Sunday, July 17, 2016

Update 7.17.16

Hi There! Traci again! Sorry I haven't posted anything in a LONG time...again! lol

A LOT has been happening! So, here's an update!

1) My boyfriend Christopher and I just celebrated our 2 year anniversary of being together on July 1 this year! I couldn't be happier! I am so in love with him and can't imagine life without him! He's the absolute best!

2) My Cleaning business: Shine On A Dime is booming! It's doing great! I have been adding businesses and homes all over SI!

3) I am going on a cruise to Cancun!

4) I've been running and getting in shape...almost every day! ;)

5) I got a new car-a Ford Fiesta 2015!

6) I feel great! I'm happy and life is good..even when days and weeks, even months are hard, life is still GREAT! Things could always be worse and I'm thankful for ALL of the blessings God has given me. I look forward to the future and all that is in store! <3

If you have any questions or want me to write about a specific topic, be sure to let me know! :) And I think there is a possibility I might be creating a new blog soon! I will tell you more details as soon as I know! :)


Me and my handsome Farmer whom I love with all my heart!

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Letter To Christians and The Church



Dear Church and Fellow Christians,

I just wanted to take the time to write this letter because it might help you out. I have grown up in church since I was just a little child. I know the stories, I know the songs and the "right" answer's to all the questions a Christian or non-Christian might ask me. I know the Bible stories, I memorized tons of Bible verses. I know all the right things to say and do. I grew up that way. I grew up going to church every week, hearing the sermon and if I didn't follow what was said I knew the punishment would be pretty much shunning or exile from God and/or the Christians around me/the church. I had the fear of God placed in me very young. I also had the fear of man placed in me even younger. I grew up believing the way the church wanted me to believe "If you don't change you will go to hell. If you don't do this___ (fill in the blanks), then this ___ will happen to you. If you obey this person and follow this leader and follow all of these rules, then God will be pleased, you will be happy and life will be great!" I also grew up scared of adults (even my parents). I thought if I don't make them happy then God will be mad at me. Even hearing correction was hard. I occasionally loved correction, but many times it was just "ok, yes, no, etc" I rarely had an input because I was wrong 95% of the time because the adults were always right in my life. Yes, my heart was to do what was right and my heart had right desires. BUT growing up scared all the time or not free to make my own choices or to be myself and just letting adults cultivate that is not what happened at all. I am adopted. After adoption these things happened...prior to adoption-life was super hard and scary. In my life I was so hurt and misused and mistreated. The problem is that it's not just me-but tons of people.

Everyone in church is taught a certain way and told to do certain things (which are good), but if you don't allow someone to make choices, growing will never happen in their life and it becomes a church of RELIGION and NOT RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. Do you want to know why people are not going to church anymore? The answer is because true love-the love of Jesus really isn't there-it's religion. People have issues, problems, sins and if they can't be themselves with all that they are, then what's the point? The crowds followed Jesus, the outcasts, the not wanted. If you (the church and Christians) are kicking people out of the church who sin differently than you, then don't you think that that person is going to struggle in their relationship with God if they've been told that you love them and God loves them and then sees you push them away or the church push them away because they sinned like this or that? Think about it! Jesus LOVED everyone! Every single person, yes He taught, but did he EVER push ANYONE away from Him even once? NO! The answer is no. I know what it's like since I was kicked out of a church (my whole family was) after going there for 9 years and then going to another church and being kicked out of cell group/small group for 9 months all because they felt I needed to grow in my relationship with Jesus. Did it help? NO! Neither did! In fact I almost quit going until my boyfriend came along to help me in A LOT of things...I am good enough, I am loved. I am wanted and for the first time in my life I am sincerely, truly confident and I honestly don't care what anyone thinks about me. I am me and they can love me for me or not-I didn't push them away but their religion did!

No one said following Jesus is easy. In fact, it's hard. The thing is that God does not expect perfection from anyone. Only He is perfect. If we were perfect too, we wouldn't need a Savior and if Christian's and church's expect other to live perfectly then it will never happen. They MIGHT not intentionally think in their mind "I expect perfection", but their actions and the way they are towards others shows what they expect. If a man who grew up in church came to your church who had been doing drugs, was in prostitution and murdered someone, would you let him in? Who are you to say who is welcome in God's House? Or have you made it a house where only the better ones are welcome? If people (no matter their background) can't run safely to a church, then where else can you expect them? They aren't welcome with open arms to the church then you will find them never around because the doors are closed. I for one have seen several church's shun people and also push others away because they aren't where they need to be spiritually. And you wonder why they won't go to church or come back to your church? The answer, is very simple-they aren't being loved where they are.

Think about how you treat others-Christians and Non-Christians and think "how would Jesus love this person" before you push them away or condemn them or wonder why they aren't going to church...how has the BODY of Christ or what is supposed to be the body of Christ treating the people walking through the church's doors or through your "Christian" life?

"When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken." -Psalm 34:17-20

"He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him." -John 1:11

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." -Romans 8:1

"As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” -Matthew 9:9-13

Sincerely,

Traci

P.S. I now go to a wonderful church that loves me as I am and I have a wonderful Pastor! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Life Happens And It's Beautiful!



