You have a blog?

Someone said last week, “You have a blog?”

HaHa, Yep, I have a blog…you wouldn’t know much about that given the last year of only 4 posts in 2018 but I’ve long been a writer!  As a matter of fact since March of 2008, there have been 418 posts published here, 179211 words written, 12690 views of all these words and 31 registered followers of this writing.  What in the world?

words

I remember starting to write out the matters of my heart because I had too many words filling my mind and I needed a place to put them. Writing is healing to me and allows me to put to paper the musings in my heart so that I can move along to the next ponderings that pester me.  I never really meant for it to be a platform that made a mark in others lives, as much as, just a place to document my own heart.  As I’ve learned over the years, God uses many things to reach His people and if this blog is one of those things, then so be it! But I’ll continue to have my intention be to document the molding of my own heart to that of Christs.

If you’re new here, you’ll soon find out that at the end of each year I seek to hear what WORD will be the theme of the year to come.   I spent some time reflecting on that this week and here are the themes for years past:

2009-GLORY
2010-RESTORATION
2011-STAND
2012-RESOLUTION
2013-ACCELERATION
2014-SHIFT
2015-HOME
2016-The WORD
2017-ABIDE
2018-HOPE

It is so interesting how each year God uses these points to keep my heart set on Him.  Each year the word holds some miraculous “coincidences” in my life. Like 2015 the word HOME….with no intention at the beginning of the year to EVER move, we moved into our NEW home on Gift Rd on 12/31/2015!  Then in 2016, The WORD of God was my focus, to know it and love it and learn it and low and behold….Grace Women’s retreat 9/2016 was on THE WORD and I was charged to teach others how to study it!  2017 Abide….I was intent on abiding in Christ, thankful that God blessed me and covered me because in March of 2017, Brek’s heart attack required MUCH abiding.  I was prepared!

So what will this year bring?  I had an idea early fall of 2018 what word it would be for 2019 and as I sat on it and prayed, it became clear that indeed I had been given the focus for the new year.  I have steered away from studying in this area because I was waiting for the new year!  I’m excited to share it with you tomorrow.

Let me ask you…what will be your focus in 2019?  Let me offer you 3 ideas:

  1. Know God Better
  2. Love People More
  3. Live for the Eternal

You can’t go wrong with these!

Maybe your new year starts by you ending THIS year well!  Need some scripture to spur you on? Start in Ephesians or Colossians or 1 John!  Or read them all!  They are short, you can read them all before the ball drops!  Set your heart on Him these last few hours of 2018 so that you can start your year well in 2019!

I’ll meet you back here tomorrow where I will Share My Heart for the New Year 2019!

Creative Writing Final

Today, I offer you a guest post by my daughter Abby.  She has creatively titled this “Creative writing final” which she wrote for her AP Literature class.  You’ll soon know that her writing is much more creative then the title!  Thank you Ab’s for allowing me to proudly share your heart!  I love you!abbysmile

  I head to my car with a sense of urgency as the chilling air bites my skin and snow flurries fall upon my hair. Never being fully prepared for the winter weather I’m not satisfied until I get in, starting my car and blasting the heat. I buckle, hearing the reassuring click and relax back into my seat with a sigh of relief. Another school day successfully completed. After taking the time to let my car adjust to the frigid weather, I shift into reverse. I neglect to plug in my phone to play music the world around me seems too loud, and I am in desperate need of some silence. I start my twenty-minute drive home, a route that I have driven countless times before, seeming to know it like the back of my hand but today, today seemed different. I don’t know if it was the lack of music filling my ears that seemed so unlike me or the melancholy feeling of the cloudy weather outside, but something was causing me to feel this way. I’ve come to love this long drive to and from school. The only time I feel like I get to escape the intensity of reality, just me and my music. But Today it was just me, not even music here to drown out my thoughts but just me driving home reflecting on this time of year. I round a corner and in front of me a straight road as far as I can see. Everything visible, everything predictable, nothing to hide, just the straight and narrow. I surrender to the silence, only the faint rhythm of the wiper gliding across the window could be heard.

My thoughts drift to my past self being beyond excited for the holidays and the traditions our family had kept long before I was born. Going to my grandma’s house on Christmas Eve, eating dinner and attending church. I couldn’t imagine a Christmas or a time where we wouldn’t be together. At the age of nine, my parents divorced, suddenly my dad wasn’t apart of this tradition anymore. Amongst all the change and chaos, the traditions, no matter how simple they were, seemed to be the one constant and unwavering thing in my life. The next year my dad moved away, and I was found spending Christmas with him over the phone, but I was still surrounded by my family, Christmas eve, like every year before. I remember being excited for the new year and the experiences and opportunities that came along with them. A new year meant I was getting older and at that time all I wanted to do was grow up. If only I could go back in time and tell myself to slow down. The reality is you can’t go back in time, so here I am today, a senior in high school, watching every constant thing and tradition in my life slowly fade away before my eyes.

