Monthly Archives: August 2013

And who could forget the surprise awaiting at home…me!

IMG_6220IMG_6217My VERY talented husband had my anniversary present waiting on me when I returned.  We spent our 5th anniversary apart…he was in TN and I was staying in the hospital in Missouri with mom.  Now we can sit in TN and look out over our home together in my favorite chairs ever – Adirondack chairs made by the man I love dearly!!!





Thanks to all of you for your prayers! We are where we are today because of them!

Romans 8.28

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.


Let Go & Let God!



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Home! Amazed!

Home! This word can have many meanings.  The summer months led me away from my home but to my home.  When I was with mom in Springfield our home was the hospital.  Once we moved to Arkansas my home was mom and dad’s home…one I never lived in growing up.  But what does home really mean? I am sure it can mean many different things to many people! We throw the term around lightly.  As we do the word love.  But this summer taught me much more about both of these words – HOME and LOVE.

Home is truly where your heart is.  Love is the action that creates the home.  I had several homes this summer.  One I was absent from but my love was not.  One I had not lived in long-term but my love always had.  This summer changed that. I was able to love while living in that home – mom and dad’s.  Throughout the summer God revealed Himself in the love – through the actions of others. He revealed Himself through mom’s amazing recovery. He revealed Himself through the amazing love we felt from everyone.  He also revealed Himself through some wonderful surprises. 🙂  I use the word amazing over and over because that is what it was…AMAZING!

During my last run in Bella Vista I heard Phillips, Craig and Dean sing AMAZED on my iPod.  As I listened to the words I realized the Lord had been dancing over us all summer.  He had been singing all around us.  He loved us through this difficult time! And now He was orchestrating mom’s recovery so I would have a peace going home – my home in Tennessee that I had so desperately missed – my husband, my kids, my friends….  He was still holding us in His hand…He was holding MOM! Wow! Amazed I ran…His love is truly that great for us!  Wide, deep and GREAT!!! Why am I amazed? I don’t know. He is God!


You dance over me,
While I am unaware.
You sing all around,
But I never hear the sound.
Lord, I’m amazed by you
Lord, I’m amazed by you
Lord, I’m amazed by you
How you love me.
You paint the morning sky
With miracles in mind
My hope will always stand
For you hold me in your hand
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
How you love me.
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
How you love me.
How wide, how deep, how great, is your love for me.
How wide, how deep, how great, is your love for me.

Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
How you love me.
Lord you love me.

Home – I was able to prepare my heart and soul to come home because I was amazed.  Mom was now taking giant steps in her recovery!  Mom was doing so well they released her from occupational therapy and speech therapy last week, the week I left! She is showing how determined she is…TaylorStrong determined.

She has her bone flap back HOME and she is right with the world. 🙂  Her balance is great. She will be off the walker this week and on a cane.  Her physical therapist told her not to buy one because she will not need it long.  He also said he only thought she would need PT for three more weeks.  Praise the Lord!  Again, I was amazed.  As I ran and listened to the words of the song, I knew I was ready to go to my home in TN! I had peace!

This run took place on Monday.  That night I called Mike at our normal time to say good night.  When he answered I could barely hear him.  All I was able to decipher was “I have been working on a surprise for you since 3:30 this morning.  It can’t wait until Thursday.  Can you stay up?”  Since it was hard hearing him, I text him back and asked him if I was supposed to stay up that night.  He text back “Yes, please!” Then he text, “I PROMISE!!! It will be worth it; I’m SO excited to show you, it can’t wait until Thursday, I have to show it to you tonight! :)”    I couldn’t figure out what he would be working on that couldn’t wait, but I knew it would be worth it because his work is amazing. 🙂

Around 10:20 pm I text him and told him I was fading and I would turn my ringer on high.  Call me when he was done.  About twenty minutes later I receive a text that says, “I’m outside your parent’s house!!!! :)”  It was with a photo of him…or at least I could kind of see his outline in the dark of the night.  I couldn’t believe it. How in the world did he get here…if he was really here.  He calls me as I am walking outside and sure enough there stands Mike in Arkansas.  My home had come to me! I was beyond excited.  He stood there with his arms open wide in front of the 1955 Ford truck we received from dad two years earlier.

