A message from Mom

On this Thursday afternoon, I was cleaning my kitchen. I was thinking about something the Lord put on my heart earlier this week.

Something that was keeping me from becoming all who He created me to be.

I didn’t even know how to change this characteristic of my personality, but as God showed me this. I was sorrowful and repented. I realized I was oblivious. I wanted help. I was miserable in my own flesh.

Some things seem daunting to try to change on our own. But I do know that all things are possible with God.

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26

I am grateful for the conviction to change and the grace of God to help me become what He wants me to be.

He never gives up on us. We are in a process. We are on a journey. We will always have something to work on in this life.

I was cleaning my kitchen… everyday I clean my kitchen and every day I still need to clean it.

Anyway, I went to wipe down the dining room table. While I used elbow grease on the messy spots from lunchtime (right where all the kids sit) I noticed a notebook my kids had pulled out to color on.

On the note book page was a prayer request from my sister. Her handwriting revealed she had written this prayer when she was much younger. I turned the page around and smiled at her thoughtfulness of others as she listed family and friends’ names. I decided to flip the page over.

To my surprise, was a note of encouragement, penned in my Mother’s beautiful handwriting.

During one of the most mundane tasks… cleaning my kitchen… It surprised me so!

It’s been nearly 10 years since my Mom’s passing and somehow my kids had come across this notebook. The page may be a little stained, but the message she wrote over a decade ago was just what I needed TODAY.

The words she was inspired to write then, ministered to me now. God knows your future. He is for YOU! He will be there when you call on Him. So make the call!

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Exodus 14:14

My heart is glad. My hope is in the Lord. I can be who God wants me to be.

He will be with me through all the hard times. He is our Hope.

Thanks, Mom. I really needed this today. ❤

Specially Selected

My phone rang on the counter top. A sweet friend (my mother-in-law) asked if I needed anything from the grocery store.

Off the top of my head I listed milk and bananas. I thanked her as we said goodbye. (I’m so very grateful for her random acts of kindness.)

She stopped by with a box filled with quite more than milk and bananas. She said, “I felt to bring you bread”.

I thanked her as we chatted. I didn’t think much of the loaf of bread and I continued on with my day.

After a fun Saturday with freinds, Rob and I were taking some time writing down some goals we felt were God-inspired. They were many dreams on that list. Our lists were quite similar. As we went over our lists I was feeling overwhelmed and unqualified, and not enough.

I was feeling tired. My husband let me take a cat nap with our youngest son. (20 minutes, I’ll take it.)

When I woke up I was thinking of the simple ways God can communicate with us.

We only need to pay attention.

Sometimes His Voice doesn’t come with a “feeling”.

Sometimes it’s a quite whisper or a gentle nudge. And if we aren’t paying attention we’ll miss it.

As these thoughts filled my mind I remembered the bread that was given to me. I thought it was a nice gesture. It was thoughtful.

Then I felt impressed with the words “Go read the label”.

I carefully climbed out from under my soft downy comforter, as my sleeping toddler was tucked beside me. I made my way down the stairs into my kitchen.

I reached for the loaf of bread turned it around and read Specially Selected on the clear package.

A smile came across my face.

I looked up synonyms for these words: Hand-picked, chosen, invited, preferred, carefully-chosen, favored, appointed, designated.

Whatever the Lord has laid on your heart to do. He chose you and He never makes a mistake.

YOU are “specially selected” for such a time as this.

There is much work to do. The harvest is great. You can be a channel God can flow into and out of as He demonstrates His power of His Spirit.

The time is now. Ask God to give you ears to hear, eyes to see, and a mind to know the things that he has for us.

Each person on this planet is designed with a God-given purpose.

YOU are enough. YOU are “Specially Selected.”

