Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Recap

What a year 2008 has been. Some highlights and memories...

  • January: My last HPA show, Narnia, as the crulie Howler Argoon in the White Witch's Army. I also served as the Props Mistress.
  • February: Trip to Disney world with my family and Lindsay! This was one of my favorite vacations. We took the camper and Emily, Linna and I stayed in our own girls tent on air mattresses. We celebrated Lindsay's 18th in EPCOT. We also saw dolphins when we stayed on the keys after Disney. So relaxing and fun! Minus the day Lewis was sick, of course, this was trip to remember fondly forever.
  • March: I'm sure something grand happened in March that I can't remember. Some birthdays happened I know...
  • April: I stage managed for HPA's Hello, Dolly! I absolutely LOVED this. Even though it was very hard and taxing work, it was work I enjoyed and I felt good at the end of the day. A great way to end my HPA invovlement as a student.
  • May: My Graduation from high school--12 years as a homeschooled student! It was lots of fun and I got to know my peers a bit better through all the graduating class activites. (Funny being homeschooled--you don't meet everyone in your graduating "class" until you're gradutation ceremony prep!) My senior Prom with the hottest guy ever as my date (Love you Peter!). (Nevermind that I was sick and had to go home early.) Also, on the 27th, it was 7 years since I met my love, Peter.
  • June: Graduation Parties! Peter's, mine, and Linna's. Lots of fun, pictures, presents, and great times with people I love! I played softball with my church throughout the summer. I started working part-time at church this summer, too.
  • July: Trip up north! I drove the longest stretch ever for me, from home to a camp up north--just about 6 hours. Linna was with me: Road Trip! We had a blast hangin' with my fam and the camp people. Then we had the New Day camping trip which rocked, too.
  • August: College prep and Peter left for MN and Linna left for her school which is far (but not as far) away. Peter and I had our one year anniversary of dating on the 27th!
  • September: My first semester at college began! Crazy crazy busy busy stress stress. ACC 100, BUS 103, ENG 160 (honors!), and MATH 116.
  • October: My friend Anne got married!!! And Peter came back to go to the wedding. There was a School of Prayer at my church. Peter came home for a whole week for October break. I was so busy with school I barely put any time into friendships...Linna and Cait were about the only people I was able to see.
  • November: I kept pluggin' away at school. Saw Twilight with the girls. Spent a great Thanksgiving with Peter's family!
  • December: Oh the dramatic change from the stress and burden of finals to the bliss and freedom of break! I got 4.0 in EVERY CLASS. I didn't believe it. What a blessing; thank You, Jesus!! The worst news came in December, however... my grandpa died. It still hasn't registered completely...the memorial will be in a month or so. But good news continues: Linna and Peter are HOME! More time to spend playing video games with my bros, making Christmas gifts, and hangin' with Peter and my friends. Christmas came and I got a fabulous cashmere/wool coat and shaweet boots. Yay! I spent the 26th to the 29th with the Webbs in Ohio visiting the Greenes. Lots of fun! I came home on my 19th Birthday and my family gave me their gift right then--a cute black sweater jacket and...a lot of cash. Yay again! Now I'm planning on spending New Years with Linna's fam and hopefully Peter and Corey will be there!
So there's my year recap. I suppose this was more for me to look back on... but I hope you enjoyed reading it too, and that it will encorage you to look back at your year and treasure the great moments.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Baby Steps

I really just need to start writing and stay writing. I always seem to go in spells...and thats no good when you need to stay on top of getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. (Cyber paper? Same principle.)

My birthday was yesterday. I'm the grand old/young age of 19. The years are really flying by; this is my last teenage year! Before I know it my twenties will be gone too. I really want to learn to live every day--truly live it. I suppose that is my new years resolution. To find a way to live my days to the fullest and not get trapped in the mundane drag of commonplace doings.

Maybe what I need to do is not write such long posts--then I might do more of them. Just a few paragraphs is a good place to start. Just like learning to live a few hours every day--or even one activity a day--will be the way to learn to live every moment of every day. Instead of worrying about jumping right to perfect, I need to start small. Like the baby steps I took about 17 and a half years ago, I'll take little steps now to achieving a better way of life.

Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. -Psalm 90:12

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Black And White

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13


Sometimes sticking up for what you believe sucks.

Especially when it takes potential happiness away from someone you love... I'm fairly positive that the happiness would not have been lasting...but...it hurts to hurt others.

I am a line-drawer. I say "this is how it is, so deal with it." I am honest and to the point. I believe what I believe and I'll listen to your disagreements and consider them, but I don't often change my mind about issuses core to who I am. I draw the line and say--this is what I know is right and wrong. Get out of your gray area and face the black and white.

And you know what? That bothers a lot of people.

Coupled with this passion for my beliefs is a desire to show love to people; that's why I'm blunt and hard and painfully honest--because I love you, even if it doesn't look like it. I'm trying to look at a bigger perseptive. I know I'm young and not the wisest, but because of the wisdom of those who have gone before me, and because of the things I've experienced in my life, I passionately believe what I do.

When something that looks so good and harmless to the majority of the people in the world is so not setting with what I know is truth (not to mention it doesn't look healthly long term)...well, I'm sorry, but if I love you, I'm going to tell you.

The problem with this is that so many people don't feel loved when they are faced with black and white. They feel attacked...it sounds like an attack to say that I believe something you're ok with is wrong. I don't want to attack you as a person, I want to fight what that action or idea that I see as a lie or misconception or lower standard or just plain ...wrong! I suppose it doesn't help that when I get in this groove I get pretty serious, and people think I'm all tense and offensive. I'm just bracing myself, I guess. Putting my roots deep into something stronger than I am. Ready to face whatever you say because I know my foundation is firm. I guess that looks like I'm gearing for battle. And maybe in a sense I am...but its not that I am fighting YOU--I'm trying to fight FOR you.

So if I ever confront you about something or if I ever disagree, know its not an attack agaist you as a person. It's with the idea or the attitude or the action. Know I still love you as a person underneath it all. I fight the gray, I long to bring the white light of clarity.

If you won't draw the line, I will.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Update soon...

Update coming after finals are over (Tuesday), I promise!

Lots o' love,
Tori

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Twelve Days of Finals

On the first day of finals, my professor gave to me one TI-83.

On the second day of finals, my professor gave to me two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the third day of finals, my professor gave to me three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the fourth day of finals, my professor gave to me four papers to rewrite, three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the fifth day of finals, my professor gave to me five special journals, four papers to rewrite, three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the sixth day of finals, my professor gave to me six hours of sleep, five special journals, four papers to rewrite, three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the seventh day of finals, my professor gave to me seven (pages of) accounting transactions, six hours of sleep, five special journals, four papers to rewrite, three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the eighth day of finals, my professor gave to me eight volunteering hours to schedule, seven (pages of) accounting transactions, six hours of sleep, five special journals, four papers to rewrite, three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the ninth day of finals, my professor gave to me nine rows of math problems, eight volunteering hours to schedule, seven (pages of) accounting transactions, six hours of sleep, five special journals, four papers to rewrite, three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the tenth day of finals, my professor gave to me ten nightmares of failing, nine rows of math problems, eight volunteering hours to schedule, seven (pages of) accounting transactions, six hours of sleep, five special journals, four papers to rewrite, three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the eleventh day of finals, my professor gave to me eleven excel spreadsheets, ten nightmares of failing, nine rows of math problems, eight volunteering hours to schedule, seven (pages of) accounting transactions, six hours of sleep, five special journals, four papers to rewrite, three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

On the twelfth day of finals, my professor gave to me twelve stressed out days!! eleven excel spreadsheets, ten nightmares of failing, nine rows of math problems, eight volunteering hours to schedule, seven (pages of) accounting transactions, six hours of sleep, five special journals, four papers to rewrite, three (a day) cups of coffee, two sharpened pencils and a TI-83.

