Wednesday, March 20, 2013


My best friend started a group text on my birthday with Jenn.  (you may remember that I was in Jenn's wedding back in September -- or maybe I never blogged about it)  Anyways, Bri and Jenn and I grew up together.  Jenn lives in LA with her husband and Bri lives in Bellingham, WA with her many of our conversations are completed via facetime or group texting.

Bri challenged her and Jenn to text "30 Ways We have Loved the first 30 years of Tonya's Life."  It was SO touching and completely MADE my day!!!  I am documenting here more for my own memory and not to boast, so please feel free to not read if you are not interested.

Here we go.

1. (Bri) Her awesome high school pajama pant collection
2. (Bri) How Tonya treats me like a bickering spouse.  (so true)
3. (Bri) Trying to get through Canada without a map
4. (Jenn) Her love for fitness and living a healthy life.
5. (Bri) Her eagerness to serve others and even seek out a way to serve someone.
6.(Jenn) Her loyalty to friends and family.  She fights for them, encourages them, and you know she will always be there for you/with you.
7. (Bri) Her taste buds that could beat anyone in a diet soda taste test.
8. (Bri) Her diversity within her friend group, and her willingness to give anyone a chance.
9. (Bri) Pickles on my backyard fence.  (one of my favorite memories too)
10. (Patrick, Jenn's husband) Her youthfulness -- she is always doing fun and adventurous things
11. (Bri) Out of site is NOT out of mind for her.  (also so true....haha)
11b. (Jenn) Her intentionality in keeping up with old friends and also mentoring younger girls.
12. (Jenn) The way she celebrates people and gets others excited about doing it as well (birthdays, engagements, gym memberships)
13. (Bri) Her ability to make anyone around her feel comfortable and at home.
14. (Bri) She is hardworking. Be it work, church, friends of family - she will give it 100%
15. (Jenn) She can flip houses like no one's business!!...Like a business!
16. (Jenn) She can handle taking care of anyone's Mom during stressful times.  Anyone's Mom!!
17. (Jenn) She runs marathons and half marathons practically in her sleep!!
18. (Jenn) She's respectful, a hard worker at her job and a devoted wife.
19. (Bri) She keeps her word. Always.
20. (Bri) She is not intimidated by a big task.
21. (Bri) Her willingness to walk along side you on any journey
22. (Jenn) Her hospitality.
23. (Bri) Her ability to laugh at hard situations.
24. (Bri) Also her ability to forgive awkward phases in life. (likewise Bri....likewise!)
25. (Bri) The times she woke up before dawn to Skype regularly with me when I was in South Africa.
26. (Jenn) The way she visits all of her friends where they live and really wants to know and understand their life and what it's like.
27. (Jenn) Her discipline.  I'm pretty sure I try to be like Tonya when I put my mind to something.
28. (Bri) Her planning!  She throws the best parties.
29. (Bri) I am beyond thankful God gave Tonya to me as a friend.  Through awkward phases, happy times, hard times, far times, I know I have a sister in her.  She is there to cry with, celebrate with, and vent with.  I can only pray I am half the woman and friend she is. (you are and then some!) Cheers to 30 years behind and many more ahead!
30. (Jenn) I remember being in high school and loving Tonya's long hair.  She was immediately cool because of that.  Then I remember college wanting to be a CPA because she was.  And running a marathon because she did.  (i wouldnt have been able to run without you Jenn) And then after college wanting to support my hubby like she did.  And now, wanting to be even half as loyal as she is to her friends.

Seriously, this is the best gift ever.  The best part of my birthday weekend, was that God used the weekend to remind me how overwhelmingly and abundantly blessed I am with amazing friends.  I would not be who I am without the support of my family and friends.  I am so grateful to the Lord for his many blessings through people.  He uses all of my friends DAILY to help me through challenges, remind me of His provision and encourage me in my faith -- and convict and challenge me in my faith too.  I do not deserve the outpouring of love and support I received through all my friends, but it is a great tangible example of undeserving grace and love.

Thank you to all my friends for making me feel so special and so loved.....

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"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well."

~Psalm 139:14