What inspired you to write your memoir?
I was collecting all of my “back to joy” stories for myself actually. I needed some encouragement and wanted to remember the amazing ways God has lead me, healed me, spoken to me over the last 18 year journey. As I was collecting all of these memories and typing them for myself, I sensed the words “what I have told you in secret, shout from the roof tops” (Matthew 10:27). I believe that was God encouraging me to publish these memories for all to see.
I long to inspire others towards an integrated, Chirst-centered, joy-filled life by offering a new reality of what it looks like to live out of a relational mindset that can sense the Divine’s leading. I want others to know they are not alone, and that there is hope.
About your Book:
Have you ever found yourself without the resilience you need in order to thrive? Do you sometimes find it hard to manage your emotions well even though you pray, read your Bible, and serve others? Does God seem to be some illusive presence that you just can’t seem to sense or hear?
This practical and yet intensely personal book will give readers a different model for dealing with their problems. Learning to sense God enjoying her, no matter what, turns out to be the beginning of an intimacy with the Creator that the author never dreamed possible.
Joy, that feeling you get when someone is glad to be with you, has the power to manage all that goes on inside of us—when there is enough of it. Unfortunately, however, for many of us there is very little joy inside compared to the shame, fear, sadness, anger, and hopeless despair that swirl about. The result of this imbalance is emotional shutdown or meltdown, which leave us unable to fully connect with those around us. Depression and addiction run rampant when joy is lacking. And yet most of us are never shown healthy ways to deal with our emotions, to express them well, and to build the joy we need in order to endure the hardships of life. This is precisely what Back to Joy intends to do.
More than a simple “how-to” that simply gives you steps to follow, Back to Joy: An Intimate Journey with Jesus into Emotional Health and Maturity actually shows you:
• What it looks like to sense God’s enjoyment of you no matter what
• How going back to your past can free you to fully live in the present
• That your needs are valid and that God wants you to learn to receive
• What suffering well looks like when you have been attacked
• The radical mission God is on to seek and save all that was lost in your life and in the lives around you.
By reading intimate journal entries spanning 18 years of her life as a Missionary, Relational Coach, Pastoral Counselor, daughter, wife, friend and mother, you will see how Jesus has gently cared for the author, revealed His truth to her, healed traumatic memories, convicted her when she was stuck in harmful paradigms, and ultimately led her into health and maturity.
Toni’s book is an inspiring statement that you do not have to settle for a mediocre relationship with the Creator of the Universe. What are you waiting for? His delight in you can and will radically change your life as you let Him lead you back to joy.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
Honestly, I was praying about whether I should use a publisher or self publish, when I got an email about Chandler Bolt’s Self Publishing School. After watching the intro videos I was convinced that I needed to go for it. The Self-publishing school gave me everything I needed from structuring my time to coaching me through difficult moments. I could not have done it without them. Six weeks later I became a Kindle Best Selling Author!! Now I have all the tools and skills I need for many books to come! Check them out here: https://xe172.isrefer.com/go/curcust/Tonimdaniels
How do you see writing a Memoir as different from writing other genres of books?
A memoir is intensely personal and intimate. I have a gift for going inside of myself and expressing what is going on there. I could NEVER write fiction nor am I drawn to do that, although I admire people how do! I just know I do not have that skill set.
Nicknamed “Sunshine” for the joy that she exudes, Toni Daniels has always loved being with people and creating spaces of belonging and meaning. At the early age of 16 after a short-term missions trip to Jamaica, Toni dedicated her life to going overseas and sharing the hope of Jesus with those who would never otherwise hear about His great love. From leading Worship and facilitating small groups through-out High School and College, she and her husband, Matt, moved to Uruguay, South America to start a church among the “most unreached group of people in all of the Americas” as Operation Mobilization stated.
After embedding in Uruguayan society, Toni and Matt quickly discerned that traditional church, as most know it, would never take root in Uruguay. People would only come to faith in God as they could sense Him enjoying them. Driven by their desire to see Jesus lived out in real life, Toni and Matt began focusing on creating “healthy, vibrant families of Jesus” that could follow God in transforming the world.
Also drawn to provide emotionally safe places for children to explore their Christian spirituality, Toni introduced Godly Play to Uruguay in 2006. To date, she has trained over 200 teachers and catechists, and more than 2,000 children have had the privilege of being a part of the community of Godly Play.
As an Interpersonal Relationship Specialist and Pastoral Counselor with more than 15 years of international experience offering training workshops and skills-based coaching, Toni’s passion is to help establish joy-filled, Christ-Centered environments that produce healthy relationships and increase resilience.
Toni is currently the Director of The Geronimo Center for Innovation and Leadership, which she co-founded in 2008 with her husband, Matthew. This Uruguay-based non-profit organization seeks to initiate a revolution of joy in the most secular and suicidal nation in the Americas by forming emotionally healthy leaders from all sectors of society who follow Jesus in transforming their world.
Toni’s undergraduate work focused on Spanish and Sociology. She also has a Master’s in Leadership and Church Planting from Columbia International University. While in Uruguay, she completed her diploma in Psycho-Spiritual Counseling from the Universidad Catolica de Uruguay in 2009. Other specialized training includes a certificate in Healthy Interpersonal Relationships from the International Trainer’s Association and PREP, inc., a relationship enhancement training based in Denver, Colorado. She is currently working to finish the three-year Thrive Leadership Training with Life Model Works.
Toni’s hobbies include karaoke, quilting, and sports. She loves being outdoors and spending time building joy with family and friends, especially her husband, their three children, and her poodle, Champagne.