whatever you do.

Posted by Tori on Oct 25, 2012 in a good word., family.

I feel like this is a recurring theme for me. The tension and the struggle to balance all of my roles and responsibilities with excellence and integrity. How do I do it all? And do it all well? It’s exhausting to tell you the truth! The reason it’s something I talk about on the blog so much is because a) I don’t have it down. I’m still learning to surrender and trust. He’s still teaching me to walk in grace. b) I have a feeling you don’t have it down either. And that He’s still growing you too. c) We need encouragement. We need each other and we need to remember His Word together.

What is it that He’s called you to be about during this season of life? I think it’s important to ask for His perspective so we can embrace the season we’re in. At times this is easy, and at others it’s easier said than done. We are so tempted to long for a season that’s passed, or look to one that’s to come. But, the truth is that He has placed us here right now for something specific and important. Sometimes that’s clear. Sometimes it’s not so obvious to us.

That’s ok. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…” (NASB)

There is grace when I fail and when I forget. It’s when His Spirit becomes my sufficiency & when my identity is rooted solely in Christ and His finished work on the cross, rather than in my competency or my responsibilities that I am most satisfied (& productive) and He is most honored. So, be encouraged, sisters. We are in this together. We all have influence, we all have roles and responsibilities & we all mess up sometimes. But, He is our constant & the reason we’re breathing in the first place. Lord, help me make the most of this season for the sake of your kingdom.

 

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happy fall!

Posted by Tori on Oct 1, 2012 in a good word., family., thankful heart.

Ok, so I unintentionally took a blogging break for the entire month of September, but it’s October 1 now & I am back to my keyboard with some fresh vision and a completely renewed heart. You should know that October – February are my absolute favorite months. I am expecting big things for this season!

September completely drained me. I don’t think I was aware of how intense of a month it was until I was out from under it. I found myself completely bogged down and pretty discouraged about the progress of some major things we’re juggling. Basically, I just needed a break! Time alone, time with my Lord, and some time with my husband. It’s so great how God knows what we need so much more thoroughly than we do. Can I get an amen on that one? He totally knew what was coming my way and orchestrated an entire week for William and I by ourselves. It was so great to finally get the refreshment and shift of perspective that I needed. We got back home a week ago tonight. Then, three days later, I got sick. I’m getting better, but still not over it. Even though it’s been tough being sick this week, I can see how He has changed me. I am more hopeful and have a glimpse of the picture He’s painting in the very areas I was so discouraged over before. Thanks, Lord.

So…this month, I am expectant. I know that it won’t be easy and that there’s a lot of hard work ahead, but I’m excited because I finally have vision. His vision.

Here are some pictures from September…

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This is what we look like when we get some time to ourselves a couple states away from real life. So fun!

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Pretty coffee!

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Steven & Mary Beth Chapman! Met them on our trip to Nashville. So sweet!

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Our first NFL game. Titans vs. Lions. We left the stadium with less than 2 minutes on the clock & the Lions down by two touchdowns. Got over this walking bridge & someone yells that the Lions tied the game & it’s going into OT! What?! How does that happen? Well, we don’t know because we weren’t there! Ducked into a bar to watch the end. Lions lost in OT. Crazy.

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Yes, we are silly. This is what three kids & four years of marriage does to you.

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Love, love, love this! We used to have one in Charleston, but it’s gone now. So sad.

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Reunited with my crew! Love them.

 

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worship wednesday. i belong.

Posted by Tori on Aug 29, 2012 in a good word., video., worship wednesday.

Hi friends! I wanted to share this familiar, sweet song with you today. It has really ministered to my heart this morning and I pray that it will to yours too. Personally, the past few hours have been rough on my heart. This song reminds me of the truth – that no trouble, now or ever – can take me from the grip of His love. I belong to Him. My life is bundled in His hand and nothing can change that. Wow! Such a simple, yet profound truth that can completely transform my attitude and the way I view my circumstances. Thanks, Lord, that I am yours. This truth remains forever.

