Finding Your Safe Place With Tracy Smoak

The Charla Anderson Show | Tracy Smoak | Safe Place

When hard times hit, where do you find refuge? Author Tracy L. Smoak shares scriptures and stories that offer hope, modeling bold resilience after hardships to discover your safe space and find the grace to move on.

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Finding Your Safe Place With Tracy Smoak

I’m very grateful that you are joining us. This is the 51st episode, the finale of season one. Can you believe that? I can hardly fathom that. This is exciting because we are going to enter into season two. I have lots and lots of news, lots of things going on, and so grateful that you would take the time to pay attention, feel some hope, and read stories so we all work together and love each other through these unsteady times.


I am intending to launch a workshop. I’m going to start doing a little bit more workshops and teaching along that line, so keep your eyes out for that. I have an amazing guest, Tracy Smoak. Before I introduce her, we’re going to do my little mini vacation, which we typically do at every one of my shows. Take a deep breath, be still and know. What I do is have us breathe in calm for seven seconds. We’re going to hold for 4 and they’re going to breathe out gratitude and listen, get settled and enjoy the next 22 seconds. Here we go. Breathe in. Calm, hold, release. Thank you. I heard once if the only prayer you ever say is thank you, it’s enough. Gratitude is the absolute key to living a satisfied life. That’s not just my opinion. It’s been proven.

Tracy’s Life Story

Tracy Smoak is joining me. We connected through a mutual friend. It’s an odd connection. I had no idea anything about her until I started listening to some of her podcasts, which is called Authors Insider Tips. She’s got some amazing stuff going on here. She’s a photographer and does beautiful photography and she’s the author of many books, or several books at least, that have photographs. Now she’s author of a novel. They’re faith-based or Christian genre and amazing backstories as well. In this novel, I believe she addresses some tough topics. Tracy Smoak, give me an introduction of who you are in this world, and then we’ll talk about what you do.

Charla, thank you for the invite. I love that the theme of your show is impossibilities, but no more. It’s seeing what is possible. In the last couple of years, it’s like my whole identity has completely shifted. For many years I was a mom, I was a housewife, then I went back to school and got my Teaching degree and I taught English for several years.

A couple of years ago, that shifted and I wasn’t in the classroom anymore and it’s like, “Who am I now?” My kids are grown. It was a frightening time and I don’t know how many of the other Win-Win women so often we identify ourselves by our relationships, but at some point, maybe part of it is my age, but it’s like, “I’ve got a limited amount of time left. Who do I want to be?” I had that dream of writing and publishing when I was little, but it seemed too impossible and there were always other needs that needed to be met. There were more responsible things to do.

The Charla Anderson Show | Tracy Smoak | Safe Place

In the last couple of years, when I left the classroom, at first, I was devastated because I loved being with the youth. I liked the way they challenged, the way they taught me different things, the way they opened my perspective. I had time to write and I went to a writer’s conference in 2021 and then by January of 2022, I had two book contracts.

For the last couple of years, I’ve had a devotional release, which is God’s promise. I have a novel Who Brought The Dog To Church? I have two picture devotionals with nature art photography and another devotion is in production now. It’s under contract for Treasures of the Wise, which has a foreign coin collection that I have from my grandmother, my father, and also from students who’ve traveled around the world.

The things that I thought were closed doors actually were an invitation to turn and look at something new and to have the courage to try something new. You and I were talking about all the technology that’s involved in a podcast, which seems simple if we’re on the other side watching it. It’s a little intimidating sometimes as the camera, audio and light are on. Thank you. What questions might you have or how do you think we can encourage some of our ladies reading?

The things you may think are closed doors are actually invitations to look for and try something new. Share on X

I was a flight attendant for 34 years. I was a mother of three stepkids. We were the house with the pool. When I retired, it’s like my kids were out of school, who am I? When you have an identity as what you do, who you are is a little bit skewed. You don’t even know, necessarily. I so relate to this, “Who am I?” I believe that that is a key to what a lot of us going through in these little later stages of life or like, “Is this all there is? Who am I?” I was this, but now I’m that. I didn’t even know a networking world existed. I’m out there collecting all the business cards I can collect and still no idea what I was doing and who I was.

