"And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than the known way.'" (Minnie Haskins)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Building my house.

As  new wife, I thought going a little deeper into Proverbs 14:1 wouldn't be a bad idea. Doing studies like these, I don't like to think I just know what a word is. I try and define key words and go deeper into everything. Doing that with 'joy' really did a lot for my heart and gave me a greater appreciation for that word. I thought I had known what it meant to be joyful... so anyways... here's the beginning part of my study. None of this is earth shattering. Just a good reminder for me.

"The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down." Proverbs 14:1
"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established. By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." Proverbs 24:3-4
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (synonym of understanding)." Proverbs 9:10

Wisdom builds a house. So how do you get wisdom? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of the wisdom. What is the fear of the LORD? The Fear of the LORD is reverance of God's majesty and a dread of His wrath. (Matthew Henry Commentary). [Side study - LORD: Yahweh (Hebrew): He who is. I am who I am.]

Insight/understanding establishes a house. According to the Matthew Henry Commentary this references the foundation on which the house is built. What am I understanding? The knowledge of the Holy One. Makes sense. Without a foundation of knowing who my God is, how can I fear Him? How can I stand in awe of Him?

"Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart." Psalm 119:34
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5
"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly." Proverbs 14:29

Obedience flowing out of moral obligation doesn't work. All the things that will build my house - make me a better wife and mother - flow out of my understanding of who God is and my fear of my LORD. A gentle & quiet heart. Being fast to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Seflessness. Forgiveness and reconciliation. Taking up my cross.
O LORD, more love for Thee! More love for Thee! Marriage and relationships in general reveal my heart and how little I must know and fear Thee! More love for Thee is my prayer!

"Lord, Dissolve My Frozen Heart."
Lord, dissolve my frozen heart
By the beams of Love Divine;
This alone can warmth impart
To dissolve a heart like mine.

O that love, how vast it is!
Vast, it seems, though known in part;
Strange indeed, if love like this
Should not melt the frozen heart.

The love of Christ passes knowledge.
The Love of Christ eases fear.
The love of Christ hits a man’s heart;
It pierces him like a spear.

Savior, let thy love be felt,
Let it’s power be felt by me,
Then my frozen heart shall melt,
Melt in love, o Lord to thee.

Monday, December 12, 2011

update in pictures

I am so far behind blogging... so what do I do when I am on hold with the Fulton County Tax Office FOREVER waiting to uncover a mystery... sign Christmas cards and update my blog.
Shannon came down for wedding dress shopping.
Meant the world to me!
My adopted, beloved niece - Celeste - just LOVED Shannon!

Drove up with Joy to get a load from Oma's storage unit.
Oma here is telling me to say 'yes, and then go and do whatever I want to do.'

Jeremy & I in Charleston, NC.
Loved getting to just walk around the cities with him and just be together.

We surprised Jeremy's grandma for her 86th birthday.
Here is sweet Grandma Taylor with her 4 boys.

Jeremy and I outside Grandma Taylor's home in Nashville, TN.
Jeremy & I at Sun in My Belly for Angie's big meeting.
I think I may be a bad influence on him. :)
He makes me laugh and smile so much!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Safer than a Known Way: August Letter

It amazes me how while God continues to keep me in Atlanta – and I am fast approaching 8 years here – He still finds ways to dramatically change my world. The newest change in my life was brought by a small present given to me a couple of weeks ago. And while this present may have been the smallest one I have received to date, it brings the biggest change.

Three little diamonds on my finger and suddenly my world has been filled to the brim with phone calls, endless details, and sweet visits. That’s right, people, God brought into my life an amazing man who has so gently and patiently pursued my heart.

I met Jeremy – yes, he has the same name as my brother – Taylor at East Point Church two years ago. He proposed late June 23rd in the sanctuary of our church. He told me he had forgotten his Sunday school book at church and wanted to go and get it. I almost gave him a hard time about abusing his deacon privileges, but when I saw the Bible on our normal pew with ‘Christy Anne Taylor’ inscribed on the cover I was thankful I hadn’t. We plan on marrying at East Point Church on November 12.

