Speakers, Tickets & Sponsors News!

I'm attending Allume 2015

Allume 2015 tickets are now officially on sale! While all the early bird tickets have flown the coup you will want to snag your 2015 ticket to hear our incredible line-up planned for this year. Jump over to our speakers page to check out all the goodness coming.

Screenshot 2015-02-27 14.36.42

And as always we are over the moon grateful for the support of our sponsors. They make every bit of this possible and we are so thankful for the ways they pour into this community.  We look forward to seeing you in Greenville, October 15-17.

P.S. – New series launching on the blog this week. We will be looking at the theme of  FOCUS.

focus banner

You are His ONE True Love

February Blog Post

David felt that God needed a new house.  He couldn’t get past the fact that he was living in grandeur and the God of the universe had been relegated, yet again, to the pitched tent that was carted around the desert for 40 years.  A tent that had definitely seen better days.

See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.  2 Samuel 7:2b

Often times, like David, I feel like I know what God is looking for from me.   Sometimes I get it into my head that my next idea fits exactly in the perfectness of His plan.

These days we have so much vying for our attention: social media and the latest craze move at a blazing speed.  Just when we think we’ve got the latest technology to make our lives better, faster and more efficient, the next new thing hits the market.

With all of the noise it’s easy to understand how our day to day gets loud too – and sometimes it all just gets really confusing.  So we make assumptions and speculations and try and fit our plans around what we think God is doing or should be doing.

David’s motives for building the House of the Lord were good.  David wanted God to have a place of honor – a testament to God’s greatness.

I do the same.  I do it on my blog, in my interactions with my community, in my writing, in my everyday; I want to plan and build in hopes of coming close to making my life, my journey respectable for the Creator.

Because really…isn’t that what God wants from us?

Listen to His answer.

In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges… saying ‘Why have you not built me a house?  2 Samuel 7:7

The weight of His response to David’s gesture rocks me to my core.  God is so NOT looking for spectacular from me. He’s not looking for the next “big thing.”

Instead?  He’s seeking me.  Just like He sought the once shepherd-boy David.

I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep that you should be prince over my people Israel… I will make for you a great name. 2 Samuel 7:8-9

There would be a temple, God’s got plans for it, but David wasn’t the one who was going to build it.

What God wanted from David is his heart.

Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make [YOU] a house.  2 Samuel 7:11b (emphasis added)

God’s talking about a legacy of faith, about the relationship He had with David and the Israelites.  He accompanied David when he wandered the hills with his sheep, when he used five stones to slay a giant.  He was with the Israelites through every sand-filled step in the desert.



God came to where His people were because He desired nothing more than to dwell among and IN his people.

Building the temple was a good thing, in fact God tells David that his offspring — his legacy — will be involved in its construction.

Before we get ahead of God’s plan, what He really wants is our hearts.  Of all the gilt-edged spaces or grand ideas where He could dwell, He chooses to dwell in you and me.

A temple cannot hold God.  The next best idea or the latest fad, fashion or ideology doesn’t hold the heart of God.

His heart is where His people reside.

You are His ONE true passion.

Don’t be stunned by the grandeur, step outside the walls of your ideas and let God make within you a dwelling place and live as His temple in your every day.

Blessings, Tonya 


Sign Up for Tyndale Rewards

Home is Where My People Are

So, last week I shared our schedule for the upcoming book club being hosted here on the Allume site. I am so excited to see how many of you are hosting your own clubs with Sophie’s latest book, Home is Where My People Are. Y’all cleaned us out of books before the morning was over! I love that you’re on fire for some fellowship and community!


I also want to give you a quick reminder to check out Tyndale Rewards and sign up so you can start receiving some free goodies! We’re talking free books and free Bibles. You can keep them for yourself or give them as gifts. So simple and so fun!! Come sign up here!!

Oh! One more thing! Allume tickets go on sale Sunday, March 1st at 8am!! The first 50 people get early bird pricing so set your alarm! (We’re getting too old to burn the midnight oil)!

ticket sale 3

Navigating the Hard Days.

navigating hard times

I am moving. Geesh! There, I finally said it in an official kind of way.

And I don’t mean moving my blog address or moving down the street. I mean moving 865 miles from Phoenix, Arizona to Denver, Colorado. (Anyone need a house in Phoenix?)