“They will be Mine,” says the Lord of Hosts, “a special possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.
Malachi 3:17

Voice and Tone Can Make a Difference by Nona Freeman

During the war years we knew of a mother who regularly received letters from her son serving his country. Being illiterate she could not read them and depended on her neighbor to read her son’s letters to her. On one occasion the son asked his mother for money. The neighbor read the request in a gruff tone of voice, and when the neighbor finished the mother said, “Why that no good son of mine, I’ll not send him one cent.”

Later in the day I dropped in to visit this mother. Desperate to hear even bad news from her boy, the mother asked me if I would read her son’s letter to her once more. Unknowing that another had read it; I read it in a kind tone. Upon hearing the letter read in such a humble tone, the mother broke down and wept and said, “Bless my baby’s heart, he needs money. Of course I’ll send it to him.”

When talking to people concerning spiritual matters, continually remember this very illustration. Suppose our tone of voice is harsh to the soul we are talking to?


Although our words maybe true, they may be rejected because the tone of our voice is unsympathetic. On the other hand speaking to people with love, and showing genuine concern for them personally will do much and may even determine their eternity. Our manner of speaking may even have an effect on the sick. Be it good or bad; power is in the tongue. Our lips are the doors to our mouth. Our words become our guide.

Suppose we visit the sick and our words convey despondency, depression, pessimism or anxiety.
Is that desirable?
-Does anybody long to live a life like that?
-Does any soul want to go into eternity with negative words fed to them?
-Is that a reason to want to live?

If our attitude and our voice is kind and sympathetic, it could just be the encouragement that speeds recovery or encourages one in their walk with Jesus.

Proverbs 25:11-A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. KJV

Be very careful of the TONE of your voice. Physical wounds are not the only wounds one can feel and carry for life. Words hurt and can determine how a child grows up or the character an adult will have. Jails are full today because of souls who were destroyed with words alone.

-Your kind words today may be cherished by someone forever.


-Your words are the windows to your heart.

  • If you want your neighbor to see what Christ can do for them, let the soul see what Christ did for you.

When one is blessed with words; be it good or bad; words are burned in the heart and mind. People do not owe it to you to let you heap verbal abuse on them. If you have the sin of; well that is me; I am plain spoken; then you better lose that sin because it’s of the very devil. It’s not a quality it’s a sin and you claim to use it in the name of Jesus? Woe unto you.

Your spouse; children; public and dare I say it; your in-laws are watching you. Rest assure when you are your lowest your words will be visited back on you.

My continued prayer is Psalm 19:14- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight…

Nona Freeman was born July 25, 1916 – December 26, 2009. She was an American Oneness Pentecostal preacher, evangelist, author and missionary.

In 1948 Freeman and her husband E. L. (Bug) Freeman were the first united Pentecostal church (UPCI) missionaries to South Africa. There they served 41 years!

Permission to use her writings has been granted by Kneemail.

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

Genuineness is as Gold

May 2019, I went on a Ladies Heartwork trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota. On that trip God birthed a desire in me to start writing. 1 year later, I finally took the plunge and started this blog. Last week I went to another Heartwork trip in the Ozark mountains in Arkansas. It was so valuable to me on so many levels. I was happy my sister Tasha could join me this year.

It was such a refreshing escape away from the duties of motherhood, wife, homemaker, …. and chef, and maid, and teacher…  And…. (I’m sure you mommas get it.)

It seems (to me at least) so much easier to get closer to God when you’re in the woods…Maybe not for everyone.

In the Ozarks, we hiked. We laughed. We cried. We sang. We prayed. We ate. We were true.

I felt so connected. I felt like a little girl again. I felt the excitement of meeting a new friends. There were no mean girls nor bullies. Life seemed as it was supposed to be. ALL TOGETHER. Hand in hand.

We spent time gathered around the warm campfire. It was quite chilly. We pondered about the God-inspired teachings we heard. What we took away from the lessons. These conversations naturally lead to deeper things we were all dealing with. “Life” things. “Messy” things. “Real” things.

I tend to desire a deeper relationship than just “surface” friends. Small talk kills me. It feels so shallow to me. I desire true, raw, authentic friendship.

