From Tracie: Nine Months

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Nine Months

Nine months is the time it takes to grow a baby. It feels like a sacred time in that way. A time of fullness. A time of completion that leads to a new beginning.

I sit here in the ninth month (no, I'm not pregnant, I am referring to the ninth month of the year), and I can't help but look back at the beginning.

I chose a word to focus on this year. Act.


Am I acting? Am I taking action? Am I making moves and stepping out?

Maybe. Some. A little. More than last year.

Not enough.

I am still struggling to understand action. Not action as a word, but action as a daily act in my life. And here I am at the nine month mark, and not yet ready to birth this baby, this plan, this new me. Longing for that completion that leads to a new beginning, and not yet sure how to make it happen.


Yesterday I read an old verse with new eyes:
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you." ~Luke 17:5-6

In the past I have read that as, "Just have a little bit of faith, and you can do stuff," and thought about all the sermon illustrations about just how small a mustard seed really is. But yesterday, I saw something more.

These men asked Jesus to increase their faith (so often I have asked for the same thing), and Jesus looked at them, these men who clearly had some faith - they were following Him, they were apostles, they believed He had the power to increase their faith; that is at least a mustard seed - and, in effect, He told them to use the faith they already have.

It isn't about an increase in faith; it is about using your faith. Use it. Tell that tree to move. As you see your faith working, it will increase.


Later in that same chapter, Jesus heals ten lepers. Only one of them comes back to say thank you, and after Jesus points out that only this one, a foreigner, returned, this happens:
Then He said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” ~Luke 17:19

Your faith has made you well.
You used your faith, and something happened. It was not a question of how much faith he had, or how much faith the other nine lepers had. It was a question of using their faith. It was a question of action. The action of using their faith made them well.

Don't just stay here in this place; rise and go.
Go share your story. Action.
Go share your praise. Action.
Go share your faith. Action.


I looked back at my post from the beginning of this year, when I chose act as my one word to focus on, and saw the words from a friend that convicted me, and helped me choose this word:
"However many inspiring or encouraging words, truths, and promises we read or speak, what good will they do you if we do not act on them?"

What good is knowledge if I do not act on it?

What good is faith I do not use?

What good is life that is stagnant?

What good is a tree that does not grow, a branch that withers, a vine that does not produce grapes?


I think that was a contraction I just felt.

Pour Your Heart Out Button
Did you choose a word for the year? How is that journey going?
Have you read something with new eyes or new understanding lately?
I would love to hear about it.


  1. I didn't choose a word, but God has chosen one for me this year and it is FAITH. I know I have faith, but I don't use it often enough. He has given me enough chances to use it, but I am disobedient. Thankfully, He is patient and graceful and continues to give me another chance.

  2. Oh Tracie!!! This is just SO beautiful and SO powerful!!! Love love love!!! Amen to it all, my friend. Use the faith we have... and that will be enough! Wonderful message. :)

  3. Love this, Tracie!

    I always wonder what happened to the other 9 in the story of the 10 lepers. Jesus healed all 10. 1 came back and said thank you and Jesus told him that his faith had made him well. But the other 9 were healed too, yes? Perhaps there are more important things than being healed from our diseases. All 10 were physically healed. 1 of the 10 received spiritual and emotional healing because he acted on his faith. You think?

    And then there is the other tidbit of truth that I glean from this story. True faith must include gratitude. Because when the man expressed thankfulness ... Jesus commended his faith, not his heart, not his grateful spirit, not his polite nature, his faith! I suspect that it is not possible to be a person of active faith without also being a person with a thankful heart!

    Haven't written a blog post today ... maybe I should copy this comment and post it! LOL!

    LOVE you!

  4. This posts puts all kinds of productive thoughts in play. I love your word choice - act - because it covers so much, but just one thing at a time. Mine is "engage," and to me, that's meant to be fully engaged in anything I write, read, conversations, games, activities, or rest.

    Your word is difficult in ways, because you might feel badly for action you *didn't* take. I'd challenge you this: At night, think of one way you acted, the result, what you learned from it, and how you can be aware to act again when you have that chance.

    Also think of one - just one - instance in which you didn't act. What kept you from it? How would you act, given the second chance? Learn from that, and don't dwell on it.

    By doing those things ... you're acting, too.

  5. I so need to read the today. I need to work on using my faith.

  6. Actually my word in my 9th month was rest, but kudos to you if you can act (I was barely able to move).
    Visiting from Bloppy Bloggers.

  7. This was very thought-provoking and inspiring. I'll be pondering your words.

  8. I love your word choice, Tracie. I didn't pick a word for 2013 - but have enjoyed reading about others' words.
    Act is a great one - so often I spend a lot of time "thinking" when I could really be "acting" more. Thoughts are wonderful, but they can become great when we put them into action. Thank you for reminding me of this today. :)

  9. I LOVE this! To act on something is the hardest thing, but that is the only way we can grow. We can think, we can talk we can dream, but nothing will happen unless we act. And we don't have to do it all at once! Start somewhere and keep going.

  10. I like your interpretation of using your faith.

  11. Beautiful post in every way. I need to do a better job of actually living that word, too. Thank you.-Ashley

  12. Yes faith without works is dead- you do have to act. It is so easy to always just think about what you should do, even maybe plan it- but just acting is sometimes so hard but really is the only way. Great post!

  13. So inspiring. I'm good about making plans... and then not acting myself.

  14. I love the word action. And it's so true that we can have all the faith in the world but if we don't act on it, we are doing ourselves a huge injustice. Great post, my friend. Great reminders.

  15. You've inspired me to do as you've done and to chose a word also. This is so well written and so wise.

  16. Action...that is such a vital word not just as a goal for the year, but in every day life.
    You put this into perspective. Love it.
    I wish that I had faith in religion like you do. I just can't at the moment.