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Remember, I have moved my book reviews to their own blog. Tracy's Book Nook is now active.

Wednesday, September 23

Our Deepest Fear

I first saw this amazing poem, in the equally amazing movie, Akeelah and the Bee. Some time ago, a blogging friend, Valerie from Simply4Him put it on her blog. Today, I was reminded of it, and wanted to add it to my own blog as well. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. It really is powerful!


Our Deepest Fear
by Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine,
we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Friday, September 18

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Pea!

A Gift From God by Ron DiCianni© 2009.
Image used by Permission

On this day, two years ago, I was given my greatest gift. At 9:30 AM, on Sept. 18th, 2007, my precious Sweet Pea was born. When she was born, I experienced joy unknown. I was so grateful that God would entrust such an amazing and beautiful gift to me.

It has been such a great time, watching her to learn and grow. It has been such a great time, watching me learn and grow! I have discovered that one of my favorite things is the sheer delight that comes with hearing the squeals of laughter she so often engages in. And I’ve discovered the helplessness associated with knowing she’s sick in some way, and there’s little I can do to help her.

I find myself completely enraptured by this sweet little life that I’m helping to grow. And I remain so very, humbly grateful for the chance to be her Mommy.

Our camera is not working correctly, so there haven’t been any recent pictures. However, we’re having a little party tomorrow for her, and I have a friend who will be taking pictures, so I will post them next week. Now, I have much to do to prepare…

Thursday, September 17

An ICE Re-Creation

So, God has given me focus. That’s good, right? I don’t have a lot of time these days to do much writing because my almost 2-yr old simply doesn’t understand that I need time uninterrupted to do so. There are some, who can be in the middle of a thought, lay it down to attend to something else and then come back to it and pick up right where they left off. I am not one of them. I can easily do that with reading, but not with writing. Reading and writing reviews is easy for me to do on the go, which is why I’ve been doing a lot more of them lately.

But back to my focus. I wanted to make sure that when I do have time to write, I’m writing what God is directing me to write. Here’s where the focus comes in. I mentioned previously that after much prayer, God gave me an acronym to remember to use for the direction He is leading my non-fiction writing in. That acronym is ICE and it stands for Identity, Character and Emotions.

When a person grows up in a dysfunctional family (as many of us have), there is often a deficiency in these areas. We maybe don’t understand that we have worth, so our character is weak, and our emotions are shut down, hyperactive, or simply all over the place. It all kind of goes together. If these basic things are not shown or taught correctly during the formative years, it does affect adulthood. But it’s not true that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. Especially if we have God on our side!

When I got saved, after living a dreadful heathen lifestyle, God really had to get a hold of me and re-create me. The Bible tells us that when we are born again, we become a new creation, the old has died and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). And of course that’s true as far as God is concerned. But we often have to be proactive about the change we are going through. I believe it is possible to get fire insurance – that is to believe and confess that Jesus is Lord and ask for His forgiveness, but then remain basically unchanged. But what a weak walk that would be!

For those who desire more of God than simple life insurance, there is more required. Not a set of rules to be followed, but a life spent seeking, worshipping and serving God. We are transformed into His likeness through the studying of His Word, conversing with Him in prayer and our acts of service (I often say we are not saved to sit, but saved to serve).

When we immerse ourselves in the Word of God, and allow it to, it will change us. We are to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Rom. 12:2), and we do that through the Word of God. But it requires our will to choose to read it, and let it in. That’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve gotten saved. I am now a much different and better person, but I still have a ways to go.

So my focus now is ICE:

~ Identity ~ To know, understand and believe who I am in Christ.
~ Character ~ To develop Godly character traits and reflect the Character of Him who made me
~ Emotions ~ To experience healthy God-given emotions, but to rule over them rather than let them rule over me.

I am excited about this new focus God has given me, and look forward to exploring it. I am thrilled to have you along for the journey. Be sure to look for more ICE posts to follow.

Tuesday, September 8

I Am "The Clay"

The Clay by Ron DiCianni© 2009. Image used by

This is me. No, I’m not the woman shown, but it is a picture of my life. And maybe yours too. It has been just over 10 years now since I’ve turned my life over to Jesus. When I first came to Jesus, I was a wreck. I had been a heathen for about 18 years (I knew Jesus as a child) and was really good at it. I was broken and bruised from years of dysfunction and mistreatment – some of which was inflicted by others, while some I inflicted on myself.

