making the trek

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

Changes. Challenges. July 18, 2014

Filed under: Changes,encouragement,Faith,Family,God,Life — tracye1 @ 10:00 AM
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Door challenge

Door challenge

I absolutely won’t be trying this #doorchallenge anytime soon….my aching back just watching these girls get into this position and then reverse and then again.  But they did it.  And grammed it.  Challenge: complete.

My own challenge comes in form of a new job.  Sort of.  What?  Yup.  After a decade with the same company and my degree just sitting on its haunches, I happened into a position with the competition (also a far larger organization).  While, the initial position is essentially a lateral move, the potential for growth is better and with a large, well-run organization there are countless other benefits.

I can’t explain it, but there is a tremendous sense of peace in this decision both with myself and with the Hubs.  The peace, I am certain, lies in the job itself opening to a Full-time position when I wasn’t even looking.  Good friends, old friends, who unknown to me at the time, were background cheerleaders to the powers that be before and after my interview.  The timing is quick, with little time to second-guess and drag it out.  Basically, knock, open, go in.   God is in control.  Fully.  With no doubt.  And I’ve been here before, when He opened the door to our house.  Sometimes, those prayers of “Please….God….I am dense and thick and need you to make this clear as day”, really DO get answered.  Not always right away, not always the way I think I want them to be answered, but it does happen.  And it’s just WOW.  Really.  Wow.

I mean, I know NO one at this office.  It’s brand new, Opening day is September 8.  My 7 minute drive and 5 mile world just opened up to about a 30-ish minute commute and a 20-something mile world.  What.  The.  Heck.  It’s all good though and clearly I’ll have more time for phone calls and podcasts with additional time in the car.

It will be an interesting year ahead and I’m excited to see what lies ahead.  It’s time.  And I’m up for the challenge!  So, here’s hoping I’m hopping from the fire to the pan and not vice versa!

 

 

Icing on the cake June 9, 2014

Last weekend we celebrated our 20th Anniversary with a vow renewal and gathering afterward…you can see more about that here, but the thing I loved the most was being surrounded by our family and friends.  Now.  There are some of you reading this that might be sad because you missed it (and it WAS great), BUT this is NOT a slight or rant on you missing it.  It was our fortune to be married in June.  Who knew that 20 years later June would be the month of finishing school, graduations and the general crazy busy that ends school and begins summer?  Who?  Not my 24-year-old bride self, that’s for sure.  Anyhoo…….as much as we would have LOVED to have each and every one of our family and friends present, it’s just not a reality.  Life and all that.    That said……

The people who were supposed to be there were.  It was a neat gathering.  ALL of our kids (and with our 16 yo’s recent crisis of faith–that says a lot).  Many of Hubby’s AA friends came, and that is a diverse group of pretty cool people.  Truly.  We had friends come from church, and for the few friends we have there….that was a nice feeling.  Hubby’s parents were there.  Probably one of the very few times my father in law made it to church.   A continued grace in healing of a strained relationship.  My grandparents were there, right up front with us and my grandmother kept her claustrophobia at bay so that they could be on the front lines where they have always been.  Fraternity brothers, to which I can never say enough good about this group of guys.  Friends from our old city who drove 4 hours for a date weekend; this was an extra special because of the time we were able to spend with them the night before catching up.

My fear of getting up in front of the ENTIRE.  9 A.M. MASS. to renew our vows was real.  When Hubs started getting emotional prior to Mass, he almost brought me over the edge (so I had to threaten him with bodily harm and eggplant…he doesn’t like eggplant).  During the ceremony, I remembered our priest’s advice and just kept my eyes on Hubs, and the priest.  It worked.  Thankfully I followed those instructions because toward the end I snuck a peek at the parishioners and holy cow!  The looks of love and sweet smiles on their faces.  NOW I know why our church opts for this manner of vow renewal.  Talk about a witness.  I would never have made it had I looked out.  Also, the fact that our only response was “I do” rather than repeat the entire wedding vows was a HUGE help.  Death by publicly speaking heart-felt vows and all.

