Friday, November 13, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I'm drawing today. I received emails, blog posts, and phone messages. I have your names and I'll draw and let you know who won. Also send me your email addresses!!! Send to Melissa@MelissaTaylor.org and I'll send you my 10 Ways to be closer to God :)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"I have no insecurity because I see myself the way God sees me."
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Really, I have been challenged lately in ministry. It is time to step it up a notch, take some risks, devote more time, and really pursue excellence. This requires some changes and also some unchartered territory for me. I am putting myself in a position to be evaluated, critiqued, chewed up and spat out, all for Jesus :) And I'm serious about that. I truly want to give my best so that Jesus shines. For that reason, I want to keep growing and learning. And for that reason I'm taking the next few months to devote to intense study, training, refining, and growth...all closer to the heart of God. I'm excited and nervous, but also so thankful for the opportunities ahead. God is good and with Him I'm traveling this sometimes bumpy road.
With all that said, I'll still keep blogging, writing, speaking, working, etc. In fact, you should see some major changes in this blog in the next few weeks. Finally after almost 2 years of blogging I'm actually getting a design :) Oooohhhh, impressive. LOL! I think I'm the last person in the world to do this!
Well, it's a big day here at the Taylor house. College football starts today! It's my favorite time of year. And my team plays tonight on ESPN. Join me in yelling, "Go Gamecocks!"
Hey, have you had a challenge in your life that you were a little scared about, but also excited? How did you proceed without being nervous or listening to the wrong voice? Please share if you want to.
All for now, it's Game Time!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
That's what I ask myself. And there are so many correct answers.
I've led Bible studies. In these studies it was my main objective to bring God's Word to life so that those in the study could feel and apply God's Word in their everyday life.
I've been a speaker at retreats and conferences. No matter what the message or topic, my main goal was to bring God's Word to life so that the women in attendance would go home thirsting for the Word of God with the desire to apply it to their lives everyday.
I answer the phone at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Many times it is people asking for prayer. I often don't have the answers they are looking for, but I always point them back to the Word of God. I may not have advice or answers, but I do have Scripture that never fails. And when I share it, it sticks. It gives hope. It promises to never fail. When I have nothing to offer, the Word of God gives life.
My kids are searching for their way in life. I don't have much to offer them, but I do have God's Word. And unfortunately they may roll their eyes at me. But I know that His Word will not return void. And so, I keep offering it. One day they will thank me. I'm blessed. Today one of them thanked me :)
My husband....he's a great husband. But he still doesn't meet my every need. Because God's Word has taught me how to love, whether Jeff meets my needs or not, I know how to give him love. Not because I posess it, but because God within me does. I read His Word. His Word manifests within me. And I am able to love whether I feel like it or not. And just for the record, today I felt like it. I am so in love with my husband!
Today I am struggling to discern the best way to bring God's Word to life. There is so much I want to do. But there is also so much that I have to do. Ministry is important to me, but that can be done in many different ways. I am asking God to define that for me. And I am torn. I want to be in the smack dab center of God's will. And His will alone.
How do you bring God's Word to life? What does that mean to you?
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Please share if you have thoughts on this.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
As many of you have read on other blogs, She Speaks was amazing. I don't think I could say it any better than that. Today, the P31 office had a "She Speaks Debriefing Meeting" where we reviewed 3 categories of She Speaks. 1. Pre She Speaks 2. During She Speaks 3. Post She Speaks We discussed what worked and what we need to improve on for next year. This year's conference was pretty close to excellent. Let me just say that next year's will be even better.
My Mom is still home and continues to recover. Thank you for your prayers.
Jeff, the kids, and I will be leaving Saturday for Florida. We have a Disney vacation planned. This could not come at a better time for me. This summer has been hard on our family. This getaway to a literal "fantasy" land is a welcome retreat. I have missed Jeff and the kids so much. I have spent more than half of this summer away from them because I was caring for my mother and then I had She Speaks. Blake turns 16 while we will be at Disney. For his birthday, he and I are taking the behind the scenes tour of the Magic Kingdom. I think I'm more excited about this than he is! I will not be blogging while I'm away, but I will post a question to ponder each day I'm gone. I'll also be tweeting and facebooking live from WDW.
Yesterday I received a prayer request at the office from a pastor's wife whose husband is addicted to pornography. He stopped for a while, but she recently found out he was "not looking at porn" but looking at women in their bras and panties, bathing suits, etc. Anyway, they weren't his wife. She feels defeated and useless to him. And she is hurting. This is just one request. We get so many similar to this. It breaks my heart. We have a fabulous prayer team, but could always use more. If you are interested in being on the P31 prayer team, let me know. It's a big commitment, but if you have a heart for prayer and are looking for ways to get involved in Proverbs 31 Ministries, we could definitely use you. Get in touch with me if you are interested.
I realize this post was a hodge podge and mish mash of stuff, but that's how I am these days. Hodge podge and mish mash....LOL.
Love to you and yours,
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Our Speaker Team meets today. Many of us haven't seen each other in over a year. We have training, team time, and business during the day for the next 2 days before the conference actually begins, but our nights are relatively free with plenty of built in time for fun and bonding. Usually way too many laughs and late nights!
The Conference will begin Friday morning. I begin Friday as a P31 Staff member working the crazy registration area. I end Friday and work the remainder to of the conference as a Speaker Team Member. The session I'm teaching is Saturday afternoon and I'm evaluating a beginners speaking group. Truly I say, the evaluation group is my favorite part. I love being a part of encouraging these women to go after their dreams. It is a joy and delight for me.
This conference is going to be fabulous. Many great sessions, speakers, writers, publishers, and we even have Cheri Keaggy doing our music this year and Jennifer Rothschild speaking Saturday night. Wow!
