"Come and listen…and I will tell you what He did for me." Ps.66:16

You Are An Oak . . .

Saturday was a first for me on several levels!  A first of attending a Celebration of Life Services for someone I had never met before – Roxie Davis – my friend Tracy Steel’s Mom.   The first at taking notes during the celebration as Pastor Myers shared words of encouragement to Tracy and her family.  The first time to wear a little yellow smiley face pin on my lapel in celebration of Roxie’s life.  And a first to walk away feeling that I really did know Roxie Davis afterall!  You see, Roxie lived out her faith in front of her family and friends in such a way that everyone knew that her FAITH was more than a fire insurance policy!  I loved how Roxie walked her Jesus walk and talked her Jesus talk!  Roxie was a woman after God’s own heart!  AND it showed, even to this stranger as Roxie’s life stories warmed my heart for Jesus!

So, please welcome my amazing friend, Jesus sister, founder of One Degree Ministries, and author of “Images of His Beauty”,  Tracy Steel. You will absolutely love her heart and her ministry but most of all you will love her heart to honor Foxy Roxie and God in the same way that Roxie honored God.  What a legacy Tracy is leaving for her two little ones!

“They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.”

~Isaiah 61:3b, NIV

Dear Older woman:

I remember when you came and stood next to me during the Sunday worship service, leaving the pew you had occupied for years…

Perhaps you were scared to venture across the sanctuary, but the Holy Spirit prompted you, and you obeyed. You knew I was single, and could tell that it hurt to attend another church service all by myself.  

You are an oak.

I noticed your tears as you prayed for me. Yes, I know my head was supposed to be bowed like yours, but I wanted to see the expression on your face as you poured out your heart and petitions before the Lord on my behalf…

As you know, some of our requests were answered with a “Yes”, and some with a “No.” If you were disappointed in God’s “No” to me, you didn’t show it. You praised Him regardless and kept on praying.

You are an oak.

I will never understand the courage it took to admit your mistakes to me. I am sure you wrestled with the desire to be perfect in my eyes, but know that the examples of God’s forgiveness in your life will stick with me forever…

Thank you for trying NOT to be all things to me. I have everything I need in Jesus. (You were faithful to remind me of this.) You patiently invested in me, because you rightly understood that our relationship was never about you, but about you showing me Jesus.

You are an oak.

I remember when we discussed God’s calling on my life. You affirmed my spiritual gifts. You helped me to write my first Bible Study, and purchased one of the first copies. You pushed me out of my comfort zone, because you knew it would be for my good, and ultimately for God’s glory…

I know that you probably thought I was crazy for leaving the corporate world for youth ministry, since women did not attend seminary when you were my age. Yet, you realize things are different. You trust that God will open the right doors in my life to accomplish His perfect will for me.

You are an oak.

I remember how excited you were about my first date with an Air Force pilot. Over the years, you lovingly listened to my anxieties about spending the rest of my life alone. You held me as I cried through countless failed relationships. You held me accountable for my purity, and for the way I conducted myself around my Christian brothers.

Thankfully, you counseled me not to break up with the Air Force pilot when I started to doubt, because you just had this feeling. And, you were one of the first people I called after my Air Force pilot got down on one knee and proposed.

You then hand tied hundreds of white bows around chairs for my wedding reception, and you watched me say my wedding vows before a God who gives good things in His perfect timing.

You kept on believing that my Chad would come. I know you were sad when I moved away to be with him. But when you still call now, 4 ½ years later, I still hear your love for me through the phone.

You are an oak.

As you may have heard, my mother recently entered Heaven. Can you believe it has been 11 years since her breast cancer first reared its ugly head? What the field of medicine said was impossible, God easily made possible. You and I celebrated when she was at my wedding, and because she was there holding my hand as I gave birth to Jackson and Katie. How good and merciful God has been!

So thank you for walking through her final weeks with me. I want you to know that my mother was grateful for you. She knows that God placed you in my life to help me go forward without her now…

I appreciate you letting me process and grieve with you as I have watched my mother suffer. We both know you will never replace her, but I hope you know how thankful I am that God placed you in my life so I will never feel alone now, as a wife and a mother.

You are an oak.

Older woman, I am writing this letter to you because young women need an oak. My prayer is that you will heed what is written in Psalm 78:1-8 and Titus 2:3-5. Do not allow fear, busyness, or inferiority to stop you from letting me, a younger woman, learn from you. Nourish us simply with your presence and prayers.

You are not here to warm a pew, precious oak, but to warm our hearts towards Jesus. The future of the church needs you.

All my love,

Tracy

This post is dedicated to my Nonie, Margi, Jessica, Tami, Tracy, Amy, Jennifer, Cynthia, Sandy, Donna, and Susan. I also dedicate this post to the rest of you who pour into a soul that is younger than you. You are beautiful and God bless you.

Please visit and leave Tracy a comment on her blog to be entered to win a copy of her book, “Images of His Beauty”.  Winner to be announced over the weekend.