So, I haven't written on this blog literally since August 2014!! That's terrible! :p I'm so sorry to my readers! A LOT has changed since then and it's been great! In fact, life couldn't be better and I am a pretty happy woman! I'm 22 now and will be 23 on January 12th, 2016! I've been dating the wonderful man shown above for almost 17 months (it'll be 17 months on December 1). He is a wonderful man! Out of ALL of the men I've met, I've never met a man like him! He's so special to me and I wanted to tell ya about him and some of the recent stuff going on. He is a farmer, he is great with kids, he supports me whole heartedly and he's caring and loving and just absolutely amazing! He has seen me through so much good and so much bad. He's been there through difficult time and wonderful times. I really believe I've found the man my heart longs for. No, I don't have a ring on my finger yet, but all in all he's wonderful!! Just like EVERYONE else on the planet he has his weak points and his areas that he struggles in, but so do I! Oh, so do I! I love him so much though! <3

Also, I've started a cleaning business called Shine On A Dime! I have currently 18 customers and counting! I'm really doing well!! I go to a church with my beau's family and I love it! I love life! :) My sister had a baby named Atlas and my brother (who's not adopted) had a baby named Leland (pictured below)

Leland (pictured above)
Atlas (pictured below)



Life just happens and it's beautiful! <3

This is just a short update with a few pics! 

-Traci 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Knowing Who I Am In Christ


Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-John 1:12


Why is it that we think we must earn God's love or that He doesn't love us when we make bad choices and sin? Why is it that we believe that? If you had/have a child that had done the very worst possible thing, would you just say "whelp! That's it! I'm done with YOU! You're out! No longer my child! You're gonna have to find a new family and by the way, I do NOT love you!"? If anyone ever does say or believe that about their child, there's something wrong! The crazy thing is that God's love is neverending and completely unconditional! You can never earn or or lose it because when Jesus went to the cross, we did nothing to deserve that love. We can't do anything to lose His love. Out of our love for Him, we desire to do things that honor Him. It's just that we often think since we love Him and want to love Him with our lives we can get into a pattern of performance based work or thinking that we will lose God's love if we fail Him! If our earthly love that we have for each other the the children in our lives is SO deep, think our the love GOD has for us, EVEN when we fail or our lives aren't "picture perfect!" I feel like God has spoken this to me "I love you, Traci, not because you're trying hard and not because you have a good heart or good motives, not because you're beautiful, not even because you do things well or not well at all! NOT because you perform for Me, but just because YOU ARE MINE!"

How incredible! CRAZY! God has shown me that He loves me in spite of anything and everything! I don't have to do anything for Him; I don't have to be something for Him. All I have to do is to accept it: He loves me just because I am His. Do you understand? You can know that there is Someone who loves you-not because of the way you look, not because of the talents you might have, not because you're such a hard worker, so efficient and well-organized, not because of your appearance or performance in any way, shape or form-but because you are HIS!

God will not force you to become His, and He will not force you to receive His love either. It is pure choice, your choice. You choose to believe what He said. You choose to tell others about His love. You begin to draw from His strength. You cling to His faithfulness to you. You bask in His complete acceptance of you. You retreat into the peace that you find only in His presence. You've come to accept yourself because of Him. You are His...and He is yours..and you are in love!  

I have to choose to receive it, to live in it, to believe in it, despite how I feel. I have to choose to give up my way of doing things and allow Him to work His incredible plan in my life, to become my life. Ultimately, I have to choose to leave the uncertainty of my world and walk into the certainty of Him!

Lovingly God's Daughter,
Traci

Fixing My Eyes On Father


Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. -Hebrews 12:2

God is taking me through a beautiful, yet extremely painful growth spurt in my walk with Him! It's wonderful and a blessing and very rewarding, but why does it have to be SO hard? I don't really know why, but I'm discovering SO many things during this time. I'm already seeing how God has changed so much in my heart and broken off lies and different things in me that aren't off Him. It's just a continual growing process. It doesn't just happen overnight. I've noticed that things that God takes the most time with are often the most beautiful things. I know that nothing in my life is worthy of being called beautiful. The only way ANY of it COULD be called beautiful is only by God's doing. He's writing my story. I've made many mistakes, believed SO many lies from the enemy and have tried to fix myself by doing better in areas where I'm weak and I fail! I have tried doing things I know that are right and I fail...of course a lot of this has been in my own strength and not living through the things God has placed on the inside of me. I fail when I TRY TO DO THINGS or TO FIX THINGS or MAKE THINGS BY MYSELF. Anything in me that I personally try to do in my own ability and strength is going to fail or crumble because I'm not IN CHRIST in those moments. I am "in Traci." Why do I think that I have my life under control?!?

For example, I can honestly say that I have struggled financially some and I struggled once with providing myself with food and I would somehow ALWAYS get a meal! That was TOTALLY God and I would look in that moment and think "WOW! God! You TRULY do take care of me!" It's amazing how God provides and loves and takes care of His children. WHY IN THE WORLD do I worry and believe the stupid, dumb lies of the Enemy!? The truth is-it sounds "right" when I'm not looking at myself or others or certain circumstances through God's eyes. If I would start to look at life in every single detail through the lens of my Heavenly Father, then MAYBE I would start believing and seeing what HE SEES! It's SO hard, right? Especially when life gets hard! BUT when Paul was shipwrecked and beaten and left for dead and put in prison, etc, did he base who He was and who GOD IS off of those circumstances and did he look to his past and beat himself up or believe the Enemy? OR did He trust and believe God, NO MATTER WHAT life through his way? He trusted in the sovereignty of our wonderful Heavenly Father!

Where are our eyes fixed? On HIM or on ourselves? Do we believe Him and HIS PROMISES? OR do we listen to the lies and the accusations and condemnations and stupidity of the Enemy? It's God's PROMISES over the Enemy's stupid lies! How do we find God's promises? In His word! Spending time with Jesus will help us in knowing who we are in Christ and the promises that He has for our lives!

Fixing My Eyes On Father,
Traci

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BIG Family!?