How is He encouraging your heart and leading you to worship today? I would love for you to link up and share with us. Grab a button for your blog and join in!

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worship wednesday. mighty fortress.

Posted by Tori on Aug 22, 2012 in a good word., video., worship wednesday.

Welcome back to Worship Wednesday! I pray that your hearts are encouraged and blessed as we worship Him together today. He is so worthy.

Today, I have been so blessed  by this reminder of exactly who our God is. This is the one we serve and worship. The one who has ransomed and redeemed us. I was reading Job 26 when Job describes the mystery and power of our Lord. He says:

“He stretches out the north over empty space
And hangs the earth on nothing.

He wraps up the waters in His clouds,
And the cloud does not burst under them.

He obscures the face of the full moon
And spreads His cloud over it.

He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters
At the boundary of light and darkness.

The pillars of heaven tremble
And are amazed at His rebuke.

He stirs up the sea with His power,
And by His understanding He breaks up the storm.

By His breath the heavens are cleared;
His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.

Behold, these are the fringes of His ways;
And how faint a word we hear of Him!
But His mighty thunder, who can understand?”

He is a very BIG God – how easily I forget. We have only glimpsed the fringes of His ways. Lord, we worship you in this moment, surrendering our hearts & minds to you. You are the reason we’re alive. May everything we do honor you.

Tiffany & I would love to read how you’re worshiping Him today. You are such blessing to us. Please link up below and grab a button for your blog from the sidebar!

 

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worship wednesday. for a day like today.

Posted by Tori on Aug 15, 2012 in a good word., video., worship wednesday.

Hey everyone! Sorry I have been MIA all day…this seems to be a trend. We’ll have to remedy that! Here is how I am worshiping Him today. I would love for you to join me.

So…here’s what today has looked like. I feel like I’ve been running behind all week. We got up and ran out the door (late, of course). It is nearly impossible for us to be dressed, fed, and out the door before 9:00. I’m not entirely sure why this is, but it seems to be becoming a general rule for us (not something I’m excited about since Ayden will have to BE at preschool at 9 – 30 mins away – beginning in a couple of weeks). But, I digress. We enjoyed a wonderful couple of hours this morning with some sweet friends for a play-date. Then headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things I needed for dinner tonight. Then, we were home again in time for lunch and naps. And…then it happened. Ayden decided he wanted to do everything but nap. So, after a brief meeting of the minds, he rolled over and closed his eyes. Whew! Somehow, right around that time, I collapsed on the couch, where I have been for the last 2 hours. Normally, I don’t do this, but today my body just stopped. (Which is strange, because yesterday I was terribly nauseated until 11 a.m., and then had an uncontrollable urge to eat pizza…just sayin’) And, let me tell you…it was the most refreshing 2 hours for my mind and body that I have had in a while! I am so thankful the Lord allowed me to just STOP.

That’s kind of why we started Worshiping Wednesday in the first place. This beautiful song has been rolling around in my head since I stopped today and rested.

So, let the noise and clamor cease. Consider all that He has done. Stand in awe and be amazed, and know that He will never change. Be still.

Mrs. Pate and I would love for you to link up with us and share how you are worshiping Him today. We are always so blessed by what you write!! Have a great week, friends.  🙂

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the glory of it all. worship wednesday.

Posted by Tori on Aug 8, 2012 in a good word., video., worship wednesday.

So, it’s 5:00 here at my house and I’m sitting down to write this. It’s something that has been churning in me over the past couple of days and has been so huge in my heart today especially. But, as the Lord would have it, I wasn’t able to actually “put pen to paper” (sometimes I still actually do that) until now. I have been doing a Bible study on the book of James for the past several Wednesday mornings with the women of my church. Today we wrapped up our study, and it really did feel like saying a premature goodbye to someone who had become a dear, dear friend. Bittersweet. I left this afternoon with my heart extremely full. Thankful for where we are and for what He is doing. The days are not easy, but He is working and speaking.

Then, I got in my car and read this tweet from Jessi, “I love this crazy cracked beautiful life. Mostly because I can see bits of redemption. He’s the only good part of all of this.”

