Our Dashed Dreams

Our Dashed Dreams

Our Dashed Dreams
by Toni Weisz/Spiritual Disciplines


Scripture References

Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Isaiah 61:7 (ESV)
Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore, in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

I never imagined I would abort my first child. I grew up in a large Italian family. (My mom was one of ten children.) At our family get-togethers, there were always children running around. I was the oldest granddaughter, so it was my job to look after the younger ones so the adults could talk without interruptions.

I loved children, and I even thought about getting a teaching degree. What happened to my childhood dreams? How did I go so far off the path I thought would be my life?

Sin destroyed my dreams. I decided that being the “good, quiet one” wasn’t working for me anymore. I wasn’t getting the love and attention I needed, so I decided to take matters into my own handsa true recipe for disaster.

At 12 years old, I started experimenting with alcohol and began sneaking shots of Scotch whiskey while my parents were at my brother’s football practices. My sister and I were left at home to do the dishes for a short while, but that’s all the devil neededa little bit of time to get me alone and wanting.

My child-brain started thinking of ways to get my needs met but in unhealthy ways. This destructive path the enemy led me down was one of drugs, alcohol, numerous sexual partners, and then my abortion at 21. It was a dark and destructive journey. I hid in my secrets and was tormented by the devil.

How did I get here? One bad choice after another after another; it happens that fast.

I would continue in this self-destructive pattern for 22 years. Thankfully, God finally rescued me at the age of 34 when I heard the gospel for the first time. Jesus died on the cross for MY SINS. I had never heard that before. I desperately needed and wanted someone to take all my sins, shame, and guilt.

I needed a Saviorsomeone to love me just for me. I found all those things in a relationship with Jesus. I am so grateful for the love, forgiveness, and peace I found in Him.

God has turned my mourning into joy. He has given me a new name, a new life, and a new calling.

No matter what you have done in your past, God is able to forgive and redeem what the devil has stolen. You can still have a wonderful, fulfilling, God-glorifying life. It just may look a little different from your original plan. But rest assured, God is a good Father and has a good plan for your life.

Will you allow Him to help you dream new dreams?


Questions & Final Thoughts:

  1. What were some of your childhood dreams?
  2. Did the devil steal your dreams of having children and a family?
  3. How have you been able to move on and dream new dreams?
  4. How can we pray for you?

I pray that the Lord will minister to your broken heart and give you new dreams. Please reach out if you need a listening ear or a word of encouragement. Email: toni@myashestobeauty.com.

You are loved,


Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Tools the Enemy Uses to Keep Us in Bondage: (Part 3) Blind Spots

Tools the Enemy Uses to Keep Us in Bondage: (Part 3) Blind Spots

Tools the Enemy Uses to Keep Us in Bondage: (Part 3) Blind Spots
by Toni Weisz/Recovery Tools


Scripture References:

Psalm 119:18
“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things out of Your Law.”

John 8:3132
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you will be my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’”


Blind spots are areas in my life in which I have been wounded and where I cannot see my character defects, sins, and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

My life was filled with destructive choices, all of which contributed to my woundedness and blind spots. Only God could show me these blind spots and help me to see what areas in my life I needed to work through and change.

In the past, a blind spot for me was being overly protective of my children. When I was a young mom and not a believer yet, I was fearful that God would punish me for my past abortion and take one of my children. I remember when my children hit three years of age, I thought, “Oh good, I don’t have to worry about that.

But I still parented out of fear because I didn’t want my children to make the same mistakes. They were not permitted to participate in many activities their public school friends participated in because of the church we were attending at the time.

God’s Word shined light in these dark areas that were hidden for so many years. This light set me free from my fears, helping me to trust Him to release my children into His capable hands and allow them to make their own choices.

Later on, I had to apologize to my children for not allowing them to do certain things but also for being way too protective of them. They knew my heart, and they forgave me.

Another area that I had a huge blind spot was in my relationships with others. I did not see how I was allowing others to take advantage of me by manipulating and controlling me. I never developed a voice because I was fearful of rejection and abandonment, which caused me to accept this unacceptable behavior.

I felt I deserved to be abused because of my past sins, which was a lie from the devil. I hated myself and did not respect myself. So, how could I expect others to love and respect me? I allowed others to control and manipulate me because I put their opinions above God’s in my life.

My peoplepleasing was out of control, and I could never say no because I didn’t want to disappoint others. So, I ran around like an idiot, exhausted physically and emotionally drained and all along feeling very empty and unloved inside.

Why was I doing these things? Oh, yes, so others will see value in me and love me.

Well, that never worked. The only one who ever saw value and worth in me was God.

Over time, God was removing the blindness, and I started seeing my unhealthy thinking. As I was seeking Him more and the truth about my past, He started revealing things to me that I did not see before.

