Thursday, August 28, 2008

House or Shop?

This is what has been going on this week at our house (in the midst of the leftovers from Tropical Storm Fay), a little rain doesn't stop the Taylors:

One of Joey's friends asked him where he was going to put his bed. He has a mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and mini TV to put in there, why not a bed, right?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Dog's Life, or a Horse's

Well, I always thought my dogs had it so great. And I still think they do...

The boys sleeping on our bed with their Daddy.

We bought Ty a bed because we didn't think we'd be able to handle sharing our bed with two dogs, especially when Ty becomes a massive 90 pounds. Well, Rocky decided that he likes Ty's bed, knowing full well that if we had bought him a bed he wouldn't touch it. So, yes our dogs sleep in our bed or have their own.

Our dogs also get to share our food with us. This is their ritual with Joey - sharing Vienna sausages. Granted, I wouldn't consider them a priviledge to eat, but Joey and the dogs sure do.

So, yes, my dogs get all that and more, but these horses that I saw in Shelbyville, TN (at the TN Walking Horse Celebration where they crown the world champion every year) had the most decked out stables I've ever seen just for one week out of the year. Some of these people actually bricked them up or stuccoed them and spent who knows how much on landscaping!

So maybe the new saying should be "a horse's life" instead of "a dog's life."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympics Swimming

Well, watching all this Olympic swimming every night has gotten me itching to be back in the water. My last competetive race was about 5 years ago. I can't believe it's been that long. For some reason, swimming came very natural to me and I started competing at around age 5 or 6 on the Guntersville Swim Team. I swam competitively up until I was 18 (the oldest you could be on that team). I also was an assitant coach while lifeguarding for the last two years. I remember when there was a time that I dreamed of being on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. I was by no means a Micheal Phelps, though, so that was a stretch. I only swam during the summer and never year-round like some teams, so even trying to swim for college could've been a stretch. I know I also wouldn't have been cut out for that crazy schedule Phelps has....did y'all see that, literally an all-day ordeal from 6:30AM to 11:00PM, non-stop! He is the real deal. And I mean I was good at one stroke, well excelled at one, the others I just knew how to do. He can do it all! If you can't tell, I'm amazed.

Anyway, like I said it all makes me miss swimming. Check out these old pictures I found.

And here's one of my relay team that got the bronze at State one year

Those were when I was older. The ones I have from when I was little, like 8 or 10 years old when I won state in breast stroke are in a frame with the medal. It was such a family event. My parents had what they call heat books which show what heat each swimmer is in and what their entry times are. My parents and I would look it over and see what seed I was as well as figure out who my biggest competition would be (usually we already knew because I had swam against them before at some point). Then my parents would be somehwere along the side of the pool where the bleechers were or if it was a local meet, they would be at the end of the pool positioned right at the end of my lane to cheer me on. Even though they had never swam competitively before, they knew when I had a good start/dive, a good turn, or a good time. It became a lifestyle for us. No sport ever made me get those little butterflies in my stomach like walking up to the blocks and hearing that start buzzer for a race. The water always felt like a part of me. I can't really explain it well, but I am going to find a way to get back into a lap pool and get back in swimming shape.

There's this cool thing that Auburn University has called the Masters Swimming where they have competitive swimming for older ages. I'll have to do some more looking into it, but that would be so exicting for me. Oh well, enough rambling about swimming, just thought I'd share my craving.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Does God Speak in 3's?

I don't know if any of you have ever heard the comment that God does things or speaks in 3's, but I have recently experienced this and thought I would share. Well, if you've read previous posts, you know that I have lost two dear family friends this summer. Well, these losses also brought up grieving from another loss of a dear family friend from almost 11 years ago. So there's the first reference to 3. As I was trying to process the grief of all those losses, I was doing a lot of talking to God and to friends and family.

Well, the first time throughout this process that God was trying to show me an area of my life that needed growth was actually through my counseling supervisor. As I was discussing the difficulties I was having with a client, she asked me if I have difficulty just letting loose and having fun (#1). Then while home for Steve's funeral, I decided to go visit Richard's (the loss from 11 years ago) gravesite in hopes that I would experience some healing from it. I asked a precious friend to give me a ride there, and on the way she spoke some Truth in love to me. She explained that she has always seen me as loving God through living my life for Him, doing things that would be pleasing to Him, and sharing Him with others including her. She said, though, that she has never really seen an expression of emotion about my relationship with God or a real passion like she has experienced as a new Christian who so values what she now has in Christ. She said that she doesn't see me express much passion or enjoyment for general things in life as well - that I say that I love God and I show it by obedience and sharing my story but that the emotion is missing (#2). Well, I took that all in, and then I went to talk with God and Richard at his gravesite. Through that conversation, God made me aware that these three losses were important people in my childhood, during a time which I enjoyed life, had tons of fun, and before I allowed Satan to twist things in my head. As a child I just embraced the fact that I was special and God and my parents loved me so much because my parents would not have had me if my older brother had not died of luekemia. Later, Satan twisted that identity into the pressure and burden of "I have to make my life meaningful, I must be serious and put-together." (#3).

I finally put all the 3's together and realized that obviously God is trying to tell me that he wants me to lay down that pressure and that burden. The crazy thing is I thought I had dealt with all of this in my own counseling experience a year ago when I was preparing to start counseling others. But I guess when you struggle with something, it can always creep back in. I think more specifically than what God was showing me a year ago about not thinking I have to do it all, is that I need to grow to enjoy God and all the little things in life rather than stressing out so much. So pray for me as I embark on this journey of allowing God to show me how to be somewhat of a kid again.