Reaping with Shouts of Joy…

  I sometimes feel as if I will crack under the pressure of it all…..


Broken, restored, repaired, renewed, but still hurting Wife of Dale.


Mommy. Mom. Mo-om. MOOOOOOM. MOM!


How could I forget our play date?


Oh no! It was my turn for Weekend Potluck shout outs?!


Oops, I had 3 photos sessions AND a big wedding this weekend.  How in the world did I quadruple book myself?

  I am not going to lie.  The “old” Tonya was never very good at a busy calendar.  She much preferred to stay home all week, leaving only occasionally for  a grocery shopping spree, quick photo session, church outing, or something as a family. She carefully juggled all the balls in the air of wife, mother, tidy house keeper, chef, friend, helper.

   This new Tonya, doesn’t do busy AT ALL.  I can’t balance it well. Yet, I am busier than EVER. 

You know what my friend taught me about BUSY?





  Yup, pretty sure that’s the truth.  And that’s why we have THIS truth:


  Unless you have been through a marriage tragedy or betrayal, I think it’s hard to understand the burden of just SURVIVING the fight for your marriage each and every day.  Not the fighting like with each other, but that “tug of war” with satan for your very marriage. It is a real and prevalent battle, each and every day.

  It’s like the choosing of good thoughts, falling back in love, choosing joy, rebuilding that TEDIOUS glass house of trust again…….all take so much effort, we can barely manage to do that and be the parents God wants us to be. Those 2 factors taking the majority of our hearts and time without any “extras”. 

  I had someone write this past week and say they were glad the Infidelity Series was done, and that happier posts were here again.  That’s all fine and dandy folks, but here is the deal:

  I may be writing about Kitty Cats and Tacos, but inside, I am STILL crying tears over the loss of my marriage as I knew it.  I may smile and laugh on the outside, but joy does not reside fully on the inside.  It’s all still too raw, painful.

  We recently went to a marriage conference.  They said: “Joy is like the current underneath the ocean. Real and present and moving in our lives.  Happiness is the waves that crash on the shore, then recede at times. “

  My joy used to bubble out of me, a steady moving stream underneath the surface. My eyes used to shine and sparkle, because I was THAT joyful and happy.  I miss that.

I want that desperately. I want to be that Tonya again, but I can’t. I don’t know how to find the joy I lost last summer on that day of “TRUTH”. 

  I am thankful that happiness crashes up on my shore very regularly now, that is a nice change from the days I wondered if I’d ever laugh and smile again.  I know this all takes time, I do.  But it feels like after nearly a year, we should be better.  Remember, I am a Tonya-land, sunshine and lemonade kind of gal by nature.

  The past few days have been tough for Dale and I.  We aren’t connecting like we usually do, because the devil is really attacking us.  Causing our souls to search for each other but not connect.  A big part of this, is because I AM NOT HOME.  I am investing in lots of good things, but I am just now seeing, that everything I give to the world, steals from my energy source in a much larger way than it used to. 

  The Lord knows what we need.  I love that about Him.  He knows me better than I know myself.

  Look what showed up in the mail yesterday from an anonymous party:


A necklace with “my” verse on it.

Psalms 126:5 “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.”

The world around me quieted when I saw it slip from the package, and I gasped when I pulled the necklace out.  I knew this was my promise today.

Because JOY comes in the morning.

  I feel like He was using this to encourage me that soon…..soon my harvest of joy would come.  It’s ok that it’s not here yet.  Unrealisiticly, I had hoped after the Vow Renewal, Viola!  A new beautiful us. 

  The Vow Renewal was an amaaaaaaazing moment in the timeline of our healing journey. It was a HUGE step in the right direction, but I am seeing that we have a long ways to go.  I am also realizing that I am weary, because I am fighting for my marriage.  Forgetting I have to keep asking the Lord to help me fight.  He is standing there next to me, like the gentlemen He is, not taking from me, but asking for me to hand it over……..

To share my burden with Him.

To remember that I have planted a LARGE crop of tears and that my harvest of joy is COMING!

To ask him to fight FOR me, because job is to BE STILL, and that is so so so hard!

  Head on over to The Adopt Shoppe on Etsy.  Or find them on Facebook.  There are many, many beautiful necklaces to choose from, and all proceeds go to fund this precious families adoption.  Kate is selling some AMAAAAAAZING pieces! 


  And I am so very blessed to wear one of them around my neck.


Thank you, friend, whoever you may be, for obeying the Lord’s prompting, and sending me a promise, in necklace form, on the EXACT day I needed it.