EVERYONE has assured me that I will LOVE Denver and thanks to the Allume Community I have been welcomed and connected to what seem like amazing people in the Denver area but the reality is my heart is happy and content  in Phoenix where I have resided and built a life for the last 17 years. I don’t have one complaint about where I live. YEP! You won’t even hear me complain about the 122 degree summers because I am from Texas and if you have known 99% humidity with 100 degree heat then 122 with no humidity is nothing! The phrase “It is a dry heat.” is real, people!

So why move you ask? For at least 8 months my husband and I, along with a community of people, have been praying for an open door to a job where my husband would feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment in what he does. And that door opened…it just happens to be a door located in Denver. (We failed to mention in our request that the door was supposed to be in Phoenix. I kinda just assumed God knew. Lesson learned!)

We feel confirmed that this is the door to walk through but that doesn’t mean it is not hard to leave behind a group of girlfriends that know me inside and out, pull my kids away from two sets of grandparents , walk away from the small group we lead that was just building momentum. It doesn’t means it’s not hard to think about finding a new church when we have one that is “just right” for us. Oh, and don’t get me started on finding a new school for my kiddos. Figuring out Kindergarten last year felt painful enough. The thought of doing that all over again feels like being forced to eat liver and onions or swimming with sharks. Then you throw in selling and packing up my house that brings me comfort and joy and I just about teeter over the edge…STOP THE MADDNESS! I have cried more in the last 25 days than in all of 2014 I would guess.

In the tears my husband always reminds me that we don’t have to do this. He assures me that he is willing to stop packing boxes and begin looking for a job in Phoenix. Every time I say… just because it is hard now doesn’t mean it is not going to be good.

Hard today does not mean there won’t be good tomorrow. 

What is your “hard now” thing?

I am thankful for the biblical examples that goes before me. People who have taken “hard” and found the good; Jochebed releasing Moses, Ruth choosing Naomi, Rahab throwing the rope, Joseph accepting Mary and the ultimate in Jesus bearing the weight of our sin. Without the Mighty One God and His perspective on this transition I would be an utter train wreck of a girl right now. But as the sun rises and sets I am reminded of His power.

Psalm 50 - 2 final

Getting to the land of good is going to mean navigating the hard days well.

For me it is a move. What is it for you?

  • A marriage that feels hard?
  • Kids that feels hard?
  • A job that feels hard?
  • A financial situation that feels hard?

How are you going to navigate the hard days well so that you can see the good?

I have created three non-negotiables for my transition.

  1. Choose Scripture

No matter what mood I wake up in or what seems to be going wrong my day STARTS with scripture. It may come from a devotional book, something someone sends me via text or from a Bible reading plan but it is my priority that keeps me grounded in truth and helps me to distinguish between feelings and reality.

  1. Maintain Clear Focus

Because I have a variety of balls that I am juggling between parenting, coaching, retreat leading, Allume & MOVING it can be easy for me to get distracted by the variety of to-do’s. To maintain my focus I keep a slew of Christian music playing at all times depending on if I am with my kids, making dinner or working. It is hard to go off the deep end with my kids when I have “Boom Chaka Laka” playing in the background. I also work off a to-do list that contains ONLY 5 things. Once I finish those 5 things then I add more. This simply helps me not get overwhelmed by a running list of 50-100 things. (Download printable to-do list here)

  1. Ask for Help

I consider myself a highly capable person who can handle a fair amount of stress but I am about to embark on the task of single parenting while my husband heads to his new job and we wait for the house to sell. I am not going to pretend to be excited about this. I am dreading this! I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will not be able to maintain my sanity if I don’t ask for help. I will need to crash a family member’s house for dinner, plan extra play dates so I can have adult interaction or even grant the kids a bit of extra screen time so I can finish up some work.

There are hard days ahead but I know if I intentionally commit to these three things there will be good in the midst of hard. I choose to trust in the land of good that is to come because I know He cares for me. What about you? What non-negotiables will you choose?  How can we be praying for your hard days?

P.S. – Allume Conference tickets go on sale Sunday, March 1st at 8:00 a.m. EST. The first 50 tickets get the early bird discount. Set a reminder on your phone today!

ticket sales 1