Changed…

“and with one swift cut of the tongue; it was all gone”...

That was three years ago.

Today, things are a bit different. Most of all me…

Four weeks ago, I said “yes”to a speaking engagement.  As I hung up the phone, I was stunned. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in that arena. To be honest, I’m nervous, unsettled, and afraid…

Why?

Because I’m not the same. I’ve changed in three years…ALOT.

I’ve been shielded and protected and surrounded by color and light, and most of all Him. But the strange thing is that I didn’t realize it. Ridiculous, right? I almost felt abandoned. Almost like, well, He didn’t like me anymore… and I lived as such.

Day in and day out, I lived as though the One who had stolen my heart, took the ring and walked away. I believed it wholeheartedly; in my mind. My heart wavered, it teetered on the edge of faith, but was too fearful to stand firm- to still believe in Love; to believe that Love still loved me…

Have you ever been there? Teetering on the edge?

Suddenly, all of my weakness was bared. But it was not by Him. He had not bared my weakness, religion had. Religion had stepped in and with one swift cut of the tongue, my covering fell to the floor in shreds.

All of my gifts, talents, confidence, security, faith, and love fell at my feet and bared this soul. I tried to put it all back together. I picked up the shreds and began to wrap my heart in them once again. This time, none of them fit. I couldn’t find where my faith was to go, where my love was to be placed…I tried taking the shred of confidence and wrap it around my head, but the ends failed to connect. I worked at putting my security back in place, but the ends were too frayed to make a good stitch. I finally tired of such labor and toil, and made the decision to let the rest lay upon the weathered floor…and it was okay.

Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into years. Three to be exact. Three years later I lifted my head to see clearly.  I stretched out my hands to see them empty. I looked at my feet and saw them bare. I inspected my skin and it was clear and intact. I looked beneath my feet and the weathered floor had turned gold. The walls around me were of majestic color and the air was light and perfumed with incense.

I realized all was as it should be. I was not abandoned, I was being protected, shielded, and loved back to life. As the world turned on it’s axis, my world was set in place. I found a renewed life. I am settled and secure, and full of faith and love. I have picked up the shreds of gifts and talents from the golden floor and simply hold them in my open hands- for really, they are not mine, but His. That in itself gives me great security and joy.

 

Saturday, I go to the prayer breakfast dressed as a pauper. For that it what I am. I say that with great confidence, and with great joy; for there is no greater gift to receive than that of the truth of being poor, pitiful, blind, and naked…in that confidence, I will make great strides…

Will you pray for me on Saturday morning…I sure would love it if you would!

XO

tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A place within…

It was night. The only disturbance in the silence was the creak in the wood floor. I woke to such disturbance.

Or was I still sleeping…

I found myself in the midst of a campground. Trees surrounded us and there was a group of workers off to the side of the airstream.  I was summoned by the alarm on the radio…you know the sound, the “this is a test” alarm. Annoying.  But I was destined to listen to the warning; it was written in the Pages of Ages.

“There is a storm coming”.  “Please prepare and relocate to a safe place”. “There is a storm coming”.  “Please prepare and relocate to a safe place”.

I gathered myself and ran to tell the others of the impending storm. As I ran to the center of the grounds, I saw it. It was large and gray…it was a whirlwind. It was mammoth. I moved out of its path…

I sunk to my knees and shielded my eyes from this monster whirlwind. I literally had no idea what to do, or where to go. There was no time, because the time was now and it came like a thief.

All I could do was hopefully shield myself from the Windstorm. The others, well, they went on as if nothing was coming; as if all was well.

As I knelt, the Whirlwind came in front of me. As it approached I saw it was not gray, but of colors I had never seen…they were jewel toned, pastel, bright, flashes of light…gold…yes, then there was the gold…

I slowly opened my fingers to peer at this monstrosity of gold…set within the eye of the Whirlwind…

It was as large as a football field. It was majestic, ornate, but not glamorous.  Standing upon this golden platform was a Lion…

I cannot begin to describe this Lion, as it was more majestic than any Lion I had ever seen in any pictures, movie, or television program.

