Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Buckshot - A Dog's Tale

One year ago today, I stopped by the Humane Society to have a look at the dogs.  I was toying with the idea of getting one for my husband for Christmas.

There, I met "Buckshot" for the first time.  What a handsome fella he was! 

He was friendly too, and seemed well mannered (for a rescue dog)

My son and I played with the dog for a few minutes, then I asked the volunteer some questions and he went to retrieve Buck's file.   The volunteer came back with "good news/bad news" Buck was technically still available, but there were already two applications in for him.  Both applications were in the process of being approved (or denied) I was invited to fill one out and add it to the list "just in case"  Then, even though the chances of being allowed to adopt Buck were slim, the application would remain on file and we wouldn't have to go through the approval process when another dog we liked became available. 

I filled one out, but because of Buck's obvious popularity, I didn't think for a minute he would ever be our dog.  

The volunteer took Buck back to his kennel while I filled out paperwork that seemed more like I was trying to adopt a child than rescue a canine!

The lady behind the desk smiled and took the clipboard from me.  Then, I overheard her making a phone call to the vet who'd cared for our last dog, who'd passed at the age of 13 a year and a half before. She was checking our references already!  I didn't know whether to be excited, or scared!

She hung up the phone, then told me I could send my son back to get the dog while I paid his adoption fees.

That's when Buck officially became "ours" 

Back at the house, he sought out our bed and bid us good-night promptly at 8:30!  

He knew he was "home!"

It's been quite a year since Buck joined the family!  He's been a very busy boy!

 Walt wasn't fully convinced at first, but eventually, he was smitten.

Buck went to visit Grand-mom in south Georgia the weekend after he joined our family. 
(He only threw up twice!)
Then, he traveled all the way to Ohio and met his cousin, Heidi. 

Buck loves all God's creatures!

Especially "his" cat, Elly-Mae (also a rescue)

And everyone loves Buck! We're so glad he chose US!

"Buckshot (Buck) Taylor"
Joined the family 12/5/2011

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ich lerne Deutsch zu sprechen

Ich lerne Deutsch zu sprechen
(I am learning to speak German!)

OK, I'll admit I had to do a Google translation just to be sure I got the title to this blog post right. My lessons in Deutsch haven't gotten me to the point of being able to have a real conversation using the German language yet, but someday I fully intend to be able to do just that.

You know, just in case I run into a real German some where ... like in Germany, for example!

I've always been intrigued by the German language, probably because a large part of my heritage is German.  I'm also part American Indian (Cherokee) English, and a pint or two of Irish (or is it Scottish?) mixed in.

Oh, fine .. born and raised in southern Ohio, I am more plain old "Appalachian" than anything. Not that the Appalachian people are truly plain.  To the contrary, they are fascinating. I've studied that culture a good bit, but I already speak "Appalachian" so, no need to order lessons from "Rosetta Stone"  (No, I don't really believe there is such a course available)

I studied German in high school and am surprised at how much of it is coming back to me in these early lessons.  I also remember enough about it, to not be surprised that the "genders" of nouns still drive me crazy. That part of each lesson is proving to be every bit as difficult for me as it was those many years ago.

Overall, I find this to be encouraging, as I am convinced that all that information is still floating around in my cranium somewhere and will make it easier for me to learn the language beyond reading signs and locating restrooms when the need presents itself.

So, there you have it!

"Ich lerne Deutsch zu sprechen" and I'm having a blast just thinking of how it's going to pay off in the future!

Auf Wiedersehen!
(I didn't even have to Google that one!)

Becky J. Taylor
Bold New Day! LLC
Reinvention Coaching for Women 

Follow Your Passion! Pursue Your Purpose!
Become the Person You Know You Were Born to Be!

(in this case, even if it's an old German woman! lol)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Off Ramps

I left rehearsal around 1:15 a.m. Saturday morning and went to the hotel for what promised to be a very short night. An early call-time ahead, combined with my aching back would surely mean any amount of sleep at all would be a challenge. 

It was even more so than I imagined. 

Every time I started to drift off, I saw a very clear picture of an "off-ramp" in my head.  This happened at least a dozen times. It was never the same off-ramp, but rather different ramps parting from different roads. There were interstate highways, two lane highways, and country roads, but all with one thing in common. Every one had an off-ramp and I knew I was about to take it.   

And each time one appeared, I was startled awake. 

By the time I'd seen eight or so, I had to chuckle and tell God, "OK! I'm listening, but please explain so I can get some sleep!"   Eventually, I was able to doze off for a couple hours before the alarm sounded.