I am so thankful for the day when God filled me with His love so completely that I finally stopped looking to humans to approve of me or love me. I was content solely in my relationship with the Lord. He was the only one I needed. This perspective changed my life forever. I am so grateful for God showing me my blind spots so I could know the truth, confess my sins, repent and be set free.

Ask God to show you what your blind spots are.


What areas has God revealed to you that were blind spots?

Can you share them with the group?

How can we pray for you?

I pray this topic has helped you to discover blind spots in your own life. Please reach out if you need prayer or a word of encouragement. Email: toni@myashestobeauty.com.


In His love and service,



Read Part 2 here

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Tools the Enemy Uses to Keep Us in Bondage: (Part 1) Fear

Tools the Enemy Uses to Keep Us in Bondage: (Part 1) Fear

Tools the Enemy Uses to Keep Us in Bondage: (Part 1) Fear
by Toni Weisz/ Recovery Tools


Scripture References

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given me the Spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.


Question: What is preventing me from recognizing I have a problem?


Fear is a tool the enemy uses to keep me in my dysfunction: the fear of change, the fear of the unknown, and fear that if I do change, I will lose a relationship.

What are your fears? Make a list of them all.

What is preventing you from truly looking at your life and asking God to help you change?

When I truly ask and seek the truth, God shows me my wounds and the lies I believe about Him, myself, and others. Once He shows me those areas, I accept them and seek His wisdom to change the things I can.

My areas of woundedness were once fear of rejection and abandonment, and believing the lie that if I was perfect, I would be loved. These fears caused me to become a people-pleaser and made me think I had to earn love from others and God.

I believed God would not forgive my sin of abortion, that my sin was too great. Now I know that was a lie from the enemy to keep me in bondage. I also believed I deserved to be emotionally abused because of my sins.

All this unhealthy thinking kept me in emotionally abusive relationships, isolation, depression, and hopelessness. But God in His mercy and grace filled my heart with His unfailing love, giving me the courage to step out of the darkness into His beautiful transforming light.

He helped me recognize the root causes of these lies and how to shred those lies to pieces using the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.


How can we pray for you?

I pray this topic has helped you to discover and conquer the fears and the root causes in your own life. Please reach out if you need prayer or a word of encouragement. Email: toni@myashestobeauty.com.

You are loved,


Read Part 2 here


Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Tools the Enemy Uses to keep Us in Bondage: (Part 2) Busyness

Tools the Enemy Uses to keep Us in Bondage: (Part 2) Busyness

Tools the Enemy Uses to Keep Us in Bondage: (Part 2) Busyness
by Toni Weisz/ Recovery Tools


Scripture References:

Psalm 46:10
Be still and know that I am God.

Ephesians 2:89
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.

Romans 8:15–16a
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

Romans 8:3839
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I was always busy with so many things that I didn’t have time to think about the toxic relationships I had with some close family members. I was so involved in my children’s school and after school activities, teaching and serving at church, and raising my family that I did not have time to look at myself and recognize that I was enabling unhealthy behavior.

It was fall of 2001, and I was pushing myself hard physically so I could compete against 24-year-olds in tennis at the age of 42. I would be exhausted, but I forced myself to work out anyway.

We attended a church where obeying the rules was the most important thing. It was all a show, and in the meantime, my spirit was so grieved I could barely feel the Spirit of God in me.

Then came September 11, and my husband was flying that day from Philly to CA. For many hours, I did not know where he was or how he was. When I watched planes crash into the Twin Towers, I just remember going into shock. John’s family was calling, and I had no information on his whereabouts.

Shortly after that in October, I fell on the tennis court and hurt myself so badly that I had a huge bulge in my right hip area. As time passed, it got worse, and I could not walk after a while because the pain shot through my entire body. From Thanksgiving through New Years, I was confined to laying on the couch because I was unable to stand or walk for long periods of time.

I couldn’t do anything for several months. For the first time, I had to allow others to do things for me. It was very humbling. I had a complete mental, physical, emotional and spiritual breakdown. My children were in high school at that time, and they would sit at my feet on the couch and do their homework. I thank God for that special memory.

It was during the time of my confinement that God whispered to my heart, “I love you regardless of whether you serve me on all these committees at Church or you lay on the couch for the rest of your life. I love you the same. My love for you never changes. My love for you is not based upon your good works or being worthy to be loved; My love is based upon My Son’s death on the cross for your sins.”

God knew I was working for acceptance from others and Him. I was raised in a works-based religion, and I felt because of the sins from my pastall the drugs, alcohol, sex outside of marriage and my abortionthat I needed to make an atonement for my sins somehow. I didn’t understand that there was nothing I could do to earn salvation; it was a gift from God (Ref. Ephesians 2:89).