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Comments on: "You Are An Oak . . ." (19)

  1. Donna,
    What a beautiful tribute from your friend. I pray I can ba that oak for someone also.
    As I am sitting here reflecting on this blog I was thinking that as older women we also need the saplings, those new Christian full of vim and vigor, on fire for Jesus, to keep us newly aware of what Jesus can do in our lives. Sometimes we get complacent and as we mentor the younger or newer Christian, we can catch that newness all over again! Isn’t God great that way?

    Blessings,
    Catherine

    • Thank you Catherine for reading and for your comment. You are so right about the younger women bringing vim and vigor. I now mentor those in their 20s…I love their energy and joy! God is indeed great, very, very, very great! God bless, Tracy Steel

  2. […] Click here to read why I love ”Mighty Oaks”… […]

  3. What more can I say…beautiful! Thanks for writing this. We all need the wisdom, encouragement and legacy left behind by might oaks!

    • Thank you Eileen for reading and for your comment. Thank you Donna for allowing me to share. Praising God for those who “have been there” and who are willing to share their experiences and hugs! Have a blessed day sister 🙂

  4. Oh, Tracie…I’m so completely humbled and honored to be mentioned. So many oaks have invested in my life, and it’s been my heart’s desire to be able to do the same for other women. You make it EASY to invest, because of your love for Jesus and your all-around delightfulness!!

    • Dearest Amy: THANK YOU for helping me with One Degree and for believing in me. Blessings as you continue to pour into so many hearts. I am praising God for you 🙂

  5. Tracy thank you for this blog and Donna thanks for posting so that I could read this today – the day I needed it – to an old one who knows the value of sharing with the younger ones but sometimes needs a prod. This article touched my heart as I get ready to lead a group in the study of Greater. WOW! I was telling my husband last night that I know what I need to do, and how hard it is going to be because we are starting a huge remodeling project on our home because of foundation problems. I was a little down because I don’t like “change” in my home – I love my “cracked” tiles and my sinking countertops and I don’t want new – but the project starts the same week as Greater and I thought to myself how can I do it all (and yes my daughter is coming two weeks and every room in the house is having to be packed up for new flooring and carpeting – every closet and it all has to be packed next week). Anyway, with all that, holidays and subbing in the schools I was saying how can I give Greater 100%, and maybe I should not do it if I can’t give 100%, but then I know what God wants. Thank you today for this confirmation of what I need to be doing. I wanna be a “Mighty Oak” to my girls.

    • Thank you so much for your honesty here. I can relate to the busyness of life…sigh.

      I am praying that you will sense the Holy Spirit’s leading as you meet with your girls. Just simply listening, a hug, and being a steady and faithful presence in these young women’s lives is so important. You just point them to Jesus, and point them back to Jesus again. Be blessed as you watch HIM transform their hearts. Praising God for “oaks” like you! Tracy 🙂

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your dear friend, Roxie. She was certainly loved and loved others fully!

    • Thank you for reading and for your comment. I was so blessed to see Donna at my mother’s service! I pray I can pass on a legacy of faith to my children and the young women I mentor, just like Roxie did to all who knew her. I am comforted today when I remember she is in the presence of the One I pray to, worship, and write about. God bless 🙂

  7. What a beautiful tribute to Roxie, and an inspiration to us other ‘older’ women to draw younger ones closer to our loving God and Creator. What a blessing to be given a glimpse into how we may be God’s touch in these lives, how we touch them for eternity. Thank you for sharing what your Roxie meant to you; she inspires me!
    Bountiful blessings,
    kmuldo

    • Thank you so much for reading and for your comment. I wanted to show that acts like praying, hugging, and listening are so powerful. A woman does not have to be a theologian to make an impact. God uses ALL of His children to display His glory, yes even the “seasoned” ones! 🙂 Blessings as you continue to walk with our AMAZING God!

  8. Cheryl Bleier said:

    Tracy it was so good to see you at Roxie’s celebration. Thank you so much for sharing. Today, in particular, this older woman was reminded that relationships are not about me but about me showing Jesus to others. Wow. My prayer is to remember this whenever I start thinking about myself instead of Jesus.
    Love and blessings to you Tracy.
    Cheryl

    Thank you for trying NOT to be all things to me. I have everything I need in Jesus. (You were faithful to remind me of this.) You patiently invested in me, because you rightly understood that our relationship was never about you, but about you showing me Jesus.

    • Thank you Cheryl for your comments and for coming on Saturday. Your prayers and support mean a lot to my family and me during this time. As I continue to mentor women in their 20s, I need the same reminder! It is such an honor to love on God’s daughters isn’t it? Love and blessings to you as well.

      Tracy 🙂
      Isaiah 41:10 (Roxie’s favorite!)

  9. Oh my, I don’t have the right words. Tracy, this was so beautiful, tears are streaming. Donna, I’m so glad you shared this with us all.

    Kelley V,

    • Thank you Kelley for reading. God used these precious oaks to be extensions of His goodness and love in my life. His grace is truly amazing! Blessings, Tracy

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