To keep you updated, I'll try to blog, but I'll definitely be "tweetin'" from the conference all week long. The tweets (from Twitter) appear in the left hand column of this blog. You can also join in on the Twitter, by signing up at www.Twitter.com . Many of our speakers and even Proverbs 31 have started twittering during the day to keep up with each other. It's seems silly, but it's fun.
I have said a prayer for anyone who reads this today. May your days be blessed and may you experience the joy of the Lord greatly in your life!
Love and big hugs,
***Sharon Sloan if you read this, I will miss your OTC hug this year ;)
Monday, July 27, 2009
Hi Everyone. It's Monday evening. This has been my first opportunity to write. I'm home for the first time in a while.
As you know, Mom came home to her house in Rock Hill, SC last Friday, July 24th. It was a celebration. A real homecoming in the waiting. After 38 days in the hospital, 4 surgeries, numerous procedures, and many doctors, Mom came home. I honestly don't think the 5th floor of CMC knows what to do without her!
While returning home, has been a good thing, honestly, it's also been a hard thing. All those things we used to press the red call button and have the nurse do...well guess what? She doesn't come any more. Mom rings a bell (a lot) and whoever is "on call" (either me or Bud this last weekend) come to do whatever is needed. And that has been more than I ever thought myself capable to do. Wow. Procedures I used to have to leave the room for because of my weak stomach, I am now doing myself. Bud and I went through a crash course of Wound Care, Dressing Changes, Ostomy Bag Changes, Treating infection, Assisiting a patient in using a walker, etc etc etc. I actually think I could be a nurse now. :)
Mom is doing ok. She's glad to be home. She's walking around with the help of a walker a few times a day. But she is also frustrated and feeling defeated. Everything is such an effort for her.
If you can give her a call, please do. Often when she's on the phone or occupied with a visit she forgets the pain she's in or what she's going through.
I had to leave Mom tonight. I have a big conference that I'm working this week and weekend. Jeff's Mom, Pat, is going to be with Mom the next 2 days. Buddy's daughter, Michele will be helping out a few days also. And then Mom's sister, Gloria is coming next Sunday for a few days. And of course Bud is there most of the time. We've learned it's a full time job. Caring for Mom, cooking, cleaning, keeping up with the billing and prescriptions and appointments, etc.
A home health care nurse also comes out a few times a week.
Thank you so much for your continued love and support. I for one don't think I could do this without it. You all have carried me. And I read your comments to Mom and it lets her know that she is not forgotten. She misses life as she knows it. Your comments let her know that life is going on and she is a part of it.
I'm not sure when this will updated again. I'll try to get the "helpers" to update during the week, but who knows. I'll be back next week sometime.
Much Love From Becky,
That was my CaringBridge update. Mom is home.
This has been such a hard week. I'm trying to get geared up for She Speaks. Usually She Speaks has occupied my every thought. Only this year, it has paled in comparison to what I've been dealing with in real life. It's just as important. But I trust that God will handle every detail of the conference....even my session on Saturday. He is capable of that, right? Of course!
It's been rather comical. My email has revealed nervous speakers and attendees to the conference. And I understand. However, in comparison, I've just trusted God to handle what I couldn't, which was the She Speaks Conference. I know for a fact that He will take care of it all.
This conference will undoubtably be the best ever. I know because it gets better and better each year. I believe that Satan would like for me to be distracted by what's going on with my Mom. but I'm not. I have learned to trust Him more than ever.
I'm home now. For the first time in a week. I've missed my husband and my kids. And I miss Mom tonight, but I'm so happy to be home tonight. And I know God is taking care of her. How silly of me to think that I was the only one capable of taking care of her. :)
Good Night Friends,
Monday, July 20, 2009
Free- Yes, Christ has set us free. He did this by His own death. It was the toughest and most painful of sacrifices, yet He considered us worth it. And he did it, so that we would experience freedom. The opposite of freedom is captivity or bondage. If we feel held against our will, then we are not experiencing the freedom that Christ intended.
This was me for many years. I've been captive to people, relationships, feelings, food, exercise, perfection, lonliness, positions/roles, and my own thoughts. It has taken (and still takes) a constant effort and reminder to myself that I am no longer a slave to such things. Jesus is my Master and I am free. Not guilty. Not condemned. Not needing anything or anyone else to complete me.
Often people fight for freedom. We don't have to. The battle was won for us. Christ did it all.
Stand firm- This tells me that Paul, who wrote this verse, is saying that we can't just relax. We have to stand firm. Stand firm...on solid ground, not waivering, holding on tight so we won't easily be blown over or down. Standing firm takes effort and it means we must take a stand and stick with it. Make a decision and never look back.
Again- The fact that Paul says, "Do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" tells me that we will be burdened (or attempted to be burdened) again by the same things. The same strongholds that Satan had over us are going to be the same ones he uses again and again to get to us. That's why we were just told to stand firm!
I hope you are encouraged by this verse. I've decided to go back through "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore again and use it in my quiet time for the rest of the summer. This verse was in the introduction and I have used it all day long in making decisions and reminding myself of my amazing freedom in Christ! I take it for granted too much. I turn to other means for comfort too much. This is not right. It makes me a slave to whatever I turn to. I don't want any part of that.
It is for freedom that I am free in Christ. I will stand firm then, and I won't let myself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery!
Christ gave up everything for me and you. Let's stand firm and make Him glad He did!
Sweet Love in Christ,
Thursday, July 16, 2009
My mom was in Surgical Trauma ICU for 3 days. My dad got married without much notice. I wasn't even invited to the wedding. Blake got contacts. Hayden got his braces off. Dylan is still having ear trouble and seeing a specialist. I still work every day. I still spend every other night in the hospital. I miss my family. Jeff has either a groin pull or a hernea. I miss my husband. We are super busy at the office getting ready for She Speaks, a conference which I am heavily involved for 5 days at the end of the month. With that said, I've been taking it one moment at a time. Sleeping has been light. I fall asleep, I awake. I'm real tired. And truth be told, I'm worried about my Mom. She's been in the hospital for 4 weeks.