A Year In Maximum Security Person

I never lost optimism. I never lost bold faith. Who I say I am is bold faith, no fear. Who I am is outrageously optimistic. Who I am is loving the people in front of me. My message is unconditional love, loving the people in front of me so that we can love them through these unsteady times. I have a caveat and the harder they are to love them more, they need it. I am sure you recognize that, but I’m tagging onto what you were saying about the identity that a lot of us don’t know.

I’m looking towards naming mine even now at my age to try to put a title on it, so to speak. I’m interested in the idea of legacy, legacy builders if this all there is that we’ve spent our whole life doing. Anyway, that came to me as about tagging on. I think a whole lot of us in this later stages are either going through that or trying to figure that out too.

I love the word legacy. What are we collaborating on? What are we helping create that has viability beyond us? I’ve been very fortunate in my life that I’ve been around many different generations of women. Right now, I’m part of a bible study group. It’s a small group, but four of the women are in their mid-‘80s and they give me such wisdom and some of the things I want to get all in a snit about, they laugh and they give me another 25 years ahead of perspective. It’s like, “Okay.”

When I was growing up, my nickname was Miss Perfection. Everything had to be perfect. I still fight that now, especially exploring new things because when we explore and attempt something that’s impossible that we’ve not done before, if we expect that to be perfect the first time, we’re already set up for failure.

I love being around people like you that’s say, “I don’t know how this works, but let’s try. I’ll help you.” My daughter-in-law is such a good mom. They have a two-and-a-half-year-old little girl red hair and they’re expecting another baby. My daughter-in-law’s at that phase now where I think she doesn’t feel good. She’s tired and she’s trying to run after this very active toddler.

I can go back in my mind to when I was at that phase and I was concerned because the laundry didn’t get done and I didn’t know how to fix dinner without burning it because I was running to get so and so. The car was like a sandbox because there was so much stuff on the floor mats that you could have a playground there. When I think back on that now, the time with children is so fleeting.

I know you said you’ve spent a lot of time with grandchildren and that you’ve had 30-somethings in your house. I don’t think it matters what age. There’s something we can embrace from each other at each phase. I guess if I could talk to my younger self, I would say, “Tracy, if you want to grow, you’ve got to screw up,” and be okay with that. Maybe looking forward to my older self, whatever gift of time I have, looking ahead to my older self and saying, “Your vulnerability, your willingness to say, ‘I screwed up, I don’t know how to do this,’ that creates a legacy of empowerment where other people are willing to try.”

Perfection is pretty much no such thing. Honestly, I’ve been in this conversation with emails. I appreciate the stand for excellence. I want excellence. I don’t want blatant mistakes in my work, books, or whatever. I want excellence. That doesn’t mean perfection. It means you’re striving to get it out there. If you know Seth Godin, he wrote Purple Cow or whatever, he wrote a ton of books, but he’s like, “Ship it.” Done is better than not. Execute it, so get it done and do something. I’m so in awe of all the people that I seem to be attracting and have around me in my mostly online world, but I’m having people at my house. It’s going to be interesting.

The Charla Anderson Show | Tracy Smoak | Safe Place

I’m in awe of so many wanting to make a difference. I feel like we’re lifting each other up by this. It’s like the tide rises, all the boats rise when we do. I think it’s a big deal when somebody can witness the kind gestures or the kindness or when we can maintain our integrity and dignity through our daily walk. I said legacy, but I’m thinking about creating a group along that line because as a Zig Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer, that is their big deal. Zig Ziglar was worth following. His kids are creating something.

Anybody who writes a book, and that certainly includes you and me, we’re leaving legacies. We’re leaving legacies whether we want to or not. Whether they’re intentional or default, something is left. Those of us who are more intentional could have 2 or 3 generations and perhaps still have an idea who Charla or Tracy was. They’ll have something besides a stack of old TV Guides. Remember those?

Virtual Reality

It’ll be virtual reality. They’ll have artificial and they’ll have the headsets. I love science fiction and I’ve been reading some of those lately were the mind games and where people are escaping into a virtual reality. When you were talking about legacy and excellence, I think sometimes people underestimate what they’re actually achieving, particularly with women.

She is one of my dear friends, and I have so much respect for her. She’s a full-time teacher. She has five grown children, she has grandchildren, she sponsors a very active robotics club at her school and in the district. She’s also committed to bringing an elderly relative from assisted living into her home for round-the-clock care.

