Life has gotten complicated, and my husband and I have been struggling to
find contentment where we are. Both of us having been praying separately for
God to guide us – to reveal to us what we should do and where He wants to take us.

The word “simplify” was never uttered by either one of us.

Yet, God spoke that word very clearly to us yesterday. The most beautiful
and amazing thing is that God spoke that revelation to simplify our lives to
both of us around the same time though we were both in different cities at the
time – he was at home, and I was driving home from about two hours away.

After the revelation, I could not wait to get home and share with him what I
thought we needed to do. He was waiting to do the same thing.

Two people praying and waiting for the answer.

Two people receiving the same revelation.


“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” Ecc. 5:10



F is For Friday: A Fun Challenge with the letter F

Photo by Peter Frese on Pexels.com

This F is for Friday Challenge: Turn to page Five in the book you are writing or reading, go to paragraph Five and post the First sentence.

The beauty of the morning sun reflecting its light against the fading frost exuded a sense of peace within Vivian.

This is from the book I am writing.



I have grown in followers since I first introduced myself. I thought it would be appropriate to repost this so people get to know me 😊

  • My name is Raelyn Pracht and I just turned 50 in March. You would think I would be sad, but I am not.
  • I love Jesus! and my husband, daughter and my dog and your dog, if you have one.
  • I am mildly obsessed with the Victorian Era, Steampunk, Snoopy, and anything supposedly haunted.
  • I currently live in Texas, but I want to win the lottery and move to Germany or Italy.
  • It took me 28 years to get my Bachelor’s Degree, but I finally finished in 2018. My journey took me to two community colleges, a year at George Mason University, a year at Wright State University, a semester at Virginia Commonwealth University, and finally, finishing my degree in Marketing Management at Western Governor’s University (WGU). Side note: my favorite team is the Ohio State Buckeyes because Ohio is where I really consider myself from.
  • I have the blessing of working for a Christian organization as a Marketing Specialist. I have been there 11 years!
  • I started my writing career with writing Advent and Lent Devotionals for my church. For a long time, God had me on the path of writing devotions, but has since brought me into different genres that have challenged me and helped me grow as a writer.
  • My published titles include:

-Restoration (Haiku) https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/tag/raelyn-pracht/

-Falling Leaves, Warm Memories (Short Story Contest Winner)

-Restoration of the Baker Hotel (Non-Fiction) https://roadtrippers.com/magazine/baker-hotel-mineral-wells-texas/

-Be Still and Notice (Tales from the Next Step Community) https://www.amazon.com/Be-Still-Notice-Tales-Community/dp/B09K281YWN

-Take My Moments and My Days (Tales from the Next Step Community)https://www.amazon.com/Take-My-Moments-Days-Community/dp/B0BKS5QHBB

  • I am currently working on my first ever Christian fiction book. This story was prompted by God and He more than nudged me to write it. In fact, He pretty much shoved me ( in the most loving way possible )
  • When I am not working or writing I love to watch all types of movies, laugh way too hard at Mystery Science Theater and IT Crowd episodes, read, do jigsaw puzzles and pretend I actually know what I am doing on my Cricut. And sometimes I bake.
  • I am a Dunkin Donuts fanatic, am obsessed with “The Greatest Showman”, adore Snoopy, love music from the 20’s – 40’s with Nat King Cole being my favorite.
  • I love anything to do with Sherlock Holmes or Jack the Ripper.
  • My favorite classic authors are Sir Author Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Shakespeare and Lord Byron.
  • I love sports!
  • I have survived Melanoma four times and other skin cancers too many times to count. In fact, 2022 was the first year I didn’t have any surgery, praise the Lord!
  • My new dream in life is to become a minimalist.
  • Finally, I am a nerd. I love to make lists of practically everything.

Tell me some things about you!



Love Sat Here

Love sat here once, sipping tea with her nose in a book.

She gently rocked her way into peace.

Use the above photo to write a two sentence story. Use the tag #TwoSentenceTuesday or post the link to your piece in the comments


Accountability: A Renewed Mind

A while back I wrote about my need for accountability when it comes to better health and weight loss. Then, wouldn’t you know it, I got some not-so-good lab work results back that made me have to rethink these things from a different perspective.

Then came Easter.

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst on Pexels.com

I took from Maundy Thursday through Easter an opportunity to stay focused on the important event and significance of what changed my life forever. I did not write. I did not check e-mail. I stayed off social media. I did not use any of my apps.

And it was perfect.

Easter brought with it the glorious reminder that I am a new creation. All those failures I have had in the past are dead and gone. I am new – like His mercies every morning.

