Make Time for Rest

“Rest” this word kept coming up in my days recently.

I was helping my toddler open up to a scribble-free page in his Winnie the Pooh Coloring Book.

Tigger was King of the Forest. Tigger was telling his followers (Piglet and Rabbit) to follow him and he would lead them to a place of “REST” in the Heffalump forest.

Tigger, Rabbit, and Piglet arrived to their destination. Rabbit said to Piglet, “There isn’t enough room for resting here, unless we make room. Let’s make room Piglet!”

Resting in God’s presence doesn’t happen accidentally. It will happen intentionally.

Genesis chapter two tells us even God rested on the seventh day.

Make room for rest or it won’t happen.

Cindee colored a scripture and showed me as she clipped it on the refrigerator.

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

The rest we find in Jesus is better than shopping the sales rack (or online.)

The rest we find in Jesus is better than sugar. (Yes, even coffee creamer and chocolate!)

Linger in God’s presence. Stay awhile. Listen. He will speak.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15

I have 5 children during the day. Ages 5 and under. Oh, how I NEED to be reminded of this daily!

The hustle and bustle of the day seems to have no end in sight.

The dishes, the messes, the laundry, and cooking meals, and making sure to engage with the children, and…. (Oh so much to do. How can I possibly REST???)

I NEED to rest.

Even if it’s just 30 minutes upstairs in my locked bedroom meditating on Scripture while my husband plays hide and seek with the kids.

Which could then turn into a 10 minute cat nap!

Find what works for you. Rest your mind from the things of this world to focus on Jesus. For He is the only thing that can satisfy.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Matthew 5:6

Does rest mean laziness? No way! It means to break away from ALL the things and spend time with Jesus. Being raw. Being real. Being still. In His presence. Not rushing anything.

Some nights I feel a drawing at 2 am or 3 am to just go sit in my rocking chair and worship God and just sit and listen. While my heart is quiet. While my kids are fast asleep. It allows my spirit be tuned in.

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
Exodus 33:14

Go ahead. Rest a while. Make it a habit.

Thanks for reading. How do you find rest in your day? I’d love to hear any tips you’ve found.

Fix Your Heart on the “I AM”

I wrote a song in 2010 (during the hardest season of my life.) My mother was going through cancer.

🎶 “If our God is for us, who can be against us? He will keep His promise, even in the darkness. He’ll wipe away your tears and say, it’s going to be ok. I know His love will never fade away, so lift your hands and say… I will cry unto the God most High, my heart is fixed, my heart is fixed on You. I’m moving closer, closer, closer to you, God. 🎶

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
Psalms 57:7

It’s fitting for this year, 11 years later.

Fix your heart on Jesus. He is our HOPE.

Situations happen … sometimes really bad situations. God uses them to reveal Himself in a way that we didn’t know Him before.

If we’ve never been through the rough times, we wouldn’t know Him to be our Healer. Deliverer. Waymaker. Provider. Protector. Strength. Peacemaker.

We don’t know the value of the Light until we’ve walked in darkness.

When the Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians, God told Moses to go and tell Pharaoh to let His people go. Moses asked: “Who should I say sent me?”

God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”
Exodus 3:14

I AM means I will be whatever you need me to be whenever you need me.

Isn’t God so amazing?

If you need a friend, He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. If you need love, He is the Everlasting Father. If you need a miracle, He is the miracle worker. If you need strength, He is the Mighty God. If you need peace, He is the Prince of Peace. If you need guidance, He is the Counselor. If you need joy, He is Wonderful. If you need provision, He is the provider.

He is your “I AM”. He will be whatever you need Him to be when you need Him.

In the new testament, He revealed His name, Jesus! God came to earth as a baby. He was born to save us from our sin. Yes, God is ONE.

“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Deuteronomy 6:4

You can find rest in Jesus, my friend. He is unchanging. He is faithful. He is good. Always good.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Hebrews 13:8

Thanks for reading. I hope this brings encouragement to you today. -Tonya

A Thankful Heart

During my prayer time this morning, my 3-year-old son came to sit out in the room with me and my husband.

When I heard his body wrestle out of bed and then his little footsteps coming my way, I initially thought, “oh no, now my prayer time is going to be cut short, I should’ve stayed in bed.”

To my surprise, he didn’t ask for a snack, he didn’t ask me to get him dressed, he didn’t ask anything!

He was content just being close to me. Listening to us pray.

He melted my heart. He reminded me that God loves a grateful heart.

We melt the heart of God when we choose to wake up early and tell Him how wonderful He is.

I tend to complicate things. I need to set more time aside where I just sit in the room mediatating on Him. In the quiet. In the stillness.

O give thanks unto the Lord , for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalms 107:1

Come to him with a thankful heart and know that just being in God’s presence brings peace.

