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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miscellany monday.

Posted by Tori on Aug 13, 2012 in family., Instagram.

Hey everyone! I’m linking up again this week with Carissa for Miscellany Monday. So…let the randomness begin!

1. I love my friend Carrie! I met Carrie when we were in college at CIU. She lived next door to me in the dorms. 7 years later, the Lord has continued to grow us and strengthen our friendship. We have been through so much – a lot of life change – but the Lord’s faithfulness & grace have been abundant. This past Saturday we celebrated a bridal shower for Carrie & her sweet fiancé, Stephen. She’ll be getting married this October & I could not be happier for her!

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2. I love my husband! There are many reasons, but I love that he got us PGA tickets for this past Sunday at Kiawah. We had so much fun! Back when he bought the tickets I secretly thought they were a waste of money, but I supported the decision because I know how much he loves golf. Little did I know that I would go with him and have such a great time. Snuck a few shots of some players too…shhh…don’t tell 😉

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3. I love this crazy, silly life. The Lord is so good and I am so thankful to be along for this wild ride!

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4. And…last but not least…I got my August Birchbox in the mail last week! I have already tried a few things in it and can’t wait to show you what I got!

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Happy Monday! Be random, friends!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

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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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insta-friday. august 3.

Posted by Tori on Aug 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

Welcome to my world through the lens of Instagram! It’s been a few weeks since I have linked up for Insta-Friday so I’m am excited to share some sweet, fun moments with you!

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I had the privilege of listening to this woman recite from memory the book of James in its entirety at Bible study the other week. It was incredible! Gave me chill bumps to listen to her speak His Word with such passion from deep within her bones. Beautiful!

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This one decided he would try on my shirt while I was folding laundry the other day. His face in this picture makes me howl every time! What a goober.

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This. It’s “Middle East Pasta Salad” from Trader Joe’s. Made my whole afternoon yesterday.  Go get some – you won’t be disappointed!

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Last night. William went out after work & I had no idea where he was going. He came home and set this on the table for me to see when I came downstairs! What a sweetie! I am absolutely loving it!! Thanks, babe!

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This morning Ayden grabbed my oven mitts and was having the best time playing with them and pretending to cook. Maybe a future chef? I’m ok with that as long as he has his mother over for dinner at least once a week 😉

Happy Weekend, friends!

life rearranged

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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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miscellany monday. welcome to the random.

Posted by Tori on Jul 30, 2012 in family., Instagram., twins.

I am writing my random and linking up with Carissa.

1. The Olympics are here!! I love watching the Olympics…we have had it on basically non-stop & it’s been really fun.

2. It was a lovely weekend! Saturday, William & I got to go on a “date day!” We saw Batman at the IMAX (Just being honest here, I didn’t think I would like it. But I did. It was incredible.), grabbed some dinner, dodged some rain clouds…

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3. Chelsea learned how to climb up into this chair all by herself this weekend. She was having the best time until she fell out. She hasn’t been back up yet. And…I cannot believe that my babies are getting this big?! When did this happen? I must have blinked…

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4. These three. I was busy folding some towels in the living room & they did this. Laughing the whole time! Love them.

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5. This silly boy had his first experience with a temporary tattoo. I don’t think I need to say anymore…he likes it.

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Well, there you have it…a glimpse into my very random, very ordinary weekend. Happy Monday, y’all!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

 

 

 

 

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worship wednesday. week 9.

Posted by Tori on Jul 25, 2012 in video., worship wednesday.

Hello, friends! Welcome to week nine of Worship Wednesday. I am so glad you are here!

This week, I have absolutely loved this song & the truth about the character of our God that is packed inside of it. I was introduced to Aaron Keyes in college when he joined us for a series of chapel services. The Lord has truly gifted him as a writer and a leader in worship.

I am so incredibly thankful for our Savior’s wisdom & perfect love. I am fascinated by the picture of Him “reigning high above the heavens, reaching down in endless grace.” He surrounds and upholds us. He is our everything, no matter the circumstance or season. He, indeed, is sovereign over us. And I am forever grateful.


As a side note, I would just like to mention that I’m writing this post in the middle of a pretty intense thunderstorm. I love those. Something about them just makes me fall that much more in love with Him…& recognize that I only know just an ounce of His power. Lastly, I love the atmosphere of worship in Aaron’s living room as this video was shot. Praying that His Spirit would fill our home with many sacred moments like that as we worship & honor Him.

V1
There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting, Sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust

CHORUS
Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

V2
You are wisdom unimagined, Who could understand your ways
Reigning high above the heavens, Reaching down in endless grace
Youʼre the Lifter of the lowly, Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me, Your promises are my delight

BR
Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good, You turn it for our good and for your glory
Even in the valley You are faithful
Youʼre working for our good, Youʼre working for our good and for your glory

Words & Music by Aaron Keyes, Bryan Brown, and Jack Mooring.
Copyright (c) 2011 Thankyou Music (admin. worldwide by worshiptogether.com songs excluding Europe, which
is admin. by kingswaysongs.com) (PRS)

Mrs. Tiffany Pate and I would love for you to link up your own Worship Wednesday post with us. We are always so blessed by what you share. To Him be all honor and glory! Have a wonderful week!

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july 2012 birchbox review!

Posted by Tori on Jul 23, 2012 in beauty, coffee, Instagram.

