Tag Archives: faith

Treasures in My Heart

What a day! At nine months pregnant she had traveled many miles on the back of a donkey on her first road trip with Joseph. Then, when she was about to give birth, there was no place found for them to stay – no place to deliver the baby. They found shelter and warmth in a stable where they were likely in the presence of barn animals.

Finally, Mary gave birth (a first-time experience) to Jesus, God’s own son!

Then, to their surprise (I would imagine) they were greeted by shepherds. Most nativity sets depict just one shepherd, but in Luke 2:15 we read, “The shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’” So there were many shepherds who arrived on the scene and left glorifying and praising God, telling everyone about what they had seen and heard.


“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart,” Luke 2:19.


CJ treasureI used to think Mary treasured and pondered this beautiful moment while holding God’s son in her arms. I still think she did, but I also believe that she treasured and pondered the whole experience from the time she found out she was pregnant until the shepherds left rejoicing.

Why did Mary hold all these things in her heart? Because no one else could understand or even begin to comprehend all she had seen, heard, believed, and felt. No one.

These thoughts about Mary came to me as I considered all I have experienced this past year. I have done much pondering, but many things keep popping out of my mouth and heart. I keep attempting to express them and draw understanding from others. I leave those conversations feeling empty and dissatisfied. Maybe it’s time to take all these “treasures” and share them solely with Jesus; to hold the beautiful and ugly in my heart and then let Jesus hold my healing heart.

treasure 2

Someday, when the time is right and my heart is healed enough, it will come out just right. I will be able to express the best things to help others. It will satisfy because it will fit my purpose of enriching others’ lives. It will Be Extraordinary!

Is there anything in your life that needs a little more treasuring and pondering within before it comes out? Jesus, the great Healer, wants to touch those areas of your life as only He can. He is the One who knows what you have been through and what you are going through. Take it all to Him – ponder and treasure those things in your heart – and let Jesus share the joys and sorrows of your unexplainable journey.

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Be the Best Mom Ever!

best mom everWe will never be perfect, but in order to live the extraordinary life, we must become more and more like Jesus. Let’s say I want to live an extraordinary life by becoming a better mom . . .
How can I be a better mom?
  1. Read a book about being a good mom.
  2. Make great dinners and after-school snacks the kids love.
  3. Learn from other moms who seem to be doing it right.
  4. Take a parenting class.
All of these ideas are great and even important; however, there is an important factor to consider. We, as moms, are all unique. Our personalities, likes, dislikes, upbringing, gifts, and talents are all different. The child we are striving to love better is also unique. They are not the same as we are and they are not the same as any other child on the planet, even their siblings (even if they’re twins!)
With all of the unique, like-no-other factors, how can I become a better mom? How can I increase my capacity to love, nurture, and train my one-of-a-kind child? How can I learn to have greater compassion, kindness, gentleness, and love toward my child that is more challenging? I’m an imperfect, broken human being . . . what can I possibly do?
The question that begs asking is not what can I do, but rather who can I become?
Mark 10-14I must become more and more like Jesus.
When I become like Jesus
  1. I will hear His voice. (not in parenting alone)
  2. I will know what to do. (wisdom)
  3. I will be filled with the fruit of the spirit which will change my actions and reactions in everyday situations. (The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23)
Many questions in life do not boil down to one simple answer, but I believe this one – “How can I be a better mom?” – does.
As a mom, dad, husband, wife, co-worker, or boss be more like Jesus. . .

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Something Greater at Work

I have a number of friends going through extremely difficult circumstances right now. All of the circumstances are different – some involve kids, marriage, jobs, loneliness, family heartache, health issues, injustice, etc. We live in a heart-breaking world and we only have to listen for a few minutes to realize that there are people in pain all around us.

Friends, I am truly sorry for your pain. My heart breaks and I often cry out to God on your behalf, but today I am thankful for all of it. I know that sounds terrible. In fact, I’m trying to find a better way to write it, but hear me out.