I come from a family with 9 children-7 boys and 2 girls and my Momma and Daddyo! I desire to have a big family of my own one day-after I'm married of course (and if that's in God's plans and my future husband wants that too)! I'm also adopted and would love to adopt children too, only if God has those plans for my life! It's really a lot of fun having a big family! You ALWAYS have someone to talk to or to spend time with and when you're little there is ALWAYS someone you can play with! It's also nice that I have 7 brothers! I know it's crazy but I am SO happy God gave me 7 brothers instead of 7 sisters! God knew what He was doing. I have a desire to have a big family, but I know God knows what's best and has wonderful plans for my life. If God only wanted me to have 3 kids I would be happy! Either way I LOVE children and big families! It's beautiful! :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Walk on the Water



Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)

Keep Moving Forward Into The Love of God-Forget the Old Self, The Old Lies. Make Jesus Your #1 and His plans will come to pass in Your life! ....Believe me, I'm learning how to give God more of me and this is NOT easy..it's hard trusting God! It's hard stepping out of the boat and onto the water! BUT we can give God ALL of us because He LOVES US SO MUCH and has AMAZING plans for us..we just have to learn to give Him COMPLETE control, even when it's hard! (This encouragement is for me as well as I hope it encourages you!) He's our WONDERFUL Father and the greatest Lover of ALL time! He loves SO deep and SO much! I desire to love like Jesus and to live like my Heavenly Father. So come with me as we embark on this journey of stepping out of our comfort and control zone in our boat and stepping on the water in faith trusting that Jesus has our lives in the palms of His hands! His hand is reaching out to you and me. Yes, it is hard, it takes faith, but will we trust Him with EVERYTHING, EVERY AREA of our lives?

Listen to this song, it's one of my many favorites!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeTu8twnGvU

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Falling in Love



Have you ever fell in love before? It's amazing, right? You see an imperfect person as loved and cherished and you care for them. Love is CRAZY really. Love literally changes your life, whether you are the one loving someone or the one being loved by someone-love changes us!

Just recently I fell in love. My whole life changed and has continually changed since the moment I met the one I love. I started thinking about the one I love ALL the time! I started desiring to be with the one I love ALL the time. I longed to be there in the arms of the one I love and know that I am loved back-no matter what. There's nothing quite like it really! It's truly the greatest feeling and knowing in the whole world! To walk with the one I love, to talk with the one I love and to just know that no matter what-the one I love is never leaving, but staying faithful to me even when I fail over and over again. No matter what, the one I love loves who I am! It's that unconditional love that changes us.

The world throws this fake version of love in our faces and tells us that love is "here today and gone tomorrow, so love while you can!" The truth is-love NEVER leaves and we don't have to be someone we are not to be loved by anyone. Love is given freely and love is not a "if you are____ (fill in the blank) then I will love you..." Love is a choice. Love is sacrificial, love is faithful, love overlooks a multitude of wrongs and forgives. Love never fades, love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy, does not boast, is not self-seeking, love rejoices with the truth, love preservers. Love is so many things all in one! When you truly experience love yourself, you never want to go back!

Another exciting part of being in love is writing love letters! I LOVE writing (even though I haven't been on here in a long time, I'm sorry), and I especially love writing love letters! Love letters are the best-you can read them any time you want to remind you of the love a person has for you! Love letters are sentimental (or should be I hope), love letters are a way to freely express yourself to the one you love. Writing gets all of your thoughts out on paper and helps you release your feelings and emotions.

Love has literally changed my life. God is love..and that's the love I'm referring to at this moment. God has changed my life. Everything I've written about love is the things God has let me grow in in my relationship with Him! I am more in love with Jesus than I've EVER been! Yes, I do love in this way on earth, but nothing compares to the love I've experienced with Jesus! He loves me so much and has not ever stopped pursuing me and showing me HIS love, not my version of the kind of love He has for me-but His true, genuine love-the love HE HAS FOR ME! He desires to romance me! He wants my WHOLE HEART and my WHOLE LIFE! Something God has shown me recently is that He is jealous for me, meaning that He wants my whole attention! He wants to grow me and love me and show me amazing things in my relationship with Him. I have failed Him over and over and over SO SO SO SO SO much, but GOD STILL LOVES ME!



It's so incredibly difficult to be not literally in the arms of Jesus..because that's where I want to be! I know one day soon I will be with the one I love and that will be a beautiful day!

It's hard to be away from the ones I love on this earth..and I hope one day I can be with the ones I love-if I never get to, I know that they know down deep inside their hearts that I love them! God is taking good care of His children and I trust Him with my heart and my life! It's a growing process of trusting in God every day because it's hard to trust that He holds the future when I can't see it clearly.

I just want to encourage you to fall madly in love with your Father! God loves you tremendously and there's NOTHING YOU CAN EVER SAY OR DO or that ANYONE can EVER SAY OR DO to remove His never-ending, unconditional love for you! God loves you more than you love yourself or anyone else! I hope my love walk with Jesus just keeps growing!

Know that you are forgiven and loved and God is not mad at you at all! He has compassion on you and wants to hear EVERYTHING-the good, the bad and the ugly. He wants to talk to you about everything in your life. Read His love letter to you-The Bible and write love letters to Him! Go on walks with Jesus, sing to Him, talk to Him, listen to Him and never lose hope! Keep letting Him romance you and keep running to your Daddy God! He's got you! We are precious to Jesus. We are His. Don't stop! RUN AFTER GOD WITH ALL YOU HAVE AND ALL THAT IS INSIDE YOU. Know that HIS love compels you to Him, it is not of your own strength or ability that you can even love God outside of God because GOD IS LOVE!

I'm falling more in love with Jesus every day and I hope you are falling for Him too!