I guess it was only a matter of time. I could at times feel tears, but they would never come. I think there are many reasons for this and I'll share them with you:
1. I KNOW God is in control. I trust Him completely.
2. I don't have time to break down. I have to go from home to work to hospital to work to home to hospital to work....etc.
3. Everyone else in my family breaks down. I need to keep it together. For my mom. For her husband. For my sister. For my kids.
4. God tells me to worry about nothing and pray about everything. I'm trying to do that.
Well, finally, I broke. And it didn't take much to bring it on.
Yesterday at work, a co-worker, who will remain unamed, was in a bad mood and trying to beat a deadline. She had a phone call and I buzzed her office. She said, "Leave me alone!" Well, that was it. That did it. I started crying. Ok, I know what you are thinking.....drama! As I write I can't even believe that's what did it. But it did. I started crying and I couldn't quit.
It was a long time until I went to sleep last night. Not because of my co-worker who snapped at me. I knew that wasn't personal. It was just because I was at the end of my rope. It was time. I needed to let out all that emotion. Each time I would fall asleep. I would soon wake up. I just couldn't get into a deep sleep. Finally at 2:30am I got up to let the dog out. I could hear her running around the bedroom. When I got up and headed for the door, I stepped barefooted into a pile of poop. Thanks Maggie! Geez. Can't a girl catch a break here?
I finally fell asleep around 3:00 am. I didn't wake up until 11:00 am. Thank God I work in a place that is filled with loving and understanding women. I'm supposed to be there by 9:00 am. That just hasn't been happening lately. I called in and they told me to take my time.
I am feeling much better tonight. I got it out. I'm not altogether with it, but I do feel better.
God has provided. I'm not surprised. I am very grateful. Even though I have my times of weakness, He has been there to lift me back up. I trust Him fully. I could not do this without Him. Just when I think life is impossible, He reminds me that nothing is impossible for Him.
Do you trust God? If you are having difficulty trusting God in your life right now, please do share with me. And if you have a story of how you trusted God in a difficult time, please share that too. Your stories inspire me.
If you are interested in reading the latest update on my Mom, click here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/beckynunn1/journal
Thursday, July 9, 2009
There ya go! Just summed up the 4 verses listed above. These 4 verses have more than carried me and kept me calm during this very stormy time of my life. The storms have been raging and they've been totally out of my control. Of course the greatest storm, Hurricane Mama Has Cancer has brought the most stress and strain to my already challenging life. Do you wonder what I mean by challenging? Well, take a peak at my today.
On the way to the hospital today, Blake read me my morning devotion. It began with these words: "Stop worrying long enough to hear My voice." Well, he could've stopped right there. It's all I needed to hear. Just that reminder grounded me once again. I have been filled with peace (see previous post) during Hurricane Mama Has Cancer even though it's been everything but peaceful! Well, maybe I haven't ben filled with peace the whole time, but in the past month I have. The Lord has provided. Don't know why I doubt, ever. Besides the trial with Mom, life in general has been quite busy and unpredictable.
1. Get woken up by Dylan, my 12 yr old son, in severe pain. Fever 102. Ear swollen shut. (had to make an appt. to see doctor again. Then she sent him to ENT) Thank God Jeff could get him to his first appt and Jeff's mom got him to his 2nd.)
2. Go down stairs to make breakfast for the 8 kids sleeping in my house. On the way down, Becca, my niece, is looking pretty green. I said, "are you ok?" She said, "I think I'm going to throw up." And she did. After that she said she felt fine. Lovely.
3. Needed to get the kids (who were well) up to the hospital to see Mom before surgery. We took 2 cars because I was going to be staying at the hospital all day and night. Jeff and the kids visited and then left around 11. Jeff had to go back home and get Dylan for his ear appt. (see #1)
4. Mom was in her room until 12:30. Before she left for pre op, I prayed with her. She kept telling us all how much she loved us. She had tears in her eyes.
5. Denise got to the hospital right before Mom left. She and I went to the chapel. It was quiet and peaceful. We talked then prayed. I am still filled with peace. My Father has given that to me. I just love Him so much.
6. 6 hours later, still in the waiting room. My sister, Tricia is here too and my stepfather, Bud. Denise just left and Donna is on her way. I have such great friends. The surgery should last about 3 more hours.
7. Now I'm writing this blogpost as I wait.
If you are struggling with peace in your life in the midst of your uncontrollable circumstances, take a look at the 3 passages of Scripture I've referred to here. God is so very good. I love that He cares so much and I'm thankful He's given me the calm in the storm. I am only looking at this moment. I'm not looking ahead. I'm trusting Him for today. That mentality is working quite well.
I'll sign off here for now. Gotta tweet, FB, and check my email. Obsessive? Maybe. Good for passing time in the waiting room? Definitely.
Love to all my friends. Love y'all to pieces!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Even though, I still have peace, my evening went much different than I expected.
I am here at the hospital with my Mom tonight. It's my turn to spend the night with her. Me and my sister are staying every other night. My Mom's journey has not gone how I would have wanted it to go, but we have found bright spots along the way. My Mom has had 5 surgeries in the past 3 weeks. There have been set backs. But I've managed to remain calm. I trust God. I put the situation in His Hands.
Tonight I was challenged. My Mom was sore and chaffed. I washed her full body. As I washed, she cried. She said, "No daughter should ever have to do this." However, I was honored to wash my mother. As I wiped the warm cloth over her body, I felt the love of Jesus saying, "I made this woman and I want her to feel clean. Thank you for washing her." It was my pleasure to wash her.
A little while later, an odor took over the room. Mom's colostomy bag had burst. Her linens and gown were soiled. She was embarrassed. I called for the nurse. 2 nurses came. They tended to Mom with care and allowed her to keep her dignity. I was so appreciative of that. They cleaned her up, changed her gown and sheets, and told her that everything was ok. They took their time in changing her bag, cleaning her up, and making her feel human and normal.