You say, “What’s that legacy?” I think in some ways conventional logic would say, “You’ve got a career, you’ve got a job, you’ve got all these things to do, there’s resources available,” but she’s prioritizing love. The need of someone who’s least able to do for herself anymore. Caring for the little ones. You are not going to get a trophy because you change the diaper three times in the morning and you give the child Cheerios and you take them for a stroller walk in a buggy. I don’t know that that’s on CBS Nightly News for commendation. When you think about legacy, the lives touched with the simple constancy of being available emotionally, physically, spiritually, what does that do in ripple effects to turn our focus outwardly in what might seem a simple gesture that does have impact?

The Charla Anderson Show | Tracy Smoak | Safe Place
Safe Place: Legacy is about the lives touched with the simple constancy of being available emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Certainly to the starfish that does get thrown back into the water. The person, it becomes a tricky situation when we’re dealing with that, taking care of our seniors. I am one, but I am not stopping either, so I’m not going there. I had my matriarch and my family, my sister who’s ten years older than me, passed in January 2024.

Incredibly divinely, in December, she and her best friend got to be guests on my show because someone canceled and I was at her house and it worked out. I’ve got her newspaper, at least the front page and the whole page. She was a leader in the Century21 office on the square in her town, Granberry, Texas and she was iconic. Her message is one of the things she said and would want us to do in light of her, even if it was very unexpected for her to leave us, but one of her biggest pieces of advice is build a bridge and get over it. Keep going and laugh.

Her laughter could be heard, and people would say, “Shirley’s here.” The legacy that she has left because she chose to live a full, big all-in life. Was she perfect? No. Was she excellent? Yes. I bring her up because there’s a big void, not just in my life, not just in my sister’s lives, but in her kids’ lives and in the whole community of that area.

Appreciating Your Strengths

I think about advice like Shirley gave you, build a bridge and then get over it. One of the things that my dad tells me and told me as a little kid is, “Kate never could.” We’re Southern. That ties back in with your theme on this show. It’s like, “What are we afraid of? What seems impossible?” If we take one plank and do one section to build the bridge, there’s like, “We did that. We can do one more,” then, before we know it, we’re on the other side of something amazing.

We are afraid of the impossible. But if we take one plank and try to do it one section at a time, everything will become achievable. Share on X

I know with the photography, I went to one of the local parks and it’s the first time I’ve been able to go in months because I had this back injury that hyper-extended all the lower ligaments. I was housebound for almost three months and battling the pain and the aloneness and the fear like, “Will I ever get better? Can I handle this pain?” Learning to entertain myself while everybody else is at work and I can’t run, jump in my car and take off.

When I went there, there was a couple seated along the waterfront and they were on a bench and they were overlooking the Cyprus marsh and the waves were coming in easy. I said, “Would you guys like a picture? This is the perfect setting.” They’re like, “Yes, please.” They gave me their cell phone and I said, “I’m a photographer so I’ll do the best I can to get the light right.” They were so appreciative. For me to say, “I’m a photographer,” is crossing over a bridge because I’ve never had formal training. I did yearbook when I was in high school. I love pictures. We had those little disposable cameras that you’d have to take to CVS to get the film developed.

The backdrop here is one that I took in a garden. It’s like you were saying earlier, the importance of words that we speak into existence, whether conscious or not, something that’s going to be a beneficial legacy or what might be poverty. When we say, “I can,” that’s speaking into existence a future that has potential. I love beauty and I love going on these little nature safaris and taking pictures because I want to share what’s beautiful. I think that if we start looking for beauty instead of problems, the world becomes a different place. It’s not any different. It’s how we choose to focus.

You’ve done a lot. You have how many books? Five? That’s a lot. Doing this and say, “I am a photographer,” because I was trying to express this before the show and I was like, “Who I am is bold faith, no fear.” Who I am is outrageously optimistic. What I say is who I am in that split-second moment, that’s who I am. I am outrageously courageous right this moment. Whatever you say over and over is who you become. If you say, “I am tired,” enough times, you live tired. You could change that one word, split-second transformation, change your words, change your life. That one word could be, “I’m refreshed, I’m energized, I’m pumped.” Literally, physiologically, things shift because your words shift, speak what you want, not what you don’t want.

