Taylor's Posts, {Life}

{Life} A Positive Way of Living

Written By: Taylor Fast

I always park a few streets over from my placement for my school program.  At first I found this as a hassle because it was cold, snowing, sometimes rainy, and I had to walk further!  As time passed I realized that my attitude was negative and affected my day.  I mean, who cares if it takes me 10 minutes of walking to get to my destination?  I realized that this time gave me an awesome opportunity to meet with God.

During my walks, I’d be sure to spend time thanking God for my beautiful family, friends, and opportunities.  I also spent time thanking Him for the weather, the birds chirping, and any pleasant person that offered me a smile during my walk.  I’d also bring to God the needs on my heart that day, whether it was planning for a stressful meeting or asking God to guide my words as I prepared for a presentation or therapy session.  This whole outlook changed my attitude.  My mornings went from negative to positive.  From lacking God to coming to God with thankfulness.

I encourage everyone today to take a moment through your day to allow God’s presence to be known to you.  Whether you are walking, driving, doing dishes, or anything else to just spend time being thankful with God.  These tasks that we do everyday, we so easily do with our mind buzzing about the list of things that need to get done.  Close your thoughts, and focus on God.  This outlook has truly changed my attitude and has brought peace to me during my more stressful day.  I suggest that we all have a moment to be mindful of our God and of all the things we have to be thankful for.

God can do some amazing things even in the parts of your day that you usually go on autopilot for.

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 (ESV)

Until Next Time,

~ Taylor

Taylor's Posts, {Worth}

{Worth} Numbers Don’t Measure Your Worth

Written By: Taylor Fast

“Do you have an eating disorder?”  I have honestly been asked this question multiple times throughout my life.  What if I actually did have one?  Do you honestly think I would tell someone I hardly know?  Do you really think asking me that question would make me seek out help if I did have one?  Does that question make me feel happy?  Obviously, hearing those words was quite devastating to me.

If anyone comments on your weight or comments about your outer appearance, I want to remind you ladies that your weight, height, or any other physical features do not measure your worth.  I also want to remind everyone that commenting on someone’s weight because they are skinny in your opinion so you feel it’s acceptable is most definitely NOT acceptable.  Whatever somebodies weight is, it is none of our business- as all bodies are beautiful bodies.

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7 (ESV)

Women of God, remember that your body is a temple; one that God has given you to take care of, nurture, and love.  It is so easy for us to get caught up in how the world says we should look, and even get caught up in the comments others say- I urge you not to!  Our bodies will change as we age, but we will always be beautiful.  Find love and compassion for yourself in the way you look.  Part of being healthy involves loving ourselves, when we love ourselves we take the time to care for our bodies and grow in our self-esteem and worth.

I urge you all to look in the mirror and pick out three things you love about your body.  I also want you to pick out three things you love about your personality.  Rock you today as you go out in the world, no matter what beautiful shape you are!  As you are out and about in the world today, also be aware of how you speak with others, are your words filled with life and love, or anger and jealousy?

Until Next Time

~ Taylor

Taylor's Posts, {Love}

{Love} An Unplanned Date

By: Taylor Fast

I feel like the first Valentines Day a married couple is special in this cheesy-romantic way.  For my husband and I, we were celebrating 5 months of being married!  My husband is not huge on Valentines Day, but he knows that any event that I can decorate for, I’m going to be excited about.

This Valentines Day was nowhere close to being the romantic day I had imagined, but I never felt more loved and cared for by my husband during that day.  So you are most likely wondering how that is possible?

The week before Valentines Day, my family and I were working through the idea that someone we loved was having some extreme health issues.  This someone was my brother, who already battles Cystic Fibrosis.  We had all taken turns going back and forth to the London hospital as doctors and nurses were trying to figure out what was going on.  One evening as we got home from work we received a call that my brother might have cancer, but that it was a slim chance.  My thoughts stayed positive as colon and bladder cancer were not something in our family, and my brother is so young.

The next morning we received a call saying that my brother did have cancer.  The thoughts, emotions, and questions came rushing to our heads, as we never thought this would be a journey for my brother to go through.  This all happened on Valentines weekend, as we prepped for the day after Valentines to be my brother’s surgery day to attempt to get rid of all the cancer.