When finals are over, I'll give to you--a much happier student Tori!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A New Perspective

Often when I read the Psalms, I think of “evildoers” as sinners, or those who directly oppose me or Christ. You know, the evil people David and other Psalmists dealt with, who would toss the good guys in pits and stand back laughing. For the most part, I don't come in contact with that type—I'd say no one is “out to get me.” In turn, I tend to belittle my problems, because they aren't as serious as starving in a pit, and then I feel like I have to pick and choose to find what parts of the Bible I'm relating to today.


However, just now, I realized that an “evildoer” could very easily be any circumstance in my life that makes it difficult for me to be with Christ or rest in His peace. And not only could an “evildoer” be a circumstance—it could be a frame of mind or an attitude. And I'll be honest with you—my attitude hasn't been so hot lately, not to mention my circumstances. In light of these revelations, these verses take on a whole new depth of meaning:

Psalm 37:1-9

A Psalm of David.

Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring [it] to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret--[it] only [causes] harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Prayer

Please keep praying for my family. My grandpa died...and its affecting everything.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A New Week

Okay. So I haven't done perfect for the start of this week. I haven't done awful either.

I did have an idea though. I'm going to try and set a goal each week and I might post it here to keep me accountable. I will this week, at least. I'm going to spend at least 30 minutes with God every day. Preferably in the morning. I pray a lot anyways, but I don't have a regular habit of sitting down for a set amount of time to pray and read the Bible. So that's my goal--work on getting in that habit again (I did have it once upon a time).

I don't know completely what I think about the whole online accountability thing... but this way multiple people can keep me in check, and it's not a secret anymore that I'm not as faithful here as I wish I was.

Right now, however, sleep is calling. I've got a lot to do tomorrow.

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22

Ends, Beginnings, and Goodbyes.

Peter's gone again. Linna leaves tomorrow. Tomorrow I must dive into that mound of homework I chose not to do during my break--because I needed a break. Now I've got two weeks to finish my final projects for my first semester at college and to get ready for Christmas! The beginning of the end. Somewhat.

But that is not what I'm really focusing on right now....I said goodbye to Peter tonight. And that's where my thoughts are...going with him back to Minneapolis.


I love you. I'm waiting.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Edward Cullen Wishes He Was as Great as My Boyfriend

Edward Cullen wishes he was as amazing as my boyfriend. Okay, so I'll admit straight off that bat that I haven't read the books. For all that my friends talk about them though, I might as well have. I'm fairly sure they've told me every twist. And some of them are really weird.

But, for all means and purposes of this post, I've seen the movie and heard way too many people sigh and wish they had Edward Cullen as their boyfriend. Minus the bloodsucking part. (Some of the sighs actually want that. I'm thinking they forgot about the pain and agony aspect?) And every time they talk about this fictional man's wonderfulness, I can't help but go...wow, deja vu. That man is mine already.

So, to prove my point, I googled "perks of edward cullen." One of the first results was a list titled, "Edward Cullen of Twilight vs. Normal Guys."

A normal guy would say: “I love you Baby!”
Edward Cullen would say: “You are my life now.”

He's said it better. My man's said that we're going to build a life together, and its going to be better than anything we can imagine. (Which it will, cuz our goal is to follow God.)

Normal Guy would say: “I think I am falling for you.”
Edward Cullen would say: “The Lion fell in Love with the Lamb”

Peter makes the best analogies and he doesn't even know it. Considering he doesn't want to eat me, the EC example doesn't really apply. But Peter does give the best compliments, and he's never said "I think I'm falling for you." Instead, he tells me he loves me multiple times every day, and just for the record, he's loved me for 7 1/2 years. And yes, he's almost 18.

Normal Guy would say: “You hair looks like a haystack; go brush it!”
Edward Cullen would say: "Your hair looks like a haystack but I like it.”

I kid you not--one of us called the other on skype RIGHT after I woke up, and he saw my bed head in all its glory, and said I was straight out beautiful. And he meant it, too.

A normal guy would pick a random song from a random artist and dedicate it to you.
Edward Cullen would sing you a song he wrote for you while playing the piano.

Check. He's done that. On guitar, but he's also composed stuff for me spur of the moment on the piano.

If you died, a normal guy would find another.
If you died, Edward would kill himself cause life without you isn’t worth living.

Because we have faith, thats not something I consider admirable. Right now, we're ultimately living for God, and then for each other and those we love. We've talked about this though, and he said he would keep living, but it would be without the love of another and life would be gray and not the colorful dream we see in our future.

As you leave the house, a normal guy would say: “Bye, see ya!”
As you leave the house Edward Cullen would say: “Come back to me, love.”

Check. Word for word. On the phone though, or when ever he leaves for MN, we say that.

As you come back to the house, a normal guy would be watching TV and wouldn’t even notice.
As you come back to the house, Edward Cullen would be welcoming you by playing the piano with a song just for you.

I have no doubt when we're married (God willing) our house will be full of Peter's music.


A normal guy would wait for you to make him breakfast.
Edward Cullen would make you breakfast everyday.

Hahaha...well, I know he would. But I like cooking, so we'll work that out.

While you are both out for dinner, a normal guy wouldn’t keep his eyes off the sexy waitress.
Edward Cullen wouldn’t even notice the waitress was a female.

Check. Peter's basically amazing.

A normal guy, while driving, would keep one hand on the wheel and one hand on the radio.
Edward Cullen, while driving, would keep one hand on the wheel and the other attached to yours.

*laughs again* Check!

While far apart in different places, a normal guy would say: “I miss you.”
While far apart in different places, Edward Cullen would say: “It’s like you've taken half myself with you.”

Check....but we say I miss you, as well.


A normal guy wouldn’t care or notice if you had nightmares.
Edward Cullen would sing until your nightmares went away.
"Do you want me to sing to you? I'll sing all night if it will keep the bad dreams away."

Wow. He does pray over me. And I have a CD of his Worship music. I haven't talked about this one with him, but I know he would if I asked.

A normal guy does it with everyone.
Edward Cullen only does it with one.

Heck yeah.


So, too bad for you, girls, that guy Ms. Meyers based Edward on is taken. And he's mine.

I love you, Peter Webb.


P.S. (And at the risk of losing all creditability with the EC fanactics out there, Peter is a heck of a lot better looking than EC too.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Disney Girl

I'm a Disney Girl. It's a long neglected hobby of mine. One of those things you wish you could spend more time on, but rarely do. Well, I stumbled upon the Pixar Blog, and I've been following it the past few days. (If your at all interested in Pixar, it's amazing--check it out!) And it somewhat renewed my interest. I'm realizing how little I really know about the behind the scenes Dinsey/Pixar wonder. So I thought a good place to start would be John Lasseter. Wow--was I ever right. You basically can't get any higher. According to the amazing Wiki, here is his job description:

"
In April 2006, Disney purchased Pixar and Lasseter was named Chief Creative Officer of both Pixar and Disney animation studios. He was also named Principal Creative Advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering, where he will help design attractions for Disney's theme parks. He will report directly to Disney chief Bob Iger, bypassing Disney's studio and theme parks executives. He also received green-light power on films with Roy E. Disney's consent."

