know what or when they’ll be or who will be involved. When it’s a child or someone very close to you, those unexpected’s can feel like someone dropped a load of bricks on your chest. There is just no way to prepare.

I entrust it all to the only One who can help. I need help. Always. When the season of unexpected is long, I need even more of His help. I can’t make sense of certain things. What I can do is let Him chisel away at the parts of me that need to go, so not only can I survive, but actually thrive.

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It’s a special type of thriving. Everything tends to stay “messy” on the outside, but a ray of His light rises up hope inside. He lifts a few of the weights off & I roll out of bed, onto my knees and offer Him the day.

Lord, please use my life for Your glory. May I rest in Your endless mercies. Continue to bring restoration according to Your will. I know there’s a divine purpose for all of this. I trust You, even if I never see the end result.

Eternally His,

Tracy

 

 

Waves

Recently, I was looking at an old picture of my boys jumping in some waves. When I glance at that picture, I want to scoop up all my kids & run to the only safe place there is. Straight into the arms of Jesus. Proverbs 18:10

Lake Michigan provided the best salt free waves ever. It also produced a lot of angst in my mama heart from the shoreline. I knew the undertow was always a threat to their safety.

Those days seem so long ago. I stared at it for quite awhile remembering how much fun they had. Eventually, I couldn’t see past my tears. One simple picture is a reminder of so much loss.

The baby that was on the beach with me is getting ready to turn sixteen. Each of the boys reached adulthood. All of them experienced life waves that crashed over much harder than any lake ever could. The powerlessness I felt from the shore was nothing compared to how helpless I’ve been to spare my children from the dangers of the world.

It’s funny how as a parent, you think you can protect your kids. Reality is, we’re just as human as they are. I can provide, teach, try to prepare them, and set up safeguards. I can’t actually fully protect anyone. There’s only one Savior & he is the ultimate Protector.

As my faith continued to grow, I realized the best thing I could do for my kids was get on my knees. Two things should happen at the birth of a baby. Parents should be given knee pads for all the praying that’ll take place & little ones should receive a seat belt for the bumps ahead. 

One of the challenges of becoming a believer in my adult years was trying to guide my kids at the same time I was learning. The very ones He entrusted me with & placed in my care are the ones I failed the most. Waves have shown me who’s ways are truly trustworthy.

Pointing them in the right direction meant pointing them to Christ. My trust in Him far outweighs my certainty in anything else. I wish I could say that I did it perfectly, but I was no where near.

My kids had a broken mom…but they had a perfect Savior. I prayed He would fill in all my gaps while they were under my care. There’s only one left in the house now & I’m still broken. On earth, I’ll always be broken. But not Jesus. He is still perfect…forever perfect.

Jesus redeems everything. In His time & in His way. Broken people. Hurts. Losses. All of it. That…my friend…brings me hope.

lake michigan waves

The wave jumping days are memories now. Good ones. If I close my eyes, I can hear the sound of laughter & yells over the roar of the water. I’m grateful for that. When I open my eyes, I see the remains of the reality that was to come. All I can say is…”It is well with my soul.”

Life will always have hidden undertows- in & out of the water. Waves of many sizes will come our way. The Almighty is the only place to find shelter. Psalm 91:1-2  

Rocks & sand collide in the turmoil of waves, and create smooth objects. It’s an image of being refined. We can experience deep pain as each wave rolls over us. The end result is a transformation that has His fingerprints all over it. We’re being made new.

None of us can stop waves. What we can do is call out to Him, reach up & grab his mighty hand! He’s right there in the midst!

Praising Him,

Tracy

 

 

True Hope

When I was younger, I had a different definition for hope. It was a desire, a wish.

True hope couldn’t be further from that. The longer I live, the more I learn about what hope is & what it isn’t.

Hope isn’t found in situations or desires. Real hope is found in the Savior.

My worldly understanding for hope was based on the dictionary, and occasionally I still use it that way depending on what I’m talking about.

When my identity was placed in Jesus, a new hope arose. The hope of the bible surfaced. This true hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised. The strength of this hope is rooted in faith & His faithfulness. From His hope flows joy & peace. Absolutely none of it has to do with circumstances.

