A Month of Praying for Friends

prayer for friends

Join me at Facebook for some prayer reminders and fun graphics to share with your friends –

Just click this link and jet over to facebook!


This month it’s all about praying for your friends.

Please share verses or graphics to inspire yourself

others around you to pray.

Truly, there is no greater power in the Christians life than prayer which is  direct communication with God. Take advantage of your greatest spiritual force to move mountains !

I pray you are inspired to follow along and become a #prayingfriend


For those of you who forward this message and send 10 likes to my facebook through your friends,

you will receive a small free gift from me!

-More news to follow on the free gift-

Blessings -Tracey

prayers for friends, how to help your friend


Lake Yales Women’s Retreat! You are invited !




Announcing Lake Yale’s first Women’s Retreat!!! The weekend will begin with a delicious dinner meal on Friday night and conclude with Sunday lunch. On Friday and Saturday nights there will be praise music, a keynote speaker and conclude with a concert . . . . . .


Renee Swope . . .

will be our Saturday evening speaker. Renee is co-host of Proverbs 31 Ministries’ radio program, best-selling author of “A Confident Heart” and Executive Director of Radio & Social Media for Proverbs 31. With warmth, transparency and contagious passion, Renee speaks from a heart that’s been transformed by the power of God’s truth and grace. She knows the challenges women face, the heartaches and joys they share. Sprinkled with humor and saturated with Truth, Renee’s messages are filled with powerful Biblical insights, personal stories and practical life-applications! You’ll leave challenged as a woman and encouraged as a child of God!



Francesca Battistelli. . .

will be in concert Saturday evening. Francesca Battistelli is a multi Dove Award winner and her music has been featured in a number of television shows and movies. She has also received “Female Vocalist of the Year.” 
“Ultimately, I want to be an encouragement as an artist and a fellow believer,” Francesca says. “The Lord has continually called me to do things that are outside my comfort zone, whether it was accompanying myself on guitar for the first time in front of seasoned players or packing up and moving to Nashville knowing hardly anybody. Still, He’s never left me, and He constantly shows me that it’s worth it.





Allison Allen . . . 

will be our Friday evening speaker. Allison is a story-teller, actress, teacher, author, and dramatist for Women of Faith. She loves weaving Biblical teaching and acting together in unexpected ways. She started speaking by believing that God is a better door opener then she ever could hope to be. Exploring themes of purpose, value, and identity, Allison hopes to lead women on a rare journey toward the fullness of Christ’s redemption.






Natalie Grant . . .

will be in concert Friday evening. Grammy nominated Christian vocalist and multi Dove Award winner, Natalie Grant, is a singer-songwriter from Nashville. Natalie’s work has gained international acclaim, including five Dove Awards for Female Vocalist of the year. “I’m convinced that what people really want is depth,” Natalie says, “and I feel like I have a responsibility to take them there. So much pop music today is disposable but it seems to be less about music than it is about appearance, about fashion. Now, there’s nothing wrong with fashion, I just don’t want it to define me. But the deeper things in life—values, relationships, family, and my faith in Christ—they are what’s most attractive about a person. And they’re why I sing.”




Cliff and Suzy Lea . . .

Cliff Lea, pastor of First Baptist Leesburg, will be our Sunday morning worship speaker. He is a graduate of Southwestern Theological Seminary and is the author of the books “Give Me Your Heart,” “Worth the Wait” and “In God We Trust.” Suzy Lea will be our master of ceremonies for the weekend.



 Tracey Russell... a speaker and writer committed to finding ways to repurpose the pain in life is coming and will be presenting her newest talk on Mothers are like Mason Jars!  From Hipsters to over the hill mothers, everyone needs to be filled and preserved with God’s love for your role in your family.

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Stephen Wolgamott . . .

will be providing worship music along with his worship band throughout the weekend during our worship services. Stephen is the worship leader at First Baptist Church in Leesburg, Florida. Stephen is a multi-talented leader, guitarist, and singer.





Other Activities During the Weekend. . .

Both Saturday and Sunday morning after breakfast specific times will be scheduled for personal meditation/prayeras well as church/group times.


There will also be a variety of seminars with topics related to women and they will be offered during two times on Saturday before and after lunch:


Parenting/being a mom, marriage, finances, healthy eating and cooking, child trafficking, successfully single, healing the heart, sanctity of life, what’s in your luggage?, and ministry opportunities for women.


A variety of indoor and outdoor activities will be planned as well for Saturday afternoon:


Challenge rope course, garden tour, movie and popcorn, card making, skeet shooting, disc golf, fishing, pine needles crafts, canoes, basketball, volleyball, Cornhole game, horseshoes, and table games in the fellowship center.


There will also be lots of time of meeting and networking with women from across the state of Florida.



Call Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center for More Information . . .


at (800) 226-8584 extension 8800 or (352) 483-9800 to register for the event or to get further information. You can also e-mail Lake Yale at lakeyale@flbaptist.org.


Women’s Retreat Flyer has been attached to this e-mail for you to be able print and pass out or e-mail to anyone you know who might be interested in attending the event.


If you have never visited Lake Yale before, please visit our website at www.lybcc.com to see and read more about our facility and mission.



Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center is located at 39034 County Road 452 in Leesburg, Florida 34788.


Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center is owned and operated by the Florida Baptist Convention.


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A letter to my son on his way to college


Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.

Psalm 127:4


I am struggling this morning to see the boy I raised with the crystal blue eyes like his daddy and brown silky hair as a man ready to enter the world of college.

Isn’t this the one I held in my arms and pledged to hold forever?

-the one who held my hand as he learned to walk and then ran to me with skinned knees.

