worship wednesday. week 7.

Posted by Tori on Jul 11, 2012 in video., worship wednesday.

Welcome back to Worship Wednesday! If this is your first time joining us: I am so glad that you are here! Make yourself at home!

This is the place we come to hit the pause button in the middle of the week to worship our incredible Savior and share what He’s teaching us.

Knees to the Earth | Watermark

This song by Nathan and Christy Nockles has always been so dear to me. I found myself singing it this week as I have been cleaning, changing diapers, cooking, bathing babies, etc. (Mr. Ayden, my 2 year old, even tries to sing along…so adorable!) I started thinking about the lyrics and what this song has meant to me over the past several years, as I transitioned from living at home with my parents to college life to married life, and to motherhood. It has been and still is my heart’s cry.

And it’s my heart’s cry for this blog too. More than anything, when people spend any amount of time on this little slice of internet, I want them to leave knowing it’s all about Jesus.

I am studying the book of James with some lovely ladies over the next few weeks. This week, I was reading James 1:19, “My dearly beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” Woosh! I have trouble with all of these, but probably, most often, I find it difficult to remember to be slow. to. speak.

I was struck by this quote from USA Today, referring to how incredibly and constantly connected we are electronically: “Often, we’re effectively disconnecting from those in the same room.” Man, how true is that for me so often? How sad. Beth Moore writes in her study on the book of James, “Face-to-face repartee is slipping through our fingers lightening-fast, so the only way we’re apt to develop the art of listening is to become rabidly intentional.”

So, Lord, I pray that you would make me intentional to see and listen to the people around me, right in front of my face, even. And to you. Especially to you. I don’t want to miss one, single thing you have for me. And when I do speak, let me consider the weight of my words, and let them make much of you. Be blessed. Be loved. Be lifted high. Be treasured here. Be glorified. My life is yours. Here I am.

My friend, Tiffany, and I would be so honored to have you link up and share your own Worship Wednesday post with all of us. Grab a button for your blog from the sidebar and share what He’s been teaching you and how you are worshiping right where you are today. If you don’t blog, feel free to leave a comment on the post. I can’t wait to read what you have written!


birchbox happiness + a review.

Posted by Tori on Jul 8, 2012 in beauty

This month I subscribed to Birchbox. Each month, you receive a box filled with samples of high-end beauty and lifestyle products. It’s great (especially for a mama of 3 under 3 who doesn’t get out much) to receive brand new beauty products each month. Every time is a surprise, almost like unwrapping Christmas! With every $10 box, you receive 10 points for future redemption in the Birchbox store. In addition if you submit a review online via Birchbox’s website, you receive an additional 10 points for each product you review. 100 points can be redeemed for $10 in the Birchbox store (good for any product they carry or promote). One month in and I’m already over half way there. For more information, click here.

Here’s a look at my June Birchbox!!




This month’s theme is Jet Set! It is full of products from all around the world and that are easy to take along with you in a snap!


The card included in the box lists the products you have received along with descriptions. As it happened, the card included in my box listed several products that I didn’t have, and in turn, there were products in my box that were not listed on my card. I gave the customer service number a call, and they explained it as a packaging error and shipped me a brand new box that same day! So, I technically received two June boxes, with some duplicate products. So, what I have decided to do is provide a review for some products from both boxes.

Eyeco | Fat Eye Stick: A fat shadow stick that can be used as an eye liner, or can be smudged to create a shadow. I LOVED this product. The price for the full-size item is only $15, and I think it would last a while. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Petrol Blue shade, but in another color, I would totally buy this!

theBalm Cosmetics | Stainiac in Beauty Queen: This is a 2-in-1 lip and cheek stain. It is a sheer gel that is really easy to apply. The color looks dark and bold in the tube, but it goes on sheer and is simple to get the boldness of color you want. The full-size product retails for $17, which in my opinion is a little much…but then again, it doubles as a lip and cheek color. Overall, I loved this product and would probably purchase it were it a bit more inexpensive.

tili | Bags: These are essentially zip plastic bags with adorable designs and colors. The suggested use was for storing your travel sized essentials to take through airport security. But they could be used for absolutely anything. The bags really are adorable and I love them. They retail for $8.49 – $9.49 for a package of 9-12 bags, which in my opinion is ridiculous. But, that’s mainly because I don’t have expendable cash to spend on cute plastic bags. If I did, though, I might get these. You can bet I’m saving the ones I received in my Birchbox for my trip to Nashville in September.