What I can describe about this Lion is this: This Lion stood in strength. It stood in courage, and in victory. I saw integrity and Truth. It was as I knew without a shadow of doubt that all was well.  Even with all the chaotic madness in this world, all was well and as it should be. Nothing escaped the Lion. Nothing. He knew every inch of pain and heartache.  He knew the wounded and helpless. He knew the evil in men’s hearts and the evil deeds done to humanity. He knew and could withstand this chaos because to Him, it wasn’t chaos at all. It was Truth unfolding. It was the door opening to the beginning of eternity. All was well said the Lion.

Truly, there was no shadow in Him. I knew I could trust Him. As the whirlwind passed, my hands fell to my sides and the Lion turned to me. His eyes penetrated my heart and He waved me in. It was my invitation to step inside the whirlwind…

That was months and months ago…so if you’ve wondered where I have been…I’ve been living within the eye of the whirlwind, in the calm and strength and truth of the Lion who beckoned me…Arise my love, and come with me and rest for awhile…

XO

tracy

 

 

 

Distortion…

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Eve pic

She walked with a limp…

Of course she would. There would be no other way.  She was forever changed.  A judgement had been placed, and this she would reap…

 A remembrance…there would always be the remembrance of who she used to be…the limp.

She had been forever changed by her own hand.  She was the one that made the decision,  no one else.

She could blame it on someone else… She could certainly use satan. He was present that fateful day; the day everything changed.

It was the day Distortion made its entrance.  Flesh became mortal, marred, tarnished and impure.  Eyes became blinded and scaled. Scaled by the serpent who deceived.

Distortion; it was what made her walk with a limp.

Distortion; twisted, misrepresented, slanted, disfigured, deformed.

The serpent came and distorted humanity.

He distorted our very name…Woman.

“This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called Woman for she was taken out of man”, Genesis 2:23, KJV

The most beautiful and captivating name given to the female gender, was given in the Beginning.  Adam, was given the rare privilege of naming each and every created living thing; yet when his eye beheld the creation that stood before him he was dumbfounded…What captivating beauty, what purity of heart…with one glance, Adam’s breath was stolen, for Adam envisioned exactly what God did; a pure and spotless Bride.

Woman…

Before The Fall, Eve’s name was simply, Woman.  It was not only a description of her creation, it was a depiction of her identity.  It carried a fullness of satisfaction and wholeness.  It embodied perfection and denoted unity with The Creator.

The name, Woman, was designed by God and spoken into the realm of humanity by Adam.  It was to be eternally set as our identity. All of who we are and hope to ever be was to be found inside our original name, Woman.

But, as we know, the day of Distortion came.  And so did judgement. Now, we will forever be at battle with our own identity. Everything we believe about ourselves as women, has come from a hand that only carried distortion.

The reality of humanity can be very dark…

I am dark, yet lovely…Song of Solomon 1:5

The battle rages within each and every one of us. The questions of “Who am I”, “Will I ever be enough”, plagues us daily.  In this war for our identity, self worth and satisfaction we find ourselves battling against is the very thing that we strive to please…man.

Today, our perfection as women, stems from the hand of man, and what a fallen humanity deems to be perfect.  How often do we pick up a magazine, a book, or turn on the television to only see what society says we should be?  We have taken a human yoke: “failure to measure up”. We live under the condemnation of the human race. Women have fallen under a degrading humanistic view of themselves.  No longer does the name, Woman, carry the grandeur of perfection and wholeness.  It carries the characteristics of Distortion.

We will forever look in the mirror and never be enough.  We will long to be something greater, something more beautiful, something more successful,  something more sweet and kind, or something more brave.

This should be our hour of change. Change!  We should embrace our eternal name and live striving for the things that Christ has given us through His shed blood.  We have received our bloodline through Him and His eternal view of who we are…in Him.