My life isn’t perfect. My life is messy. I feel lonely at times. I feel like a failure some days. I feel like a bad mom on other days. I have lies float into my head that I must lasso and fling out of mind. “God can’t use me anymore.” “My season is over.” “I’m Unworthy”, “Unimportant”, “Unappreciated” ….. I could go on, but you get the point.

The best thing we can do is talk about our shortcomings to Jesus. He is our Savior. He is our Helper.

Also, find a SAFE friend to share your experiences with. (Let me tell you, they will be so relieved, and you will too! Because we are NOT alone!! and then, girl, let go of those lies from the enemy!

You are NOT a failure, He has mercy for you.

You are not a mistake, He has a plan for you.

You ARE good enough, with His grace.

You CAN have joy! Thanks, God.

Being true helps the other person overcome those same lies in their minds.

Be authentic. It’s a breath of fresh air in today’s world.


Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly. -Lee Stoneking


I encourage you to find someone you can trust and BE YOU. Don’t be fake, because that’s exhausting and people can tell! We have plenty of fake in this world.

Genuineness is as Gold!

So that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:7

I encourage you to find a true friend. It’s hard for me. It takes time. But it’s well worth it. Cherish her. She is valuable. We need each other.

Thanks for reading! -Tonya

Enabling and Equipping

We visited Milwaukee County Zoo last week. We entered the cat area where the gorgeous cheetah dwelled. She paced back and forth…Over and over. She had walked the same path so much that her paws had killed the grass and what was once soft green grass was now a smooth dusty thin pathway.

We read the facts sign about cheetahs. Did you know? Cheetahs can run up to 60 miles per hour!

My daughter asked me, “Is that fast? I want to see the cheetah run.”

Sadly, I realized the cheetah didn’t have enough room to even skip let alone run at 60 miles per hour.

This cheetah couldn’t run at all. She could only pace back and forth in front of the tall glass window where we stood waiting for her to do something interesting.

She was limited…

Only man can remove the limitations of the cheetah. Only God can remove our limitations.

God is an equipping God. He ALWAYS has more for us. He ALWAYS has better for us.

We just need the desire to be more.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Ephesians 3:20

The cheetah was at the mercy of man. She wasn’t equipped with what she needed TO BE ALL that she was meant to be.

We fall short. God enables and equips us to be what He has called us to be.

We are simply NOT enough.

We need the help of God, it’s called GRACE. We need Him to change us from the inside out. We need him to open our eyes to see ourselves the way HE sees us.

Once we are all in for Him, He’ll take you further than you ever thought possible.

He will equip you for what He has in store.

Don’t give up yet. He’s got You! Reach for Him!

Pray with me: God, I give you permission to work on me. Help me see the way You see me. Nobody’s idea of me matters except for how You view me. Enable me to be the person (mom, wife, friend, leader, employee) You want me to be. Equip me with the right character, integrity, honesty, and love I need to impact my world. I make you KING of my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thanks for reading -Tonya

Becoming a Butterfly

I felt God spoke these words to me. I hope to bring you encouragement today.

“YOU are a butterfly” these words boomed inside my chest in the middle of the night.

Which made me study the caterpillar’s journey to become a butterfly.

The caterpillar encloses himself into chrysalis, in that cocoon the entire  caterpillar is broken down into a soup like mixture.

All of the major structures, including the heart, are broken down and then rebuilt.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

You are in a process, my Friend. We all are! You are going to come out of this stronger than you were before. Right now it’s dark and lonely. You are isolated. It can be scary. The unknown surrounds us. But God is making you into something new. It’s not a waste. He’s changing our heart and He’s changing our mind. He’s preparing us to be greater for HIS glory. He’s creating in You and I a clean heart and a right spirit.

The bible says “Be still and know that HE is God.”

Just like the process of a growing baby inside of you there’s no way around it. Those growing pains are there. But you will never be the same after that baby is delivered. And neither will your baby for that matter!

“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:27

He will give us HIS desires. And he will give you the ability and the POWER to do it.