Bless you,





25 thoughts on “Reaping with Shouts of Joy…

  1. Tonya-you are as ever beautiful today as you have been in the past. Sunshine and lemonade is on the horizon for you!! Lots of love to you and yours today-

    • God Beess you and your beautiful family Tonya!. I read your blog daily and I am always encouraged and inspired by it. Even when it isn’t all sunshiny! Sometimes adressing the more difficult topics is such a blessing to others. You have been a blessing in my life. I am praying for you. It is truly amazing how far the Lord has brought you! I know your morning is soon! Love Dawn xoxo

  2. AWWW Sweet Lady – thank you for sharing the depths of your heart with us…your readers who adore every inch of you. It helps us to ‘hone in’ in prayer on your behalf. Such a beautiful gift you received…in God’s perfect timing. I love the thoughts of B U S Y….and sometimes we just have to try to keep working to adjust to our ‘new normal’. I know everything seems worse when we’re tired…exhausted, in your case. Praying you get some needed rest and sleep soon. Know you are loved dearly and prayed for often. II Thess. 3:16 – NOW THE LORD OF PEACE HIMSELF GIVE YOU PEACE ALWAYS BY ALL MEANS. THE LORD BE WITH YOU ALL. XOXO

  3. Tonya, I will send a prayer up for you and your family today. I am a naturally busy person and keep a fairly hectic schedule. A few years ago, God called me out of all of that. Out of all the good church ministry, fellowship, coffee dates and fun activities to be at home and serve my husband. I fought this. But God, with his ever wonderful sense of humour forced my hand. Suddenly, all my activities were on the same night: Tuesday. No longer could I fill my week, because everything conflicted and I was forced to do one thing only. Shortly after accepting that home is where I was meant to be for this season, the economy crashed and my husband ended up out of work for a long period of time. I am now able to see that God was preparing our home, because if I had been at work all day then out every evening, my husband would have been left alone for very long stretches which lead to depression, while I was out and about living life. It was amazing to see in hindsight what God knew in advance and was asking me to do. That year was one of our best and I know it would not have been the same if I was out all the time. Perhaps your recent busyness is an attempt to keep sorrow at bay, but I encourage you to allow for times of stillness and grief. In fighting for your marriage, home is probably where you need to be. Blessings on you.

  4. Tonya – totally get what you’re saying here. I mean, I GET it. And it IS all about TIME. Your feelings are where you live, but God is greater than our hearts and He can help you navigate the hurt and pain and broken places. He can trace those scars with His finger and touch you with healing. But healing is not pain-free. And if it keeps you broken, on your knees relying on Him, so much the better. The New Normal (as my mom said) is a change and it is by His Grace that the change takes place. Bathe in His Grace. Fall at the hem of his garment and wash his feet with your tears. It will get better. It will get easier. And He will heal you.

  5. I too, often have a hard time just being still. My marriage has been in turmoil this entire year. The Lord just told me last night to keep hoping, keep believing. So I will and I do. Praying that the Lord will sustain you today and bring a moment for you and your husband to truly connect and show the enemy how badly he has lost!

  6. Just an encouragement to keep being honest about your pain . . . none of us expect exclusively sunshine-Tonya just because the series is technically over! I love your heart, and I love seeing how God is restoring you little by little.

  7. T, Thank you! Thank you! Exodus 14:14 is now written on the inside cover of my devotional. I can’t tell you how many times “Be Still” has crossed my vision and mind in the past weeks. God is definitely speaking to me and asking me over and over to relinquish my control over to him. I will… I do… and I will again… God is so faithful to love and protect us. He has asked us to let Him help us through our days. May we thank Him for the trials of our day and watch to see how He transforms trials into blessings. He loves us T!

  8. Dear Tonya, hear one of God’s promises: “But now the Lord who created you, O Israel, says, Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When You walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up-the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:1-3 (TLB). Don’t try to feel better than you can…the Lord is waiting to help you! We love you whether you are sunshiney or not! You have come so far, so fast….don’t be discouraged!! God is helping you to redefine Tonya-land. In the end, it will be a wonderful place that is real and vibrant!

  9. Tonya you are still beautiful inside and out from the day I first stumbled upon your blog by way of TK. Take one day at a time and breathe, you can’t be wonder woman 24/7!

  10. Dear Tonya,
    (Please forgive me if this is a duplicate post. I’m not sure if this comment successfully posted previously.)

    I found your blog recently thru a link on Facebook from Marriage Life Ministries. You have been a tremendous blessing to me! I am entering the third summer since my life forever changed—since I discovered my husband’s two brief affairs (after 18 years of faithfulness) with two friends in our small church. Mine was a triple betrayal. I was just the other day sharing with a loved one how much I still hurt. Forgiveness is done. Reconciliation is done. Love is secure. But people do not understand the continuing hurt of an injured spouse. If someone were hit by a truck and required months, maybe even years of rehabilitation, few would question why they were still suffering. The only difference with our kind of deep wounding is that it is unseen, an invisible trauma well hidden under *JOY*ful smiles. This pain is an emotional pain, perhaps even more difficult because there is no pill or *therapy* to eliminate it. I call it my *heart limp.* Only those who have experienced it will truly understand. And only the Lord can heal it.

