Love The Life That You Live

Some of my greatest passions are traveling and connecting with people. Stories about life should be cherished, shared, and learned from. Wanderlust designates a strong desire for or impulse to wander... in modern usage, to travel and to explore the world.

Not all those who wander are lost.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ambitious Girl

Sometimes i think, WOW i've been thru a lot. Even in my search for adventure, what's ahead could never compare to some of the things i've seen, done, or been thru. But then i realize that these extraordinary experiences were just pieces, preparations, for more to come.

In the last month in church before i left KC, pastor spoke on feeling alone based on your experiences. But then i think about how many transformations i've been thru and witnessed. There's a common bond in that even tho all of our experiences and pains are different. God cannot be explained. He has to be revealed. Pastor reminded us that our pain is a measure of the amount of power in our lives. In these times we find direction and clearer purpose. All the other BS falls back.

So, i was accepted to Thunderbird Global School of Management last summer. A dream of mine. It's so interesting to see the progression. I deferred a year because of the promotion at one of my jobs at the time. The plan was to attend in Fall '10 and hopefully finish my degree before Isaac got his visa to come home. Well, we all know that our plans never go quite as planned.

An earthquake and a series, nothing short of, miraculous events brought my babyboy to me. No more frequent trips to Haiti. Sad. But days filled with absolute happiness i didn't know existed before. His ways were revealed. People often imply my life is SO different or ask if it's been hard. Honestly, no. The sacrifices i've made for him don't even compare to the rewards. EVERYthing comes with an opportunity cost.

So as 2010 progressed, i became closer (and further) from many friends. Trying times bring out how much people really care. At some point i felt that if i could survive an earthquake and devastation of that magnitude, i could conquer a new city, school, job, etc. with a toddler. On my own. And i still know that i can.

But in the mix of it all i fell in love. Yeah. Ha. The kind that i've only felt twice before. And after the last one, i seriously doubted even HE would bless me with that deep of a feeling again. Maybe i don't need it. You know, i have it all. The house, the car, the travel, wonderful relationships, the freedom, and now a beautiful boy. I could be my own pop song about the independent woman. As a matter of fact, i've had numerous songs come out that people say actually make them think of me.

Where am i going with this? Well i understand there's great power in a strong woman. A strong human being for that matter. How many women are superwoman these days and doing it all, only to sacrifice real contentment and purpose? Or settle for a man not even going half as hard as she is? Life is about balance. So many of life's greatest romances were those who celebrated each others differences and realized that two can do better than one.

Love is funny. And so illogical at times. But we are often reminded to be "rational" or use our "common sense". Common sense only leads to common people. And "being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity" - Will Smith

I've often wrote about my heart residing somewhere far away. It was in Italy, then Haiti. As i write this, Isaac is in KC and i won't see him for two more days. There are those i love in all different places. As i packed up my home in KC i thought about so many memories, but it isn't my home, it's my HOUSE. And i really love that house. The molding, the character, the porch. But I also love Arizona. Something about being somewhere new thrills me. Getting out of my own comfort zone is tough, yet gratifying.

I almost didn't come to Arizona. I planned, in my head, to move to be with my love. Don't get me wrong, i didn't plant that idea. It was brought to my attention over the last month or so. But as i drove cross country, with my music, God's scenery, and so many conversations with my dearest friends, i searched to find where my heart really lies. My priorities are GOD and family, whatever my family is meant to look like. I aspire to do great things, but not at the cost of missing out on too much time with those i love. Being an independent woman has taught me that sometimes the hardest thing is to sacrifice or compromise your plans and desires for someone else. And in the midst of all this thinking and praying i realized that my dreams and desires had changed.

So here i am in AZ. I've withdrawn from the Thunderbird program. It was an honor to be accepted in the first place. I'm thinking i will apply to ASU's online MBA program starting in the spring. It's nowhere near the prestige. But it's highly accredited and so much more flexible for me to support people in my life. And i plan to explore other job options as well.

Life is nothing without love. In whatever form that it comes in. My desire is to be genuine with what i give. And to take time for myself. I look forward to the possibility of seeing family for more holidays, still traveling some, spending time with my good friends here in Phoenix, taking Isaac to new places, spending more time with him and teaching him, and supporting other loves in my life. The possibilities are endless. "Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor" - Proverbs 21:21

When i went to Focus on the Family in the Springs years ago, i read a book called Margin. When we learn to let there be space between our goals and aspirations we realize we cannot do everything we want to do. We don't try. But it allows us to figure out what we really want most out of life. And when you sacrifice for something the reward is oh so much sweeter.

So that is my story of an ambitious girl. Aspirations to be the highest i can be. With hopes that someone else is preparing the same way as me. Inshallah.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Moving West

Continental divide! Route 66! I feel like a settler movin west. Cept in the Infiniti w iPhone n tunes;)

Friday, August 27, 2010


Beautiful double rainbow in Denver, CO

And an unforgettable day at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Nothing like a wedding to make a vacation seem like more work than your normal job. I love the south tho. Located in southern Georgia (Brunswick and Waynesville), my sis' wedding was beautiful. She was an even more beautiful bride. And she married into a great family. It was fun getting to meet most of them

Driftwood beach was the best part in my opinion. And then staying an extra day to take Isaac to the beach and then head to Jacksonville to stay with some great friends we know from work in Haiti.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Such Good News after recently returning from UGANDA! On Monday, President Obama signed the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act into law, and released a personal statement recognizing the "hundreds of thousands of Americans who have mobilized in response to this unique crisis of conscience." In doing so he became the first U.S. President to publicly pledge that ending LRA violence and recovery for affected families across central Africa would be lasting priorities.