I bring my attention to the road before me now as I approach a sharp turn. The straight and narrow road only a thing of the past as I cautiously wait to round the corner unaware of what could be hiding. I start thinking about myself, I think about why I don’t feel the same excitement as I did years in the past. I think about all the change happening around me this time of year. My grandparents migrating to Arizona early this year, abandoning the tradition I held so close to my heart. I carefully turn my steering wheel and ease off the gas as I round another corner looking for the possible deer or biker ready to jump out in front of me. I start thinking about my brother, weeks away from becoming a father at the young age of twenty and his girlfriend, a new addition to the family who happens to be carrying my nephew. My father a week away from moving back home after ten years of being away. This time he’s not alone but bringing along his wife and son. My half brother, who being alive for 3 years, I’ve only seen enough times to count on my hand. Despite my dad living hundreds of miles away he never failed to make time to visit and as a trade off our relationship was as strong as it could get.

I think back to that straight and narrow road and long for the simplicity of it. All this change, all this uncertainty of what lies ahead makes me uneasy. I acknowledge that times are different, that nothing lasts forever and nothing stays the same but as I approach my last holiday season of being home I long for the unwavering traditions I clung onto in my times of change as a child. I reach the final wind in the road I think about my email  inbox on my phone filled with college acceptance letters informing me of the biggest decision I will make in my life so far. I once looked at myself a custom to change, one who thrives off change, but now I’m caught ignoring those important emails regarding my future as one last attempt to enjoy this holiday season stress-free. I come out of the long stretch of the windy road and in front of me, a road with a slight curve ahead but nothing to fear as I know I will have a clear view the rest of the way home. I no longer long for that straight road behind me as I see a perfectly visible view in front of me. Change is inevitable even though I do miss the lost traditions of the past, I realize the excitement of the future and what is yet to come. I enter my driveway and shift into park. Turning the key and grabbing my backpack from the passenger seat. I open the door, leaving the nostalgic atmosphere of my car and head outside, back into reality.

Where have you been?

It has been 340 days since my last post.  I have been MIA for 8160 hours. Why, you ask?  Well let me tell you!

study

After the new year, I dove head first into finishing my ACBC counseling exam and in April I started the supervision phase of the certification.  After writing 92 pages in exam answers and meeting with my supervisors for 15 hours to discuss 51 hours of counseling cases I was working on, I PASSED!  I’m now officially a certified biblical counselor with ACBC! I still have my “real job” and run my small business successfully but now I have a wonderful opportunity to serve the church within my calling to walk alongside those who want help with their hurts or hang-ups!

That’s enough to explain WHY I haven’t written here but let me add to the mix that we moved out of our house for 2 months this spring while HGTV renovated our home!  Yes, I’m serious.

When we moved into our home 2 years ago, we were convinced that God would use our home for His kingdom.  Sure enough, we have the privilege to host community group of now 20-30 adults and their children in our home every week.  We share a meal and discuss God’s word!  It is beautiful and we are blessed.  However, the kitchen had an awkward set up and the space was not used well. In addition we have some killer views to the north, from the South Sister all the way past Smith Rock to Brasada Ranch!  But from the kitchen breakfast bar you stared at a wall full of cabinets and the windows were so small.  We wanted to renovate and after seeing an ad that HGTV was looking for homes to renovate, we applied and were accepted!  Karrie Trowbridge over at www.makerofhome.com and her fantastic son Tristan came in and renovated our upstairs for their first full season of Mom and Me!  The show will air early 2019! Be on the lookout! I can’t post pictures yet but here are some before pictures:

Don’t judge…its a beautiful kitchen BUT the layout was horrible and WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THE AFTER PICTURES! You will die!  Seriously, if you need work done on  your house contact the Trowbridge family!  LOVE IT!

Lastly, I found out in late spring that I’ll be a grandmother any day now!  If that is news that doesn’t take your words away….

Grandma Tracy coming to a blog post near you!  I’m not sure what to expect as I embark upon this new adventure, but I assure you, YOU will be a part of it!  My son’s life is about to change radically, much more than mine, but one thing I know…GOD works all things together…and I believe that even this unconventional turn of events will bring GREAT things for us all.  I’ll gladly welcome Aksel James into our lives because GOD has determined that this little boy will be my first grandson!  Bless!

That’s where I’ve been this year, not to mention my daughter is a SENIOR and applying to colleges very far away from me…but lets not go there yet!  Looking forward to ending the year well and starting the new year with gusto…picking up this blog pen again!

Where have you been?