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
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