Number 4 | Super Comb Prep & Protect: This is a leave-in spray for your towel dried hair that detangles and defrizzes. It smells absolutely incredible (which is always a perk, if not a deciding factor, for hair products)! It has nutrient-rich botanicals and built-in UV filters to protect your hair. I really, really like this one! The full-size product (200 ml – which is a little less than 7 oz) runs for $32. A bit high for me, but on an impulse I would totally snag it!!

I received 4 other products between both boxes that I haven’t tried yet. If they end up being absolutely spectacular, I’ll let you know. The Birchbox comes with six products, but I lucked out because of their mistake.


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. Pretty neat! (And, if you save up your points, you could get your favorite item free!)

I am completely hooked and cannot wait until I get my July box! Click here to sign up! (You also get 50 points for each friend who joins!)

Happy Sampling!


worship wednesday. grace covers.

Posted by Tori on Jul 3, 2012 in video., worship wednesday.

Happy, happy 4th everyone!! I hope you all are enjoying the holiday and celebrating the Lord’s blessing of freedom. It’s Worship Wednesday here for us. I hope that you will join me and Tiffany¬†today as we stop what we are doing to just sit at the feet of our Savior and worship. He is so, so good. And so, so worthy.

After a week that has left me drained on all levels, I am especially thankful for His abundant grace. I am resting and abiding in Him.

I absolutely love and look forward to this little link up every week. Not just because it gives me the opportunity to refocus and worship, but because I get such an incredible blessing by reading and worshiping along with you as well.

So, grab a button to put on your blog and post a song, Scripture, or anything that is leading your heart into worship today!

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I can’t wait to read what’s on your heart!


can i get you a latte?

Posted by Tori on Jul 2, 2012 in coffee, family., Instagram., twins.

As a mama to 3 littles under 3, it is tricky to grab a moment for a coffee date with a friend. But, thanks to this little slice of internet, we can have our very own virtual coffee date whenever it is convenient for us and no matter how many miles separate us. So…can I get you a latte? Let’s catch up a bit…

If you and I were grabbing coffee today, I would tell you that this week has been nuts! Sometimes, when it rains, it pours. You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged since the 22nd! Our site was down for nearly a week. We have changed hosting companies, so we are hoping not to have that trouble again. Truthfully, it was kind of nice to be forced to take a break. Last Sunday, my twins came down with a virus. Then, on Tuesday, I had my four wisdom teeth extracted. That day was rough, but overall it hasn’t been a terrible experience. I was so grateful to have a lot of good help with the kids so I could focus on feeling better. By the middle of the week, the girls were feeling better. Friday, Ayden came down with it. He has been running fever…and last night we were up with him throwing up. He’s been a little better today, so I am praying that all the kids will sleep through the night so William and I can get some good rest!

How’s your week been? Hopefully, it hasn’t been this crazy. But, maybe it has been…or maybe it’s been worse. Regardless, I know that this is true: Our God is faithful. His pursuit of our souls is relentless. And He loves us more than we can understand. That helps me through any week.

“But I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle…Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. But you, O God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of corruption…But as for me, I trust in you.” Psalm 55:16-18a, 22-23a, 23c

And…I may or may not whip out my iPhone to show you some pics from today. In real life, I probably wouldn’t…but that kind of thing is way more acceptable on virtual coffee dates ūüėČ


Thankful for church online with sick little ones at home!


Brooklyn decided to chill out in the dog bed for a while…I don’t think she minds one bit…


Finally…Happy 16 months to my sweet baby ladies!! I love you!

I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know what’s been going on with you and what you’ve been learning…thanks for sharing a latte with me!

I’m linking up (like 4 days late…but who cares?) with¬†Rags to Stiches¬†for our coffee date.



Posted by Tori on Jun 22, 2012 in family., Instagram.

Life in pictures! Here is a look at our week through the eyes of Instagram! Enjoy!

Check out my Instagram profile and follow me here:


Brooklyn and Chelsea sampled their first chicken nuggets not too long ago! They were a hit (even though they each only ate half of one!)