God is working2My ache for your pain would not be as real, honest, and deep as it is without the pain I have endured the past few years. I have not endured your same pain or your same circumstance, but the pain (my pain) that I have experienced has built within me compassion for those who are hurting in all areas. My eyes see your pain differently. My heart feels your pain more realistically.

My prayers to God on your behalf would be weaker and fewer, and the results I pray for would be different if I had not spent months weeping before God for myself and my family. I am experiencing and understanding God like never before. I love God like never before. I trust God like never before.

In the song, 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) it says,

“Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I worship Your holy name.”

I “sing like never before” because of all God has brought me through. Because of the pain, the joy, and everything in between that God has allowed on my path, I can sing and connect to God “like never before.”

So, my friends in difficult circumstances, hold on tight to Jesus. Lean into God. Know, love, and experience God fully. If knowing God better is the only reason for your pain – He’s worth it! Please know this . . . although you may not be able to see it now, God is working things in you and through you that are absolutely extraordinary. And He always completes His good work. I pray that you will see some of that completion when you are on the other side of your trial and using your experience of God to encourage and bless others.

Enduring the pain and choosing the high road of love, endurance, and forgiveness is not always easy, but it is always worth it!

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

A Little Look at Grace

night and dayI am doing a read-through-the-Bible program with my church – actually, I’m listening. It’s a great way to use my car time and is also helpful since I’m not a very fast reader. When I read through the Bible it amazes me how new phrases, stories, and people are brought to my attention each time. One story that challenged me so far is that of Sarai and Hagar.

Hagar is Sarai’s maid-servant. Sarai became frustrated and impatient when she did not get pregnant as God had promised. It was taking far too long according to Sarai’s plans and so she gave Hagar to her husband and Hagar became pregnant. This started an intense, emotional, angry cat-fight between the women. They despised each other. Abram saw what was happening and told Sarai, “‘Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.’ Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.” (Genesis 16:6)

The Lord reached down and showed amazing kindness and grace to Hagar. It is a beautiful story, especially if you are in a lonely place. You can read the entire story in Genesis 16.

There is a piece of this story that caught my attention like never before. In Genesis 17 God says to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

Sarah was blessed. Sarah was a leader alongside her husband. I imagine that Sarah was known by many, impacted many, loved many, and many loved her. I think of her like Princess Diana – helping and caring for the people her husband led. She was blessed by God Himself!

Now imagine how Hagar felt when she heard Sarah’s name spoken. What emotions would come up as she heard of the blessings bestowed upon Sarah, Abraham, and their community? God’s favor and Sarah’s usefulness were not limited by Hagar’s experience with Sarai.

There is some tough application here . . . speaking from my own experience.

Have you ever been hurt or treated unjustly by someone who loves Jesus? Have you (who love Jesus) ever been the bearer of hurt or treated someone else unjustly?

Have mean, unkind, downright wrong, or evil words or actions been done to you by someone who seems to be favored by God? Have you (who have received blessing from God) ever spoken or done mean, wrong, or evil things to someone else?

It’s happened – I’m 100% sure because we are human and we are not perfect.

I struggle with the fact that people who hurt me so badly could also be the agents of great blessing to others. My experience feels like the only possible truth. I admittedly don’t feel like giving much or any grace. After all, they ought to be held accountable for their actions. But . . . when I’m on the end of personally “messing up” I desire, expect, and sometimes demand all the grace in the world. That mess-up shouldn’t define me. After all, look at all the ways God has blessed me and all the people I, in turn, bless. I deserve grace!

See any application yet?

I encourage you to ponder these thoughts, as I continue to ponder them as well. God is teaching me much about grace and I will be writing more about it in the weeks and months to come. The extraordinary life challenges our thinking, our behavior, and requires new grace-filled thoughts and actions.

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

First Day . . . Again!

First Day of School 2015

First Day of School 2015

It is the first day of school in our new little town. I just returned from dropping the kids off at their new schools, with new teachers, and soon-to-be new friends. Leaving the car one by one were three kids with three very different perspectives on the day. One absolutely loves school and is a total optimist when it comes to school and learning. She set out full of massive amounts of nervous, excited energy. I have no doubt that she has already made a friend and told her teacher everything about the latest book she is reading.