IMG_6205The short story of the truck.  My daddy has had this truck since I was two.  He gave it to us two years ago. Our plan was to redo it and have it ready to surprise him with it this summer.  God had different plans.  Mike started his business and we were unable to redo the truck right away.  While staying with mom and dad this summer daddy mentioned he would be able to work on it if he had it back.  So that is when the part of the seed was planted for Mike to pull off an amazing surprise.  The other part was in a sermon one Sunday at church.  Our pastor used an illustration where a father surprised his family on a vacation.  This got Mike thinking…how can I surprise Trish and her mom and dad.  Well, God knew.  He knew a friend of Mike’s would be traveling to Texas with an empty trailer and could take Mike, along with the truck, 3/4th the way to my parents.  He knew Mike would share his story with this angel and he would make the offer.  He knew Mike would say yes and he would be on his way.  On Monday, August, 19, Mike’s journey started.  The same day God was giving me a sense of peace and showing me how to be amazed.  Little did I know I would be AMAZED once again…at 10:40pm that night.  Mike drove the ’55 Ford from Little Rock to Bella Vista in about 4 hours and 45 minutes…about an hour and fifteen minutes longer than normal.  But, he made it…with prayer carrying him every mile.  Now, the truck was HOME!

The second part of this amazing surprise was yet to come!  Surprising mom and dad! The next morning we got up early to wait on dad.  Jasmine, mom and dad’s dog was sleeping with me because of mom’s surgery.  Every morning dad would come get her from my room.  I decided it would probably be best if I took her out before he came in because daddy still didn’t know Mike was in their home.  It might not go to well if he came in my room to two people in the bed…:)  So I took the dog out and Mike came out to stand by the truck.  Within five minutes dad was up and I told him to go ahead and take Jasmine outside.  He did and the next part of the surprise was set in motion.

Daddy walked around the front of the house to Mike standing in front of the truck with open arms once again.  In dad’s sleepy stupor, he was amazed! He was shocked. He was in disbelief! Mike was here and so was the ’55 Ford.  Mike had pulled it off and he couldn’t, we couldn’t, believe it!  Mike and the truck were home!

IMG_6190IMG_6192IMG_6198Now, off to surprise mom.  We went in the house and sent Mike in first.  As he walked in, Mom came out of her room.  Again, she was alone and walked out on her own with her walker.  (She is able to now…one week after the surgery…she was on her own!  Wow!  Turn WOW upside down and you have MOM…yes, that is our MOM…wowing us! Thanks to Mike again for pointing that out.)  Back to the story, mom turned and saw Mike.  Her look was of amazement! Mike had done it again!!! He surprised all of us and was at home with us!

Mike and I now had the week to take it all in and prepare to come back to our home…together.  He had come all this way to first fulfill a dream for dad – bringing the truck home and then to fulfill a wish of mine – not to drive home alone.  Boy, I am a blessed wife.  God is good! He is very good!

We had a wonderful time with mom and dad.  Mike was able to witness mom’s amazing recovery.  He was able to help daddy with the truck.  We all had a wonderful time wrapping up the special time I had this summer with mom and dad.  The sweet memories we made will forever be cherished in my heart – and their home will always be a part of me as long as I live.

God provided an answer to a prayer I didn’t realize I really had.  He amazed me with His peace and not only allowed me to come home with my dear husband but with a sense of peace so strong I still have a smile on my face.

Another thing Mike encouraged me to do was to make it home in time to run a race…a Run For God race…a Run For God all ladies race…the Pinky 5k.


I am so glad he did.  I was able to make it back to run and run well! I ran for mom! She was my inspiration and she is what helped me put one step in front of the other.  She helped me finish strong…TaylorStrong and NewsomStrong – I won my age group. 🙂  Not only did I run well I also got to fellowship with my amazing RFG family and friends who have been praying for me these last 2 1/2 months.  Such sweet fellowship! I missed them so very much…though I knew they were there with me in spirit they were now there in body too.  🙂  We had a great night enjoying God’s grace and love – I was home! In Tennessee and RUNNING!



Mom and dad are on their own creating new normals.  Mom gets her staples out this week.  Yay! Then she will be able to really get all things back together.  Her first priority is a hair cut! 🙂  Three months is a long time without one, right mom? 🙂  They are doing awesome.  God has amazed us all in this journey.  He has changed us.  He has made all of us better people.  He has given us a God story – one we need to share.  One we need to get out there. Prayer works! God LOVES us! God is HOME for all of us if we just believe!

Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Matthew 19:26

But Jesus looked at them and said,  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Romans 5.1-8

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3.16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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Peace that surpasses all understanding!


Isaiah 14.7

All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing.

This morning I was up bright and early for a recovery run.  Bright and early have not come often for me this summer.  It has been much easier to run in the evenings due to our schedules.  Even though early used to be normal, early was hard. But, I am so thankful I did it.  There is nothing like an early morning run…especially when it is in the low 60s in August!


There is nothing like a morning run…especially when there is a peace that overcomes you as you realize you are the only one on a secluded golf course.


There is nothing like a morning run…especially when the sun is peaking out over the trees on the way back.  IMG_6151

There is nothing like a morning run…especially when worship takes place along the way!

During the run I was overcome with a sense of peace.  One I didn’t know I needed but realized it as soon as it hit.

As I anticipate my return home after a two and half month stay with my parents, my thoughts have been wondering.  Peace is what I needed to calm them.  Wondering how mom will do…wondering how dad will do…wondering how will they handle it on their own??? No need to worry…He has it and HE has a purpose for it all!

Earlier this week I heard the following song: Help Me Find It! Sidewalk Prophets

This song became my truth this summer.  My plans were no longer important…His plans were.  This summer has been a very sweet one.  Mom, dad and I have had some special times laughing, crying, worrying, praying and loving.  None of us would ever want mom to go through what she has over the past two and a half months but in the same breath we treasure this time we were given.  It can never be replaced!

God provided us with a gift…actually many of them.  The first gift was mom’s life! We had some scary moments.  But God had different plans…He is not done with mom yet.  We are forever grateful!  He is using her and our story to reach many for Him. We are humbled and thankful for the opportunity to share His grace and mercy!

We have been given the gift of time! One of my love languages is quality time.  My love tank in regards to my parents is FULL! This time has truly been special! We have laughed more than I can ever remember laughing.  We have probably cried more too…but the sweet laughter is what I will forever remember as well as the inside stories we will always share. 🙂  Just between us…right, mom?

Come next weekend I will work on the quality time with my dear husband.  I can’t go without saying how much his love and support during this time has meant to my parents and me.  They know it has been sacrifice for us both.  But they also know he was behind the decision for me to be here 100%!  We love you Mike!


And we have been given the gift of LOVE – God’s love has surrounded us in ways that have completely overwhelmed us at times. Love shown through prayer, cards, calls, food, and more food. 🙂  Let me say a huge THANK YOU to everyone for all you have done for our family! We are eternally grateful!!! God has shown up and mom is living proof! Prayer works and God is good…all the time!

I too received an individual gift…I was able to see true love work.  True love – 52 years in the making – lived out day by day.  Is it perfect? No! But is it sweet and forever? Yes! Mom and dad have shown me what putting God first in their marriage looks like in times of extreme emotion – from frustration to worry, from sadness to happiness, from doubt to understanding.  They have loved each other through it all. I am so very thankful to be able to have experienced it firsthand.

Commitment is a word our world has forgotten.  When things get tough people run…not the Taylors! They are TaylorStrong through thick and thin.  When things get tough, they pray! They remember who has them in His hand…our almighty God! The One who can give us peace when we don’t understand!  I am so very grateful to be cut out of the TaylorStrong cloth!

Philippians 4.4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

We all have a purpose.  God provides us the direction in His time.  God gave me a new one this summer and as I go home I know mom is on the mend.  My purpose is done for this time. When fear knocks and rises up as I leave, as I ponder thoughts about mom and her recovery, FAITH answers.  Why? Because I know God has a purpose for her during this time.  He is restoring her strength daily.  She is still amazing us every day! I am not sure why  we are amazed because we all know she is ELT – a fighter, an overcomer!

This week she has walked outside around their circle three separate times.  She has made a lemon iced box pie.  She is folding laundry.  She is making her breakfast and daddy’s.  If we let her do it she does it.  Now of course, she does all of this with one of us close by…she is reluctantly under very close supervision.   She is answered prayer in action!

So, I go back to peace! I have a peace as I approach leaving at the end of this week.  A peace that leaves me singing because mom’s purpose is still in the works! A peace that will help me rest easy upon my return home!  Amen!


