Sunday, November 3, 2013

I am the luckiest.

I have a little story for you guys.

Yesterday Nicholas told me had a surprise for me. He always has surprises for me. I guessed, correctly, that he had written me another song. We drove up Provo Canyon to a place called Vivan Park and he confirmed my suspicion! He had written me a song. :) We sat on a blanket under a beautiful willow tree next to a creek and he played me the cutest song in the world. Then he played the first song he wrote for me back on my birthday before our first kiss. :) It was a wonderful surprise. Then, very typical of Nicholas, he pulled me up on my feet and handed me a rose. Another flower to add to my collection from him. :) He started telling me why the rose reminded him of me; how the purpose of a rose is to be beautiful in it's ability to bring happiness to others and that's how he feels about me and my purpose. :) I kissed him and fell a little more in love. What I am about to relate to you is something that brings me to tears every time I think about it. It is something that is so precious and special to me that I can't even express how I feel in words. What I am going to announce is overwhelming and intense but also, peaceful. Nicholas looked at me and said, "Tori, I want to be the happiest man in the world, but that can only happen if I'm with you for eternity." I looked down and saw, my eyes blurry with tears, something sparkly in his hand. As he dropped to one knee I registered what was happening. He asked if I would marry him. I couldn't breathe. I wrapped my hands around him and strangled him just a little bit. He stood up and I kept right on hugging him. I finally pulled away to look at him and managed, "Yeah! Yes. Yes! Yes!". Then I kissed him even though it was hard to kiss him while I was beaming so ridiculously. 

He had brought our fingerpaintings from our first date, one of which was of the UP house. We reminisced and kissed and cried together. :) He also pulled out an antique looking photo album with fabric lettering that says, "OUR ADVENTURE BOOK" with blank pages for us to fill with all of our adventures together. :) I am so excited for those adventures and for all the trials to start pouring in! Becuase there is no one who I'd rather team with to fight against Satan with. He is mine and will be mine forever. He is an incredible example of selfless love and I hope to someday deserve him. 

I am engaged to be married to Nicholas Scott Porter. I am engaged. I am engaged! I am engaged. I am going to marry him on January 2nd! I love him with all that I am. :)

I am so grateful for everyone's support and love! My smile hurts from all of the excitement and happiness. :) Here's to our once upon a time!

My man. Don't be too jealous of his precious-ness.

The beautiful willow. :)

I. Love. My. Ring.

So blessed.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Family: Worth any Sacrifice

"What are the world’s views with regard to the family? There are many who assume that there is no plan because there is no God. Life is an accident. Marriage and the family are temporal associations. The association between consenting adults has as its purpose pleasure and individual satisfaction. If the association no longer serves that purpose, it should end regardless of the impact on one’s partner or children. Is it any wonder that marriages do not last given these views? More than half of all civil marriages in the United States end in divorce.

"...A fullness of joy is found only within the framework of an exalted family. Some people may scoff at the seventh commandment, which requires chastity before marriage and fidelity afterward, but “political correctness” is not a substitute for the plan of happiness."
-Merrill J. Bateman

This is true. It is not up for debate. Eternal marriage is the happiest choice! No other relationship brings more satisfaction or joy. I am grateful for this knowledge and the peace it brings me. It is my greatest hope that everyone in the world can have this same understanding! Can you imagine the increase in happiness everywhere if selflessness and fidelity  were implemented?

I am humbled by the family I was born into and look forward to someday raising children of Heavenly Father. What an incredible opportunity we've been trusted with. There is nothing more important that I can do while on this earth. A good friend of mine shared an quote with me that I paraphrase: too often people think of having children as an obstacle to instead of the purpose of, life.

Satan wants so badly to destroy the family. Let's fight back with all our strength! Rather than succumbing to him, we can choose to overcome his constant degrading influence. It is in our power to choose goodness; to choose to be loyal and faithful in all our familial relationships.

I challenge everyone to do something today to grow closer with a family member. Write a letter, make a call, serve them, or simply show them you love them. I promise that our lives become more fulfilling and successful when these relationships are intact. I know it's true. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why reach out?

Everyone I know now was first a complete stranger to me.