The upcoming wedding also means an upcoming move, as a year ago Jeremy bought his first house in the one of the neighborhoods surrounding our church. One of the things I love about East Point Church is its parish type mentality and desire to encourage its members to move into the neighborhood. I LOVE this, but am a little sad that it will mean saying goodbye to my home in South Atlanta. I know the relationships I have developed over the past 6 years though will continue… and I always knew when it was time for my ministry to partner with a new neighborhood I probably would be leaving to set up residency there. Selfishly I am praying that neighborhood is in East Point. I would love to have my church become a direct partner with my work. But even it if it is not… I trust God to make a way for me to build relationships in the new community, and thankfully Jeremy is very open to living in inner city some day.

Other personal happenings:
·         I chopped at least 5 inches off my hair – shortest it has been in 5 or 6 years. Loving it. Enjoying the ease of wearing it waving. Feels good in the hot summer months.
·         Drove up to Chattanooga to help my grandmother move her collection of holiday decorations out of a 10 by 10 storage unit. Drove back to Atlanta with a car load of decorations for a friend at church. My grandmother kept me laughing the whole entire time.
·         My beloved big sis drove all the way from Nashville with her friend – Melba Anne – to do a little shopping with me. I hate shopping, so it was really nice to have her with me and meant the world to me.
·         In July I wore one dress for a month, so that I might spend some intentional time learning about sex trafficking in Atlanta. A co-worker and I started a blog to share what we learned - http://one-dress.blogspot.com. A friend of my mine in North Carolina has taken the blog over for the month of August. We hope to keep passing it along and might even have an Atlanta charter school taking it on for a month.

Safer than the Known Way: September Letter

One of the favorite parts of my job is walking the streets. Around here I get one or two raised eyebrows when I say that, as well as an occasional crack about ‘my other job.’
Generally everyone knows what I mean, though in the neighborhood there occasionally arises some slight confusion, such as this morning when the man in the black sedan with Pennsylvania tags asked me – with the sun beaming and birds chirping – if I needed a ride. When I said, ‘No, I live here,’ he in turn said, ‘I can still give you a ride if you know what I mean.’
Yes, I knew what he meant. And no, I am not looking for a way to earn a few extra dollars to support my drug habit. Are my eyes yellow and blood shot? No. Drug free thank you very much.
Despite occasional run-in’s like that, I do enjoy walking the streets.
I love walking the hilly streets lined with historic bungalows. I love soaking in the sun and listening to the hum of birds singing. I love not sitting behind a desk on a beautiful day.
But walking the streets is not my way of escaping from work. Walking the streets enables me to know my neighborhood. I walk with a folded 8 by 10 map of South Atlanta, pen and small notebook. I jot down changes to the infrastructure, mark code issues, and note the presence of new neighbors. By walking the streets I can tell you which areas have neighbors looking after neighbors and which are so marred by vacancies that the few remaining residents are vulnerable to break-ins and other criminal activity. And I can tell you where the drug dealers have set up shop.
Probably what I love most about walking the streets are all the random, unplanned opportunities it provides to interact with my neighbors – from the older man sitting on the front porch eating Ritz Crackers to Ms. Mary who keeps a bird like eye on her street. I love old Eddie Simons calling me up to his porch to tell me he is keeping watch over me. And lately I have loved all the concerned inquiries about the rumors they hear of me moving now that I am engaged; and I love the sighs of relief when they learn my new home is just a short 3 miles outside of the community. I love all these little interruptions – the moments of listening, laughing, encouraging and praying.
And by walking the neighborhood I am known. If people in South Atlanta do not recognize my name, I have been told that all one has to do is say ‘she’s the short white girl with the camera’ and folks will nod that they do indeed know me.
It is good to be known.

blast from the past

Friday, September 16, 2011

picture update

me and my current roommie - Carrie

Elise Duncason - Jeremy & I had a 'date' with her one day after church.

me, carrie, jennifer, and joy - hanging out on the steps of my future home after joy & i hosted women's fellowship there a couple of saturdays ago. we took lots of funny photos and giggled so much... don't think the current Orr drive guys do that. :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

the Pecan

Checking out the Pecan restaurant where the rehearsal dinner will be...

