making the trek

Trekking through life: Faith, family, friends and a whole lot of coffee!

Be Transformed March 23, 2017

Filed under: Faith,Reading,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:53 PM

I have been incredibly blessed in my life to have a few truly spectacular people who provided me with strong spiritual direction.  The kind that isn’t always comfortable but comes from a place of love and TRUTH.  Friendships such as these are both a blessing and a challenge and the end result is  tremendous growth in faith.  One of these friends is Dr. Bob Schuchts, our former marriage counselor and now friend (not to mention nationally renowned speaker, author and presenter of amazing healing conferences!).  Time with Bob is thought provoking and soul searching, at some point ususally resulting in tears–but good, cleansing tears.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of the conferences of the John Paul II Healing Center, I strongly urge you to take full advantage of it;  you will not regret it!  Bob is the founder and we had the opportunity to experience one of his conferences, Unveiled, a marriage conference recently and it was phenomenal.  Truly.  Such a gift.

OK.  Ending my “Bob” commercial, but onto the author portion of Dr. Bob Schuchts and enter his newest book Be Transformed.  If you are looking for some Lenten reading or just a deeper dive into the sacraments, this is it.

In Be Transformed  we dig into the sacraments one-by-one and learn how they configure in our lives and WHY they are important.  We may recognize the importance of some (like Holy Communion and Marriage) yet others we don’t always get the up-close on or see the how they can truly transform our lives.  It moves you beyond Mass and moves you INTO the sacraments one at a time and reveals how all the sacraments are truly interwoven to grow us closer to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite parts of how Bob gets us to participate throughout the book is through HIM:  healing, identity and mission**  We are taken through each of the sacraments with personal stories, scripture verses and a view into our own hearts and relationship with Christ.  It’s a perfect format for a small group study, as well as on your own for contemplative and personal growth.  Each chapter has questions to reflect on and a scripture verse to be read lectio divina style as it applies to the specific chapter as well as your life.  Fair warning though, be ready to dig deep and understand that you will be doing some serious heart surgery.

I’ll admit that for me, personally, some of this book was challenging as it forced me to slow down and to listen to what the Holy Spirit was uncovering in my own heart.  It was a struggle for me in being so introspective.   As Bob’s friend, Simeon says, “Reading God’s Word is like seeing yourself in a mirror…….people are afraid to see themselves.”*** Nail meet head.  Ouch.

Do yourself a favor and add Be Transformed to your collection, you won’t be sorry!

***quotes from Dr. Bob Schuchts book, Be Transformed.



Parenting the bigs March 11, 2017

Filed under: encouragement,Friends,Kids,messy,Parenting,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 10:12 AM

I was listening to one of my podcasts**  on my way to work, Girlfriends by Danielle Bean and one of the feedback messages she had was on the limited amount of blogs for the parents of the bigs…..teens and young adults and it got me to thinking.  So much thinking.  I don’t even think I can fit it ALL in on one post, because my head just doesn’t release my thoughts sometimes….but I’ll give it a try.

Here is where I date myself and on the same hand don’t even care.  (The blessings of the backside of 40, ladies….it is a gift!!)  The advent of technology has me absolutely feeling like an old lady though.  For example,   “back in my day we made friends at the park and playgroups, cell phones were a luxury and if you were dealing with parenting issues you reached out to your group of real life friends.”  You see, internet was sparse back in the old days.  Dial up.  Sloooooooow.  And it was so new that it was just weird–because it was different.  The thought that you could make a community of friends on the internet was just well….a thought best kept to yourself.

Fast forward 15 years and my GOODNESS how times have changed!!

There are amazing communities of faith filled women, Mamas who have been there and done that for advice and Mamas who are trudging through it in solidarity.  We have the double edged sword of social media with all it’s pretty pictures, real life messes, fun videos and videos of what’s really going down in the kitchen at the arsenic hour.  What an amazing and challenging time to be a parent, especially of littles.  The world of evangelization just leveled up, BIG TIME!  And it is a club that I’m not sure if I will ever feel feel comfortable in..trul:   I only snapchat my real life friends, barely instastory and keep my grams pretty tame…facebook, you are mostly dead to me.  True story.

