Archive for February, 2012

Meditation Monday (Even though it’s Tuesday)

I wanted to start something new here at the ‘Bloomr, and true to fashion, I’m a day late getting it going. I love the alliteration of ‘Meditation Monday’ though, so even though it is now Tuesday morning, in Tori’s World it’s still Monday. Sometimes one must bend the laws of physics and the universe to suit one’s sense of propriety, and this is one of those times. So all of you literalists and sticklers for accuracy will just have to bear with me today.

One of our regulars around here is a beautiful (no, we have never met face to face, but I’ve seen pictures!) young British woman named Rachel Baker. Her mom is ‘bettyrwoodward’ and her father is a wonderful pastor named Stuart. Russ has been at their church in England, and the two of them welcomed the girls and I right after we landed at the airport  when we had our wonderful European Adventure a couple of years ago.

How cute are they?!

Rachel, this is where I would put an adorable picture of YOU, but I don’t have one. So instead, I will post a picture of the lovely gift Rachel had delivered to me via her parents– I just love it, and never use it without thinking of her…

Rachel also writes beautifully, though she is so busy raising small children right now that she probably wears her ‘mommy hat’ more than her ‘writer hat’ these days. But every so often she sends me something she has written, and I always enjoy it so much. A couple of days ago, after I had posted some photos of my little mountain getaway I received the loveliest email from her. I read it right after I had finished my morning devotional, and honestly it felt like I was still reading out of my devotions book. I asked for her permission to share it, which she graciously granted, and then I had the fabulous idea of maybe making this a regular (or as regular as anything is around here) feature– a Meditation Monday series, written by… YOU GUYS!

Whaddya think? If you are interested in participating, write down a few paragraphs sharing a thought, feeling, inspiration, prayer, Scripture, etc. that would be something for us all to read at the start of our week. Email it to me here: and I’ll post them here.

So today, on this very first Meditation Monday (work with me here), please feel free to join in by adding your own thoughts and comments…

I am happy to present our own Rachel Baker:


I’m so pleased that you got to escape to the mountains for a few days to recharge and refresh. I hope it achieved all you hoped it would.

I just wanted you to know that your blog and photographs unintentionally completely transformed my spiritual experience and general attitude in the last week or so.

I was feeling physically and spiritually drained and I have to admit that when I saw the first photo of the mountains I was feeling pretty envious. Jon has been away the whole of January (comes back on monday – yay). Daniel had been ill and I was trying to function as a single mum on a very small amount of sleep. The thought of a few days of solitude in beautiful surroundings sounded like a wonderful but impossible dream (yeah, I was feeling sorry for myself). That’s when God broke through it all, and reminded me that He is right where I am. I can receive His rest and His peace here and now. Its amazing how often I forget. I admit I’m still tired physically but I’m now emotionally and spiritually where I should be.

I’m not at all suggesting that ‘runaway mum’ breaks are not wonderful and necessary. I just need to remind myself not to rely on these times (or even a quiet space and time when the kids are asleep) to recharge my batteries and then run them down until I am burnt out. I have a constant source of strength living in me every second of the day, I just need to draw on it!!

I just scribbled down these words;

Oh, hear Him say ‘I’m here’

Don’t wait for a better time

Don’t search for a special place

Drink of the water while you thirst

He’s whispering your name

Here Him say ‘I’m here’

‘You can hear my voice in the noise

you can see my beauty in the mundane

you can feel my peace in the madness

you can know my healing in the pain’

Oh, hear him say ‘I’m here’

In every now of every day

In every joy and every grief

Drink of the water while you thirst

He’s whispering your name

Hear Him say ‘I’m here.’

Come to the living water

come and drink

drink of the water while you thirst

Thank you for your encouragement (intentional and otherwise).

Truelove’s Pizza and Grits

I have lived my entire life south of the Mason-Dixon line, which has infused a certain sensibility in me. While it’s true that I was raised by Midwesterners (read: Yankees), and that thanks to marrying a gospel singer I have traveled all over the dang world, I am DEFINITELY what you’d call ‘Southern-identified.’ I have a deep affinity and understanding of the land, the accents, the food and the, well, quirkiness of the South. I love to experience all kinds of different countries and cultures, but I never truly feel at home anyplace else.

That’s part of the reason why moving out to “the country” holds such appeal to me. I’m definitely a city girl, and I don’t ever want to get too far from a well-stocked supermarket or a good Thai restaurant, but the idea of living in a place with a little acreage and a town square sounds like heaven to me. Maybe this is my mid-life crisis! (OK, I realize that to qualify as ‘mid-life’ that means I plan on living to be 110, but work with me here.)

At any rate, in my opinion the quirky factor does go up in direct proportion to how far out of town you live. For example– big cities definitely have weird people in them, but it’s a different kind of weird from the small town version. Or maybe it’s just our attitude about them. Here’s a quote from one of my favorite TV characters of all time that sums it up beautifully:

“I’m saying, this is the South! And we’re proud of our crazy people. We don’t hide them up in the attic, we bring ‘em right down to the living room and show ‘em off.

See, Phyllis, no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family– they just ask what side they’re on.”

— Julia Sugarbaker, “Designing Women”

Which brings me to the title of this post.                                                                              (Please note: I am certainly not inferring that any crazy people are involved in the aforementioned business endeavor. Do not contact your attorney.)

I first told you guys about this restaurant back in the fall, when I was house-hunting in Columbia and drove past the sign. It wasn’t open yet, but I was already intrigued. I’m not a big fan of grits, didn’t grow up eating them, but on my forays into low country cuisine I did discover some particularly wonderful versions of shrimp and grits that I loved. And hey, who doesn’t like homemade pizza?

Anyway, a couple of days ago my friend and realtor Lynnie (without her chicken purse this time, sadly) were in Columbia looking around (haven’t fallen in love with another house, thank God, but did find an interesting prospect…) and we decided this was the day to check out Truelove’s Pizza and Grits. IT WAS A REVELATION. Seriously. The pizza crust was exactly the way I like it, kinda thin and crispy but not cracker-y. And the grits were unbelievable– creamy, chock full of cheese with bits of tomato floating around and a perfectly proportioned amount of red pepper flakes that added just a hint of heat without being overpowering. It has only been two days and I am already craving them again! The prices were great, and the people running the place could not have been nicer even after I spilled half a glass of sweet tea all over the beverage station. Oops.

So… if you ever find yourself within driving distance of Columbia, TN, I’m telling you, GO. Even if it wasn’t as delicious as it is, it would still be worth the trip just to say you’ve eaten there!

Here’s a little local news piece on it– sorry about the stupid 15 second commercial, I couldn’t figure out a way to cut that part out–

(Hungry yet?)

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