The graces were real.  The love was real.  The friends are real.  The icing on the cake.

Now hopefully life will get real and get our friends here throughout the summer for some visitin’!!!

 

Good, bad, ugly and a conference!! February 6, 2014

I’ve been MIA and so very hit or miss lately….life, ya know?  Sorry.  I’m preaching to the choir, I know.

It looks like our weekends are slowing down a leeeeeeetle bit here to a more manageable busy-ness which is good and gives me hope to recharge and reboot and refresh and all that because I needs me some down-time, people!  Wahhhhh, cry me a river, I know.  We are all busy.  So.  I am done complaining about that.

Here’s a few things my mind is juggling lately, good bad and ugly.  Ok.  NOT the really ugly, because I’ve already sent THAT email to a few people and I’m just not ready to go live with that.  Yet.  It is brewing though.  It will probably be a total **it-storm when it happens, I’ll say that.  Intrigued?  Well, guess you’ll have to keep checking back in.  wink-wink-wink

Goodnesssssss……all over the place.  The busy-ness has been good stuff.  Kids music stuff, going to All-county for two kiddos 2 weekends in a row.  A certain almost-12 year old birthday coming up and a trip to Plato’s closet to feed her shopping desires and birthday gift!!  Last minute visit from an old friend from Tally in town with her daughter’s volleyball tourney.  (I didn’t get to visit with her but Hubby did and it does a soul good to have some quality friend time!)  A coming visit from Hubby’s Alaskan cousin this weekend for the night.  A total nut and very fun!!  A great AA dinner party meeting Hubby’s AA friends.  Always nice to put names with faces.  Even nicer to hear the inspirational stories coming out of these people.  My dear friend may (HOPEFULLY) be doing Apologetics classes for middle and high schoolers.  Y’all she is DANGEROUSLY on fire and the most AMAZING teacher EVERRRRRR.  I am completely committed to bugging her to YouTube the classes because this is something the Church needs…this area is so lacking.  So offer up a prayer for her would ya?  This cookie dough pie made by our 16 yo.  Oh.  MY.  Deliciousness.  **one special note:  USE the blender/food processor for the beans.  Makes allllllllll the difference in the world.  Hubby and I are planning on renewing our vows this year.  The big 2-0!  Point of contention:  our audience.  Our church generally does this in front of the general Mass.  All several HUNDREDS of people.  Hubby is in favor of this venue.  This gives me absolute palpitations and anxiety I cannot describe.  I’m all for the quiet chapel route.  Also, I know I will be bawling and this is not a good look for me.  Let’s face it, half of our marriage was the “for worse” part and having come through that……..Phew!  Good stuff, but man, oh, man……what a ride!!!

Badness:  (I know, not a word, but in keeping with the theme)…..I didn’t get a job I applied for.  Again.  I DO have promises of other positions in the next few months, so we shall see….but disappointment, I’m really over you.  Really.  16 yo broke his foot skateboarding.  Not super bad, but definitely waylaid the skating for a while.  Good stuff is coming out of that, though…..the ole stepping back and getting a bird’s eye view of friends, new likes and maturing.  Colds.  Several have blown through this house.  5 of 6 of us have had the flu shot, so holding steady there…… lastly, a friend of mine (son’s 5th grade teacher and the best EVER! and not just because she reads my blog) is suffering mightily these past couple years with a recurrence in her ovarian cancer.  The past few months have been tremendously brutal.  It’s heartbreaking and I’m so sad for her suffering and for her family and mad. Mad that the prayers I pray for her don’t fix anything.  Mad that the dinner I’ll take her family won’t fix anything.  Mad that God allows this.  Mad.  Mad.  Mad.  And this is so definitely going on my list of conversations God and I will have in heaven.  Because I just don’t see the purpose of it.  At all.

