Tracey Casciano Featured on #WSATV Women Leaders’ Interview

Woman Speakers Association (WSA) is THE go-to place for innovative leaders, change-agents and women with a message to connect, collaborate and grow their visibility worldwide in order to fulfill their mission. As the first-ever global community for women speakers, WSA provides a platform for women to get seen, booked and paid AND be part of a growing network reaching women in 120 countries on 6 continents. Whatever her “stage”…be it the classroom, a boardroom, the floor of the U.N., WSA is dedicated to empowering women to authentically express themselves, build a thriving, prosperous business and cause serious transformation in the lives of their clients, companies, communities and the world.

I had the opportunity to be interviewed on Women Speakers Association TV last week with two other amazing women and wanted to share it with you. WSATV interview

“Never give up hope. We often don’t understand why things are happening when we are in the middle of it, but once you get to the other side, you often discover your purpose.” Tracey Casciano

 

 

 

 

Food Fight!

This past weekend my family and I were able to take part in a very special event called 2016 Food Fight at the Dulles Expo Center in Virginia. The NorthStar Church Network and my church (New Hope Church in Lorton, VA) hosted a 3 day mobile pack for Feed My Starving Children. Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: children and adults hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and they ship these meals to their distribution partners.

In 3 days, volunteers came with giving hearts and packed four simple ingredients into each bag: dried vegetables, protein powder, soy and rice. When mixed with boiling water, each bag feeds 6 children.

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Over the course of those 3 days, we saw many different churches, youth organizations, families and individuals donate their time and energy to pack the meals. In the end we cried tears of joy as they announced:

Number of meals packed for 2016 Food Fight: 5,044,248!!

Number of children to be fed for a year: 13,819!!

I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:11

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FMSC believes in sustainability – they don’t simply send one shipment of food to a country. Instead, they continue to provide their mission partners with the food they need to maintain their feeding programs.

 

 

If you would like more information about this amazing organization, I would recommend visiting their website http://www.fmsc.org.

#winner!

I am so excited and humbled this morning. I just found out that my book, “Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light” has won the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award for Non-Fiction!

When I first published this book, I was full of fear, but trusted God in every step of the journey. I share my story to provide hope and healing to others and have had the opportunity to meet many incredible people and hear other women’s stories of abuse. Thank you to everyone who has supported my journey.

God is so good!

 

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The calm AFTER the storm

The last few days in Northern Virginia we were blanketed by a blizzard named Jonas. Schools were cancelled, roads became impassable and time seemed to stop as we waited for it to end. The wind created snowdrifts and everyone held their breath for fear of losing power. And then it stopped. Today the snow is piled up and the sun is shining. Stores are still closed and no one is driving.

We are forced to slow down, and after the shoveling, we were able to relax and enjoy this sunny winter day. On a normal weekend I would be running errands, going to the grocery store, and preparing for another busy week. Today I get to relax and enjoy a new sense of calm as I reflect on the beauty around me.

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Isn’t that what God wants us to do? Slow down and focus on Him even during the storms in our life? Will you try this with me?

Thank you God for protecting us during this storm and for giving me the opportunity to reflect on your love and realize how blessed I am.

Amen.

 

Swirling in the wind

I’m hunkered down for #blizzard2016, thankful that I live in a house with 4 sons and a husband who don’t mind the shoveling. As I look outside at the snow on the ground, my eyes go upward towards the sky. The wind is strong and some of the snowflakes are being blown sideways, but every once in a while the wind slows down as if to take a breath before the next big exhale. The snowflakes seem to float and swirl, not sure which way to go. My mind wanders and I start thinking……I’ve been like these snowflakes.snowflakes

Have you ever felt so lost that you are floating around with no direction?

Maybe it’s a job that you go to every day and feel like you’re not growing or being used to your best ability. Perhaps it’s a relationship that seems to be going no where.

Have you been pushed in a direction that you’re not sure you want to go?

You feel called to do something that is a risk. Maybe you’re scared of losing control or giving up what you are used to. What will people think?

It’s during times like these that we must lean on God and not on our own understanding, because unlike a snowflake, we have a source to turn to for direction. That source is our God. All we have to do is ask Him for help.

When we feel lost we must PRAY and LISTEN for the answer.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5 NLT)

 

What’s LUCK got to do with it?

My friend was on her way to buy a Powerball ticket yesterday and saw a man curled up on a bench in a small park. It was a cold day and obvious that he wasn’t there by choice. She pulled over and approached him and began talking to him. She learned that he slept there, ate when he got food, and yes, he was cold. She gave him the $6.00 that she was going to spend on her lottery ticket and a Starbucks card that she had received as a gift.

This selfless act got me thinking…I wonder how many people were really hoping that they might win the $1.5 billion. I read online that one man purchased $100,000 worth of tickets. I wonder what he was planning to do with the money if he had won it?

What if we stopped wishing and hoping for luck to change our lives?

What if we leaned on God to help us with change that we want?

What if we focused on being thankful for what we have?

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Your destination is straight ahead

Do you remember life before GPS? Ok, there was MapQuest (is that still a thing?) but I mean before that? Remember using a map?!

I am directionally challenged. Seriously. I rely on my GPS to get me everywhere. The worst is when it doesn’t give you enough time before you need to turn and then you hear the obnoxious….RECALCULATING. My husband often teases me about it. He says, “what if your GPS didn’t work?” I laugh and shrug. Being a woman, I would ask for directions!

It got me thinking….what if we are truly lost and have no idea where to go?  I’ve been in this situation before, not just on the road, but in life. I’ve needed direction and been scared that I would make the wrong decision. Have you? Who do you turn to when you need direction?

What if we trusted Jesus as much as we trust our GPS?

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Would you like fries with that?

A new year, a clean slate. I love it! It’s like all the chips, candy and chocolate we ever ate is gone forever. Never counted. Well, not exactly…I must admit that I am one of those people who starts eating salads and fruit on January 1st. I start flossing, and promise to do sit-ups every day. I have the best of intentions, but it’s not easy. Are you like me?

Well, the good news is that God doesn’t care about any of that. All He wants is us…all of us. Our undivided attention. Once we surrender our life to Him, we are free! We get a clean slate, no matter what day it is. Our old life is gone and we are a child of God. That sounds much easier than swearing off an occasional cookie or fighting for a parking space at the gym in January, doesn’t it?

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