And then you get into the season of the bigs.  At first, I thought that perhaps just not “coming of age” with the combination of internets and parenting makes me a little leary of all things world wide–the discomfort and unfamiliarity of it all.  However, I also found upon further reflection that these babies are now growing into young adults who want the internet on THEIR terms and not of their blogging mother.  And so I resist.  And then, I hear the feedback that reminded me there are so many ways to bless others with this technology and we can all use this to encourage and build up (even though we often see it turn on honesty and genuineness).  So, it’s a balance of protecting the privacy of your growing people and sharing in the gift and challenge of parenting—what works for others, tips and life hacks to grow in faith and realize that we AREN’T THE ONLY ONES dealing with x,  y, and z.

In the past, I have shared some of our trials in this season and have even written on the very painful time of our  son’s episodic struggle with anorexia-type issues and likely I will very soon write about our daughter’s recent depression recurrence.  The fear of being so transparent in a world wide arena holds me back though.  This past week, however, reminded me that we are NOT alone and if blogging helps me process and encourages someone else in the same battle then I will do it.  But first…..Imma gonna pray on the next post.

In the meantime, if you have a second, minute, hour, pray for Leticia Adams  and family whose son ended his battle with depression this week.

St. Dymphna, pray for us.

**Adventures in imperfect living by Greg and Jennifer Willets

Among Women by Pat Gohn


Shiny, happy people February 27, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 7:14 PM

Ah social media, you double edged sword, you.

With the 2016 campaign nonsense of unimaginable choices and the resulting (yet expected) chaos of the victor in 2017… social media presence took a serious dive to what just may possibly be a permanent situation–which is awesome by the way!!  Facebook removed from my phone and checked sort of intermittently, Twitter only when I’m bored or seeking out something on the news, but Insta…..that’s my jam.  Love the variety of pictures and instastories–even though I haven’t quite figured it out (and my girls asked me in a horrified manner NOT to instastory), limited drama, just life.   BUT….Facebook.  Certainly DOES have its moments.  The article below was pulled from Facebook and I love it.  Because it is good.  It is useful and it cannot be disregarded or pooh-poohed.  So I shared it there on my rare surfacing and I’ll share it here.

Social media often just shares the shiny, happy people stories (unless you’re a drama queen and share all your dirty laundry–in case I’ve already got you hidden–b/c puhleeeze–who has time for that crap?) and rarely touches on the real. Sometimes though,  we all need to share some great ideas on parenting through the tough stuff.  Like it or not, it comes.  Fast, furious and certain.  All the stupid stuff we did, didn’t do, thought about or had friends of friends do.  Good chance our kids will do it, see it, be tempted by it or exposed to it, so let’s help each other out here.  No judgement (glass houses and rocks and all), let’s just lend a hand.  Love always wins.  Link below

This.   SO.  THIS


Whew. Screeching into the weekend February 24, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 6:23 AM

It’s been a minute so I thought I’d rehash and reprocess this week with Kelly and the  7 Quick Takes crew.  Let’s see if I can truly make this quick  😉

