Friday, August 29, 2008
Don't you just love how our society, especially younger ones who can text faster than they can speak have come up with all these abbreviations for words and phrases? I remember when I was younger, I'd write LYLAS when I signed a note that I'd written to a friend. (Love You Like A Sister). Now there are hundreds of these cute little acronyms (I think that's what they are, right?). BFF, IDK, G2G, LY, LOL, CULTR, NP, THX....and MM (many more).
Yesterday I began a blog series on Girlfriends that I'm going to continue for a little while. After all, it is our BGF's that so often remind us that we are beautiful!
Here is an acronym using the word GIRLFRIEND that can help grow your friendships and keep them meaningful. It is from the book, Every Teen Girl's Little Pink Book on Girlfriends by Cathy Bartel. As I said yesterday, it may be for teens, but I have found it appropriate for girlfriends of all ages. Probably because we haven't grown up as much as we think we have!
Gift---Your friends are a gift from God, so treat them that way.
Inspire---Inspire each other to do big things.
Rally---Rally around each other. You need to comfort your friends when they are hurting and be happy for them when they have something to celebrate.
Listen---When your friend talks, listen to what she's saying. This is the easiest and most important part fo being a good friend.
Fun---This is the best part of having friends!
Real---Keep it real! Don't be fake. True friends will see right through it.
Include---Expand your group of friends, and get to know others because they can influence your life, too.
Eternal---Make sure you and your friends spend eternity together by sharing the gift of Jesus with them.
Nice---Show kindness and forgiveness to your friends, even if you don't feel like they deserve it sometimes.
Dream---Dream together. Dream about your future and what you want to accomplish in life.
I'm giving 3 of these LPB's away, so if you'd like one, just leave me a comment before next Friday (Sept. 5th).
Have a terrific weekend!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Over the next few days, I'm going to share excerpts from this book. I know that it's often my closest girlfriends who take the time to remind me that I'm beautiful and valued. As you read these words on girlfriends ask yourself 2 questions: 1. Do I have a friend like that? 2. Am I a friend like that?
3 marks of a true friend
There is a big difference between an aquaintance and a true friend.
People you simply hang out with will come and go, but a true friend is someone
who will always be there for you. Recognizing the difference will help you
develop relationships that will last. Here are 3 traits of a true
A true friend will tell you the truth no matter what, even if it may
initially hurt your feelings. Having someone who will give you an honest
answer is priceless. (Proverbs 27:6)
The people who truly value their friendship with you will keep their
word. If you cannot count on someone, or if they cannot count on you, your
friendship will not last.
Mutual respect is a large part of a good friendship. If someone is
not respected, their opinions and feelings will be discounted and
overlooked. Without respect, a friendship will simply not work.
Having a true blue (No Matter What) friend, can be rare. It seems like it should just be par for the course to have friends who are honest, dependable, and respectful. But being all of these things takes time and that seems to be what most people lack these days. If you have one friend with these 3 qualities, consider yourself blessed. Hey, how about contacting them today and letting them know. If you have a friend like this, thank God and say a prayer for that person. Then do something special for her to let her know how you feel.
On that note, let me take this time to thank you. Your words and notes to me encourage me more than you know.
I pray you are feeling beautiful today, because you are. Don't forget that you were wonderfully made and God is always there to be your friend ... No Matter What!
****Hey I feel like giving away 3 Little Pink Books. Send me a note either by posting a comment or email and you'll be entered. In your response, share your feelings on friendships. The give away winners will be posted on Fun Friday, September 5th!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
My mood and emotional state affect my blogging. I wish they didn't, but they do.
Last week and over the weekend I was just really down. I could tell you that I don't know why. But that would be dishonest. I do know why. My husband and I were not in sync. We were in a disagreement and we were not seeing eye to eye. My feelings were hurt and I just shut down.
Now why is that? Why is it that just because Jeff and I were having a quarrel that I had trouble functioning in the other areas of my life?
I don't know about you, but when part of my life isn't running well (especially my marriage), it causes the rest of my life to shut down. This is probably not healthy, but it's just how I am. I dwell. I worry. I can't rest until everything is worked out. I just want peace!
