remaining faithful in the land between.

Posted by Tori on Dec 12, 2010 in a good word., family.

I love the unity that Christ has established within the church. He designed us to live in community with one another, having unity and fellowship with Himself and with the church. I am always blessed by time spent with His body. This morning I was so encouraged by His Word. As a church, we reflected on “Finding God in the Land Between.” What should we do and what should we remember during the period of waiting between God giving a promise and God fulfilling that promise? We remembered Simeon. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Christ. Luke tells us that he was “righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon Him” (Luke 2:25, ESV). This man’s testimony is one of faithfulness and obedience in his waiting on the Lord.

The time in between chapters of our lives is an opportunity for incredible growth and nearness to God. The period of waiting does not have to be a time of confusion, nor does it need to feel like stagnation. God grows us in the land between. He shapes our perspective and prepares us for what is to come. Often, the fulfillment of the promise looks very different than what we thought it might when the promise was given. And always, it is much better.

As we wait, we must remain faithful to what we know the Lord has called us to do right now. We must choose to believe God. It is vital that we remain focused on the growth and the work He is accomplishing now in our waiting. We cannot be so preoccupied with whatever we think is next that we become spiritually or mentally absent in the place He has us now. Also, in discerning His leading, we must be careful not to jump ahead of His timing and to remember that He always acts in consistency with His character and His Word. He is to be our focus, not other people and not our circumstances. Our hearts must be alert to the Holy Sprit at work in us. We don’t know how the Lord will choose to fulfill His promise to us, but we can be sure that it will far surpass anything we could dream up. He is the one who supplies the competency for ministry and nothing is too big for Him.

The season that we find ourselves in as a family feels like this time of waiting. There is a call and a promise, but we are yet to experience the fulfillment. Lord, make us faithful in the land between. We are yours. We have heard your Word and we believe you. May our testimony be like Simeon’s. Thank you for your relentless love that is beyond our comprehension.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21


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what really matters.

Posted by Tori on Dec 11, 2010 in a good word.

Wow, it has been so long since I have posted on the site! Actually…it’s been so long since I’ve done a lot of things. I have recently been amazed at how many things that have been crammed onto my to-do list – all very important things that really do need to be done and on a timely basis. These things tend to become my “priorities” for the day. It is not bad to be productive. It’s essential, really. But, sometimes, when we try on our own, we aren’t the best balancers. How do I find time for all of these things, while taking care of Ayden, and remembering that I am carrying twins and it’s not healthy for me to go to bed after midnight and get up at 5:30 every morning.

Time is such a valuable and intriguing element of our world. I love that it does not exist eternity…and I won’t have to think about it forever! The Lord has given me such a gift in His Word.

Isaiah 40:28
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

This reminds be that if He can balance the universe, He can surely balance my life. And He is much better at it! So, Lord, here I am. Here is my list. Your agenda for my day is my priority. You know what I need better than I do, and I trust you. Help me remember that the crumbs on the highchair will be there when I get to them (and Walker is better at cleaning them up than I am anyway…), that playing a game with Ayden is more important than that pile of clothes, and that eternal things are what really matter. Thank you for your incredible patience with me and your continual pursuit of my soul. You are what really matters.


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chocolate cinnamon bread.

Posted by Tori on Nov 22, 2010 in recipes.
This is way too good to keep all to myself. I found this recipe at Starbucks several years ago. It is absolutely amazing, and the holidays just aren’t the same without it. I like to enjoy mine with a medium roast coffee. There’s nothing quite like it. Try it out and I promise you won’t be disappointed!
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Cocoa-Spice Sugar Crust

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • pinch ground ginger
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup decorating or sparkle sugar


  • Preheat oven 375 F. Grease two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Make the Chocolate Batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed, until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next and scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.
  • Meanwhile in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, water and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to butter, beginning and ending with the flour and beating just until blended. Divide the batter between the two pans, shake the pans to even the tops and set aside.
  • Make the Cocoa-Spice Sugar Crust: In another small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and cloves. Sprinkle the surfaces of both batters with the decorating sugar. Sprinkle with the cocoa sugar mixture, dividing evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool completely, run a thin knife around the sides to release the breads and remove from pans.
  • Approximately 16 servings. Prep Time: 30 minutes. Cooking Time: 50 minutes.


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let the festivities begin.

Posted by Tori on Nov 16, 2010 in recipes.

Recently, I have been struck with the holiday spirit. It usually doesn’t hit me this early. In fact, I typically roll my eyes at those people who begin decorating and listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. But for some reason, this year is different. I have found myself strangely attracted to the holiday isles at stores. I’ve listened to one of my favorite jazz Christmas CDs, and I have everything I need for my holiday baking. What else makes this spark in me so odd is that for the first time since William and I have been married, I am not hosting Thanksgiving at my house. Also, I have decided that with Ayden’s increased mobility, a Christmas tree would not be so smart. Yet, I want to decorate, bake, make the house smell and look like Christmas…

So, this is not traditionally a holiday treat, but over the past couple of years I have made it one. I really only make it once a year…and it’s amazing. I am sure that you make this too…but just in case you’ve never tried it, or you haven’t made it in a while…here’s the recipe. This is the first thing I’m making this season.