Yes, I have a peace that surpasses understanding, but I have to be honest. I hate what my Mom is going through. I hate it. I have never gone through anything like this in my life. I don't like that staying in the hospital almost feels normal. I don't like that I miss my family and our suburban lifestyle. I don't like that my Mom doesn't know what tomorrow will bring.
But God picked me. He picked me to have the honor to wash my Mom. He picked me to be humbled enough to clean her up. He picked me to have the calm and strength to be there for her. He picked me to have the priviledge to give back a little of what she's given to me over the years. And I am honored and humbled.
God is enough. I couldn't do what I'm doing, feel how I'm feeling, or get through what I am going through without Him. I have peace. And that is only from God.
Many Blessings and Much Love,
****Mom has another surgery on Thursday, July 9th. Thank you for your prayers.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I'm with my husband's family. His parents. His grandmothers. His aunt. My children. What a blessing. As I watch all the interaction, I am just so thankful. We have age 7-91 here. How cool is that?
My family is great, but we have divorce on so many sides. We could never do a family beach trip involving so many generations. We have other great times, but a trip with 4 generations present will not happen on my side. I have been very observant on this trip. And I feel extremely blessed. I'm watching my family.....the interaction between the great grands and the grand kids. It's amazing. It's a blessing. I look at each one and think, "God created each one of these beautiful human beings for a purpose. And here they are together." I look at Hayley Grace, who is only 7, and watch her hold hands with her 86 year old great grandmother. It brings tears to my eyes. I hope I'm holding my great grand daughter's hand when I'm 86.
For the 1st 3 days here I literally, stayed in a beach surf chair during the day and just hung out with the family at night. Every day, I sat in a low seated beach chair where the water could wash up and cool me off. I read 2 books those 3 days. (A Bend in the Road and The Shack) "The Shack" overwhelmed me. In a good way. It has caused me to just talk to God nonstop. I love Him and I feel closer to Him. It is a must read in my opinion.
Before I came to the beach, I had been spending most nights at the hospital with my Mom. It was hard for me to leave her and come here. I felt a little guilty. Tricia, my sister, is now staying with Mom at night. Because she is here, I can be at the beach with my family. And oh, how I needed this.
We have celebrated 3 birthdays on this trip. Hayden turned 14 on June 29th. Big Granny turned 86 on July 1st. And Dylan turns 12 on July 2nd. Lots of cake, lots of celebration, lots of memories. Lots of treasures.
I feel like I have been to therapy, only therapy never felt so good. I needed this trip.
Tomorrow brings another day of surf, sand, wind, and relaxation. I hope to be able to relax and maybe even read another book before returning to reality!
Thank you for your prayers and love. Mom is still holding on.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I have not blogged in quite some time. The last time I blogged my Mom was getting ready to go into the hospital. She's now been in there for 1 and 1/2 weeks and will probably be there for another couple weeks. She had major surgery, the first of it's kind. And it was successful. But there is recovery and rehab. But when it's all said and done, this cancer is gone and there will be just the lung cancer to deal with.
But let me say this. Seeing my Mom go through so much has been excruciating on me. I can't take it, yet I can. This woman who I love is suffering. She's too young. And she blames herself. She keeps apologizing to me. It kills me. But I put up a front. I wear a mask to cover the pain. I think my Mom does too.
I'm at the beach now. After staying in the hospital 6 nights with Mom, I was given the blessing of a break. Friends and family are stepping up to help out. My sister is here from Dallas, TX. My mother in law has stayed with my Mom for 2 nights. Donna is keeping all the dogs (mine and Mom's). Denise has volunteered to stay with Mom one night. Cindy stayed with Mom last night. Aunt Gloria stayed on Sat. I'm so thankful for all of them. I've been at the beach for 2 days now. I have to admit, I felt guilty for coming. But I also know I was worn out and almost ready to crack. The break is good and I'm so thankful for all of the help. I'm really glad to have my sister here.
So, what are my emotions right now? Well, I went on a walk today. Down the beach in the middle of the day. I was thinking about Mom. I was thinking about life. I was thinking about losing my Mom. I was thinking about the loss of life. I got really sad for the first time. My breathing got heavy. I was somewhat angry for having to deal with this. But I also understand that the Master has a plan. I returned to peace.
I just started reading "The Shack" today. I'm half way through it and I can't wait to read the rest. I can tell it's life changing. There are so many lines I've highlighted in the book already that I plan to write about later.
I don't really know what I've written thus far. Hope it made some sense. Today is my 2nd child's birthday. He is 14. Hayden is 14. God bless him. And I thank God for him.
Now I must go. I am watching "wrastlin" with my husband's grandmothers. What a hoot. One is 87 and the other 92. This time with them is priceless! I can't quit laughing! We have 4 generations right here. Watchin' "wrastlin". Lovely!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
She still has lung cancer, but if this other cancer can be controlled, she can atleast live without pain. I'll be updating all day tomorrow on the blogs, FaceBook ( http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/melissa.r.taylor?ref=profile ), Twitter ( http://twitter.com/MelissaRTaylor ) , and my mom's CaringBridge site ( http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/beckynunn1/journal ).
Thank you for your prayers.
****Edit, Thurs, June 18th, 2:03 pm EST
I updated Mom's CaringBridge site with the details from her surgery. Click the CaringBridge link above if you want details. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers. I was lifted by them. Out of this trial, for me, the biggest blessing has come in the form of prayers by friends, co-workers (who are also friends), and people I've never even met before (like many of you) who I also consider friends. Thank you so much! If I could, I'd hug you all real big right now!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Today I am still basking in the wonderful time I had at my Mom's. She was in a great mood and little pain. What a blessing! Me and kids visited. My friend, Donna, and her daughter, Sydney, came too. My mom's hubby, Bud, cooked hamburgers on the grill. We had watermelon. We had a great time together. Her surgery is this Thursday. Please keep her in your prayers.
