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.