Every word matters. This is a huge theme in my work. To me, the I am is the breath of life. It’s God’s breath. God’s name is I am. When we say that, we’re claiming. We’re claiming it as him entering in our life. Every breath, if you can take a breath, you are okay in this moment. I don’t care if you’re in the gutter or if you’re in the Taj Mahal, it doesn’t matter. If you can take a breath, you are okay in this split second. You have been provided for up to this moment in time.

Facing Your Fears

I don’t think we take time to consider how valuable that is and how important our words are. What I’ve discovered in your work, I’m going to shift to that because those meditations or short relaxation tapes with beautiful pictures that you have, I want people to know where to find you and go on YouTube and listen to some of these beautiful, relaxing, peaceful scenarios that you can watch. There are words, some of them have audible words and some of them print. It’s lovely. How can people find you, first of all?

All of the YouTube videos are shorts. They’re like one minute. It was me expressing gratitude for the beauty that I’ve been able to see. It’s Tracy Smoak. That’s on youtube. One of the books is Living Water to Refresh Your Soul. That’s all-lake scenes and lakeshore. One of the others is Arranged With Love, which has floral landscapes. I’ve been so lucky to have a lot of life adventures. One of which is I taught for a year in a maximum-security prison for young men and cried every morning on the way to work because I was scared, but I had made some choices and that was the job that opened and it ended up being a wonderful learning opportunity for me.

One of the gentlemen there who was the head of security, he was a former gangster himself. One day, I was talking with him and I said, “I can’t do this. I’m too weak.” He stopped and looked at me and he said, “How are you going to be weak with the spirit of the almighty God in you?” I was like, “Whoa.” People have different faith backgrounds, and some have been wounded in faith environments. Being sensitive to that, I think that’s part of, for me, being in nature, it’s quiet and I can connect with something larger and more powerful and more beautiful than I am.

When I went in that park, I wish I could tell you that I’m fearless. I face a lot of fear and it’s like I get through with one fear and then there’s another one staring right at me. The first fear I faced was with my back. It’s the first time I’d walked in a park in months and it’s like, “Will my back hold up? Am I going to get spasms? Am I going to be able to do this? How far can I walk?”

It was a new trail. I was trying to find the markings on the trail. Some of it was open like plains, like old Florida, sandy terrain. Some of it followed the waterline, some of it went through the woods. I was like, “Am I going to get lost? What if I go on the wrong trail?” It was a beautiful, warm, sunshiny day. I’m thinking, “Florida has critters.” I’m watching where I’m walking because I don’t want to meet a new friend, unexpected. I had all these fears and had to stop and say, “Tracy, this is an opportunity. Just take one step at a time.”

I had a beautiful, peaceful afternoon. I met the couple, I took the picture of them, and I didn’t get lost. I didn’t see any critters. I didn’t want to see. I got some great pictures. If I had stayed home and let those tapes of fear hold me hostage, I would’ve missed out on a lot. For other women like me, we want to be courageous, we want to be strong. The reality is sometimes we’re not. That’s okay. One step at a time. One new experience, one new encounter, one new friend. Those bridges are going to get where they’re like the Golden Gate Bridge, the huge one.

The Charla Anderson Show | Tracy Smoak | Safe Place

A couple of things. One of them that in I would say, years ago, I started making video after video and going, “Be prepared, not scared.” There’s so much more going on that meets the eye and I’m not going to live in this fear. I was like, “Everybody’s wallowing in fear.” I was shocked that it happened, that so many people succumb to the fear because if there was a pendulum and we’ve got God and love and what’s not God and love, what is the evil side? Fear. Love and fear. They’re the opposites. Love and hate. Love and fear. If there’s a pendulum and it’s swinging a to the side of the fear, it’s not of loving God. To remember that if I’m feeling fearful, then I release my power. Jesus said we can do what he did.

Even more, how many times have you heard that from the pulpit? Not a lot in my upbringing. If we can do what he did and even more, that’s a lot. He could do everything. When we claim that, it’s the authority. In my book, I stepped towards a gun I had out and said, “You need love,” and they ran. I had no fear when I did that because I stood in my authority that I’d been given. Something else that came to mind where you’re speaking about is when I’m driving or getting ready to do something that could tend to be a little risky or fearful whatever, I’m like, “Thank you for your shield of protection. Psalms 91 has every protection promise in one chapter. Thank you for Psalms 91.”

