The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” (Of Mice and Men). Truer words, right? If you had asked me 15 years ago where I would be today, my answer would certainly not reflect the season where I am and the path God has led me down to get here. The Designer of my heart knows me to my very core, but how often have I wondered about his plan and his purpose?

But the One who crafted time itself and weaved each and every living thing into a beautiful tapestry of creation does have a plan. He always has a plan. If we’re being honest, his plan very seldom resembles the intricate organized designs we make for ourselves, and thank goodness for that.

Nearly six years ago, I stepped into a small restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to meet a new online friend who had endorsed my first Bible study. Even though it was very un-introvert of me, I couldn’t deny the pull I felt toward this new friend. God gave me such a heart for her, and I learned this funny, outgoing, gem of a soul was mourning her mama who had celebrated her heavenly coronation after battling breast cancer for more than a decade.

Tracy and I could not have been more different. We even lived in different states. Yet, God drew us together time and time again, and we delved deeper into a sisterhood neither one of us saw coming.

We clocked hours of phone conversations and in-person visits when we could manage them. Four years later, it was my mom who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the tattered mess of my life, God gifted me with a sweet voice that knew my pain, a tender friend who had experienced the heart-wrenching sorrow that threatened to swallow me.

Our good, good Father had a plan. It resembled nothing of the perfect dream I’d imagined for myself, but I trusted him. I leaned deeply into the trust my friend, Tracy, had been talking about since I first met her. We both embraced the bold truth that our God wastes nothing. Every tear, every giggle, every blessing, every experience that brings us to our knees…God uses them all for the life he has lovingly and purposefully designed for each and every one of us.

Those who know me also are very aware of how much I love to craft and decorate. With the prevalence of the DIY movement and my very favorite social media platform, Pinterest, I feel confident there are plenty of others who love great design ideas, too. Mmmmm—fabric samples, paint chips and a weekend in Round Top, Texas, looking for old treasures to reimagine—yes, please.

Tracy and I found this was another love we shared, although truth be told, it’s usually me asking advice from my interior designer friend. Just like me, Tracy has been working on her own perfect life plan. She’s crazy talented, driven, and her capacity to love so big never fails to blow me away. Yet, Tracy is not immune to the process of laying her dreams at God’s feet and trusting him to remain true to his plan and purpose, accomplishing them both in and through every season of her life.

Part of her life’s design she never imagined was the birth of A Redesigned Life: Uncovering God’s Purpose When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned. In my friend’s new book, Tracy draws from time-honored design principles such as movement, contrast, and pattern, and blends these concepts with beautiful life examples of the assurance that God is our ever-present, caring Designer.

With her trademark mix of wit and wisdom, Tracy has given us a book that is chock full of Biblical wisdom and personal testimony that will tickle the inner designer within you while leaving your spirit feeling full and encouraged. It feels deeply personal as though Tracy wrote this message just for me, and I feel confident you’ll feel that same connection to my friend and her new book baby. Especially as kids begin school once again and our calendars are one again filled to the brim, we all know life happens. Tracy’s book is timely and such sweet encouragement no matter what season you may be in.

Tracy is such an encourager to her family and friends, which includes the lady who sat next to her on the plane last week. 🙂 She’s never met a stranger, and she never leaves a room without being certain she’s hugged every single person she can. I am so very excited to see how the great Designer is going to use Tracy’s message to fill the cups of women across the globe.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to one of the dearest people of my heart. She’s truly one-of-kind, and even though I have walked many miles and through many life experiences with this amazing lady, I am still blown away by the potency of the message in her book baby. Yes, you need it ASAP, and you can find A Redesigned Life: Uncovering God’s Purpose When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned here. Feel free to pop by Tracy’s online home, too! She loooooooooves new friends. I know you’ll be just as blessed by my sister as I have been.

Happy reading!