Friday, March 29, 2013

Blessings At This Time

To all my readers I want to wish you blessings.  This is such a wonderful time of reflection.  I pray that you'll have a wonderful weekend and that your focus will be on the precious gift of Salvation and of God's love.

I have so many blessings in my life and thank God for them.  Easter always brings to mind the precious people God has put in my life.

You readers are an amazing part of that.  You are such an encouragement to me and have blessed me in so many ways.  Your letters of encouragement mean the world to me.

I'm also blessed to have 3 beautiful and incredibly wonderful grandchildren here in America and another 6 soon to be seven adopted grandchildren in Africa. 

As many of you know Rainy has suffered with on-going issues that were supposed to have taken her from us before she reached 5.  She is now nearly 11 and going strong.  Fox and Max are two of the greatest grandboys a nonna could have. They are all amazing reminders of God's love.

God has allowed me to bear 3 of the most amazing children a mother could ever have.  I'm so very proud of each of them and love them so dearly.  God's also given me Jean Pierre and Albine in Africa.  All of them have touched my life in so many ways.

Jean Pierre and his family continue to serve God and bless me over and over with their encouragement and love.

Jen put herself through college and has done such an incredible job of growing into a beautiful young woman who loves God. Jen has such an amazing talent with words and I know one of these days an incredible book will come from her.

Julie is a fantastic young woman who has endured so many changes in her life. She has an amazing talent for photography and the photos of the kids were taken by her.  Despite the pain of going through a divorce, I've been proud of how she's turned to God for her strength.

Erik is a fine young man who has blessed me through the years with his insight and imagination.  He has such a tender heart and desires to find God's direction for his life. He's self taught on the piano and creates the most beautiful music.

I'm also blessed with a pretty terrific mother and sister (brother-in-law, too)  I have wonderful aunties and a dynamic uncle.  There are cousins galore and other extended family and dear, dear friends.

And of course, I have my amazing, loving husband Jim.  After 33 years of ups and downs, good times and bad, I can honestly thank God for the way He has brought us into such a wonderful time of life. Jim is my best friend and I am so blessed to have him in my life.

I can truly say that we are highly favored of the Lord, and this time of year only serves to remind me to count those blessings and offer up thanksgiving.  I pray blessings for you and hope you will keep your eyes on Him.

God Bless You and Happy Resurrection Day!

Women in History

Since we're getting close to the end of the month, I thought I'd share one more example of women in history.  For this I chose St. Lydwina of Schiedam, the patron saint of the chronically ill, ice skaters and the town of Schiedam in the Netherlands.

She's also thought to be the first recorded case of Multiple Sclerosis and because I saw my neurologist this week for my MS check up, I thought it seemed appropriate.

Born in 1380 in Holland, Lydwina was much loved. At 15 it's said that Lydwina was ice skating when she fell and broke a rib. It's said that having MS was the reason for her fall and her subsequent lack of healing.

The town of Schiedam praised her as being filled with the Holy Spirit and capable of healing others. Lydwina was said to be in chronic, intense pain that left her paralysed, blind and unable to eat or sleep.  Even so, she was completely commited to her love of God and prayer.

Having MS, I've studied up on the symptoms and complications of the disease.  I can't imagine the suffering of severe MS patients. I have relapsing-remitting MS which isn't anywhere near as severe as what this woman, and many others, endure.  Not only that, but my MS has been very manageable, with only minor discomfort.

In fact, I had great news from the doctor this week.  My MRI shows that my lesions have actually diminished and there are no new ones at all.  I've had no other symptoms or episodes of neurological incidents and the doctor was so pleased with my situation that he doesn't want to see me again for a whole year.  Let me tell you - we are all doing the happy dance and praising God for answered prayer.

Lydwina offered comfort in the name of Jesus to a great many people and I hope to do no less.   I really appreciate the way many of you have offered me encouragement and prayers.  I appreciate the love you've shown and the stories you've shared with me.  I realize that I'm a very blessed woman and that despite having the diagnosis of MS, God has met my every need.

So now - maybe I should take up ice skating.

Oh, and check out the EVENTS link at my website at to see the locations for my upcoming booktour in Minnesota. If you're in the area, I hope you'll join me.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Clara Brown - Angel of the Rockies