Valentines morning, the day before the surgery, my husband and I woke up in worry and wonder for what tomorrow will hold.  We prayed constantly and I cried endlessly.  This is not sounding romantic at all, is it?  You’re totally right- we swapped gifts that morning and had a nice breakfast together, but the rest of the day was spent with family prepping for surgery the next day.  My husband showed me how much he cared for not just me, but my family.  The love continued as even my husband’s family members sent their love and prayers towards my brother.  Was this day the romantic one I wanted?  No way, but I have never felt more loved, cared for, and supported by this man of God- my amazing husband.

Marriage isn’t easy, but I could tell you that we have been tested plenty of times, and our love for each other never fails, just like God’s love for us.

Looking back now to the surgery day and the days to follow, my husband has stayed by my side and has sent so much support to my brother and I am so thankful for that.  As we wait now to see if my brother is 100% cancer free, my husband, his family, and my family have never been stronger.  Love trumps all, even cancer.

“Above all, love each other deeply, as love covers over a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8

Until Next Time,

~Taylor

Taylor's Posts

{Testimony} Taylor

Written By: Taylor Fast

I happen to be a pastor’s kid, so my testimony story started quite young.  I grew up in a Christian household with parents who raised me to pray before every meal, pray before bed, and pray when I needed help.  I grew up on the original Veggie Tales and there are many times still that I get old school hymns stuck in my head.  I was saved in Sudbury, Ontario, my hometown, while I was in Kid’s Church.  I remember having some beautiful ladies that were much older then me (“prayer moms”) always praying over me, and those people lead me to asking God to come into my heart and stay there.

Of course, as any Christian we all have moments where we slip away from God, but I believe I have stayed pretty true to Him.  Growing up everyone knew I was a pastor’s kid, some people thought it was weird, but I was lucky to never be made fun of for it.  I attempted to share my faith with others, but this got harder and harder as I got older, so I had to lean more and more on God and let my life and words be an example to others, as much as I could.

There were moments when my faith in God was tested.  I lost a good friendship in high school and I wondered where’s God?  When an Uncle very close to my family passed away, I wondered where’s God?  Whenever my brother gets very sick from his illness of Cystic Fibrosis, I wonder where’s God?  I tell you this because every time I felt that way, it was like I had to renew my faith in Him.  I was still a Christian but I had to think back to when I was a child and I fully trusted in God, it was so easy!  I have to show the same trust even as an adult.

Though we feel the weight and stress of the world more, God is still there.  Our world is sinful, so moments will come where we don’t understand why God let circumstances happen, but I promise you God is always there.  He doesn’t disappear.  Moments like these allow me to lean on Him and ask for help and remind me of when I was saved and why I thought getting saved and becoming a Christian was a good idea.  We mess up, yes, but we have a God who doesn’t, He will get us through the storm.  How incredible is that?

The fact that God gave up His life for us so that we could live and He sticks around us today to help us through our daily lives, it’s hard not to be thankful!

I am saved because I believe in God, I believe in salvation, and I believe He has an amazing path for us.  I believe He is a Father to the fatherless.  When I doubt my salvation in times of worry and pain, I think back to my testimony story- my reason for believing, my reason for faith.

“He is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” Psalm 68:5

 

~Taylor

Taylor's Posts, {Life}

{Life} Feeling Stuck

Written By: Taylor Fast

A couple weeks ago I was talking, well I should really say complaining to my husband about feeling stuck.  I was explaining that I could not shake this feeling of wanting to do more then just going to school and completing my placement.  I was having such an urge to be finally done with school, that it was affecting how I was feeling in the morning.  My husband stopped me and said something that was simple, but such a good reminder.  He said “Maybe, this is where God wants you right now so that you will be ready soon for a new transition. Maybe this is a training ground, maybe you should keep your eyes opened for what God has planned for you.”

Wow! I had to stop and just think about that for a second. How right was he! I know that where I am now is where God wants me to be because He helped open the doors for me to get onto this path, how could I take that for granted?  My husband’s words were just what I need to hear, it was a reminder for me to slow down because God had me where He wanted me to be for that time.  I was so thankful for those words of encouragement that slowed down my moment of anxiety.

“You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  Psalms 16:11

If you are feeling stuck with your life, reach out and pray to God.  Ask others for guidance as well that you trust, and keep your eyes open to where God might be leading you next.  God has an exciting and blessed plan for you.  Remember that where you are now, may be the training ground you need to have the skills, tools, and faith to get to where you are going next.