Romans 8.28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Help Me Find It! Sidewalk Prophets

I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own

I don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting
I’m finally letting go

I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
I will trust in You

(Chorus )
If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can You help me find it

Can You help me find it

I’m giving You fear and You give faith
I giving You doubt
You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone

Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath
You’ve never let me go

I will wait for You
You’ve never failed before
I will wait for You


I lift my empty hands (come fill me up again)
Have Your way my King (I give my all to You)
I lift my eyes again (Was blind but now I see)
‘Cause You are all I need


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God is good!!!

Mom is out of surgery. The Lord has provided. Doctor said all went well and we will be home word bound tomorrow. Praise The Lord!

She will be happy to know the doctor also said “the helmet will not be required!” We also asked how many screws she had in her head. This way we could tell her she might have a screw loose here and there. He said, “quite a few but your insurance company can tell you!”  Humor is always great during theses times! God is good all the time.

We have a lot to smile about today. I hope you do too! If not, find something that causes your heart and face to smile.

I asked daddy to give me a scripture for all of this today…here it is:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:1-6 NIV)

Amen! And of course Romans 8.28:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Thanks for the many prayers! They have been heard and answered! God is good all the time!




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God’s tap on my shoulder…

IMG_6075Psalm 91.1-4

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge…

God is around us everyday…His people…His creation…His love.  This week He has shown up in crazy ways! ALL things work together, right? Right!

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8.28

Here is how He tapped on my shoulder and said…

Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 1.8

Part 1 – One day this week I decided to go to mom and dad’s recreational center to run on the treadmill.  It has been either rainy or hot and humid.  Not much in between.  Since I was on the treadmill I decided to do a little bit of speed work.  It felt good.  I didn’t do much but enough to know I can still do it.  It was refreshing. 🙂

As I started to leave, a gentlemen commented on my speed work.  He was a retired cross-country coach.  He and his wife had both been teachers…I later found out.  We talked about training in Colorado in the higher altitudes and how beneficial it can be.  I told him I would love to do that one day…;)  We talked about Boston…my experience in Boston…and how that experience prepared me for the current marathon I was on.  It turns out he has a daughter named Trish.  He could have been my dad. 🙂  It was just a good conversation and great to have affirmation from someone who knew running.  It also confirmed I can still do it…I am doing it. I left with a smile! 🙂

When I got home I told mom and dad about the conversation and dad asked me if I got his name.  This area where mom and dad live is a retirement community.  They know a lot of people.  Dad especially knows a lot of people. 🙂 I don’t think he has ever met a stranger.  He wondered if he knew him.  Of course, I forgot.  So, I didn’t get his name.  Sorry Dad! Little did I know I would get another chance! God would open that door.

Part 2 – On Saturday I had my weekly long run.  20 miles once again.  I was NOT excited but was determined to do it. I left home and headed for a new route. I loved the route and was able to keep my mind off the miles for a while.  I listened to great music and saw great sites all reminding me of God’s great love.


Cross Church, Rogers Arkansas

This run was a breakthrough run for me.  I listened to my body.  I knew I had 20 to do but my heart rate told me otherwise.  It was high for a long period of time.  I made the decision to end my run.  And for a change I felt okay with it! I was not beating myself up.  I had done the best I could do with what my body was willing to give that morning.  So off I went to refuel with coffee and a crepe.  (My new favorite find for the summer!)

As I drove to the Bentonville square I was feeling good.  I had just had a breakthrough and I knew it.  I also was planning how I could get in the 7.5 miles I had left in by sun down. (I am a crazy runner.) I parked the car and headed to get a crepe. They are very popular on Saturday and the line was long.  (They are sold out of a food trailer.)  At this point I decided to walk around the square and let the line go down.  Every Saturday the town of Bentonville shuts the square off to traffic and have all kinds of vendors.  They have fruits/vegetables, furniture, flowers, arts and crafts, and etc.  I have been wanting to explore the square my entire time here but I have been too defeated after my previous Saturday runs to do so.  I now know it was this particular weekend I was supposed to be there.

