Happy Birthday!

Today is my beautiful Aunt Jean’s birthday…she is 86 years young.  I am blessed to have her in my life.  She loves me, always has, always will.  I can count on that.  When I think of her, I smile.  She is smart and funny and a joy to be with.  We live in different states and I don’t get to see her as much as I want to, but when we do get together, its like we just saw each other yesterday.  She makes my life sweeter.

This is how she introduces me, “This is my favorite niece, Tracey.  When she was a little girl, she spent so much time with me and Ken that most people thought she was ours.”

I won’t lie, I love hearing that.  🙂

As I sit here typing this, I am overwhelmed.  Love is such an important ingredient, and we need lots of it in our lives.  I have been blessed beyond measure!  Very few can look back on their lives and see as much love there as I do.  And the love of family is only a drop in the bucket compared to the love of Christ.  My family reflects His love well.

Someone said, “an aunt is a gift whose worth cannot be measured except by the heart”.  How true ❤

Happy Birthday Aunt Jean!

Thank you for your love, your support, your prayers.

I love you and promise to visit soon


that’s Aunt Jean on the front row, second from the left…I told you she is beautiful.  I am standing right behind her.  We are surrounded by a family that loves well

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Very Early in the Morning

Early in the morning Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb of Jesus. She is surprised to see the tomb is opened and an angel in dazzling white apparel. He says, “why seek ye the living among the dead”.

There is an empty tomb.

Jesus is alive!!

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A Love That Will Not Let Me Go

I have had the privilege to meet and see some famous people in my life…well, famous to me anyway 🙂

When I was a little girl my mom took me, my sisters, and niece to Niagara Falls.  Under the falls we ran into Dean Jones (That Darn Cat).  My sister Polly was the one to recognize him.

I ran into Debbie Boone and her family at Quaker Square, once a quaint group of shops in the old Quaker Oats factory in Akron, Ohio.

I’ve taken an elevator ride with Olivia Newton-John after seeing her in concert at Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt Pleasant, Michigan.  We chatted, her accent is just so sweet.

I got to sit next to Sandi Patty at a high school drama production, our daughters were best friends.

I’ve been winked at by Mac Powell of Third Day, stole a hug from Bid Daddy Weave and had my picture taken with Laura Story, Travis Cottrell, Matt Redmann, and Chris Rice, Michael Joiner, Gracia Burnham, Wm Paul Young, and Jennifer Sands.  I have even corresponded with Beth Moore.

And guess what?  Not one of them knows my name.

But the most awesome and amazing person I have ever met does know my name!

His name is Jesus

He knew me in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16); He has it written on his hands (Isaiah 49:16): He calls me by name, I am His (Isaiah 43:1b) .  He knows every single thing about me, and still loves me.  He prays for me (Romans 8:34)

As Max Lucado has written, if He carried a wallet, my picture would be in it.

And guess what?  He feels the exact same way about you…isn’t that the best news you have ever heard??  The love you are searching for is found in one man…Jesus Christ.  All you have to do is ask Him to come into your heart and life and be the Lord of it all (Romans 10:13)

“Oh love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee”

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Lucky in Love? I Don’t Think So!

I have three amazing sisters (I am sure you will read more about each one sooner than later) and they have all married wonderful men, men that I am proud to call my “brothers”.

One is quiet, mechanical, a deep thinker, and problem solver.  He is the “asker of deep questions”, making me dig deep, sometimes deeper that I really want to go, but it has always proven worth it.

Another is out there on every social media possible proclaiming his love for my sister…this is what got my writing juices flowing today.  He flew from New Jersey to Michigan just to help me with some things around the house.  We had the best time.

The other is generous to a fault.  I think he secretly knows we would drive him crazy; but nevertheless, he is always offering their home to me and the kids should we ever decide to move back to Ohio.

Are their lives easy?  For from it, most of the time.  But they have stuck together through the tough times, and it has made them stronger.   Ecclesiastes 4:12 states “a threefold cord is not quickly broken”.  This is the difference…that third cord, Jesus.

One day…someday…maybe…I will know this kind of love.  Jesus and I are waiting patiently for my third strand.

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Letting Go

Household 46

Once you lose someone you love in a tragic way, the thought of losing another is horrifying. At least that has been my experience.

My children were having to live with a mother that was crazy scared of something awful happening to them.

The three of us went to Cabo San Lucas last year for vacation. It was the first time I had been “in charge” of all the planning.  We had been to Cabo many times before, but my husband always handled it all. Now I was a nervous wreck, worrying about everything…just name it.

We got to our resort, checked in, everything went just perfect.  We changed into our suits and off to the beach we went. I started to relax and enjoy the warm January weather.

On the way back to our room after dinner, my son announced that he was going to find some amigos and amigas. I didn’t want him going out, it was ten o’clock, and like I said before, I had this awful fear that something bad would happen. When I asked him to stay in the resort, he promptly reminded me that he was 22 years old, so off he went. He met some wonderful young people his age and they had a great time hanging out in the resort.

I have to tell you, the fear I was feeling was crushing.  I prayed.  I calmed down.  Then God spoke to me, calm and clear as can be.  He said, “He’s mine, I’ve got him”.  I let go.

The next day, I explained to my kids what I had been going through.  They understood, they were just as worried about losing their only remaining parent.  I told them about God calming me down, and I promised to let go and start putting things in God’s hands where they belong.

Believe me, I have been tested more than I like to admit over this.  But I can testify that I am getting better at it every day.  God is good.

We will go back to Cabo someday…or they just might go without me.  That’s fine too.

The trip was bittersweet…just six months after the tragedy. This is us at my daughter’s favorite restaurant La Golondrina, where the mariachi band played their dad’s favorite Mexican song …we only know it as “one ton tomato”

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They are truly God‘s special gifts…friends

They cry with me, make me laugh until my sides ache, let me be the fifth wheel (not because they feel sorry for me, but because they want me with them), they include me in their family, did I mention we laugh…lots? and most importantly, they pray for me and my kids.

These are my sister-friends.

Proverbs 17:17 says, “a friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity”.
These friends are as close as my flesh and blood sisters. In the adversity and betrayals in my life, they have been there to pick up the pieces.

When my father died, they drove 200 miles on a Sunday afternoon to be with me.

When my husband died, they came and stayed with me while I waited for the coroner. They drove 200 miles to Michigan for the funeral.

One tucked a $100 bill in my hand the day we were leaving for the lake vacation.

They let me be angry and listened to my many questions of “why…”

I am fed…spiritually, emotionally, and physically. My heart is full ❤

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There is so much pressure from the “world” to HAVE

Have the best house, yard, car
Have the best clothes, shoes, jewelry
Have the best tv, iPod, tablet or laptop
My head spins with all the possible lists…

I look around my house, car, work, closet…I have everything I need.  In fact, much more than I need. What I really want to do this year, is give half of my “stuff” away. I hold on to things more out of personal attachment than need… for example: “my mom gave me that sweater” She’s been hanging out with Jesus for twelve years now, so I think the sweater is a little out of style…I probably won’t even be able to give it away.

But the truth is there are plenty of things my mom and dad (he joined my mom at Jesus’ feet three years ago) gave me that are far more important to keep, like putting my trust in God, that He has everything under control. They both taught me by example…about being an honest person, having integrity and character, to seek God’s face, to forgive, to love…

Seriously, I think that we all need to learn to have less “tangible” and to acquire more “intangible”…the things that truly matter most.

What would be on your list of “intangibles”?

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