Love,
Traci

Friday, March 21, 2014

Encouragement




I haven't written on my blog in SO long! I apologize! Life is so busy sometimes, especially working 2 jobs and college and keepin up with life! There is so much I could say and write about so it is difficult to pick one thing to talk about. So, to start off I just want to encourage you in Jesus! God has been growing me a LOT recently and building my faith and love for Him. I have never experienced what I am experiencing in my walk with God right now! It's exciting and so wonderful to feel the freedom and love of the Father! We all go through life and we all have ups and downs and I get that! It's not by our own ability that we change and become like Jesus, but it's by our Heavenly Father's great love and power that changes us. He makes us who we are! He uses the things in our lives to build character and love for Him! Give everything over to Him-every fear, every worry, every single thing in your life over and let Him keep it and do with it whatever He wants! Let God make you into HIS beautiful masterpiece! :)

So, in saying that I want to encourage you to trust your Heavenly Father to love you no matter what, to speak to you and to grow you and make you who He wants you to be! Stay in the word of God and let it be like water that runs through you! Let it refresh you and nurture you! God's words are truth and they are freedom! God's words are powerful! God's words created the Heavens and the earth! God's words knit you together in your mothers womb! God's words spoke the whole earth into existence! God cares about you, every single detail of your life! He has a beautiful plan and purpose for you! I have faith that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion! Have faith even when you can't see what's ahead! Have faith in Jesus and God's words! He does not lie and He is FAITHFUL to the end! Rest in His love, bask in His presence and read His word, remember His promises and live out your faith! Keep running the race that is set before you! Don't give up and I'm praying for you!

Monday, September 2, 2013

I Am Cut


Does this image look familiar to you in any way? It's a cry for HELP, for love, for someone to notice them! They need a friend. They need someone who cares!  I have come in contact with so many people who are struggling with cutting! This breaks my heart! SO many people are hurting! They need to know that they are loved and treasured and valued! God sees them as a jewel...they are NOT alone. I know similarly what these people are going through! I personally have struggled with depression and many other things. God sees his children as treasured! Christ has already taken the scars and the punishment! What have we to say Christ was not enough? He is GREATER and His love is DEEPER than what we feel and what the LIES of the enemy tell us! He is the best decision I've made!

If anyone has any ideas on how to reach out to these people, PLEASE let me know! I want to help where I can and I know that even a smile or a hug and just being a friend can and DOES do SO much! You are NOT alone if you struggle with cutting! I love you and so does Jesus! You are NOT alone and YOU ARE LOVED! <3

Monday, June 24, 2013

~Dreams~



Your heart is racing, your whole body is sweating and it's become more and more difficult to breathe. You can't escape, but you're trying to figure out how. He's running after you...you keep running for your life, but you feel out of breath soon! What are you going to do?? You're mind is trying to gather information on how to handle this situation but there seems to be no way out, you're stuck. Finally since there is no solution, you wake up! Whewww...it was JUST a dream!


Dreams can be very interesting...just recently I've been having a few nightmares and they seemed so real. It was like I couldn't escape and I was stuck. One dream was about terrorists and the one I had last night was about tornado's coming through. Both dreams I was scared and couldn't escape the situation. I was SO grateful when I woke up and realized that it was JUST a dream. Dreams can often times seem SO real. For one of my dreams I had, I woke up with my head buried underneath the covers, heart bounding and my body perspiring. Sometimes we think that dreams are our fault and we did something to get them, etc...but we didn't and that's sometimes hard to remember when you're coming out of a dream or just woke up from one! For one, it's NOT reality, and it's dreams. Dreams can come from thoughts and feelings that you've had throughout the day and it can also be spiritual-God can speak through dreams and the Devil can also give you nightmares that are NOT of God, JUST to make you scared...When I wake up from dreams I like to pray about them, no matter what they are. If it's a nightmare I ask God to help me work through it and to realize it was JUST a dream and I tell the Devil to stop and leave me alone. If it's a crazy dream I just laugh and if it's a dream I believe is from God I pray about it and that God would show me what He is trying to speak to me about.

I encourage you that when you start to have good or bad dreams to 1) Realize it's NOT YOUR FAULT. 2) Pray about it that God would help you through it 3) Go on about your day and realize that dreams are dreams-if their from God, He will show you, otherwise we can just move on and pray that God would help us with that.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dreams...

I've had several dreams of mine for awhile that I guess I've just been ignoring and never truly pursued. I am still praying through some things at this point, but I am starting to think God has placed these desires here in my heart and it's for a reason and a purpose! They haven't gone away since I was a little girl-I still have them to this day! I've always prayed that God would give me His desires in my heart and I really think I should try pursuing some of them now (if God supplies a way-which I am praying His will and if this is Him then I believe He will)! I hope to do very well and get my Early Childhood Education Degree, I want to try to get violin lessons, I would love to write a book someday and become an author. I am also considering going on to get my Sign Language Interpreter Degree! If God wants me to then that's what I will do! I have had all of these desires since I was probably 5 or 6 years old. I really believe they are from God and I have been seeking Him and praying for direction and I really believe that this is probably where He is leading me. If it is, then I know God will make a way-financially, emotionally and in any way that I need!  He is SO faithful and has been supplying EVERY need of mine since I was born-literally! I hope all of these dreams and desires come true if they're from Jesus and I really think God has something in store for my future! I can't wait to find out what it is! I am excited for no matter how great or small it might be! :) Please pray for guidance and direction and finances to fall into place so I can do everything Jesus has called me to do! :) I appreciate the prayers!

Daughter of My Heavenly Father's Heart,

Traci

Have Your way in my life Jesus! :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Hero, My Inspiration!