Thanks a bunch!
Friday, June 12, 2009
It's late. 11:30ish as I write. I'm going back and forth between email, twitter, facebook, and my blog. I'm also watching a movie with Hayden, my 13 yr old son (Shredderman Rules). There are others in the room, but they have drifted off. So, I guess I'm multi-tasking.
Earlier tonight, Hayley Grace had dress rehearsal for her dance recital. Friday nights are usually reserved for doing NOTHING! "Nothing" didn't start until around 10:30 due to the rehearsal. Tomorrow will be busy as well. Hayden is attending a bat mitzvah, Hayley Grace is attending Sydney's 9th birthday party (Happy Birthday Syd!), and our family is celebrating Dylan's 5th grade graduation. Sunday we will go to church in the morning and HG's dance recital in the afternoon. Then............rest. Right? LOL!
Some great news came our way this week. About my mom. Check it out here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/beckynunn1. Click "journal" to get the latest update. It is really good for a change!
Are you having fun? Has summer officially started for you? What are you doing this summer? Let me know!
And have a blessed and beautiful weekend!
Love you much,
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Just today I made a comment about how quickly the house gets destroyed after I've cleaned it. I followed my complaint by saying, "but it won't be like this for long...soon enough I'll have the quiet and clean house and I'll miss this." And it's true.
My 3rd son, Dylan, graduated from elementary school today. I was prepared to get choked up, I always do where my kids are concerned. My husband took pictures during the ceremony. Every now and then I'd glance over at Jeff and my heart would just melt. How did we come together to make such a wonderful family. And how is our baby boy already going to middle school. It's because time flies. It won't be like this for long.
This afternoon, Dylan has 3 friends over to swim in the pool, eat pizza and loads of junk food, and spend the night. They think they are hot stuff. Big 5th graders, all graduated and headed for middle school. I still look at them as little boys. Wasn't it just yesterday that we had preschool graduation? That I was changing his diapers?
I took the day off work today so I could soak it all in. It may not be like this for long, but I don't want to miss a single second of it while it lasts!
****FYI, Stay Tuned. In the coming weeks I'll be giving away 3 copies of "The Love Dare" in preparation for a devotion that will be running on the Proverbs 31 site very soon (The Love Dare parts 1 and 2). Shortly after that devo runs this blog will be devoted to going through "The Love Dare" for 8 weeks. Details to follow.)
Monday, June 8, 2009
1. Dylan's game did not take place on Thursday night. It was Monday night. They lost, but played a great game. Great season Cobras!
2. My mom's exam is over. The doctors have scheduled her surgery for June 18th. She will be in the hospital for 6-8 days.
3. I went to the Brad Paisley concert last Friday with my awesome friend, Donna. We had such a great time. It was pouring rain and our seats were outside. Fortunately for $10 each we were able to upgrade and sit under the shelter. The concert was fabulous. It was the first concert in my whole life that I knew every word to every song. I didn't want it to end.
4. On Saturday, 4 of my friends and all of our kids went to the No Doubt/Paramore concert. What fun. We tailgated beforehand and enjoyed the concert. I loved listening to the kids talk in the car on the way to and from the show. I learned a lot driving and pretending like I wasn't listening (but I really was!). I hope I can post some pics soon.
5. Church on Sunday...sermon on anxiety. I needed it.
6. Cleaned the office after chuch. The kids and I do this together every other week. They worked harder than ever to get it done.
7. Jeff had a great weekend getaway with his high school friends. They went to Charleston. I was so glad for him to take a break from real life and relax and play golf with guys he's known for 30 years. I missed him though!
8. Work is busier than ever. Lately I have not been finishing all I have to do before I leave. There seems to always be more. Job security is a good thing :) (It's mostly She Speaks Conference stuff and prayer requests)
9. I have officially decided to hold off on meeting with any publishers or agents at the conference this year. I thought this would be a good time because I've done so much writing and I thought I might be ready to present a proposal (or 2) this year. However, I know very clearly that this is not the year to pursue my dream of writing a book. I think I'm supposed to keep writing, but I know I need to devote my time and attention this summer to my mom. As I said before, she has a surgery scheduled for June 18th and will have another in July or August. I'm content to wait...again :)
10. Dylan "graduates" from 5th grade on Wednesday. My baby boy is leaving elementary school, I can't believe it. There will be tears I promise!
11. Hayley Grace has her dance recital this upcoming Sunday afternoon.
12. I've lost 15 pounds and I'm exercising reguarly and eating mostly healthy.
13. My son, Hayden, had an appt with a neurosurgeon. Because of his spine injuries, he will begin physical therapy soon. We are praying he will be able to play football in the fall. Unsure at this point.
Busy times, fun times, cautious times, sad times. All times for depending on the Lord and leaning on Him daily. Can't get through this life any other way. Ups and downs occur every week.
So, that's life for me lately in 13 brief bullet points. I wish I had more inspirtation and encouragement to give out right now, but I just don't. I'm sorry about that.
May you be blessed wherever you are and whatever you are going through today.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I was talking to my friend, Donna, today. She said, "Are you okay Melissa? You don't seem like yourself." My husband, Jeff, also commented to me today, "Melsa (he calls me Melsa), tell me what's up. You don't seem like you are yourself today. Are you alright? Talk to me."
How did they know? Isn't it cool that your bestest of friends know you so well? Because without really realizing it, I was hiding. Hiding my emotions behind the busyness of life.
And that's what I do. When life gets tough, which it is, I just shut down my emotions and do what I have to do. I plan. I multitask. I do whatever I can actually "do". And I keep myself occupied so I don't have to "feel". Do you know what I mean?