The other two have different battles to face. One in middle school, one in high school, and both full of hormones and unpredictable emotions. They have real concerns about how they look, who they’ll eat lunch with, and if they’ll remember where their classes are.

One of my kiddos has been plagued with anxiety ever since we moved to Michigan two and a half years ago. You would never know it if you encountered him in a variety of contexts. You would see confidence, humor, and even a little arrogance, but the first day of school brings out a beast like none other. Anxiety is a terrible thing and I watch it take every piece of confidence out of this amazing kid. It breaks my heart. He cries. (He’s even thrown up more than once.) Then I trust the people at the new school once again to take care of my kid as I drive away . . . in tears. I keep my phone on me, hoping and praying that I don’t receive a call from the school.

As much as I communicate with the school and trust the office, teachers, and counselors to take care of my child and do what’s best for him, there is a bigger trust for me. I am choosing to entrust my kiddo, his growth, and his future to Almighty God.

He sees. He knows. He cares.

Just as the difficulties in my life are working, pruning, and developing character in me, God is growing, strengthening, developing, and creating an extraordinary story in their lives. As much as it hurts and breaks my heart, I don’t want to take this away from my kids. I remember when this anxiety first reared its ugly head in a major way.

It was the first day of school after moving to Michigan. It was April, the day everyone went back to school after spring break, and it was our kids’ first day in the new school. It did not go so well. As I talked on the phone with the counselor or sat in the drop-off line praying him out the door and into the school, I just wanted to quit. I wanted to pull him out of school, home-school him, and protect him from the loads of pain he was feeling. Then he survived, learned, grew, and was strengthened in his character. I could see it!

Then that fall when school began it happened again. And the next fall it happened again. And now, here we are at a new school . . . again.

Through my tears, as I write these words, I still believe it is worth it . . . for me and for my precious kiddo. I refuse to rob them of the lessons God wants to teach them. I refuse to control the situation in hopes of avoiding hurt because I will not withhold from this kid all that God has for them. It is through our greatest pains and sorrows where we learn to truly depend on and trust God. I want to learn those lessons for myself and I want my kids to learn those lessons too – even while they’re young, especially while they’re young.

Parents, do you need to allow your kids to experience the natural pains of life? I’m not talking about throwing them out to a pack of wolves or not standing by their side in full love and support. I am talking about how often we over-protect our kids from hurt or potential hurt because we think that is helping them. Do you need to help them by letting them strengthen their own spiritual muscles?

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Needs, Wants, and So Much More!

I am so thankful that all of my needs, and the needs of my family, are met. We have food on the table, gas in the tank, and a very nice roof over our heads. The kids are in school and Joe and I have work, yet during this season of transition I am not taking any of these met needs for granted. We are still in the midst of job/life/financial transition and it truly is God (through some of you!) supplying each of our needs.


“And my God will supply every need of yours according to His
riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19


What baffles me the most during this season is the way God is providing for our wants. These wants are extras. Some of them are important to our emotional health, the health of our marriage, and the health of our family. Others are 100% extra! I know in my head that God cares about every part of our lives, but I am seriously blown away by how He is showing these extra doses of care to us.

Here are a few recent examples:

Mission to Thailand. I said, “yes” to the Thailand mission trip before life flipped upside down. When our job and financial situation changed I had no idea how I would pay the $3,000 for the trip. (The extra money from my job is needed for daily expenses more than ever before.) God used His people to supply this need, including a $1500 anonymous donation through my church which was God’s “audible” voice saying, “YES, I WANT YOU TO GO!”

Kidney Walk. This is an important event for our family. (Read more of the story here.) The walk is a total extra and it is also a way to remember our story and sacrifice as a family as well as honoring Rhonda, the kidney recipient whom we dearly love. We are excited to enjoy a family weekend away and also celebrate Mother’s Day. (We know it’s a week late!) We can pay a certain amount per person for the event or raise funds to meet the minimum fee. Our team goal was $200, of which $160 was remaining. With five days to go until the walk, an anonymous donor gave the full $160!