And on that total bummer note:  let me offer up some fun times for you….There is going to be a little conference in Austin, TX this summer.  A weekend of Catholic gal fun!!  All the deets are here……  my pocketbook can’t swing this, but maybe yours can and I think it would absolutely be worth every second!!!!

Go on and have a super day.  Providing you aren’t snowed in for the umpteenth time this winter.  We’ll be scooting through the day in the humid 80s here…..  tough.  tough life it is.

Blessings!!

 

Saint Nick was Olive December 19, 2013

Filed under: Catholicism,Faith,God,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 9:42 PM
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snatched the image from HERE

snatched the image from HERE

There’s a big debate on a newscaster who said that Santa Claus is white….yes, you can merely imagine the uproar over that one, because I’m suuuuuuuuure she had no idea that making a statement like that would start ANY racist discussions at all.  I’m certain.  Right?  Besides, she said she was making a joke and people should lighten up, however…..the comment sure lit up the interwebz.

I am about to make a statement, however, that IS most likely true:  Saint Nicholas was most probably olive, not so white.  Born in the region of the southern coast of Turkey, he would most likely be olive-skinned.  Logistically and realistically speaking.  You can read more about him HERE.  Since Santa Claus’ origin is often tied to St.Nick, it’s odd he’d be “white”, however….SC=fictional, St. Nicholas=real, feel free to make your own judgement.

Also, here’s another newsbreaker:  Jesus Christ was of Middle Eastern descent, which would make him mocha/brown.  Gasp.  All we have to do is  look at  people born in the Middle East, typically they aren’t Nordic looking.  Ammiright?  Again, another odd idea that he’d be the only white man in a sea of not so white people.

While we are on the subject, let’s explore a few other  characters:

Easter Bunny:  unknown color of fur, would it change the basket of chocolate if we knew?

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Tooth Fairy:  unknown color of wings/outfit/hair, etc, does it change the reward per tooth if we had a color scheme?

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Great Pumpkin:  we can only assume orange, but in light of all these odd suggestions, I just don’t know.

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In summary, does color REALLY matter?  It shouldn’t.  If it does, maybe we are focused on the wrong things.  As for me,  when I pray, I’m praying to the PERSON, not to the color.   His promises surpass race, shouldn’t our responses to Him do likewise?

As for all the fictional folk everyone’s worried about, let’s remember; they aren’t real.  This fighting over skin color of someone who is fictional?  Well, that’s just weird.

Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you”,  says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

Step out of the box. July 11, 2013

Originally sent as a private message, however, I felt led to share because we ALL need to remember the marvels the Lord has done.  Especially when we might not particularly be “feeling the love”  right this second.
From today’s readings:
Psalm 105: 16-17
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
Bottom line:  It seemed pretty crappy what Joseph had to endure and yet GOD USED IT.  He used the poor choices of his brothers driven by jealousy.  HE became THEIR saviour, in a sense.  God allowed it and yet had an even bigger plan in store for Joseph AND his brothers, even though, to our eyes, they were not worthy.  HE, GOD, made them worthy.  You are worthy.  I am worthy.  WE are worthy of these amazing gifts we receive on a daily basis.  Our jobs, health, kids, marriage, family.  Even beyond that.  We put our “plan” in a tidy little box, but God’s plan for us is so much bigger.  Squash those thoughts from haunting you.  Step out of the past.  Step back from the future.  Today is what matters.  There is NOTHING man can do to us that God will not allow and USE for HIS and OUR good.  We only need to look back and see we have always been firmly in the palm of HIs hand.
Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
Indeed.
 

5 Favorites of ADORATION June 26, 2013

Joining in with Hallie and the lovely ladies all sharing their 5 faves this week…for a smile on your face, for some “GO GOD” in your heart, you really neeeeeed to visit and start with Hallie, K?  K.

5 Favorites @ Moxie Wife

5 Favorites @ Moxie Wife

This week I was able to head over to Adoration during lunch and as always it’s truly my favorite lunch spot.  Ever.  Really.  Here’s why.

