What is fencing you in and holding you back?


It was Mother’s Day and I could feel my moment coming on.

My heart still hurts on this day because of the loss of my mother/best friend over four years ago. As I  drove home from the Florida Keys and viewed the light aqua blue water, I pulled over on the side of the road to mourn the loss of my mother for just a moment. Aqua was her favorite color.

As I tried to look out over the beautiful water , A BIG GIANT FENCE was erected  on the side of the road preventing me from seeing the beauty. GRRRRRRRRR!!!!

I felt fenced in from expressing my loss in that moment, the same way I felt fenced in years ago following her death. I faked a lot of ” I’m fine” and hid my hurt that  took me years to uncover.  As much as I rejoice in her going to heaven, I still want a mommy on Mother’s Day and would give anything for just one moment with her.

You would think I would be “over it” but that is not the way grief works.

Express don’t Repress! 

In an New York Times article The Trauma of Every Day Life, Mark Epstien psychiatrist and author, explains that trauma of grief NEEDS to be talked about and NEVER completely goes away. In his adapted words, “Perhaps it softens over time but there is a rush to normal in many of us that closes us off. Mourning, (expressing your loss), has no timetable. ”

In my words, healthy ,strong Christian women need to Express our loss instead of Repress our pain!

It is so easy to feel fenced in to hiding our pain instead of letting others see that our emotional pain is actually part of our healing process in life. God has woven deep emotions into the heart of every person.  Sadness is just as acceptable as our joy . Because of the way God designed us, expressing our sadness in mourning is  the pathway to our ultimate rejoicing.

Jesus spoke this wisdom in the Bible before the article in the New York Times. He did not fence people in with the demand to fake joy when sad.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

What is the fence in your way ?

What is fencing you in to act normal when you are really not completely over a loss?

Is it the fence of fear that others might judge you as unholy or ungrateful of  the hope of heaven?

Is it the fence of sadness that you may never stop crying if you even let your heart begin this process?

Is it the fence of anger that you are stuck in a life you don’t really like without the person you loved?

No matter what the emotional fence, TRUE MOURNING will allow your heart the freedom to rise above the pain and find a new purpose…

We serve a God who can handle the hurt in our hearts and is honored in our process of letting Him and others know our pain.

As we mourn our feelings,  we become vulnerable to the truth that we need God to help us heal.


As my husband drove up next to me in another car, he saw me standing behind the fence.

I looked at him and said frustrated , “I can’t get my picture of the water from here.”

He yelled as the cars were swooshing by”Get on the top of the car and I will go with you on the other car! We can get a clear shot from a different view. ”


In broad day light, on the side of the road, I climbed on top of my minivan with God , my children and a few hundred cars flying by me. I stood on top of the van and held my hands up in the air toward heaven, as the sun warmed my face looking up into the sky. I closed my eyes and almost felt heaven touch my soul with  warmth and complete love.

In that moment, I felt complete peace and joy with the freedom to let anyone know I still miss my mommy in heaven.

I pray you will not be afraid to have your moment.

Don’t let fear fence you in from the peace of sharing your pain

Don’t let sadness keep you from the joy that is waiting as you painfully process your loss

Don’t let anger block you from the power that God is able to give you to repurpose your heart and redirect your future.




The Mother’s Day letter your kid needs to read!

After my mother died, I searched endlessly for a letter from her….I needed to know what to do now that she was gone.


Because of her complications after surgery, she was medically paralyzed and I never heard her voice before she died. I  never heard what she might have wanted to say…I hoped she had left me a written letter on a hidden piece of paper in her home with a final goodbye or maybe even some final words of wisdom on how to be the wonderful mother she was to me?

Devastated,  I looked everywhere and found nothing!

My ritual was to go to her house and look through all her things. Maybe there is a letter in the desk? Maybe she left me a note in her journals? All I would find would be little post it notes with reminders of appointments or bills to pay. I was certain I would find the words I needed to hear from her in some miraculous way. With every failed attempt, I would end up on the floor of her closet, smelling her clothes and crying.If you have ever lost someone you love so deeply, you know what it is like to be left with a closet full of clothes you can hardly bear to get rid of.  These are the hidden moments of raw grief without comfort.


The last day I left my mother’s house, I gave up looking for the letter.

I arrived home and fell on my bed. Covering my head with a pillow like a little girl,I tried to hide the sound of  tears…. My husband asked me why I was crying and I sniffled out the words,

“I didn’t find it…I never got  the letter from my mom…I don’t have the words to know what to do….”

My husband is an engineer and words are not often his strong suit, but today God gave him the words that touched my heart into eternity.

“Tracey, don’t you realize, YOU are the letter!

Your mom invested in a relationship with you, so that YOU could say the words to our children they need to hear. She didn’t write the words with a pen or paper but she wrote them on your heart! YOU will say all the words she wanted to say.

I looked up from my pillow and stared into my husband’s eyes with an insight that was straight from God.