As I walked around I walked up to a booth with beautiful crosses and birdhouses.  The lady in the booth greeted me.  I told her the items were beautiful.  I explained my appreciation for woodworking because my husband was a master craftsman.  She Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 7.53.58 PM

then went on to explain to me that these pieces were all made from wood recovered during clean up after the EF5 tornado that went through Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011.  As she explained this my heart was warmed.
At this point I was drawn to a bird’s nest sitting on a spring mounted on a small piece of wood.  Immediately the thought of the bird’s nest I had been watching all summer entered my mind…the subject of my last blog.   Emotion took over as I picked it up and continued to talk to the lady.  I told her I was sorry for being emotional and then I shared the reason…mom.  As I did, her husband joined her.  As he walked in the booth he said, “You are the one that ran Boston.”  Yes, it was him…the retired cross-country coach. He was as the craftsman behind these beautiful pieces. Before I could forget a second time I asked him his name.  I had just met two angels – Dan and Sharon.   The two of them work together to make Houses of Hope for so many in the Joplin area.  It is an amazing story you can read about here:

I felt God tapping at that moment.  He was telling he has this.  He is covering us with His wings…mostly covering mom. I gave her the bird’s nest and continued looking.  After awhile I decided to get another one for mom and dad as a symbol of our summer journey.  As I was paying for my two nests, Sharon said I only needed to pay her for one.  She wanted me to know they were adding mom to their prayer list and the second nest was their way of saying we are praying for you! God is so good!!! Isn’t he?!?!?

I was so excited. I had been encouraged by strangers, now friends.  God orchestrated the first meeting at the rec center and then the second at the square.  It had been a great day! Now, I was off to get my crepe.  I then had the opportunity to share the story with several dear friends before I got home.  It is so good to share God’s faithfulness.  When I got home I was about to burst.  I had planned on saving the nest as a parting gift when I departed but I had to share the story with mom and dad.  They loved the God story as much as I did!

Deuteronomy 7:9

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God  who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,


He is faithful in all things.  He is the wind beneath our wings.  At this point I felt like I had wings of new hope and strength.  This got me out the door and I finished my 20 miles with 7.5 miles of negative splits.  I did it! I made it.

During my morning run I had tossed around the idea of not running the marathon on September 1 but the 14.2 mile option. I text my running buddy, Yoli and let her know what I was thinking.  Little did I know she knew something I didn’t.  She knew two other friends were going to offer to run me in so I would finish and finish strong.  I can do it! I just can’t do what I had planned originally!  I am now okay with that.

God has me on this running journey during this training season for a reason.  My journey has been one of a different kind.  One where relying on Him has been VITAL! (as it should be daily!)  He also knew I needed to learn to lean on others for support and help.  Mom and I are a lot alike in this way too…we want to do it on our own.  I can not put into words how grateful I have been for the outpouring of love and support I have received personally on this journey! The prayers have been felt. Thanks to all of my amazing family and friends as well as the BEST gift God ever gave me – my husband.  His sacrifice over the past two months has been huge and all I have had is support and unconditional love! God gave me you – Mike Newsom! LOVE YOU and THANK YOU! (see you soon!!!)

So on September 1 this training season will come to fruition…I will run for mom with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.  I will fly with wings…maybe like turtles in peanut butter…but I will cross that finish line feeling accomplished and proud! 🙂

Now to mom! The big story….She was cleared on Friday for surgery this Tuesday.  Her surgery will be at 10:00 a.m. and is supposed to only last one hour.  If all goes well, which we are praying they will, she will be released to come home on Wednesday.  Yay!  I will be staying with mom and dad one full week post surgery to establish new routines based on the new circumstances.  We are being told she will not have to wear the helmet and things like her balance should improve with her head back together.  Again, we are praying all of this is true and she can continue her unbelievable road to recovery! TaylorStrong is what she is! I am inspired daily!!!  I will post on Tuesday post surgery to update everyone on her status.  Please join us in prayer as we approach this next mailbox.  She is ready! God goes before her and is waiting to be her GREAT Physician!

Deuteronomy 31.8
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”


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From egg to flight…

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Isaiah 40.29-31

29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Yesterday I was able to experience something absolutely incredible. I watched the last of four baby birds fly from their nest.  The Lord set it up perfectly for me! He knew when I first arrived in June at mom and dad’s…I would be intrigued by the momma bird nesting in a fern in the front of mom and dad’s house.  When I first saw the eggs in the nest, I knew I wanted to chronicle their journey into the world with my camera.  Little did I know I was going to be able to watch the last one fledge. It was truly amazing!

