Wednesday, December 29, 2010


An excerpt from C.S. Lewis'
The Silver Chair, spoken by Aslan

“Pay no attention to appearances. Remember the Signs and believe the Signs. Nothing else matters.”

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Sunday, December 26, 2010


My grandad:

"I'm not a great orator and I don't invent stuff, but I can make a mean hamburger, I can wash dishes, I can scrub floorsthe greatest gift is to be able to serve humanity in whatever way you can."
-Henry Humphrey

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Last night I began what I now anticipate will be a series of thoughts about my college experience; a memoir, if you will, documenting lessons learned, important facts, dos and don'ts, etc. If you're interested in reading my first installment, you can check it out here.

Along the same lines as my last post, I thought I would talk a little bit about what townhouse living was like. First of all, I will take this opportunity to encourage any readers who have not yet attended college to make the most of living on campus. I lived on NC State's campus for 2 years and am so thankful that I did. Skipping out on campus life is missing out on part of the college experience. With that said, living in a townhouse/apartment/house rocks.

Last year I experienced a lot of new things as I learned how to live "on my own" with three other girls.

I learned that chores are not going to get done unless someone makes a chore chart, and even then, all of the chores probably won't get done.

I learned that drinking water while someone squeezes your head between their hands cures hiccups.

I learned that sometimes roofs leak, sometimes water heaters leak, and sometimes even light fixtures leak. I learned that when stuff leaks, it pays to have a housemate who isn't afraid to call the property manager and repeat, "This is unacceptable," until someone comes to fix it.

I learned that when you do call someone to fix something in your house, it is important to find out what time that someone will be arriving, because sometimes people who are trying to fix your house have keys to it and can just let themselves in even if it's only 8:00am and you're still asleep in bed.

I learned to use the chain on my door.

I learned that if you have enough roaches in your kitchen, you get used to them.

I learned that when you live with people, they find out, so it's probably best to just tell them.

One of the biggest things I learned from my housemates on good ol' Octavia Street, though, was the idea of grace. My roommate freshman and sophomore year showed me a lot of grace as I bombarded her with what I can only imagine was insufferable neat-freakness, but last year my housemates showed me a different kind of grace.

For reasons I need not expound upon, last year I did not deserve a whole lot of patience or grace. I was so prideful, I didn't realize that I deserved a good slap in the face until several months later. Nonetheless, my housemates were so loving to me. They were kind when I deserved the cold shoulder, they were friendly when I didn't act as a friend should. I am so grateful for their compassion toward me as I sorted through the mess that was in my heart. I remember a day in particular when one of my roommates came home to find me sitting on my floor crying about something that wasn't worth crying about. She could have pretended she didn't hear me, walked past my room and gone about her business, but she didn't. Instead, she came into my room and she hugged me. She hugged me even though she knew I had been a jerk. She hugged me even though she knew I didn't deserve it.

I don't remember if I realized it then, but I definitely realize it now—she was showing me Jesus. She lived with me, so she knew my junk, but she loved me through it. She pushed aside whatever thoughts she might have been having about how dumb I was being and offered me comfort. I am so thankful for that.

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
He will
again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
Micah 7:18-19


I don't know how this happened, but somewhere between October and December my sleep schedule derailed. I vaguely remember having a goal for myself this semesterto train my body to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier in preparation for what I anticipate will be a very difficult spring semester of student teaching.

Obviously, I have not had enough discipline to force myself to bed because here I sit. It is 2:30am and I am wide awake and running out of things to do here in my room. I've watched a movie and several episodes of my favorite 9os sitcom, Perfect Strangers, I've made birthday cards, graduation cards, Christmas cards, I've finished one book and begun another, I've journaled, made myself popcorn and teaas you might guess, I'm quickly exhausting my options. If it were entirely up to me I would just stay up until the morning and go to bed somewhere around 6:00am, but I know that I would screw up my body clock even further if I tried to do that, so I have decided that as soon as I finish this blog I am going to get in bed and simply wait until I fall asleep.

Before I finish this post, though, I would like to discuss something that I am sure I have already touched on in the history of this blog, but never directly addressed. I would like to spend a few moments writing about how incredibly confusing, frustrating, and wonderful college is. Now, as I typed that sentence, I realized that the subject of college in its entirety cannot be addressed in a single late-night blog post, no matter how many hours I let myself spend on it. Perhaps I have just created what will be a small series of posts. Or perhaps I will write this one post and decide that I have indeed said all I can say about college. (I think that is highly unlikely.)