She could not have come any closer to my heart at that moment. I was telling some friends today that if I see something broken, I tend to just want to throw it out and start with something new. If your vacuum cleaner breaks, why try to fix it? Just get a new one. Right? Not so much. God is a MASTER at redemption and reparation. Because that’s what is best for us and that is what brings Him the most glory. So thankful He’s the one in charge.

Lord, make my heart more like yours. There is such beauty in the work you’re completing in all of us. So that others would see and praise your name.

That’s what I’m praising Him for today. His beautiful redemption. His ability to meet me right where I am and CHANGE me. He makes me new. He restores, He resurrects, He repairs, and He does it perfectly. Every time. So, if things are looking pretty messy and rough from wear you sit, take courage and know that He is working. And it’s beautiful.

How are you worshiping today? Tiffany & I can’t wait to read your story and worship our incredible Savior with you. Grab a button from the sidebar and link up with us! Love you guys.

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worship wednesday. week 10.

Posted by Tori on Aug 1, 2012 in a good word., worship wednesday.

Today I have been thinking about what worship in the everyday looks like. For the believers, our lives are to be worship unto the Lord. So, I thought I would share some of my moments of worship in the everyday.

First, there are my gals. There is a group of girls that I shared life with during my college years. They are some spectacular women. The Lord just ushered them into my life at exactly the right time. We have lived a lot of life together. We have witnessed a lot of change among us. Last night, most all of us sat around my kitchen table – you have no idea the joy it brought to my soul to have all these girls in one place! Just celebrating what the Lord has done and is doing in each one. His work is complete. We have His Word on it. That meeting in my dining room last night ushered my heart into such worship about His faithful pursuit of each one of us and the story He’s writing for His glory. He is so, so good.

Then, there are the babies. When I look at them & listen to them play I am struck with such wonder. My mouth is wide open at what he’s doing in their little lives. And that I am privileged to be a part of it is almost just too much to contain. When I look into their faces, I weep with joy and pure worship of His masterful creation and His perfect plan & timing. Incredible.

This morning. Listening to His Word taught along with several other sisters in the faith. Studying His Word is such a beautiful intimate place of worship. He meets me every time, speaking straight to my soul. That’s how it was this morning. I literally had tears when we were finished because it was so powerful and direct to this season of life.

Lastly, there are the hard times. In these times, there is worship for His constant character. He is so faithful and His love towards me is fierce. I was reminded of something I read from Matt Redman, “Paul calls our troubles light/momentary, yet they can feel so very heavy. Therefore, the eternal glory which outweighs them must be immense.” So true. He also writes, “Trusting Jesus is honoring to Him and at the same time good for us. He is worthy to be trusted, and He is worth trusting.” It is in the hard times that He grows me and changes me. He is worth trusting and worthy of the worship in my perseverance.

How are you worshipping today? In the moment by moment – in the everyday real life living? I would love to read your story. Link up below with me and Tiffany. Soli Deo gloria!

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worship wednesday. week 8.

Posted by Tori on Jul 18, 2012 in a good word., video., worship wednesday.

Welcome to our 8th week of Worshiping Wednesday! I’m so glad you’re here! If you’re new to this weekly link-up, you can read more about it here.

This week, really in the last 72 hours, the Lord has been doing some stirring in my heart. I have been studying the book of James in recent weeks. Chapter 2 is intense. James just boldly, clearly, and directly gets to the point: there is no room for favoritism in the life of the Christ follower. If you’re like me, the most immediate reaction that comes to mind is that favoritism is not something you really struggle with. But, favoritism can take on many sneaky forms in our hearts, minds, and actions, and can creep in unnoticed if we aren’t careful to intentionally guard against it. In 2:10, James tells us, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Guilty! Right here. So grateful for a Savior!

