Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Reflection

Hello! Is it just me, or does this add up to my 9th post?  :)

   When you wake up to soft sunshine peeking through your curtains, and inch in to the bathroom to wash your face perhaps, do you find yourself standing there with your bare feet on cold tile, face to face with someone else staring back at you from your mirror? To be honest, there are times when my own reflection scares me. Not in a horror-movie sort of thing. But there are times when I stand in front of a mirror, and I begin to really see who my reflection is......and what's scary, is it isn't really me. 
   It seems that I tend to focus on the outside. As long as people see me with a smile, and that happy-go lucky attitude, I feel safe. If I can just convince the rest of the world that I'm perfectly fine, then I find myself believing that I am fine. It can seem so much easier to live on the outside of yourself..... and avoid who you really are on the inside.
   The person I really want to be isn't on the outside though. The hair, the freckles and smile.....that's not who I want to be. I don't want Taylor to be just another pretty face out of a billion beautiful other human beings. Why do I spend so much time trying to perfect the reflection I face every day? I want to be remembered for my heart, my spirit...who this young girl really is. The things that I love, the things that I burn for. My passions, my desires......     One of my favorite sayings is
  " Do not live your life for what you can gain, instead, live your live your life for what you can leave behind."
 Don't live your life trying to gain beauty, or worldy pleasures. What about you are you going to leave behind for others to remember? Don't focus your energy and attention on the mirror. Let who you are inside reflect onto what others see. Let the reflection you find yourself faced with be the image of Christ. Not you. Who do you find deep down inside your eyes? What is really behind your smile? Are you really who you try to persuade others you are.....because no matter what everyone else sees in you,

God knows who you really are.

Psalm 139

 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day!

Well, I believe this to be my eighth post! And not only is this the ninth day that I attempt to share something small with the world, but it is my first dedicational post. ( Not sure if that is a word). This one's for you dad......

     I grew up in a fairly normal American family. I had my biological parents and my little red-headed sister who is about 3 and a half years younger than me. I was taught in public school, and I always strived for straight As and honors. I was dedicated to gymnastics and every other sport available. I thought my life was average, I thought it was simple. And at the age of 10, aside from the frequent fighting, and the pile of problems we dealt with, I thought my life to be good..... If only I knew how much better it was going to become.... 
   I know that my life could have been pretty bad. I could have been a starving child on the streets of L.A. as a prostitute or something. And although I wasn't, I still have a life full of memories that haunt my mind once in a while. Looking back now, I realize what really went on in that little mobile home where I spent over half of my life. I can see who I would be today if I would have continued in that life style. When my biological dad left us, and a whole new book of problems was opened, I know I would have become something I couldn't face in the mirror.
   Today, at church, our pastor taught on the love of the Father. Honestly it was a little hard to keep myself from crying. The way Pastor Steve described our heavenly Father- the love, the passion, the sacrifice- I couldn't help but be reminded of a truly incredible man.
   David came into my life on November 10th, 2005, only 13 days before my 11th birthday. He came to the door of the house where my family had been so deeply wounded, with a bright, warm smile, 3 candy bars, 2 stone-carved zebras from Africa, and a indescribably beautiful heart. His and my mom's first date included my little sister and I. We went to Abby's pizza and he gave us just about every cent he had so we could play the arcade games. ( I don't think I even won anything!)
   From that day forward, even through some of the most difficult times in my life, he was 100% there for me. In every aspect of my life, he was there with a strong, comforting hand to help me. He gave me reassurance when I was in doubt. He gave me encouragement when I felt like I couldn't accomplish something. He made me feel worth, when I felt like I was worth nothing. He was strong for me when I was weak. He loved me with a love that could have only came from my true heavenly Father.
   I haven't heard of many men who would have stepped up to the plate like David. Our little trio was probably a lot to handle for a guy who had been single for 15 years. A 7 year old who was a handful at times, an 11 year old who didn't want a new dad, and a mom who was fresh out of a 12 year marriage with no money, and no place to go seems like a challenge to me. He could have backed out before things got too hard. He could have went after any other single woman. He could have thrown in the towel when my sister and I seemed to hate him. But he persevered and stayed strong for my mom, my sister and I. When things got so out of control and so ruthless, he was still here!
  I look up to him so much. He has taught me the most amazing things. He has taken me to the most random places. He has helped me grow up and build such strong character that I don't think I ever could have acquired if it weren't for him. Through him, I am so indescribably happy. So content with where I am in my life. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't have moved to Eagle Point, and I wouldn't be part of an amazing church, and I wouldn't be growing into a beautiful woman of God. I honestly could have become that 15 year old mom. That girl with insecurities so big that I would do absolutely anything to be accepted. That young teen who doesn't posses any motivation for a plan or a future. I would probably be on a painful track on my way down to hell.
  David has shown me who God the Father really is. Because of him I have a blossoming relationship with my amazing Father. Just as God sacrificed his only son to brutally die on the cross for me, I know without a single doubt, that David would die for me. I know that he would make the biggest sacrifice if it meant saving me, my sister or my mom. He has been patient, he has been kind. He has been strong, he has been gentle. I understand today what that deep hole inside me as a little girl was. It was the hole that had yet to be filled with the love of a father. Not a biological father figure......but a daddy. And today, as I am on my way to 16 years of age I am so extremely proud to call David Garth McMillan one of my best friends, my teacher, my support, and....
                              My daddy.