I was the letter?  I did have all the wonderful years of words from her stored up in my heart. I WAS THE LETTER! I could still speak the words of love  to my family that she spoke to me… I WAS THE LETTER my friends needed to hear. Mom’s voice was silent but I could become a letter to my generation reminding them that a mother’ words matter to heart of her child!

I finally released trying to find a physical letter and embraced the unseen words written into my memory of her actions – Beneath every memory, I could almost hear the words to the letter she would have written :

I saw my beautiful mother holding me as a child when I feel asleep and heard the words…

Dear Tracey, you have always been my beautiful little girl …

I saw her wrapping gifts from holidays and making special dinners

I have loved you with all my heart and always desired to make your life special… 

I saw her boarding a plane with me to go on a mission trip with cancer in her stomach

Don’t let anything keep you from serving God and others with your whole heart…

I saw her holding my babies and rocking them, while she sang their favorite lulabies

Love my precious grandchildren and be there for them in the way I was there for you …

I saw her tears at the diagnosis of cancer, the way she persisted during treatment

I will always be with you in your heart ..

I saw her holding her bible and reading her morning quiet time devotionals

Never stop praying and staying close to the Lord, as He will carry you through…

I saw her breathing her last breath while holding my hand

I love you forever, I’m waiting for you….Mom-


I will never have an actual letter but  I CAN BE THE LETTER with intentional words of love !

This Mother’s Day , I believe YOU are the most powerful letter of God’s love to your children’s heart besides the actual word of God itself, the Bible. As mothers it is easy to forget  we are so gifted at becoming this letter of love and yes, even when we blow it, we can remember that love covers a multitude of sins, ( and so does an I’m sorry )

Here’s the surprise ending you might not expect!



Today of all days, say the words you want them to read in the letter of your life! It’s so simple to become the letter our kids need to read, as we try each day to speak ONE  intentional phrase into their life each day

Say I love you

Say I will always be here

Say I know I make mistakes

Say God will always help you, even when I can’t

Say I will never stop loving you

Say no matter how big you get, you will always be my baby

Say don’t ever stop having faith in God

Say thank you for making me feel special today

Don’t let anything stand in the way of the words you want your children to hear- no matter how big or small, whether they live with you or their Dad, if they are out of the nest or in the nest, NEVER ,EVER give up on writing the letter of love in their hearts.

Your letter will be read for generation after you are gone, so write on their hearts what you want shouted out for years to come.


If I can become a reminder to you of how important your words will be to your children one day, then I am eternally grateful for the fact I never got my letter….



Please share this message with anyone you love and want to make sure they know they are a letter of love.

Happy Mother’s Day. Today and everyday  !



Endurance : Stick with it Baby!

Endurance_article-new-thumbnail_ehow_images_a05_5f_96_muscular-endurance-800x800Hebrews 10:36

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

This Sunday, I attended my daughter’s Childrens Church program.

Unsuspectedly, I walked hand and hand with my daughter into the big auditorium for kids where God would have me learn a very adult  concept.

As the program began, the children’s Pastor excited yelled, ” Hey Kids, What are we learning about ? ”

A million little voices all began to shout back with smiles, ” Enduuuuurance – sticking with what you started when it gets hard!”

In my heart, I realized I needed a big girl dose of Enduuuuuuuurance, too!

It’s been so easy to start this writing project. It’s one thing to launch an exciting project with the expectation that really wonderful things will happen. It’s another thing to sit by myself in front of a computer screen when I am frustrated and lack the right words to communicate my heart to others.

Have you ever felt excited in the beginning of something new and then frustrated at the long process? 


It is never easy to walk through a long term process that seems to take longer than expected or work for a job that doesn’t seem to be rewarding.

It is at this critical moment that doubts begin to creep in one at a time….

Am I really supposed to be doing this?

Maybe I should put this on hold?

Maybe I should  just forget it!

Hebrews 10:36 reminds me that I need endurance to do God’s will for my life in the hard times and then, I will receive the blessing. Sometimes blessings come along the path to doing God’s will and sometimes, I need to press on till I receive what God has promised!

What has God promised, when you and I endure ?

James 1:12- You will receive eternal rewards 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Colossians 1:11- You will be strengthened with power and joy 

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

James 1:4 – You will be complete and lacking in nothing 

And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

( Deep Breath) Yep! It’s worth it to endure when I feel like you want to quit! It is worth it to put on my big girl panties and wait for that break through moment when the creative juices start flowing and the words  come out with ease.

With my children, it is worth it to endure through chores they don’t want to do, to see responsibility taking root in their lives.

With my husband, it is worth it to endure through hard job changes and financial pressures, to see him in a new job where he can flourish!

God promises Endurance will be worth it in the long run ! 

Friend, are you little discouraged today with your work?

Do you wonder if the hours you are investing in your children or family are worth it?

Is is hard to get up to face more of the same old, same old? Okay, maybe you don’t need to attend children’s church but you need to hear me say : Enduuuuuuurance! Stick with it Baby!

Hang on till your break through comes! There are rewards we can never see coming our way if we will just endure and not give up!


 Who would have thought that a Mom could learn so much from one trip to children’s church with her daughter?