Wow. He can basically do whatever he wants. Talk about the top dog—someone (might have been the pixar blog) even said he was basically the Walt Disney of these times. Crrazy.

And on top of that, he was ultra involved with Bolt. Which, I will have you note, the smart guy who reviews movies in the local paper gave bolt an A- and only gave twilight a B something. Which gets my hopes up—I've been longing for a good Disney movie!

So, even though it might not be “a cool movie” (*sticks tongue out at Peter*) I really want to see it.

Yup. Now on to the 12 hours of HW I have this weekend.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tidbits of Mr. Barrie

"For a moment after Mr. and Mrs. Darling left the house the night-lights by the beds of the three children continued to burn clearly. They were awfully nice little night-lights, and one cannot help wishing that they could have kept awake to see Peter; but Wendy's light blinked and gave such a yawn that the other two yawned also, and before they could close their mouths all the three went out."

"A moment after the fairy's entrance the window was blown open by the breathing of the little stars, and Peter dropped in."

""I wasn't crying about mothers," he said rather indignantly. "I was crying because I can't get my shadow to stick on. Besides, I wasn't crying."
"It has come off?"
"Yes."
Then Wendy saw the shadow on the floor, looking so draggled, and she was frightfully sorry for Peter. "How awful!" she said, but she could not help smiling when she saw that he had been trying to stick it on with soap. How exactly like a boy!
Fortunately she knew at once what to do. "It must be sewn on," she said, just a little patronisingly.
"What's sewn?" he asked.
"You're dreadfully ignorant."
"No, I'm not."
But she was exulting in his ignorance. "I shall sew it on for you, my little man," she said, though he was tall as herself, and she got out her housewife [sewing bag], and sewed the shadow on to Peter's foot.
"I daresay it will hurt a little," she warned him.
"Oh, I shan't cry," said Peter, who was already of the opinion that he had never cried in his life. And he clenched his teeth and did not cry, and soon his shadow was behaving properly, though still a little creased.
"Perhaps I should have ironed it," Wendy said thoughtfully, but Peter, boylike, was indifferent to appearances, and he was now jumping about in the wildest glee. Alas, he had already forgotten that he owed his bliss to Wendy. He thought he had attached the shadow himself. "How clever I am!" he crowed rapturously, "oh, the cleverness of me!"
It is humiliating to have to confess that this conceit of Peter was one of his most fascinating qualities. To put it with brutal frankness, there never was a cockier boy.
But for the moment Wendy was shocked. "You conceit [braggart]," she exclaimed, with frightful sarcasm; "of course I did nothing!"
"You did a little," Peter said carelessly, and continued to dance.
"A little!" she replied with hauteur [pride]; "if I am no use I can at least withdraw," and she sprang in the most dignified way into bed and covered her face with the blankets.
To induce her to look up he pretended to be going away, and when this failed he sat on the end of the bed and tapped her gently with his foot. "Wendy," he said, "don't withdraw. I can't help crowing, Wendy, when I'm pleased with myself." Still she would not look up, though she was listening eagerly. "Wendy," he continued, in a voice that no woman has ever yet been able to resist, "Wendy, one girl is more use than twenty boys."
Now Wendy was every inch a woman, though there were not very many inches, and she peeped out of the bed-clothes.
"Do you really think so, Peter?"
"Yes, I do."
"I think it's perfectly sweet of you," she declared, "and I'll get up again," and she sat with him on the side of the bed. She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked, but Peter did not know what she meant, and he held out his hand expectantly.
"Surely you know what a kiss is?" she asked, aghast.
"I shall know when you give it to me," he replied stiffly, and not to hurt his feeling she gave him a thimble.
"Now," said he, "shall I give you a kiss?" and she replied with a slight primness, "If you please." She made herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him, but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand, so she slowly returned her face to where it had been before, and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the chain around her neck. It was lucky that she did put it on that chain, for it was afterwards to save her life. "

Yours with smiles and thoughtfulness,

Tori

Monday, November 17, 2008

Short Sentenced

I just finished a paper.

Papers "finished" at this hour usually aren't my best. Bummer...


My schedule is seriously whacked.


But I'm going to, with God's strength, get through and learn how to manage my life the way He wants.


Yup.


After I get some sleep.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Faith

I discovered The BLB's daily devotions and today it was from Charles Haddon Spurgeon on 1 Peter 1: 7. It was very impacting and encouraging, so I thought I'd share it with you.

"Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators. When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship moves not to its harbour; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush howling forth, and let the waters lift up themselves, then, though the vessel may rock, and her deck may be washed with waves, and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway towards her desired haven. No flowers wear so lovely a blue as those which grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky; no water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity. Tried faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness had you not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God's strength had you not been supported amid the water-floods. Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.

Let not this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: the full portion will be measured out to you in due season. Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise Him for that degree of holy confidence whereunto you have attained: walk according to that rule, and you shall yet have more and more of the blessing of God, till your faith shall remove mountains and conquer impossibilities."




These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. -1 Peter 1:7

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Train of Thoughts

Change really is a theme of my life right now. If I'm honest, I'm rather sick of hearing about it everywhere I go. "This needs to change," "I hate this. It has to change," "Finally, our country embraces change," yada yada yada.

Okay, don't get me wrong. I'm all for a lot of changes. I know most change is not only natural, but good. But to be honest, a lot of changes have happened in my life that I'm really not giddy about. In fact, it really is a purpose of this blog--to get the changes out of my crazy-cluttered mind, one breath at a time. Which might also be why I'm "yada"-ing something as huge and important as change. In an oxymoron sort of way, its same-old same-old to me.

As I think about it, I spend much of my time focusing on the changes in my life that I strongly dislike, and even hate... The irony is I wanted change so much. The whole "be careful what you wish for, or you might just get it."

I know what I need to do, I just haven't found the formula for making good changes in attitude happen consistently. Formulas! That reminds me of the struggles I've had in math in the past--when you don't know how to plug the numbers in, its not going to come out right. How do I consistently get enough sleep, maintain my long-distance (amazing) relationship, stay in touch with at least a few of my other friends, spend time learning God's heart, live out what I learn from Him....oh, yeah--homework, classes, work, laundry...

Ha ha.

I keep trying the whole schedule thing. It's hard because the things I want to do depend on other people's schedules--so I can't set something in stone and go "Every week I'm going to do this." It all fluctuates. I'm going to figure it out though. I'm getting closer, even when it doesn't feel like it. Somehow, someday (graduation?) I'll get past this rut and really get my life in order--and I know it won't happen to the best of my ability until God's even more in charge of everything I do. He does manage quite a bit of lives--the ultimate business administrator. I know I can learn some tips from Him. :-)

So, for now, I'll go write a list of my HW for the weekend and see if I actually do any of it. I'm going to eat the rest of my cheetos, enjoy their fake cheesy crunchy-ness, and call my boyfriend.

If only I could stop the nagging worries in the back of my mind that constantly whisper--JUST DO YOU HW! DONT SPEND ANY TIME RELAXING UNTIL THE (unending--*evil laughter*) LIST OF THINGS TO DO IS DONE!