I love you so much dad. You mean the absolute world to me. ( Even when I make you mad because i melted mom's scissors and her pot and almost killed the family with toxic smoke.......) Happy Father's Day!!!

Poverbs 20:7
The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

Deuteronomy 1:29-31

Then I said to you, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." (NIV)
Psalm 103:13
 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; (NIV)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Let me start with I'm sorry!!!! It's been too long since I posted last. And on top of my first sorry, let me personally add my dearest apologies to Ali :) Because I told her I would. So, let's start post number 7 shall we?

Beauty: The qualities that give pleasure to the senses.
   This is such a precious word to me. A simple mixture of letters that create a simple sound to roll off my lips.......that I use to describe things most dear to me. When somebody calls me beautiful, it leaves a subtle imprint. A slight indentation that I carry with me, that makes me feel as though I have worth. Beauty is not skin deep, don't get confused. When someone tells me I have a beautiful heart, it forms a sense of comfort and accomplishment, that I am becoming more like my Father.
      My love for my Jesus overflows into the way I see everything. Beautiful things are all around me! The soft whispers of a breeze to cool your skin. The look of safety in a daughter's eyes as her daddy wraps her in a big, warm hug. The way water becomes locked into sweet pockets that we call fruit. The way soft sunshine illuminates a puddle. The unison and grace of piano accompanied by a violin. A child praying. The delicious scent of violets on a cool, summer evening. The helping hand of a stranger. Family. Oxygen. Hair. Kisses. Laughter. Love.....worship....
   Worship is one of the most beautiful things to me. Oh, how I long for the moments to worship my beautiful Jesus. The serenity of the sanctuary, filled with hearts and spirits who gather together to praise their King. The melodies of the instruments, the soft symphony of tongues. Hands tenderly raised in sweet surrender. The gentle flow of the spirit of God, dancing through the air, settling on everyone like a lullaby, covering us in dew.
  It's almost magical when you look at life with beauty in mind. When you look past the outward appearance, and see something genuine and beautiful. Something so normal and simple becomes something you can treasure. Do you take time to look at your life, the people and things in it, and find something beautiful? What is beauty to you?

Psalms 96:6- Royal splendor radiates from Him; a powerful beauty sets him appart.
Psalms 71:8- Just as each day brims with your beauty, my mouth brims with praise.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Victorious

Here I am! Post number 6. And to be honest...I never thought I'd get past number 2. This one’s a little different…so here I go….

A subtle breeze carries the musty smell of fear across your armored face. The soft light of a crescent moon glazes the ground, forming a sea of shadows. Like thousands of unforgiving orange eyes, torches dot the hillside, held in the hands of your enemy. An enemy so ruthless, so macabre.
  With a deafening roar, they feast on the silence and torment your mind. They begin to taunt you with ghastly words of despair, crushing your sanity. You stand desolate before them, as you desperately attempt to stay strong. But a hole as black as ebony slowly begins to devour you. You slowly fall to the contoured ground, and your brittle heart begins to ache to deep for words to describe. Your enemy is advancing. Surrounding. Enclosing.
  Your heart is beating its last beat, your mind is disintegrating and your conscience begins to fade....
 At that single moment before you're gone, you hear a noise that doesn't belong. A sound that brings an echo of hope. A sound that fills your very spirit with light. A sound that you have been waiting for.....they're here.
  Your heart beats with exhilaration and your body awakens. Your bones come alive and you stand tall once again. Peace fills your lungs as you breathe in the silence that fills the air. The dust is settling. The night sky is revealed. And the radiance in your eyes is restored by a brilliant light cast by the moon.
  The army behind you stands firm. Thousands of hearts, burning in unison with yours, await your command. No matter what awaits you, they will form a shield. Together you are strong. Together you are courageous. Together you are victorious.

