You’re Not Done {Love, Serve & Your Blog is NOT the Boss}

I bustled through the airport.  Navigating my way through bag drop and customs.  The normal anxieties I have when travelling made my heart gallop as I made my way to my gate.  Coffee in hand I finally sat down and waited to board my plane.

There was something else thumping in my heart as I found comfort in a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I could sum up all of those nerves in one simple question.

What on earth was I doing here?  

This was my second time attending the Allume conference in Greenville, South Carolina, you’d think I’d be prepared for just about anything.  I may have been an alum but I was new to the Allume Team as the official Newbie Welcome Gal.  Believe me, I was feeling All. The. Things.

For weeks prior to Allume I was suffering through what my Social Work classes would call “Imposter Syndrome”   Wikipedia describes it this way: “Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.”  

Yup.  That about sums it up.

I hadn’t blogged in weeks, I was struggling to keep up my  interaction with the #allumenewbies on-line and I just couldn’t wrap my head around how I was going to help other women find their value and worth when I couldn’t seem to find mine.

My solution?    My over dramatized, totally extroverted, over-the-top, disproportionate solution?


All. The. Things.

I couldn’t quit Allume I was committed to that.  But when I got back I was going to quit blogging/writing.

And then it happened.   You know what I mean?  IT happened – I found God in those places where I never expected to find Him.  I found Him coming along side me and in each conversation I had a theme appeared.

“You’re not done yet.” 

I felt like God was saying “You’re not done yet, but here are a few things we need to work on.  You and I.  Together.  Because I love you.” 

So by Thursday night I settled down and let God tell me the following:

“You need to learn to love.  Not the hug and let me help you find the bathroom kind of love (although that’s very useful).  I need you to love in the way that makes you stop what you are doing and ask the questions that need to be asked.  The love that has you cupping a cheek, offering a word of encouragement or wrapping someone in prayer in the middle of the lobby.  Tonya – Love that’s all that is required.”

“You need learn to serve.  Everything that you’re doing  from the bag stuffing, to the table setting, to the whatever Dedra needs you to do is serving ME.  In your role of servant you will find me, I promise.  Every task, every chore and the seemingly mundane is part of my plan for Allume.  And, for you. 

“Your blog is not the boss of you (Those words actually came out of Lisa-Jo Baker’s mouth, but I could hear Jesus in them).  Yes I’ve called you to write, yes this space is for your story but you’ve made it a platform when I need it to be an altar.  So when we get back to Canada let’s take some time together, just you and me, okay?”

“You need to learn to just “BE” there is nothing that you think you have to get done, nowhere that you have to be or expectations that you have for yourself that are better than my presence.  Just BE.  It is enough and it will provide you with everything you need.  Remember that day when you went down to the river to pray – and you let yourself be still, you need to do that more often”

“Hospitality needs to be about someone else.  It’s not the perfectly set table, the amazing meal or even the the most inspired blog post.  It’s creating a space where the stranger feels welcome.  Hospitality is about being Christ-like in EVERY encounter.”

I am still processing.  Still trying to wrap my head around how one goes deeper and further into the heart of God.  I want to get to a place where my quest is to “live the magma of my faith” as Tim Willard put it. To live and breathe hospitality in my everyday.

If you went to Allume either this year or in the past, I would love to hear how God filled your heart to overflowing with himself. 








  1. I love you friend and there isn’t a thing in the world that is an imposter in you! I see you… I love you… You belong… And God is just getting started with you my friend!

  2. I completely agree with Logan. You served with everything in you and you did it so effortlessly. You are a beautiful addition to the Allume Team and I am glad to know you, friend!! xoxoxo

    • Christin – you are beautiful. I just loved getting to know you better, I loved sharing meals together and talking – sister to sister. Can you come to my house right now for tea?

  3. karrileea

    I love you, my friend! I am so excited for what is to come… because when He and you get together – oh my goodness, I want to be right there – every. single. time. (and Amen to blogs not being the boss of us!)

  4. Not only did you serve well this weekend you loved we’ll both at Allume and everyday. You were one of my first online connection and you accepted me with open arms (much like you did In the lobby of the Hyatt). God is already using you in mighty ways you don’t even realize. I can’t wait to see what her has for you next. Love ya girl !!!

    • Oh Amy… that hug in the Hyatt? Seeing your face and watching you glow among all of your sisters? It was sheer joy friend. I love you.

  5. Oh I love this and yes you are a gift to those you chose to serve even when you didn’t feel equipped – God gave you what you needed!!

  6. I love the “I made it a platform, you want it to be an altar.” Soo true! Thanks for serving all of us newbies at Allume this year! It felt like home.

  7. Oh my gosh. Imposter Syndrome. That’s awesome. Totally didn’t know it was only your second Allume! It was so fun to meet you! I’m so thankful for your help as a newbie!!!

    • Meg, It was a joy to meet you as well and to work along side you stuffing bags and at the registration table. Thank you so much for your service sweet friend.

  8. These words…so great! Thanks, Tonya.

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