Monday, August 22, 2011

new haircut

Now that my hair is short... I have to get it cut with a little bit more frequency. Got it cut last week. This style is one that is more for the waves than the straightness. Really enjoying it.

catch up on my life

My one-dress blog has been done for a couple of weeks now, but I haven't updated this family blog for awhile. Oops. :)


Jeremy (JT) brings me coffee Sunday mornings

we started marriage counseling this week - every Sunday at 6 pm

Shoes to wear with my wedding dress

got them on sale for $10 at my favorite little Decatur boutique

South Atlanta Civic League Meeting (1st Monday of every month)

my Covenant summer intern's presentation at the SACL meeting

my SACL minutes
Neighborhood Planning Unit - Y Meeting (3rd Monday of every month)

Land Bank Authority Meeting
There's a Starbucks close to the LBA... so I treat myself with a carmel iced coffee and then walk over the meeting.

I've been attending these meetings for the past 7 years. Rhonda told me a couple of years ago that they've watched me grow up. They called me out during the board meeting when they saw the flash of my engagement ring. :)

Representing Charis at city hall

my office space
go ikea!

downtown exploring
dropping off NSP paperwork at city hall... it's been a really neat opportunity to be a Christian witness... this is a statue at city hall that I just do NOT get

me walking around downtown for meetings, as well as visits to the tax office & city hall

my favorite going-to-be-downtown-all-day parking lot

Thursday, July 7, 2011

a few photos from June & July

My Newest Project

I'm wearing one dress for  month.  Probably will be a little delinquent in posting on this blog while I post on One Dress - One Month. Check it out...

P.S. I have really enjoyed the ease of wearing my shorter hair wavy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

my haircut

I chopped off about 5-6 inches...

Another 'Safer than a Known Way' Sneak Preview

I am…
·         Christian
·         Reformed
·         Female
·         INFP (Meyer Briggs)
·         White
·         American
·         Army BRAT
·         Third Culture Kid
·         Baby in a Family of 5
·         Urban Community Developer/Organizer
·         Southern
            Single, but in a Relationship
·         5’2

I am distinctly me. And who I am – who God created me to be – impacts and even colors how I perceive the world around me. To fully understand my actions and my words, you must fully understand me – what lies at the core of who I am. And the same goes for you. For me to communicate well with you, I need to put myself in your shoes – take the time to look at things not only through how I perceive things, but to see things through your eyes as well. I find that much of my misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and misassumptions come from my failure to look at the world through other people’s eyes.

And to my surprise this impacts even the smallest of things. Did you know that text books and even the questions on standardized tests are written largely by white people? The wording of these questions connects with children raised in cultures similar to the authors putting children raised in my neighborhood at a slight disadvantage. We need an educational system that sees the unique and adapts for the uniqueness of each child.

And because I work for Robert (Bob) Lupton[i], I frequently get calls from all around the country seeking advice on how the caller can implement what we do in his/her neighborhood. I attempt to lay out what we do in the context of my unique neighborhood all the while explaining the importance of listening to residents, getting to know every aspect of the community, and – most importantly – praying for wisdom and discernment. And I also attempt to share that if the person does not fit the typical profile of the community, he/she needs to be extremely aware of the differences between his/her perspective and that of the community.

I am at awe with how when Jesus interacted with folks while on earth He spoke directly to where each individual was. I think about how He called His disciples to how he spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well to how He handled the Pharisees. Oh how I pray for discernment from my Lord to truly see each person who crosses my path.

Love, Christy
Not on the list in my letter, but probably should be - Worrier/Controller in Re-covery. Time Freak.

[i] Robert Lupton is well-known and respected in the Christian Community Development world.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nikon 7000 and Holga

I'm looking forward to playing with a new (Nikon 7000) friend and an old (Holga) friend. The place I bought my new camera had 120 film - woo hoo. Going to go out and shoot a roll of film in my neighborhood, get it developed and then take it with a new role to New York City! So excited!