From the Mouth of Babes: How One Mother’s Heart Encouraged Mine

When it comes to friends, God has really outdone Himself in my life. Although most of them live miles and miles away from me, my dearest friends are some of the smartest, most talented, most beautiful, most loving, wisest, most godly, kindest, sweetest, bravest, most wonderful women on the planet. Most of the time I wonder how on earth I came to deserve them because they are just so darn amazing.

One friend, in particular, holds a very special place in my heart because I have never – and I mean never – met anyone with the heart of compassion that beats in her chest. Kara and I have been through so much together. We were in the same orientation group at our undergraduate Alma Matter and became instant friends. We’ve lived together, watched each other get married, been pregnant together, laughed together, cried together, lost and found contact with one another, forgiven each other, blessed each other, build each other up, and become sisters over the course of one of the most important friendships of my entire life. In addition to all of this, watching her raise her children has blessed my heart in countless ways. Her faithfulness and attentiveness to her daughters is a joy and an inspiration. To say I love this woman is an understatement.

True to form, my sweet Kara wrote a post on Facebook yesterday that was saturated in Christ-likeness, tenderness of heart, love, sincerity, and genuine praise for our good God. In sharing her mother’s heart, she was able to bless my own (and many others’) in an intensely impactful way.

So, without further ado, here is Kara’s post (and soul-blessing photo) about a trip she and the girls took to Papa’s seminary campus yesterday…

“We went for a walk around campus this morning. We have never paid much attention to this statue or ever talked to Em about it. She saw it, pointed at it, and without any hesitation yelled, “Jesus!!” Colby and I looked at each other like, “Did you tell her that? I didn’t!” We went to go look at it and Em took off running, excited to see Jesus. Colby asked her which one she thought was Jesus. I thought she would for sure point to the one sitting. He is taller and seems bigger. But Em immediately knelt down, put her small, sweet hand on Jesus’ forearm and said, “Jesus.” She didn’t stop looking at Him until we left. The sweet faith of a child is something amazing to behold. This isn’t the first time Em has known more than she has been taught about Jesus. I am in awe that God has somehow, inexplainably, supernaturally blessed her with a knowledge and love about Himself. It gives me hope and reminds me how much God loves her, but also how much He loves me. To witness His guidance in my little baby’s life despite my failures shows me His grace and mercy in a way I so needed during this season.”

I’m so glad I got to share a little bit of my Kara’s heart with you all. Just by being herself, she sharpens and encourages me in ways I will never be able to fully express.

God bless you, Kara, and may He continue to use your babies to grow and nurture you, just as your friendships grows and nurtures me.

Until Next Time My Friends,

S. Taylor (and her precious Kara),

The Taylor of All Trades

Your Husband’s Not a Dog and Sex is Not A Bone

I’m heartbroken to have to be writing this post. I’m not sure if it’s a generational thing, but the advice often given to younger women in the church regarding sex is not only discouraging, it’s also, I believe, sinful. I hesitate to use that word because I am very well aware of the dangerous types of legalism which are all too easy for nondenominational Christians, like myself, to be tempted by and even guilty of.

But, you know what, someone has to say something and I think that someone’s gonna be me. I can’t keep silent any longer. I am putting my foot down and making a stand because I have to.

Older women in the church keep saying the same things about sex, but what they’re saying is wrong. Someone has to let them know, gently and respectfully, that they are absolutely wrong and that what they are teaching younger women about sex is dangerous, selfish, and idolatrous.

I wouldn’t blame you if you told me to slow my roll, like, right now. The language I’m using may seem judgmental and/or disrespectful, especailly given the fact that I am technically a “younger woman.” “Who are you to point your finger at your elders and say they are wrong,” you might ask. It’s a fair question and one I’m glad you asked.

The answer is actually pretty simple: I am allowed to challenge my elders because what they are saying does not align with Scripture and what I am about to say does. I take no credit for the Truth, I only stand by it. The challenges I bring before the older women in the church are supported by God’s Word – nothing more, nothing less.