This is important to remember in my interactions with people I don't know yet. I think anyone can relate to the uncomfortable feeling of leaving the company of self, family, and established friends to move into stranger zone. It's hard to trust people I know nothing or little about. It's easy to convince myself that I don't need new friendships. However, there is no doubt someone else who I need and who needs me.

It's a choice. I can choose to stay in my apartment, room, bed, or head. Or I can choose to become involved in my community, school, neighborhood, state, country, and world. I can choose to influence and lift others. It is so easy to do, too. All it takes is a sincere interest. A true desire to love. Too often humans grudgingly face each other at work, class, or other activities, anticipating the escape and safe return to self-indulgent bubbles of temporary calm and retreat. I think I could do well to remember that every stranger is a best friend not made yet; complete with back-story, insecurities, and certainly a need for love.

I can't be complacent in my efforts to be a good person. It is not enough to want to make a difference. It is not enough to have a good heart. We need each other in this world of pain and loneliness and fear. We have to reach out. We have to especially at our most alone and frightened moments. That is when, more than ever, we need to be a participator of life.

What makes Jesus Christ the best friend we can ever have? His enduring love for us. When we show people, strangers even, love, we find what the scriptures teach us is the greatest joy to be had in this life. It is easiest to feel Heavenly Father's love for me when I am loving His children.

Matthew 25:40

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Satan's two favorite ways to get me down:

1. You aren't good enough.

He likes to tell me that I'm not worthy enough to pray, not good enough to repent, not talented enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not faithful enough, etc. So why even try?

What's awesome is that no matter what Satan tries to tell me, self-improvement is in my hands. I am in control of who I am becoming with every day that I'm given.

So when "you're not good enough" doesn't work on me, he likes to pull this one:

2. You're good enough.

What makes this one tricky is that it seems like a positive message at first. He tells me that I'm good enough just how I am. There is no need for me to reach out to others, improve myself, set new goals, or step out of my comfort zone. I'm good enough; there's no need to progress!

The truth is, a testimony is a living thing. If it is not taken care of, no matter how strong it is, it will die. Satan says to settle. Stay who you are until it starts to slip away because it's not being nourished or built upon.

What's awesome is that I have the opportunity to perfect myself little by little with the help of my Heavenly Daddy. Unlike Satan, He loves me perfectly and continually reminds me of my divine potential.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Work-up: Life of a Pizza Delivery Driver

It's kind of exciting, really. You're called away from the piles of dishes. There is a sense of urgency as they yell, "you're up!" Quickly you wash the tomato sauce off of your hands--arms, sometimes. They hand you a receipt with a name. Sometimes it's John, or Lisa, or Geneva Rock. Under the name is an address somewhere in the 10 mile radius. Who knows where? It's an adventure. Will the cinnistix touch the breadsticks in the box? How shaken up will the soda be by the time you get there?

There's the little girl who hands you the money. There's the old tattooed man who gives you a big tip with a concealed $2 bill. There's the richies who don't tip at all. There's the stained-apron Molly Weasely mom who hands you a $10 tip as she juggles bouncing children. There's the single man who orders the same $18 pizza every Wednesday. there's the construction workers who assume you have 10-wheel drive. There are the conference meetings with important people who love pizza just as much as the custodians do. There are teenagers who pull money out of their clothes and keep the tip their mother meant for you. There are those who laugh with you as you trip onto their porch and then tip you after you drop their soda at the door.

Kronk and I are happy to be graduated from delivering pizzas; but we sure had a good time.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I need to unlearn how to nap.
Learn how to do my hair.
Unlearn how to eat cookies.
Learn how to be motivated.
Unlearn how to runaway.
Learn how to trust.
Unlearn how to pity-party.
Learn how to have pure faith.
Unlearn selfishness.
Learn how to love.
Unlearn self-depreciation.
Learn peace.
Learn hope.
Learn to accept His will.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Race

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face, 
    my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race. 
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
    excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
    or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
    and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
    to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire. 

One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,

    was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
    the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
    and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
    Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
    which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
    and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
    his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace. 
    “I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
    with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
    “If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
    but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.

Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.

    “There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
    But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
    for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
    You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”

So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,

    and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
    still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
    Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
    head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
    the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
    you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
    “To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
    the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
    And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
    another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”

-attributed to Dr. D. H. Groberg