So tonight (or this morning, or whatever time it is), I believe I would like to begin with the subject of roommates. Luckily, I have been blessed beyond all measure with the girls that I have lived with over the past four years. I honestly don't think that I could have asked for better ladies to live with. However, one thing that I have learned from living away from home is that you cannot expect living with anyone to be any different than living at home with your family. Nerves are going to be got on, feelings are going to be hurt, and patience is definitely going to be tested.

My freshman and sophomore year I lived with one of the sweetest girls I know. We were church-friends who had not spent more than a week together at a time before August of 2007. I knew that she was a little messy (she would definitely not argue with that), but I was sure that this messiness was not going to be an issue for me. In retrospect, I have no idea why I thought this because I have always been an incredibly neat personI don't believe I am exaggerating when I say that sometimes it might be borderline neurotic. Anyway, a few weeks into the semester it was clear that I had not realized exactly how untidy my roommate was in relation to my extreme neat-freakness. There were times when I would get physically anxious in our room because I would want to clean up her things so bad but I knew that I shouldn't unless I got her permission. (Yes, there were several times over the 2 years that we lived together that I did ask her permission to clean up her thingsespecially her closet. I told youborderline neurotic.)

This anxiety over what I saw as her character flaw eventually became anger and before I knew it I was harboring contempt against this wonderful girl who just happened to not care if she left dishes in the sink or papers on the floor. I would watch her leave the room without making her bed or taking out the trash and literally be insulted by what I began to imagine was her unwillingness to change to accommodate my "need" for a tidy room. Looking back on it, it was insane. I would go for weeks having these instances of extreme bitterness toward my roommate without saying a word to her about it.

And somehow I expected her to know I was mad; and furthermore, why I was mad; and furthermore than that, what I wanted her to do to make me not mad.

If you're thinking, "Gosh, Taylor, you were an idiot," then congratulations, you have a brain. You're right, I was being a complete idiot.

I remember the first night that I actually spoke to her about how I was feeling. It was freshman year in our dorm room in Owen Hall. Both of our beds were lofted and she was sitting on our semi-comfortable black futon while I sat in my standard dormitory desk chair. I don't remember why it came up, but I am so thankful that it did. By me simply being honest and humble and sharing my incredibly prideful and selfish heart with my roommate, we became so much closer. I realized that she wasn't keeping her side of the room in constant disarray because she wanted to spite me for some unknown reason; that was just how she liked her things to be. I realized, in some ways for the first time, that not everyone thinks like me.

I am sure that sounds ridiculous, but what I mean is, I finally understood that not everyone defines their world in the exact way that I do. My idea of clean was not the same as hers just like my idea of discipline might not be the same as someone else's. I cannot expect everyone to operate on the exact same wavelength as me all the time. I have to learn to be flexible and to love others through my anxiety, impatience, and even anger. I must seek to understand others before assuming the intent of their actions or judging their choices.

My roommate and I had more talks like that first one through the next 2 years. Sometimes they were tearful and sometimes heated, but they always ended well because we knew that if we were just honest about our feelings, we would not only learn from one another, but be able to support each other in times of real need.

And in times where we just wanted to rip our hair out because we were fed up with writing papers and taking exams.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


An excerpt from C.S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

"Is there a way into Aslan's country from our world too?"

"There is a way into my country from all the worlds," said the Lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself, towering above them and scattering light from his mane.

"Oh, Aslan," said Lucy. "Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?"

"I shall be telling you all the time," said Aslan. "But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder. And now come; I will open the door in the sky and send you to your own land."

"Please, Aslan," said Lucy. "Before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do make it soon."

"Dearest," said Aslan very gently, "you and your brother will never come back to Narnia."

"Oh, Aslan!" said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.

"You are too old, children," said Aslan, "and you must begin to come close to your own world now."

"It isn't Narnia, you know," sobbed Lucy. "It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live never meeting you?"

"But you shall meet me, dear one," said Aslan.

"Are—are you there too, Sir?" said Edmund.

"I am," said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."

Sunday, December 5, 2010


My love's too big for you, my love.

And if I was stronger then I would tell you no,
And if I was stronger then I will leave this show,
And if I was stronger then I would up and go,
But here I am and here we go again.

