About the Author

Tonya is a mother who spends her days schooling six kids and dancing as much as possible. She loves to tell the story of God's radical grace through the everyday moments of life.

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. “We aren’t guaranteed safety while we walk this earth but when we walk with Jesus, he holds us, and promises to bring us safely home to Him” – Love this line! Great post and such powerful reminders.

  2. Great post it really inspired me to think about living for God and willing to die for Him

  3. Thanks, Son. That is the best encouragement anyone could give me today! I love you!

  4. Wow! I soooo needed to hear this today; Praise God and God Bless YOU, Tonya!

  5. Great challenge! I have definitely been living it safe all my life because of my parents’ fears, society’s fears, which became my fears. Can’t live in fear and live for Christ. That’s crazy chaos. Need to make a decision for One or the other.

    I want Him more than anything else, so I am going to listen for what He wants of me.

    Monica

    • Monica,
      Thanks for the encouragement! Fear is something that can control you but as we trust God more than the fear it loosens its grip. I leave for Costa Rica this week for a short term trip and can’t wait to see what God will do with this step of faith. Blessings to you with your steps of faith for His glory!

  6. It’s the daily, moment by moment. I DID go as a missionary, single, unmarried and free. It was an adventure, a learning, giving and changing. Coming back to the states was hard. Hard. Everyone expects you to get on with the life here. So the years after I tried to please others. Oh yes I tried to be obedient to God too…. But this SAFE thing ….. It can eat you, road block you, accuse you of being foolish…. When the only question should be. . . God, what would you have me do? My prayer now 35 years later is…. Let me see, hear, feel the paths, steps, people, tasks set before me and give me courage to DO.

    • Thank you Bonnie for your wise words and life experience of living for Christ. May we all follow Him in whatever He calls us to do.

  7. Thank you so much for this! I am an american, wife, mom to 4, and missionary sister living in west Africa and today I find myself in an African hospital due to 2 bouts of malaria then my weakened system being attacked by a resistant strain of E. coli. My African friends say these attacks must mean we are exactly where God wants us! But sometimes my mind does wander to more “safe” feeling times. You are exactly right though- I am safe, just exactly where I need to be- at the feet of Jesus.

    • I just can’t stop praying for you Nicole. And when we see Jesus face to face, we will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that every sacrifice, every suffering, every struggle we have gone through for the sake of Christ and the gospel is worth it all. May His peace rule in your heart through faith today, even on the other side of the world.

      • Tonya- your continued prayer means so much to me here on the other side of the world in a dark hospital room, alone but not alone- in the arms of Jesus and being loved on by sisters like you! Many thanks to you.

  8. That deep water I am being called to is forgiveness. Not of others, to whom I can freely give, but of myself. I am struggling to understand and accept God’s forgiveness personally and follow that with forgiving myself. Today I am praying for the willingness. I am trapped in shame and ‘existing’ there instead of living for Him. I am tired and I want to live now. Truly live. Now.
    God help me.

    • Jamie, I know this struggle to forgive yourself. But when we see that none of us deserves God’s forgiveness, we can’t earn it, we can’t be good enough to deserve it, yet He offers it freely to us out of His Father love, we can take that step to embrace grace. What God gives us is just radical, crazy, undeserved grace and no one has ever been good enough to earn it. Praying for you that you can open your hand to His life in a deeper way today. He loves you just as you are.

  9. WOW…Amazing courage and inspirational…..this really hit home and caused me to examine what I am doing and why…it is so much easier to stay in the safe zone of what you know…..where you are comfortable. I read somewhere….you harvest what you plant……and I certainly am limiting the harvest by playing safe and small……
    Yolanda

  10. You are courageous wise hearted woman Tonya. We were in our 40’s when we went to the mission field. We served in two countries and have never not once regretted the stepping out of what seems safe. It’s never safe outside the will of God.

    What if I listened to the still small voice beckoning into the deep waters and didn’t stop to wonder if I can swim well enough? Love this statement you made, we did not know how to swim either in God’s whelm but we were willing to learn. Good for you my sister, you have began your swimming lessons.

    • Thank you Betty for the reminder that it is never safe outside the will of God but when we walk in His will, whatever that means He leads us and keeps us. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Blessings!

  11. Hi friend,

    I am so encouraged by you words of wisdom in your blog. What a great reminder that the safest place for us to run to is into the arms of Jesus. Love that!

    With friends who blog like this, my heart is so in tune to living His Word, Loving His Word and Loving His People. Thanks and have a blessed week.

  12. This reflection was awesome! may God bless you and continue to fill you and your family with His Holy Spirit to guide you where He wants you to go.
    Everything is Grace,

    Colleen

  13. We moved here, to Costa Rica, a year and a half ago. We decided to jump off the limb and find a better way of living and of course, no way, with out the Lord. My health was poor. I was depressed. I truly think I was dying. But I surrendered all to Christ, even though I had known Him most of my life. I had lived a life of fear. The North American way of life and the accumulation of more “stuff” was sucking the life out of me. I had been a driven cardiac nurse for 28 years and 5 more years with blood clot managment. High stress, fast paced. Burned my poor body right out! 6 surgeries in 4 years. Many other things too. My husband researched for a year and a half before he brought the idea to me. I was recovering from serious neck surgery when he told me. I thought he had hit his senility button! But, I loved him and I knew something had to change. It had to start with me, before God; humility and resigning all to Him. Now here, the simpler, quieter way for life. listeneing to the birds, the rain, watching things grow, listening more carefully to others, taking time for people, spending time with the Lord, learning another culture, learning another language, learning humility, patience, gentleness of spirit and sharing the graces of life and Christ with all people with a thankful heart — we are now, different paople. Praise God for that! I wish you well in your journies with the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings! God bless you.
    sincerely with the love of our dear Jesus,
    Carol

    • Carol,
      Thank you for sharing your story with me! This week I’ll be in Costa Rica for a short term mission trip and can’t wait to be a part of what God is going to do there! I’ll be speaking to a group of teenage mothers at a conference and doing other mission work. Keep me in your prayers and thank you for your encouragement! Blessings to you sister!

