Friday, October 29, 2010

Never Say Never

You know how they say you should "Never say never?" Well...generally I would agree with that, but there are some things that I think I can say, "I will never...."

For instance: Gold Lame'

I can pretty confidently say I will never buy gold lame' clothing - at least not willingly.

And how about a boar's head. Nope - not springing for one of those. I can pretty honestly say that I never intend for a boar's head to grace my walls.

Oh, and I will never buy a book on "How To Look Great In A Bikini" Yeah, that's not happening, because I can promise you I will never wear a bikini.

But there are other things I'll say "never" to - and they are more positive "nevers".

I will never stop loving my children or grandkids. No matter what - no matter if they grow up to do terrible things - I will love them always and forever.

(Yikes - Rainy is starting to look like her Nana Tracie)

I will never like/love liver

- except the one inside my body. And yes, that is a positive, because it makes me very happy to say so, and

I will never stop praising and loving God for all that He's done. God has blessed me in so many ways and although life has had it's ups and downs this year and all the years before--I am so very blessed to know Him. What a priviledge to be His.

Today may seem filled with nevers for you. I'll never get the job I want. I'll never be the mom/dad I should be. I'll never find true love. I'll never be out of debt. Whatever the "nevers" I have one that you should "NEVER" forget.

God said in Deuteronomy: "Never will I leave you nor forsake you." That's the most awesome "never" I know, and because of that - I think I will say "never" and say it will great confidence.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Keeping Up

Sorry for missing my blog last week. I was swamped and totally forgot until it was well into the day. Hopefully, that won't happen again.

I had a great time at the Women's Event at the 1st Alliance Church in Great Falls, MT and wanted to share a little bit with you. There were about 80 people in attendance.

The church advertised it as a "Novel Luncheon with Tracie Peterson" and they put on a wonderfully catered lunch with a trio of singers who were so phenomenal. By the time I got up to speak, I already felt that I was in the company of good friends.

My focus was on Letting go of the Past. I used the verses from Isaiah 43:18 & 19.

"Forget the Former Things; Do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert

and streams in the wasteland."

One of the things that God keeps bringing me back to is how we drag around the past and it weighs us down and makes the journey much less fun. It's like taking a trip somewhere you've always wanted to go, but packing 3 really heavy suitcases of stuff to take along. You spend all your time worrying about that stuff, checking on it--pulling it out to use--putting it away to keep safe. You bear the burden of all that extra weight--and in the process the trip is no longer as much fun as it might otherwise have been.

My husband and I have gone to England several times - sometimes for as much as two weeks at a time.

We've learned to pack light. In fact - we can do 2 wks abroad with nothing more than a back pack each. However, one year we went and took large suitcases. We were concerned for some reason about having enough stuff and packing room for presents. We were miserable.

Dragging around extra weight whether physical or emotional is never any fun. It serves one major purpose and that is to exhaust you. Oh sure, with more luggage we had more choices of clothes, didn't have to wash anything out, and brought back more presents. But by discarding the extra burdens we were freed up to move quickly, get into places that we might not have gone with large bags, and truly had more energy. The same is true for emotional baggage from the past. It is so difficult to move forward when you're dragging the past along with you and I think that was one of the big reasons God gave us these verses.

So today, I'm encouraging you to dump the baggage. "Forget the former things." Do not be exhausted by dragging around a bunch of unnecessary stuff. "Do not dwell on the past."

Let God do a new thing and watch streams pop up in the wastelands of your life.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Series - New Book

Yes, EMBERS OF LOVE is finally available. This new book in the STRIKING A MATCH series is #1 of three books that will come out over the next year.

I had such a great time researching this series. Set in the late 1800's East Texas, this series deals with the yellow pine logging industry. While in Texas we did research at The History Center in DiBoll, TX. The director Jonathan Gerland and his tremendous crew there were all so helpful. We also visited the Forestry Museum in Lufkin. Everyone was super to help us.

