fallin’ from the sky in the night to the earth below.

Posted by Tori on Dec 7, 2011 in a good word., video.

It’s funny how music influences you so deeply. And it’s funny how you sometimes feel more alive in a certain place, or doing a certain thing. But that’s just the beauty, mastery, and intricacy of our incomprehensible Creator.

Listening to this song tonight, with everyone else in the house asleep in their beds, stirred up so much of this in me. I thought about what it may have really looked like for Mary and her betrothed that night. Not like the picture that is often painted for us this time of year.

I can imagine how exhausting and difficult the journey was for her. Imagine traveling on the back of an animal 40 weeks pregnant! That alone was probably enough to induce her labor. The place was crowded with people. There was nowhere for them to stay. Finally they find shelter in a barn. Her labor growing ever more intense. Far from a glamorous scenario, it was absolutely comfortless. Dirty, smelly, harsh, cold, and the constant temptation to be very scared. She was with the man she would marry, yet they had not been intimate. And they were about to become VERY intimate! Sweating, screaming…finally, the Savior of the world has arrived. First cries, wrapped snug, and laid in a feeding trough – as clean as they could get it. There was nowhere else for him to go. They made their home in the barn. Mary recovering; a new family formed. Perhaps surprised by the visiting shepherds who came as fast as they could, explaining what had been revealed to them in their fields.

And the Scripture says that Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Oh, how full her heart must have been. A million emotions, a million questions, yet no record of a complaint. Instead, we get the impression of a thankful heart, knowing that she is in the middle of something way bigger than she could fathom.

I could learn a few things from her.

The glory of those hours is overwhelming. Oh, how perfectly he came. It gives such incredible perspective to me. In the celebration of Christmas it is easy to become more engrossed in the celebrating than the celebrated. Oh, may it never be! Comfort, security, beautiful homes, and time with family are such wonderful gifts. But, He is what is needed. He is our salvation.

This makes me think of the journey our family is on right now. I have a million emotions, and a million questions. But we are asking His Spirit to find us faithful. He has called us out and marked us with the message of His glory and we will proclaim it loud and clear wherever He leads us. Maybe to Mongolia, maybe to to a cold, tiny apartment, without the comforts we have here. Maybe not the cleanest of places or the nicest smelling. But one where He has come.

He has come!

Praise you, O Lord! You have come and you have made your dwelling among us.

And you are coming.

Come, Lord, Jesus! Come and do not tarry. Find us faithful. Our lives are yours. I don’t need the answers to my million questions. I know you are here and that what you are doing is way bigger than what I can see. Your plan is perfect. My soul finds rest in you. My heart is full. These lessons pondered and treasured in my heart.

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linking it up.

Posted by Tori on Nov 18, 2011 in a good word.

Great post on the LPM blog today! Reminds me of my amazing semester in Dr. Crutchfield’s Wisdom Lit. class.

Check it out & be blessed: http://t.co/HRPMPoYI

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proud alumna.

Posted by Tori on Oct 28, 2011 in a good word., thankful heart.

Love my alma mater…way to go CIU students!

http://www.wistv.com/story/15884703/columbia-intl-students-hope-to-read-the-bible-in-96-hours

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repentance and rest. quietness and trust.

Posted by Tori on Oct 14, 2011 in a good word.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

So good to remember when I need His strength and salvation. I love Fridays…Ayden is at preschool (which he absolutely LOVES, by the way) and I am sipping some coffee sitting outside of Starbucks, and enjoying this beautiful weather with my sweet girls. They are singing and blowing raspberries while I type.

So looking forward to this weekend at home with my family. Yesterday William played hooky. It was so fun to have him home for a day in the middle of the week…just to play and spend time with the kids and rest. Much needed. I am already looking forward to next weekend when a group of my dearest friends from college are coming over! Times with them are so sweet and such a blessing to my soul. I love those girls!

His blessings are so abundant. I am desiring to abide in that repentance and rest, quietness and trust. He is God and He is good.

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be a blessing.

