Who is your “Sunshine”?

Who is your unexpected friend?

Who has God put in your life that needs you?

Who are you not noticing, unintentionally?

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I have a friend named “Sunshine.” (If you don’t know, then go back and read….”I went to jail tonight”)

Sunshine is a sweet, sweet girl that I met in jail. No, not because I spent time in jail (as a prisoner), but because I spend time in jail as a “church lady.” haha! That’s what they call us. But honestly, I’m not going to jail to be a church lady…I’m going to jail to love on these ladies! Several months ago God put Sunshine in my life. Over the past NINE months, we have formed such an amazing friendship. Both of us look forward to Monday nights when we get to visit. The last time I blogged about her, I told y’all that she was supposed to be getting out…and she wanted to come to church with me. Well, here’s a quick update: Her court date didn’t go as expected. She was convicted and was sentenced to 2 years in prison. She’ll only have to serve half of that, which is 12 months, and because she’s already spent 9 months in jail, she only has 3 months to serve in prison!

So….I went to the jail this past Monday night and I had no idea if she’d still be there or not. We went into the pod and nobody was in there….which was really odd! We soon learned that the whole pod was on lockdown and we wouldn’t be able to stay in there. As I was leaving the pod I heard someone call my name. I looked towards the closed doors, but I didn’t see anyone. Then, all of the sudden I heard my name again. And even though I couldn’t see a face, I heard this…..”Tonya, it’s Sunshine!” Ahhhhh…..I almost died. And I almost cried. She was shut out. Behind closed doors. And I wasn’t going to be able to see her.

We went to another pod and spent time with some other prisoners. During that time, some of the girls that I had seen before came up to me. They told me that Sunshine’s birthday was Friday (yesterday). I asked if I could surprise her with a visitation, and they said yes. They helped me get the necessary information, and I was able to schedule a FaceTime visitation. The coolest part about it was that Sunshine wouldn’t know who scheduled the visitation. She would just know to be in front of the screen at a certain time.

As the countdown began, the excitement grew. The kids and I had gone to Kroger earlier that morning and made this birthday arrangement for her:


The kids were just as excited as I was. They’ve heard me talk about Sunshine, and they can’t wait until the day that she gets to go to church with us!

So…..at the scheduled time, Sunshine picked up the phone….the video turned on….and we were both there, looking face to face. She started to scream. I started to tear up. She started to tear up. And we both had the biggest smiles on our faces. For the next 15 minutes, we talked about her future. We talked about prayer concerns. The kids got to talk to her. And we talked about how the next 3 months will fly by. If things go as planned, she should be out by Christmas (or the first of the year).

Why do I tell yall all this?

Because she is an unexpected friend.

Did I expect to become friends with someone in jail. Someone that I didn’t know. Someone that’s bound to bars? No.

But y’all…..she has been the biggest blessing to me. God is using her in my life just as much as He’s using me in hers. If I hadn’t been obedient to God’s calling in my life, I would’ve missed out on this special friendship.

I look forward to the day that she gets out of prison and we can worship God together! What a sweet, sweet day that’ll be!

Don’t miss out on unexpected friendships. They’re the biggest blessings!

Goodnight, friends!


15 more Friday’s til Christmas!

Yeah…..you’re welcome!!

I saw this on Facebook today and was like, wow…..thanks for that friendly reminder! {insert: eye roll} {insert: anxiety meds}

Am I the only one absolutely NOT ready for Christmas to be right around the corner?!? I mean, don’t get me wrong….I love.love.love Christmas! But this year…..I’m not ready for it.

#1 reason) We.are.broke. We’re trying to get ahead financially with the both of us quitting our jobs and starting our own businesses. We’re just trying to make sure our lights stay on….much less buying a bunch of crap for our kids!!!

