Small town girl,

feet planted firmly


the ground.

Rooted so strongly,

there’s no getting around.

The fact that she’s stuck here

in a regretful ache.

How she longs to feel

her whole earth quake.

So careful and cautious

that she haven’t a clue.

In her tidy little world

Spontaneity is

certainly overdue.

She can see the lives of others

and they seem so majestic.

And then there’s hers,

so sterile and plastic.

She’s the girl she thinks

she’s suppose to be.

But what if that girl,

Really isn’t me.

I talk in third party,

As not to get caught.

When I really shouldn’t care

what all of you thought.

In this,

lies the true problem indeed.

I shut out

my wants,

my pleasures,

my needs.

If I want to feel the wind in my face,

Or get lost on the road that leads to no place;

Crank up the tunes and murder a song,

Or lay in the grass all the day long.

Just being by myself,

Sometimes feels like a sin.

Those times when I don’t want

to let anyone in…

On the joke, my thoughts,

my schemes, my plots.

You see,

I’m not just a mother, a sister, a friend.

And I’m getting really tired of

playing pretend.

I just want to be me ,

and let that be ok.


I am who I

should always portray.

Written by: Tonya Partain

I wrote this in my 20’s, that was some time ago. Funny, it’s still relevant.

Photographer Unknown


Happy Note

Oh happy note,


just                                 rope.

How you make me feel so free.

Just you,

up beat melody,

and me.


~Written by Tonya Partain

Photographer Unknown

The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald playing in my earbuds and just like that my heavy heart feels lighter. Thank you Music!


Hum along won’t you

Tied my finger to the string of a heart-shaped balloon and floated over the trees.

A skit tat-a-tat bomb boodle mack dee…that’s the music, that’s the music in me.

Rode a rainbow to a meadow and lay in a sea of soft clover.

Blew the head off a dandelion nearly two city streets over.

Set sail in an upside down umbrella wearing stripped trouser socks.

Directed 5:00 o’clock traffic with the ornate hands of an old coo-coo clock.

Left my mark in the sky like a fast moving sparkler on the 4th of July,

And my cares in the stares of the people passing by.

Defied the laws of physics with a flip of the wrist.

Made my way through the world with a wink and a twist.

Changing direction like the compass of a captain who is lost at sea.

Hum along won’t you…That’s the music in me.

~Written by Tonya Partain

~Photographer Unknown 

My Road Map to Magical Moments

Why is it so hard for me to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit? I feel like I am constantly on an out of control roller coaster or a swinging pendulum; or an out of control roller coaster on a swinging pendulum. I’ll have days of spiritual highs, maybe even weeks, and then life hits me hard and I build up walls and I move away from God. Or I’ll focus on my finances and getting out of debt, but something comes along and takes the money and it just feels impossible. Just about monthly I want to try to have a healthier lifestyle, but it never lasts. I only gain more weight.

Teenagers, health issues, strained finances, scars…

My life feels heavy all of the time. I day dream about peace. Sometimes I imagine a long painters studio with natural light pouring through it’s big windows, my bare feet on it’s old solid wood floors, watercolor all around, and me with a warm mug of black coffee pressed between my cupped hands, and my love… and we are light and airy and life feels like a movie or a song lyric. But hard steals that away and it feels like something that will never happen.

Why can’t I look at the stars. I love the sky. Why can’t I go to the ocean. We don’t have the money or the time. It’s all work and stress and hardly any play. I feel guilty for wanting more.

I know it’s a choice but some days it doesn’t feel like a choice, it feels more like a prison.

I want to run. I want to love running. I want to be able to run. I want cool mornings and ear buds in my ears, playing feel good music, as I enjoy the breeze on the cool damp beads of sweat on my brow.

I want to be more financially stable. This paycheck to paycheck…or in my case, overdraft to overdraft, is for the birds. In fact I wouldn’t wish it on the poor birds. I don’t have to be rich, but I would love to be more stable. Not as much robbing Peter to pay Paul type stuff. But I guess I don’t do enough. Sometimes I think I stay busy with nothing so I don’t have to do anything, like clean my house or go to school to make more money. But I’m tired. I do work, a full time job, and a part time job, but I need to do more…or is that the problem.

I try so hard to be a good mom, but apparently I suck. According to the popular consensus, I’m to soft , I let them get away with to much disrespect, etc. I want my children to know love and grace and compassion, but maybe I’m not teaching them enough hard. I’m not a doormat as onlookers might think, I am soft on purpose. I want to be a soft place to fall.

My poor husband, I am not a good wife. I’m tired and crabby and he gets the bulk of that, and he tries to be nice to me anyway. His touch is to heavy for me when I’m tired and it makes me uncomfortable.

Life keeps going around and around, and though I am beyond blessed, more than I could ever deserve, I struggle everywhere and I am tired. I’m so tired. Of holding down the fort. Carrying the load. Balancing the budget. It’s exhausting.

I don’t have anything together. I really don’t. All areas of my life feel hard and heavy. I know it could always be worse, but my hard is heavy to me. I’m getting older and I don’t want life to be over before I let myself feel magic again.