Rachel Joy Scott..Just hearing her story, saying her name or thinking about her inspires me! When her book came out "Rachel's Tears" I got it and I read it. It was one of the most amazing, inspirational stories I have ever read in my entire life. Her passion and love for Jesus is AMAZING! I want to be like her in SO SO many ways! She loved Jesus and she made Him known. There are so many things about Rachel that I wish I could be like. I just wish I could have met her-to be her friend. As I read her story I asked that God would make me like Rachel..I prayed that I would be like her and shine Jesus like her. I often still do pray that my life would be a reflection of Jesus. She is part of the biggest reasons I have 30+ journals and the reason I was inspired to do what I do and who I am. When she died I was 6 years old and I remember that day so well-the day she was martyred for believing in Jesus. I even remember the news stories and going to Acquire the Fire YEARS later and her story was still being told! I want to be like Rachel. Her life was truly a light and I want Jesus to do that in me.

God made me and God made Rachel. I am happy that God made me who I am and He made Rachel who she is. I think though, that God placed Rachel's story in my life to help encourage me in my walk with Jesus. Every year (several times a year) I read Rachel's story and I think about who she was and what she did and what her dreams were. I just hope that someday I can meet her in Heaven and tell her how inspiring she was to me. Sometimes as I think about her story I just cry because of the HUGE impact she has had on my life and her life and death were HUGE in people's lives. She not only inspired my life, but I know MANY other people's lives!

Jesus make me who you want me to be! Let me love you like Rachel did and even more than she did! God let me be who you want me to be and you get all the glory and honor in my life! Use it any way you wish! I am YOURS forever!

"I will NOT be labeled as average."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Finding My Voice


       
                Today I had a session time with my counselor and we discussed some very important things...One of which was "Traci, you need to take back the voice that was taken from you as a child." You have the power and ability to say "no" to things and to set appropriate and right boundaries..As a young child your boundaries were violated and you had no ability or power to take control, but now you must take back your voice and realize that you have one. You must realize that people will try and do try to cross your boundaries and you need to realize-you are no longer a victim like you were when you were younger. You are an adult and you have the power to protect the temple God gave you! You are the temple of the Holy Spirit and what people have done and do to you that hurt you, they are hurting God and His temple. Take back your voice...."

I have been in counseling for a little while to go back over things from when I was wounded in my past. I want to grow and be healed more and more. I want to be who God has called me to be and realize that everyone has a past and everyone has something bad and hard that they have gone through (maybe even more than one thing) but that does not make them bad or anything of the like. That's why we need Jesus. He took the weight and all the sin and wounds and pain and hurt from us. We are more than conquerors through Christ who lives in us. I have a voice that God has given me and He has a plan and purpose for my life. He works all things out for the good of those who are called according to His purpose. I am called and I am chosen. I am God's child and in my weakness' Christ is made perfect. I am finding my voice..

Friday, March 29, 2013

Follow Me on Facebook!


Follow me on Facebook.com if you want to keep up with updates on new posts that I post on my blog! :) I hope you enjoy my blog! Sorry it's been a long time since I've actually written on my blog, I've been super busy with school! Thanks for understanding and I hope to get back to my writing! Make comments about what you would like to hear me write about and I will try my best to write on that subject!

Click Here to follow my facebook page!

Thanks Again,

Traci

Human Trafficking-The slavery that needs a voice


"A man approached Brittany at a mall in her hometown, asked if she was looking for a job, and gave her a business card for a local restaurant he owned. When Brittany called the number on the card, the man confirmed that he was looking for waitresses to start working immediately. Brittany needed the job and asked for the restaurant’s address, but the man told her he would pick her up at the mall where they first met. Instead of going to the restaurant, the man drove her to a nearby hotel and told her that she was going to be a prostitute instead of a waitress. At gunpoint, Brittany was force to drink bottles of vodka and take blue pills that made her dizzy and disoriented. Brittany tried to look for help but was locked in the hotel room without access to a phone. After three days of being beaten, drugged, and forced to have sex with at least 60 men, Brittany managed to escape and asked the first car she saw to call the police. Polaris Project provided case management services to Brittany, and with time and a strong support system she was able to enroll in school."

http://www.polarisproject.org/index.php

Human Trafficking is very serious. So many people get caught up in it as a result of family, friends, or being kidnapped or in airports. There are so many people in human trafficking without a voice. We can be that voice. We are able to speak and do something about it that they can't. They need our help and our prayers. We need to pray and ask God to help them and when given opportunities to make a difference we should speak for those children and women and some boys caught up in this torturous slavery. Human Trafficking is REAL and it is WRONG and it is SCARY! It happens all over the world, including the U.S. We can't stand back and watch it happen. I encourage you to keep praying and ask God to show you how YOU personally can make a difference in this area. Don't be afraid to speak about it and find ways to help. You are needed and those people involved are needed for something greater! Pray for the abusers and the people who are doing the harm. They really need our prayers as well. We are here for a purpose and we all have a hope-the hope of Jesus! I will speak against human trafficking and do all I can to make a difference in this area. I hope you will do the same!
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Letting Go





I want to share with you something that God has done in my life recently. I have recently come to the point in my walk with God that I feel like God has proven how faithful He is in my life and how amazing He is. He provides, protects, leads and takes care of me; he has been amazing in my life! I have realized this for awhile but I always seem to keep things in my own hands and never really give God every area of my life for fear that something won't go the way I had planned it to in my life. Yes, as I have been loving and following after Jesus things don't always go my way, but it's been God's way in the end, my life isn't mine, but His and He has a GREAT plan for it! This life isn't about "me" or "I," but about Him and His plan for my life. Every time I am scared in my life for some reason, God has always been there and has been there for me! He rescues me in time of need and when I just want to talk to Him He is ALWAYS there! God's plan hasn't been what I had expected over and over again, BUT it's been HIS plan and NOT MINE. God's plan for our lives is the best plan, who could make a better life and story for HIS glory than Himself.