  14. Wow, this post resonates with so many thoughts that I’ve been wrestling with lately. Thank you for your boldness and honesty, and for demonstrating such a willingness to live with abandon for Christ. Blessings to you in your endeavors to reject the ‘safe’ and embrace His will and plan.

    • Kate,
      Thanks for your words, I think it is something many of us wrestle with again and again. I know this is only the beginning of steps of faith that require courage but I pray that God’s grace will be sufficient. Blessings to you as well!

  15. Amen! This is a constant struggle for me. I wonder if mothering and working my public-sector comfortable job is “all” God wants for me now, or if he’s calling me somewhere new. I want to fling myself into some radical cause for Him, but… I don’t feel called to it yet. I’m taking up my cross each day as I serve my family, friends, co-workers, and customers… and maybe that simple obedience is enough right now. Maybe as I’m obedient in these “small” things, He is preparing me to serve Him in “bigger” ways. Praising Him for your encouragement and obedience to Him today!

  16. “Some persons have the foolish notion that the only way in which they can live for God is by becoming ministers, missionaries, or Bible women. Alas! how many would be shut out from any opportunity of magnifying the Most High if this were the case. Beloved, it is not office, it is earnestness; it is not position, it is grace which will enable us to glorify God.
    God is most surely glorified in that cobbler’s stall, where the godly worker, as he plies the awl, sings of the Saviour’s love, aye, glorified far more than in many a prebendal stall where official religiousness performs its scanty duties. The name of Jesus is glorified by the poor unlearned carter as he drives his horse, and blesses his God, or speaks to his fellow laborer by the roadside, as much as by the popular divine who, throughout the country, like Boanerges, is thundering out the gospel. God is glorified by our serving him in our proper vocations.
    Take care, dear reader, that you do not forsake the path of duty by leaving your occupation, and take care you do not dishonor your profession while in it. Think little of yourselves, but do not think too little of your callings. Every lawful trade may be sanctified by the gospel to noblest ends. Turn to the Bible, and you will find the most menial forms of labor connected either with most daring deeds of faith, or with persons whose lives have been illustrious for holiness.
    Therefore be not discontented with your calling. Whatever God has made your position, or your work, abide in that, unless you are quite sure that he calls you to something else. Let your first care be to glorify God to the utmost of your power where you are. Fill your present sphere to his praise, and if he needs you in another he will show it you. This evening lay aside vexatious ambition, and embrace peaceful content.”
    
 ~  Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening, June 27

  17. Sarah and Amanda,
    I love the Spurgeon quote. Such a good reminder about where our true calling lies, in simply belonging to Christ and glorifying him where ever we are and whatever we are doing. I wrote a related post last month at my blog about that called When You Live on an Everyday Mission Field, http://momentsingrace6.blogspot.com/2013/04/if-you-live-on-everyday-mission-field.html talking about that very struggle of seeing the grace and treasure of serving Him where ever He calls you, in the great and small. The Incourage post post tells only part of my story and journey to follow Christ. My calling, unless God does something crazy, is not for full-time missions. But it is in the being willing to go whether it is down the street, across country, or across the world that matters. Where ever we are, in what ever we do for Him may our lives tell His story and give Him greater glory.

  18. I’ve always lived life safe, too. “Thats too dangerous” “A girl shouldn’t do that alone.” Although my dreams not as big as yours, I’ve still lived my life for others. But I’ve also tried to live my life for Christ. I find living life an every day ministry. Hopefully, in my playing it safe, I am honoring Him still, too.

  19. Tonya,

    I did a “brave” things years ago. A group of people from a Christian community were going to the local state prison–with solitary confinement. It was scary, but I knew I had to do it.

    The women were at a local church and did the cooking for the men on the team & those in prison. We even had birthday cakes made up for the prisoners on the teams. Each prisoner–including solitary confinement got 1 dozen cookies. The truly scary part was “closing”. Everyone got to go into the prison–yes behind the bars & into a big meeting room–with the prisoners. Talk about a huge leap of faith! After my first time there–I wanted to go back for the entire weekend each time we did it–2X a year.

    Yes, living for God is much much better than living for job, money, etc!!!

    • Thank you for sharing your faith steps with us! I love to hear how God works in other people’s lives in so many different ways. Blessings in all you do for Christ!

  20. Listen to ‘Oceans’ by Hillsong United!! An amazing song that reflects what you’ve said here.
    “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
    Let me walk upon the waters
    Wherever You would call me
    Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
    And my faith will be made stronger
    In the presence of my Savior”
    Thank you for the reminder to be unsafe for Christs glory!

    • Kirsty,
      I love Hillsong but I don’t know that song and it’s so cool when God speaks through so many people in similar ways. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Amen!
    “. . . that there is only one safe place in this wild world, and that is in the arms of Jesus. We aren’t guaranteed safety while we walk this earth but when we walk with Jesus, he holds us, and promises to bring us safely home to Him. ” (T R)

    Thank you for this post. This is a breath of fresh air 🙂

    I feel like we’re sisters because we almost have the same name:)

  22. La Tanya,
    So funny because my six year old neighbor is convinced that my name is La Tonya and that is what he calls me! Indeed we are sisters in Christ! Thank you for your encouragement!