I remember hearing the phrase "comfortably numb" in a song. I can't even remember which one. Maybe Duran Duran...not sure. But sometimes I hide behind a "comfortably numb" feeling. I choose comfortably numb so I don't have to face how I'm really feeling. Or I choose it so I can keep functioning and tending to the work I have set before me.
I'm so thankful that Donna and Jeff recognize when I slip into that numb and busyness state. Each of them reached out. Donna sent me an E-Card, which meant the world to me. Jeff asked me to join him outside tonight to get away from the kids and "life". We just sat and talked. I even cried a bit. But it was good. My my, how am I supposed to act when my mom is dying? This is new to me. And I don't like it. But I'm hangin on to Jesus. I love Jesus.
I am used to being an encourager. In fact that's why I write each of my blogs. It is not comfortable for me to be on the receiving end of encouragement. I prefer the opposite. And that's why lately I feel a little numb. I'm in unfamiliar territory.
Have you gone through experiences that left you feeling numb?
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Fun. Oh, that will be tough. This weekend has not brough a lot of fun.
Me and the boys are in Rock Hill, SC. (the boys are Blake, Hayden, and Dylan. Jeff has classes all weekend and Hayley Grace is staying at Sydney's. So it's just us.) And we are having fun. We've been swimming in Mom's pool, eating an amazing grilled Pork Loin cuisine, enjoying incredible apple turnover and ice cream desserts, and just enjoyed hanging out with MaMaw.
The Not Fun:
The reality we've been revealed. The surgeon told Buddy (my mom's husband) that he didn't know if it was worth doing any surgery on my mom because of how long she had left to live. I hate even typing that. They are weighing out the pros of the surgery based on the cons of the recovery depending on the reality of the months they think mom has remaining. Harsh words that no daughter is ready to hear.
Jeff called me tonight with some good news. He got our pool painted. As soon as the paint is completley dry, we can fill it with water. That will be nice to have a pool with water.
Band Practice was at our house this weekend. To some it may have seemed noisy, but to me it was beautiful music. It was awesome having teenagers playing around on their instruments. Our garage has been transformed from a garage to a music studio and I couldn't be happier.
We are staying at Mom's til about 3 tomorrow. Then we head to Charlotte to see "Up", the newest Pixar film.
This has been a great weekend, but also a weekend that had a shot of reality in it.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I've always known that this is a problem for me, but recently I have been really convicted about it. My lack of discipline is quite obvious if you know me and have a window's peek into my life. It's gotten to the point that it's affected my stress level and my self confidence. The Lord has ever so gently pressed into me that it's time to do something about it. So, I began studying the most disciplined person I know on this Earth, my 15 yr old son, Blake.
No kidding, Blake is wise and mature way beyond his years. I always tell him that I want to be just like him when I grow up. Blake has a way of following through on what he begins. He says "no" to what would get in the way of what he is supposed to do. He says "yes" to the things he is able to do. He studies days before his tests. He gets up early to read his Bible. He sticks to the schedule he has set for himself. If he knows he has a big day the next day, he goes to bed early. If he has a project, he plans it, makes a list of needed materials, and finishes before it's actually due. When Blake decides to do something, he does it. All of the kids have certain chores and responsibilities. He is the only one that I do not have to remind. He just does it.
I told my husband last week, "If a 15 yr old can be so disciplined, surely I can do better than I'm doing." In my quiet time, I felt like the Lord was telling me...."that's right Melissa, you can and you should."
During different seasons of my life I have chosen areas to focus on for a while. For instance, once I selected simplicity and therefore simplifying my life was my focus. Another time, I selected marriage and my marriage was my primary focus. Other areas have been integrity, friendships, monotasking, organization, and motherhood. I don't always have a specified areas I'm working on, in fact, usually I don't. But when I do, that's what I study in Scripture, pray about, and work to apply God's way of achieving it in my life.
In keeping with my new area of focus, I must quit writing here. I am also committed to write on my other blog tonight and I'd like to read a little before I go to bed.
If you have any thoughts on discipline in your life, please share. I love your insight and wisdom!! And I also like knowing who else struggles like I do :)
Love and Blessings,
Friday, May 22, 2009
This truly has been a Fun Friday. Work was fun, as usual. I work in a great place, Proverbs 31 Ministries. I do not ever want to work anywhere else. We sit on balls at our desks (no kidding...more about that in another post) and we rebound a couple of times a day (more on that too.). It's one of the only places I really feel like I can totally 100% be myself. I love to work!
American Idol ended this week. This was really sad for my family. We love this show. All in one week, our family faves ended. (Survivor, American Idol, Amazing Race, The Office, and Dancing with the Stars) We truly bond over these shows. We don't always agree, but we bond. And wonderful family discussions stem from them. We loved the AI finale. And most of us loved the outcome. Hayley Grace, my 7 yr old was rooting for Adam. Too bad so sad Hayley Grace! Ha.
So, for Taylor family TV time for the summer, what do we do? We watch a lot of movies and we DVR shows like: "Leave it to Beaver", "Home Improvement", "Monk", "The Cosby Show", and "The Brady Bunch". Ok, do you officially think we are super geeks? Until Football season begins, we have no choice.
It's Memorial Day Weekend. Time for fun, family, cookouts, and the official kick off to summer. What are you doing? For the first time in ages, we have a weekend with no obligations. No baseball games. No speaking engagements. No work. Ahhh..... I'm going to sleep on Saturday morning. Don't know what I'll do on Saturday afternoon. I'll date my husband on Saturday night. Sunday after church, we are going to my Mom's for a family cookout. I haven't seen her in over a week, so I'm very excited about this. I might spend the night on Sunday with her, not quite sure yet. Love her so much.