Shut up twisted something claiming to be my conscience. I need a break.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wisdom

Proverbs 8

Listen as Wisdom calls out!
Hear as understanding raises her voice!
On the hilltop along the road,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
By the gates at the entrance to the town,
on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
“I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people.
You simple people, use good judgment.
You foolish people, show some understanding.
Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you.
Everything I say is right,
for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge.
Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it.

“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
All who fear the Lord will hate evil.
Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
corruption and perverse speech.
Common sense and success belong to me.
Insight and strength are mine.
Because of me, kings reign,
and rulers make just decrees.
Rulers lead with my help,
and nobles make righteous judgments.

“I love all who love me.
Those who search will surely find me.
I have riches and honor,
as well as enduring wealth and justice.
My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold,
my wages better than sterling silver!
I walk in righteousness,
in paths of justice.
Those who love me inherit wealth.
I will fill their treasuries.

“The Lord formed me from the beginning,
before he created anything else.
I was appointed in ages past,
at the very first, before the earth began.
I was born before the oceans were created,
before the springs bubbled forth their waters.
Before the mountains were formed,
before the hills, I was born—
before he had made the earth and fields
and the first handfuls of soil.
I was there when he established the heavens,
when he drew the horizon on the oceans.
I was there when he set the clouds above,
when he established springs deep in the earth.
I was there when he set the limits of the seas,
so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.
And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,
I was the architect at his side.
I was his constant delight,
rejoicing always in his presence.
And how happy I was with the world he created;
how I rejoiced with the human family!

“And so, my children, listen to me,
for all who follow my ways are joyful.
Listen to my instruction and be wise.
Don’t ignore it.
Joyful are those who listen to me,
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.
But those who miss me injure themselves.
All who hate me love death.”

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And So My Mind Processes My Heart's Breaths...

(Take note: my URL has changed to heartsbreath.blogspot.com)

I made a lot of mistakes today.

I did a lot of things wrong.

I hate making poor choices.

I wasted time.

I did what this verse tells me not to do:

Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else.
-Galatians 6:4

ARGGG.


I need focus, drive, purpose, and a renewed desire to passionately run after what I believe in.

Not that drastic of a change, right? If only it were as easily done as typed. (But then really, it wouldn't be as valuable, would it?)

I feel like I can't get onto all the great things God wants me to do until I get through this season and learn how to manage my time. And at the same time I feel like I can't learn how to manage my time until I get through this season. Oh the woe of circular problems.

It reminds me of circular logic. And isn't that a fallacy? Would that make my problem a fallacy? Am I believing a lie that is holding me down? That takes some thinking.

****Thank you for choosing "The Breathings of My Heart." Please take this short interlude to grab a cup of coffee, stretch, take a 2 minute snooze, or run to the loo while Tori collects her thoughts.****

The first thing that comes to mind is that I believe that I'll just get around to it later. Procrastination, that old crone! It seems I keep meaning to tell her to get out of my life. And when I actually do, I suppose she looks back at me with a wicked little grin and says, "but you invited me yourself," and then goes back to tying my life into knots, as if it were my crocheting yarn. But what is the best way to get past a remission of Ms. Procrastination and into full fledged freedom?

I know in my heart true freedom comes through Christ. How can I get more faithful to Him? I keep trying...and other things keep slipping in to trip me up. Sometimes I wish I could erase my life and start with a new clean slate--a new white wall to decorate in a less cluttered way than my life is now. It is difficult. In one sense, I cannot do this. I have loves and commitments and responsibilities and a life. I not only need to work with what I have, but God gave it to me, so deep down I want to stick with what I have. But this is the truly difficult concept for me to grasp: every time I go to God, He wipes everything clean with Christ's blood.


Wow.


Gone.


And He tells me that. "Ok, ready to start new? I am. I'm going to take this risk with you again today. I'm going to trust you with your freewill to choose Me. And when you don't, and you really are repentant, I'm going to forget the mistake and start the adventure anew with you." And He says that every time. I have to stop taking it for granted.

I do truly regret it. I beat myself up over it--and I know I've got an enemy that doesn't hesitate to wag my failures in my face. You know, that enemy hates The Adventure. Despises it. And I cannot let myself ever come close to disregarding The Adventure. But my problem is, with my little, weak inside eyes, I don't see the huge scope of The Adventure... my eyes are wandering! And now I want to beat myself up again, even now as I write. Why and I so foolish?!

"Father, come now, clean my heart, start anew. Show me how to live for You. Lead me...teach me. Give me a heart for You--a hunger for Your Heartbeat. Let me always hear it--let it be my radar, let it guide my steps. Let this cry never extinguish!
Let my flame never falter! Keep my passion aimed at You."


I feel like I just have to keep running. I am sick of striving... it is discouraging.

Maybe instead, I need to return to His feet. And sit there, and gaze at Him. And His love rains down on me as His tears. Because He longs even more than I do to see me live my life fully. He wants to transform me, and whenever I start to climb up to the potters wheel, I get afraid of being dizzy. And so I sit back and look at the wheel and Him and... I question. Oh God! Let my only question be, "What next, Abba?" With a happy 5-year-old smile and trust. Teach me to grow-down. Down and back into the Tori you created me to be. Down...grow down deep into you. Like a tiny dandelion with those ridiculous roots. Tear away the fear and doubt and worry that I've built up around me. This kind of big is ugly--big walls to keep everything away, box me in, and it has kept you out! Those walls are Big that is seen--I need unseen Big. Big things come in small packages. I'm a little diamond of His, and He wants to shine is light on me to make a worldchanger rainbow.

...Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. -Romans 12:2b


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Words and Paper

Yesterday I went to Barnes 'n' noble with my sister. For any of you who know me, there has always been something about bookstores and libraries that I'm drawn to. For example, one of my favorite smells is that old book smell--that aged, dusty, even musky smell. I'm too young for wine, but words people use to describe a good old wine would probably apply well to the way I feel about time-tested books.

Well, we went to BN, which doesn't have very many old books, but is definitely one of my favorite places. Seriously--that inky paper-fresh smell of new books (also tantalizing) the smell of hot Starbucks coffee (because BN wouldn't be BN without a Starbucks!), the crinkling of a never been opened book. Bliss, shortly followed by a happy sigh.

What seems to be the oddest thing about me, however is my special section that I always visit. Though I love the children classics (Honestly, most of the best books out there can be found in the children's section. Anne of Green Gables, case in point.), and the religious section is interesting too, those aren't my special favorites. Travel is marvelous and the craft books always catch my eye--but my absolute must visit is found, not tucked away in the back, but right up in the front, so obvious many miss it. I go to the blank books. Crazy, eh? I take all that time and spend all that gas (I say $2.49 a gallon today. I seriously filled up at $2.69 three days ago--yes, I am beating my self up over it.) to get to a bookstore, traditionally the place one goes to buy other people's words--and I go to the "empty" place.

But I love it. Oh, I wish I had the time to fill many books from there! I wish it was still practical to write by hand... but see, no one can easily read a pretty little teal journal tucked away in my room. And so there my delima lies--stare at these marvelous books and wish I could some how let other people read my words from them.

