Goodbye and Thank YOU

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Blog | 16 comments

      I was going to  end with a video blog but my emotions wouldn’t let me. Imagine puffy red eyes and a shaky voice. So bear with me… It is time to say goodbye to One Degree. I’ve been thinking about shutting it down for a while now. God is doing a new thing in my life, calling me to shift the focus of my writing. I can remember telling someone, “I am just a speaker. Writing? No way, not for me.” And now look. #dying But God… I am smitten about writing. Then there is all of you, my readers. How I thank God for YOU. Some of you have been with me since my very first post back in February 2012. You’ve been patient as I’ve worked on “finding my voice” and tempo as a writer. You’ve been gracious with your feedback and comments. Your social media shares- I’ve noticed and am blessed by them all. I pray your heart found direction and encouragement through the thousands of words shared in this space. We’ve cried together as I’ve shared about breast cancer and about the woman it took from my life. Perhaps this is the hardest part of letting go of this blog. I needed this space to process my grief. Closing it down is another step forward in living my “new normal” without my mom. Would she want me to move on from here? You better believe it. If anyone taught me about being obedient to God’s leading it was her. You’ve also laughed with me and well.. at me. Let’s just be honest. Probably because I wrecked another Pinterest recipe or crafty project, right? In case you’ve forgotten… here is an example.     So many fails. Then there were our discussions about boils and plagues. Yellow flip flops. Someone’s backside. Motherhood. The military and all the moving. Marriage. Turning 40. And all the precious video blogs where I had to remain motionless, speaking at low decibels because my babies were sleeping in the next room. Remember those? Chuckle. It’s the only time I could film them. I even filmed a vlog in my closet once. And I would sit amidst piles of stinky shoes and dirty laundry and film another one because Jesus is worth it. You knowing Him more is worth it to me. And so…     I am building a new online home. Remember, I am smitten about writing. And I adore YOU. It’s just time to shift the focus of our time together. Though I am sad to let One Degree go, I am excited about starting something new at I pray you will join me over there. What will we be talking about? I will give you a hint. My new tagline is: Real Talk About Relationships. Yep, relationships. So stay tuned. “Launch day” is coming! There will be some fun giveaways and a sampling of my musings for those who subscribe to my new blog. Please note that my Twitter handle has changed to: @tracymsteel and my ministry Facebook page has changed over to @TracyMSteelMinistries. If you are a current email subscriber of One Degree, I would love for you to make the move with me. Can you please reply back to this email and let me know if you want to make the switch? I am creating a new list of subscribers, so...

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Why I’ve been silent in the midst of all the shootings

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Blog | 4 comments

      Observation #1: I didn’t plan on going into a bookstore. It wasn’t on my list of errands. As I loaded my groceries into the back seat of my car, I remembered I needed to buy a friend a gift, so off to the bookstore I went. Finding the perfect thing for her, I approach the cash register to pay. This is when I first notice him. His shirt is half untucked, and his shoes are covered with the dust that covers everything here in the desert. He speaks Spanish. He is shifting his weight from foot to foot, waiting by the cash register for someone or something to arrive. I wonder about this man’s life story. The store clerk interrupts my wonderings by asking me to step forward and pay for my purchase. I step beside the man and hand the clerk my money. As I was doing so, another store clerk walked behind the counter and presented the man beside me with a closed box. He stopped moving, smiled at her, and opened it. I want to grasp what he is saying because he is speaking Spanish quickly and with great excitement. The look on his weary face changes. I’ve seen the same expression on my son’s face as he took his first steps, or when we surprised him with a trip to Disneyland. My son’s excitement was evident when he saw the peak of the fake Matterhorn from Harbor Boulevard. This man exhibited the same look on his face. But why? I glance into the shallow box; understanding at once. The man carefully lifted a black leather Bible out of the box as if it were made of bone china. The cover was newly engraved with what I assume to be his name. From no name, to a name engraved in gold. I can barely keep my emotions in check. This mama is familiar with the power of the Bible he is holding. We lock eyes and I muster a huge grin while holding back tears that want to fall. No words are needed between us. We possess different skin colors and speak in different languages. But in our spirits, we are united. And we both realize it. For many years I denied Jesus access to my heart. And yet, He loves me and forgives me though I am still far from perfect. What breaks my heart is that countless names around me are not written in gold. There are many people who continue to deny the deity of Jesus, the only One who unifies people of different colors and backgrounds. To them I write with kindness and in love: Jesus is the Messiah. Names are being engraved in gold. I want yours to be too.   Observation #2: Let’s talk about my car. My wonderful husband works hard at vacuuming and scrubbing the thing. Bless. You can hop into my car and conclude from a casual observation that nothing moldy is growing on the seat in which you are sitting. But, I direct your attention to this:       Yep, gross. In the nooks and crannies of our car, invisible to everyone, is a plethora of crumbs, stale potato chips and fossilized french fries. Our car is not clean is it? It...

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