Hi I’m Tonya and I am so glad you’re here. Sit down, make yourself comfy because I can tell we’re going to be friends!
This space is where I write about my life, all of it, including the parts that I sometimes try and hide under the bed. A little over two years ago I needed to decide whether I was going to give Jesus every part of my life or walk away from a twenty year faith that was wrapped up in pretense and and the easy lie: “I’m fine.” In reality? I was struggling to understand how God could love me and all of my mess and I had come to a point where I figured living in fear and doubt was the norm.
Ever so gently, God wooed me back, through words and the beauty of His creation. I softly whispered “save me” on a hot summer afternoon and over the next several months God opened my eyes to help me see that those parts of my story I would rather keep hidden are actually part of the beauty of my life. He showed me how each tattered and torn piece is evidence of how God loves and cares deeply for me.
Our daily sorrows are anchored in a greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope. Absolutely nothing in our lives lies outside the realm of God’s judgement and mercy.” – Henri Nouwen
I love coffee more than I love mornings, so it goes without saying that mornings don’t happen unless coffee happens first.
Canada is my home and as a girl, I grew up in the boondocks. Now I make my home in a small city in Southwestern Ontario. Hockey is a particular love of mine and I am a Montreal Canadiens fan. And, as a hockey fan I feel that the Stanley Cup Playoffs should be considered a statutory holiday.
Currently, I live by #studentmom because last year I quit my full-time job of nine years to pursue my dream of completing my Social Work degree.
I have been married to my best friend for over 20 years. I have two great kids who are finding their wings in this wild and crazy world and even though I’ve been doing this mothering gig for quite some time I am constantly surprised and amazed at how my kids survived my parenting.
People are my passion. I have an encourager’s heart and long to see people fall in love with community – online and in real life. I am currently a co-leader for an (in)courager community group and provide weekly encouragement to other leaders of the (in)couragers community. I am also part of the Allume Conference Team and love watching God take the beauty of one weekend together in October and multiply it in our lives over the course of a year.
It is my belief that your story is the music my story needs to hear.
So won’t you come and share in this space?
From as early as I can remember words were a lifeline. As a child, stories became my playground. I would try on new words like new clothes. Too much of my childhood was underscored by hurt and anger so I would bleed blue ink in countless journals and on pages hoarded from the backs of half-filled school notebooks.
Looking back I can see now how time and maturity has blossomed into wisdom instead of anger and how my love of words has not changed. Instead of scratching in journals (although I’ve been known to pick up a pen), I tap on keys and books will always be a route to joy. I still use words to drown out the whisper of doubt when my fears come haunting.
These are some of those words that keep me coming back for more…
Wrapped in Rain – Charles Martin
Story is a spectacularly effective way of communicating. There is something about words that settle deep into a soul and fill in the cracks with hope.
While writing is a passion, I also feel that hearing words engages our soul on a different level, I believe hearing a person speak their story serves only to strengthen the bond of community. It allows us to gather and stand shoulder to shoulder as we lift each other up and share an intimacy that takes us away from computer screens.
I would love to come to your event and share my story with you. If you are interested in having me speak at your event please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org