The word ‘hope’ always seems to pop up. I’m currently finishing a 10 day challenge on hope. I need reminders of true hope & the freedom that’s found there. Day to day struggles try to crowd out His truths. The battle never ceases. It’s so important to keep pouring His Word over the lies.

True hope is a healing hope. 

Hope can’t be missing or well meaning words shared by another lack encouragement. Let me explain-

I’m a note taker (an actual pen & paper one 😉 ) and I often refer back to my notes. In the last four months, I’ve had a wide variety of voices speaking at me, to me & into me. The ones with messages that include His hope are life giving & transforming. I’m convicted to receive the truths shared & challenged to go study more. It’s an atmosphere for growth.

If true hope is missing…then not so much.

hope

People are hurting. You might even be hurting right now. We need His hope. We need to share this special hope with others.

He is the Healer of all things. He is the hope bringer. This type of hope is one that can’t be crushed by anything that happens. This hope is how we stand in ‘hopeless’ situations.

I pray you know this hope.

There is hope in…

  • His steadfastness- his ways never change & are always true
  • His protection & shelter
  • His sovereignty
  • His commands, guidance & truth
  • His Word
  • His goodness & promises
  • His saving love
  • Who He is- reflecting on His mercies each day & night
  • His good judgement & knowledge
  • His mercy & grace
  • HIM

Psalm 33:20-22             Titus 3:4-7             Psalm 62:5

Cling to His hope, dear friend…cling.

Resting in Him alone,

Tracy

 

 

 

His Healing Power

Have you ever experienced moments of regret so deep that you felt like it could swallow you?

Oh dear friend, I have. I’m gonna be honest…it’s not a good place to be. 

Every day there’s a fountain of living water I can drink. It’s found in God’s Word. Prayer. Quiet time with Him. Laying my burdens down. In the rush of life,  I often find myself thirsty. I take in drops instead of His healing flow.

John 4:10-14       Psalm 63:1-8

When I “hurry”, I’m vulnerable to old habits. My thoughts & words shift back to the very sin nature that Jesus died for. The enormity of that hurts my heart. Not nearly as much as it must hurt His.

The old me is where regret seeds were first planted. I made bad choice after bad choice. Distorted thinking was the residual that surfaced after I got married & had kids. I thought I could protect my children from life. I convinced myself that with the “right tools” in place they would be spared from regrets & totally forgot they had their own human nature. That “need” to protect only created more mistakes which lead to more remorse.

The closest we can get to doing relationships anywhere near just right is by exampling what we believe instead of just saying it. That realization usually arrives too late & we’re left with thoughts of, “I wish I had/hadn’t….” There are tears of sadness….and rightly so. Mistakes hurt.

Psalm 73:26

Change can’t happen with yesterday’s but it can be part of today. 

Regrets are one of the first things to flood in & try to steal the truths I hold close. I have at least twelve U Haul trailers full. I unhitched & parked them a long time ago but every now & again I try to pull a wagon full behind me.

Have you ever had them creep in out of nowhere? That’s how the enemy works. He whispers lies to saved souls trying to draw us back into darkness. I don’t know about you, but if I’m tired out, weary or in a heavy season of sorrow, those regrets can pull me right down into a puddle of sobs.

When those lies start coming…turn away & lean toward the Truth. We have a victorious King who already won. That’s where real power is found. He can & will break every chain.

Josh Baldwin released a new song that points to this power. Here are a few of the lyrics–

Stand in Your Love by Josh Baldwin

When darkness tries to roll over my bones
When sorrow comes to steal the joy I own
When brokenness and pain is all I know
I won’t be shaken, no, I won’t be shaken

Shame no longer has a place to hide
I am not a captive to the lies
I’m not afraid to leave my past behind
Oh, I won’t be shaken, no, I won’t be shaken!

There’s power that can break off every chain
There’s power that can empty out a grave
There’s resurrection power that can save
There’s power in Your name, power in Your name!

We all have hard stories to tell, don’t we? Life changing phone calls, core-shaking actions, images revealed, devastating decisions made by trusted loved ones, tragedies, abuse, addiction, mistakes, abandonment. There can be deep, deep sadness surrounding these things, but it’s not the end of the story.