  1. Last weekend we paid a visit to our prior city; it was the Hubs first trip back in a looooooooong time.  Since it bordered President’s Day, many friends were out of town for various reasons we were initially sad to miss so many people, but it turned out to be a blessing in that our trip wasn’t rushed and we truly got to spend quality time with our people.  And that, is truly priceless.
  2. Pure Barre.  Have you tried it?  Miss Thang with the Twang, Katherine Whitaker constantly raves about it and I must say that if you ever want to be humbled by muscles making tiny, tight motions and have your legs literally almost collapse all while turning your core into hot, quivery lava….this.  is.  it.  serious talk.  We don’t have one here, but I’ll absolutely give it another whirl any chance I get.  Because I like to torture challenge myself once in a while
  3. The hubs and I are nearing the end of our weekly retreat formation period (end of March) and it is going to be a wild finish because when you are doing something to glorify Christ and encourage faith,  you are going to be tested.  Plain and simple and it will come in a variety of disguises and will not let up.  We are at that point.  So offer up some prayers for our groups would ya?  T.Hanks!
  4. I am borderline definitely overcommitted at this moment and for the next 2 months.  True confession.  First:  our retreat is at the end of March, however………..I am also on a committe for our local chamber of commerce’s annual 5K (April 6)–tracking teams as well as serving as the team captain for our organization.  Fortunately, I am getting the hang of Excel which is saving me (as is the fact that previous records are perfect so….cut and paste).   Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd we have a local annual Jazz festival that a friend suckered me into a few years ago as a board member and somehow each year I get another task.  To be fair…….they are pretty easy tasks so far, BUT…….this takes place April 21-22. It all comes in clusters it seems.  So, while the work  isn’t difficult, it’s time management, lots and lots of management.  And so, I think I will take a few days OFF come May, our paddleboards are calling my name.
  5. With Lent coming up, I bought the Blessed is she journal to help me commandeer my thoughts this year (journals are sold out but available as digital download).  The other night though, we attended Adoration and so I believe I will resurrect regular Adoration for Lent.  Truly one of my favorite places and there is certainly never a shortage of prayer intentions, is there?  I’m not shooting for a perfect Lent, but I would love an INTENTIONAL Lent.
  6. Funny story:  The other morning, my pup, who often barks at me while I am finishing my coffee in the a.m. in my chair showed me WHY he barks.  He wants me to get up so that HE can have the chair.  Stinker. Pulled the old, move your feet, lose your seat.  The nerve!!!  He’s cute though so since I was done sitting anyway………….
  7. Lastly.  Edel is coming to Austin, TX  August 4-5.  Tickets go on sale March 16.  So now…..I need to pray about this and budget chat the hubs about this and then if the decision is yes……my bestie doesnt’ like to fly and so we might drive?!?!?!  16 hours.  I may just have to knock her out and put her on the plane.  We will see, one thing at a time.  OK!!!!!!  Have a great week y’all!!!

A parent’s love  February 9, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 11:20 AM

For the second year in a row I have been honored to share scripture reflections at  

Here is today’s reflection:


Sometimes you just need a day January 31, 2017

Filed under: Organization,Photos,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 5:37 PM

A week ago, my boss told me to pick a day off.  Today was that day.  A Tuesday.  I picked today because my daughter had to have a cavity filled.  (#sadface  #firstone)  Since I’d have to take time off for that anyway, I figured it would be easier to take the whole day.  So……Tuesday it was!

Unfortunately, I had a last-minute meeting thrown in at 7 a.m. for a review committee, so it involved a whole lot of shuffling around for Hubby this a.m.  Add a little bit of early a.m. chaos and some cold weather=brutal.  Happy to report that the world didn’t end, everyone made it to school (eventually) and I made it to my meeting on time with no loss of life or limb.  #winning

To really do the day right, after my meeting I made a breakfast date with one of my oldest BFFs (chronologically speaking).  Followed by a nice long walk with our pup, it was a good, GOOD way to start the day off!