While there we learned about the "company towns" set up Angelina County to support the various sawmills and logging camps. Towns sprang up and disappeared as the wood was cut away and the forests destroyed. Company towns focused on keeping the people buying and selling in their particular town so that control of commerce was pretty much regulated by the owners. Workers were often paid in tokens and script rather than cash. Although I did read that it was often popular for the sawmill owners to pay in cash as a treat for Christmas and sometimes Texas Independence Day.

Here you can see some of the types of money created for the workers.

Provisions in the area were few and far between at times, and life was quite simply lived. A kitchen like this was an extra nice accommodation and often cooking and laundry was done outside year round. Makes me extra glad to have all the nice emenities I have in my house.
I hope you'll enjoy the new series and for the fun of it, we included a couple of neat recipes at the end of the book. Here's another just for the fall season. These are cookies mentioned in the storyline and it's a fun idea to serve them if your bookclub is reading EMBERS OF LOVE.
1 cup brown sugar – packed
½ cup softened butter
1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup pecans
(Optional add ins – 1 cup of raisins – 1 cup of coconut – add both for a really great treat)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Very lightly grease cookie sheet(too much will cause cookie bottoms to burn)
Cream butter and brown sugar, add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix by hand thoroughly
Add in dry ingredients and mix by hand.
Drop onto cookie sheets in tablespoonfuls. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies
Frosting – optional
These go well with an orange zest frosting or white frosting with hint of almond.
God Bless

Friday, October 1, 2010

All In The Family

No, not the television show. I came across some family notes as I was cleaning out a desk drawer the other day. My cousin keeps a genealogy and while I've never had too much time for such things, I cherish the information given me by others.

You see, my situation is kind of strange. I have information about my mother's side of the family. I even have wonderful pictures of great-great-grandmothers and other relatives like those below.

My father's side, however, is a mystery. He was adopted. Not only was he adopted - I've been told when I set out to research the matter that the adoption was illegally done. Documents were falsified. Details were omitted. No telling where he came from. No telling who his people were.

Oh, there were plenty of stories about his origins. All were intriguing and vexing at the same time. One old friend of the adopting family told me he was related to a prominent family in town, but was abandoned in the trash because the mother had had an affair and he was the result. Folks at the courthouse in one county suggested he could have been one of the children of the Jewish "save the children" years of World War II. Another suggested that because of the location of the adoption - he might have been a child of part Native American ancestry. Back in the 1930's this wasn't too smiled upon unfortunately.

Wendy Lawton, writer, agent and sculptor of amazing dolls once looked at me at a conference and said, "You're Irish aren't you?" I told her I knew there was a very tiny bit way back on my mother's side, but on my father's side I had no idea. She told me very emphatically - "Oh, you're Irish alright. I can see it in your face." Probably the red hair and freckles didn't hurt either.

For a while, this inability to know my ancestry really bothered me. Who were my people? Where had I come from? It was driving me crazy, but at every turn I was denied information.

But then God began to very gently deal with me. The past became less and less important. My earthly bloodline was put aside for focus on my heavenly one. My earthly father--a man I barely knew as he and my mother had divorced when I was quite young, was set aside for a stronger relationship with my Heavenly Father. I slowly came to realize that all of our earthly life will pass away, but only the things that are of God will last.

Our genealogy here on earth is fun and interesting to be sure, but I want to encourage you today to be sure and do some work on your Heavenly genealogy.

Get to know your ancestors in the Hebrews 11 hall of faith. Dig in an acquaint yourself with your Heavenly Father and be amazed to learn who your people are--who you really are.

PS: Lena Dooley is posting an interview with me and book giveaway at her blogsite Be sure to check it out. AND

If you are in the Great Falls, MT area - I'll be speaking at the 1st Alliance Church on October 9th. This is a catered luncheon from 12-1:30 p.m. and if you want to attend contact Cheryl Jones 406-231-1823 for details.
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