Posted by Tori on Oct 12, 2011 in a good word.
Choose to be a blessing.

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God in my hurting.

Posted by Tori on Oct 11, 2011 in a good word.

You know, there are just certain things that I NEVER thought I would struggle with or have to walk through. I just had no concept that these things would or could be possible in my life. However, it seems that I am having to face a set of trials that never crossed my mind. Of course, I am learning so much, but I still have questions, fear, confusion, and pain. There are moments I find myself asking God, “Why?” I really don’t have an answer to that…and I may never know why. There are moments when I feel incredible alone. But, He is there! I have no idea what I would do without that knowledge and that truth. He is there and He is God in my hurting. He wants me to be more like Him and He really is more concerned with my character than my comfort. His love is persistent and never failing. I am so thankful for His Word, and to know that He is not finished with His work. The season I am walking through is temporary, but He is eternal. All glory to Him.

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God is. eternity awaits.

Posted by Tori on Oct 9, 2011 in a good word.

Good Word today at church–

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:17-18

As believers, we have heard and read these verses countless times. For some, these verses are fairly easy. It may even be in keeping with their personality to respond to others in this way. But for others, these verses are extremely difficult and the consequences of obedience to this command carry an incredible amount of weight.

It is important that we hide this Scripture in our hearts so that when we are faced with a difficult circumstance, we don’t have to struggle with what we should do. This will be our natural response.

Our culture does not share this mindset. We are too self-focused, and too concerned with “justice.” But, we are called to be different. We are called to live according to His Word alone. The verses following these two explain that God is the ultimate judge and that vengeance belongs to Him. Instead, we are to show kindness to our enemies and to those who have hurt us, overcoming evil with good. There is a God in heaven, and He is just.

We live victoriously here by living as Jesus did, remembering that this is not our home. God is. Eternity awaits.

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grace has called my name.

Posted by Tori on Oct 8, 2011 in a good word.

Grace Has Called My Name, Kathryn Scott

Peace as elusive as a shadow dancing on the wall
life swallowed by the pain of yesterday;
Left broken by the shame of things that I had done,
No freedom from the choices that I’d made;

But with one touch You made me clean;
You met me in my deepest need.

Grace has called my name,
when all that I had left were just filthy stains;
Grace has called my name;
when hope had all but faded far away,
Grace called my name.

Wounded by words that left their mark upon my soul,
dreams overturned by empty promises;
Well intentioned things I’d heard a million times before
just left my heart to grieve alone again;

But with one touch You set me free;
You met me in my deepest need.

Wounds still leave a mark, but His love is greater. Thanks, Lord, for loving so well.

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press on to know Him.

Posted by Tori on Oct 4, 2011 in a good word.

I have been so encouraged by my study of Hosea on Tuesday mornings. In chapter six, Hosea invites Israel to repent, reminding them that the Lord desired to restore them. I have been praying over verse three, desiring to press on to know Him – truly know Him, and asking that my children would grow up to press hard after Him too. I pray that He would make me a faithful steward as I introduce Him to these three precious gifts He has entrusted to me.

Hosea 6:3

So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.

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a thankful heart.

Posted by Tori on Oct 2, 2011 in a good word., thankful heart.

I so desire for the Lord to create in me a truly thankful heart. How incredibly selfish to take His goodness for granted. This past weekend, I have been literally overwhelmed by His grace and His blessing in my life. I am so thankful to Him. His love for me is perfect and I cannot even begin to know its depth. He has given me an incredible husband and three beautiful, healthy babies. He has given me an outstanding community of believers to surround me and to show me another dimension of His character. He has blessed me with a wonderful family, and in-laws who have truly accepted me as their daughter, granddaughter, and sister. I could continue on like this for volumes. The more I behold His cross and His redemption of my soul in Christ, the more that thankful heart grows in me, humbling me, and giving me an eternal perspective with which to view all of the trivial hiccups in my life. It’s all for Him and it’s all about Him. Thank you, Lord. Give me the grace to live with this attitude each moment…even when things are hard and I don’t understand.

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