Stronger | Hillsong

I was reading Melissa Fitzpatrick’s post from a few days ago, titled, Common Brokenness. She pastes in a portion of an email from a friend who is in a rehabilitation hospital. He explains that he shares this temporary home with about 30 others. He writes:

“For many of us, nights are the worst time – marked by restlessness, chasing fleeting sleep, often enduring pain. Please remember to pray for all who suffer—especially when you do not—in hospitals, at home and elsewhere. It is a difficult and weary ordeal.”

He continues:

“The human beings around me are Christian, Muslim, atheist, secularist and whatever else. They are white, black, brown and, in the dark, visibly none of the above. But they share something in common that is fundamental to their identity and to mine. In this identity is our oneness as humans. I am not talking about eternal destinies or theological categories, but about here and now. I have come to know many of these people—not by their jobs or professions, not by their achievements or connections or honors. I know them—and they know me—by their brokenness. We are one in our brokenness—our mortality, our frailty, our creatureliness. Made in God’s image, we have dignity and worth. Broken, we have needs—perhaps as obvious as a drinking straw wrapper that needs removing to begin our meal together in the cafeteria.

This is my experience on this night. Take it or toss it aside. Reflect on it or ignore it. I simply have to tell it. We are one with all humankind, but we probably will not see or feel that at the deepest level until we experience it in our brokenness, we who at best are always but a breath away from knowing what that means. So let us serve each other with awe and respect.(emphasis my own)

I love how Jesus completely levels the playing field in each personal encounter He has with someone. We are all broken, feeble, & finite creatures in desperate need of a Savior. How dare we create classes, or show special attention to one over another! The truth is that if we, as believers, do not allow the Spirit to minute-by-minute transform our minds & hearts to see people the way He does, we will never really love and serve like Christ. Only what is eternal will last – everything else will die away. You can take it to the bank. So, for me, it’s clear what I want my life to be about. I want to be about His work; His way. And He is the only one who can make that happen. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your salvation! May your name be lifted HIGHER!

My friend, Tiffany, and I would be so honored to have you link up your Worshiping Wednesday post with us today. It is such a privilege and encouragement to read what you write.

Happy Wednesday!

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i exalt thee.

Posted by Tori on Jun 19, 2012 in a good word., video., worship wednesday.

I have been struck with the simple, yet profound, words of this song today.  This week has been a sort of roller coaster. There has been all range of emotions, unexpected traveling, less sleep than I am used to, running here and there without a minute to myself…and I am left feeling spent. So, I bring it all to the cross. To the place where it is all made right. He is exalted…to the highest place. I bring myself to Him, with all of my mess in surrender, awe, and worship.

Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

This Scripture speaks the truth of our Lord’s character that never changes and that is ever present with us. This is who He is. This is the one we worship.

So, what are you bringing to Him today? Where does the middle of this week find you? Let’s leave it at the cross and allow Him to speak His truth and breathe His life right smack in the middle of whatever we are walking through. He is worthy of our praise no matter the season where we find ourselves.

I started hosting this weekly worship post at the invitation of the lovely, Mrs. Pate. Please grab a button and link up with us today.


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” target=”_self”><img src=&#34http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m574/mrstmpate/worshiping.jpg&#34
; alt=”mrspatewrites” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a>

 

Write a post with a Scripture, song, picture, poem, etc. that leads your heart to worship and then enter your website url below. If you aren’t a blogger, but you’d like to join in, just click the post-it note at the top of the post. You can leave a comment, or share what’s on your heart with the rest of us! We are so happy to have you here.

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just remember.

Posted by Tori on Jun 18, 2012 in a good word.

I read this Scripture today, and it really made me step back and ask myself how I come across to those who don’t believe.

Colossians 4:5-6

“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

Do I make the most of EVERY opportunity the Lord gives me to share Him? Is my conversation with unbelievers always gracious and attractive? Sadly, that’s not the case. Sometimes, I get way too caught up in crossing things off my to-do list, and on my own agenda to make time for the people He brings to me. Sometimes, my conversation is anything but gracious and attractive. Just being honest.

I have made it my prayer today that the Lord would make my eyes open and my heart, mind, and words selfless and filled with grace and truth. Lord, burn these words in my mind and heart. Help me to remember this as I interact with others.

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