Please hear me…the Lord can bring purpose out of pain. He really can. It takes time, but it’s more than possible. Handing the shattered pieces over to Jesus is where healing starts. The old is no longer our identity.

The power that can break any chain is the same power that fear flees from. His mighty power will hold us in His love. His perfect love. He offers it to us…the imperfect. The very same us that cost Him his life.

That fountain I mentioned? It’s always there. Let’s grab a cupful and thirst no more.

Forever in his mercy,
Tracy
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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

OK

“How are you?” – “I’m Ok” – “How are you doing?” – “I’m good”….and so it goes. The greeting so many of us use & hear.

I became a follower of Christ in my adult years & one thing that’s always present at every church we’ve attended is the ‘how are you’ small talk question. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. I lean toward the introvert personality type so it’s a helpful ice breaker for me to initiate conversation with.

I believe there are caring people genuinely asking & desiring to know how someone is. Sadly, it’s also turned into a passerby statement. I wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed to really hear someone’s heart by participating in this dialogue circle. How many times have I robbed myself of wise council by not sharing how I really am?

Just because I walk into a church building doesn’t mean I’m OK. The church is not full of people who are OK. It’s quite the opposite. Maybe if we were vulnerable with the truth then more people would want to join us at church. I, for one, can testify that I don’t have it all together…not even close.

Even more so, I never had it together.

A church building is where believers gather but it’s not the church. The church is a body of believers from all over who realize they aren’t OK, have humbled themselves, repented & handed their lives over to Jesus Christ as Lord. I’m grateful the Father gifted me with being among this group.

I recently heard this song from We Are MessengersI’ve listened to it a few times now & looked at the lyrics. (Listened as in tested how loud the radio can go in my vehicle 😉 ) He may as well be describing me. Every ounce of so many things I’ve experienced in my life left me not OK. Each time. Each event. Before Jesus & after.

I realize these are two very different types of OK. There are days that I’m weary from circumstances & don’t feel OK. There’s also the me before Christ & I was not even close to being OK. I was as lost as lost could be. I had no idea what that even meant back then, I just knew something was missing. I was empty inside & trying to fill that emptiness with worldly things.

My life before Jesus was messy & hard. It was loaded with hurt & sin. After Jesus, it’s still messy & hard BUT in a different way. I’m not hopeless anymore. I know I’m being held by the One who took my sins & made me whole. He washed me clean & that’s huge for someone who always felt dirty from shame.

The chains of shame are hard to break free from. I could never have done it on my own. It was all Jesus. There are times when the enemy still tries to use my past in an attempt to pull me back into shame. Shame runs deep, but His grace runs much, much deeper.

Every Christmas I’m reminded of who I was & who I am now. I understand why there’s Christmas. Christ came for people who aren’t OK. He’s stronger than sin. He is CHRISTmas. 

It’s from not being OK that I can fully appreciate all that He’s saved me from.

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1 John & Romans 5 explain so much better why Jesus was born. God had a plan. He always has a plan. Christmas was & is a wide open window for us to see a piece of it.

Do you want to take a look inside that plan? Are you ready to entrust your life to Him? He welcomes the not OK’s. There’s no false promises of a perfect life without pain but there is a Savior who loves you so much that He came to earth to die in your place. His Christmas gift is all we ever need.

Saved by His sacrifice,

Tracy

 

Derailed

I’m in my happy place- papers, real genuine lined paper….sprawled all over the place. Full of notes….real penned notes. Gloriousness!

I have a story to tell you about how a morning conversation, affirmations, trains, callings & a daughter who put a visual to an area of my life all collided at my kitchen table. Here we go….

I was derailed! Gods perfect plan & timing can never be altered by us. He knows exactly when we’re ready & when we’re not. I had lots of circumstances that played a part in my derailment, but He allowed it because He knew I needed it.

Have you ever been derailed?

It can happen to any of us when we start listening to the wrong voices, ourselves included. The Lord is the Divine Director. People shouldn’t tell people what they are called to, or gifted in. That job belongs to the Holy Spirit.

A saying that I like to tell my daughter is, “Remember Who’s you are.” Maybe I should have been telling myself the same thing. I firmly believe there are precious believers who share godly truths. Unfortunately, there’s also some who don’t speak helpful words.

