Friday, February 27, 2009

Merry Hearts

Well, it's been quite a week for everyone. What a blessing it is to have friends and family to bear the burdens we face. It's so helpful to know that we have people walking beside and praying for us. It's also helpful to remember that everything is a matter of perspective. Sometimes we cannot see a positive side of bad news or the hard times, but as Kim pointed out with her comments yesterday, sometimes bad situations motivate us to remember what's important.

I found myself thinking about that today. What important things might I be forgetting or missing as I focus on the negative aspects of life? It's always so easy to see the bad and forget the good. We have a tendency to remember the harsh word spoken by our friend or spouse, but forget all the positive, loving comments and actions. Sometimes we can recall stressful times more readily than restful moments.

My challenge today--for myself as well as you--is to focus on the positive. Make it a game with the family--call up a friend--write a letter to someone. Share memories and thoughts of something that is good. Offer a word of encouragement. Tell a joke. Thank someone for something they did. Enjoy the moment. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel afterwards, and you'll make someone else feel better at the same time. The Bible says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Go take a generous dose.

Friday, February 20, 2009

On Hold With Hope

Sometimes it just feels like we're on hold. A permanent state of waiting for the other shoe to drop. With Robin and Tammy's news this week, my own grandaughter suffering another serious ear infection, and millions of people unemployed, it causes one to think - but of course not question aloud - what next?

Lately we've been hearing a lot about this being a new age of hope--a hope that will give us a better life--a hope that will deliver us from the sorrow and pain we're enduring. The world sees this hope coming in the form of a new president, a new piece of legislation, or even a new check. But through it all, one song keeps coming back to me. This wonderful old hymn is one of my all time favorites. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I love to remember the words.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.


His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.


When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

We do have great hope - it's in Jesus. He never fails and never leaves us to face the future on our own. My prayers are with my dear sisters here, and with those of you out there reading this now. May God's hope be the solid rock on which you stand.
Tracie Peterson

Friday, February 13, 2009


Okay, so it was a toss up. Write about Friday the 13th or Valentine's Day, and since I'm such a romantic at heart - Valentine's Day had to win out.

I found some very interesting tidbits about Valentine's Day. There are all sorts of stories about how the holiday came to pass. It's said to be founded in honor of St. Valentine who married lovers in secret against the wishes of Rome. I found it fascinating that in 1537 King Henry VIII

is actually credited with making it a national holiday for all of England to celebrate. Somehow this seems strangely appropriate for a man who had six wives.

There are wonderful stories about the middle ages when young people would draw names from a bowl to see who their Valentine sweetheart would be. They'd pin the names to their sleeves, and hence the saying, "wearing your heart on your sleeve" was born.

There are all kinds of traditions and myths associated with Valentine's Day. Women were told if they saw a robin fly overhead on Valentine's Day she would marry a sailor. If it was a sparrow - she would marry a poor man, but if she saw a goldfinch - she would marry a wealthy man.

And of course there is the financial aspect. It's reported that over one billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged each year. Valentine's Day is the biggest holiday for florists, with an estimated 110 million roses being delivered on this day alone.
With all of that in mind, it seemed only proper that I should send you a Valentine through this blog. So here it is.

I wish you blessings on this day, that your heart would be full of hope and love, and that God would guide your every step and thought.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Historical Heritage

As a writer of historical fiction, I love to research the past. There are always the most amazing tidbits to learn along the way. Perhaps the most fun has been in listening to the stories my family tells about the "old days" and relatives long gone.

There was my great-grandmother who was born during one of the worst recorded snowstorms in the late 1800s. She married and lived on a farm in Kansas, and I used to love to visit her. Here's a pictures of her when she graduated high school.

One of my favorite memories of visiting her farm was the outhouse. There was a long walk to the outhouse that took you between several other out-buildings. One was the milk shed where the milk and cream separator did its wondrous tasks. Tucked in by the window on the outside of this building was a butter knife. Now, I know this knife was used to scrape mud off of their shoes as they returned from the outhouse, but then I was certain it was used to fight off Indians and wild animals. See, even at the age of 5 my imagination ran wild.

Or there was my great-grandmother's mother who was orphaned after the death of her parents and siblings to typhoid fever. She was given over to relatives who treated her as a slave, because it was rumored she was part Native American. This woman always fascinated me. The stories told about her were incredible. She married and raised several children, often times having to fight the elements, intruders and animals to keep them alive.

Every family has incredible stories to tell, and I encourage you to write them down and keep this historical heritage alive. First, because it's your legacy. Second, because there will be some writer like me who will want to hear all the details - just in case it would work well in a book.

Happy Friday
Tracie Peterson
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