Well, I'm happy to report that all is well today. Jeff and I have made up. Neither of us were sleeping well during our time of disagreement.. And it felt so good to make up, talk about our feelings, and apologize. So now I'm back to blogging again. When there was a riff between us, there was a block in my mind and I just couldn't blog much.
On to other things. I started a Teen Blog this week. It is called Beautiful Girl (www.BeautifulGirlP31.blogspot.com) and it is devoted to teen girls and helping them feel loved, valued, and beautiful. I had a devotion running this week on the Proverbs 31 Teen site (www.RadRevolution.blogspot.com) and I have felt God calling me into ministry to teen girls. So, I'm entering into unchartered territory for me. A little nervous, but excited. If it just helps one...then I'll feel satisfied. I would love input and suggestions.
Lastly. My back is out. I can barely walk. I'd treasure your prayers. I've never had anything like this happen to me... ever! I don't know how or why. It just happened. And it hurts. Bad.
I must go. My husband is back inside. He's been working on my car (in the pouring rain, thunder, and lightning) because it just quit working today! It's after 10 at night, so I should give him my attention:)
You are beautiful. Praying you know it and feel it!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Until I can get another post up here, please go check out my family's American Idol Experience at: http://melissataylorp31.blogspot.com/2008/08/we-saw-american-idols.html .
Enjoy and stay tuned. I'll be posting about my girl's beach trip and making some blog changes soon.
Hope you are having a beautiful day,
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Imagine Me ------Kirk Franklin
Imagine me loving what I see when the mirror looks at me cause I, I imagine me. In a place, of no insecurities and I'm
finally happy cause I imagine me. Letting go of all of the ones who hurt me
cause they never did deserve me, can you imagine me. Saying no to thoughts that
try to control me, remembering all you told me, Lord can you imagine me? Over
what my momma said, and healed from what my daddy did and I wanna live and not read that page again.
(Chorus)Imagine me, being free, trusting you totally,
finally I can imagine me, I admit it was hard to see you being in love with
someone like me, finally I can imagine me.
Imagine me Being strong and not letting people break me down, you won't get that joy this time around. Can you imagine me? In a world, in a world nobody has to live afraid, because of your love, fear's gone away, can you imagine me. Letting go of my past and glad I have another chance and my heart will dance cause I don't have to read that page again.
(Repeat Chorus 1x)
Kirk talks: This song is dedicated to people like me,
those that struggle with insecurities, acceptance and even self esteem, you never felt good enough, you never felt pretty enough but imagine God whispering in your ear letting you know that everything that has happened is now.Gone, Gone, Its’ Gone, All Gone Repeat
Kirk’s remarks( Oh It’s All Gone. Every Sin,
Every Mistake, Every Failure Its’ All Gone!Depression Gone By Faith It’s Gone. Low Self Esteem, Halleluiah Its Gone, All Gone,It’s Gone All My Scars, All My Pain
It’s In The Past , Its’ Yesterday. Its’ All Gone( Can’t Believe Its’ Gone) What Your Mother Did, What your Father Did, Halleluiah (Its’ Gone All Gone Oh Whoa))
Pretty powerful, wouldn't you agree?
Think on those words awhile. Gone. Gone. Gone. The past is gone. We don't have to stay there.
The last post I wrote was titled "Reflection". It was about looking in the mirror and seeing God in you. Seeing what God sees. And learning from your past, but not living in it. Gone. Gone. It's yesterday.
Love that! Thank you Heather, I've already bought it on iTunes and put in on my iPod:)
In closing, I'd like to share some fun. I'm leaving today for a beachtrip with a few high school girlfriends and I won't be blogging while there. I'll include a little fun today since I won't get to have a Fun Friday post this week. Here it is.
Let me just say, it's a good thing that it's what's on the inside that counts. My sweet doggie, Princess, who I adore, normally looks like this:
Isn't she just the cutest thing you ever did see???? Well, she went to the groomer. Her hair was all matted and knotted. They had to shave my sweet baby. This greatly changed her appearance. People are laughing at her. They ask, what she is. I'm sure this has hurt Princess' feelings. I mean, she's still the same dog with the same heart, yet she is clearly being treated differently just based on her appearance! Even her own family has given her the nickname "Stick"!!!! Can you believe that. She went from "Princess" to "Stick" all because she looks like this:
The world is a mean place! But, can't we relate to what Princess is going through? It's sad, but true. Often we are treated different because of how we look or something in our past or something in our life that seems out of the norm. That's why we need God. People can just be cruel and we cannot get our confidence and self esteem from them.