#2 reason) Our 9 year old just found out about a month ago that Santa isn’t real. La-dee-freakin-dah. That puts a real damper on Christmas. I mean, we make sure our kids know the real meaning of Christmas and everything….but Santa still used to be a big part of it. This year is just going to be so different. Her little brother still believes….but it’s just not going to be the same.

We haven’t even made it to October yet, and the kids are already making their Christmas lists. Which, by the way, consists of a bunch of stuff they’re NOT going to get. Golf cart. Like, what??? What have your daddy and I done to make you believe that you’re on the verge of getting a golf cart? A new iPod. Um….what’s wrong with the iPod and iPad you already have?!?!? A bike. Ok, check. I can handle that. But I mean,c ‘mon. You’re 9 and 7. I was literally still playing with legos and baby dolls at that age. And you want a PHONE? Yeah. Right.

Since when did our kids start growing up so fast? How do we make it stop?

I know it’s a different time…..but that doesn’t mean that we all have to just go along with it. There’s still something special about walking the dogs as a family. Or playing a board game. Renting a movie and laying in bed together to watch it. Or having a picnic. What about even the rare occasion that a family sits at the table and has dinner together?

Y’all. This is important stuff. And it’s getting less and less common. Families are becoming more and more busy. Take your child out of an extracurricular activity, and use that free time to spend together as a family. They need it. You need it.

One thing that has really been bothering me lately is how much time I’m spending with my kids. Lol. Yes, you read that right. This homeschooling stuff is making me feel very isolated and lonely. But just the other day, we were riding in the car and I was literally thinking “Man, I need some ‘me time'” ….and right about that time my little boy said (out of nowhere)…..”Mama, I love homeschooling” and I asked “Why?” and he said….”Because I get to be with you all day.” Oh.My.Word. I felt like a brick hit me in the face. It was like the Lord said, “Tonya, you’re doing this for a reason. And your efforts are not being doing in vain.”

It’s not about the THINGS I’m buying them….or the PLACES  I’m taking them. It’s about the TIME I’m spending with them. THAT is what it’s all about.

So, as you enter this approaching Christmas season….make it about family time, and not about gifts. Slow down and enjoy each other. And I’m talking to myself. The past several weeks have not been very “enjoyable.” But I’m determined to seek the Lord each day and figure out what my purpose is for that day. He has me in this season for a reason. People ask me all the time……”How is homeschooling going?” And I simply reply….”I’m just taking it a day at a time.”

Goodnight, friends!

What’s your game plan?!

Y’all!!!! I am in a literal food coma! After our Diner’s Drive-In’s and Dive’s road trip last week…..I am mizzzzrabulllll!!!!! And you would think that I wouldn’t have the desire to eat for a while, but that’s just not the case. It’s like total opposite. I can’t stop! But it started before the road trip….

This summer has been very chaotic, so my exercise routine was inconsistent–to say the least! And with the move, we have been eating out A.LOT. Like, a lot, a lot. I feel so blah! Let me just define “blah”…..

bloated, no energy, weight gain, sluggish, exhausted, just blah….

And I’m tired of it!! I’m so ready to lose some weight and feel better!

So…..Michael and I have decided to CHALLENGE ourselves! We have formed a gameplan. Well, actually Advocare has formed the gameplan…we’re just joining the team! For the next 24 days, we will jumpstart our bodies to achieve some goals that we have set. The main goal: To feel better and do better for our bodies!

We’re hoping some other people will want to join in and take this challenge with us. So, if you’ve been looking for a good time to get healthy….now’s the time! And there’s no better way to do it than with people who will keep you accountable.

We start next Tuesday! For those of you who want to really have some fun with it, come over Tuesday evening for a weigh in and we’ll kick off a contest! Biggest loser in weight and inches. And everyone who completes the 24 days with no cheating, will win a prize!

I’ve included the link to the Advocare 24 Day Challenge web page. Watch the video. Read about it. And then call or message me to order your goodies!



Don’t sit on the sideline watching other people get healthy! Let’s do it together!!

Goodnight, friends!