I haven't talked much about it, but I've altered my lifestyle drastically over the past month. I have been way more consistent with my exercising and I started focusing on cutting sugar and bad carbs totally out of my diet. It has been SO HARD at times. My habits have tried to come back, but I've stayed strong!!!! I've had a great team supporting me and eating the same way and that has helped tremendously. Even the other night, I was speaking at a dinner here in Charlotte. Right before dinner was served, LeAnn Rice came up to me and gave me a small container of dressing. It was our yummy sugar free dressing for my salad. She was helping me stay true to the plan I was on. I know that sounds minor, but it was major!!!! (so was skipping the cheesecake!) I've lost 13 pounds so far. Before you start to think that's a great thing, I have to admit my clothes fit no different. I'm looking at the scales and seeing the number go down. I have to wonder,"where is the 13 pounds coming from???" Jeff says he can tell a difference in my face. So I guess I've lost 13 pounds from my face!
I guess this is enough fun for one Friday. And I've rambled long enough.If you are reading this, I pray you have a wonderful and blessed weekend. You are beautiful, do you know that? Just ask God!
Happy Memorial Day! Honor and remember those who died for our freedom and the love and safety of our country.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Did you read the Proverbs 31 devotion today? If you are visiting my blog today after reading today's devo, well then welcome! I'm glad you are here and I hope you'll share some insight of your own.
Last night I had a speaking engagement in my hometown. That doesn't happen very often. It was a large audience (which made me nervous) , many of my friends were there (which made me nervous), my P31 co-workers were there (also made me nervous), and my 7 year old daughter was joining me on stage to tell the opening story (now that made her nervous!). I had an upset tummy all day long. I just didn't know if I could do it. I was worried about what people would think. What if they didn't like me?
Honestly, I came to terms with that early on. Why? Because it didn't matter if anyone liked me or not. My Father and Comforter reminded me that I would be fine. I would be provided for. My Disciplinarian reminded me that I was asked to deliver a message from Him. My discomfort was unimportant compared to the message He was asking me to give. I needed to study. I needed to prepare. I needed to pray. I needed to remain focused. And I needed to follow through. So I did.
I have to admit, I love God when He's giving me comfort and fatherly love. And you know what? I also love Him when He's giving me discipline. I might not like it, but I'm thankful for it. Discipline is not my strength. I'm weak. But when I'm disciplined and do like I know I'm supposed to the rewards are way better than I could've planned.
A woman came up to me after the event tonight. She carried a book with her. She asked, "Will you sign this book for me?" I replied, "Oh, I'm not the author of that book." She said, "Yes, I know. I just want to remember you and who spoke the message on the night my life was changed." I am still shaking my head. I don't get it. How could I have been involved something lifechanging?
The truth is I'm not. I have nothing to do with life change. That's all God. He disciplined me. And I did what I was asked to do.
What is God to you these days? Your Father? Your Comforter? Your Disciplinarian?
Do Share. I can't wait to read your comments!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
That's all I have to say right now.
JT won Survivor and I am glad.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
This month has been my busiest week to date at Proverbs 31 Ministries. I had 3 speaking events....as a speaker at my level, that's a lot. On Monday we received over 400 prayer requests to Proverbs...that's one of my jobs...Prayer coordinator. We usually receive like 15. I spent the night with my mom on Sunday night. My mom's birthday is Wed, May 13th, so me and the kids went to visit a day early since we can't go on her real birthday. We stayed twice as long as we planned. But I wouldn't have it any other way. We had a great time and so did Mom. Then today, Wednesday, it's my mom's real birthday, I had to work, Hayley Grace had dance, and Dylan had a baseball game. And American Idol was on :) Go Kris! But I do like Adam too!
I've also had tons of laundry. I should be cooking. I'm helping with homework. I've had to chauffeur my family from place to place. I know this is common among women. I'm not really that different. But I have felt overwhelmed. I want to do more than I've been doing. And I feel guilty for not being able to do more.
Well, today, my co-workers, lended me hand. They had work to do too. But they put it aside and helped me. I am humbled and amazed. Thank you my friends for devoting your time to helping others, and in a way helping God. You have made a big difference in the lives of others. Thank You!
There is so much more that I could say, but I know they would want God to get all the glory. So let's give it up to Him. Thank you Lord for all you do in our lives together and our lives individually.
Love You! Need You!
Friday, May 8, 2009
On Thursday, May 7th, I went with my son, Hayden (the same one with the passing out episodes) to a Spine specialist to get results from an MRI. About 3 weeks ago he started having extreme back pain. He had been running track. After his first race at a meet, he was in so much pain that the coach pulled him out for the rest of the meet. The next day I took him to the doctor. We were immediately sent to have x-rays. Then referred to a spine specialist. Then an MRI. Today we got the results. He has 2 cracks (fractures) in his left and right lumbar vertibrae. He has to wear a brace for 7 weeks. After 7 weeks, his condition will be reevaluated. What we fear is that he will have to quit sports. He has football in his blood. So, our prayer is that his spine will heal by football season. But there are no guarantees. It's unknown how long he's had this condition or if even he was born this way. Regardless, the Great Physician knows all. And once again we are called to trust Him.
On the way to the doctor today I told Hayden I thought we should pray. First, we casted our burdens on Him. Told Him our fears and asked Him to take care of Hayden. Then we presented our requests to Him. And now we wait.Never when I wrote this devo did I think that when it was published online that I would be the one who needed the message. But I did.
Thank you Lord Jesus that You knew what I needed.So, maybe you needed it too. I hope you did, because that would make me ver happy. But even if you didn't, I know God used it for me.I think we all have something we need to "Cast and Present". Daily. How about you?
Monday, May 4, 2009
I typically look forward to what God has in store for events that He brings me to. But I have to admit, that this event took me by surprise. I was unprepared. I was distracted. I've been very busy. I've been very concerned about my Mom's health, cancer, and condition...and my son, Hayden's spine defect/injury, MRI, and prognosis. I've been concerned about my Dad and the fact that he's been lonely, depressed, and hopeless. I've been saddened about the prayer requests that have come through the Proverbs 31 prayer line. So many lonely, sad, and lost women.
But God. Yes. But God.
