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.

A Supernatural Dream

June 18th, 2013. Exactly 6 months after my sweet mother went to be with the Lord. I had a vivid dream I’ll never forget. It seemed more real than life.

The last days of her life she was shorter than me. ( she always stood about 3 inches taller than me) The cancer had worn her body so that she was significantly shorter than me. Her frail little 87-pound body was tired and weak.

She died 3 days before her 42nd birthday.

6 months after her death. I saw her.

She was vibrant in energy and she was glowing like through sunshine. Her skin was rejuvenated. Her hair was lush golden red. Her eyes were bright blue and clear, they were sparkling. Her smile was perfect. Everything about her was wonderful.

All I could ask her in the dream was “How are you here? I know she died, but yet she was standing there alive and well. She just looked down with her head tilted sideways with her crooked smile.

In my dream, I had my little brother, who was only 2 at the time.

I was wanting just to be with my beautiful mother. I didn’t want to waste a single moment.

I was waiting for her answer my question, “how are you here?” But she didn’t answer. She just looked down and smiled at my brother playng at our feet. I was astonished.

It was then that I changed my question. “How is it?” I asked. Somehow we instantly knew we were both talking about heaven.

She said, “Oh Tonya it’s beautiful.”

Then she began to cry and tears filled her eyes.

She told me she went past hell.

She could hear the screams of people being tortured. It was darkness.

Wiping away her tears, she said “but I went past all that,” as she shook her head.

And then she began to smile vibrantly. She began to describe heaven. “Heaven is so beautiful, Tonya. You have to come here. It is so beautiful. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen. Just come. Just come.”

I asked her, “Mom I thought you were going to be healed.

She replied: “God asked me if I wanted to come back, I told Him I want to stay.”

I could hardly believe her statement.

I remember grabbing my forehead. Her words surprised me so. I said (in a voice of shock and disappointment), “mom really you didn’t want to come back?” But yet somehow I knew why she chose to stay.

Because I felt the love and peace of God all around me and it was magnificent.

She urged me saying: “You just have to come. Oh, Tonya, you’ll love it. It more than anything you can imagine. It’s so beautiful here.”

I remember looking down, picking my brother up a d bouncing him on my hip. He was getting antsy and impatient.

“I have to stay here”, I replied.

Then I woke up and I felt God all around in my bedroom. All I could do was worship God and cry. It was so real.

This experience happened in 2013. I’ll never forget it. It was the love of God I felt. It was as if God gave me just a taste of what she is experiencing.

I hope someone is encouraged today.

Last month, I read Heaven is Beyond Your Wildest Expectations by Sid Roth. Such an incredible book. Everyone of the people who had supernatural experiences of heaven in the book were either told to come back and tell your story or were asked if they wanted to stay.

So I believe She wanted to stay.

I had high hopes for my mother’s healing. It wasn’t a lack of faith. It wasn’t a lack of trust in god. God can move the day in which we cross into eternity up or move it back. That’s up to Him because He is sovereign. It’s what He wanted.

Submission is choosing to trust God even when you don’t understand.

A month before she died she prayed over her family. She was the one that needed prayer, but she was the one being courageous and strong in that moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in that hospital room. She was praying a blessing on all of her brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. It was so touching seeing someone struggling to be so thoughtful at the same time.

She prayed an anointed prayer.

I remember that last night in the hospital room at her bedside. I was playing worship music and I felt God’s presence there. It was such a sacred moment. I had peace. It’s not what I wanted, but I submitted to His will.

It wasn’t what I imagined, but that’s when true relationship with Jesus shines through. When you don’t understand, but you trust Him regardless.

To die is gain. In the eyes of the lord precious is the death of his saints.

Live life purposefully and meaningful.

Live your life with eternity in view.

It’s not what we expected or wanted. Many other family members prayed the same prayers, but it was God’s appointed time.

It wasn’t a failure of our prayers.

It wasn’t a lack of faith.