This day, Ayden found some old clear, plastic shower curtain rings while I was cleaning the kids’ bathroom and decided to put them on as bracelets. Once he had on his sunglasses too, he thought he was something else!


I told him to smile so I could take a picture…and he struck this pose. No lie. I am slightly disturbed. Might have to save this one for something special when he is older…


Our crazy road trip saga began Thursday when William and I went to Brunswick, GA for my grandfather’s funeral. Friday, though, the whole family loaded up to head to Atlanta for his burial service. This is Ayden when we stopped briefly in Columbia…only 2 hours in. It’s safe to say he was less than excited.


This is a shot from on our way home from Atlanta on Saturday. I-20 stopped as far as the eye could see…one lane only. And my handy Starbucks companion. It was a Quad Venti Caramel Affogato Vanilla Bean Frap. Don’t ask what it is…just believe me that it is good and that it has 4 shots of espresso to get you through anything! (Also, it’s like an $8 drink…so if you are a SBUX rewards customer, wait until you get your free drink card to try it!)


This is my man on Father’s Day. Since he and I didn’t get to celebrate our anniversary properly this week, the two of us went out on Sunday evening. I asked his permission to take the picture. I caught him just before he started laughing. He is the sweetest. The best husband and the best daddy! I love you, William!


This is Ayden playing in the mister at the park, which he affectionately calls the “Mister, Mister!”


Give him a couple minutes and he will be soaked head to toe!

Linking up with…

life rearranged


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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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.


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.


worship wednesday. jesus lives.

Posted by Tori on Jun 13, 2012 in a good word., family., video., worship wednesday.

I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate to post this week than this song! I have been playing it all week. As you probably know, my grandfather passed away this week. His funeral service will be tomorrow afternoon, which also happens to be my grandmother’s birthday and my wedding anniversary.

I hope this song will encourage your heart and fill you with joy for the hope of Heaven and for the inheritance that awaits us as believers. I pray that you will hit the pause button on your busy Wednesday to shift your focus from the temporal to the eternal – to what really matters! Jesus lives!

Why don’t you grab a button and link up with me & Mrs. Pate?!

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!

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” target=”_self”><img src=&#34http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m574/mrstmpate/wwbutton125.jpg&#34
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one thing remains.

Posted by Tori on Jun 10, 2012 in a good word., family., thankful heart.

When I think back on my life, and the process through which the Lord drew me to Himself, there are several strategic people He used to teach me and grow me in specific ways. Aside from my parents, the very first person He used in such a way was my grandfather. My mom’s dad. When I was a baby, my mom went back to work and I stayed with my grandfather. We spent a lot of time together. He had retired from the FBI, both of my parents worked, and so did all of my other grandparents. So, he stepped up to the plate so that my parents wouldn’t have to send me to daycare or preschool. We lived within minutes from one another until my parents moved to Savannah when I was four.

Every morning, he and I would go to a cafe up the street. He would have his coffee and I would eat a slice of cantaloupe…with salt on top. Every morning. We got to where everyone around town knew us. On Fridays, he would always take me to TCBY after my nap. The chocolate was my favorite…and his. As I grew up, when we would come to visit, he taught me how to play card games and he and I would play and laugh for hours. He loved football! This was before you could pay to watch 18 games on your screen at the same time, so he would flip back and forth constantly. His favorite was, of course, UGA football. I would sit and watch with him. He taught me the rules and how the game was played. I wanted to do everything like him. He would tell me stories from captures he made in the FBI that would keep me on the edge of my seat. I thought it was so cool that he had a personal letter from J. Edgar.

But, beyond all these fun things, my memories and the things I learned from my granddaddy go a lot deeper than my ABC’s, football, and old FBI stories. He introduced me to Jesus. He was all about Jesus. Every morning, he would spend an hour in a room in their house by himself. That was his time with the Lord. Whenever he went in there and shut the door, we all knew that his time there was sacred. He read the Bible in its entirety to me before I was three. He couldn’t stop talking about Jesus and what He had done, and what He was doing. After I came to know the Lord, he was one of the first to disciple me and teach me how to read Scripture and to pray.