Now's a good time to go back and read the words to that Kirk Franklin song. And in the mean time, I'm going to give my sweet puppy a few extra doggie bones (yea, that's good Melissa, love her with food!) and let her sleep on my pillow while I'm away. After all, I love her ... NO MATTER WHAT!
Monday, August 11, 2008
As I type, I'm trying to see the keyboard through the tears in my eyes.
I'm watching "The Lion King" with my family. I've seen it a hundred times at least. I used to cry when Simba's father died, but that part doesn't make me cry anymore. The part that brought me to tears tonight was when Simba was looking at his reflection.
If you haven't seen this fabulous animated Disney picture, it's worth the rent. Here's the scene:
Simba is supposed to take his father's place as King after his father is killed by a wildebeast stampede. However, Simba thinks his father's death is all his fault and he is ashamed and scared so he runs away. He meets 2 friends who convince him he should run from his past, "Hakuna Matata" they tell him, which means "No worries". While this sounds good, the past catches up.
A wise monkey, named Rafiki, tells Simba that his father is still alive. He convinces Simba to follow him and he'll show him where he is. Simba is led to a lake. Rafiki tells Simba to look into the lake and he will see his father. Simba looks and only sees his own reflection to which he states, "That's not my father, that's only my reflection." And Rafiki replies, "Look harder. He lives in you." That's when I lost it. My family just looked at me like I was crazy. The tears started and I couldn't get them to stop.
How many times do I look at myself and only see me. But truly there is much more to me that what is seen on the outside. My Father is there. Look harder. He lives in me.
My feelings of unworthiness leave me in a state of hopelessness, just like Simba. My past actions tell me that I'm not capable of making a difference in my world today. My failures convinced me that I could never be a success and the world would be better if I just kept quiet. All lies.
The piece of me that enables me to rise up and meet each day with optimism and gives me the strength to keep going is He Who lives in me. My Father is there. Look harder. He lives in me.
The movie doesn't end there and neither does my life. (or yours) Simba's father appears in the sky and tells him, "Remember who you are." In other words, because of who you are and who lives inside of you, you do not have to run away. You are worthy. You are beautiful.
Rafiki the wise monkey then hits Simba on the head with his stick. Simba says, "Ouch! What did you do that for?" Rafiki replies, "It doesn't matter, it's in the past." To which Simba states, "Yea, but it still hurts." Yes, Simba, I can relate, it does hurt. But it doesn't mean we are to quit and consider ourselves done for.
Rafiki tells Simba that he can run from his past or he can learn from it. He goes to hit Simba one more time. Simba moves and doesn't get hit. Why? Because he learned from the past. Simba returns home to fight for his rightful place as King and saves his kingdom from evil.
Look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see?
Look harder. Now what do you see?
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
This video clip, to the tune of Total Eclipse of the Heart, shows that when our identity is in Christ and we give Him our burdens, labels, issues, etc, we are Free and Saved from this world. We may still live in this world, but we are New Creations.
Take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kuEEMBgNUs .
I pray you live today as a New Creation, free and saved.
Have a beautiful day!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Recently, I wrote quite a bit about my anxiety and depression. As I gathered my words and talked to others about the subject, one of my friends made a great point. It was Amy, http://amylbrooke.blogspot.com/ . She said (and I'm paraphrasing) "I don't say 'I'm depressed or I'm anxious', I say, "I have depression or I have anxiety." Since she put it to me that way a few weeks ago, I have never referred to myself as depressed again. That's not who I am, it's what I have.
Same with my weight. Instead of saying, "I am (fat, overweight, pleasantly plump, skinny, thin, insert your word here ________)", say, "I have weight issues" or something like that. When we say, "I am ________", it just implies that that's our identity, and I don't like that. Nope not one bit!
Maybe you have a disability. You've been labeled disabled. It's still not who you are. It's your condition.