1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 “But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (NLT)

God gifts His children with abilities. As His church, we should be encouraging each other & be available for the Spirit to use us.  What if a piece of God’s discernment plan is to be used by Him to reveal someones calling. When we speak words like, “Why are you doing that, that makes no sense, it’s not my thing, I don’t get it, I’m not seeing it,” then we’ve risked stripping precious hope from someone.

It’s OK to not fully understand or relate with someone else’s gifting, but it’s not OK to tear them down. That’s not being the body. Sometimes, the less we say, the better. Encouragement should flow easier off our lips.

Ephesians 4 

Ephesians 4:15-16 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (NLT) 

Too many are trying to….. take on the role of God the Father. They push God aside, barge through doors & offer their solutions as the right way…..take on the position of God the Holy Spirit. They push past the Spirit, inform others what their calling is, isn’t & what they should do with their life….take on the job of God the Son. They bypass Jesus, offer a life line and saving grace to clean up/fix the supposed mess they see in others. This whole thing causes major relationship damage & can derail people from their calling. We don’t have the power to decide what Kingdom work people are supposed to do with their life.

God has already done that.

Romans 12:6-8 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (NLT)

His call on our life is exactly that….His call.

For so long I thought I had one gift. One calling. I placed the other in a “helping hobby” category. I’ve tried so hard to keep them separate. Two trains roaring down the track of my life. Every time I withheld effort & time from one, the other would slow down as well. So I would flip them, thinking I had heard God wrong. Same result. Sometimes, I stopped pouring into both all together.

I would head down another track, usually out of guilt-ed obligation. Good serving opportunities, but not what I’m gifted in. They were distractions from what I was supposed to be doing. I thought it was a real track, when in fact, it was actually placed there by the enemy to pull me away from the ministry work that God equipped me for. The cross I thought I saw at the end was nothing more than a disguised vapor.

I’ve tried keeping these two callings apart for so long that my focus got cloudy. The Lord has used many things in the past month to clear up my vision. I don’t have the full picture because that’s not how God works. He shows a piece of the track at a time. What I now know is that the trains are actually connected. They are both headed to the cross!

The hand cart is ministry serving that the Lord has called me to for a season. A seasonal calling. It’s to help strengthen me. To teach me. To show me how to dig my roots deep into Him. It requires a lot of effort but it’s necessary. It goes in front & clears the path.

Obstacles on the road to the cross can be painful. They seem so big, nearly impossible to move. I’m telling ya….detours. I can’t move them. I have to go around, making sure to stay in the cross boundary lines, all the while experiencing some pretty hard things.

Detours aren’t easy but, we can’t become like Christ without them.

I’m excited to have a visual for my journey. What a gift Jaelynn has given me. I have no idea when these train cars will hitch together. I’m trusting that in His time, he’ll make it happen. For now, I can finally see that they are connected. I couldn’t see that before. No more wasting precious time thinking of one only as a hobby.

Thank you, Lord, for showing me Your truth, Your way. Thank you for lifting some of the fog & leading me forward!

You better believe I’ll be holding onto this sketch forever, especially when the enemy starts tossing lies at me.

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A calling is always used to bring glory to the Father. It’s never about us or to be used for selfish gain. That’s not a calling. We have talents & things we enjoy doing that can possibly be used in our calling but it’s not the same thing. The end goal of a calling is the cross.

A calling is where we use our God given gifts.

What is your calling? Are you headed to the cross? Maybe, like me, you have two things connected. What fills you with passion? What energizes you? What do you get re-fueled by even when you’re bone tired & have nothing left?

Don’t ever let anyone steal the joy & hope that God laid on your heart about this. His Word tells us that he gifted us all differently. Lets bring our gifts together & be the church!

Always in His Hope,

Tracy

The Ache of Loss

Losses are hard. There are so many layers to it. Death, in itself, has amounts unimaginable. Loss of their life & having them be part of ours. Physical losses of hearing their voice, seeing their face, touching their skin. Losses of dreams, of sharing everyday milestones together. Just plain loss.

A loss is an ache from what is missing. 

Losses can also happen from things other than death. Loss can be ushered in from another’s decisions. I guess instead of writing about where losses stem from that maybe I should just share the ache of loss. It is an ache, a deep hurt inside that others can rarely see.