President Obama held a rare signing ceremony, with an unusually long speech praising the work of NGO's and activists... many of them students and inspirations to all of us.

By committing to helping the four African countries affected by the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army), we are officially pursuing justice for thousands of people and children who have been killed, raped, and kidnapped into the armies. The reality of child soldiers is something that should shock and touch anyone with a heart for others. The LRA has been terrorizing for over 23 year's. The leader Joseph Kony has been indicted for war crimes by an international court. I'm proud of the US for taking this step.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Our Battles and Our Calling

There are many things to be said for the character that comes from our battles. Some seem big and some small. Sometimes the big ones help us to get thru the smaller ones or visa versa. I am grateful for mine. They have made me an even more complex creature, while at the same time simplifying my life.

There’s a song on Vivian Green’s new album titled “Caught Up”. I love the message. It is simple and true for everyone. No judgment. We ALL get caught up. It’s a matter of how far, how many times, recognizing it, and bringing yourself back to what is important. We all know the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

So I am settling into the ‘new normal’, as one of the other adoptive mothers put it. I’m focusing on what I cared about before and balancing it with what I care about even more now.

One thing that becomes clearer ever year is how much I believe everything happens for a reason. So cliché right? Well the reason is according to HIS will. Every Christian has a life purpose. The struggle then lies in our discernment of what that is. It is so easy to get “caught up” in life. You have to be careful to pursue what He has for you as opposed to what you envision for yourself. I promise you, His plan far exceeds any expectations you may have and will fulfill your life beyond what you or society have in mind.

Pastor John Ortberg once said “..for many people a career becomes the altar on which they sacrifice their lives. A calling, which is something I do for God, is replaced by a career which threatens to become my god.” How true is this! We all have different goals and different visions of how we will ‘make it’. It is so hard to set those aside to listen to His voice.

I’ve found myself with stronger desires in a few areas of my life… in particular; my schooling, vision for making a difference for those in need, and for my present (and future) family. I go between feeling sure of the desires of my heart and praying God will show me and fulfill them, to doubting that those desires are what He has in store for me, and praying for discernment about what truly comes from Him. Then I find myself grieving a lost dream even though I have more now that that dream really ever entailed. Then I come full circle to this calm, yet exciting, wonder about what is happening now for me to be prepared for the future.

Okay Lord, my blindfold is on. Lead me and I’ll try to keep from cheating and peaking under and going where I think is safest.

Psalm 37:4,7 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass... Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face continually.

Psalm 25:9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

Proverbs 2:6-9 For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

UGANDA arrival

Here and enjoying the slow pace. After a day in Jinja and taking a boat down the River Nile, we had a very long ride back to Entebbe and I realized it was the first time I’ve had to begin to reflect on the last year since my previous time in Uganda. It’s almost unfathomable, even before January 12th.

Blessed to be back and excited for new opportunities and memories.

Monday, April 19, 2010

That time again.... DONATIONS

From May 3 - 13th I will be in Uganda again with a group from Children's HopeChest. I've been in KC for two and a half months straight and kinda itchin to go again ;)

Wasn't sure I could leave my lil man for that long, but just as my very smart dad told me about him going to pre-school: not that long ago i was only seeing him a few times a year. Plussssssss... my really good friend, Anna, from Drake and in KC, is coming along and I can not WAIT to experience this with her :-) And..... another amazing friend of mine from Drake, with an equally amazing family... and who's mother has been thru a lot in recent years, is feeling great and traveling with us too. This is going to be one for the books!

So far we have a group of 17 so this will be interesting (usually it's 10 or less). This trip will be less travel than the 'Vision Trip' last year. We will be able to spend more time in one area and with the kids. We will do some sort of Sunday School/Bible Study at every site. We will also be having a Soccer/American Football clinic. Fun huh!!! We will be doing one or two painting projects at Kayango and possibly Nabukalu. Of course plans are always subject to change...

We have plenty of donations for balls and pumps. Need items such as soap, toothbrushes, crayons. Bubbles are always a big hit. Monetary donations are the easiest and for many reasons best, but I'm packing 2 bags full of stuff so I'm open to all types of donations. Other suggestions are Advil, Tylenol, anti-itch cream, anti-fungal, antibacterial creams. (Please no clothes or stuffed toys)...

Uganda Data: from CHC's site
  • Number of Orphans: 2 million +
  • % orphaned due to AIDS: 48%
  • 57% of children in Uganda will complete primary school.
  • 3% of secondary school graduates will go on to higher education
  • Over 50% of Uganda's population is under the age of 15 making it the youngest country in the world
  • A girl's likelihood of contracting HIV/AIDS is cut by 50% by simply completing primary school
  • Over 1,000,000 children in Uganda, between the ages of 6-12, are not in school

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HAITI and my Hiatus

It's been a while since I wrote about traveling. Mainly because I haven't been anywhere in 6 weeks now! Wow, that's forever to me. But also because my last trip took a very unexpected turn...

I was in Haiti from January 4-14th and when the earth shook my life was forever altered. I could and I have gone on and on about it. You can read about Haiti, my adoption, my baby boy, politics, feelings, news, organizations that help the people of Haiti, etc. on my blog Miss Taylor.

There are links to media from my return, fundraising, and about Isaac... as he was granted Humanitarian Parole.

Nothing (I hope) in my life will ever compare to this tragedy again. Even tho it was hard and still is hard... I am better, stronger, and happier for it. All credit goes to the Man above!!!