I was praying she would be able to live longer, but God moved her time up. It’s like He said, “This is a time that I have chosen that you have to accept.”

I had to trust Him and say “Ok. I’m still going to worship you, even though I don’t understand. I’m still going to praise you, but I don’t know what you’re doing. I’m still going to live for you, but I don’t like this.”

When we see another pass over into eternity we realize how thin the line is between here and there. It constantly reprioritzes our priorities to what matters most.

We remember how important eternity is. We don’t know what a day will bring. What a month, or year, or decade will bring.

We must be grateful for the moments we have.

When we live with eternity in view We value everyone and everything around us. We don’t have time to live with bitterness. Holding grudges. Being mad at the world. Resentfulness.

We must love while we can. We must work while it is yet day. We must pray with eternity in view. We must live with eternity in view. – Rev. Jason Scisco.

There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing; a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. I have seen the task that God has given people to keep them occupied. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life. It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts. I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him. Whatever is, has already been, and whatever will be, already is. God repeats what has passed.
Ecclesiastes 3:1‭-‬8‭

I hope and pray someone out there is encouraged.

Thank you for reading -Tonya

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

Why Wildly Joyful?

Why did I choose the name Wildly Joyful for my blog? Well I’ve been waiting for a “good” answer to this question.  I believe the Lord revealed it to me it this past week.

Getting out in nature does wonders for the mind, body, and soul. Experiencing God’s creation is exciting!

I love to pray outside and hear the rustling of the wind in the trees or the water rushing past rocks on the riverbed. I enjoy the silence of a wooded forest.

When we turn off the noise of the other things around us we become more aware of His still small voice which speaks to us.

Nature is an exhibit of God’s glory.

I’m fascinated how a soft velvety rose petal can literally come out of a thorny stick.

I’m in awe of how you can take a bite of a fruit and its juice runs down your face when it came out of the rough wood of a tree. It’s just amazing to me how the earth shouts His glory!

Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice
Psalms 96:12

I’ve always loved nature. I always have.

I knew my life was busy with 3 kids (ages 5, 3, & 1). I also watch my niece and nephew (ages 2 & 1).

So to say my life is “wild” is accurate. My days range from running to the rescue of the poor toddler whose toy got stolen away to kissing a “boo boo”, from catching their innocent (and crazy cute) conversations about their fairytale story, to explaining to them why I shouldn’t give them popsicles at 7am.

This is my life right now. Sometimes it’s chaotic.

Yes, today my 1 year old thought it would be ok to take his messy diaper off  in the middle of the living room without telling his mom.

Yes, today Micah spilled his freshly poured cereal all over his lap, chair, legs, table, and floor. Then minutes later Avery spit his milk all down his face and shirt and on to the floor I just mopped previously (all to make his siblings laugh during breakfast; he’s definitely our clown, but I wasn’t having his humor then.)

Cindee whined about her chores and how it wasn’t fair that I needed to comb and fix her hair daily.

This is my life. Nothing out of the ordinary.

In the midst of the wild days are sparks of joy.

My days are also filled with Avery’s waves. His little hand goes back and forth abruptly as he says “hi” with his cheesy smile. He shuts and reopens the door to say “hi” again and again. He always puts a huge smile on my face and I just can’t help but kiss him from head to toe. That’s my joy.

Or how Micah walks out of his bedroom rubbing his eyes and says, “Good morning Mom.” How he sits at the table and compliments me “You’re a good cooker Mom.” That’s my joy.

And when I catch Cindee being kind helping her little brothers throughout the day. How she reminds us to pray for her at night and then she prays for us by placing her little hand on our head. That’s my joy.

When life is wild you stay content because of the joy that breaks through.

Like on a cloudy day with rays of sunshine bursting through.

Like a beautiful forest with some muddy spots you need to jump over.

Hey have you ever seen the pattern of a painter turtle? God’s design is amazing! We found this baby at a little lake in Wisconsin.   Mr. Turtle didn’t want to sit still for the picture.