It's a pickle, really, being a social person. I love writing; I love crafting words. But I love hearing others' responses and taking it that much farther. I want to know what others think--that helps me think of more words to say! I want my words to bless others. Just like so many of those authors who have their published work all around that store--I want what I write to bless people, encourage them, or relate to what they feel--at the very least I wish to entertain them! So, I've chosen this means, my blog--because I'm a college kid without the time (or, honestly, focus) to write a book right now.

And so, into the BN I go, and I head over to the blank book section. After looking at the funky covered or colored papered ones with the artistic designs, and wishing I could afford them, I drifted over to probably the best find I've ever made in that section. The brand Moleskine.

Basically, it is fantastic. They are plain, thin, college ruled (I'm so picky about this.) and sturdy. They have a pocket in the back that is so useful, an interesting history, and I will have a hard time buying any other book again. On the downside--they are a bit pricey (around 15 bucks for the one I use for most of my God time/Sunday morning notes) and they aren't very colorful and expressive. But I guess I'm getting a little older--the classy, simple look seems almost friendly to me. It wants ME to be the expressive one, and as my little friend and servant it will safely protect whatever I tell it between its oilcloth covers.

Besides this, it connects two important parts of me. My creativity and my practicality. I can let my imagination flow between its pages, but then whenever I need to jot something down that I need to do, its slim design is ready to lend itself.

So what did I buy? A tiny little graph Moleskine, to help me keep track of my finances. I've set it up to write my expenses in with a few main categories: "Food," "Church," "Gas," "Savings," and "Other." This way, I don't have to freak out about not going over all my reciepts (Tedious.) and instead keep them in case I need to confirm something, and for the most part, I'll just compare my statements to the notebook. A bit old fashioned, maybe, but the most practical for the cheap college kid who doesn't have a phone (or iTouch) that is full-blown computer.

Wow, amazing how one's mind can ramble on with so little to start from. I set out to tell you about my little graphed notebook that I'm so proud of doing--taking a step toward responsibility and all that--and instead I wrote on and on about so much leading up to it, I barely managed to fit the inspiration into the post. Gotta love words!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. -John 1:1

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And Time Keeps Passing

It's been a while, hasn't it?

Quick overview:
  • Peter came home, I had a comparatively glorious week, and now he's gone again.
  • My room is still a mess.
  • My HW keeps increasing.
  • Work continues on--even though the boss/dad/Pastor is in Japan until Monday.
  • God's real and challenging me.
  • I want to brainstorm topics for this blog.
  • I've realized I need to either cut expenses (practically impossible) or work more hours--which means I'm battling feeling stressed here, too.
  • I'm taking a week off facebook.

There's the portion on my life. What I want to do right now though is make a list of topics and see if you have any preferences on what I write about. I'm not saying I'll necessarily do what you suggest, but I'm more likely to do so if you tell me than if you don't tell me. These are numbered for ease of reference, but they aren't in any particular order otherwise.

  1. Friend profiles--whenever I go to another person's blog that I don't know, I'm curious about the people they refer to. So I was thinking it'd be fun to write about a few of my friends, probably Lindsay, Peter, and Caitlin. And maybe my amazing sister, Emily. I don't know if these would be separate blog entries or one entry or what.
  2. Facebook--why do I like it so much? Why is it "addicting" and so hard to stay away from?
  3. My revenue vs. expenses problems--analyzing if I really need to spend what I am or not, and talk about the expenses of a college kid and how annoying it is, but try to find a blessing in it, too.
  4. What God has been doing in my life. The challenges, the adventures, the hard times...
  5. My interest in buying a new study Bible--maybe some stuff on things I've found when researching study Bibles.
  6. My room's black hole syndrome, and an outline of my frustrations with keeping tidy habits.
  7. Stuff about school--maybe descriptions of my teachers? More likely a vent on the annoyances but obvious benefits of each class.
  8. Possibly some Bible study outline teaching stuff. Yes, that is vague.
Well, thats sorta where I stand. At many roads and options but feeling tied down by business so much that I end up staying where I am.

But no, seriously, God's given me hope. I'm here in this place for a reason--I just don't exactly know why yet.

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. -Psalm 119:35

Monday, September 29, 2008

Trust

Trust. Once upon a time, trust was only a feeling. I'd go with my gut, and I usually couldn't completely explain why I trusted one person, but not someone else--it was just a feeling in my stomach, a peace or an uneasiness, and never in between. I see now that I was just a child. Though I am not saying I am all the way grown-up now, I am definitely older than I used to be.

It began this past month, when my world decided to do a headstand and stay that way. My dearest friends moved away, and with that came expected changes--lonesomeness, less social life, and the sky-rocketing use of cell phone minutes. I didn't expect trust to be a big issue, especially not with the man I've been friends with for almost eight years, and who I've loved for almost half that time. Long story short, we got burnt with dishonesty at about thirteen-years-old and made a pack to always tell each other the truth. Remarkably, it worked. I got so comfortable with him that I didn't anticipate this being one of the problems long distance would bring.

It was smooth sailing the first few weeks. After two weeks of absence, however, the waves started, but they were so small neither of us noticed. I didn’t agree with him on something small, and I told him so. Honesty has been our policy for nearly as long as I can remember. This disagreement was no big deal—we don’t always agree—so neither of us thought anything about it. Well, a few days later, again, I didn’t see eye to eye with him, and I let him know. The waves got a little bigger this time, so we both gripped the side of the boat, and without realizing it, we both unconsciously began to expect the disagreement. A few days passed and a few more incidents did, too. Before we knew it, he was hesitant to tell me his opinion, and I was continually doubted his judgment. The storm began.

It went on for a week without us even addressing it—I expected him to disagree with me, and he doubted I trusted him. So, distracted, we let each other drift towards the storm, each so sure we were right that we argued instead of doing something and changing the course of the boat. My feeling of trust for him was still there—but instead of showing that to him, I acted out fear and doubt, and so true trust was drowning.

Then, in the wee hours of the night, the storm broke upon us. He had made the honest mistake of forgetting to tell me some detail, and this time, to me, it wasn’t a small one. I cried, he felt awful, but rather than leave it at that, we decided to try and find a clear course out of this mess by facing our fears and searching for the source of the problem. While we tried struggled, I realized I had to make a choice. I saw where the wind for the storm was coming from—and it was my own stubbornness. I had to choose to trust him and come to a compromise, or let the raging winds blow us apart.

It was more difficult than I’ll admit. When you’ve grown up believing something, compromising it doesn’t feel right. But feelings aren’t everything. And I saw then, in the wind and the tears, where the raw, honest light shone. So I chose to compromise. Though it felt like leaving behind a part of me, walking into that light and staying with my love was the right choice. Since then, I feel like my eyes have been opened; the wind of that painful storm blew away my blindness, and now it isn’t so much of a mystery. Trust isn’t about feelings, it is about believing in someone and deciding that you believe enough to take whatever risk.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just Bullet (list) It

There is so much I want to write about. Lets just jot it all down...