Recently I have been (by God's grace and Him working in me to help me do it) let go of every area of my life, yes I am STILL learning and growing (and I'm not saying I am perfect, I think letting God lead is a daily submission to Jesus not just a one time deal), but I am tired of doing things my way, I want His way and His plan because He's my Father and I know He will and does take care of me and love me as high as the heavens are above the earth and as far as the east is from the west. There is no reason I should ever doubt Him at all! I could make a list of the things God has done in me and in my family to show me and us that He loves us and that He is faithful and true and is a wonderful father! The list is HUGE! Every time I call, He is there, every time I am weak, He is there. EVERY TIME HE IS THERE!!!

Here are some things that I have seen God's love and faithfulness in my life and in my family:
1)when I was young and in an abusive home-God was there and nothing went too too far and I am still loving Him!
2)When God led my sister and 2 brothers to my new parents
3)When I actually became adopted-which I never dreamed up in my own thinking-but God knew and that was the best plan for us!
4)When my sister lost her memory-God was there and brought her memory back and has healed and continues to be there for her!
5)When my youngest brother drowned-He died, but by God's wonderful grace, mercy and Him helping my Mom and our family, He heard our prayer and He is still alive and has nothing wrong with Him
6)After being abused by several men in my life-I still am following Jesus and He's been there and has protected me EVERY time!
7)When we left our church of 9 years of being there, God was there and has guided us to another great church, even in the pain of leaving-GOD was there and is still Here with us guiding our lives!

THE LIST could go on, this is just some things God has done! :)


So, one area that is my hardest and biggest area to let go of is: my future and I always worry about so much! I am tired of worrying and I honestly believe God has the best in store, so I am taking my hands completely off. I will not try to make anything happen for my life-I am giving it to Jesus. I really do trust Him and I need God to do this in me to help me let go of things that are hard in my life, but I really believe He is giving me the strength and the ability to let go of me worrying about things in my life and trying to make things work out the way that I want them to. I Give it to YOU Jesus, I can't take care of me! I want to love You the way that You love me! I want to be Yours COMPLETELY! I am letting Go of my life and really, truly surrendering every area over to You! You take authority and control, I will just sit back and watch You work as I walk in what You have called me to in Your Word. I love You Jesus, please live through me and in me! All I want is YOU above everything in this world and everything in me! Let this life not be about me, but about YOU and Your Kingdom! I want You! Take total control Jesus! I love You!

Completely His,
Traci

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Healthy Relationships



There's more to relationships than the feelings. There's more to relationships than what the media and the ways of this world says. Relationships of any kind are built on a commitment of love and support, of forgiveness and truth and ultimately it is built on God and the His ways, well at least a good healthy relationship is. When we seek our own selfish desires in a relationship, it doesn't get us anywhere. We must look to the needs and interests of the other person. We must learn to die to our selfish desires in many ways. I am learning this right now and have been for a while now. I know I won't be perfect and neither will you, but it's in our weakness we must ask ourselves if we are willing and have a desire to learn and overcome the trials and sins in our lives. Every relationship takes work, they don't just happen. Every relationship takes time as well. We will always be growing and we must be willing to grow and learn things about the other person and about oursleves to make the relationship work out. We must be humble and grow in the fruit of Christ. After marriage the growing doesn't stop, but it keeps going. We must get to the place that we are willing to admit we are wrong in an area and commit to pray and ask God to help us by living His word out in our lives.

I am no expert on relationship and I've never had a boyfriend, but I have seen great marriages and terrible marriages and I have great friends and others that I watch how they live and I notice that in marriages when a couple is struggling and wrestling through hard issues in life, that it's in those times that can break or make the marriage. You can't just "throw in the towl" if something goes wrong or bad, it's a life and death commitment to the person you chose to marry-in the good and bad times, in all times, seasons and things that this life brings us. That goes for ANY relationship, whether marriage or true friendships or family. We must remember that!

There is SO much that I have learned even though I am not in a relationship like marriage and I don't have a boyfriend and never have (someday I hope to-for the purpose of marriage at one point), but I have seen so many relationships and I just wanted to share with you a few things I have learned! I hope this helps!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Man of Godly Character-A Man After God's Own Heart





Men, I want to write this to you. I write a lot of things towards the women on my blog, but I really think it's good to take time every now and again to help and encourage the men. I want to start out by saying thank you to the Godly men who are pursuing Jesus and have a deep and personal relationship with Him, who are not easily swayed by the desires and things of this world that try to capture your heart and soul. I encourage all of the men to keep pursuing Jesus and the desires of His heart even when it seems that the whole world is against you. As a woman I see lots of things from the guys that I like and things that I don't like and don't think is helpful or leading to the Christian women. In my opinion and from what I have learned, I know that a Godly man should be humble, kind, generous, have the fear of God, Love Jesus tremendously, be willing to lay down his life for his family, be a leader in the home and marriage and in any relationship. A Godly man should be built on the words of Jesus and not on the things of this world. Every man has his weaknesses but I believe that the important part is that a deep personal relationship with Jesus is critical because if that is there then God will show you and guide you in the way you should go. Hearing God's voice is SUPER important! Lead the women and children in your family to do the right things! Be an example to those around you! Wear clothing that glorified Jesus (PLEASE don't show your boxers or underwear, it's NOT attractive AT ALL). A Godly woman desires the things of Jesus in Her husband and husband to be (At least I know I do).