It took 10 years for that truth to finally make its way to my heart. But once it did, it changed my whole world forever. I finally felt loved and accepted by God. I didn’t have to be good enough or check a box to be loved and accepted. I realized I needed to believe God’s Word. I can now say with confidence that I have been adopted by God, I am His child, and nothing can separate me from His love (Ref. Romans 8:1516a, 3839).


Questions to Take to Heart:

  1. What are you doing to keep yourself so busy that you are not dealing with your stuff?
  2. What are you running away from?
  3. How can/did you stop the busyness in your life?
  4. How can we pray for you?

I pray this topic has been helpful for you. Please reach out if you need prayer or a word of encouragement. Email: toni@myahsestobeauty.com.

You are loved,

(Part 1 here)



Read more of Toni's blogs HERE!

Stinking Thinking: My Distorted View of Self

Stinking Thinking: My Distorted View of Self

Stinking Thinking: My Distorted View of Self

by Toni Weisz/Stinking Thinking

Scripture References: Isaiah 43:1819 and Psalm 62:1819

Stinking Thinking refers to the negative thoughts that torment us (especially when we are HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired) or disturbing thoughts, such as a distorted view of God, ourselves, or others. We will learn to discern the truth from the lies we have believed all of our lives. Our goal is to equip you so you can have victory in every area of your life.

Isaiah 43:1819
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Psalm 62: 68
“He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”

I was the oldest of three and came from a strict second-generation, Italian-American family. My father and his two brothers and sister ran a family-owned construction company started by my grandfather.

My grandfather had a drinking problem. And my dad acted like an alcoholic even though he did not drink. I refer to his behavior as a “rageaholic.” He worked extremely long hours and was dealing with a lot of stress and family drama. He was not able to communicate in a healthy manner without becoming angry and raising his voice. He had a very short fuse. So, when he was home, I would literally want to run and hide.

I had an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, and I took on shame very quickly as a child. My dad was very unpredictable and scary at times. As a result of this, I hid behind my wall to protect myself. I pretended to be the good, quiet one, in order to protect myself and to set myself apart from my sister (who was 15 months my junior) and my brother (who was born three years after her).

How was I supposed to get the love and attention I needed? After the “good, quiet one persona was not working anymore, I started sneaking Scotch whiskey from my parents’ liquor cabinet. Like I said, my dad did not drink, so he did not know I was watering down his liquor until I overheard my uncle comment on it one day when he had a drink. I thought, “Oh no, I am in trouble now.” But nothing ever came from that.

Now I was really hiding because of all the sins I was pilling up while still keeping up the façade of the good, quiet one. By 13, I was getting high and doing other drugs. At 16, I was having sex. And at 21, I was pregnant and unmarried. My life was a recipe for disaster.

I felt very insecure because I started gaining a lot of weight from all the extra calories from the liquor and binging after getting high. I felt ugly, fat, unloved, alone, and depressed. I never developed my voice either, so all the stuffing I had been doing during my life was about to come out sideways, and I would not be able to control it. I would become like my father, a “rageaholic.”

After many years of destructive choices, unhealthy copying mechanisms and addictions, my self-loathing was at an all-time high. My depression was preventing me from functioning normally and all the pain I had been stuffing all my life was coming out sideways. I had no control over it. I was like a walking volcano. I literally just wanted to end this disaster of a life and stop the torment I was experiencing.

I felt I was not worthy to be loved. In fact, I thought I deserved to be emotionally abused by others because of my abortion. I did not see myself as a person of value to anyone, not even to God. This destructive pattern would continue until I was 34, when by the grace of God, I heard the gospel and within 4 weeks got saved and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and be my Lord and Savior. The most beautiful and memorable day of my life is February 6, 1994, when I became born-again.

Even after my salvation, I felt I had to work for God’s love and for the approval of others in leadership at Church. My peoplepleasing was consuming my life, and God showed me that this is idolatry, that anything that I put above God is an idol.

Slowly over time as He poured His love and grace over me and with many years of recovery, intensive innerhealing work, and involvement in highaccountability groups, God showed me His love for me was not based upon my good works and that it was only because of Jesus’ death on the cross on my behalf that I was now righteous before God.

I stopped striving to please people and only live my life to please God. As a result of this new mindset, I have become more dependent upon God and bolder and more courageous. I am so grateful for the wonderful adventure the Lord and I are on right now.



  1. How has your distorted view of yourself opened you up to all kinds of abuse and sin as a way of trying to cope with all the pain?


  1. How has your distorted view of yourself changed over the years as God has given you awareness and the courage to change?


Please reach out if you need prayer or someone to talk to. You can email me at: toni@myashestobeauty.com.

You are loved,

Read more of Toni’s blog posts here!