Monday, November 22, 2010


When he spoke, people listened. Not out of interest, nosome listened out of awe, some out of respect, and some even out of fear, but no none listened out of mere interest. His words were too weighty for someone to simply hear and forget.

The words he spoke were sweetly condemningan outpouring of both love and wrathquietly passionate, subtly offensive, submissively deviant. His words stirred hearts, uprooted families, caused change. People listened.

People followed.

Because people will follow someone if he seems worth following, if he seems to lead to somewhere great, if he gives them purpose. You see, people want to be needed. People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

So when someone calls people to join an unattractively attractive revolution, there will be followers.

Just what the revolution accomplishes is up to its leader.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010



A little boy in a tiny green polo,
latched to Mom's hand,
hops along the crosswalk.
Swinging from white rectangle to white rectangle;
laughing at the falling leaves and
jumping for joy.


"Can I get a cigarette?"
the man asked me as I sat at my computer, reading
pages and pages of nothing worthwhile.
"Sorry, don't smoke," I replied.
He shrugged his shoulders and moved on.
"Can I get a cigarette?"
I heard him ask,
and I sat
and read
pages and pages of nothing worthwhile.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Ding, dong—the bell tower chimes
although there are no bells inside.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


As of late, it seems that the gospel has been leaving me feeling ratherunaffected. I don't know why, but for me the past month has been one of spiritual stagnation and apathy. Until yesterday.

I spent the weekend on the road. As I drove I was able to think, and for some reason, as I thought more and more about driving and visiting and travel and the passage of time, I began to feel something beginning to seep into (or perhaps out of) my heart. When I got home from my adventure, I was able to reflect. Now, being a senior in the College of Education at NC State, I know quite a bit about reflecting, and usually I think that it's a waste of time. But usually that's because it's homework. This reflecting was good, and I would like to share with you how some of my reflection went:

i feel sad. nostalgic, maybebut also sad. and i can't quite put my finger on why. the air is getting cooler and i am reminded more and more of fall this time last year. looking back on my journal entries iswell, i don't know, sad? does it make me sad to look back on the laughs i had? the new experiences? noof course not

my heart is aching for something i can only imagine is more glorious than i can describe. better things than what i am doing now.

greater things.

there is a deep, long, sad, passionate, mournful, joyous ache in my soul for something beautiful. i see glimpses of it in the north carolina landscape. i feel it when i stare out onto the open highway, listening to chords of music that capture what my clumsy, foolish, and often stuttered language cannot express.

why did God create this for me? this earth, with all its nature and humanity, beauty and innovation, why did God bestow upon me such a gift? he knows that i am an insufficient steward of this world and yet he has allowed me to spend 21 years partaking in this blessing called life.

i am sad to see time pass, wasted or otherwise, because i know that each moment that goes by is one that i cannot fully grasp. to understand the greatness of Christ contained in just a fraction of a secondis beyond any man's intellectual, physical, or emotional capacity. to me, that is both joyous and tragic. i long to know the inner-workings of the will of my Lord.
i am confident in His plan. confident and eager, eager and terrified, terrified and, still sometimes, overwhelmingly sad.

i mourn time lost.
i yearn for a time when i will be able to finally revel in the Glory of my Savior. when at last i can look into my Master's face and fall at His feet and praise Him forever for the things He has done.

Father, i do not deserve this life. i want nothing more than for You to fulfill Your promise so that i can spend the rest of eternity soaking up Your Glory and worshipping You for who You are and the great thing You have done.

Master, i am Yours and nothing will be sweeter than the day You call me home to be with You. i am broken, humbled and humiliated by Your Glory and Power and Greatness.
And with those words, penned on pages of an overstuffed Moleskine journal, the Father revived me. I praise God that I can live aware of the glimpses of Glory around me and I will eagerly await the final Glory that He has promised.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I cannot claim to be particularly wise or particularly intelligent. I cannot claim to be especially artistic or charismatic or beautiful or driven. In factat this point in my life, I'm not sure if I can claim to be much of anything or anyone at all.

God is doing His work in me.
I am sure that He's still got a lot to do.

Monday, August 30, 2010


selfless and unconditional love. simply and heartbreakingly beautiful.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I want to write so badly about the experience I shared with 40+ staffers at Camp Willow Run this summer, but I fear that by attempting to recapture the summer with words, I will skew the glimpse of Glory I've seen, muddling it with poor descriptions of some of the most beautiful moments I have ever witnessed. It breaks my heart to know that no matter how long I spend trying to choose just the right words to put in this post to convey exactly how this summer has impacted me, I won't be able to do it. There is no way that I can type out all of the good memories and lessons learned and sorrows and joys and fears and realities.