I’m going to zoom in on mama’s & loss. I’ve had more conversations lately with moms who have suffered losses. You just have no idea how many there are. If you’ve lost a child to death or have one who walked away then this blog is for you. Please hear my heart…I’m so sorry you’re walking this road of ache. There’s a bond we have with our children from the moment they are formed inside of us & our love for them is endless. An abrupt severing of that bond is not easy to recover from.

Life has events that we can’t see coming or stop from happening. There are accidents, tragedies & hurtful choices. There’s no way to emotionally prepare for the death of a child. There’s no way to prepare for when one abandons you either.

I go to Psalm 34 a lot. God’s Word has a special way of easing my aches. Verse 18 brings me so much hope because I know that no matter how much sorrow I feel, the Lord is oh so near. People may leave but the Father never does. Not ever.

Psalm 34:18

Me & water are like two peas in a pod. I could stare at it for hours & listen to the sounds of the waves. For me, it’s a visual on the vastness of “stuff” when circumstances seem like un-climbable mountains . I calm when I see all that He created. He spoke the water into existence. He sees & knows everything that I don’t. He is bigger than my mind can grasp. I can’t bring any of my children back. He knows each situation & it’s all in His hands. Which is way better than any of it being in mine.

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What do I do with the ache of losses? I meet with my Savior. I pour my heart out to Him. Sometimes I just sit in His presence & cry. I pray & I trust & I pray & I trust some more. There’s no formula to follow. There’s no timeline to stick to. There’s ache. Pure, raw, heartbreaking ache. Goodness, He knows it’s there so I don’t have to put on any falsehoods. He knows when my chest feels like a bomb went off. He knows when I could drop to the ground & sob for hours so why would I pretend like it wasn’t there. He already knows.

Spending time in my bible is comforting for me. It’s where I collide with the Comforter. His Word is what never changes. There are so many things around me that change. I need His steadiness. His security. I need Him.

I say Psalm 19:14 at the start of each day. These losses can threaten to pull me away from God or draw me closer to Him. I try to lean in closer. My words, my actions, my thoughts all determine how I’ll walk through each new day. I can’t change situations or losses but I sure can try to live in a way that honors Him. I’ll never be perfect at it but my desire is there.

Psalm 19:14

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You know how I love the water? Well, I’m a huge fan of God’s handiwork in the sky too. I try to pause & look at each sunset & sunrise. I might not be able to see the Lord, yet, but I can enjoy His masterpieces in creation. He promises to uphold what is His. His strength is perfect strength.

I can’t be afraid of the what if’s. All I can do is embrace the right now’s. 

Isaiah 41:10

Oh dear friend, I know it hurts. We love our kids so much. Don’t give up on your prodigal. Stay on your knees for them. Don’t let anyone tell you to stop grieving the loss of your child, no matter how many years it’s been. There is no set time frame for grief. The ache of loss is real. Not many understand that, but I do. Some days have a stronger sense of hope than others. Hopelessness will try to shackle you in its chains. Run, limp if you have to, but stay close to the real hope of Christ.

Always His,

Tracy

A Certain Kind of Hope

I saw something online today that caught my eye. I haven’t been able to shake it & it’s not the first time I’ve seen this. Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. The world wide web. It’s not always pretty. Eye opening but by no means pretty.

A health post poised as a question of interest. This one was on essential oils. I started reading some of the comments & had to stop. It was like watching bees on honey. Hungry bees. Desperate bees. Fighting bees.

Two things that had the biggest impact on me-

  1. I never want to be like that.
  2. It shouldn’t be like that.

I don’t have a problem with network marketing if it’s the right company with a good structure. I actually like the idea if it’s legit. I didn’t know an awful lot about it before but I’ve learned more over the past 5 years. Now I notice it. The online interaction & promoting catches my eye. Ha, occasionally it makes me close my eyes!

My heart gets heavy when I watch some people in network marketing. There really are genuine people loving their product, sticking with it for years & years sharing what they love. I LIKE THAT. Experienced product users that get positive results guiding & teaching interested people is a good thing. The hard part is that’s not what you always see.