Protecting around my car, my kids, my house, the storms that were coming through. I was like, “Peace be still. Thank you for allowing my protection.” I have story after story after story about how that manifests out. Those are reminders to claim your authority, to claim your protection around those little fears. You may have met something along, you may have met a critter, but I guarantee you, if you’re walking in that authority and shield of protection, you’ve gone, “She don’t taste good.”

Stepping Towards The Gun

Go back and tell me about this gunpoint thing. I don’t know, maybe you’ve talked about that on a show I missed, but that what in the world?

Outrageously Courageous, Bold Faith, No Fear, Step Towards The Gun will be my third published book, my third individual. I’ve got some compilations. Who I say I am is bold faith, no fear. I have said for years. I don’t know why I started saying it, but I do know that’s who I call myself for years. In 2017, I was robbed at gunpoint and had a gun right here at my head and he said, “Give me your purse, Give me your keys.” I had no fear stepped towards them. I said, “You need love,” and they ran. The story isn’t being robbed. The story is about having no fear because of who I say I am.

My second book is called Split Second Transformation – Change Your Words, Change Your Life: 31 Daily Practices. Change your words, change your life. Who I say I am, what I say after I am. It’s very consistent when you stand in your authority to have this fearlessness, this outrageously courageous who I am, outrageously optimistic. I say who I want to be and it is who I am because I use those words. I cannot tell you how much it matters to quit claiming things you don’t want like, “This job is killing me.” Stop it. “No, I’ve got a great job. I’m still breathing free.”

I have a mentor. He says, “Keep breathing free oxygen.” I’m like, “Yeah, I’m breathing free oxygen on this side of the dirt.” I’m in Texas. It doesn’t mean things are perfect. It does not mean things are perfect. Circumstances are not perfect. You heard part of my story about my life. It’s like I live in chaos and it’s not who I am. The circumstances are not me. Who I am as a child of the most high God. Who I am is bold faith, no fear who I am is outrageously courageous and protected.

Embracing Change

I’m thinking about some of the ladies reading and thinking, “I want to be like that. I don’t know how to get started. I haven’t been held at gunpoint, but I can sure tell you this and this is about to knock me over upside down.” I think embracing change might be the first step.

Change is inevitable. We’ve heard it said the only constant is change. There is not one second that is different. This is a way to do that, by the way.

A lot of times, I learn by what I’m observing in the natural world what’s going around. Across the street, there was all this heavy-duty construction equipment. On our road, we’ve had a problem with heavy rain. The grass had overgrown so that the water didn’t pool down into the drain like it was supposed to. It flooded the road. In Florida, when we have a hurricane, the water runs over everywhere, and it’s dangerous. Everybody gotten comfortable. We mowed the grass and it stayed in its place. When the guys came, they had this like big grater and they had a dump truck and they’re scraping about 8 to 10 inches of soil and sod down so that where the road is, the sod is now below. It’s unsightly and nobody wants change.

Once we start it, we’re working for a better goal. We’re working for something that’s got more protection that isn’t letting a long-term latent problem continue because trying to fix it is a little inconvenient. Maybe as we wrap up, if I could encourage anyone, I would say see change as an opportunity. When I left the classroom, it didn’t feel like an opportunity at the time. It felt like a loss. Looking back almost 4 years and 5 book contracts, I could not have done what’s happened if there hadn’t been some serious road grading to move away things blocking a flow to something new and better.

It’s noisy. It isn’t pretty. It’s like, “What the heck?” I can’t even hear myself think. There’s all these trucks and noise. It’s very rarely smooth sailing. We get caught in our little comfort zone sometimes and our little routines. It’s not a bad exercise to change something up. Use your opposite hand sometimes. Change something up because it stirs up things in your brain. These cells in your brain might be a little complacent, and they can start like, “That’s weird.”

Don’t brush your teeth with the other hand. You’re like, “That is so weird,” but it’s smart for you to do. Get out of the bed on the other side. Do something occasionally that’s not your normal. We need our normal patterns. We need our habits because otherwise, we’d have to stop and think about everything. That’s not bad. Every once in a while, if you shift something up, you might find a little bit more creativity showing up and flowing.