During breakfast that morning, I was talking to a cast-mate about the dreams/visions.  I feel they indicate that my life is about to take another course.  She agreed with me on that much of the interpretation, but had nothing further to offer on the matter. 

I've been milling it over, and two days later,  I still don't have a clue.  

Why the different roads?  

Why another off-ramp at this point in my life?  

Where do all these off ramps lead to?  

I know God doesn't give His children such visions without a reason for doing so.  I know the answer will come in His perfect timing.  

OK, God!  I am listening, and I'm ready for You to explain the mystery of the off ramp! 

Becky J. Taylor
Bold New Day! LLC


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Moments of Expectation and God-Incidence (and a Little Fun!)

"One moment of expectation in the presence of God can change your life." 
(Bishop John Wesley Pace, II)

I was sitting at dinner the other night listening to Walt and Pastor Odai talk about Pastor's schedule while he's in the states.  Without even thinking, really, I interjected "I wonder if John Pace (my friend and former "stage husband") would be able to get an interview on Atlanta Live for Pastor Odai while he's here?"

A few text messages and 24 hours later, he was scheduled to appear on the show. We randomly chose Tuesday night from the list of dates we were given.

I drove Pastor Odai to the studio last night to be interviewed and introduced him to John, who was hosting the show. As it turns out, John is going to be in Ghana next May. Pastor Odai offered his guest house to him while he's there.

Speaking of "small worlds", While at the studio, I ran into Jason Bare, extraordinary singer/songwriter, and good friend of my niece  Felicia Barton.  Jason lives in Virginia Beach and Felicia lives in Nashville.  I've never met Jason but recognized him from hearing Felicia talk about him.  Who would've thought I'd run into him in Atlanta?  What a fun moment that was!

Although I've heard Pastor Odai speak many times, his message during this interview was particularly electrifying.  There was a tangible anointing in the waiting room where I sat, watching the show.  I sure didn't expect that!

As I finished watching the second half of the show at home (thanks to Mr. Taylor who recorded it for me) it was as if Bishop Pace were talking directly to me.  He spoke about expectations (or lack thereof)  Little did he know that I'd all but given up on "expecting" anything.  My faith has been at an all time low over the last couple years. I've been asking God to increase my faith and help my unbelief.  Bishop Pace's message spoke directly to the emotional/spiritual conflicts I've been dealing with lately.  

Excerpt:   "You've buried some things that you had expectation for.  That dream, that goal, that vision you thought was dead has just been in a comatose state.  It has just been asleep.  God is about to speak a Word into that dead thing in your life.  He is going to cause it to rise.  There is a resurrection that's about to happen to the deadest goal, the deadest dream, the deadest aspiration you have ever buried in your life. Get your shovel and start digging up every dream you've ever buried. If you sow your seed of expectation in the presence of Jesus, you will receive your harvest by touching the hem of his garment. I am here to prophesy to you that your dead thing is in a season that it's about to breath life. God will come to you and say "Fear not, because you're about to LIVE.  I'm about to breathe life into your situation."  Your seed of expectation will  change the moment that you are standing in.  Expect God to do for you what you have never expected Him to do in your life!"  

Alright, so I know the message was not for me alone.  I'm sure there are others it was targeted to as well. That's why I am sharing it today.

God never ceases to amaze me.  I went to the studio last night with no expectations to speak of.  I ended up seeing my friend/former cast mate, John.   I also got to meet Jason Bare and we had a great time laughing about the "irony" of it all.   I called Walt on the way home and asked him to be sure and keep recording the rest of the show, because I wanted to hear Jason's songs and interview.  I certainly didn't expect to receive the anointed Word I was given by, of all people, my friend John.

It was a good day. I've been needing one of those.  I went to bed feeling more encouraged than I've felt in ages.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find my shovel.  According to God (via Bishop John Wesley Pace II) I've got some digging to do!

Becky Taylor

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So Long Superman!

A while back, I wrote in my blog about the many times my 93 year old Father has cheated death over the years. In my post, I referred to him as "Superman" At times, it seemed that he might actually live forever.

I am sad to report that "Superman" finally met his Kryptonite and passed away on Sept. 15th, 2012.

It seems silly to say his death was unexpected.  He was 93 years old after all, but he'd survived yet another life threatening incident in mid-August when the car he was riding in went out of control and landed on it's top in a field.  My daughter, who was driving at the time, and my two year old grandson escaped unharmed.

So did my Father, it seemed.  As a precaution, he was transferred to Ohio State University Hospital via LifeFlight.  He had cuts and scrapes, bumps and bruises, but was expected to go home the following day.  Whew! What a close call!  We were so thankful that he was relatively unharmed.