This event, Women's retreat, was amazing. God showed up in a huge way. It's like it was all orchestrated and arranged so that just the right healing would take place. I feel so blessed that God would allow me to take a front row seat to observe what He would accomplish. Hearts stirred, burdens lifted, questions answered and questions unanswered but addressed, transformed lives, and salvations. Oh Lord, I love you so much. I don't doubt you, but I never thought You'd show up like you did this weekend. Those "Women of Grace" really got to experience how cool, real, and awesome you are. Thank you.
Women of Grace at the retreat, please let me know how God met you this past weekend. You blessed me more than I can say. I pray that the message God gave you followed you home. You are "blutiful"!!!! I love you. I miss you. And thank you for welcoming me and taking me in like a friend. I had a great time with you!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
...Oh y'all, I had to stop this post due to a phone call we just received. A friend, just 44 yrs old died. He was helping my husband plan the reunion we are attending this weekend. His name is Donnie Baucom. Please pray for his sister Monica and their whole family, especially his parents. This was very sudden and unexpected. Jeff is absolutely torn up about it. He just saw him 2 days ago.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Let's try to list them:
Wife. Mother. Sister. Friend. Master (to my doggie Princess). Speaker. Writer. Administrative Assistant. Mentor. Tutor. Cheerleader. House Cleaner. Clothes Washer. Cook. Chauffeur. Encourager. Advocate. Teacher. Leader. Student. Nutritionist. Exerciser. Maid. Office Cleaner. Supporter. Lover. Watcher. Reader. Listener. Learner. Football fanatic. Dancer.
****Notice I never mentioned Fashionista! Or Decorator! I'm not gifted in that way. Oh how I wish I was. But I'm smart enough to realize this. So I seek help in those areas.
****Notice I also didn't mention Daughter. Until now.
Yes, I am a daughter. Daughter of my father and Daughter of my mother.
I've been a daughter since the day I was born. Being a daughter for the most of my life has meant I was the baby. I've been taken care of.
As a baby, my parents changed my diapers, taught me right from wrong, taught me about Jesus, gave me love, gave me security, were there for me whether I succeeded or failed, guided me, gave me advice, and mostly gave me UNCONDITIONAL and UNFAILING LOVE!!!! I soaked it up. And I always knew that I could go to them.
Lately, the role of daughter has taken a drastic turn. Daughter now means I do the taking care of. And that's new.
Cancer has struck my mom. This is a new role for her too. She's used to taking care of those around her. I know it's hard for her to allow others to care for her. I know that. But, God knows How I Miss Her. I miss her coming to my rescue. I miss her driving to Charlotte to take care of me. Now the roles are somewhat reversed. I drive to Rock Hill to see her, spend time with her, and try to take care of her. Although I'm not near as good as it as she is.
My dad is dealing with a different scenario. In the past year, he has gone through his 3rd divorce, lives in an assisted living facility in Greenville, SC, is depressed, has gained weight, diabetes has gotten worse, and overall health is just not good. I don't live as close to him as I do Mom. I try to get him when I can. This past week was one of those times. I went and picked him up and brought him to Charlotte hoping that he would enjoy his visit....attending Hayden's track meet, Dylan's baseball game, and a birthday party in honor of him! And he did. While he was here, I did his laundry and took him shopping for clothes. When I brought him back to his home, I took him grocery shopping and cleaned his apartment.
Please hear me. It is an honor for me to give back to my parents. It is an honor to love them and care for them.
But I have to be honest. I miss being the Daughter.
I've realized that I will probably never be the Daughter again. Or at least the role has changed. Will I be anyone's baby ever again? Maybe. Maybe not. But that's life.
I don't feel 42 years old. There's a huge part of me that still feels 12. Longing for love, protection, security, and guidance. Thank God, He is there for my 12 year old self. I don't ever have to worry about being His caretaker. He will always be there to be mine. That's a wonderful feeling. It brings me peace. I know I have the strength because He provides it. He provides it through His Word, His Presence, and His People.
And I'm thankful for each.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
My mother in law is just the best. She's kind. She's wise. She's non judgmental. She's forgiving. She's helpful. She's a wonderful grandmother. She's a wonderful wife. She's a wonderful mother. She's beautiful. She's giving. She's so unselfish. She gave birth to the most amazing man ever (my husband!). She's loving. She's a fashionista. And I am so grateful to have her in my life.
There have been many times that she has been there for me. I met her when I was 14 years old. Just so you know, I'm 42 now....so that's a long time. From the day I met her, she made me feel like I was a part of her family. At 14 and at 42.
She has also loved my family. She has loved my mom and her husband, my dad, my sister and her husband and kids....all like they were her own family. Loved unconditionally. She even loves Princess, my dog, like she's family. Each year, she arranges a vacation for us all at the beach. Complete with 4 generations. She's a blessing. A blessing from God.
Today she picked me up at work and we went shopping for clothes. I'm a terrible shopper. She's a great shopper. I went to the dressing room and she brought me clothes to try on. If you've ever seen the show "What Not To Wear"....well, I'd be a great candidate. But today, even Stacey and Clinton would be impressed with my purchases. Not because of my choices, but because of my mother in law's. She just has this knack for selecting clothes that look great. I lost 20 pounds just by the outfits she selected. And I have a high school reunion next week, so that's pretty darn important! And they were all bargains!!!!!
After our shopping spree, she brought me back to the P31 office. She mentioned that she was on her way to Goodwill to drop off some shoes. Well, instead, we took the 4 bags of shoes into the office and well...all of us P31 gals have new shoes now!!!!! How awesome is that???
I know many women don't share or get along so well with their mother in laws. I'm so thankful that I'm not one of those women. My mother in law rocks. And I love her with all my heart.
Thanks so much for all of the prayers. I know I had quite a pity party with my last post. I'm going through a hard time, but I know all will be okay. Thank you for reminding me of that
Blue, but Loving Life,