Puppy Chow!

9 cups Chex cereal (any combination of varieties)

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup butter/margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Measure cereal into large bowl and set aside. Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Coat the cereal pieces with powdered sugar. (Some recommend doing this inside a 2-gallon plastic storage bag. I find this to be more trouble than it’s worth.) Store your Puppy Chow in an air-tight container in the fridge! Enjoy your new holiday tradition of yumminess!!


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the wait is over.

Posted by Tori on Nov 5, 2010 in family.

Today almost feels like Christmas!  I have been waiting (somewhat impatiently) to find out the gender of our precious twins – so excited to find out what the Lord is knitting together.  Today was the day!  My ultrasound this afternoon revealed that we are expecting identical little GIRLS!  We are so happy!  I am pleased that I will no longer be outnumbered in my family!  The Lord is so good and we are so incredibly thankful!! The ultrasound tech was so wonderful, and sent us home with over 100 pictures!  I will put some up soon!!

PSALM 145:1-7

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.

Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.

They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.

They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

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good times.

Posted by Tori on Nov 2, 2010 in family.

This past weekend, we went to St. Simons to spend time with family and also to go to the UGA/UF game in Jacksonville. It was such a great weekend! Ayden got to spend Saturday with his grandmother (I think she has settled on the name Mimi, but it hasn’t stuck yet…) and great-grandparents, while William and I enjoyed a date in Jacksonville!

The day started with a soy cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks (my new favorite drink) and some cinnamon swirl coffee cake…it was bound to be a great day with a start like that! We got into Jacksonville early enough to secure a spectacular parking spot. Then we headed downtown to the Landing for some shopping and food until game time.

We had a great time at the game…even though the Dawgs couldn’t pull it off. We ended the day with a late dinner at Steak N Shake…which was incredible since I hadn’t been to one of those since college!

Sunday, Ayden donned his Bulldog costume for Halloween! He had the best time!!

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more than enough.

Posted by Tori on Oct 27, 2010 in a good word.

Though the fig tree does not bud

and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;

he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,

he enables me to go on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19a

Over the past few weeks, for whatever reason, I have returned to these verses over and over. They are such a sweet encouragement to my soul. They remind me that He is ALWAYS enough. Sometimes I just need to let this truth sink in.

He is enough for today.

He is enough for tomorrow.

He is enough for what I don’t see.

He is my reason to REJOICE.

Resting in this truth and in His JOY today! Thanks, Lord.

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a little secret.

Posted by Tori on Oct 25, 2010 in recipes.

I thought I would share a little secret. Pregnancy cravings have been coming and going. Lately, I have desired anything pumpkin! Try this one. It is the easiest thing in the world, and so delicious! Yes, it is cheating…and no, no one will know.

First, grab a box of Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix.

Next, throw in a can of pumpkin…

Then, (I know this sounds crazy, but go with me…) add a little bit of water to combine the two. (No measuring allowed when you’re cheating like this.)

That’s all you need! I like to make mini muffins…then I don’t feel bad if I eat a few 🙂

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Then, spread some cream cheese frosting on top and enjoy (preferably with a large cup of coffee)!

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sweet saturdays.

Posted by Tori on Oct 23, 2010 in family.

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! (Winter is a close second.) I love football season. It has been so great to have season tickets to the UGA games in Athens this year. Ayden loves spending time with his grandparents, and it is so nice to have a date with William. But, while it is always fun, it isn’t always restful. Today is different! Today we are all home as a family. I love days like this. The weather is beautiful and we can spend the day doing whatever we want! Today consisted of enjoying the gorgeous weather, making the house smell amazing by cooking some of our Fall favorites, watching football, and laughing and playing with our sweet Ayden. Only a trip to Starbucks could have made it any more complete. Now, things are quiet. Ayden is sleeping, and William and I are enjoying UGA’s current lead over UK. A restful Saturday is always a good thing! Next weekend will be filled with fun and travel again, but for now, there’s no place like home.

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new every morning.

Posted by Tori on Oct 19, 2010 in family.

My college years were without a doubt the most fun years of my life. I loved being in school full-time, and I grew so much during those years. I especially loved Fall mornings when I did not have a class. I would make myself a cup of coffee, go for a walk, and then grab a good book and curl up in front of the window and just get lost for a few moments. Mornings like that don’t really happen for me anymore. However, Fall mornings like this one don’t really compare. Now I enjoy my coffee, and my walk, and my book…with my precious family. I have the joy of looking into my son’s face across the table from me, and I thank the Lord each day for this sweet time in our lives. His mercies are new EVERY morning! What new mercies has He shown you this morning?

Lamentations 3:22-24
The Lord ’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”

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