When you have a cold do you say, "I am a cold."? When you have strep throat, do you say, "I am strep throat."? Of course not. However with other issues, especially those that relate to the mind or body, we carry and label ourselves as if that's what and who we are. It's a condition not an identity. Conditions change. Our identity does not.
Many people use the roles they have in life to define who they are. "I am a wife." "I am a mom." "I am single." "I am a lawyer." I am a teacher." "I am a friend." Still, all of those can change. All of them. They still don't define who you are. Not really.
Even this blog is called "I am beautiful." It's a positive term and one I hope you do believe about yourself. But even so, it's not who you are, it just describes you.
In order to fully live like a child of God, we have to believe ourselves to be children of God. Once you accept your identity in Christ, it cannot be robbed or taken away from you. Jesus is your Savior, He loves you, He forgives you, He is with you, and that is that. Your responsibility in all of this is to live your life for Him and make decisions to take care of yourself and try to honor God in all you do. You can do that most of the time. And the times that you don't, well, it doesn't mean that you aren't His Child anymore, it just means you messed up. I love where we are told of our identity in the Bible.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a New Creation; the Old Is Gone,the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
Read this from the Life Application section of my Bible:
"Christians are brand-new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and they are not the same anymore. We are not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated----we are re-created....we are not merely turning over a new leaf; we are beginning a new life..."
Do me a favor. Fill in the blank: "I Am _________________" and use your identity here.
Call yourself by name.
forever a New Creation in Christ Jesus, Child of God, Daughter of the King
Do you know Jesus? Would you like to? Visit: http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/doyouknowJesus/doYouKnowJesus.php . And as always, if you have any questions or want to talk about it, just get in touch with me and I'd be overjoyed to speak with you:)
Monday, August 4, 2008
I found out it is just a harmless and fun blogging game. And here are the rules:
Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you --- Amy, http://amylbrooke.blogspot.com/
2. Post the rules on your blog (check - you're looking at them)
3. Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them (see below)
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.
Now for my bit of randomness:
1. I've only read one novel in the past 15 years. Oddly enough, I love to read, but I usually read Bible related study books or magazines. I read a novel at the beach this summer and loved it. I hope I'll make the time to read another one soon.
2. I get great pleasure out of my dog. Her name is Princess. She is a 5 pound poodle. She is so sweet and gets along with everyone. She has brought so much happiness to our family and she is mine! I got her for my 38th birthday. Her full name is Princess Poppy Angel Taylor:)
3. I resisted this whole blogging thing. I thought it was insane. My husband still does, bless his heart. Really, I thought what in the world could I have to write about every day and why would anyone care. Now I'm addicted. I love reading other blogs and I especially love the friends I've made.
4. My family means the world to me. This may not seem random, but I had to mention it. I would do just about anything for my husband and kids. I am so very grateful that God gave them to me. I feel like it is an extreme privilege to be the wife of Jeff Taylor and the mom to Blake, Hayden, Dylan, and Hayley Grace Taylor.
5. I love cheeseburgers, fried chicken, and sweet potato fries. My favorite place to eat is a restaurant called The Lizard's Thicket in Columbia, SC. When I go there, I get my fried food fix of: fried chicken, fried okra, squash casserole, candied yams, corn bread, banana puddin' and sweet tea. It is the best! This is about a once a year experience for me. (it's about all my digestive can handle anyway!)
6. I LOVE college football!!! I mean like really love it. So much, that when I get a speaker request, I check the South Carolina Gamecock and Florida Gators football schedule to make sure it's not a big game week before I accept. Football Saturdays are big at the Taylor house. We have a lot of people over, the BBQ is always on, and we are serious about our football. My husband and I both attended Appalachian State (#1, 3 years in a row in their division) and I was raised to know Gamecock football well. Don't get me started, I could go on and on.
