Sunday, May 17, 2020

Ancient Eyes and Birdsong Mornings

A dead tree pays honor to the beauty of a brilliant sunset;
A memory of love yields its capacity to the hope of new love;
The brokenness of age contrasts the perfection of a newborn’s cry;
The faded bloom is outperformed by the brightness of a new bud;
The cry of pain soon gives way to the joy of healing;
A fierce storm ushers in a birdsong morning;
Ancient eyes stare into the innocence of youth.
The world keeps turning.
Life regenerates.
The old is but a memory of what used to be.
Yet…the old, the storm, the brokenness, the pain - are still honored, cherished, found beautiful, in what they invite into the now. Selah.

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Blessing of Solitude

I actually slowed down enough the other morning to put down my phone, my Bible, my laptop, and my work. I turned off my brain, sat outside, and simply listened.

The multitude of bird songs felt like a cacophony of love.

When I tuned in to one special bird above me perched in a dead tree, I counted at least eight different trills.

That was what was so different this time. I actually quieted down enough to think about counting the trills of a mockingbird.

The peace and joy his songs carried assured me things would turn out okay for us...for all of us.

That bird had no idea how his presence blessed me and changed me - probably forever.

I want to be like that bird...where my "songs" of life can bring joy and peace to others.

God is so kind to send me a songbird to bless my solitude.

Psalm 104:12-13 - The birds build nests near the tranquil streams, chirping their joyous songs from the branches above. From your kindness you send the rain to water the mountains from the upper rooms of your palace. Your goodness brings forth fruit for all to enjoy. (TPT)

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Identity Check

About 18 months ago, I was gearing up to start the  planning of my next big event. We'd been putting on the Beautiful Smart Lady Summits in Colorado for seven years and I was excited for the next one.

But something didn't feel right.

When God asked me to take a break for the year and be still - I gasped. We had just moved to Texas, and He thought I needed rest and family for awhile. I was thankful to Him and trusting He knew best. But in the time that followed, I realized my identity had become attached to my ministry work. Here is where I felt validation. Here is where I felt important. Who was I apart from it?

Even when what I do is good, right, and helps people...it can't become who I am. So, I've been auto-correcting during this sabbatical with Papa.

As a result of "time out," I've learned all about living inside the grace of one day; and listening for His voice and doing what He says. 

I don't always succeed in this. But I can say that because I took that time, I have drawn closer to the Lover of my soul.

My true sole and soul identity is simple: I'm His beloved daughter who is listening and fulfilling the ideas that come from His mind by using the gifts He's given me. He's in everything!

Selah!

Matthew 28:20 - "I am with you always; even to the end of the age." 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

When All is Stripped Away

It was 2009 and our lives and dreams had imploded in economic disaster. We lost our business, our home; and we felt ashamed and lost. 

Holding hands, Rick and I paused at the top of our driveway, turned around, then looked at the sweet, quiet, beauty of the place we called home for 30 years. So much life lived. So many laughs, giggles, and big dreams fulfilled. Here, we had built a home and a family with our own hands and hearts.

We prayed for the next tenants; blessed the land and the neighborhood; and thanked God for the amazing gift of being able to raise our family here. And then...we moved on.

That was 11 years ago. Though times were frantic, tumultuous, and seemingly hopeless, we entered our new lives with cautious hope; leaning on a glistening promise of a better tomorrow. Looking back, I now know we had an uncanny faith to move mountains.

How did we do that? It wasn't under our own power. We were devastated and hurt to the bone. But we felt called. And then we felt sent. We left our home to sit at the feet of Jesus for two years where we were healed and set free.

When others saw failure, horror, and doom, we saw and witnessed the promise and presence of a Father that loves us most; who cares for us; who fights for us.

 Sometimes things need to be stripped away so we can see what's true and real.

Here's a classic from Matt Redmon to quiet your spirit and bless you day. You're welcome!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-Zp586pvZg

Friday, April 24, 2020

You Can Do It!

Do you ever fret and wait and procrastinate and finally, once you take the risk and try something new, you realize it wasn't hard at all? That just happened (again) to me!

I'm still learning by leaps and bounds. Today I learned to do a landing page in Mailchimp for one of my workshops. Who'da thunk?

I just determined to do it, and I did. I'm about to send it out and we'll see what happens.

Nonetheless - I want to encourage you to take that next step. Try that new thing. Learn that new skill. Dive into creativity in a new form. Imagine that new business and make a plan. Don't settle. Go big! You can do it, and these days, all of us have extra social distancing time, right?

I believe in you!

Love, Chris

James 1:5 - If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

If you'd like to get info about my upcoming online writing workshops, email me at chris@christinetracy.com

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Walking Like Captain Jack Sparrow

Do you ever walk around and feel like Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)? Last night, moving around my kitchen, I walked a little crooked, felt a little tipsy - just like Jack.

Sometimes the truth of what we experience isn't quite what we actually experience. What we feel must look strange to others - others don't even notice.

For example:

We're doing the right thing, but it feels wrong. We're following the rules, but they seem strange. We say "yes" when we're really needing to say "no." We worry when we ought to hope. We doubt when we should be in faith. We're busy when we should be at rest. We're working when we should be playing. We're sad when everything is happy around us.

Oh how I wish my reality would match my inside truth. I want to focus, to say out loud what I mean, to not stumble, to feel like I am doing perfectly and perfectly doing.

But that is not my reality. I'm just me. God made me this way. I stumble. I fall. I forget. I see things differently. And that's ok. If I have to be like somebody, Captain Jack isn't so bad.  #learningtoloveme.

Let Billy Joel sing to you, friend. Pretend your Papa is singing over you! He loves us just the way we are! You are OK and you will be OK! (click)