Stand strong in your faith and look out for opportunities in your life that God has specifically placed for YOU.

Until Next Time,

~Taylor

 

Taylor's Posts, {Faith}

{Faith} Having Faith

Written By: Taylor Fast

As I have spoke on many times before, I believe that this stage in my life is bringing lots of change, and therefore I have been challenged more then ever to put my faith in God!  As I am transitioning to apply for jobs and day dreaming about what it will be like to no longer be in graduate school, I cannot help but wonder where God is leading me on this path.  Applying for jobs gets me so excited as I read about what the job entails and what I could possibly be doing for a living.  The other part of me is terrified to get my hopes up on a job that wont end up being mine.

Where is your faith?!  I have to remind myself of this all the time.  When I speak with my husband or my parents about this, there seems to be a theme that comes from all of them.  God has provided for me this far and He won’t stop now.

“The Testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:3

When I look back on the different circumstances that God has brought me through, I can see where my faith has been challenged and how it has blessed me.  All of the circumstances I was in, God was there with a plan in mind that was right for me.  So I take those moments in my life and use them to remind myself for the next challenges I face.  God is good, and His plan for me is better than whatever I have in mind, so I must stay faithful, as God is always faithful to me.

Whether you are waiting on an answer about jobs like I am, maybe a new house, moving, a new relationship, having children, maybe letting go of something or someone negative in your life, or starting something new to impact your career or education- have faith!  God has a plan for you, and though it may seem at times things are not going your way- stay strong.  Look back to other examples in your life where things weren’t going right; how did you get through them?  How did God provide for you?  Where are you now that is different from where you were then?  When you answer these questions, let that be reassurance that God will get you through whatever is coming your way next.  Have faith; persevere.

 

Until Next time,

~ Taylor

 

Taylor's Posts, {Beauty}

{Beauty} There is Beauty All Around Us

Written By: Taylor Fast

In the news recently we have seen the destruction of many communities throughout the world, which have led to refugees from these communities to come into our neighbourhoods to live and start life again.  We see people then, who speak a different language than us, dress differently than us, think differently than us, and believe in different things than us.  That is a GREAT thing.  I am writing this to remind everyone that we are called to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.  This means, no matter where they come from we love them.  I could only imagine the experience of moving to a completely different country where the cultures are quite different, I would only hope that I would be cared for and loved by others so that the transition of moving could be made easier.

What a great example of the Christian lifestyle we are to others, when we show love and respect for all- no matter how different they may SEEM to be from us.  If we attempt to put ourselves in the shoes of those who are refugees, we could think of a life of starting over.  You are separated from family, you miss certain aspects of your historical roots at home, and/or you may have been taken away from an education or career you loved back home.  We need to embrace all cultures and all people with open arms, as that is what God has called us to do.  He has called us to be Christ-like, and that means showing love for all.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

The world can seem full of hate as we turn on the news, but we can be the beckon of hope for others.  Do not be quick to judge someone, but be open towards them instead with love and compassion.  Everyone has beauty and has a story to be told, whether it be someone in your classroom, your office, or in your neighbourhood.  No matter who, no matter where, we have a job to do, and that is to love others.

I challenge you readers today, to love someone who you would normally find harder to love.  I also challenge you to be open-armed and gentle with everyone who crosses your path.

Until Next Time,
~Taylor

Taylor's Posts, {Love}

{Love} “The Greatest of These Is Love”

Written By: Taylor Fast

Love is a very powerful emotion, and can mean different things with different people.  We love our friends, our pets, our family, and our significant other, but this love comes in all different forms.  We love them because they have a mutual love for us, and because they bring qualities that we really respect, or in the case of a pet- they are just so adorable, how can you not love them?

One of the strongest bonds of love I have seen is the love between family members.  Recently, there has been a very close family member of mine who has been struggling with health issues.  We had experienced a recent hospital visit that scared us all.  The love I saw for this person by my family members was enough to bring me to tears.  The connection, the hope, and the trust that my family showed for our loved one in need was pretty incredible.  We were all scared and uncertain of what the future would hold for this person in our lives, but God provided.  In these moments it is incredible to imagine that God’s love for us is just like the love I have explained above.  God’s love for us is selfless and is everlasting.

The hospital visits were scary as we were told to wear gowns just to see our sick family member, but God prevailed.  God was able to bring healing in our family.  Through the physical and emotional pain, results were given and the healing could begin.