Do you believe that? Do you believe that Jesus died so not only you may live, but live...? Do you believe He died for mine and your restoration? Do you believe that our given name has been revoked? Jesus gave women significance. Watch

When Jesus walked this earth as perfection in flesh, He looked through the eyes of His Father.  He spoke only what His Father told Him, and He loved with an intense passion, just as His Father.  He restored sight to the blind, healed the sick, and raised the dead.  He calmed the storm, turned water into wine, and fed thousands with a five loaves of bread and a couple of fish.  And through all of this, Woman, was not forgotten.

Jesus called us by name…

Have you ever noticed?  He turned a specific eye toward to Woman.  He loved them, and respected them, and they held a special place of honor in His heart.

In John 2, Jesus was attending the wedding in Cana when they ran out of wine.  His mother requested He take care of this dire situation. His response, “Woman, my time has not yet come”.  In Matthew 15:28, a daughter was released from demonic possession.  He looks at the mother and states, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted”.  In John 8, the woman caught in adultery was brought forth for judgement. Jesus releases her from her accusers saying, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you”?  And one final situation; Mary Magdalene was weeping at the tomb…even the angels called her Woman.

For many years, I saw these as harsh statements toward women. Jesus never addressed His disciples in such manner!  It appeared by using such distant terminology, Jesus was disengaging Himself from the heart of Woman.  In fact, just the opposite was true!  Jesus, looking through the eyes and heart of His Father knew no other word for such beauty and perfection. So He addressed her just as He saw her; Woman

Jesus took the time to restore our dignity, identity, and perfection.

As Eve, we need to stop reaching for the wrong fruit to satisfy our hunger for perfection.  We need to embrace the eternal…Although we are dark, darkened by the shadow Distortion that has covered humanity, we are lovely.  We are lovely through the eyes of the Creator who looks through the blood of His Son, Jesus. No more can we live beneath our created intent! We have been called to a higher ground, a deeper relationship with Christ.  We have been called to have the wisdom to understand, the courage to speak, and the faith to believe:

I am dark, yet lovely, and my name is Woman!

Me and Beth Moore…A day to remember.

beth mooreShe’s just that great…

kissingthedust

Can we just talk about this for a minute? I’m serious. I just want to take a few lines, or maybe pages, to talk about this stuff, and, well… her…

Let me back up a bit. When it came to Bible teaching, I was pretty hard core. I loved the big guns. You probably already know the names, so I’ll skip that, but, yes, I needed a challenge; no, I wanted a challenge. Better yet, I idolized a challenge.  If there was not a challenging message to be brought to the masses, then, please, hang it up. Why Bible teach if you cannot challenge someone’s thoughts or theology? You know, bring them into “right” thinking.

After all, aren’t we at least owed that…

I mean, you’ve put in some time here. You’ve paid the registration, brought your Bible, brought  your friends and bellied up to a hotel bill.

Entertainment?…

View original post 758 more words

Calling All Women…Feminists?

Just one more time people…one more time…

kissingthedust

National-Womens-DayIn the Beginning…It is one of my favorite scriptures. In the Beginning… there is a ring to it, no? It is the opening statement of scripture that leads into a stunning picturesque view of life…so naturally, it is one of my favorites.

And so is this one: Genesis 2:22 (NIV) Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man… So in honor of National Women’s Day, I write. I write to keep things in my life in order; as a woman.

Confession; I am a feminist. But, not by societal standards. So, in my view, there are feminists and then there are feminists…I’m of the latter. :)

The quest began as early as 1619 and continues today. We desired to be free of the social and economic struggles women faced in a male dominated society.  In that year, women wanted the freedom…

View original post 580 more words

Calling All Women…Feminists?

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National-Womens-DayIn the Beginning…It is one of my favorite scriptures. In the Beginning… there is a ring to it, no? It is the opening statement of scripture that leads into a stunning picturesque view of life…so naturally, it is one of my favorites.

