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

Friday, June 18

For Everything There is a Season . . .

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. ~ Ecc. 3:1

I don’t think truer words were ever spoken. That’s what life is all about . . . seasons. There’s of course our calendar seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, which mark the passage of time and the natural order of nature. But beyond that there are seasons which mark life itself. There is childhood, youth, adulthood, middle-age, and oft-dreaded old-age (though I personally think each age and stage offers its own pros and cons and should be celebrated regardless).

While it’s true that the calendar seasons are measured equally in length, that cannot be said of the seasons of life. There are times when a season we are particularly enjoying would last longer, and there are times we are experiencing a season that unbearably painful that seems to never end. But eventually it does, because that’s the way seasons work.

It’s possible to be stuck in a season, but that’s only because while the season changed and moved on, the person didn’t. Have you ever seen or known a middle-aged prom queen, still trying to live in her former glory, wearing clothes that are not appropriate and engaging in behaviors that are definitely not appropriate (or a similar scenario)? Eeewwww… That’s a picture of an unhappy person! How could she possibly be happy living in the past, rather than embracing and functioning in the present (whatever that may look like) and hoping toward the future. It’s impossible to get in your car, and drive to a far away location by only looking in the rear-view mirror. The same can be said for life.

Some seasons we wish we didn’t have to go through. Seasons like that of a debilitating illness, death or divorce. Or perhaps the loss of a job, a home, or a treasured relationship. The betrayal of trust, innocence or childhood. None of these are seasons that any of us want to go through, but they happen regardless. We cannot choose our seasons; what they may be, when they may happen, or even how long they last, but we can choose how we handle them. It’s up to us whether we merely experience them or actually allow them to define us. It’s been said that we can be a victim or a victor, not both… I agree with that.

As unpleasant as they may be, it’s the tough seasons of life that strengthen us and enable us to grow and become more mature. Through the process we develop wisdom, which we can then use, and share, in future situations or experiences. Of course that’s up to us . . . some people never seem grow in wisdom, but then again, they’re often not teachable in other areas of life either! The thing we are able to take comfort in though, is if we belong to Jesus, we have a promise that none of our experiences will be wasted, rather, that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes (Rom. 8:28).

The really good news though, is life’s not all about the tough seasons! We experience seasons of happiness, new beginnings, light-heartedness and, blessedly, smooth sailing! There are seasons in our life when all is well, we are pleased with the way things are going and we are a source of encouragement for others. Sometimes we experience seasons when we’re amazed and grateful at how happy, lucky, blessed, fortunate, favored, fulfilled, prosperous, or successful we are. There are even times when we are so filled with joy and elation we could shout from the rafters, “The sky is blue and the birds are singing!” or even, “The hills are alive with the sounds of music!” (I don’t recommend it though!)

Yes, there is a time for everything, for every activity, under heaven. There is a time for the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the simple and the difficult, for strength and weakness, for prosperity and lack, for recreation and for work. It has always been that way, and it will always be that way. The Bible assures us that, While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Gen 8:22). As long as the earth remains there will be seasons, and they will change. A common and comforting mantra for many during the difficult seasons of life is this too shall pass. And it always does.

Tuesday, June 8

A Time For Everything

Seasons have been on my mind lately. Probably because I’ve recently walked through an especially trying, dry and difficult season, and I am now eagerly awaiting a new season, one that’s full of blessing and favor. I have every confidence that the Lord will use the last season, as painful as it was, to benefit me in the new season. He’s good that way.

It has been a long time since I’ve written any type of a devotional. And a much longer time since I’ve done a series! So I am now about to tackle both. Time after time, I find myself returning to the beautiful passage of Scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. There really is a time for everything – whether we want it that way or not. Life happens. So does death. And everything in between.

I think most of us would prefer if only the good things happened, like life and love and laughter. But if that’s all we knew, I don’t think we’d grow very deep. It’s the pain, sorrow, and trials we walk through that strengthen us and build our character. If we never experienced sorrow, would laughter really matter? It certainly wouldn’t be special. Would beginning be as exciting if there was never any end? I don’t think that it would. I’ve heard it said that everyone wants the mountaintop experience, but not the valley. However, it is in the valley where fertile soil, growth, green, vibrancy and life are evident. The highest of mountaintops are often rocky and sparse . . . but it does offer a great view!

I’m looking forward to diving in to this new series, A Time For . . . I think it will be an interesting, challenging journey, and I’m certain that I will learn and grow from it. The time is right for this new series. We live in perilous and uncertain times, but we don’t have to fear them because God is in control. I hope you will join me on this journey – I think God has a lot to say about it.

A Time For Everything:

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. ~ Ecc. 3:1-8 (NLT)

Monday, June 7

Introducing . . . A Change . . .