  • Trust. God has been teaching me so much and testing me and its crazy and good and flippin' scary.
  • HW--its taking over. I'd like to talk about what I like and what I don't and discuss my teachers (they've got a few quirks), etc.
  • That leads into school. I want to document the feel of KVCC and what I like about it.
  • I'd like to start writing more about my emotions of Peter, specifically, being gone. I think it'd be worth looking back on. There are little things (and big things) I want to chew over and figure out, to define what I'm feeling and better process all the issues we've been talking about. We've really begun to see differences and we're learning how to bring them to God and find the compromise that will be fruitful. If you were to put Peter and I into two extremes, I worry and he doesn't. Obviously thats a slight exaggeration, but overall on many things I'm more skeptical and I try to be realistic, and he prefers to assume the best in people. Both good stuff--we're just learning how to make them work together. Anyways, there is a lot to go into there.
  • I'm trying to figure out a way to balance my life. It's very lopsided right now, and not enough is getting done on time. I have trouble sticking to a plan...and I want to figure out a way to get it sorted out--so I'd like to write it all out and process it that way.
But there's no time. So you get stuck with a bullet-point list of my life, and I get stuck with a bunch of topics that want to be expanded on but can't right now.

(P.S. If you want more posts comments make me happy 'cuz then I know it's being read (Cait)! ;-) )

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Splatter of Thoughts--from others to God.

I'm really tired of just writing when I'm not happy. So I'm fairly happy now, and I'm going to make myself write.

What do people want to read? I suppose, in a blog circumstance, they want honesty, something they can relate with, and then something funny every once in a while to spice things up. They want to read a new perspective on life, but to also see how they really aren't that strange either, because if this stranger will blog about it, than it can't be that bad. Right?

Sometimes I wish I could just sit down and write what the millions of people who have access to the blog want to read. Sometimes I think it'd be great to get a hundred comments a day. I also really like the idea that I could potentially influence that many lifes--and maybe even help people get closer to Christ in the process! But then as I keep thinking about it, that popularity could easily become a burden. Oh well. We'll let God do what He wants with this.


I think I should try to start writing about the positive stuff that happens. Maybe not all here online, but just so that I can keep focusing on that. Hey, why don't I share what Jesus told me today?

In my College group we have been learning more about hearing the voice of God and how He is always ready to talk to us, and in fact He IS talking to us all the time, we just need to listen. We have also been learning about different ways God talks to us, and different ways we can give Him opportunities to speak--like opening the door and letting Him do what He wants.

Well, at the end of the meeting we sat down and took a minute to give over something to God. But we did it a little differently than normal. Individually, we closed our eyes and imagined being at the foot of the cross, with Jesus (not all bloody ON the cross, but more "normal" looking). And then we pictured our problem or question, and gave it to Jesus and then watched to see what He would do with it. I thought of the doubts I've been having about a lot of areas in my life, and how I have been slipping into apathy to deal with them/the problems...not very good. I saw them as this ugly and gray blob in my hand. And then I gave it to Jesus...and I know this sounds weird, but He ate them. My first reaction was there is no way that was God speaking, that must have just my my mind playing tricks on me...but I felt like Jesus wanted me to keep watching, so I did... and He spit out jewels and put them on me like a necklace. Then I felt an explanation. You know how God says He wants to take our burdens and give us His light yoke? I felt like this was another way of saying that, but instead of Him carrying my burdens, He consumed them--so they couldn't fall back onto me. And now as I type this, it seems to have even more meaning. What normally comes out of a mouth? Words. And what do we live by? God's Word! And then just the fact that He wants to give me beautiful things in this life--blessing to replace the doubt...and not something I have to hide, but something I want to showcase to the world, like a necklace. It is so crazy but amazing that God can use our minds like that! I mean, yes, He can do anything, but that He cares that much to take our fears and remove them...consume them, make them no more..... *Sigh* It is so good. I just need to stay in this place more often. Stay at His feet, like Mary, and not let my Martha life get in the way of my desire to have Mary's heart....

Do you ever write and then feel like you've hit the point where you should stop, even if you keep thinking of more to say? Well, I just did. Mary's heart. That is what I need to continually end with--seeking to hear Jesus and sit with Him--loving Him and letting Him love me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

To Set Thy Fears At Ease

Hello, World!

I realize I have been giving a rather glum image of how I am and how things are going for me, and a few of you marvelous people have expressed some concern. So I'm going to take a short moment and address this.

I am having a hard time. But I have not lost hope! In fact there is much for me to be joyful about. Normally, in my everyday life, I am not sniffling back tears every moment (If you do hear sniffles around me, trust me, its 99% its allergies. Cuz they are rampant in my life now!), I am not depressed to the point of hurting me or others or laying in bed all day moping.

What most of you see, is my low points, because like I've mentioned before, one way I process them is through writing, and I enjoy sharing those raw moments with people with the hopes I can be an encouragement and I can also provide others the chance to encourage me or use my story to encourage others.

Okay, so where am I right now? To be honest, I am not where I want to be. And that is not easy to fix. I feel like my time is chopped up so much nothing is getting done as good as it should be. But if I take the time to get one thing done as good as it should be, than another falls past the point of being managed OK and into the point of really bad/failure. So I am stressed a lot. But most of the time I have not completely lost perspective--this is preparing me to better handle the "real" world of living on my own, and then marriage, and then my own family, etc. because of all the multi-tasking and prioritizing that I am learning (through trial and error...) now.

So what do you do? Well, you don't have to do anything, but if you can/want to, here are some things:

Please keep praying! Keep trying to get together with me even though I am so busy I will be practically impossible to meet with. To give you an idea: I work Mon, Wed, Fri, 11-4 (sometimes 5). Tue and Thurs I am at valley from 8:30 AM to 5:50 PM--and I only have a half hour lunch break and an hour and a half break, which I usually spend doing a little HW. OK so that leaves me weekends and evenings. Sunday's I have church in the morning and College and Career at night. The rest of the weekends and evenings are filled with HW and chores and recuperating and maintaining my relationship with Peter. So honestly, I'm swamped. But you are still important to me, so email me and message and pray. I don't want to isolate myself, but my former social life is too much for my current lifestyle that I have to. (And many of you know even then it was hard to meet with me!)

Prayer requests:
  • Time management skills and for me to learn to love the satisfaction of doing what I should so that I don't compare myself to others (That's in Galatians near the end I think.) Because I get so tired from everything that when I get home I crash and so the things I need to do at home aren't happening enough.
  • Peace. Strength. Joy. I need continually meet with God and so often He gets put on hold. I need His peace and like it says in a Desperation Band song, "Joy unspeakable that won't go away, Just enough strength to get through today." I need to get to that place, daily.
  • I need to not worry so much. That's pretty self-explanatory.

So this ended up being way longer than I thought. Thank you for reading/skimming this. It really helps to hear from you, so comment or message me or something if you have time, but even if you don't have time or don't have anything to say, just prayer and the fact that you read this is a blessing.

God bless you all and I pray He will continue to be your strength and provider. You mean so much to me, my friends.

-Tori

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rain--revised

The rain is pounding, dripping, falling. This storm has oppressed my city for four days. My heart has felt this way for three or so weeks now. Yes...it is how I feel. I am burdened by clouds. When I try to go places in this weather, my car will fog up on the inside and my wipers continually lose the battle against the waterfall on my windshield. Even though my headlights are on, they just reflect back on all the little raindrops in my mind.

I am here in this rainy city, while my heart is torn up and divided across the distance of hundreds of miles. We humans tie ourselves together. Friendships, love, intimacy, conversation, a shared meal—every little interaction connects us. So many of these connections are starved and soon fade away. For example, the eye contact with the grocer who is ready to leave work, the bubbly waitress who charmed a nice tip from you, the young man who held the door for you but didn't really notice you, lost in his cell phone conversation—all those connections don't grown into fruition. But others we nourish—family, close friends, classmates, co-workers. I have fed many, but only truly nourished some special connections. And, this season, most of those have moved far away from my life.