Sunday I was called out to the garage as I was doing biology homework. Some friends of my parents had randomly stopped by our house to pray with us. This was so unexpected since we hadn't invited them over, and we hadn't asked for prayer. They stood with my dad, my sister and I in a circle, all holding hands and shoulders as they began to pray for us.
  In that very moment I felt an overwhelming, indescribable, wave of emotion. God had laid it on their heart to come here and they began to pray for exactly what was needed. The trials we as a family have been facing were being overcome by a power above all powers. As a unit we stood there, God in the midst, battling against an enemy we couldn't physically see. I felt a sense of peace and reassurance. I felt like no matter what we were going to be faced with, we were going to stand strong and stand tall.
  I know I am not alone. I know that I have God above all else, but there are people that surround me with strength. There are people in my life that, when I am going through hard times, they will hold my hand and encourage me. And as we pray together, I know that I am a child of the King, and I am victorious.

Psalm 18:32-40 " It is God who arms with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Friend's Love

Accomplishment! You can count all my blogs on one whole hand (:

   I just arrived home from a birthday party. And it wasn't just a birthday party, it was a slumber party! Until last night, it had been so long since I went to an actual slumber party.
   I remember as a little girl from the ages of about 6 to 11 or so, all the little girls I grew up with would have these cute little slumber parties. We would have our traditional pillow fights and movie nights....but I also have some of thee greatest memories from those exciting nights with my closest friends. For example, when I was younger, I didn't eat a lot of sugar because I was in gymnastics and my mom wanted to keep me healthy. So when I was about 7, I wanted a taste of rebellion and I seriously loaded up on sugar at my friend Haylee's birthday. I mean loaded. From cake, to candy, to root beer floats and ice cream. Later that night while ten little girls got all snuggled in their sleeping bags, all tightly hugging their blankys and stuffed loveys, I totally barfed up every last thing i ate that day all over everyone! Unfortunately I wasn't invited to her slumber party the next year. (giggle) :p
   Over the last 24 hours, I've been thinking alot about friends. I've shared some pretty impacting memories with my buddies, that's for sure. Honestly, I'd hate to imagine my life without them. At the young age of 2, who would I share my coloring books and boogers with? As a 5 year old, who would I play princess with as we dreamed of pretty dresses and ponies? When I was 8, who would have climbed to the top of a construction heap during a thunder storm, bringing every metal item to the top to see if we could get struck by lighting, and at 10, who would have held my hand as I went on my first roller coaster ride? At 11, who would hold me as I lay in a broken heap on the floor, pouring out endless tears as I watched my family slip away? As a 12 year old, who would have been the only one to accept me and love me as others avoided me because I was just trying to be me
   As of today, I am surrounded with the most amazing group of friends. I know alot of people probably say this, but I don't care how often it's been said. The last year of my life has been full of life altering decisions. But through everything I've gone through, I have also met some of the most life altering people. I know that I am accepted and loved beyond words. The girls that surround me, they uplift me daily, they comfort me and treat me as though I have value. They aren't afraid to correct me. They do everything they can to make sure I don't fall. And when I do find myself on the ground, there are always many hands waiting to pull me back up. And on top of that, they embrace me with warm hugs and laughter to lift my spirits as well.
  To me, trust, love, and hate are 3 of the most strong words. And they are all words that mean alot to me in my life, and can apply to the people that surround me....
Trust: I can confide in my friends when I'm going through tough times, and I know that they will be truthful. I know they wont stand on the side lines and watch me destroy my life with bad choices. I can trust that even if it means I hate them for a while, they will do whatever they can to help me live righteously in the eyes of God. And not only do we help each other, we try to live our lives in honesty, in everything that we do and  with everyone we encounter.
Love: They love me enough to be truthful. They surround me with Godly warmth and joy that surpasses any I've felt from worldly friends. Together we love the people we are surrounded with, from new faces to our families, all working toward loving people the way God loves them. And as I've dealt with insecurities....they don't put up with it. I never knew I could receive so many cute little compliments in a life time...let alone one church service!
And lastly...
Hate: They love me and trust me, and as a group we stand firm and we stand strong against the enemy, holding up one another as we battle the trials and tribulations that each of us face. Together, we strive to hate what God hates, and we fight against the one who tries to tear any of us down.

