Welcome to tea with toni!
My favorite thing to do, especially when I get up in the morning, is to have a good cup of tea. I love tea…ALL tea. I have never really met a tea I didn’t like (except that Raspberry tea, you know, the one that tastes the the fluoride treatment we used to get as kids?). But my daily morning routine is to TRY to get up before my family, make a cup of tea, and sit with my tea and my Bible on my porch swing (if it’s warm enough) and have a cup of tea with the Lord as He speaks to me through His Word and His Spirit. Some days I have more alone time than others, but with such a busy schedule, I take ANY alone time I can get! (As I type this, there is football on the TV with my husband on one side and my daughter on the other and my dog closing in on me…I am never alone.) And that’s okay…..
My story is probably not much different than yours. I went to school (mine was a Bible School), met my husband afterward, got married and started having babies….3 in 3 years to be exact. Can anyone say CHAOS? Before I met my husband, I had dreams and plans of things I wanted to DO for the Lord….BIG things. Things that would make an impact. Needless to say, having 3 kids kind of waylaid MY plans. I was pretty much in survival mode for a lot of years trying to juggle the chaos of 3 kids, a husband in the ministry, and the highs and good times mixed with some very low lows. And I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything. EXCEPT somewhere along the way, my dreams got sidelined, and I found myself more and more frustrated. Can I get a witness? One minute I was newly married, and then I blinked and I was 20 years out of Bible school and my dreams of teaching His Word and making a BIG impact were no where to be found. Talk about discouraged!
I kept myself as busy for God as I could, I prayed, I studied, and I taught my kids. I loved studying the men and women of old in the Bible. Joseph is my absolute favorite….I felt like I was living his life….waiting and waiting and waiting. It wasn’t that I didn’t WANT to be doing something, but between football and soccer and homework and music lessons, there wasn’t much time for anything else. Enter the blog. I started posting tidbits on social media, and some friends were encouraging me to start a blog. I really backed off it for a long time, but as I prayed and had peace, I decided to take the plunge into blogging.
So….here I am. It’s just me, wanting to make some kind of impact for God. I went from just waiting to determining to be an impact no matter where I am. Whether that was over a cup of tea, blessing friends and neighbors with cookies and sweets (baking is therapy, ya know, so I do it a lot!)….or if it is texting an encouraging word to someone or making that quick call to let someone know they are loved, I look for ways to make an impact. The Apostle Paul wrote some of his most AMAZING letters when he was stuck in prison. And if he could still DO something for God when he was in prison, why can’t I make a difference in people’s lives while I am still in the chaos of raising my kids. I may not be doing those BIG things I dreamed about when I was at Bible School 20 years ago (YET), but I can still make a big impact in someone’s life today. And so can you!
So, welcome to tea with toni. I’m glad to meet you! Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and a cookie and take a minute with me to listen to Him speaking to us today through His Word. I pray that the words I post will be all HIM and that they minister life and grace and hope and peace to everyone who reads them.
Blessings in Him,
27 Random facts about me: (I know right? I like to talk )
1. I am a middle child….3 girls and 1 boy, and I am the second oldest.
2. I grew up in the church but walked away for a while. I’m so glad He kept after me. I’ve been loving Jesus now for 23+ years! There is no better more satisfying way to live.
3. When I was little, Nadia Comaneci was my hero and I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast.
4. I went to Bible school before I met my husband and had dreams of teaching His Word all over the world.
5. I took a 6 week trip to Zimbabwe, Africa after I graduated from Bible school.
6. I met my husband through his mother; I was a youth worker with her at our church.
7. I have been married for 17 years and have 3 children. They haven’t all been “glorious” years, and my marriage isn’t perfect. But it is healthy and I am blessed with a very good man.
8. I’m not a huge fan of coffee, but I can drink decaf on occasion. (I do like the “froo-froo” drinks at Starbucks….who doesn’t? Dessert in a cup!)
9. I love to bake. It’s therapy.
10. My favorite book besides the Bible is Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. I read it twice a year.
11. My favorite verse is II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (It’s not enough to know what I believe….I love knowing the person who spoke the words.)
12. Fall is my favorite season. I love jeans and hoodies, bonfires and s’mores, and football. I LOVE football! Go Browns (don’t hate) Go Bucks!
13. Hawaii is my favorite place on planet Earth so far….but I have a whole lot of planet Earth yet to see .
14. I am an “early to bed early to rise” kind of person, but some days I wish I could sleep in.
15. I love my church. It is so important to gather together to worship in a healthy place, and I’m so thankful we have a healthy church!
16. My favorite singer/songwriter is Mikel Lagaras. You can find him on itunes if you haven’t heard of him.
17. My biggest purpose in life is to know Him and please Him and make an impact for Him every day wherever I am.
18. My house is probably messy right now (in fact, I know it is!)…..there will be plenty of time to keep it organized and dusted when the kids are gone. Until then….we live life and make memories and clean when I just can’t take it anymore!
19. I love Facebook. I may even be addicted. I love keeping up with what everyone is doing and all the pictures of my friends and family…especially the kids.
20. I suffer from “onemoreitis” disease. I always think I can get “just one more thing done” before I need to leave the house.
21. I carry a Bible basket to church. It contains my ipad (so I can have all my versions of the Bible handy), my Bible, my journal, a pencil, and my reading glasses. I firmly believe it is better to have it and not need it than to want it and not have it.
22. I used to want to be a lawyer when I was younger.
23. I like change. Not necessarily when PLANS change, but I like to change things…rearrange furniture, change my hair….change is fun. (mostly)
24. Our kitchen table is the hub of our house. We have the best conversations there, we entertain there, and I bake some yummy treats there. I love being in my kitchen!
25. I am writing a 4 week devotional for my daughter. Hormones are flying (pray for me!), 5th grade girls can be mean, and I don’t want the insecurities that have plagued me all my life to take root in her. I believe we can raise our girls (and boys) to Grow Up Secure!
26. I am a firm believer that God is big enough for BOTH. He is big enough for the chaos of my life and for my dream, and He can take them, mold them together, and make the most beautiful life I could imagine! It’s my quest……and I am amazed daily at how He does it!
27. I am praying for you. I pray that He continues to reveal Himself to you and draws you into a closer walk with Him and that He flood your life with grace and peace and hope today. I pray that you have a revelation of just how loved and valuable you are to Him and those around you.
Thank you for spending some time with me today. I enjoyed our cup of tea together today! Have a great day!