Monday, May 8, 2017

#sistersofinfluence: Tori Schaulis

Friends, today I get to introduce you to my sweet friend Tori! She is an incredibly talented young woman, and we met via Instagram! I've loved following along with her for the past few months; this girl is an adventurer! Fun fact: she's currently in Peru! I just love how a little social media tool brings people together. You'll love her and her story! 

Tell us about yourself. Who are you?

My name is Tori and I'm freelance writer meets storyteller living in Waco, TX. I write for a variety of publications, small businesses and influencers and believe each of us was created with a unique voice and story to be told. I'm passionate about helping others discover who God created them to be - in both a personal and business context - and love walking in relationship with those who are different than me. At heart, I'm a dreamer, social entrepreneur, and creative and global thinker. And I'm just crazy enough to believe we can change the world one small choice at a time. 

How did you come to know the Lord?

I grew up going to church with my family, but it wasn't until high school that I began to wholeheartedly pursue an intimate relationship with Jesus. During my junior year I experienced the power and presence of God as the book of Acts came alive to me through a Bible Study in my youth group and I heard God speak to me for the first time. It was as if I knew he was inviting me into deep relationship with him, and at this point, all I knew was that I wanted in. 

What do you think it means to be a woman of influence right where you are?

To me, being a women of influence means giving your life - even the broken pieces - away in whatever context you find yourself in. Let me explain. I believe each of us was made to contribute to or invest in society in some way, and leave a mark, whether we're aware of it or not. It is in this process that we come alive as the unique combination of potential, gifts and talents inside of us start to touch the world in a real, authentic way. There's something inside of you worth giving to someone else wherever you are RIGHT NOW. Women who learn give authentically and naturally as part of their daily lives are some of the greatest influencers in my opinion. 

How does the Lord allow you to shine His light through your writing?

To be honest, I've often shied away from promoting myself as a writer because it feels so strange to me. On one hand, I want to use the gifts God has given me, but on the other hand, I don't want to fall into the trap of making a way for myself. I'm a bit of a recovering control addict. I can't tell you how many times God, in His mercy, has closed a door in order to protect me or prepare me for something new. He softly reminds me that He's the one writing the story, not me. To write from the raw deep place in my own process (even when I think it should look otherwise) is when I begin to see His favor on my work most. I'm such an advocate of vulnerability - it makes a way for others to experience life and freedom. I'm honored to bare my own heart so others might have the courage to stay in, stick it out, and make it to the other side. 

What is one thing you want the women of our generation to remember?

Wow what a question! I want women in my generation to remember that broken is O.K., and more than that, it's actually necessary. Submission to brokenness produces a softness and a beauty nothing else can in my opinion. Stay soft, friends. Fight to keep your heart right before God and people. Forgive freely, even when it hurts. Keep meeting with Jesus, coming close, meeting with Him face to face. I genuinely grieve watching women in our generation fight for their own voice and influence, so much so that it produces a hardness or a bitterness. Hardness only hurts us. But softness is where the real life is found. 

What is your favorite verse or passage of Scripture?

I've meditated on Psalm 139 for years and years. I memorized the whole thing in the 4th grade and find myself coming back to it again and again. The truth that I'm so intimately known by God and never far from His presence blows my mind. And I often pray the last two verses of that passage as I ask God to search my heart so I can remain connected to His heart and His people. 

What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to?

No one else can meet our needs as specifically and completely as Jesus can. I've learned this the hard way, and it cost me something. But as I approach the throne of Grace with confidence, asking Him to meet all my needs, He fills me in ways no one else can. To put it simply, He is enough. Train your mind to believe that, even if it means renewing your mind every hour!

And last but not least: coffee or tea?

Most definitely coffee. Every morning I make a cup of French press coffee and add a little splash of dairy free milk. It's my favorite treat to sip while spending time with Jesus! 

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