I've come to appreciate these precious people in my life. I know without a doubt that God has changed my life through many things, especially my friends. I love how in a group, we can talk about things like eating healthy, who's all going to the next Friday night evangelism, and brainstorming new ways to better ourselves. Opposed to former groups I was part of that talked about forming bulimic groups, new things they did with their boyfriends and what we were all wearing to the next school dance.
 I am becoming a better Taylor in God, with so much support from the people He has placed in my life. I can't explain how amazing it feels to have this kind of love for others all the while I'm being loved back. And not only do I see their love for me....I see God's love through them. Do you take time to step back and realize the people God has placed in your life? The people that truly love you, the special ones who always find a way to make you smile? Like the cute slumber parties I was part of as a little girl, who in your life is right beside you to create new memories for you to hold on to for the rest of your life?

John 15:12- " My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends"
Proverbs 17:17- " A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Quilts

Hey! Look at me, I made it all the way to day 4 :)

     The chair that I currently have to use to sit at my computer smells like steak sauce. And no, it doesn't smell good. So, my inventive mind thought to hopefully mask the smell with a blanket. Unfortunately that didn't help at all, but the blanket I chose made me happy. It's this really cute quilt that my little sister's friend made for her. Its full of bright pinks, yellows and oranges. It's just one of those 'little things' in life that make me smile.
      What if I could look at my life as if it were a big quilt? Would it be a carefully constructed pattern containing beautiful colors and warm fabric? Would it be soft, inviting and comforting to the touch? Or would it look like a big jumbled mess of unmatched colors with no apparent pattern? Would it be falling apart, and itchy no matter how you wrapped it around yourself?
   Would my life be something that makes others smile when they see it? When someone looks at the way I live- the things I say, the way I treat others- will it draw them to me, wanting to befriend me? Or when people see the way I treat my friends and family, the way I treat God, does it make them want to look the other way and avoid me?
   I want everything I do to be beautiful. Not just what people see on the outside, but I want my heart to be beautiful. If someone could sew together every thought i ever thought, as if each thought were a piece of fabric, I'd want it to be something worth looking at, something with value. The same goes for how I speak. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, right? So if what is inside is truly beautiful, then it should overflow into the way I live. And I know the only way I can possibly get there, is to fill myself up with God. Because God is the most beautiful thing I know. I think that if we all thought and lived like Jesus, we would all display such beautiful, soft, happy quilts.

1 Samuel 16:7- But the Lord said to Samuel, "do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just a Little Test...

Wow, day 3! I'm cruising now aren't I?

Today I had school testing. It's a booklet that contains numerous questions that 'test' your knowledge to see if you are really eligible to go on to the next grade. No pressure right? Lies! I mean come are expecting me to remember everything from this entire year? Oh and let me guess, I'm supposed to remember the things I learned back in 5th grade as well?                  No thank you.

 How much do you remember from your years in school? Are you graduated? Maybe you are in a college? And then again you could be in highschool just like me, trying to contain information that I don't really plan on using in the future. Either way, I'm sure you remember something from spending countless hours learning. How much do you know about someone in your history book? Do you know how to do long division?
          On another note, how much do you know about your friends? I could tell you just about anything you ask me about my best friends. What makes them smile? What makes them want to break down crying? I love to learn about my friends and my family. I'm sure you probably do too. But the next question hit me in the face....

                           How much do I know my God?.......

Do I know what He loves and what He hates? Do I understand the things He would want me to do or not do? What are His visions, where does He want me to be? What are His names? What does He want to tell me? Do I know even a smidge about God like I do my friends or my school work? How well do I know my Father and my God, the one who created and formed me, the one who loves me with an all consuming fire? Who is God to you?