The butterfly soon emerges from the chrysalis, just after 2 short weeks. The butterfly is free to fly.

He’s rebuilding you and shaping you into what he sees you can be.

He sees your potential. He sees your heart.

He gives us grace to be what HE wants us to be.

Butterflies and caterpillars don’t just look different — they behave differently, too. Caterpillars live in a tree. Butterflies must go through a time of isolation to get broken so they can fly!

When we lose our structure, when we lose our control, we are forced to be STILL inside the cocoon. It’s quiet. We have to remain comfortable with the quietness.


Caterpillars eat leaves, while butterflies feed on nectar.

It matters what we consume. What we read, watch, and listen to. If we listen and watch dark things, darkness will surround us. If we listen to positive things, like worship music, uplifting podcasts, and Bible reading, angels are drawn to worship. Angels can be in your home.


We are strengthened by the Words of the Lord. You can ask God to direct you in your bible reading. While you are reading, scriptures will jump out at you.

That’s not just you, that’s God saying this is for you, right now.

When he speaks to you write it down in a journal so you don’t forget. You can easily look back at the things God told you in different seasons of your life. We encourage ourselves in the Lord by keeping a Journal.

I’ll be talking more about the butterfly and caterpillar next week.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share some encouragement the Lord has placed on your heart. I’d love to hear from you!

-Tonya

Passion for your “Elephant”


God wants to renew your passion for the “elephant” prayers in your life. (The things that are huge or that seem impossible.)

I began working on this post last week. I had one particular “elephant” in mind.

Little did I know this prophetic word from the Lord was about to unfold in a matter of a few days.

These “Elephants” can be a God-given vision, dream, plan, or word which you feel inadequate or are losing the faith it takes to see it unfold.

I have called them elephants because they seem like huge prayers that you can’t accomplish yourself. It would only be achieved with the help of God.

I had a family member slip away from God for 9 years.

I would pray for her on repeat. I knew God was the only one who would bring her back.

2 weeks ago I had a nightmare that scared me so that I woke up and my entire body was covered in goosebumps. I was shaken with fear.

I knew this was not just a bad dream or “the pizza I ate before bed”. I was dealing with a demonic spirit.

My husband and I went on a 3 day fast that week.

I was carried through the fast. I had NO desire for food. Even when I was fixing meals and snacks for the 5 kids. That’s only happened 3 times in my life, (where I was given supernatural strength to make it through a multi-day fast.) Fasting is usually VERY difficult for me.

This time was EASY. It made me curious and ask the Lord, “Why are you carrying me through this fast?” I was nervous about what was coming ahead that I would NEED this time of sacrifice and the power it brought.

On the 3rd day of the fast, I had another nightmare. This time God revealed to me I was in spiritual warfare for my family member I mentioned earlier.

The enemy wanted ALL of her. He was plaguing her mind to cut off the one thing she had left that tied her to God. She was holding on by a thread.

The enemy wanted her, but so did we. There were people who stood in the gap. Interceeding for her. Fasting for her. Crying out for her. Believing for her.

I decided to tell her what I was dealing with. I told her specific details in my dreams. What did I have to lose? Why be intimidated of what she might think of me? I spoke to her the things I felt on my heart.

It was exactly was she needed to hear and the right time. She cried and thanked God that He cared enough for her to send her a message regarding specific things she was dealing with.

This Sunday she went to church and felt the presence of God again. She was renewed with His Spirit. I believe this is only the beginning!


Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us —
Ephesians 3:20 HCSB


We never know what God is doing in someone’s heart. Only God knows that.

If God tells you to do something just do it!

God is still moving even when we can’t see it.

Don’t write off your “elephant” just yet. Ask God to renew your passion and faith you need to see it happen. Just make yourself available in willingness. God will use you where you are right now.

We need to be a vessel God can pour into and flow out of!

Go after your elephant! It is available!

Do you have a testimony of an “elephant” prayer God answered in your life? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

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!