So there I did it. And now I guess I have to tag 6 more people. So have fun with it. Let us know something about you we don't know. And thanks Amy for tagging me, it was fun:)
Here are the 6 people I've decided to tag. If you are reading this PLEASE go visit them and introduce yourself. Here they are:
1. Amy Carroll- I just love this girl. She is on the speaker team with me at Proverbs 31 and has the best attitude and enthusiasm of anyone I've known. She was my roommate in Ecuador last year and I absolutely adore her! Amy, you've been tagged! http://amycarrollp31.blogspot.com/
2. Denise Hammond- A dear dear friend of mine. We've been close sisters in Christ for at least 15 years and we were sorority sisters before that:) She doesn't blog near as much as she should. PLEASE go visit her and tell her that Melissa sent you. Denise, you've been tagged! http://denise-hammond.blogspot.com/
3. Glynnis Whitwer- I tagged Glynnis because I just wanted to. She is on the speaker team with me at Proverbs and she is the Senior Editor of the P31 Woman. I have so much respect for Glynnis. She is so beautiful inside and out. Go visit her. Glynnis, you've been tagged! http://www.glynniswhitwer.blogspot.com/
4. Heather Kudla- I tagged Heather because I just met her. She made a sweet impression on my heart. You can visit her blog here. Heather, you've been tagged! http://hkudla.wordpress.com/
5. Sarah Drohan- I tagged Sarah because she's starting a blog. She's only made one post and I want to encourage her to keep going. I would love it if you sent her some encouragement to show her it's not that difficult. Sarah, you've been tagged! http://sarahdrohan.blogspot.com/
6. Cheri Bunch- I tagged Cheri because she's just so sweet! She was in my She Speaks Evaluation Group a few years ago. She has such a heart for the Lord and her smile is conagious. Cheri, you've been tagged! http://cheribunch.blogspot.com/
Ok, now I'm going to let these poor souls know they've been tagged. Thanks Amy Brooke for tagging me!
Have a beautiful day people!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
One of the comments that touched me the most came from a woman who was struggling with the exact opposite physical problem as mine. I continually talk of wanting to lose weight. She spoke of the need to gain weight. How her family and friends commented often of how she looked ill and needed to gain. I can't relate to that. At all. But I can relate to her heart. She just wants to be content and satisfied with who she is. She wants to be what others want her to be. One of my greatest friends in all the world is so super skinny. I frequently joke of how I'd like to give her half of my thighs and hips. And she jokes back of how she'd like that. She tires of people telling her that she looks unhealthy and weak. No one tells me I need to lose weight, but it's obvious I do. Our society is weird like that. We need to recognize that those of us who need to lose feel just as self concious as those of us who need to gain. Thank you for being so honest. Self image and feelings of doubt are just as important no matter what the situation. This blog is for EVERYONE! Not just the overweight. I'm so glad you chimed in. Sweet sista, I love you.
No matter what the reason: stuck together toes (like mine on both feet), being overweight, being underweight, having a horrid past, having a sinful past, being rejected, having a shameful scar, being divorced, having an abortion, having a drugfilled past, committing adultery, focusing on people pleasing, carrying baggage from a relationship or past, having a depleting marriage, WHATEVER you carry with you....there are many issues. BUT, they don't have to hinder you from being what and who you are today. Hear that????? I hope so. You are NOT what you did or what you were a part of. It's who you are that matters. Are you a child of God? Yes. Do you love Jesus and accept Him as your Savior? Well, that's up to you and that's who you are. You are NOT what you did. That's what you did. It's NOT who you are.
So, who are you? I don't know. Only you can decide that. I can tell you who I am. I am Melissa Taylor, daughter of the One and Only Almighty King of this Universe. God loves me unconditionally and unfailingly. I am forgiven and my slate is clean. Yours can be too. I am pure. I am ok, alright, accepted, and totally good. That is ALL because of Jesus. My actions have shown a very flawed and disturbed woman. My actions have been scewed and misled and confused. But God still loves me. He still loves me. No matter what my issues. No matter what my past. No matter what.
Yes, we all have different issues. We may not understand each other. That's ok. We can't judge each other and we shouldn't. It's NOT our place to do that. It's our place to love like Jesus does. If we all would just praise the Lord for Who He is and focus on who He wants us to be, we'd be so much better off. Yes, we all have different issues. But we all serve the same God.
My friends, you are so beautiful. Whether you are overweight, underweight, scarred, abused, sinful, filthy, undisciplined, confused, scared, afraid, confident, secure, insecure, or whatever you are.....you are beautiful. And Jesus loves you and desires that you enter His family.
Any questions? Ask me. I'll share Jesus with anyone, anywhere, or no matter what.