Marriage Builder. In our couples retreats and classes we talk about the importance of weekly date nights and, if you are up for the challenge, getting away for a full week each year. Yes, this is complicated with kids, but it is worth it for our marriage. I don’t know what the plans are because Joe is keeping the details top secret, but we are going away for five days. I know we are not couch surfing so I am sure it costs some cash. Joe was praying about this (along with the kidney weekend in Detroit) and that day we were given an envelope. Inside that envelope was enough cash to cover the get-aways!

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Woodburn, Oregon

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Woodburn, Oregon

Let me be clear about one thing: I am not bragging on the cash. I AM bragging on my God, His omniscient knowledge of my situation and what my heart needs, and His abundant resources. God is not lacking. God does not work in the confines of minimum wage or salary caps. God owns it all. God is constantly working behind the scenes, moving in the hearts of His people, and setting everything up to supply the needs and wants that you may not even be aware of yet. He is that good!

Are you asking God to meet your needs? Are you trusting Him to meet them?
Are you asking God to meet ALL of the desires of your heart? Are you trusting Him to do that?

These are not “name it claim it” prayers, but prayers of total faith, believing that God has your best interest in mind and is fully capable of giving you every single thing you need.

Be Extraordinary!

 

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

5 Statements that Changed my Life

Photo Cred: Anissa Quesada Location: Abiqua Falls, Oregon

Photo Cred: Anissa Quesada
Location: Abiqua Falls, Oregon

I recently attended a ladies retreat. This was not your typical “church-y” ladies retreat. There were some of the normal things found at a religious ladies retreat – chocolate, coffee, bunk beds, chocolate, laughter, and chocolate. Although I enjoyed some peanut m-n-m’s, laughter, and a movie one night, I needed something way deeper and I’m thankful to say that’s exactly what I got!

The first night of the four-day retreat I wrote a prayer request and put it in the special prayer box. My prayer was this: that I would experience forgiveness in such a way that joy and life would be evident on my face with no effort of my own. This seemed a tall task. I have been saying the words “I forgive,” but struggling greatly to experience that forgiveness to my core. 48 hours later I wrote down five statements that radically changed my perspective and brought complete freedom inside . . . and out!

I choose to forgive _____.

Forgiveness is a choice. I don’t always feel like forgiving, just like I don’t always feel like loving my kids, but I choose to because it’s right and I want the results of forgiving and loving others.

I choose to no longer hold _____’s offenses against them.

Were there offenses? Yes! Were those offenses against me? Yes! I must also let go of some that were not against me personally. Again, this comes down to a choice. The offenses occurred, but it is totally up to me how long I hold on to those offenses. By holding offenses against someone else I am actually keeping myself in bondage, not them. Essentially I lose if I keep holding the offenses against the offender.

I release _____ of the debt owed me (and my family).

There is a debt to be paid in a forgiveness situation. If I want the offender to pay that debt, I may be waiting around for a very long time. Sometimes the offender does not even acknowledge their wrong-doing in the matter, so seeking their payment would be like beating my head against a wall. Who’s the one losing sleep at night over the issue? Me or them? Most likely I do and that will continue until I choose to forgive.

_____ is not my enemy. Satan is the enemy and what he intended for evil, God will use for our (all of our, including _____) good and ultimately for God’s glory.

This statement is key. Sometimes the person is, or seems to be, acting like the enemy (or at least using the enemy’s play book) which makes it difficult to see the bigger picture. There is a spiritual battle going on and there is an enemy working against us. Is there anything Satan would like more than to get Christians fighting with each other, hating each other, and putting their efforts against one another? I don’t think so. It is an easy win for our real enemy when we don’t forgive.

The other part of this statement is that God will use if for our good, even for the good of our human “enemy”. Because of this reality I can pray the final statement.

I pray for _____. May God bless them, meet their every need, strengthen their marriage, draw them to Himself, and show them favor.