I’m learning to keep an eye out for joy in my wild.

While camping it poured rain and thundered. We were stuck inside our tent for 3 hours.

I decided (along with my two boys and husband) to find joy in an afternoon nap.

In the every day mundane you too can find joy, you just have to remember to look for it. I guarantee you can find a spark of it!


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

Thanks for reading. What are some things in nature that awe you? Where can you see God’s glory in the simple everyday things?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Victor Jackson: A Willing Vessel

My heart is hurting for our nation today. Riots. Destruction. Hate. Crimes. The manipulation. The evil. God please help our world. Help our nation. We need you.

Victor Jackson is an evangelist from Florida. He is licensed with the United Pentecostal Church International. He had a heavy burden for the hurting people of Minneapolis. Traveling from Florida, he drove 5 hours in his car to the Atlanta, Georgia airport. He purchased a ticket for the earliest flight to Minneapolis, Minnesota. He went in faith. Great faith. Fearless faith. His feet stood at the spot where George Floyd was tragically killed.

He began to ask if anyone desired hope and better way to live. He called for a prayer of repentance. The people to gathered in with raised hands.

He prayed fervently for unity in the city. Great authority in the Spirit could be felt as I viewed online. He was anointed by God to be mightily used for this time and this place.

He began to declare God’s Love, Peace, Hope, and Joy in the city of Minneapolis.

He proclaimed the blood of Jesus that restores and heals broken relationships and friendships. Immediately the faces of the crowd changed to smiles and affirming heads nodding “yes.” They did indeed desire change.

He spoke with eagerness, but in sincere love for the hurting people.

He told them about the transformation that takes place in ones life when we repent, (asking God to forgive us of our sins) when we are baptized in Jesus name, and when we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

As I read my bible until the wee hours of the morning. I was impressed with the thought, Victor Jackson is a modern day Paul.

In Acts 21:37 the multiplude of people were in an uproar.

Paul asked if he could speak. The crowd came to a hush. He shared his testimony of how he heard the voice of God. Say to him, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me? Go to Damascus, there I will tell you of the things I want you to do. Paul asked the crowd, “Why do you wait? Get up! Repent and be baptized, so your sins are washed away. Call on the name of the Lord!”

Brother Jackson is being used like Paul 2000 years ago. Calling on the name of the Lord amongst riots. Calling for repentance amongst protestors. Calling a prayer meeting amongst outraged people in the street. Broken people. People who want to make a difference.

Acts 23:11 “And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: you testified of me in Jerusalem, you must bear witness also in Rome.”

God was with Paul. The Lord stood by Him. Paul was in prison, God told him, be of good cheer, everything is going to be ok. He allowed him to be set free because there was more work for Him to do.

God gave him hope. God was light to him. He is with us too.

You are also called of Jesus. We are called to be saints according to Romans 1:6-7 “Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: … called to be saints…”

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God through salvation to every one that believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

Photo by Nicolas Rizzon

With God there is no respect of persons. You could say God is “color blind.” No race is higher. No race is lower. We are ALL the same. We are equal in his eyes. He doesn’t favor black, red, brown, white, or yellow. We are ALL precious in His sight. We are ALL His children.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

It is a heart issue. We need to genuinely love each other.

Just as Christ loves His church. He died for us. His blood flowed down the wooden tree and spilled on the hill of Golgotha. For you, my friend. For me.

For every single soul to be free from sin.

Brother Jackson is a modern day Paul and God is looking for more willing vessels to use for His glory in these last days to bring the end revival. The last call to harvest is ready before He comes for His bride.

Our God is greater than what is seen with the natural eye. There’s hope. He has a plan. Everything is going to be ok. Just listen for His voice and let His hand guide you and comfort you. Share the Love of Jesus with someone today. People are desperate for love. God’s love. God’s peace. The hope of heaven.

God is our help and restorer. We can put our trust in Him, this I know for sure.

Thanks for reading.

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