And so is this one: Genesis 2:22 (NIV) Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man… So in honor of National Women’s Day, I write. I write to keep things in my life in order; as a woman.

Confession; I am a feminist. But, not by societal standards. So, in my view, there are feminists and then there are feminists…I’m of the latter. :)

The quest began as early as 1619 and continues today. We desired to be free of the social and economic struggles women faced in a male dominated society.  In that year, women wanted the freedom to buy land in the colonies, but to no avail.  During the years of 1820 through 1880, women were fighting for equal rights and women’s suffrage was born.  in 1916, the nation’s first birth control clinic was opened in Brooklyn, NY, and then closed by police in ten days.  Then, came the right to vote. This battle began in 1873 with Susan B. Anthony, and ended in 1920 when American women received the right to vote.  In 1921, The American Birth Control League was re-birthed, and in 1939, the Birth Control Federation of America was born and has withstood the test of time. Today it is known as Planned Parenthood. In 1960, the FDA approved the birth control pill. The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1923 and finally approved forty-nine years later in March of 1972. In 1950, we received the right to use our maiden names after marriage. In 1963 the Equal Pay Act was passed, and before I forget..in 1959, our greatest feat yet…Pantyhose. Pantyhose came to the rescue of each and every one of us who desired airbrushed legs. Now, we just get spray tanned. There is also Roe vs. Wade, but I can’t go there. Not today.

Enough social history, back to the Bible for some real feminine history…

“This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, for she was taken out of man…Genesis 2:23 (NIV); Adam’s statement upon seeing this jaw dropping gal.

Woman’s creation alone is a holy view of femininity. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. God was very purposeful with us. He chose for us to be taken out of man. We are called to come out and be separate from our rib mate…oh, I like that…rib mate. :) Onward…But it’s true. We were never intended to be like men. Ever. Did you hear me? EVER! That was not the plan! We were always intended to be our own girl. Have our own personalities. Have courage, and be brave. We have the God given ability to stand on our own two feet…

When the word, Woman, is defined in the Hebrew…what does it mean?…”taken out of man”. And, when pronounced, it sounds very similar to the word man…but only similar, not exact.

Oh, girls. Are you feeling it yet? God was and is on our side! He really wants us to be different! He created it to be so. With the divine act of breathing life into our very first Woman, He “said”…It is good.

We, yes we, were a perfect gift. Created as a gift. Created as a helper. Created to come along side and live life with our rib mates.

Why do we work so hard for equality when it was given in the Beginning?

Our femininity is wrapped up within our creation. Now, if you don’t believe me. Go read. Read about the first Woman created. She is the fullness of femininity. She is the picture of strength, courage, bravery, steadfastness, faith and perseverance. Eve, the greatest of all Women, rose above all trials, pain, and sin by the One who created her. Her equality was not lost, her perfection and sinless state was…she trudged onward as a warrior. Not letting the fall of disobedience shake her into depression and lifelessness. She girded up and lived! So girls, let us do the same. Gird up and live your life in your God given equality. WE CAN DO IT! xo

Me and Beth Moore…A day to remember.

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beth mooreCan we just talk about this for a minute? I’m serious. I just want to take a few lines, or maybe pages, to talk about this stuff, and, well… her…

Let me back up a bit. When it came to Bible teaching, I was pretty hard core. I loved the big guns. You probably already know the names, so I’ll skip that.  But, to be honest, I needed a challenge; no, I wanted a challenge. Better yet, I idolized a challenge.  If there was not a challenging message to be brought to the masses, then, please, hang it up. Why Bible teach if you cannot challenge someone’s thoughts or theology? You know, bring them into “right” thinking.

After all, aren’t we at least owed that…

I mean, you’ve put in some time here. You’ve paid the registration, brought your Bible, brought  your friends and bellied up to a hotel bill.

Entertainment? Umm…no. That’s the fluff side of Christianity. I’ll take mine straight up and on the rocks, thank you very much.

Then I met her. The Blonde, or as she labels herself, “Blonder than she pays to be”….