The time has come to make a change! And though I don’t usually like it, sometimes, change is good! God has been once again giving me words to write, and I find myself returning to the reason that I began this blog. To write the words He gives. To offer readers an honest look at an imperfect life (mine), to speak truth, to be real and relevant, and to always honor Him. I love that I learn and grow with the words that I write, because they seriously do come from Him. In fact, sometimes it’s not till I re-read a post I’ve finished that I say to myself, wow where did that come from?

With that being said, the change that is being made is that Seed Thoughts will no longer host my book reviews. I’ll still be doing book reviews; however, I’ve added a new blog that will solely be for and about books! The reason for the separation is really quite simple. In the two years that I’ve been doing this blog, I’ve been blessed enough to receive many wonderful readers, and I’m thankful for them all. But not all of them have come for the same reason. Some of you wonderful readers are interested in my blog posts, thoughts, devotionals, character studies, etc. and some of you are really only interested in the book reviews. Either way is ok and I’m thrilled to have readers, no matter what the reason!

This new blog I’ve begun is called Tracy’s Book Nook. It will be home to all past and future book reviews. The actual blog address for the new blog is It is my hope that those readers who are interested in the reviews will be kind enough to begin following that blog as well. For a time, I will continue to announce any new reviews here on Seed Thoughts and direct or link to Tracy’s Book Nook.

I am honored and thrilled to even be addressing “my readers” because it continues to amaze and humble me that you’re even here. It is my sincere desire to speak of things that matter, share the words and insights of the Lord, invite you into my life and connect with you. I offer my deepest thanks for continuing to stick with me throughout this journey. I pray God will honor and bless your time, for choosing to spend it here at Seed Thoughts and now also at Tracy’s Book Nook.

The beautiful blog design for Tracy’s Book Nook (as well as Seed Thoughts) was created by the lovely Jill Samter. If you’re interested in a new blog design, or simply an element (like a header, signature, blog button, etc.) consider using Jill to create it for you. The cost is minimal and all proceeds to go charity. Click here to view some of her creations or to get more information.

Wednesday, June 2

The Miracle of Rising Up . . . Again

Sometimes, the miracle doesn't look like what we think it should. Sometimes we miss it completely because we're looking for something else. Sometimes we can only see it in hindsight. Sometimes the miracle is rising up each time we fall or we’re pushed down by the enemy. Thank you Lord, for your miracles, no matter what they look like!

These are the words that hit me the other day. Like a proverbial Mac truck! I have just gone through a time in my life that has been . . . well, difficult. In the last five years, we’ve experienced fertility issues, three miscarriages, a huge financial burden, betrayal, attacks on our character, the demise of a church we loved and poured everything into, the loss of relationships, the death of two beloved pets (just months apart), isolation, and the silence of God. Yep, it’s been a difficult time.

It would be easy to blame all of this on some great big sin in our lives, but it wasn’t there. Of course, we’re not sin free, but we weren’t in rebellion, or choosing a lifestyle of sin over a lifestyle of loving God and worship. It was “just” a time of warfare. For some reason, our enemy, the enemy, pursued us with a vengeance. We knew we were under attack, and we fought it the best we could. We kept going, we kept praying, we kept believing, we kept praising, we kept on keepin’ on, rising up each time we were taken down . . . for a time.

I have always believed that a person can endure or deal with most things if it’s only for a time. But when that time goes on and on, and the attacks are relentless, when the burden is unbearably heavy, and you have no reprieve, it’s easy to get weary. Deep down, doggone, wiped-out weary.

That’s where I was. My prayers, pleas, cries, and questions went unanswered. I believe in miracles. I’ve seen other people receive miracles. That last moment save, when all seemed lost, and the miracle happened to them. I rejoiced with them, while wondering, where was my miracle, my save? Especially regarding my miscarriages. I mean, I knew that God could intervene and save my babies, but He didn’t. I concluded that either God was not all-powerful, or He just didn’t care.

I wrestled with that. I wrestled with God. I poured out my anger, my pain, my questions, my blame, I just poured it all out. Time after time. And finally, after such a long time, things got better. The assaults haven’t stopped completely, but I’m feeling strengthened and victorious. I don’t have answers to the seemingly endless questions that have been plaguing me, but I have peace. I feel as if the large, dark and ominous cloud that has been hovering over me has been pushed away and has been replaced by glorious Light. God has shown me once again, that I am a victor, not a victim. That I am an overcomer, not merely a survivor.

And finally I know, finally I get it. I received my miracle. I received the miracle of being able to rise up each time I was taken down. Yes, the fight was long, drawn-out, unyielding and brutal. Yes, the enemy won some battles. Yes, we suffered major casualties, but . . . we survived, we got through and we rose up, again and again and again. We were bruised and bloodied, but we were not defeated. I am stronger for it, we are stronger for it. Through the midst of it all, our marriage did not suffer. And we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that what the enemy meant for evil, God will use for good.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. ~ Romans 8:28

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. ~ Romans 8:37