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on Pexels.com

So, with a different mindset, I am back to being accountable. I have reposted the board in my kitchen where I put my weight, minutes I exercised and the calories I burned that day. I am already finding that it is motivating me, tapping into my competitive spirit, to do better than I did the day before.

I am back to using my health tracking app too and journaling on there. Eventually, I may even post photos of what recipes I am trying.

It has only been a few days, but already I can feel my mind becoming healthier and I do believe that the mind plays an integral part of any goal we are trying to accomplish. I’ll be honest, my mind hasn’t been very healthy for a while.

So, friends, let’s do this together by remembering this: We are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).


Flower of the Day Challenge: Water Lily

I don’t typically do photo challenges, but I wanted to try something different. I recently took this photo at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens.


An Easter Focus

This year I have decided to spend the entirety of the latter half of Holy Week focusing on Jesus. I don’t want to let these meaningful days pass me by without diving into true reflection on them.

With that being said, I will be taking a social media/blogging break until next week. You may be thinking “well, that’s not hard to do,” but let me tell you, it is.

For my job, I do social media, so this means making sure that everything gets created and scheduled correctly while I am away.

As a writer, it is also difficult. You work hard to engage with people, to create meaningful posts, and build followers, so it’s a little scary to step away from that.

Yet, it is so much more meaningful to do exactly that – to draw closer to the days and events that have changed my life forever.

Blessings on your Easter!


When my Addiction to Journals Began

On April 18, 1980, I was a first grader who was assigned to keep a journal.

Now, in that journal, my entry said that “I made a club with raindrops and flowers.”

And that was the beginning of my journaling madness . . .

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Goodbye Forties: Hello Fearless Fifties

Tomorrow I am turning 50.

I have to say that I am actually excited about this new chapter.

I have heard people talk about a mid-life crisis. I have not experienced that, but what I have experienced is what I like to call a “mid-life awakening.” Over the past few months, God has shown me some specific things about myself . . . some wonderful and some, well, not so much. Of course, as always, He does this with love.

One of the biggest things He has helped me see is that I have let fear rule my life.

I have a dear friend who once lovingly told me “to get out of my own way.” That has stuck with me since he first told me that. I realize now, along with what God has been showing me, that I have definitely let fear be my wall – stopping me from even trying to do some things.

I have been my own stumbling block.

So, as I say goodbye to my forties, I am waving hello to a life without fear.

My prayer is this: “Lord, help me daily to let my faith be bigger than my fear. Help me scale the walls before me. Amen.”


GRIPPED – An 85 Word Story

Photo by Mike B on Pexels.com

They are travelers gripped by thought,

lost in their worlds of introspection.

They sit, frozen in time and space,

which once moved freely for them.

But day by day they grew exhausted, 

Their bones tiring from the burdens they secretly bore.

Emotions and struggles hide behind their sculpted eyes,

forever creating stories of who they were, 

where they were going,

and all they had lost along they way.

Resting chins upon their palms cry from their solid souls.

They are weary travelers from this world.

Today’s word is GRIP. Use it in any tense you want, but whatever you write must be 85 words exactly. Have fun! Ping back to this page for the challenge or leave your piece in the comments.



After hitting my deadline for the my first cover letter, book proposal and sample chapters, here are a few things I have learned:

1. I am tired of reading my book. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I have read it now. I am not even going to look at it for an entire week. I need a rest

2. It was much more difficult to do the above than I ever expected, but I have wonderful, encouraging, prayerful followers and friends who kept reminding me that I could do hard things

3. The enemy’s voice is way louder when you are trying to do something you feel God has led you to do, like high-pitched, annoyingly, obnoxiously loud. Stay in prayer.

What journey it is!


What a Week!

Wow. It has been one week since I posted about needing accountability and it has happened in more areas than I intended.

First, my board in the kitchen where I post my weight and minutes I have exercised stares at me. It doesn’t mock me in a Gilbert Gottfried voice like I thought it would. No, it whispers to me the gentle reminders I need. I still don’t know if my husband and daughter even pay attention to it, but it’s there. Way out in the open.

Secondly, after discovering that I have a slightly dislocated rib in my back and getting it set right by my chiropractor, I now have another person to be accountable to. The doctor will be checking in to make sure I am doing the appropriate exercise for complete healing.

Thirdly, I got some interesting lab results back and although the results explain part of my issues with weight and how I have been feeling, they don’t explain away everything. So, now I am accountable to this doctor as well.