He also showed me what it looked like to love people like Jesus. Especially his wife. He truly esteemed her and his love for her was a beautiful picture of Christ and the church. My only memory of arguments between them was shoving one another in front of the kitchen sink after a meal, deciding who would wash the dishes – because each one wanted to do it to serve the other. Most times he won.

When I would spend the night with them, I slept in my mom’s old room which was right across the hall from their room. They always slept with the bedroom doors partially opened and I would fall asleep listening to them talk to one another in their bed. It was beautiful the things they would say. They would talk about their day. He would thank her for being the remarkable help mate that she was. He would tell her that he couldn’t do life without her and that he would never want to. He would pray over her. And she would do the same for him. I remember asking God, in those moments, to bless me with a marriage like that.

As granddaddy got older, he developed dementia. At first, it was hard because he was aware that he was forgetting more and more. He knew what was happening to him. It worsened to the point where he couldn’t remember anyone, not even his wife. He would have moments of clarity where his memory would return and he would recognize his family and be able to tell us how much he loved us. Even on the worst days, He would remember Jesus. He would still talk about the Lord and he still read his Bible. My grandmother became his caregiver in their home. Her love for him, her care for him when he could no longer take care of himself, and her undivided faithfulness to him has become a beautiful picture, once again, of Christ and the church. Their marriage functions how the Lord designed it.

She is still doing just that. Only tonight it looks a little different. He is lying in a hospital bed next to theirs. His breathing is labored and slow. Very slow. His eyes are closed and his body is frail and unable to move. He will see his beloved Jesus very soon.

I was able to be there last night with them. I say I will never forget these things. All the memories. All the laughs, and kisses. All of our conversations that we had just the two of us. How it felt to spend this morning in the bedroom with him and have the last conversation that we will have this side of Heaven. The lump in my throat. But the truth is, I may forget. My memory may fade just like his. But, one thing remains. The eternal truth written on my heart. The way God used him to show who He is to me. The eternal investment he made into my life will not perish or fade like the earthly things will.

2 Corinthians 3:2-3 says, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

It is written on my heart. Sealed by His Spirit.

It makes me want to run even harder after Jesus. When the people who know me look at my life, is Jesus preeminent? Is He everything?

What about you? What do people see when they look at your life? What legacy will you leave? Will you leave only perishable memories, or will you allow the Lord to use you to plant the imperishable? To participate in His work; in what will last for eternity?

When you’re prompted, please pray for our family. We are asking the Lord to turn our hearts from earthly grief and sorrow onto eternal joy and hope of Heaven and our inheritance as co-heirs with Christ. This Tuesday is my grandparents’ wedding anniversary. Thursday is my grandmother’s birthday. We trust God’s perfect timing. He has done great things. And our hearts are full of gratefulness. His love is perfect. He is everything.


worship wednesday. beautiful.

Posted by Tori on Jun 6, 2012 in a good word., video., worship wednesday.

Welcome to the third installment of Worship Wednesday! I’m hosting this weekly blog post with the lovely, Mrs. Tiffany Pate! Check out her site to see what she is posting today too.

I am praying that the Lord will use this word to remind you of His beauty in every circumstance, as He has reminded me this week! I was reading Spurgeon’s, Morning & Evening, and was struck by these words. (As a side note, if you are looking for something amazing to read on a daily basis that will keep you in the Word, I highly recommend this work. You can get it anywhere, but if you use the YouVersion Bible app on your Android or iPhone, you can get it as one of the reading plans.)

from Morning & Evening (C. H. Spurgeon), Evening – Day 143

Song of Solomon 1:16, “Behold, thou art fair, my Beloved.”

“In the manger and in eternity, on the cross and on his throne, in the garden and in his kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of cherubim, he is everywhere ‘altogether lovely.’ Examine carefully every little act of his life, and every trait of his character, and he is as lovely in the minute as in the majestic. Judge him as you will, you cannot censure; weigh him as you please, and he will not be found wanting. Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved, but rather, as ages revolve, his hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendour, and his unutterable loveliness shall more and more ravish all celestial minds.”

He is absolutely, everywhere, altogether lovely. In every season. In every moment. His beauty shines forth even in our ugliest of times.

Why don’t you grab a button and link up with me & Mrs. Pate?!

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!

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” target=”_self”><img src=&#34http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m574/mrstmpate/wwbutton125.jpg&#34
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