– the fast paced little boy who climbed trees and wanted me to watch him learn to skateboard in the driveway.

-the teenager who still needed my encouragment

– the  young man I watched graduate from High School

Now he is ready to go to the next phase and my mother’s heart is wrestling with bitter sweet feelings.

Sometimes I am ready for this emerging man to launch and other times, I want to be the mom that gets to hold him forever like my little baby, protecting him from the world.

As I begin this day of taking him to college, I am writing this letter that he may never read-

But if you have a son leaving to college it may be the words of your heart too?

Dear Son-

I have loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you as they placed you in my arms. I wondered how I could have ever existed without in my life. I looked at your tiny body and marveled at the way God designed every part and little piece of you, wonderful you! 

 My life forever changed in an instant-

 Life ceased to be all about me and became all about loving you, making sure you had everything you needed that I could give you. Your birth began a journey of love that has brought me to this moment that I can hardly fathom. 

Now instead of holding you, I am letting you go into the world with out me. 

It’s hard to love someone and then release your ability to protect, care and love them on a daily basis but it is a requirement of loving you. 

In the back of my mind, I remember raising you with the intention of sending you out like an arrow, peircing this world with intention and strength- targeted at a specific goal. 

I know in my heart that the power of an arrow comes with release from the hands of the warrior. Just like that arrow you must fly with  purpose to a target that only God can direct. 

I want you to know I will always be be there for you, standing here, watching and praying for your life to hit the mark intended for you before time.

No matter if you feel you are lost on the that journey, remember that God has the power to enable you to hit the bullseye of life. It is God who will complete this work in your life and not your own ability or performance. 

Life is not an easy task and there will be times when you fail or make wrong choices, times when your heart breaks and your faith seems lost. Do not give up, my son,  as these moments are part of your growth and part of what will make you a better man in the future-

Trust God to restore you , even when you make mistakes, take a wrong turn, or feel broken of your personal strength

I have learned the power of a mother’s love touches her children in life the most through prayer and so I will be praying for you, my son, fighting unseen battles for you on my knees daily. 

I will never stop believing in the calling God has on your life and the ways only He can work to bring you the peace and joy of a living in the center of His will. 

Know that I am always here for you, always loving you and always keeping a place for you in my home, my beautiful boy. 

I will always be waiting for you with hugs when you need them and encouragement to help you keep up the good fight- 

I love you today and always – Mom 


Top 4 ways to combat the Momma Back to School Blues


Back to School Blues!

(For Moms who have lots of kids and lots of responsibility )

Every year around this time, mothers are swarming to their local super store pouring over school supplies, uniforms and new shoes. In the hustle and bustle of a new school year, the heart of a mother can tend to become overwhelmed and even a little blue at the loss of another summer.



My heart hurts as we have to say hello to early mornings and goodbye to little bodies sleeping in-

Here comes the pending “grind” of a new year and new schedule. ( deep breath)



At orientation, as calendars and commitments are being handed out, my stomach turns into a knot!  How in the world can I do all this?

This year I am determined to so  something different ! I am making my own list of the top four ways to combat the blues! 

This is my  little arsenal of  positive mental tips from a Momma that’s been doing this for over 15 years- Me! Also, this weekend as I am driving my oldest son to college, I realize that school years are short and even though they feel overwhelming, I want to enjoy these moments and focus on what matters.


1.) Set clear morning routine rituals as a family ! – It is vitally important that the morning routine not be whizzing around in my head and clearly communicated to my kids.  Just for the record,  I have already held a morning routine war and it’s only the third day of school. grrrrrr! My husband and I are sitting down tonight to make sure our kids have a clear expectation of the time we will leave and the consequences for not getting ready on time. This way, I don’t have to be the morning bear running around growling, GET IN THE CAR!!!!!!! Also, planning the night before helps the morning blues !


2.) Priorities, Do I really need to do this now, or can it wait till later? 

There is so much to manage in those first weeks of school. It’s probably not the best time for me to take on too much. For example, the first week of school, do I really need to clean out every closet in my house or can that wait? I need to be realistic about exactly what I can accomplish when my kids are in school. Major projects can wait!

Do I need to have lunches packed ? YES Do I need to get my kids to bed on time? YES Do I need to be more available to help set routine in place? YES!


3.) Remember the important things in life! 

The most important things I do for my children are not found on a to do list – As I looked at my to-do list this week it was returning forms to school, signing papers, dry cleaning, washing the car, cleaning the refrigerator..ect- Although these tasks are important they are not the most important things for me to do .

Here is my “real” back to school to do list:

Hug more

Make encouraging words a priority on the way to school

Pray in the car for each child

Listen when they come home

Stay off my cell phone and emotionally engage in conversation with kids

Have a snack ready for them as a surprise to say , I missed you today

Spend quality time at night talking through any insecurities or fears they might have


4.) Prayer– Yep, when I feel stressed, I wake up running  and forget to take time for this valuable start to every day. God has given me these wonderful children to raise and will continue to equip me to meet their needs- When I feel overwhelmed the most, I am taking on too much internal responsibility for everything in life.



Would you mind taking a moment to pray with me?

God, I am praying for this new year with my children in school. Thank you for giving me these children to raise and for promising to meet my needs and theirs. I ask that you help me combat my fears and anxiety over this new year with faith in your power and peace. 

Help me to give grace as a new time schedule begins 

Let me see clearly what I need to do now and what can wait until later 

Make me aware of what is most important in the hearts of my children 

Prompt me to pray more and give my first moments of my day to you – 

Forgive me in advance when I fail, and help me seek your forgiveness and the forgiveness of those around me – 

I trust you to work together good things for my family, in ways I could never do myself- 

Thank you for the blessings of my precious family –