I was so relieved and grateful to learn that I could come to the Holy, Righteous God, regardless of what I’d done. He received me as I was, filthy with sin, and washed me in the blood of Jesus, making me white as snow, righteous not because of what I’d done to earn it, but because Jesus made me so. And soon I learned that God loves me enough to accept me as I am, but He loves me too much to leave me that way.

Soon after I got saved, I found that I wanted more and more of God. I couldn’t get enough of the Bible and read it all the time. I also discovered, with great wonderment and awe, those wonderful things that are Christian Bookstores! And it was in my first Christian bookstore, only a few months after I came back to Christ, that I first saw this painting, The Clay by Ron DiCianni.*

When I saw this painting, I literally gasped! Of course, I had to get it. In that moment, I was able to “see” perfectly the image of the Scripture, “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8) We are all clay in the hands of The Potter, who forms and fashions us into the image He has for us. He sees us as the masterpiece He created us to be, then lovingly, patiently molds into that image.

Sometimes the outward image is not a true representation of what we are. We may look right on the outside, never showing the flaws, cracks and imperfections that appear on the inside. Often times we know this, and work very hard at portraying a beautiful outward shell, knowing that is what is inside is anything but. However, God sees our inner condition, and He is always there to repair, restore and rebuild us from the inside out. But it is not a passive process. We have a part to play too.

God is always a Gentleman, He will never force us to accept Him, and He will never force us to change. We have to willingly allow Him to work on us, and trust Him to do what is best for us. His Word is one of the tools He uses to help us to change. It is filled with wisdom, correction, comfort, guidance, and love. I'm passionate about God's Word and the way it transforms us, if we choose to allow it to. It is alive and powerful. Because of it, I have gone from broken to beautiful, from victim to victor and from a survivor to an overcomer. It is only by the power, patience and grace of God, my loving Father and Potter, that I’ve done so.

*You can find The Clay and other artwork by Ron DiCianni at

Thursday, September 3

To Trust and Obey

What I know is this. God will use me. All I have to do is trust and obey. When I began this writing journey a year and a half ago, I didn’t have any idea where it would take me. I just knew God told me to start writing again and make it more public. So I trusted and obeyed. And it has been wonderful!

I’ve found that by following the Lord’s leading, He has used me for His purposes, and I have received the benefit. God is so good! He owes me nothing and gives me everything! The season I’ve been in has been B U S Y . . . With a toddler running around, church activities, attempting to be a domestic diva (ok, so I’m more like a domestic dunce), starting a new home-business, and having a super-abundance of books to read and review, my writing time has diminished. And I haven’t been happy about that. However, God has shown me that it’s just for a season, and I will get back to writing more. Lot’s more.

Just because I haven’t been doing a lot of writing though, doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking and praying about it. And once again, God has come through. He is dumping so much into me that I have to write down all the ideas so I won’t forget. He’s been giving me tons of ideas for blog posts, devotionals, articles and fiction books.

Another thing I’ve felt the Lord leading me toward is speaking engagements. I don’t know what it will look like exactly and I don’t know when it will happen, but again, all I can do is trust and obey. So believing this will happen someday, it is my desire to prepare. As it has been said, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity (Seneca, Roman philosopher, mid 1st century). Of course it’s not luck that I’m waiting on, it’s the Lord, but the principal is the same, right?

With that in mind, I’ve been praying that the Lord would reveal what my platform would be. After all, all speakers have to have a platform right? Once again, God has not let me down. He first gave me the acronym ICE, meaning Identity, Character and Emotions. All of these have been very important to me since I’ve become saved, because I have really worked hard at knowing my identity in Christ, having good character, and mastering my emotions, rather than allowing them to master me.

After ten years, I’m happy to say that I am well on my way to being the person God created me to be. Growing up dysfunctional, I never had any of this modeled for me, so God has had a lot of work to do. But He is faithful, and He will not quit on me. After all, it says in Phil. 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

So as I have time, I will write on the things that God has been revealing to me. I am really excited about this new turn in my journey, and I’m thrilled to have you along for the ride! Stay tuned, it’s going to be good!