One I nourished especially. It started out small, seven years ago—a friendship with the new boy in town. These past three or four years it has grown into a deep love, a thick cord between us. So many fruits have come from it already—peace, trust, and companionship, to name a few. Some relationships, when they grow enough, become a covering of sorts, like a tree, to provide protection from the blazing heat of everyday life and the raging winds of life’s struggles—a shelter. But he has moved a lake and a state away, and that shelter seems in many ways to have gone with him…

Now I see the clouds above and feel the rain on my skin. Cold, prickling, forewarning of this winter to come. I feel the winter ice trying to sink its frosty fingers in my soul. I hear the winds and snow whispering fears, tempting me to retreat into indifference to the world—to hide away, secluded, distant from pain.

But there is something in me that is determined to fight back. It is small now, only a weak seed. Grief is at my door, ready to settle in my heart and become a leech to any joy. Plutarch, in “Consolation to His Wife,” warned of this: “In the beginning, everyone welcomes Grief into his house, and then when it has had time to take root and has become a companion and housemate it will no longer depart when the inmates wish it to. It must therefore be resisted...” But how to resist? Plutarch thinks, “…a troubled soul should itself receive support from a robust body.” I agree, and I suppose I find myself resisting grief in this area—I dress up occasionally for the sole reason of looking nice, even though the one who I wish could see me is 550 miles away. This does nourish my soul, a little. But taking care of the body alone does not cure a weary soul.

So I hold onto all I can—promise. I grasp onto the promise of a new life, the promise of love, the promise of what the future brings. Yet now, in this dismal night, promise seems dim and distant, ready to fade away into the shadow of a dream.

But that weak promise is still there now, though hidden away. I cannot see it, but deep inside, pulsing with my heartbeat, there is a little warmth resisting the bitter fears swarming my mind. It is often lost, so small I cannot find it. I need a light to break through and shine on this little seed of hope that is so buried in the dark soil of my circumstances. Perhaps the rains in my heart are good? Perhaps the pain I feel is the seed’s growing pains from soaking in all this water? Will this situation truly help me grow into a better woman? I believe it will—it must. I cannot stay this deep underground forever. And though I know there is hope ahead, and that this will prepare me for days later in my life, right now, in this moment, all I hear is the dripping rain, and all I feel are the cold drops on my skin.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain

The rain is pounding, dripping, falling. A storm has been going practically nonstop for two days. My heart has felt that way for three or so weeks now. Yes...it is how I feel. Burdened by clouds. When I try to go places in this weather, my car will fog up on the inside and my wipers continually lose against the waterfall on my windshield. Even though my headlights are on, they just reflect back on all the little raindrops in my mind.

I am here in this rainy city, while my heart is torn up and divided across the distance of hundreds of miles. We humans tie ourselves together. Friendships, love, intimacy, conversation, a shared meal, every little interaction connects us. So many of these connections are not fed and soon fade away; the eye contact with the grocer who is ready to leave work, the bubbly waitress who charmed a nice tip from you, the young man who held the door for you but didn't really notice you, lost in his cell phone conversation, all those connections don't grown into fruition. But others we nourish--family, close friends, classmates, co-workers. I have fed many and truly nourished a few, special connections. And, this season, most of those have moved far away from my life.

One I nourished especially. It started out small, seven years ago; a friendship with the new boy in town. These past three or four years it has grown into a deep love, a thick cord between us. So many fruits have come from it already—peace, trust, and companionship, to name a few. Some relationships, when they grow enough, become a covering of sorts. A tree, to provide protection from the blazing heat of everyday life and the raging winds of life’s struggles--a shelter. But he has moved a lake and a state away, and that shelter seems in many ways to have gone with him…

Now I see the clouds above and feel the rain on my skin. Cold, prickling, forewarning of this winter to come. Oh, that is how it feels inside my soul! I feel the winter ice trying to seep in. I hear the winds and snow telling me to retreat into indifference to the world—to hide away, secluded, distant from pain.

But there is something in me that is determined to fight back. It is small now, only a weak seed. Grief is at my door, ready to settle in my heart and become a leech to my joy. But Plutarch, in “Consolation to His Wife,” warned of this: “In the beginning, everyone welcomes Grief into his house, and then when it has had time to take root and has become a companion and housemate it will no longer depart when the inmates wish it to. It must therefore be resisted...” But how to resist? Plutarch thinks, “…a troubled soul should itself receive support from a robust body.” I agree, and I suppose I find myself resisting grief in this area—I dress up occasionally for the sole reason of looking nice, even though the one who I wish could see me 550 miles away. This does nourish my soul, a little. But still I am overcome with these emotions so often…

I need a light to break through and shine on my little seed of hope that is now so buried in the dark soil of my circumstances. Perhaps the rains in my heart are good? Perhaps the pain I feel is the seed’s growing pains from soaking in all this water? Will this situation truly help me grow into a better woman? I believe it will—it must. I cannot stay this deep underground forever. And though I know there is hope ahead, that this will prepare me for days later in my life, right now, in this moment, all I hear is the dripping rain, and all I feel are the cold drops on my skin.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Patience, please

I owe thee an update.
It will be forthcoming.
Until then, adieu.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lists

Yeah, so I'm left here. Goodbye to the list of those leaving--Jones, Lindsay, my Peter, Nick, and a bunch of other people....

God has taken them away and left me here. There are so many mundane things that I must do but none are successfully wooing me. Clean room, set up a study area, schedule, schedule, schedule, run last minute errands, do laundry (lots of that...hm...), figure ways to organize space--get a hanging jewelery box, get shelves, exercise--and the list continues.

I don't want my life to be this kind of a list. And yet I'm going to school to become a Business Administrator....I've got a hunch that takes a lot of lists. Oh how I despise it when I despise normalness. God made a beauty there and lately it is hidden. I don't want to be bitter about where I am, I don't want to be "living" like a flat balloon--colorful but two dimensional. And getting God's helium is feeling like telling that balloon to run to walmart and buy a helium tank by her-little-balloon-lonesome-self. And she's just stuck there flat on the ground, debating whether to look at the cement before her or gaze longingly at those clouds above she can't reach on her own. All alone...

But I'm not alone really. And after I mourn a little more you'll see more of me, I suppose. I thank God for you my friends, because without you I'd really be despairing... God has taken care of me by giving me you.

So why am I still stuck on the cement? Because I've been having so much trouble sitting down and just listening to God and then doing what He says. So please pray for my heart for His word to come back and my ears to open again and my tears to slow down...

My aren't I the drama queen. But hurt is real even when it is cliche.

God, make me more hungry for You, and then fill me overflowing so I can't help but give You away.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

White-knuckled

So this is how it feels,
to be torn in two.
I took the risk,
and I'm on this journey with you.

I can't promise I'll never look back,
And right now I can't see that far ahead.
The grey is covering me,
I feel I'm in over my head.

I trust you both when you say,
a light will break through the haze.
But right now its so dim,
and I'm lost in this maze.

Emotions overtaking.
Fears sink their teeth in,
Ready to drink my life's blood.

I'm fighting the undertow,
I cannot let go.
White-knuckled, I'm yours...Yours.

This is where I am.
As real as I can be.
Weak, tired, raw;
fallen to my knees.