You make me think of, I like to walk around the neighborhood. There’s like a pond. I try to walk my old dog, and now that I’m feeling better, I can actually walk again and not feel pain. There’s another dog a few houses down that he and my dog fight. It’s not good. I’m dreading it because I’m thinking I don’t want my dog to pull my back. I don’t want to have an incident. I don’t want to have conflict with my neighbor.

For weeks, I’ve left that part of the walk at the very end and I dread the whole dog all the time. Is the dog going to be loose? Is he going to come out? Is the owner going to help?” One day, I thought enough of this. I changed the loop the way that I went and I took the hard part first. The rest of the walk was so peaceful and relaxed. It’s like, “You goober, why didn’t you think of this before? Why do you let anxiety come in and disturb your peace for something that might not even happen?”

Another piece of advice that my dad has given my sisters and I is do the hard thing first. If you do the hard thing first, everything else is easier psychologically. Anyone who’s struggling with stuff right now, whether it’s a relationship or a profession or neighbors, commit tomorrow morning or maybe even tonight to doing the hard thing first and implementing a change that will bring you little by little to a place that’s so much healthier and productive.

Do the hard things first when implementing a change. It will bring you little by little to a healthier and more productive space. Share on X

Tracy’s Books

I’m going to shift. We’ve covered a lot of things. I’d like for you to mention the name of your novel and the reason behind it. I remembered Matthew 7:7, your favorite verse. “We can do all things through Christ.” There’s the authority again. I know often we don’t feel powerful, but when we know that we have the confidence and that God is in us. Christ is in us, and that we have this authority that he gave us to step towards the gun, to take that walk, to go a different direction, to do one little thing different, we change our lives for the better. We change for most other people around us if we change our legacy literally.

The novel is titled Who Brought The Dog to Church? It actually started in a church years ago. At the time, I was serving as a volunteer advocate for women who were fleeing domestic violence or were in situations of domestic violence and trying to get help working through. During that experience, it went across every ethnicity, age group, and socioeconomic.

The driving passion behind the book and not giving up on it for twelve years is that some people suffering in silence are ashamed. They’re scared, and they don’t know where to go for help. There are friends and family who love these people and don’t know how to help. The novel has a lot of humor. It’s a small town where these three friends have all kinds of crazy antics, but under the surface, their heart is to help people who are hurting.

The way the book is written, there’s a lot of conversation. What is the church’s role if there’s a marriage with domestic violence? What’s the responsibility to children? What are the economic realities? It’s on Amazon. I have made a series of videos on my YouTube channel with some teaching points from the Duluth model of the power and control wheel with their permission that shows the types of controls. It’s not limited to men controlling women. There are also women who are controlling men. The idea is to put the conversation out there so that there’s no shame. How can we improve the situation? How can we empower people for healthy change?

My other book is called Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place. I wrote that during COVID while I was teaching in a public school classroom. We had a revolving door with quarantine. The idea is, where do we find security? When everything in life is topsy-turvy, whether it’s the medical world, the financial world, our professional background or a family crisis, where can we go to stand on God’s promises that there’s a way through? Thank you for having me, Charla. I look forward to spending more time together. I’d love to know more about your workshop topics as you have them finalized. Please keep me posted.

You’re a real calming spirit. You have a beautiful demeanor, a message that matters and to address in a novel the heart issues without graphic. I know you’re concerned about being respectful of language and of maintaining the Christian principles, the Christian values, so to speak. A lot of our churches in the past have failed our people because they stuck their head in the sand or took one side or the other in relationship issues.

The books are so PG that my publisher edited out the word darn. There’s no violence scene where someone is being attacked. If we want to see that, we can go to the movies. I’m looking to know how we promote healing. I think part of it is the psychology. How do you get trapped and what are the things that hold us hostage mentally? That’s in Refuge of Grace as well as Who Brought The Dog To Church? I hope the writing will bring strength to people and invite conversations where we can be real and not feel like we have to be perfect and say what’s appropriate and inside, we’re a wreck.

The Charla Anderson Show | Tracy Smoak | Safe Place
Safe Place: I hope the writing will bring strength to people and invite conversations where we can be real and not feel like we have to be perfect.