Then I got to work.  A variety of tasks, but I have been extremely motivated by little miss thang, Kathryn Whitaker.  If you haven’t been following her Instagram account and Instastories you’ve missed out.  She is the Catholic Martha Stewart of the blogging world–seriously, if you need some party ideas—she’s crazy good!)  Now.  I DO love this gal, twang and all….she’s even sweet in person, in a wheelchair with a broken patella at the Edel conference (next time girl, we’re gonna hang!), but I do NOT share her attention to detail or focus.  I am a solidly “ish” person—get the task done, but usually no plan, just mayhem until it’s finished and often the finished product is good-ish, but not perfect.  I also tend to get a little scattered when faced with really large projects—shiny objects and all, however… all gets done and often it is truly a miracle that it does.  And you know what?  I am ok with that, truly.  It works for me.  So, while I was truly fascinated with Kathryn’s stories and progress as she simplified her house, I felt ZERO envy.  I did, however, feel a motivation that our house DEFINITELY needs a good solid purging and now I have somewhat of a plan in mind.  (music to my Hubby’s ears)  This won’t be accomplished in 10 days, but over the next couple of months.  I also think if I asked Kathryn to be my accountability partner in ANYthing, she’d straight up whip me in shape.  So, I’m a little scared to go that far, but maybe…..just maybe!!   baby steps

Today, I started off small.  One section.  Cleaned out an armoire that is destined to go to a new home in the near future and made a trunkful donation to our church’s thrift store.  This also gave me an additional tool for my mobile office (AKA purse), so I am truly on fire now.  Look out!!!


After that, I finished up some smaller to-do tasks, read some of my current book “The Pearl that broke its shell” and hit the bridge for some quick steps to finish up my 10,000 steps.


The icing on the very productive cake!




7QTs organizing January 27, 2017

Filed under: Organization,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 6:11 AM

Joining in with Kelly and friends to wrap up the week and chat a bit about organizing.

It has been one full week into my promotion and since I have been essentially doing the job for quite some time (now I get compensated for it) I didn’t think it would be much different.  And yet, for some reason—perhaps the cyclical life of my meetings that tend to occur in clusters, or perhaps just a few unfinished projects hanging over my head, I have been mentally scattered and it sucks.

This week I made a few strides in getting my “poop in a group” and it seems to be helping.  Now to let that overflow into my personal life and I’ll really be on to something, right?  In all actuality though, I think we could purge and re-organize ourselves to death, however…..I am seriously thinking of doing the 40 bags in 40 days for Lent this year.  It’s time, people.  It’s time.  (which will probably thrill my purge-happy Hubby)  🙂

So let’s review, shall we?

  1.  A notepad in a folder.   Probably called something else, but perfect for taking notes and holding on to handouts from meetings until they can be filed away.  And I’m not scrambling for something to write on.  Plus, I am just not there (yet) with taking a laptop to meetings.

2.  Folders.  To file handouts for current projects and so easy to just slip into the notebook folder and bring the whole shebang to meetings.  (I have no idea why these pictures all imported upside down, but Mama don’t have time to fix that right now)

3.  Paper calendar.  I don’t know.  It’s pretty and I really like having a paper calendar in case my phone died and the cloud died.  Mostly, we use our apple shared family calendar which has truly SAVED us especially when the kids put in their own activities.  Something about a tactile paper calendar though…..I just can’t do without it.

4.   Pretty pens.  Sometimes I like to get fancy.  And that little bag is from  my Black Friday score at Buckhead Betties.   Necessary?  Nope.  Everyone should have a little pretty going on, though.  

5.  This little journal my Youth group leaders gave us last year is so ADORABLE.  I use it for “deep thoughts”, planning life, blog ideas and just whatever. (I am a sucker for a pretty journal).  However,  I can’t commit to bullet journaling.  Sorry, not sorry.  I mean it looks beautiful and all, but I truly am just not that creative and the thought of organizing a journal for my barely-existent creative side….seriously stressful for me.  Kudos to those who do…..I’ll look at yours and smile.  Just not gonna happen here, though.  

6.  Look how nicely everything lines up in there with my little purse I can just pull out when necessary.  I love order.

7.  And the lovely little bag I scored at Target this week along with some of the other stuff above.  I told Hubs that Dave Ramsey would be proud because I a) paid cash and b) it was only $18 instead of $45, so SCORE!!!  (photobombed by sleeping cat—yes we do wipe the table down before eating!)

Have a great week, everyone!


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