Mathew 22:37- " Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Halfway to 30...

Well I did it! I have officially made it to day two as a blogger. I'm smiling.

 Have you ever gotten extremely excited over a piece of mail? Maybe it was a really big check, or a birthday card. Whatever it was, it probably had you standing there with an envelope, desperately trying to get your finger to slide underneath the annoying little flap so you could throw it aside and grasp hold of the treasure awaiting you. Well, today I had one of those moments. I finally received my official drivers permit! (And it was plastic!) Although the shiny plastic didn't change the fact that I have a really big head in my picture, I was stoked. I can legally drive! But then I thought to myself..."I'm already 15"....
15? 15?! I'm half way to 30. If i doubled my entire life, I could be married, with kids and an entirely different life. But instead of reminiscing in the future, I began to look back.
  Yes, I'm a teen. I still have the rest of my life to experience hardships. But looking back at the life I've had, I feel much older. I've learned so much from the things that I have gone through, especially from the big 'D' word. Unfortunately there are so many kids who have divorced families. I'm one of those kids. No, my parents weren't drug addicts, nor was I abandoned at the age of 3, but divorce hurts. Real bad. My whole world was completely torn apart when I was just shy of 11. The perfect world i thought I lived in turned out to be one big giant lie. When the two most beloved people in your life.....the two humans who nurtured you, who held you, who loved you....look you in your eyes and say that one sentence that haunts the minds of millions of children, it tears you apart.
          " Your mom and I have decided to stay away from each other for a while...."
At that very moment when the words left my daddy's mouth, something just clicked. I wasn't going to let anyone in the whole world know how much the divorce hurt me. No one was going to see me bleed. I wasn't going to let a single human being watch me suffer. I was going to get through this on my own. And no matter how bad it stung, I was going to move on and forget everything. There was no way I would let myself break.
    Pretty soon there was a new man in the house. He was great to be honest, but deep down I hated him. Not that I truly wished him dead, but how dare he just walk right into my life and act like my father? But I wasn't going to let him know I felt that way. Time passed, and things began to change. They got married. We moved. Without warning, my entire life changed. I was torn away from the town, friends, and everything else i had grown up with and loved. When I started a new school in a new town....I just began to give up. On just about everything. Yea, from the outside I seemed alright. I did everything I could to paint on my 'happy mask'. But deep, deep down, I no longer had a drive to excel. In school work, in friends, in the violin, in family relationships. If the things I loved were just going to get ripped away from me, then why even try? My mindset was so far from being in the right place as I began to grow up.
    Our family had been going to different churches throughout my life, so yea, I knew about God. I called myself a Christian. I grew up making cutesy little crafts with the verses glued on all crooked and singing 'This Little Light of Mine'. But to this day I don't believe I was a true Christian. A few months after I started my new school, we began a new church. It was called Joy. And trust me, I had little, if none of that in my life. I didn't really want anything to do with this new group of people or their strange rules.....or the way they jumped and clapped and danced around during worship. But, as time went on....literally years... I began to transform.
  Through the people, the classes, the fellowship, and most importantly the love, I began to open my eyes. I started to realized just how blessed I really was. A man who could have chosen to leave behind the responsibility of a new wife and two bratty children actually stayed. He loved us in a way I didn't think was possible for someone who wasn't my biological dad. He took us in, he provided, he cherished every moment, he took us on new adventures, and he loved us with an indescribable love. Over time, I accepted him as more than a step dad. He was my dad. And even beyond that, a friend. Someone who taught me something new every day. Someone who I knew without a doubt would protect me, even if he had to die trying. Most kids who come from a divorced family, and even some kids who's true parents are still together, would give almost anything for a dad like mine. If it wasn't for this guy, I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am today. I'm part of a church community and family that I know really love me. I'm spending my teen years under the wing of this Godly, protective group of people. I'm growing and learning and stretching every single day. And above everything else..... I am beginning to knit myself into the closest relationship with God I've ever had.
                                 I'm only 15.

If this much can happen to me in a short 15 much more do I have to look forward to? When I double this 15 years, how much more will I have grown? Who will Taylor be, even in the next 6 months?

Ephesians 5:15- "Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."