Though these health issues are a daily battle- our family sticks together and I am so thankful for the love we all have for each other.  I am also thankful that God shows this same love for us everyday.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

When you are feeling like love is lacking in your life, remember all the ones close to you that God has surrounded you with and blessed you with.  Also, never forget the fact that God loved you so much, that He allowed His Son to die for us.  There is no greater love then this.

Until Next Time,
~Taylor

Taylor's Posts, {Life}

{Life} Lifeline

god_is_faithful

Written By: Taylor Fast

Life has a way of not going as planned, have you ever noticed that?  My husband and I recently went on our honeymoon to Jamaica.  We had a pretty incredible time as I got to scratch quite a few things off my bucket list of ‘Travel To-Do’s’, but we experienced quite the scare when we were there!

For a couple days while we were in Jamaica, I got extremely sick; I experienced shaking, vomiting, fever, and dizziness.  I was terrified to now be treated with a medical system from a different country and had no idea what was wrong.  I also felt awful for my husband, who had to stand by my side through the nights when I could hardly stand myself.  It ended up after IV’s and countless needles that I experienced heat stroke and also got myself a lovely bacterium from something I ingested!  After I was treated, I felt a million times better, but there is no way I could have managed without my husband.

This man was my advocate, he cared for me, and he did not take out any anger on me from him not being able to do some activities we had planned because of my illnesses.  Do I still feel awful about it?  Actually, yes!  I still get that nasty pit-in-the-gut feeling that I ruined a part of what is suppose to be a magical experience, but my husband never once blamed me, which I think is pretty awesome.

This life experience taught me quite a bit though.  God was faithful to me and I was able to get back to normal pretty quickly.  I had to put my trust in Him, and He followed through.  I was terrified being in a doctor’s office in a country I did not know, but God was faithful in my life.  I know there will be many more circumstances where my husband and I will be tested throughout life, but this causes us to grow as Christians.  It is so important to continually grow in God, so when the storms of life come, it is time to grasp tightly to the word of God and have faith.  He will provide.

Though that week was not exactly as I had planned, God showed His goodness, and thanks to a quick recovery my husband and I have some pretty awesome memories from our week in Jamaica, and a few funny ones.  (You should have seen my sunburn- word to the wise, where a hat always if you go there).

For those of you, who may be struggling due to an unforeseen or even scary life circumstance, hold on to the promises of God today.  The storm will cease and you will come out stronger then before.

“Whoever goes to the Lord for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to Him “You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust. “ Psalm 91:1-2

Until Next Time,
~Taylor

Taylor's Posts, Uncategorized, {Faith}

{Faith} Faith in Uncertainty

faith-black-white

Written By: Taylor Fast

It is easy to have faith in God when things are going well.  We know God has our back and we are pretty happy with the plan that is put out in front of our lives- faith is easy!  What about having faith in times of uncertainty?  Do you have faith God will be your guide?  Do you remain faithful to God in these times of uncertainty?

I feel like as you enter into the twenty something years of life, there are MANY things that are uncertain.  What school do you want to go to?  What are you going to do for a career?  Who are you going to marrying?  Where are you going to live?  How do you pay for all these things?  (Okay, I’m stressing myself out!)  In my life, graduation from the masters program I am in is right around the corner.  This uncertainty of finally being done school and transitioning into finding a job, and starting my career, is a bit scary!  This is a new role in my life, and change can stress anyone out!

This moment reminds me of walking into a tunnel, it’s dark, you can only see a bit in front of you- but there is someone holding your hand guiding the way.  God is our guide!  Though we may not be able to see much of the pathway, and the pathway can be quite scary at times, our God is always faithful and He will always guide us to safety.

When life gets scary, exciting, or is staying consistent, acknowledge God.  He is with you!  Sometimes it is hard to know if God is listening or cares about what you are going through.  This is when it is time to dig into His Word.  The scriptures show time and time again how God never left His people, and how those words are still true today.

God is always faithful; make sure you continue to be faithful to Him.  The world is sinful and full of uncertainty, but we have a strong God to lean on through all of our problems, one who we can call Father.  Some of our worldly fathers may not be faithful, but our Heavenly Father will never fail you.  Stay strong through your uncertainty today; God is guiding you.

Until Next Time,
~Taylor