It’s easy to spot the get rich quick salespeople. I’m totally OK with sales if that’s what you’re gifted at & passionate about. Integrity sales. I’m not OK with the number chasers, in store or out. The ones who plow over people, including their friends & family just to achieve a certain dollar amount.

I’ve had some first hand blubbers that were painful but also learning times. I didn’t start using essential oils to start a business. I started because I was knee deep in the middle of tragedy & grief. I was cautious & guarded when I first shared because it was a very personal, painful & private time. The Lord helped walked me through sharing in hopes of helping someone else that needed it. That’s a whole story in itself.

A “business” grew from that sharing. I’m glad I was vulnerable. I’m glad I pushed past the fear.

I’ll be honest, I’ve made a lot of mistakes with my oil group. There is no cookie cutter way that works. There’s helpful ideas but not one way only. God created us all different. We all have different life experiences. I’ve read books & tried methods that claim success but don’t deliver concrete results. I’ve seen people come & go. I’ve watched people find hope & healing. I’ve seen people not realize that who they sign up under is their support system- their purchases will always financially help that person & they had no idea. I’ve had people use me for information & join another oil group. I’ve spent hours online answering questions & helping only to watch those same people sign up with someone who had a great online giveaway. I’ve had people let fear over take them & decide oils aren’t safe. I’ve put my family to the side to tend to interested people online who were never really interested at all. I’ve had people leave my oil group with promises of big business building opportunities in other groups. I’ve poured myself out until my tank was depleted. I’ve prepared classes & had no one show up. I’ve had people who love the products decide to build a business & watch as they use less & order less because they changed their mentality even though they were getting results. I’ve learned I can’t own others health. I’ve not been supportive enough in some areas & enabled too much in others. I’ve discovered balance & time management are priceless. I could list page after page of things I’ve learned & mistakes I’ve made. I’m not trying to plant a seed of discouragement in this jumbo paragraph. Hang on for a minute & we’ll come back to this.

I’ve seen tears. I’ve had some special conversations. I’ve watched hope being renewed. I’ve seen excitement. I’ve witnessed amazing results. I’ve seen people supporting each other when they need help. I’ve had full classes that have inspired me immensely. I’ve meet some of the best people ever!

I may never be blessed with a big oil group. I may never figure out how to reach people online. I may never be relatable enough for everyone. I can’t force God’s hand & demand anything. What I can do is be honest. I can share where I’ve been, what I do & what I hope for. I can be real.

I can encourage you not to give up. I’m not giving up either. I can challenge you to make one change at a time. I’m still in that process too. It’s a lifestyle for me. It’s not a fix – all – magic – one – drop miracle. It’s one of the products I use for support. I have for years & I plan on sticking with it. I don’t have all the answers but by golly, I have hope.

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I mentioned we’d come back to that big paragraph & here we are.  The biggest thing I’m discovering in all of this is that God might be using my business to grow my character, not my bank account. Maybe, just maybe, God’s plan isn’t a successful business by worldly standards as much as it’s about character building by biblical standards. 

I’ll keep using all these oils & products because I love them. A blast from the past side note…I was a newer oil user & I was invited to an oil conference (which I found out was more like a health conference & I learned tons). I heard a saying that went something like this, “What if? What if?” She had my attention pretty much because of her sincere tone. “What if this works? What do you have to lose?”  She was right. I had already lost so much. A spark of hope lit up that day. A certain kind of hope. Hope for a purpose for the pain.

Listen, I don’t know where you are in life. I don’t know all that you’ve been through but I do know that I would love to have you join me. You can check out my website at https://www.rootsofhealingyl.com/ I’m a regular ole gal who loves Jesus with all her heart. I know the Lord has a plan for my life & I do my best to not get in the way. I’m learning new things all the time. Life is hard & we need to stick together. The roads we travel are not meant to be traveled in isolation. Isolation doesn’t guarantee pain free.

Just so you know, I’m not one of those angry bees I was talking about. That’s not me. There’s no hope in that for me. I always come back to hope. There are so many ways to describe it. A certain kind of hope that consumes me is the hope that’s found only in the Savior. I pray you have that same hope.

Everything is for Him & through Him. He provides all at the exact times needed. ❤️ 1 Peter 4:10-11

Grateful for Him Always,

Tracy

 

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