about me…


Come on in and rest for a minute! Life is messy and chaotic and beautiful and tiring, and it’s so much easier to maintain sanity when you do it with someone else. Some of my favorite moments involve friends gathered in a cozy space with a hot cup of tea (or coffee, or chocolate).

We drink our drinks and share our everyday struggles and triumphs and help each other through. There’s usually lots of laughter involved and maybe even a few tears, but at the end of the day, I go home refreshed and ready to face another day.

And that’s what I want here. That place we can grab a hot beverage and get real with one another. Share trials and victories and encourage each other. And walk away refreshed and ready to conquer tomorrow.

I’m a pastor’s wife, mama to my 3 kiddos, and to be honest – I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate the chaos of life.

I eat too much sometimes, don’t exercise enough most times, get behind on my Bible reading plan (a lot!) and seem to always have a messy house.

I went to Bible school with BIG dreams when I was 20, met my husband a few years later, started having kids a few years after that, and wha-la….the instant chaos of day-to-day life put my BIG dreams on the back burner.

Instead of ministering to the masses, I was trying to figure out where to put Bible reading and prayer time in my day between diapers and potty training and cooking and laundry and cleaning up messes.

There were a lot of invisible years. Mostly I felt forgotten. But looking back now, I see I wasn’t invisible or forgotten. I was hidden.

And in my secret hiding place, I learned a few things about life and love and walking hand in hand every day with the God who threw the stars into place.

He taught me about rhythms of grace and helped me be content where I was. And He used things like pork chops and laundry to show me how to live the mundane days of regular life in an extraordinary way full of awe and wonder. Full of Him.

Sometimes I miss those hidden, quiet years, and what I resented for so long I now yearn to go back to. But new seasons bring new schedules and there is no going back…only finding a new way to connect in the new chaos of now.

Most of all, I’m thankful that in those invisible years I nurtured the most intimate relationship with God. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll come back from time to time. And I pray the words you find in these journal pages will make you laugh (and maybe cry) and help you through your day just a bit. But most of all, I hope they help you dive deeper into the sweetness of relationship with Him. His presence is heaven on earth.

My heart - October 2010
My heart – October 2010
My favorite people in my favorite place October 2010
My favorite people in my favorite place – October 2010
my three little loves
my three little loves
19 years later and still in love
19 years later and still in love
i love these guys :)
i love these guys 🙂



15 comments on “about me…Add yours →

    1. Thanks Barb! I believe if you click the follow button in the lower left corner of the screen, you can sign up to receive an email version whenever I update. Blessings!

    2. Hello again, Barb. I had to make an adjustment to my follow button. You may need to re-follow it and put your email address in again. Sorry about that!

  1. So…..I guess you won’t be needing a cool cover for your book (yet….). 🙂
    I love this!! It is perfect!! You are truly gifted with words and teaching. I can’t wait to see how God will reveal himself to you and your readers!

  2. Toni…..my, my, my…….this is sooo good and timely….absolutely love that you’re taking the time to blog to edify the Body of Christ and those that maybe still searching to know Him.

    The Lord definitely has blessed you with many words of wisdom that flow straight from the throne room and an every day life kinda of way to express them (both on paper and when you’re teaching verbally) ; so folks can relate and have those “aw ha” moments in Him.

    Never ever, doubt your anointing and what you have been called to do. You are doing the BIG THINGS for Him right now. It may not be what you thought the big things would be in your earlier years, but have no second thoughts about being “on spot” and in the “right place for this season”..

    VCC/Warren campus is privileged to have you (& Pastor Mikel) as leaders and you both set a fine example of a loving & healthy marriage…and it’s so respected that you don’t put on airs or act like it’s a “perfect marriage” but it’s a real & healthy one.

    Love you both dearly and sooo proud to call you my sister in the Lord.

    Looking forward to “Tea with Toni” but I’ll really be drinking my coffee….Tea is a night time thing in the Cicero home….lol.

    Much Love & Blessings to you/your household.


    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I appreciate you and am so thankful for His grace and help each time I sit to write. I am nothing without Him. All glory to my God!

  3. Would LOVE to have a copy of the devotions you are writing!!! Alyssa would enjoy that. IF they aren’t too personal would that be possible???

    1. They aren’t too personal at all. I would love to share. I’ll post something when it is finished and see how I can get it to you. 🙂

  4. thank you toni…i went to highschool with mike&he gave me your page thank you ;never been blessed to personally meet you but to have encouragement everyday is a blessing

  5. Toni, I am so enjoying your writings, what a gift you have. I look forward to reading them, they keep me encouraged and in check.
    Many Blessings 2014 & forever!

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