Celebrate in His Name

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today, I love that my baking is done, that I have dip & chips and that its snowing.

As we wrap up this year, I find it very fitting that my holiday celebrations have been so very different from years past.  My parents and brother were not in Bend for Thanksgiving.  This Christmas Eve, my husband is working and I’m at home.  The kids are enjoying time alone and I sit here, enjoying the snow and watching Downton Abbey over again.  It is simply divine. This year has been far different then any other.  It reminds me that seasons and years change.  People change, traditions evolve, and things were not meant to remain the same.  But one things remains the same…

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

At church last Sunday my pastor shared a truth that just sat different with me for some reason…it went something like this:

‘We are to evangelize (lead others to Christ) not for the purpose of their salvation but to bring Glory to the Son of God’.

I think it is traditional to celebrate Christmas, as the coming of the Savior of the World.  The one who would restore mankind to God but what if we look at it from God’s point of view and remember that God sent His son on this mission to earth in order that JESUS be glorified.  Sure, its grace to you and grace to me but isn’t it really just all about Jesus?  Isn’t it all about the Glory of God.  When you make Jesus the king of your life and purpose not to say anything or do anything that would bring dishonor to His name, you Glorify the Son of God and the purpose of Christmas is satisfied.

This Christmas Eve I leave you with this poem that I wrote for my family many years ago, I pray that you remember the reason for this season.  I pray that you honor your family name and bring Glory to the One who paid it all and that you love the ones that God has sewed into your life.

Our family was formed many years ago, perhaps leading back to a precious angel. Who so carefully chose each of our hearts and brought us together, each with a special part.

There are those strong in heart and others bold in spirit.  One with strength to endure and one with words to encourage.  Some who have knowledge and stories to share.  And some who bring laughter and fun throughout the year.

We are each our own in this basket of love, our gifts intertwined to provide just enough.  

I give thanks for my family, so special to me.  

A blessing from above, we should follow the lead.

As we continue to give to those who are added and strive to live with the love of those past us.  

All praise to the King, who created our circle.  Celebrate in His name the source of this miracle.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!  GLORY!

Undistracted Joy

As I sat in the hot tub, the wind whipped through the trees and as the cool drops from the sky gently blanketed my face, I realized I was smiling.  I realized at that moment, I had done a great deal of smiling while I was alone lately.  I catch myself driving down the road with a smile on my face or sitting in my living room and a smile just pops up.  No one is around,  just me and then, this smile.  Where did this smile come from?

 “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Rev 22:7

Applying God’s word to your life and to your circumstances seems to bring a peace that passes all understanding but it also brings reminders.  God’s word reminds us that we have hope, not just future hope, but hope now.  God is our hope, His return is our hope.  His Glory is our hope and that hope brings joy.

 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires, take the water of life without price. Rev 22:17

This third Sunday in advent was preceded by a devotional that led me through joy.  The last prayer for this week used the words “Undistracted Joy”.  I loved this because this described exactly what Joy has been to me this week.  Joy has been undistracted.  I can’t keep it away. I know it comes from my Jesus, a gift from the Holy Spirit, through the washing of His word in my life but honestly I’ve never had joy that is undistracted.  Something has always been able to steal my joy.

Undistracted Joy is unstealable…(I know that isn’t even a word).  When your mind is set on Jesus Christ in every work, in every thought, in every word, then JOY is undistracted.  It finds you.  It engulfs you and smiles come out of nowhere.  Now don’t get me wrong, my thoughts and words and works are desperately in need of sanctification.  I’m not always stayed on Jesus, but when my intention is to be focused on Him, then this undistracted joy shows up and I will not deny it!

So, as I sit smiling on the couch writing this, I wonder what is distracting your joy this year?  Did you know that you could choose to seek a joy that is not distracted?  Did you know that this Jesus is undeniable?  Jesus is the answer to everything! That answer doesn’t always look like you’d like it to but I will promise that if you seek Him with all your heart and if you let Him become your E V E R Y T H I N G, everything, then you will not be disappointed.   You will begin to see the answers He has for you and the little smile that you may have been missing will just turn up at the most unsuspecting times.

Undistractably yours,

Tracy

Coming Out of the Closet

You guys are so funny! Yesterday, 150 of you clicked on a link to my blog.  Do you think it had anything to do with the title “I’m Expecting”?  Don’t we all just like a little gossip?  Isn’t it fun to think there might be something more scandalous behind the fake Facebook status updates that portray us as all put together and really pretty, all of the time!  I know most of you probably clicked that link and found out that I wasn’t expecting a baby and just clicked right back to browse the Facebook feed for something more exciting, but I hope that some of you read the words I wrote.  And I hope you’ll read these…..

The other day I was searching for some Christmas wrapping paper in my closet and I found this:

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These are years and years of words written by my very own hands.  These are filled with scandalous secrets and precious truths. These words date back to 1987.

Bless.

This journal was given to me in 1987 from Terry and Rozann Dotson (Amy Dotson’s Ma & Pa).  This journal holds the pages where it all started.

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I was a poet. First Entry:

The Day

Another day creeps by, setting under the auburn sky.

More dreams are cremated, replaced by new ones freshly created.

Old pains are uplifted, and new ones in-scripted.

Many joys are left to roam, while new adventures are being carved in stone.

These days that were never-ending, are now gone and forever remembering.

I remember being a 16-year-old little girl with fears and hopes and dreams and hurts.  I used a pen to put on paper what was happening inside of me and I believe these journals are the very things that God designed to be my comfort, my sword, and my peace.  I will use these journals to share with you some great words.  None of them will be scandalous.  Those are words that only I will see (and perhaps those that come after me).  But you, you my friends, will read my poetry and learn from my bible studies and together we’ll reminisce.

Oh and look at these precious angels.

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They were in the closet too and now they are in my bible.  Aren’t they just delicious?

What’s in your closet?  Go take a look…I’ll bet you find treasures too!