Yes, I am talking about the one and only, Beth Moore.

It was two and a half years ago. I received a last minute invitation to…

wait for it…

drum roll please…

Living Proof Live

Oh glory…it’s about to get real…

“Help me”, was all I could think. It was the only prayer I could muster up. How could I have succumbed to such madness! Of all things; a cute, little, blonde, bible teacher. Yes, I needed prayer. I needed a support system.  And according to my standards, I needed an intervention, for I did not participate in such matters.

So, off I went, my support system in tow and a four hour drive… in which we got lost and it took us five and a half. The only thing that was going to possibly save me was our hotel. Oh boy, a five star, studded, grandy with marble bathroom floors and a tub you could drown in. French doors opened to the sleeping arena, yes, it was that large… It was a suite that set me back a pretty penny, but I was going to need some hefty reassurance that I would not die over the weekend. And if I did, it was going to be in that bathtub. Yes, “help me”, was my feeble cry…

So, in my state of uncertainty and skepticism, I took a sleeping pill that night. I don’t sleep well in a room of others and I was getting ready to enter an arena of pure fluff. Thousands.  I was stressed.

Morning came in all of it’s sunshine glory and I was feeling doubtful. I did have my Bible and my GPS, so things surely couldn’t be all that bad, right? My group of encouragers were more giddy than I had ever seen them. What was wrong with them?  “We are going to a Bible spa people…don’t you get that”…

We entered through the vast doors and were bombarded. Table after table of books, tapes, and DVD’S. And then there were the people. People everywhere. EVERYWHERE! All giggly women, about to be massaged with scripture and oiled down with some praise.

“Well, get your big girl panties on and get yourself up to those rafters and find yourself a seat girlfriend. You are here for the long haul”.

And so I did. Or, I did with the help of the others. Geez, those are some steep stairs!

And so it began.

And she came out.

And I, well I, was put in my place.

I have never in my entire life been so humbled, challenged, convicted, encouraged, strengthened, girded, and, well, overwhelmed.

“Blonder than she pays to be”, is one fine, fine teacher! She carries no fluff, she carries the Spirit. She brings forth a newness of Jesus. She prays on her knees people, on her knees. And she has timelines…of all things, timelines! I’ve always hated timelines, but now, my heart has changed for the better, and even skips a beat at the very thought of a timeline… I LOVE THEM! Who doesn’t need a timeline when studying the Bible! They are a necessary thing! Thank you, Beth Moore!

Plus, Beth Moore is funny! What!? Yes, she is funny, and real, and transparent, and just, well, normal!

Now, I am a changed woman. Beth Moore puts out a “straight up, on the rocks” gig. Period. You walk away with a deeper knowledge of scripture, and a deeper knowledge of the heart of Jesus. One more thing, you also walk away with a deeper knowledge of yourself. That my friend, is a needful thing. You need to scratch away your surface, bleed a little, and be changed; be transformed.

Now, here at The Living Room, we use Beth Moore’s bible studies. We are jaw-dropped at each and every session. [We], and me…well, we love Beth Moore! We love her challenge to each of us and the way she brings forth the Word. Her devotion to Jesus Christ is evident and challenging in itself. Beth Moore is a gift to us straight from Heaven! If Living Proof Live is within a six hour drive…do it! If Beth Moore is within a twelve hour drive, do it! I promise, you need a little Beth Moore in your life! She is a breath of fresh air…

XO

The Table of Grace…

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10425486_850309968359248_1973288684909216518_nYou prepare a table before me…Psalm 23:5

In retrospect, I see it was Him. He had other plans for us; for me. But at the time, which was not so long ago…

I was aggravated. Frustrated that the call was not made sooner. He had talked about it. In fact, he knew the day was coming, so reservations needed to be made. But, time gets in the way, we get busy, and the phone call was put aside. That time lapse cost us a “no room at the inn”.

