Skip to main content

Posts

My Mother: A Flurry of Grand Activities!

For as long as I can remember, my mother has always been making and doing stuff. I think she must have an extra set of hands hidden somewhere because I can't for the life of me think how she got so much done on top of feeding, clothing, and bathing us four kids. There's no doubt about it. The Taylor house was a flurry of grand activities. She ran church programs, taught Women of the Word Bible studies, housed foreign exchange students, shuttled us around to friends' houses and summer sports programs, held all the major celebrations at her house, allowed us to have sleepovers (which is huge in my mind), hosted kids from the African Children's Choir to stay with us, and planned themed birthday parties where she lead all the games and baked the cake herself. Even when attending meetings and bible studies her hands were busy with one project or another. In the summer, she planned clay days and art days and museum days and theme-park days. We kids had no reason whatsoever to
Recent posts

Comstock Chronicles: How The Children Play

As you can imagine, my three children have become quite close over the last year. Lee and Rose are best mates. They call each other "honey" and pretend to be running a house until Lee can't stand it any longer and ends the game with a tornado or an enemy attack. He is an excellent example of why it's not good for boys to do domestic things for too long.  At night, they crawl into each other's beds by way of the gap they've created between the wall and their triple bunk. They seem to like this self-made chute better than the highly accessible ladders. They would sleep in one another's beds too except I usually catch them at it. Since this picture was taken, Lee now sleeps on the bottom, Benny in the middle, and Rose on the top. This makes their vertical highway between one another longer. When Lee has gone up to my parent's cabin for the night or when Rose has a slumber party at Grandma and Grandpa Stevens' house, there is a chilly atmosphere betwee

The Insurmountable Tax

If doing good things for God's glory is like money, we humans seem to have been born broke. And in order to fulfill God's required tax, which is his moral law written on all our hearts compelling us to live in a sacrificial, unselfish God-honoring way, we tend to acquire money in one of two ways: by stealing or using counterfeit money. The stealers understand their emptiness best. They know they're broke. They know they don't have it in them to serve others or give up their time or money or power willingly. And they're terrible fakers. So they go off and steal or wait around until the circumstances are just right so that they can give without really giving at all. The weather, their mood, their financial situation, their to-do list, etc, everything has to be in alignment before they can give. These thieves can look different from one another. There are the overt thieves, such as the drunkards, prostitutes, drug-addicts, tyrants, and misers. But there are also the mo

The Oath-Bringer God of the Old Testament

I've been going through the Old Testament with my kids. We've finished Genesis and Exodus, skimmed through Leviticus, and now we're on Numbers. And let me tell you, this God of the Old Testament is no joke. At one point Rose turned to me and said, "This is not God!" It definitely doesn't seem like he's gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. This Old Testament God strikes the Israelites with plagues for disobedience. He commands his people to stone someone for collecting wood on the Sabbath. He gives Mariam a skin disease when she undermines Moses authority.  I've come to three conclusions. One: My sin is much worse than I realize. Two: I can't survive in the presence of a Holy God. Three: I need protection from him. The trouble comes when I think God must be like me. For example, when the Israelites grew sick of manna, they complained to Moses (Numbers 11: 4-6 NIV). So God gives them quail and then strikes them wit

No Judge Accepts Alms

It's hard to accept anything from people we judge as selfish or immature or ruled by passions or fool-hardy or unjust.  I remember complaining about my parents while living under their roof and eating their meals and benefiting from their generosity. My heart didn't feel right within me. I had to invent ungodly reasons why they were generous in order to justify my judgements because the two simply couldn't co-exist: a critical spirit and acceptance of kindness. When we criticize and judge other's hearts as being more wicked than our own, we place ourselves above them. It's like we become a judge with a gown and wig in a courtroom. Those we judge become the lowly hand-cuffed accused. The judge stands on the platform looking down. He holds the gavel. He declares the verdict. "You're not doing life well enough!" "You should be making the same decisions as me!" "You're not worthy!" The acceptance of gifts levels the playing field. I

First Person Limited; Third Person Omniscient

Authors can use various points of view when writing a story. There's first-person limited, which uses I, me, and myself, and is told from one character's perspective. This point of view (POV) usually remains in one character's head. We, as the readers, see everything through that person's eyes and are thus limited in how much we can know about the other characters and events of the story. As you can imagine, this is a very restrictive perspective, and thus hard to write without boring readers. Unless the main character—or author, really—is uber-perceptive about the world around them, readers can grow tired of the narrator's voice. They can tire of the personality and inner-musings of that one character rather quickly.  Third-person POV is more versatile. This perspective takes on multiple points of view using the pronouns he, she, and it instead of the first person pronouns. Third-person omniscient is the most God-like. It can see into everyone's heads. It knows

Before and After Dumpster Diving

Before the adoption, you dug in the trash.  Before, you found your meals at the bottom of dumpsters, and the food you found was rotten and dirty and caused indigestion for several days, but it was all you had.  Before, dumpster diving was your livelihood. You searched the garbage ravenously. You craved spoils. And when you found them, you clutched the scraps close. You hid and ate them, always keeping a wary eye on the alleys and skies lest a beggar or crow or stray dog steal them from you, steal what you had stolen. Before, you had nothing and had to scavange to survive. After, you had everything you needed and more.  After, you ate at the king's table, which was spread with an abundance of food from his farms: pies and pastries, roasts and cold cuts, salads, fruits, and cheeses. Everything you could ever imagine was there.  After, you were provided with more than what you needed: food, clothes, protection, friendship. And dessert. After your adoption papers went through, your deb

Go At Your Own Pace, Benny

Go at your own pace, Benny, On this hike to Millard Falls. Your siblings travel much faster, Benny Then you're able to when  small. Go at your own pace, Benny. And watch where your foot will fall. This trail's challenge enough for you, Benny, So give to your steps your all. Go at your own pace, Benny. And cease "Lee and Rose!" to call. They're caught up in the thrill, Benny. And it's good for them not to stall. Although you long to be with them, Benny, As they run to see what's next, You'll always find someone with you, Benny, When you go at your own pace. Lee's Poem Rose's Poem

Hopelessly Hopeful At Our Rope

Imagine life is like a giant river and we're all trying to get across. We each have our own raft, and we're crossing at different places and at different times. We don't have paddles or oars, just a rope that we know stretches from our side to the other. That's our only way across. We can see where the ropes come out at the other side, but we can't tell which rope is ours because they're all submerged beneath the water.  Imagine also that we see various checkpoints along the way. There's the Island of Nautical Education and a houseboat selling raft upgrades. There are flat rocks protruding from the water where we see yummy snacks or umbrellas or sun hats. There are also sharp dangerous rocks that we know have punctured holes in people's rafts. We have read accounts of various people who have crossed the river before us. We've learned that some intercept very few of those delightful stops along the way; some pass through rough waters, some smooth; som

Meals

Meals are sacrifices  Of dollars  Or time over a cutting board and stove. They are sacrifices  Made by someone to another Like a gift Or compliment Or friendly embrace. What I have I share with you To sustain you for awhile. And those who eat Accept. Meals are pieces of goodness Built-in to our existence. They are occasions to sacrifice Or accept sacrifice, To acknowledge we've enough And remember we need too. They are like trusting  Jesus' brokenness on the cross So our hearts also might be Broken for others. We accept  To give. Always one before the other. Never one without the other. Receive to give. Receive to give. Nothing stagnant Always passed along Like a faith that works Or the body burning calories Always in need Always able to give In need of more Christ Thus able to give more than we have.