And this is how it is,
With you so far away.
I'm holding to the Promise,
of the next day.

You need to know
I'll never regret my choice.
I know you are a part of me,
we are meant to be.

But times do come when I lose hope.
My head spins and doubt takes control.
What feels real then isn't always Truth.
But Truth does find me out and then I know...

This isn't all, this isn't it, and I don't have to fear.
Afraid right now but not for long...

There is a light
So high.
There is a light,
growing brighter.
There is a Light,
so strong,
It will break through,
It must break through,
I trust It will.

And until then, white-knuckled, I hold on.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Before the Sleep

I was just wondering...
What do you think about before you fall asleep?

Often, though it is quite unimaginative, I am thinking of the day coming next and all the things I need to do...
And I often find my self processing the events of the day I just experienced. Do you ever have to think things over before sleep will come to you? I do most of the time. It is hard for me to just fall asleep because so many thoughts are running rampant in my head and they need to be tamed before I can rest.

How does this work for you? And then, what do you wish you thought of before you went to sleep?

I wish I always was thinking of God's love and His glory. I do so a fair amount of time, but it should be so much more consuming. I want Him to take me over and wash me with His love.

So that is my prayer now, before I, and you, go to bed. That His love would take us over and we would fall asleep in His peace and not the worries of today and tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Some Thoughts Of Mine

And the days are slipping by....

Even though this is the beginning of a new and potentially exciting season of my life, it is very difficult for me to keep from look back. I want to dwell on the memories of my past and hold tight to those moments because the future is uncertain. Saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do so often in life. I think it was easier to let go of HPA last fall than it is to do so now, with such new and different shows and the inability to even go help at rehearsals this semester... It is much more of a challenge. I suppose it was good in some ways to schedule my classes on thursdays--it is forcing me to let go of HPA that much more. At least I know this year is going to be something great for HPA, even though I can't help as much as I'd like.

And then there is the bigger let-go of my love, Peter. Even though I know he will come back and I know this is what God wants for us, it is still so difficult for me to let him walk away. I know technically he isn't leaving me; he is going partly because someday he would like to provide for me...and he is going completely because God told him too, which is reason enough to let him go to the other side of the world if He said so (but thank you Jesus for not asking that of him and I!) Even though I know all these good things, I still have moments of deep, heart-wrenching hurt. Peter won't be here. He will be far away.

But it is a comfort that God is with us, and I am not left completely alone amongst strangers. Hm, maybe that is part of the reason God is letting me stay here in Kalamazoo and go to valley? He has given me the safety of still being with my family and friends that are also going to valley. He takes care of me even as I cry out to Him. I keep asking for strength and peace of heart, and really there is strength all around me--in the gifts God has given me in my friends.

I apologize to many of you for not spending as much time with you now as I possibly should. I feel like now I need to take every moment I can and cherish being with Peter...but he will be gone and then I will focus on you all like I should. Yes, I will still be busy--work an school will be demanding, but at least I will make time for you when I possibly can. I also want to say thank you for waiting and understanding...you all mean the world to me.

God bless you all!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Moment, and His Wing

I'm trying to remember the good moments now, and not think about the hard moments to come. And I'm finding it to be one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do.

Peter is leaving. In less than 16 days. He'll be gone... gone nine hours away and become so much harder to keep a part of my life. I know he will stay here in my heart, and I will be talking with him as often as possible. But the fact that he isn't a 20 min drive away and I can have a hug and be comforted by the man I love...that's hard to face.

So I'm trying to grab the moments...

Standing in the rain, watching the lighting over a nearby lake, and belting out our love for our Savior in every worship song that comes to mind. The wind swelling and rain pouring harder with each crescendo, and lightening and we pause and are in awe of His love.

Walking along in Millham Park, taking in the good smelling-ness of the outdoors. Then holding each other close and knowing this is where God wants us to be...

Visiting Wendy's JUST after ten and getting in because Peter used to work there. Then having to go through the drive through because they wouldn't serve us inside, and then taking Peter's straw because you have to ASK for one for a frosty apparently. He told me only old people drink a frosty with a straw! And I just about died laughing because we had to go through the drive through to get him another straw...

Seeing Peter fall asleep on the beach because he didn't sleep the night before so he could clean the house to take me to South Haven...(he's so hardcore!). Later, I remember crying the hardest I've ever cried about Peter leaving, and he held me close and comforted me. It was healing, in a way, and even though it wasn't the last cry I've had about this, that time changed something for the better in me.

All the little notes during HPA shows...in the stage manging booth, on my car, even tucked in/on my purse, and once in my locker!

All the flowers...recently the red rose Peter gave me when I came home from the 10 day absence of camping. He blesses me so much....


I could go on, but even just now dwelling on this positive stuff has cheered me up.

It's raining now... a swirling, consuming storm. Torrents of rain, as some author has said. And its encouraging, because even though I feel like a storm is coming, I'm safe inside a warm house, protected. And God's going to do that for me, too. Safe under the shadow of His wing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Day In The Life

It's hard to write to keep people informed. I've often considered writing a monthly newsletter on my life and just sending it out to all my friends because it has become so hard for me to stay connected. But then, no one I know has ever done that--probably because actually sitting down to write is so difficult, as is evident by my lack of posts here.

My days are so busy...take today for example, get up, spend some time with God, send an important email, freak out because I need to leave for work in 20 min and I haven't even eaten breakfast. Work till 5 (an hour later than I planned), with an hour in there to get my new license plate for the car God gave me (Praise Him!). Go to Lindsay's for an hour, eat Lucky Charms for dinner (woo-hoo! my fave :-D) and then back to church at 6:30 for babysitting until 9. Home at 9:30, Laundry, call Peter and then crash here at the computer.

I barely got anything done that I needed to...work, laundry, email. How and I going to handle a school load? How am I going to find time to write? How about all my friends who I feel like I'm neglecting?

Only with God's grace, I suppose...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Title

To begin, I needed to name my blog.

I've always thought there was something in a name. In my experience, the meaning of one's name is so often reflected in their life. For example, when I was younger I had a knack for winning things. I soon realized it shouldn't be a surprise--my name is Victoria, and it means Victory. As I've grown older, a huge desire of my heart is to be pure. I want this in all areas of my life, in every sort of relationship I am in, be it romantic, family or just friends. Kathleen, my middle name, has one meaning of Pure.

So I looked first at actual names for my blog. I found some interesting ones such as Aislin, which means Dream. But that didn't feel right--the title needed to reflect me, not be a whole separate character in itself. (Although that is an interesting idea I have toyed with before--a blog that is a story, a diary of a fictional character.)

Next I moved on to another area altogether. With the help of my dear friend Google Search, I typed in "writing quotes" and the following all caught my attention.

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

So often is the virgin sheet of paper more real than what one has to say, and so often one regrets having marred it. ~Harold Acton, Memoirs of an Aesthete, 1948

I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all. ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers. ~Logan Pearsall Smith, "All Trivia," Afterthoughts, 1931

All very good quotes and means of inspiration, but none exactly caught where I am right now. So I continued, and through many other wonderful and not so wonderful quotes, this one jumped out at me:


Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

And so, dear friends, this is how my blog got it's name. A journey, a recording of my life, told intimately and honestly from my heart. I'm not promising some exciting read with adventures and perfect story-telling. I'm just going to be real and you can take it or leave it.

In God's Hands,
Tori
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