It came when I needed it most…after a long grueling day!  I left the house around 11:00 a.m. to run my 16 miler.  It was later than normal because I awoke to severe thunderstorms.  While I was out struggling to finish what I had started…I heard from one of my lifelong friends who wanted to go to dinner. We made it an early one so I could go immediately after my run.  I am always ravenous when I am done. 🙂

My run did not go as I wanted once again.  I am so very stubborn and want to perform like I do in the best of circumstances…but I am not in the best of circumstances…so I won’t perform like I am.  I get it! LOL!  I think God is helping me to empathize with mom.  He is helping me understand (from a different perspective) where she is…wanting to perform like she is in the best of circumstances.  One major hurdle will be on August 13 when she has her bone flap replaced. YAY! But again, she has a long road to go.  Granted…she is doing SO well! She has blown me away with her positive and upbeat attitude…she is a trooper.  So, I, the stubborn one, needs to do the same! Be positive and do what I can do with what I have!

So, I finished my run with walking. But I finished!!! Once again I talked to my encouraging husband! He helped me put things in perspective…again.  On my way to meet my friends, I had another encouraging conversation with another friend who echoed what Mike said.  And of course at dinner – we had the same conversation. 🙂 I keep saying, God is teaching me! He really is…  One never dreams of all the lessons that can be learned when you are open and willing to listen.  As I said, I am stubborn and it has been taking me awhile, but I am getting there.  So, then I come home uplifted!  Thanks to great family and friends! I also had a call from another wonderful friend after I arrived home.  All of them encouraged me in ways God knew I needed.

Proverbs 18:24

 24 Friends come and friends go,  but a true friend sticks by you like family.

One the way home the view was beautiful.  The clouds were rolling back in for another round of storms.  I was driving mom’s wonderful VW Bug – which has been a silver lining on this journey.  While I was stopped, I looked up and saw God-rays coming through the clouds.  Once again I was reminded of His love and His hand even in the midst of a storm.  He is so very good all the time!


Upon my arrival at home I heard a bird chirping.  I thought it may be the momma bird because she had been constantly watching her young.  When I took pictures, she would always let me know I was way too close for her comfort.  She was never too far away.  Like our God…He is always watching over us.  He tells us if He is going to take care of the birds – why worry if He is going to take care of us.

Matthew 6.25-27

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

I approached the nest and saw one baby bird.  ONE! He was chirping not momma.  The other three had fledged earlier in the day! Wow! I had been watching these babies all summer and now it was time for them to fly away.  As I tried to get my camera and take one last photo – because I knew he would be gone soon – I realized I didn’t have time. He was going now.  He jumped up the  fern and chirped again.  Then off he went! He flew and landed abruptly in a nearby tree. Then he tried again and went higher.  It was truly one of the most awesome things I have ever seen.  He took a leap of faith and he made it.  He had been sheltered from the storms as he got strong enough to make that leap on his own.  To witness the entire journey from egg to flight was a Godthing!

What is the parallel in my life?  Mom! She started over on June 12.  She has been sheltered from the storms by our heavenly Father.  She has had the care of her TaylorStrong team.  She is getting stronger every day.  She is ready to take her leap of faith but we are not ready to let her. She is getting so close to where she will do it on her own very soon.  (There are actually days she does things on her own before we catch her…this tells me she is close!)

Mom and my roles have been reversed these last 2 months. I am the one chirping when people or things get to close.  I have learned how to be a better mom and daughter during this ordeal.  We are getting close to the time for me to go home and let the bird fly on her own.  I am sure momma bird was watching in the wings. I will too! Apprehension will be there when I leave in a little over two weeks…but God tells me not to worry…”Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6.26-27.

Mom and I are on parallel journeys.  She is striving to regain her independence step by step.  I am striving to finish strong on September 1 when I run the Tupelo Marathon TaylorSTRONG!  The Lord has shown me this summer that this run is for my mom…my pace and my time don’t matter – what does is that I take each step toward the finish line and cross it with dignity and grace – as ELT would do! As she is doing every the step of the way on her marathon back to 100%!

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2 Corinthians 12.9-10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.



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Celebrating answered prayer!

I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms— I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers. (Psalm 13:5, 6 MSG)

Prayers were answered today! Mom’s bone flap surgery is scheduled for August 13. Mom and dad will celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary on August 12 with me by their side – fun for them. We will head to Springfield on the 12th for her to be up and ready on the morning of August 13.

We are so thankful for this date. The physician’s assistant told us they were booked until the middle of September until this morning. And guess what? A spot opened up. God is so good…all the time.

Thanks again to all of you for your prayers and love during this journey. We are being carried by your prayers!


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. (Psalms 23:1-6 NKJV)


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