I want a man who loves God more than He loves me. Be men of courage and strength and character and dignity! I am praying for you (and for my future husband) a lot! I hope this encourages you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lies





Recently God has been doing a lot of things in my life. He has been growing and maturing me in SO many ways. I am learning so much right now. One thing that I am learning are a lot of lies that I have believed for SO long. There is one lie that is the hardest of all of the lies that I am having trouble with and it connects to many different areas of my life. Ya, I know what the lies are that I have believed in my heart, and in my head I knew that they were/are lies. Some lies I have believed and occasionally have trouble with are: 1) I am not good enough 2) I am not beautiful 3) No godly guy would ever want me 4) God is mad at me, the list could be bigger. Since I have recognized these lies, I have been trying to replace them with the TRUTH of God's word, which says  1) Greater is He that is in me than He that is in this world 2) I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I am beautiful 3) There is a godly guy that I will one day marry and He will want me because it will be God's plan for my life and if I were not to ever get married, then Jesus wants me and He is my husband. 4) God is not mad at me. He is in love with me and is patient towards me and desires a close relationship with me. He desires me and I am attractive. I am loved. I am cherished and I am wanted by the King of Kings and that's all that matters.

I am growing in so many ways and I think that there is no way to really describe everything that Jesus TRULY is doing in me, but I know that I am maturing in Him and I am excited for all of what He is doing in me! I am believing the truth and not the lies and it's amazing. Life has been hard recently because I am getting healed and growing up so much in Jesus, and I am so excited about it!! God has a plan for my life and I am running after Him with my whole heart and it's the best thing EVER! I love You Jesus!!!!! <3 <3 <3

Friday, September 7, 2012

Set Apart For Him






Being set apart is being different than others. It's when people look and wonder why you're so different than them. What do we have that others want or don't want? In this case I am referring to being set apart as Christians. As a follower of Jesus, we should want to be like Christ-our goal should be to love Him and spread His light into all the world. When others see you, do they see HIM? When others see you or I do they think "I wonder what's so different about him/her?" Every moment and every day is an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, to be the change you're desiring to see in others. When given the opportunity to speak the truth of Christ and what He's done in and through you and others, don't take those moments for granted. You never know if that's the last time the person you're talking to will have a chance to hear the truth and the light and life of Jesus. You are called, you are chosen and you are made for something greater-Christ and His Kingdom and life! Don't be afraid, don't back down! Jesus is Your strength and Your help. He is there and will guide you to the right people and give you the courage to speak and act at the right time! Pray that Jesus will make you set apart and bold to speak and act when given the chance! The glory goes to Jesus and He is there to work in and through you! Don't be afraid to stand out, that's how the lost get found! :)

Set Apart For Him,
Traci

Monday, September 3, 2012

Listen to the Promptings of the Spirit

Today in my devotional entitled "New Day New You" by Joyce Meyer, I was so encouraged by it that I just want to share with you what was in it. So here it is:



Listen to the Promptings of the Spirit

But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under {obedience to} the old code of written regulations, but {under obedience to the promptings} of the Spirit in newness {of life}. 
-Romans 7:4

"According to this passage, we are no longer under the restraints of the law but now serve the Lord under obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. A prompting is a 'knowing' down deep inside of you telling you what to do. First Kings 19:11-12 describes the 'still, small voice' the Lord used with Elijah: 'And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was no in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice.'

A prompting from the Lord in not like hitting someone over the head with a hammer to prompt them to do something! The Lord did not use the great and strong wind, the earthquake, or the fire as a prompting but instead came as 'a sound of gentle stillness' and 'a still, small voice.'

The prompting of  'a still, small voice' is not necessarily a voice; it can be God's wisdeom giving you direction in that moment. First Corinthians 1:30 tells us, 'But it is from him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our Wisdom from God.' If we are born again, Jesus is living inside us. If He is inside us, we have God's wisdom in us to draw on at any moment! But unless we listen to wisdom, it won't do us any good.'"

Hope you enjoyed this devotional and I hope you and I listen today and this week and forever to that still small voice-the Holy Spirit and Wisdom!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Micah 7:18-20 -VLOG


Today I decided to do a video Blog! Enjoy!

video

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mornings With Jesus!





God speaks to us in many ways. Just this last night I had a choice to spend time with God, or do other things that I thought were more important, like homework or reading a novel or a book about going organic and what that really means. Yes, I was tempted to do these things and other things too, but God showed me that I desperately needed to spend time with Him. He showed me that I have not made Him first priority in my life recently. Instead I have made my schedule and the things that I feel are important at the time my priority. That is wrong and I have known and felt terrible about for a very long time, but I haven't taken any action to make my spirit come in control over my flesh and the things I want to do. My spirit and the things of God need to rule any decision I make, no matter if they aren't necessarily "bad" things, but things that need to come last in terms of my order of priorities. God MUST be number one and without that set in stone, I can't go and move in the direction God has called me! God has never let me down or you down. He has been faithful and loving and patient with us and what do we do in return? We ignore Him, push Him away and don't listen. We think we know more than He does and we rule our own lives, when God really just wants us to submit to His plan and walk in obedience to Him. Things won't always be easy, but God is always there and He's there waiting for us to turn to Him. We all have a choice to follow the ways of the Spirit of God or the ways of this world and the fleshly desires. We all have a choice as to who we allow to influence us and the choices we make every day define who we are as a person! I encourage you to use the times and the things God does to change you from the inside out! I want Him to be number one, so I am making a conscious decision to do just that! I hope you will as well! If that means waking up early in the morning and spending time with Jesus-just Him and I, then that's what I'll do and what I did last night! That was the choice I made! I hope you are encouraged and continue doing good! Continuing in the things of God and in His word! He loves YOU! Remember that! You are becoming a reflection of Him! :) Keep it up!