The night before he was to be released, he ate his dinner at the hospital, in good spirits. I talked to my sister around 8:00 p.m. and she gave me the details of his injuries (or lack thereof) We laughed at the notion that Dad was pretty darn near indestructible!

I was just beginning to doze off that same night when the phone rang around midnight.  It was my niece.  She said the hospital had called and wanted to know "to what extent we wanted to go" in order to save my father's life.


Apparently Dad had inhaled a bite of his dinner and aspirate pneumonia had set in. They were able to go in and get the food particle out, but the effects had caused them to have to move him from the regular unit to Intensive Care, where he was now fighting for his life.  I was stunned, and needless to say unable to sleep at all that night.

And so the roller coaster ride began.  What followed would be two weeks of ups and downs, having our hopes soar one day, only to be crushed the next.  He was one tough old bird and fought as hard as he could right up to the end.

We drove to Ohio Labor Day weekend to visit Dad in ICU.  It was heartbreaking to see him struggling the way he was. His breathing was terribly labored, and he didn't understand why he had to be tied to the bed. Yet, he continued to entertain us all with his jokes and silly comments.  I felt with all my heart, that he was going to come out of that hospital with yet another story of survival to tell.

A week later, Dad was well enough to be scheduled for release to another facility where he would continue his recovery.

We breathed a sigh of relief once again.

But it was not to be just yet.  Two days before his planned transfer, the doctor diagnosed him with an obstructed bowel.  Normally, an obstructed bowel can be surgically treated, but since Dad was already in such a fragile condition, the doctor gave us no hope that he would survive such a complicated, lengthy procedure.  We were given the option of allowing them to do a colonoscopy, which may or may not straighten the bowel out- or do nothing but make Dad comfortable and let him slip away.

Had my Father not shown such a strong will to survive, I might have agreed to the latter choice, but less than 24 hours earlier, he had asked my daughter to pray for him to recover.  He said, "Where two or more agree on anything in His name, it shall be done!"  Dad had always been a man of great faith, and this situation was no exception.

It was after 2:00 in the morning when the doctor explained the depressing odds to me from my Dad's bedside.  Dire as it seemed, I didn't see where we had any choice but to give him every possible chance to recover.  If the colonoscopy didn't work, then I would've felt we'd done all we could for him. If we didn't allow the colonscopy and he died, I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself.

Later, that same afternoon, my daughter sent a picture she'd taken of Dad to me.  He was making a "silly face" for the camera.

I laughed and cried at the same time when I saw it.  How could a man in such great spirits be at death's door?  He wanted so badly to live.  He wanted so much to keep being "Dad"  I begged God to give us a miracle for him and asked everyone I knew to agree with me in that prayer.

"Wherever two or more agree ..."

By evening, we got that miracle when we received word that Dad's bowel was not obstructed after all!  I cried happy tears when I heard the news!  I told everyone about God's answer to our prayers.  It was really two miracles in one, because I'd also been asking God to help me believe like I'd once believed.  I rejoiced on both counts!

Less than a week later, Dad was tranferred from the hospital to my sister's house.  We all knew he still had a long road ahead of him but were optimistic.  With all that had happened, it didn't seem like Dad's work on this earth was finished just yet.

Unfortunately, and without any real warning, he passed away only two days after leaving the hospital.

My Father was well loved. People were lined up all the way out the door for four solid hours the night of his visitation. We had a beautiful home-going service for him on Sept. 20th in the church he helped to build over 30 years ago. He was laid to rest beside my mother in Little Mound Cemetery, just down the road from the house he and my mother shared their entire marriage.

I am still struggling to understand all the "whys" of the situation.  I also know that is a question I won't get the answer to on this side of Heaven. As I said, it may seem silly given the fact he lived 93 long, happy, prosperous years.

But to me, he has always been "Superman" and everyone knows that "Superman" is never suppose to die!

One month to the day after his death, I dreamed about him.  He was sitting on a bench with one of my uncles who is also deceased. Dad appeared to be young and healthy again.  He smiled and spoke to me.  I told him I missed him and loved him, and he said he missed and loved me too. Then he said, "But I'm alright now, Beck."  And he smiled, his eyes twinkling with mischief and delight.

I turned to call for my sister to come see him, but when I turned back around, he was gone again.

Dad never was one to sit still for long.

The dream was a gift from God. I believe that and I am thankful for it.  I know my "Superman" is now truly immortal.  Despite my unanswered questions and anxiety surrounding the circumstances of his death, I find peace in that knowledge.

So long for now, Superman!  I know I'll see you again someday. Until then you will live on in my dreams.