When I was asked to pray blessing over the people that have caused deep pain to me and my family my first response was, “no way!” But after walking through and speaking out loud the first four statements I am able to see those who have wronged me as real people. These are people that God loves and God cares about. People that God wants to do things in and through. When I see them with God’s eyes rather than the eyes of my hurt, I am able to pray good things – even favor and blessing – over their lives.

forgive2

Photo Cred: Anissa Quesada Location: Abiqua Falls, Oregon

After several months of rehashing a hurtful situation and watching myself head down a path of bitterness, I am on a new path. I am experiencing freedom. A huge burden was lifted when I wrote these five statements, but that was not the end of the journey. I am reading these statements daily, building my forgiveness muscles, and experiencing a joy I have not had in a number of weeks.

The extraordinary life is not always easy, but there is always opportunity to make the right choice – the choice that leads to freedom.

Be Extraordinary!

 

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

My View through the Windshield

I’ve heard life compared to driving a car. From the drivers seat I can either view the road through the rear-view mirror or the front windshield. Anyone who drives knows that intently focusing in the rear-view mirror while attempting to drive forward would cause an accident, or at best a slow and swervy drive. If I want to drive well and arrive at a specific destination then I better be looking out the BIG front windshield. Glances in the rear-view mirror are good when focus is out the windshield.

windshieldAfter two months of processing (no doubt there is more processing to come!) I am ready to put my focus on the windshield. I am ready to move forward, toward a goal, at a quicker and more focused pace. We have not yet arrived at our destination, but today I get to share more specifically what we see through the windshield. And, even better than just telling you about it, we get to ask for your continued and/or increased partnership on this journey.


First:

I am continuing my work with USANA Health Sciences (my 12th year). The products provide the foundation for our  family’s well-being and have been so helpful in maintaining health during this particularly stressful season. The business side of USANA provides me the opportunity to have a flexible schedule, be home with the kids, pay off bills, work closely with Joe and travel for ministry whenever necessary.

Second:

In December, after about five years, I reconnected with The Healthy Edge. This is a great system and program that provides information and tools to continue on my personal health journey. I am also able to receive training and experience to grow my coaching skills and coaching business in an area I care about. In the past I did group classes with weekly meetings. Now I am focusing on online, Skype, and phone connections so that my location does not hinder my ability to coach and have classes.

Third:

As was shared in my previous post, Joe and I are launching Overboard Ministries full-time. This part-time dream is becoming a full-time reality. The small publishing company that began 4 years ago was never the big or final dream of Overboard. Joe articulates some of those dreams in this 10-minute video.

This video shares only the beginning. There are also dreams for ministry centers in multiple locations, and the viral spread and multiplication of Overboard living. This is why we are launching a 6-week initiative (through April 30, 2015) to raise financial and prayer support. This support will allow us to transition quickly into working Overboard full-time, rather than part-time as we have for the past 4 years.


Sometimes it takes a while to have real clarity about goals, dreams, and the future. For us, I think the clarity has been there, but there was uncertainty and fear about how to take that leap out of the boat (how to truly go Overboard)! Well, here we are. We took the leap and we are trusting with full-faith that everything we need physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and financially WILL be provided! It is already happening!

Be Extraordinary! . . . It’s worth it!

 

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Closing One Door

This past week has been incredibly full. Full of packing, cleaning, sorting, storing, remembering, laughing, crying, and saying farewell. We are now fully in transition.

Closing DoorsYesterday we drove with the kids through the camp property sharing memories of our two years (exactly 2 years!) in this place. We enjoyed so many new experiences, met amazing people, built lasting friendships, and lived deeply. We held nothing back and we have no regrets. Finally, we walked through our empty house then huddled in the living room for a tearful prayer of gratitude.

This sounds kind of dramatic as I write it. And as I lived it these past two months, it actually was intense. This chapter of our lives was both amazing and heart-breaking. So much growth took place in our entire family. The kids went to new schools, a new church, and lived in a new home for the first time ever.

*Celina learned how to ride a bike, become a rockstar reader, and learned to be more independent!