I do realize that magical moments are not impossible. In fact for me they can usually be found in simplicity, I just have to remember to look for it. Not only recognizing it, but capture it, live it. Allow myself time to simmer in the magical moments that present themselves in my life. Even more…what if I intentionally made time to create magic in my life…

My Road Map to Magical Moments would look something like this:

Big Mug of Black Coffee or Warm Tea

Good Music

Poetry, quotes, or scripture that make me feel something

Painting/Art work



Slow dancing

The Stars

The beach


Flirting with my love

Cooking with my daughters

Heart to Hearts with my son

Snuggles with my grand-baby

Long talks/Fellowship

A good cry

Pj’s and pillows with my favorite girlfriends

Downtown Square/Thrift stores

Road Trips to a new place or familiar places

Sitting by the Fire/Smores

Spring/Fall Mornings

Births of babies

Drinking sweet wine from fancy glasses

Hot fizzy Jacuzzi

Ice tea on a porch swing


Black and White Movies

Blessing Others


A clean house

Christmas Everything


Making Passionate Love


Back roads with the windows down

Bubble baths

New Revelation

Classic Disney movies


Friday night lights–the first time the bleachers are cold


Chick flicks

Touching moments/words/lyrics

Massive, dancing flock of birds in the sky

Tears of joy

Unexpected blessings

Giving flowers to the living

The Glory of God streaking through the sky

Fresh flowers

Love stories

Weekend getaways

Natural light pouring through a room

Old shacks on a country road

Cypress trees

Ornate street lamp posts

Lonely benches

Vintage Objects like Old Cameras, Umbrellas, Tea Kettles, or Typewriters

Black and White Photography

Warm wind blowing my hair

Praise and Worship

I really could go on and on. You know, my hard probably wouldn’t feel so heavy, if I made time for a little magic.

~Written by Tonya Partain

~Photographer/Artist unknown




My words bounce on the screen like droplets of rain

But today they feel empty

We all have words

Mine aren’t special

I hardly even read them really

I just try to cleverly lay them down as if I have something to say

But it’s a sham

I’m just as plain as gray

I yearn for the watercolor world I imagine

But it’s just a dream

And I’ll die monochromatic anyway.

~Written by Tonya Partain

~Photographer unknown

Mirrored Dimensions

Mirrored Dimensions

The obscurity of where you were is frightening, once standing just there, bathing in reflections of light.

Now, your eyes translucent, transfixed….longing.?

Ghosts of the fast pace of life rush past you; your head in your hands. There are pullings on both sides as you teeter on the line. The living has called to you, but apparently you want more than the truth.?

What is it that you are searching for? At one time light poured out of every orifice. Others even surrounded your light, wondering at its beauty.

What a slippery slope from life. You are anchored in peace, follow your chain back from the pride filled hollows.

Truths have been dispersed in the universe, and you play with the darkness on the fringes of light.?

I miss the smiles that so frequently graced your face. I miss the comfort that cradled your heart; the favor that crowned your head; the words that gave substance to your soul.

Subtle lies allured you; silly vain ideas, shear mockings of the wicked,  and yet you were easily distracted. The light cried out to you, and still you wandered.

Vapors of prayer chase you along the roads of despair, but you shew them out of your face, as if annoyed.

We’re two sides of the same coin; the prisoner and the free; one here, one there, but our mirrored dimension is fractured.

~Written by Tonya Partain

Beautiful photography by Nicky Asseraf

Blurry Life

For the last few weeks, I’ve had this pull on my heart, even a pressing on my spirit, to slow down and savor moments. I am busy, as we all are, I’m a wife, mother, employee, church leader, etc., but this pull is not necessarily because I feel overloaded with responsibility (yes, my wheel barrel is full, but I don’t feel like I’m drowning), instead, I’m overwhelmed with the rapid pace of routine…the maddened march of the mundane, if you will. Overwhelmed with the go, go, go of life…busy, nonstop life. There are countless opportunities for me to soak in the sweetness of my children, the love in my marriage, the beauty of this world, and of the life experience itself, but I guess I’m too busy living to live, if that makes since. I have family, work, community, and a budget to balance, meals, drop-offs, games to attend, dead-lines, and volunteer commitments. I have a full life of which I am grateful. God’s blessings have never been in short supply, but I feel as though something in missing.

You know the way the first cool morning makes you feel when you step outside on a crisp fall day. That instant, “Wow! Life is good!” sensation that warms the soul. Or the fullness you feel when you look around the table at your happy, healthy family and everyone is smiling and eating and just enjoying each other, and you think, what a blessed women I am. Even just to sit down with a good cup of coffee in your favorite over-sized mug with your best girlfriend, doing nothing particular, when you look at her and say “We need more of this right here”. I feel like I don’t have enough of those times, and I guess if I do, I’m not taking advantage of the essence in which moments like that bring. I’m rushing past my moments to get to the next thing. It’s like living paycheck to paycheck, except it’s of my time. I look forward to my bed each night as soon as I open my eyes each morning, but I want to look forward to my life. I want meaningful moments, cherished and precious experiences. I have a good life; I want to make sure that I am present in it. I don’t want to be a ghost in my own timeline, so blurry with progress that I never take the time to exhale and savor it.

I am getting older, and the thought of arriving at the end of my life and looking back and being suffocated with regret by all the unlived moments’ breaks my heart. It’s time to not only be intentional with my time, but with my attention. I want to smell the flowers. I want to kiss baby foreheads. I want to eat good food and drink cheap wine. I want to roll the windows down and turn the music up; the wind in my hair and a song in my heart. I want to live moments that feel like a movie. I want to paint. I want to write. I want to dance. I want a life well lived. I want to pour myself out for others and for the cause of Christ…and at the end of it all, I don’t want anything left; I want to know I left it all out on the floor…and I don’t want to miss it.

~Written by Tonya Partain

~Photographer unknown