Just to be close to Him satisfies our souls.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well:

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 4:13-14

He was talking about spiritual thirst. Not physical. Earthly things do not make us happy, except for a couple of days after we purchase them and the rush we get when we hit the purchase now button online.

He is Joy. He is Peace. He is Love. He is Good. He alone brings TRUE contentment.

Eventually, my son did ask me for a drink of water. And I was more than happy and more than ready to grant his request.

I’m not saying we will always get what we want, because that’s false, but God will be ready to pour out his blessings on his children when we keep a grateful heart.


…Blessing and glory and majesty and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Revelation 7:12


This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my family, friends, and freedom.

What’s something you’re grateful for? I’d love to hear from you.

I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving -Tonya

Gladness

It was morning. I opened my eyes, rolled over, looked at the clock on my nightstand, 5:15 am


I was debating in my mind. Get up now (before the kids) grab a cup of coffee and have some one-on-one time with Jesus OR “sleep in.” (just until 6:30 am. That’s when my kids come barreling into my bedroom letting me know they made it to the potty and they were ready for breakfast to be hot and ready on the table, right now… please mom?)

Thinking of the latter, I couldn’t help but despise the rude wake-up call. It made me eager to catch as many snoozes as I could before my day would begin.

So without further ado, I turned my head on the pillow and closed my eyes. I had made my decision.


Suddenly a voice inside of me loud and clear proclaimed,

“Serve the Lord with GLADNESS!”


It was so thunderous it was as if it shook me right out of bed. I got up to pray with a smile.

The Lord gave me the strength and encouragement I needed!

God knows what YOU need too!

Matthew 6:8 says…” for YOUR Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Simply talk with Jesus when you are feeling low and drained from life’s errands. Cleaning up toys. Wiping messy hands and faces. Changing dirty diapers. Oh yeah, the laundry needs to be put away and those dishes need washing, and Oh it’s supper time… already? … I think I made my point.

Remember, His strength is abundant. He has unlimited resources for us. He isn’t going to go bankrupt. God’s got YOU. Ask Him for a double portion of strength. I know it’s available because I have received it.

“Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalms 100:2

Has God ever given you the energy you needed right on time?

I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

Beautifully YOU

There are many types of flowers from roses to daisies, from lilies to daffodils, from the iris to the tulips. All have a distinct characteristic. All are beautiful in their own unique way.

Just like God made many kinds of flowers, He made many kinds of people too.

Each person has the potential and opportunity to impact a life.

My three-year-old son Micah loves to pick dandelions and violets growing in the grass from our little backyard.

One day he came to me with his hands behind his back ready to suprise me. He said, (sweetly with his dimples showing) “Mom I got something for you, flowers!” He showed me two handfuls of dandelions as he jumped around excitedly.

I helped Cindee and Micah cut the stems to the proper size. We put them together in a small cup and displayed them in the middle of the patio table that day. He was proud of his yellow bouquet he foraged himself.

He put a smile on my face that day with his thoughtfulness. And he smiled as he gave them to me.

It feels good to give. It feels better to give than to recieve.

Not everyone thinks highly of the dandelion (a common weed) , but in my son’s eyes they are “pretty flowers” in his words. We are all precious in God’s sight.

No matter what kind of flower you are, we all have the same amount of time on earth.

He blossoms like a flower, then withers; he flees like a shadow and does not last.
Job 14:2

Roses may last a week, carnations maybe 2 weeks. Once picked, tulips live only a few days.

Our time is short. Use it wisely.

Flowers are pleasant to the eyes. They are a gift of beauty to whomever walks by.

As we grow in Christ we have the opportunity to touch the hearts around us.

We can brighten someone’s day with a smile. Share a kind word. Give a compliment. Pray a blessing on a loved one.

Be an encourager. They’re fun to be around!

No matter if you have a large circle of effectiveness or have a small growing circle, YOU are important! YOU can make a difference in your world.

Sometimes we may think we’re not qualified. We may feel inadequate. That is a lie from the enemy.

I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.
Psalms 139:14

God made you wonderfully! You can be a spark of joy in a heart around you.  We have the opportunity to change the atmosphere around us.

I love to go out on my deck and smell the lilacs and hydrangeas close by.

Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others. Just be real. Instagram is full of picture perfect stories and cliches.

It would be a terrible thing for the petunia to compare itself to the sunflower.

Authenticity is powerful in reaching to a hurting heart. The truth is we all have encountered hurts and pains. That’s just life.

Photo by Rob Schuetz

For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:12

If we are open in sharing our weaknesses where we have been broken, God gives strength so we can be put back together.

Give someone a sweet smelling fragrance today. Share Jesus. Share a smile. Just be kind.

Be a lovely YOU. Be a peaceful YOU.

You are special! You are unique! You have characteristics that make YOU, YOU!

Be the best version of you because there’s only one YOU!

Thanks for reading. Do you have a favorite flower? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.