A year ago, I had no idea 2015 would be such a life-changing year for Team Taylor. We were considering a mission trip to Guatemala and knew our son Ben would start kindergarten in August. Otherwise, the year was wide open. Turns out, God had much planned for our 2015.
When she was teeny-tiny, I used to LOVE doing bedtime. We’d rock in her chair, read stories, I’d sing to her and pray…really, it was the scenario I’d always dreamed of. And with just one child, my husband and I would invest a good 45 minutes in the whole bedtime routine…it was pretty picture-perfect, even until the time she turned four.
Over the last few years, the holiday season has been difficult for me. It was during this time three years ago that my world was turned upside-down. As a result, I didn’t care for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. I was holding on to the pain I experienced during those holidays.
Some may question giving thanks when our hearts are weary worn, as if it’s disingenuous or even delusional. But I’d argue the opposite. The delusion happens when we allow our problems to consume and define our reality. Gratitude restores a proper perspective.
A few years ago, my friends traveled the world. Along their journey, they had some great experiences, and some not so great. But at each stop along the way, they purchased various souvenirs – clothing, jewelry, household items. Eventually, those treasures lost their newness.
Although a scripted role sounds good in theory, it is the exact opposite that brings out the best in this heroine. Katniss doesn’t come to life in predictability and safe outcomes – only when she is free to react and be in the moment does this character begin to thrive.
The truth is my identity wasn’t in being but it was in doing, which created insecurity and competitiveness in my life. As a young woman I struggled for many years not knowing my identity. I lived with addictions, self-destructive behavior, and low-self esteem. After a radical conversion where I was spared from a life-endangering situation, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Around the time my youngest child turned two, when we lived in the thick of toddler tantrums, I began having meltdowns of my own. My daughter’s usually occurred in the toy aisle at Target, but mine were mostly behind closed doors. I could be found quietly sobbing in the bathtub or lying in bed at night, blood pulsing hard and my thoughts a roar into the silence.
As I write this, it is about three months since I gave birth to my first baby, Hudson. I feel that I am still emerging from what I like to call, “Babyland.” It’s a twilight zone where days and nights fuse into one, where sleep is a coveted and little-known resource, where there is little time for anything other than feeding, changing, rocking, cuddling, and repeating that process.
And though we don’t often talk about it anymore, it’s a strange existence to have two homes in opposite hemispheres that span oceans. It creates longing and homesickness that fall into categories that can’t quite be described. Some days I try, but most days I just accept that this is the way life will always be.
I’m an accidental abolitionist. At this point in my empty-nester life, I thought I’d be winding down from work and from ministry, but I find myself busier than ever. What began as a passing interest has multiplied into a ministry that has had a global reach.
On June 26, 2015, nine men and women in Washington, D.C., ruled that marriage between two men and two women was a right in all 50 states of the USA that could not be denied. In their decision, they declared in lofty beautiful language that love wins.
I was sick and tired of sending my resume out and getting no response, As a result, my faith was shaken. I was a single mom with a college education who felt rejected and unwanted. Going on social media didn’t help at all. There I would read posts of young adults sharing the successes of their businesses or how God opened doors for them.
I can't make you love Him if you don't can't strike a match to cause your heart to blaze at the mention of His Name can't cause you to tremble as I tremble before His holiness can't jumpstart love from the outside in It only happens from the inside out
There is a nickname for people who only go to church on Christmas and Easter--a ChrEaster. My mom has long been a fan of the Christmas cactus, a plant that, oddly enough, blooms around Christmas as well as Easter. I started calling them a ChrEaster Cactus.
2010 was a hard year for us, in many ways. We faced huge life changes and transcontinental relocation, all within a matter of weeks. We had no idea what to expect and had many days when we simply had to hand all of it to our Father, loosening our grasp from what felt impossible.
I was crying hysterically while one of my closest friend’s tried to console me. She dropped everything to come over to my apartment after a brief phone conversation. I knew I could call on her because she’d been in my shoes before. Though I was ashamed, she never judged me or made me feel embarrassed about everything I was facing at the time.
I am walking the right path, which is strong steady and chosen by God. HIS love and forgiveness bless my life giving me knowledge that my faith will see me through any storm. Lunch with Jesus today stripped away my lost sadness and renewed my soul.
Before life with the GPS, I was often reluctant to drive anywhere too far away or any location that required following complicated directions. The thought occurred to me, I wish I trusted God like I trust this GPS. If I did, I could relax and know for certain that, no matter what, God is going to lead me home even when I find myself in unfamiliar places I’d rather not be.
I recently had the privilege of spending an overnight with a sect of Old Order Mennonites in Belize, Central America, where I was living. A surprise to most, there are several Mennonite communities in Belize that are very similar to the Amish in the United States. They have managed to preserve a distinct culture, religion, and way of life despite the climate and culture of Belize.
Grief is personal yes, but there are elements of this journey we all share. As I open up to my family slowly about how I still struggle sometimes with the thought of my mother gone forever, I realize that they too are hurting.
For me, quiet thoughts are a sweet savor, yet to have quiet thoughts there must first be quiet moments. I have found quiet thoughts and quiet moments are sanctuary. Sometimes I think something is wrong with me because I enjoy a quieter, slower pace in a world driven to go and do 24/7.
The question of the day – most every day – for those who desire to follow God is How can I know God’s will? No matter how strong our desire is to follow God’s plan, when given a variety of options, it's may not be easy to make the right choice. The answer is not always crystal clear.
The creator and sustainer of time, God uses seasons to shape us and grow us. Sure, waiting is hard sometimes, but God doesn’t waste that time. He wants us to worship Him while we wait for the next season. Waiting may mean putting a dream on hold until God opens the necessary doors.
Volunteering is one of the best decisions you’ll make. For me, it turned out to be a life-changing year of growth, challenges, joys, and deepened faith. I lived with six other women in a beautiful old house in a neighborhood that was rapidly gentrifying.
And I grew angry with myself for writing about my daily life on the most public forum on the planet, and withering when faced with criticism there. I exposed my son to people who, quite honestly, think the marriage of faith and everyday life is downright crazy.
There I was, standing at the bus stop in all black, holding up my umbrella. When the bus arrived, I entered, paid my fare, and took a seat. I brought a book to read, but when I opened it I couldn’t even get through a paragraph. I had so much on my mind. This was going to be a day that would change my life forever.
You and I might not be artists in the capital “A” sense, but we all have dreams that rise up from the dark and quiet places of our heart. God knit you together in a particular fashion, and the world may not believe it, and your family might not understand it, and your paycheck may not reflect it, but you can honor the dream and respect it.