Yeah, this facade, authenticity, maybe you can’t use this word, but I called it authenticity is the new sexy. If you’re not real, don’t come near and be you. Be funny, be silly. One of my guests, I said, “Quirky isn’t the new sexy.” “I’m texting that,” because he is quirky. I said, “Get out.” He is so much fun. He sent it to his wife. He is like, “This is great.” We want to be real. Discourse has been eliminated in so many of our societies.

When they say we can’t talk about anything but religion and politics, if you can’t talk about those things, then they get left without discourse, without the common thread of conversation and learning from each other. Discourse is missing and getting offended, the spirit. I’m going to call it a spirit of offense. People are getting offended by every little thing. Get over yourself. Build a bridge and get over it is what my sister would say. All That Octogenarian Shenanigans was the name of that show. She thought it was hysterical.

Closing Words

As we close out now, thank you for sharing your books, your message, your peacefulness, and your beautiful photos. I encourage anybody. We can go to That’s going to be probably the simplest place to find you as you go on youtube and look for Tracy Smoak. This has been a beautiful time. I thank you so much. Is there anything you want to leave here with the audience and offer out there?

I would say, Charla, thank you for seeing me and respecting that I have something I can share with you. You were talking about discourse and I think people have been wounded and disrespected. If we can put back in the equation with our next-door neighbor, the person on the bus beside us or the person in the grocery store behind us that we see them as unique, beautiful individuals who may differ wildly from us and we respect what they have to bring to the conversation, I think that would change a lot of ripple effects and it would impact the trajectory of legacy. It’s not that it’s my way. It’s like, “Can we find a sacred space where I see you and invite you to share who you are and where you are?” That’s what I hope we can do.

This is not about religion. None of this that I talk about is about religion. I believe religion is God in a box. This is what I want you to hear. God loves and if God loves, that’s it. If God loves, he can’t not love. I guarantee you, if you start looking at people as God loves them, God created them, he may not like what they do, but he loves them. He loves the murderer as much as he loves you. I don’t think he has a qualifying love. If God is love, he can’t be not love. He loves every single creation that he has made. A lot of times, we lose sight of the fact that they’re so different or they’re so weird or they don’t match me. God loves him, too.

Should we love unconditional love? This is a hint towards my workshop. Unconditional love, unconditional forgiveness, not unconditional boundaries. We’re not talking about unconditional boundaries at all. However, unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness are huge. Boundaries, we need them but not an exclusion of others. The harder they are to love, the more they need it. That’s the deal.

Thank you, Tracy, for joining me. I’m very grateful that you took your time. It’ll be our legacy rolling it. Once it’s on the internet, it doesn’t go away. I’m grateful that we’ve got to do this and that you took the beautiful time out of your day. I’m sending you prayers for healing and keep that back strong because by his stripes, we are healed. We have to start claiming it and keep walking in that direction, and it’s the truth. Blessings to you. When I end this, I want to say, God loves you exactly who and where you are. Nothing you can do to be loved more or less by God or me, and I’m guessing or Tracy. Let’s remember to always choose joy.

Important Links

About Tracy Smoak

The Charla Anderson Show | Tracy Smoak | Safe PlaceA native Floridian, Tracy L. Smoak grew up riding horses and climbing citrus trees. Her passion is to encourage others in their faith journey. Smoak writes for Guideposts. Ambassador International released her debut novel, Who Brought the Dog to Church?. Bold Vision published her Bible study about encouragement titled Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place.

I’m Charla Anderson, host of The Charla Anderson Show, Collector & Connector of Fascinating People (and EVERYONE is Fascinating!) on live TV, streaming and podcasts. As a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer, a retired award-winning flight attendant, Olympic Torch bearer, personal development junkie, Inspired Speaker, Published Author and Your Courageous Coach, I want to share my passion of living life full-out, saying YES to intriguing opportunities, and encouraging YOU to do the same. Let’s jump on a discovery call and get to know each other. Find all things Charla at

On The Charla Anderson Show, We discuss Mindset, How much Your WORDS matter, Princess to Queen energy, mantras, HOPE, Faith, Miracles, Overcoming, and much, much more, including learning from amazing guests.

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