So, plan “B” would have to do.  I was not thrilled at plan “B”, it meant there would be no special time to dress chic and trendy, travel to our favorite spot, and enjoy one of the best meals in Southern Indiana. In essence; there would be no festivities…home would have to do.

Now, please permit me a minute to just ponder on the page here…

1. I love my home. I love being in my home. I love making a home. Nine times out of ten, give me my home.

2. I love to cook. I live to cook. I love the way it makes my home smell. I love to savor the finished product and simply swoon over the the whole process of yeast, flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. I love whisking away the browned bits of seared meat into a savory reduction to pour over a perfectly cooked filet…oh the love…

3. I have a deep affection for setting the table. I love setting a table. My table is a palette of love…  China, stoneware, crystal, brass, silver, wood and iron. It’s creative. It’s giving elegance. It’s a place to gather with my beloved family.

All of this makes me, fortunate. Yes, fortunate, blessed, satisfied, and content.

But on that night, again, not so long ago…when there was “no room at the inn”…

I began an evening of blessedness.

We sat down, held hands and prayed. We delighted in His presence, for He was delighting in us. His plan had unfolded. We participated in “the Table set before us”. 

It was a table of reminisce, a table of love, a table of sacrifice. It was a table where a “cord of three strands” was evident, strong, and growing stronger.

When there is “no room at the inn”, a great thing is birthed. His plans are made known. His grace is sufficient. His love covers all things. A place where we once again find, there is no greater Sacrifice…

Truly, this was a Table of Grace…

It was right here, in my own house…

The Table of Grace, where we gather and pray, and partake…

join the Table of Grace…it is a journey, and a place where all are welcome and satisfied…

Taste and see that the Lord is good…Psalm 34:8

Broken Pieces and Slivers of Light…and fear

One day it will happen. It is most unavoidable. No matter where you are in life, there comes a day when a shattering takes place.
Remember you are the clay… He is the Potter.
You are dust.
You are grass.
You are fragile.
That’s the flesh and bone of it.
You are held by His molding hands on the Wheel of grace and continually bathed in the Water of Life..
You go through the fire, you feel strong on the other side, yet you can be broken in a million pieces…even on the other side of strong.
Is that where you are?
I want to know.
I’ve been there.

I walked in on my broken pieces. I was taken back by the fragility of flesh, startled at the broken remains staring me in the face.
It was a quiet room. There were no windows , only a door. The door was cracked, letting in a sliver of light. The light reflected the jagged pieces of myself, lying there on the floor.
It was time. Time to pick up each piece, time to decide what fit and what didn’t.
There were many pieces that I loved. I almost cherished the way they looked, the way they had always made me feel; they were familiar, they were comfort. But when I tried to make them fit, they left shards of glass in this flesh. These old familiar pieces , these comfortable parts of me; the ones I always liked, simply didn’t fit… I had some gaping holes in my flesh.
How about you? Do you have any gaping holes?
Round and round and round went the Wheel of grace.
Bathed in the Water, I had to learn, once again; I am not my own. I was bought with a price. To run the race is to gain. To lose is to gain.
My gaping holes have not been filled with new theology or new prophetic words… They have not been filled with works or even the Body…
My gaping holes have been filled by the Potter. He has filled me with Joy! Peace! Strength! Faith! Love! Wisdom!
So when that day comes and you find yourself staring at your thousand pieces, know this- you, put back together, is a better you. Some pieces won’t belong… And it’s okay. On this life journey, Jesus is always along for the ride. His hands are on you. His plan for you is more than you could dream of asking…His love for you is always. Always.
If you walk into that quiet room, and you find yourself startled, do not fear. Do you see that door? Do you see that sliver of light? Stretch out your hand and let your fingers close around the knob; then swing with all your might…
Let the Light of peace, joy, strength, love, faith and wisdom drench your sweet soul and journey on to be the best ‘you’ He has called you to be!

Jeremiah says it best…
For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you, plans for for hope, plans for a future…29:11; paraphrased only slightly😊

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