*Bethany is thriving in middle school, joined the dance team, and is becoming a young woman!

*AJ has grown in confidence, worked his first job (shoveling snow), and gone through a voice change!

*Joe stepped into a new role (after 17 years as a youth pastor) and I must say he rocked it! I watched him thrive and grow in his gifts of generosity, connection, and preaching the Word of God with power!

It’s easy to love all of the amazing parts of life, but I can honestly say that in spite of the deep heartache, I would never remove this chapter from our lives. It is part of our story, part of what God is using to shape each of us into the men and women He wants us to be. I am so thankful He knows what’s next and, therefore, He knows exactly how to equip us!

Many have asked where we moved since we are now officially out of our camp housing. As I said at the beginning, we are now in transition! Here’s what it looks like for the next few months. (If you want to read more head over to Joe’s blog.)

Dog-sitting Ruger is a sweet blessing for our whole family!

Dog-sitting Ruger is a sweet blessing for our whole family!

*We are house and dog-sitting for a couple in our church. They are in Florida until March 25.

*March 27-29 we will be in Flint, MI where Joe is speaking at an all-nighter as well as preaching at the Sunday morning service.

*March 29 we will leave for Oregon. We have some appointments set up for one phase of raising support for the launch of Overboard Ministries. Again more details on Joe’s blog.

*We return to Michigan on April 16 and will be living in a mother-in-law apartment of a couple we met through the camp until the end of the school year. This allows us to keep the kids in their schools!

*June 19 I leave for my mission trip to Thailand while Joe and the kids head out west. I will meet up with them after my trip. We have two nephews and one niece getting married in California and will also be taking some vacation, visiting family, and continue support-raising if needed.

*When we return in August we will open a new door at Starwood Ranch in Kalkaska, Michigan. Starwood Ranch will be our ministry location, housing location, and home-base for Overboard Ministries.

Thank you for following the journey, caring about our family, and supporting all of us through words of encouragement, prayers, gift cards, and even cash. You have truly been God’s love in visible and tangible forms.

No matter what chapter we are living, it is an opportunity to Be Extraordinary!

 

Check out some recent Be Extraordinary! favorites:

Springtime Creativity

Plant the Bulbs

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

 

Deeper Trust

I have been thinking a lot about trust lately. I am not talking about trust of other human beings, but my trust in God.

Trust GodProverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

I have known this verse for much of my life and I believe it. I know in my head that it is true. I’ve even faced difficulties in life that brought me back to that verse. Typically I focus on the last part (“He will make your paths straight.”) during times of seeking direction for my life or wanting help with a decision I am trying to make.

I was literally thrust into a difficult circumstance recently. Just a few days prior I had been challenged by a friend to memorize Proverbs 3:5-6 from the Message version which states,

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”

I had not yet memorized the verses or even worked on them, but when my trial came I would repeat over and over and over, “I trust God from the bottom of my heart!” It took me ten days to even look at the next part of the verse. I was forced to decide where I was going to place my trust. My pain went to the deepest part of my being and the concept of trusting “from the bottom of my heart” was suddenly a reality.

At first I could not see past the immediate hurt, betrayal, and pain. I could only see my need to fully place my trust in God.

My trust in God comes from a foundation of belief in who God is. He is the source of my salvation from an eternity in hell. He is a loving, kind, and compassionate God. He is definitely beyond my understanding, yet all He does is for my good and His glory.

Because of this foundational belief, I am able to trust God. This trial (opportunity for growth and maturity, James 1:2-4) has tested my trust and it has elevated my trust to a whole new level. I honestly had no idea the depths to which I was capable of trusting my past, present, and future to the capable hands of God.

*Do you trust God?
*Do you trust God “from the bottom of your heart?
*What fear, worry, or concern do you need to place in the capable and loving hands of God?
*What would change in your life (inside and out) if you placed complete trust in God?

The circumstances of life don’t always make sense to us, but if we want these circumstances to contribute to our extraordinary life then we must trust God.

Be Extraordinary!

 

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

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