Monday, August 20, 2012

How To Get Rid of Acne and Acne Scars Naturally





If anyone has hated acne the way I hate acne, I know how you feel and I know what you're going through! It's terrible..looking at acne and acne scars makes you want to rip them off your face or maybe someone else's face. The problem-HOW DO I GET RID OF IT? Well I have tried many things and the best "at home" remedy that I have found is mixing yogurt, sour cream, oats and lemon juice together and smearing it on the face or the affected acne/acne scar area. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off. Do this several times a day/week/month until all of the acne and acne scars are gone. After you rinse it off, your face will already start to feel smooth and vibrant! It feels amazing and dries it up quickly! Pretty much, it works! You have your answer! Try this at home and leave your comments here to tell me if you liked it or not and what your experience was with it!

Thanks for reading!
~Hater or acne and acne scars~
Traci

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Death and Life



Listen to this...this is one guys thoughts, studies and opinions on death and life...What do you think?

click here for video

"To live is Christ and to die is gain."

Death in this human body is inevitable unless Jesus returns before we die. As a Christian we have hope and we have a future. We will live with Jesus forever. That is the hope we have. We do not need to fear death. We all will die one way or another. In our life we must choose to die and in our death we must choose to live. Meaning as a Christian we are making an impact and a difference in the world just by living and being a Christian-being different and set apart. I don't have life down and I have a lot to learn and grow in. We must learn to die to our flesh and let the Holy Spirit guide and direct our path. If we die as a Christian physically, we will live with HIM forever. If we die to our flesh we still will live a wonderful life-because to live is Christ and to die is GAIN! We DO gain and are revealed more of Jesus when we die. I encourage you to live every day to be like Jesus. Make an impact in someone's life, for you may be the only "BIBLE" they read...meaning that if you and I live like Jesus, others will see HIM and His amazing love and grace and life that others will be drawn to what you have. If we live out the Bible, others see our lives and are in essence "reading" our lives.

You are the light of the world, the salt of the earth!




Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beauty

Girls, sometimes we forget these things, but the truth is...true beauty comes from within. God sees us without makeup and He sees us the way we are-our good and bad, all of it, yet He still loves us and calls us beautiful! Don't try to be like what the media says, instead be who God says you are! I am learning this as well! Be who God made you to be! You are beautiful and you don't have to show it off so others will see it! The right guy will come along and He will see YOU! When you dress immodestly, you are asking for heartbreak and your breaking the guys' hearts as well. We need to help them guard their eyes and thoughts! You only have one man just like all the men only have one woman for them...so why lure other women's future husbands to you? Don't you want to help men and women to remain faithful for each other! You're beautiful and if You (and I) believe it more, then we won't be insecure and feel non-beautiful! YOU ARE GORGEOUS! :) TRUST ME! God doesn't make junk and trash...on the other hand if we don't take care of ourselves, then that means that if we start looking less beautiful because of what we have done to our bodies, it's not God's fault, but our own. So we must believe the truth that we are beautiful and not dress immodestly and take care of our bodies!!! You are loved! Believe it!!! :)

Hope you are encouraged! :)


Friday, August 10, 2012

The Triangle Connection

Have you ever wondered how one meets and marries the right one? Well the answer is simple, just like this triangle above both the future husband and wife have to keep their focus on Jesus. It's like the two of you are a million miles apart (maybe), but if your focus is on God, you know you will meet them running right next to you in your race to the prize-God's kingdom. God is all knowing and He know's who you and I will marry. So our job is to trust in Him and run to Him in all times in our life. I know what it's like to feel lonely or to feel distant or afraid or nervous, scared or worried, but we must remember that fear and worry only destroys what we see ourselves as and what God sees us as. It is times of trust that matter, not fear and worry. Besides, isn't there a quote that says that worry subtracts 7 years from your life? I don't know if that's right, but I do know that trusting will make your and my faith grow stronger. I need stronger faith, that's for sure! I don't think there could ever come a time where I have had enough faith for my life. Life is a journey, so in this journey focus on God and everything else will fall into place, even the person you marry will one day be in your and my life, so we don't need to worry about a thing in this world! God's got it in His hands. We just need wisdom, strength, faith and trust knowing that no matter what happens God is STILL God and He knows our past, our present and our future! So let's TRUST HIM! :)

Remember this triangle if it helps you! :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Past and Present-Pictures

Here are some pictures of some photo's I've edited or taken recently! Enjoy! :)

My twin brother and I as babies! :)
One of us was called Bright Eye's and the other was called Chubby Cheeks! Guess Who was who! :)

This was taken when I was shopping with my sister who came to visit and that's me wearing silly glasses!

This is of my little brother Joel and Lily (a little girl I babysit twice a week) and the bottom pic is of Joel and I

This is of me at 16, 18, and 19 years old. The one in the middle is the most recent of these pics!

Black and White version of the one above!

Just this past week I went to Kentucky to visit my grandmother and we went to Columbus Park and these are some pics of my brothers John and Joel and myself when we went to spend part of a week with our Mema! :) <3

The one pic above ^ and the two below are edited versions of one's I've posted in the past!






There you have it! Just some pics!








Guidance and Direction


"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper You and not to harm You, plans to give you a future and a hope." ~Jeremiah 29:11~

My past mistakes and failures and my future goals and dreams. That's what has been on my mind and thoughts recently. I've been thinking about what God's desires and plans are for my life and the things I've done so far in my life and all the things God has in store for me. I have one more year of college and I don't know what God has planned for me in the next season of my life/the next step of my life. I am praying for wisdom, guidance and direction for my life. I want God's plan for my life and I hope I am all that He has called me to be! Jesus come be in me, guide my life with Your wonderful arms of life!

My plans and dreams I desire to be His plans and dreams! By the end of this year I will have my Early Childhood Education associate degree. I love children and hope I will have my own children one day, but I am so grateful that I get to help and lead children everywhere I go! I believe it is an honor and a privilege to lead children to know Jesus more! Please pray for me as I am learning and becoming what Christ desires me to be and do with my life! Thanks!