    Unlike you I started blogging about my own redemption journey but I had nothing else to talk about!!! I want people to know the full story of the devastation of infidelity. I want people to be so educated that they won’t do it! I call myself a Wife Against Cheating. I’m a WAC. My husband slept with two of my *friends!* I say, “Excuse me if I’m a little WACky!” My story hasn’t made for a popular blog, lemme tell ya! 😀

    Anyways, I just want to encourage you, Tonya. My soul has very been low here lately… Your post today blesses me beyond measure! Keep following hard after Christ. Psalm 126:5 is one of my favorites too. I have a sweet joy despite the low throb of my heartache. Suffering is inevitable in this life (but misery is optional.) Our Heavenly Father knows this severe pain. His often described Himself as a betrayed spouse in the Old Testament; He is the God of the *New Covenant.* May His comfort surround us. He is our Great Reward. Love and prayers to you today and always.

    • Thank you for this! Heading to your blog for a visit.
      I agree, sadly…Jesus is betrayed by His “bride” the church each and every day.
      You are a strong woman and I am so glad you are here and that you left me this encouraging note!

    • How can I find your blog Sharmayn? I would like to read it. My husband of 35 fabulous years is having a “mid-life crisis” He divorced me a year ago, but I am still counting on God for restoration.

  11. What do you do with your kids on the days you are falling apart and just can’t hold it together…feeling like you just need to be alone and cry out to the Lord?

    • At the beginning when it was all very very very new and raw, I’d step out to our back steps and sit and cry and center myself for a few minutes before coming back in to be mommy. These days, I just hold it together and give the kids my all. My hurt is not anything to do with them and everything to do with Dale and I, so it’s almost like I can keep it separate. But, some days the tears just flow, and I get extra hugs from my sweet 4 little Fergusons. I am honest with them and tell them my heart is hurting, because I don’t want them to fear tears. Kids are so perceptive, it’s better to just be honest. They tell me Jesus will make me feel better soon. Also, turning on praise music and filling our home with the presence of the Lord helps a ton. THEN, when all my little people are in bed, I can have my quiet time to read, cry out to Him and journal. It’s also a good time for Dale and I to talk through whatever I am dealing with. Some days its the flirting in the car, others its the act of betrayal itself, some days its the secret he kept for a year and a half. I never know which tool satan is going to use to try to bring me down, but I know which tools I have to fight and win against him!

      • I love how honest you have been with your children. I think this is a great example to us all. You’ve been so clear right from the start: God will use this for HIS glory.

  12. I love how you are sharing your honest heart – I say keep it coming because I know there is power when you bring it into the light. I also totally relate to how things feel when things are too busy – the last year has been that way for me and some commitments are finally coming to an end so I am so excited to slow down. Praying God’s peace and love to wash over you and Dale and for you to feel His grace for you! Remember, we serve a BIG God. The enemy would want us to think we just have BIG problems but our problems are put into the right perspective with a BIG God. Still…I know hurt is hurt and it is great that you are feeling your pain. Love to you!

  13. Tonya,
    I just love the open person that you are and how you let it all out on your blog to not only help others but also yourself by just letting your feelings flow like the ocean!
    Your blog has “made” me have many talks with my self and to also do some heavy thinking.
    I continue to pray for your family .
    Thank you so much for everything you share daily you are such a blessing.

  14. Tonya, I commend you for how beautifully truthful you are. You are an amazing woman! I think its so wonderful how you got through this and chose to fight for your marriage.

  15. Beauitful Story!!!!! I’m so glad you & Your Husband Fight for your marriage!!!! You don’t here that alot!!!!! Beautiful Gift!!!!

  16. Hello there. Although my story starts off different then yours it is ultimately the same, my marriage is so worth fighting for right now I just don’t know what to do. My husband has filed for divorce, we have both hired attorneys, he is making up lies and telling me how blessed his life is, how he should of left long time ago etc. My heart is broken. I go from one day being strong wanting to fight to the next day wondering how do you fight for someone who is so much better off without you. We both have done things to each other, as most couples do but no matter what has been done, I value my vows and want my husband home with out family. He has been gone for 2 months with 1 conversation between the two of us. I know that anything is possible through Christ, I just don’t know how to let go and let God and wonder if this is really the man He wants me with. I don’t want to get my hopes up but don’t want to give up either……no matter how hard I want to hate him, I cant I love him with my whole heart and know the mistakes I have made but his friends and family are overwhelming him with reasons why he is better off without me. We have one child together, I have 1 that he has raised for 10 yrs, which he wants nothing to do with and he has 2 prior which I believe never liked me and now he says his relationship with them is better than ever. I just am not sure what to do anymore. I wish I could wake up one day without him being the first thing I think about and go to bed without him being the last one I think about, because I know he is NOT thinking about me. I just wish I could hear from God to tell me what to do, or just hear from him at all. Please pray for me. I need/want and desire my husband home more than anything. I know we can be the family God has called us to be but if he wont have any part of it I just don’t know how to fight……..

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

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