5.  Like most of y’all, I live a pretty busy life.  Husband.  4 kiddos.  Full time out of the house job.  Ever searching for the always elusive “perfect” balance between family and work.  Adoration IS as close to “perfect” as my life gets.  The profound sense of peace, joy and love when I walk through the door instantly soothes my heart and mind of whatever is jumbling it up at that moment.  Perfection.

4.   I may not ALWAYS  get immediate answers, direction and resolution of any given life challenge, however, I’ve received clarity, wisdom and peace over the years in answer to prayers during Adoration with much fruit in return.  Just ask my friend; one day I called her after Adoration and told her I felt their family was to home school.  She laughed. (nervously I think, since this was an announcement straight out of the blue).  They start their 3rd (?) year homeschooling this year.  Adoration don’t lie.

3.  I like to pray for people.  God hasn’t seen fit to fill our bank accounts to overflowingness (one can still hope though….) and I can’t always help people materialistically, however, I.  CAN.  PRAY.  Countless friends and family over the years have been the recipients of my prayers, some known, some unknown (but God ALWAYS knows), I’ve even prayed much for this sweet lady and her unborn baby.  You can’t underestimate the power of prayer.  Ever.  You might be too tired, angry, hopeless to pray, but I’ll pray for you.  I know I’ve been the recipient of a jillion and ten prayers and if my own give back even a tenth of intercessory love…I’m in.  Anytime.  Just say the word.

2.  This world is a wild and rocking and crazy constantly go-go-go world.  Sometimes I just need to be still.  I have my morning quiet time with the Daily Readings and that is phenomenal.  Coffee.  Word.  Start the day.  But sometimes….I just need to be still, quiet and listen and thank God for everything I don’t always remember to thank Him for.  Sometimes I just need to be still.  To listen if He wants to talk to me.  and one time ……..

1.  ONE TIME…….I’m telling you…….the monstrance and altar moved.  Throughout my time at Adoration.  I thought I was tired and cleared my eyes, but it kept happening.  Finally I just watched.  It was weird.  It was goosebump-giving.  It was mind blowing and heart filling.  Afterward I texted two friends who also attend Adoration and asked them a vague “have you ever had weird things happen at Adoration?” .  In the end, I’m not sure WHAT it meant, but perhaps He just wanted to say, “Hey, thanks for coming….check this out….I love you….I’m with you….come on back again, my love!”  And so I do.

Now head on over to Hallie’s for more fun things!!

 

 

Beautiful Mass. Beautiful Church. June 14, 2013

Filed under: Catholicism,Faith,God,Gratitude,Life,Photos,Prayers — tracye1 @ 11:11 PM
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With my extra time home this week, I was able to attend Daily Mass one day, a rare to never treat for me on a WEEKDAY!  I was running a little late to make our regular church Mass so I opted for the 30 minute later Mass at the church we attended when we first moved here.  It’s now a Basilica and is a lovely, old church with high ceilings, lovely stained glass, statues of various Saints, Blesseds, Christ, Mary and more.  The church commands reverence when you enter and the acoustics lend to a deep resounding message.  It was a blessing to start my day there the other day; I hope you enjoy the pictures and my effort to fluff up my iPhone camera with some editing.

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From the side street view. The upper cupola was destroyed during the 2004 hurricanes and replaced a few years and dollars later.

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Baptismal font. Not built into the floor like the one in N. Florida that my friend’s sweet son fell in after Mass one beach vacation. True story.

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Pews from the back, but LOOK at those columns and archways. Be still my heart, I could spend HOURS in here!!!

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The main aisle to the altar.

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One of the side alcoves and scenes: The Dream, The Exodus.

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The Holy Family statue and prayer candles, flanked by stunning stained glass.

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Jesus statue, prayer candles and more amazing stained glass.

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Another side alcove with the Ascension of Mary

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The Altar.

 

 
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