Faith + Family + Spirit

About Traci

Mother • Ordained Minister • Author

Here’s the thing: *whispers* this “About Traci” page says “About Traci” but it’s actually me, Traci, writing this thing. It feels weird to write my bio in the third person because I don’t talk about myself in the third person (well, unless you count when my children were very small and I’d be like “mom is going to the kitchen for tacos now,” but I digress). *Ahem.* If you’re here for a bio because I’m speaking to your church or your ministry group, please use this one because it sounds official and is written in the third person:

Traci Smith is an ordained minister, mother of three, and author of the bestselling Faithful Families series of books. Traci’s passion is helping families find times for connection and spiritual nourishment amid the hustle and bustle of daily life. What began as a quest to help her own family has provided valuable insight for thousands of others. Traci believes faith practices should be fun, easy to fit into daily life, and accessible to all. Visit her at traci-smith.com.

If you’d like a longer bio than that, feel free to either make something up (make me sound good!) or use this one (written in the first person, because I can’t even with writing my own long-form bio in the third person). *deep breath*

I weighed exactly six pounds when I was born. As a child, I had a clown collection (Right? Most kids think clowns are creepy. I did not. I loved them). I also had a cat named Gumdrop, whom we had to get rid of when we found out my brother was allergic to cats. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I thought the problem would have been better solved by getting rid of my brother instead of the cat (sorry, Scott!). My mom is super creative and inspired a lot of the ideas in Faithful Families. My dad was an elementary school educator my whole childhood, which helped encourage my love of reading, writing, and being a super-nerd, in general.

When I was a child, a woman named Sally was the associate pastor of our church. I don’t remember much about her at all, but the fact that she existed and stood in front of that church when I was young meant everything to me later on. Years later, when people tried to tell me that women couldn’t be pastors I thought but Pastor Sally did it so I can, too.

“The way to know God is to love many things.” — Vincent van Gogh

I did my undergraduate work at Calvin College and got my Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

I met my husband, Elias Cabarcas, in Barranquilla, Colombia, when I was there as part of a program with my denomination, the Presbyterian Church, USA. He immigrated to the US in 2008 and together we have three children: Clayton, Samuel, and Marina Lynn. Our family is bilingual and bicultural and our new favorite family movie is Encanto.

My interest in faith at home is found at the intersection of absolutely everything you’ve read about me up to this point: My creative mom and teacher dad. Pastor Sally. Calvin College. Princeton Theological Seminary. Elias. Clayton. Samuel. Marina Lynn. The books are dear to me because they are everything I love and believe about the world…and I get to share it with you!

I often say that the Faithful Families books are like recipe books. Many of the ideas have been passed down by Christians for years, (and in some cases centuries!) I’ve made them my own and given my own instructions and ideas. Many of the ideas in my books are original (or from my mom!) and presented with a particular theological perspective in mind. My hope is that you’ll choose the ones you think your family will enjoy, give them your own special twist if you want, and let them become family favorites.

The Faithful Families books have a particular theological perspective which I am very proud of and which my publishers, Chalice Press and Beaming Books have been happy to highlight as well. I believe:

  • All people bear the imago dei (the Image of God)
  • God is love. To know love is to know God. God’s love is a free gift that is not earned. 
  • No two families are the same! The Faithful Families series includes and celebrates single-parent families, adoptive families, LGBTQIA+ families, and more. Your family is welcome and invited.
  • The Faithful Families books do not teach: substitutionary atonement, gendered views of God, the inerrancy of Scripture, or the fear of doubts and questions. They do teach: God’s love for all, tolerance of other faiths, and that doubts and questions are welcome.

What else is there? So much, of course. My favorite quote is from Vincent van Gogh who said “The way to know God is to love many things.” I do.