Finally, I started working on my book proposal to a literary agent I am very interested in. This is a completely daunting task and I really want to take the (somewhat) easier way out and just self-publish, but that isn’t what I am called to do. I have someone helping me with this and I am accountable to them to do it.

Mainly, though, I am accountable to God.

In all things.

PS. I have lost two pounds this week. That may not sound like much, but it is a giant step on this accountability journey.

A reminder: If you want to follow my writing adventure for my first Christian novel, follow me on Facebook at Raelyn Pracht, Author. Sometimes I’m even funny on there.



If you recall from my previous post, I need accountability. I am terrible at policing myself, so I needed a way to make others have expectations of me.

To recap, I am trying to lose weight. It is more about feeling healthier and stronger than it is about the way I look. I also do not like the way my clothes fit. Not at all.

My first step to accountability was to post on here that I needed it. By the way, this is a pretty scary thing to do.

My second step to accountability was something I did this weekend. We have a dry erase board up on in our kitchen where we used to write down what we were having for dinner each night. Since our schedules have bee crazy lately, we are on our own for dinner except for one or two nights. Therefore, we are not using this board any more.

Instead, I decided to use the board to write down my weight and the amount of time I spent exercising. My husband and daughter may not pay attention to it, but for me, seeing it there gives me the accountability I am looking for. The board itself and its empty space for the day puts an expectation on me that I need.

Interesting how something so simple may be just what I need.



Okay, so this post has nothing to do with writing. It all has to do with accountability.

I am reading this fascinating book by Gretchen Rubin called “The Four Tendencies.” In this book I have discovered that I am an OBLIGER. What this means is I am excellent at meeting other peoples expectation, but pretty much fail at meeting my expectations of myself.

To overcome this, I need accountability. If other people have expectations of me, I have a better chance of succeeding.

For years, I have been trying to lose weight on my own. I don’t have the money to pay for a diet plan, so I want to use this platform as a place for my accountability.

I am turning 50 at the end of the month, and frankly, I have gotten to the point where not only do I not like the way I look, but even more importantly, I do not like the way I feel.

I want to feel better. I want to be healthier. I want to lose weight.

Thank you for being my accountability partners.


DETERMINATION (Two Sentence Story): “On the Edge of Wit’s End”

Write a Two Sentence Story with the theme of DETERMINATION. You can use any form of the word to inspire you and any photo. Please drop your story in the comments and/or link back to this page.


He was determined to power through, trampling on the wildflowers of hopelessness under his feet. Winds of life nearly sent him over the cliff, as he teetered on the edge of wit’s end.


All I Want for Valentine’s Day

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10



Collapsing underneath the weight of despair,

He offers life for her dry bones.

Shattered pieces fall under fragility-

Broken and lifeless,

He holds her.

His exhale fills her lungs.

She inhales the Breath of Life,

and breathes again.

©2023 Raelyn Pracht



About three years ago, I stepped over my fear and onto faith while creating this page. I wasn’t sure anyone would care what I had to say. My friend told me that if I could reach just one person then that was success.

I don’t know who needs to hear this right now but this is for you –

Fear is a liar.

Don’t let it stop you from sharing your work with others.

Don’t let the fear of rejection from agents, publishers, or even readers win.

Step over the fear and onto the faith

Fear and self doubt nearly kept me from creating my page.

But I stepped out in faith and I am so glad I did. Otherwise, I would have missed out on this wonderful community.

FAITH is what led Peter to step out onto the water.

FEAR is what caused him to begin sink. (Matthew 14:22-23)

Fear is a liar.



What’s your goal this week?

I am continuing to go through and find the moments that I can change from telling to showing. It is not easy!



This is my favorite mug. I use it every time I write. My main character also happens to use this mug. What a coincidence!

Write a 13 word story about it. Below is the sentence from my book:

Vivian Richards held her favorite coffee mug between her palms embracing its warmth. 

Dreamer, This is for You

THIS. It’s exactly what I needed to read this morning. Maybe you need it too.

God is the source of every worthwhile dream you have. Your calling is at the intersection of your dream and God’s power. That means your role as a dreamer is not so much about taking ownership of your dream as it is taking stewardship of your dream. Your job is to take responsibility for the dream that ultimately belongs to God but is entrusted to you. (Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground, a Survival Guide for Creatives, Visionaries and Dreamers by Ryan Romeo)


Sitting out in my backyard pondering God’s creation. This morning I have seen a tiny frog, a snail resting on a broad leaf and lots of birds. I could sit out here and focus on the traffic noise, or the yappy dog next door, but I can hear God’s creation sing above all the noise. Sometimes I think we forget to stop and listen.

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