Angel of the Rockies Clara Brown
Clara Brown is one woman I would love to meet.  Born around 1800 in Virginia, Clara was a slave from the start of her life.  She married another slave as a teen, and she and husband Richard had four children -  Richard, Margaret, Paulina Ann, and Eliza Jane.  Paulina Ann died young and in 1835 Ambrose Smith, their owner, died and sadly the family was split up.  It was a loss that Clara would never forget and she would spend the rest of her life seeking for her family.
In 1856, Clara was set free and immediately began to search for her family. Hearing that one of her daughters might have gone west, Clara decided to head that way, too.  Since blacks weren’t allowed to buy stage coach tickets, she convinced some prospectors headed to Colorado to let her go along. She was thought to be the first African American woman to arrive in the Colorado gold fields.
She settled in Central City, CO where she immediately set to work doing laundry for the miners.  She was a remarkable woman who loved Jesus and held church services in her home.  She saved her money, helped the sick, fed the hungry and in the most simplistic form was “Jesus with skin on” to many. She invested in mining and people, and God blessed her.  At one point she managed to save $10,000 and she used that money to help other former slaves to come west to resettle into a new life of freedom.
After the Civil War, Clara went South to look for her daughter Eliza Jane. She had already heard that Margaret had died and would never learn what had happened to her husband or son.  Imagine her heartbreak.  She had money to help other families to be reunited, but her own loved ones would remain beyond her reach.  But God wasn’t finished with Clara Brown.
She continued blessing the lives of others and with her money nearly gone and her health failing, God gave Clara a special blessing.  Now in her 80’s and after almost 50 years of separation, mother and daughter Eliza Jane were to be reunited.  I can’t even begin to imagine their happiness. They were to live together in Colorado and share each other’s love until three years later when Clara passed away in her sleep. 
The funeral was widely attended with the mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado present.  Clara Brown became the first African-American member of the Colorado Pioneer Association and they funded her entire funeral.
Upon her death, it was said that “Aunt” Clara left earth to be an angel, but most said she was an angel during her life on earth.  She was much loved and has been memorialized in many ways, including a stained glass portrait that graces the state capitol building and an opera.  But I have a feeling her finest moment was when she was reunited with her family in heaven and she came face to face with Jesus.
Aunt Clara – I hope to one day get to meet you – you were indeed a good and faithful servant.
P.S. Cathy Marie Hake's book IN HIS WILL is free on Kindle - download your copy today - the story is awesome.

Friday, March 8, 2013


We had a wonderful time at Book Banter last Tuesday and today - as promised - I'm posting the winners.

Congratulations to:

Sarah Francis
Candy Cervenka
Pauline Bigner
Wendi Welch
Ahna Mccabe
To get your copy - email Noelle Buss at
Hope you enjoy the book.
It's always so fun to connect with the readers.  Many of you asked why I chose icecutting as the backdrop to my story and here's the reason.  It was unique and fun.  Long ago we didn't have icemakers, so during the winter months, ice was harvested off frozen lakes and shipped all over the country.  I found a really cool video of folks harvesting ice in the 1917 year.  Here's a link.  Hope you get a chance to view it.
Be Blessed!
Tracie Peterson

Friday, March 1, 2013

Margaret Brown

March is Women in History month and with that in mind, we wanted to share a few interesting women we’ve discovered while researching our historical novels.  Since I’m currently writing a story set in Denver, I thought I’d share a bit of Colorado history and talk about Margaret Brown – better known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”.

Margaret Brown is a fascinating woman.  Although most admit “Molly” was a nickname given her by the press and not one her friends or family used, she was nevertheless an important part of history.  Born in Hannibal, MO in 1867 to a poor Irish Catholic family, Margaret quit school at 13 to help support her family by working in a tobacco factory.  Mining was already a strong attraction drawing folks to Colorado and Margaret had brothers who relocated there.  When she was 19, she joined them and within six months she fell in love and married J.J. Brown who worked as a mine superintendent.


Margaret and J.J. had a son and a daughter, but she was also extremely busy in Leadville, Colorado helping folks in her community.  She was particularly concerned about miner’s and children’s rights and the suffragette movement. Later when her husband struck it rich, they were to move to an opulent 39,000 sq.ft. home in Denver.  You can still tour this home in Denver, and it’s quite the place.  Here are a few photos.


In Denver, Margaret continued to lead the way in support of various causes.  She didn’t care how the world viewed her, but fought to see justice done for those who had no voice.  Even so, most people known her for her “unsinkable” title.

Margaret earned this title aboard the Titanic’s maiden voyage. She was one of the fortunate 700 who made it to a lifeboat after the ship hit an iceberg.  It was said that she took charge and helped assist folks to safety and kept morale up while awaiting rescue.  Even then, while on the rescue ship Carpathia, Margaret handed out food, water and blankets.  And, by the time the ship reached New York, she had already established a Survivor’s Committee, had been voted chairwoman and had raised $10,000 to aid the Titanic survivors.  Her heroism preceded her arrival to New York City where she was lauded for her service.  She would later be awarded the French Legion of Honor.

She used her fame to fight against folks like J.D. Rockefeller for the rights of coal miners.  She walked picket lines, spoke 5 languages, ran for congress, helped win women the right to vote and when World War I broke out, she went to France to work for the Red Cross.  She died from a brain tumor in 1932, much loved and admired for her giving spirit and no-nonsense, but good humored nature.

One of my favorite movies about her is The Unsinkable Molly Brown with Debbie Reynolds.  Although it’s not completely accurate, it’s loads of fun.

Women like Margaret “Molly” Brown not only added a bit of spice to the women of history, but she labored hard to make life better for us today.  She was quite a woman—an inspiration to us all.
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