So I sit, trying to come up with something to share with the blogging community and something to leave for myself to remember the summer by. The longer I wait to write, the less real my memories of the past few months will be.

I could write about my summer from so many anglestalk about the things I've learned, the ways I've changed, the memories of summer that I wish wouldn't fade like sun-bleached construction paper sign on the door of my boxcar.

There is so much I want to share, but what I must share is this: the Lord was working this summer at Camp Willow Run. Hearts were touched and souls were stirred. I learned the power of The Word. I learned the freedom in humility. I learned the joy that comes from Truth.

I learned that there is nothing good apart from God and that those who earnestly seek him will be shown his Glory.

So I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the One who gave it all. I'll stand; my soul, Lord, to You surrendered. All I am is Yours.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


The Folks Inside
Shel Silverstein

Inside you, boy,
There's an old man sleepin',
Dreamin', waitin' for his chance.
Inside you, girl,
There's an old lady dozin',
Wantin' to show you a slower dance.

So keep on playin',
Keep on runnin',
Keep on jumpin', 'til the day
That those old folks
Down inside you
Wake up . . . and come out to play.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I am sitting on the floor of a finished-out boxcar 100 yards from the shore of Lake Gaston. Nine rising 9th graders are snoring just feet from me and I can't sleep. I'm seven weeks into camp and for a brief moment I am able to stop and reflect on what I've learned since I arrived here on May 20th. My own mid-summer meeting of sorts.

+ Don't steal someone's debit card unless you're absolutely positive that you're not going to lose it on the floor of Wal-mart.
+ Fitting 7 college-age people in a 4-door sedan is possible, but numb legs are to be expected after riding for 45 minutes with 16 limbs crammed in a space meant for 12.
+ Wearing sunscreen can help prevent burning.
+ You should always make sure that your sunscreen is waterproof.
+ Sometimes sunscreen doesn't really prevent burning at all. Even if if is waterproof.
+ Sour patch [children] taste better at camp.
+ "Dropping the Bible hurts God sometimes."
+ Even girls sweat when it's 102° outside. Really, girls can sweat a lot.
+ Thinking of a purple elephant for a few seconds can cure hiccups.
+ Thinking of a purple elephant cannot, however, cure homesickness; you'll just end up imagining your parents riding the purple elephant which makes you miss them more.
+ Toy Story 3 is a phenomenal movie and I should buy it as soon as it comes out on DVD.
+ Homesickness doesn't go away as you get olderyou just get better at dealing with it.
+ In amazing ways, God provides patience when you ask him for it.
+ Trying to clean mud out of your ears with a Q-tip is not a great idea; you'll probably just end up pushing the dirt farther back into your head and never be able to hear again.
+ Super Wal-Mart contains everything you could ever imagine to need while working at a summer camp. And most of those things are $5 or less.

Three weeks left. God is working here and I am so excited to see what else he will do.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!...
Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Psalm 34

Friday, June 11, 2010


Barefoot, I walk along squares of pavement.
Dodging twigs and fallen leaves
and stepping over cracks,
I make my way to the beach.

I pause for a moment
where the sidewalk ends
and then continue forward,
treading lightly upon ground
already jeweled with the dew of early morning hours.

Under my feet
the wet grass turns to
soft sand and then to
cool, wooden planks.

As expected,
no one has come
to the dock
to watch
the storm traverse the water.
So my legs carry me the length
of the pier
and bring me to halt
at the very edge.

I stand
still and quiet there
overlooking the dark water,
knowing that I am
a part of something
more frightening and mighty
than I could ever imagine.

The proof is in the storm
I've come to witness
move slowly over the lake.
For what seems
like hours
I watch the clouds light up
above the earth.

After each thunder clap
I wait for a new bolt to
splinter through the sky.

My eyes strain to stay open;
I cannot blink for fear of
missing a spark of electricity streak through air
to confuse the darkness,
turning it to daylight
for a moment.

I see a bolt strike ground
far away
and fix my eyes to the spot,
searching the black horizon for another white crack
in the night sky.
Again it strikes
and I wonder
who else saw.

Time passes and
my eyes grow weary;
my lids fighting
the weight of my eyelashes.
I do not want to shut them,

but before long
they are closed
and I am asleep.