So, I thought my June Birchbox was fun, but I have absolutely loved everything in my July Birchbox!! If you aren’t familiar with Birchbox, check them out. I know you will love them! Here’s a little about how it works: Each month, you receive a box filled with samples of high-end beauty and lifestyle products. It’s such a neat treat (especially for a mama of 3 under 3 who doesn’t get out much) to receive brand new beauty products each month. Each box is just $10 & it’s always a fun surprise to see what’s inside! Once you get your Birchbox in the mail, you sign in online for a list of the products you received, more information, videos on how to use the products, as well as the option to purchase them with free shipping during that month. With each product in your box, you have the option to submit a small review and receive 10 points. 100 points are worth $10 for future redemption in the Birchbox shop on any product they carry or promote. Pretty neat! (And, if you save up your points, you could get your favorite item free!) For more information, or to subscribe click here.

Birchbox teamed up with Glamour this month to offer a box that provides an experience for each of our five senses.

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So…what was in my July box, you ask?

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Color Club | Blue-Ming: A bright, summery, green-turquoise nail polish. This polish definitely screams summer fun! I loved having it included in the box. The full-sized product is just $8! Can’t beat it! This one was definitely a winner for me.

Gloss Moderne | High-Gloss Masque: This is a vitamin-rich conditioning cream to restore shine, and replenish hair after exposure to sun, heat, & pollution. You apply it in the shower to rinsed hair for five minutes and then rinse it out. I have enjoyed using this one. I let it replace my Moroccan Oil and it did a decent job. The full-sized product retails for $39. I’m enjoying the sample, but plan to return to my Moroccan Oil for the long-term.

Harvey Prince | Eau Flirt: This is a flirty perfume with layers of citrus & jasmine over a base of lavender & pumpkin. Sounds iffy on paper, at least to me, but it actually is quite nice. It’s light, youthful, and absolutely perfect for summer! The full-sized products range in price from $55-$98. It’s definitely a product I’ll keep in the back of my mind next summer when I’m shopping for a new fragrance.

Manna Kadar | sheer glo shimmer lotion: This shimmery lotion can be combined with your foundation, or used alone as a highlighter to cheeks and browbones, or can be used as a lotion anywhere you would like to boost radiance without adding shine. This one was fun to try. It feels light on the skin, and really achieves the look it advertises. It reminded me of a tinted moisturizer I used to use and really loved. It retails for $29. Not too bad, but not something I’m ready to add to my daily routine.

suki | Balancing Kit: This came as an all-in-one set with the goal of calming, and purifying your face, leaving it smooth, hydrated, and healthy. It was fun to get an entire set to try all at once (cleanser, clay, toner, moisturizer, etc.). The full-sized set is $40. You get everything you need to care for your skin from morning till night. So, it really is a nice value.

LÄRABAR | über: So, I’ll admit, it was super fun to get to try a new snack in my Birchbox! These bars come in four flavors: Roasted Nut Roll, Apple Turnover, Bananas Foster, and Cherry Cobbler. I sampled the Roasted Nut Roll and it was tasty! Loved it! You can buy a variety pack of the bars (16) for $27.95. A bit steep for a snack, but if you buy me one, I’ll eat it!!

Birchbox Exclusive | Earbuds: As an added bonus in the box, I received a pair of earbuds! How fun?! They are cute, bright neon green and pink. I am keeping them in my purse and have loved using them! Thanks, Birchbox! (Retail, $0.)

Overall, this box gets an A! I would love for you to sign up and enjoy Birchbox with me! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

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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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miscellany monday. brought to you by starbucks.

Posted by Tori on Jul 16, 2012 in coffee, family., Instagram.

Hey there! I am writing random and linking up with Carissa this morning!

1. Here I am! Yes, I am writing this post from my laptop. In the car. Starbucks in hand. You do whatcha gotta do, right?

2. I really do think that parents of young kids should be immune to all illness. Isn’t being sick and taking care of babies the worst?! And why is it that William & I get sick together? Who knows. Yesterday, we both felt it coming on. Everyone in our house napped for 2 hours. I woke up feeling worse. Like I had been hit by a Mack truck. My head was throbbing, my skin was crawling, and I was not looking forward to this week at all. Took some meds and packed it in early (like 10:30) last night. And prayed. Then, I woke up this morning a little grumpy (just keeping it real), but otherwise feeling normal. Thank you, Jesus!!! I have never felt that bad one day and this good the next. I have no idea what’s going on in this little body, but I am so thankful.

3. William ordered this book for me. Plus two more. One on PHP & one on Photoshop. Note to self: If you ever express a desire in learning anything technical to your IT professional of a husband, he will make sure you have the opportunity to learn it! This can be good or not so good. I’m thinking I’m way in over my head. I am about halfway through this one and haven’t touched the other two yet. Maybe there’s hope for me yet? Who knows.

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4. I love that I began writing this post in the car, but am finishing it on the couch a few hours later. Somewhere in the middle of #3, William called. He was leaving work & headed to grab a bite to eat. So, he met us and we enjoyed an impromptu family lunch! Love extra family time!!

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straw swords with daddy at lunch.

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happy baby ladies.

5. I am really excited to get into this month’s Birchbox & try all of the goodies!! It was a really fun box this month, and I can’t wait to share my review with you!!

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6. I read Jessi’s post today and was seriously blessed! (You will be too.) I feel like she took the words right out of my mouth! It’s something the Lord has been speaking over me lately & impressing on my heart regarding online ministry. So thankful for her.

7. Also, check out the LinkyHere blog this afternoon to learn a little more about me, my heart for this site, and our weekly link-up, Worship Wednesday!

That’s all folks! Enjoy your Monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

 

 

 

 

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