Aspire 2017

I am closing 2017 today.

When you have a birthday in January, why not wait until your birthday to start the new year!

Last year I said I would...


…to grow my faith.

…to finish what I start.

…focus, not overthink.

…to work on the hard relationships.

…to be more confident in who I am.

I thank God for being such a wonderful Heavenly Father. 

In His care…

I had the pleasure of teaching 4th/5th grade girls the value of the Bible. What a faith builder for me and an honor to guide these souls towards a relationship with the Lord.

I was stretched as I hosted a women’s conference, spoke at the women’s ministry kick-off, participated in church videos, questions & answer sessions…the behind the scene girl was thrust forward.
I finished Graduate school! I achieved a Masters in Higher Education, Community College Leadership from Iowa State University.  Go Cyclones!  
The late nights, early mornings, writing papers and endless readings…OVER! 
It was not easy for this Mom of three children.  Yet, through it all…

Darren had a pretty cool New Year’s Party.  He is loving the middle school ministry at our church. 

Brandon’s huge birthday party with at least 15 boys enjoying a large inflatable, was fun.  Family came and we ate lots of food, cake, ice cream, etc.  Brandon was also chosen to be on student council at his school this year.  

Natalie graduated preschool and started Kindergarten. Her personality, smarts and just the way she can carry on a conversation at six years old, I smile. 
I’m proud of my children...they shine!
Spring Break at the Des Moines Art Museum with Kids Lives Matter was life-changing.  The kids learned a creed they will never forget: 

“Today, I know I matter. My choices are mine and mine alone.  If I am to succeed, I must take responsibility for my actions.  I am more than you can see.  I am a product of something divine.  No one can put me down unless I let them, because today I know I matter.”

…seven months later, Brandon would say that creed in front of 300 people with confidence.   Darren, a leader not a follower.  Natalie…just brave, not caring about her age, she mastered art like she was 8! They inspired me.
We took a trip to Nickelodeon Universe.  Mall of America was fun!

We played lots of baseball.  Well, Darren and Brandon did.  I love being a baseball Mom...the cold weather, the hot weather, every weekend a tournament...don't blink, it goes by so fast.  It's been four years and counting...I treasure the baseball family we’ve created.

Christmas vacation was in Florida.  The beach was the main attraction outside of seeing family.  It was 84 degrees and beautiful.  Then it ended. Back to Iowa…30 below and crummy.  We all got sick with colds.  I have a greater appreciation for chicken noodle soup, Youngevity Well Balm and Netflix.
I am grateful …the honor of my father’s name on the Black Cultural Center and him receiving a student nominated ISU Alumni Association Faculty-Staff Inspiration Award were beautiful moments to me and our entire family. 

Grieving is still hard. But the memories are so sweet.

2017 strengthened me.
Stretched me. 
...and all the while uplifting me. 

I'm happier, breathing easier. The weight is lighter ...I can reflect on the divorce and my father’s passing with a perspective and a maturity, I never thought possible.  

I learned how to meditate.  
I learned the value of “No.”
I learned I don’t have to be strong ALL the time.
…and I just flat out learned to like myself more.  
Mistakes and all! 

I’m blessed and highly favored.
I love my life.
The page turns.
A new chapter begins…

With love, 

Toni Lampley

Hi! I'm Toni. A lover of all things meaningful: faith, family, friends surrounded by food, travel and adventures. Mom to three and a writer. A designer, not only on canvases, for houses, or projects, but also I help design lives.