So why do I need to challenge the older women in the church? What messages about sex are they incorrectly sharing with others, especially younger women?

There are a few, but the most dangerous ones are:

  1. Women are not sexual beings, men are.
  2. Sex is not enjoyable, so learn to grin and bear it.
  3. Sex is the best way to get your husband to do what you want him to do.

Let’s address them one at a time.

First, older women in the church, including a large number of both male and female christian authors, have been saying for quite some time that women are, for the most part, non-sexual beings. We respond to sexual advances, but we generally don’t initiate or welcome them. Men are the ones with the constant urge to undress and get busy, but women have far more refined sensibilities, hardly any of which involve being naked.

In addition to having a general indifference toward and/or dislike for sex, women take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to orgasm, so much so that the effort required to have frequent, meaningful sex is more trouble than its worth.

I can’t remember which book (or joke) it was, but the analogy a male author used once was that women are like ovens and men are like microwaves. We women need to steep and stew – low and slow – in lavish amounts of relational intimacy, foreplay, and feelings of appreciation and affirmation before we will be “ready” to have sex, whereas men can go from frozen-to-hot-to-finished in less than 5 minutes.

So why is this message wrong?

First, it is clear from Scripture that women were created to desire and enjoy sex just as much as men were. Song of Solomon is a great resource women can turn to for examples of what God intended sexual arousal to look like within the bonds of marriage — for both men and women alike. Solomon’s lover is just as enamored with his body, his touch, and his lovin’ as he is with hers, and what’s more, we are given a very clear representation of longing, desire, passion, and premeditated urges from the woman’s perspective as well as the man’s. Even when they are apart, Solomon’s lover fantasizes about having sex with him, and rightly so…

Which leads me to the second lie older women in the church tell younger Christian women: sex is not enjoyable, so young Christian women need to learn to grin and bear it.

We know from 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 that sex is an expectation in marriage, whether or not one wants to have sex. That is, if we are married, we are expected to have sex. Although Paul does state that his words are not necessarily to be taken as a command, because they are inspired by God we can trust that they are aligned with God’s design for sex within marriage. So that means that sex within marriage should never be an afterthought, should be tended to as often as there is a felt need for it, and that the only reason to abstain from having sex with one’s spouse is for the purpose of serious, purposeful prayer about specific, intense issues. The idea here is that if you are married, not having sex should be the exception, not the rule.

That last paragraph needed to be written because if you are the type of woman who measures her husband’s sexual satisfaction in the frequency of sexual encounters rather than in your and his collective, overall level of sexual fulfillment, then the rule is: have sex with your husband as often as he wants it, whether or not you want to or enjoy sex.

Boy, doesn’t that sound like fun?

No, it doesn’t. And God knows that. That’s why He never intended sex to be something women do out of a sense of duty or obligation. He was wise enough to know that a rule like this needed to be written because, inevitably, women would rebel against pleasing and serving their husbands in every regard, including sex. But in much the same way that God loves a cheerful giver of money, he loves a cheerful lover as well.

God designed the female body to enjoy sex. If you don’t believe me, do a quick google search on the function of the clitoris. It serves but one function in the female anatomy: to provide pleasure and produce orgasms.

Yup. It’s true. We were designed to enjoy sex. We were created by God to feel intense pleasure and, some could argue, even more so than men because women are capable of having multiple orgasms while men are not.

God doesn’t want us having sex with our husbands grudgingly. He doesn’t want us grinning and bearing it out of a sense of duty or obligation. He didn’t design sex to be a chore or a responsibility and we know that because we can see (and feel) that He created us to experience intense pleasure with and because of our husbands.

It is true that sexual stimulation differs from one person to another and that some women take a little longer to orgasm than others. But it is a lie to say that sex is not enjoyable and it is a lie to say that the only way to survive sex in marriage is to grin and bear it.

On its best day, sex is presented to younger women in the church as a means to an end. This leads us to the third lie older women in the church tell younger women about sex: Sex is the best way to get your husband to do what you want him to do.

I cannot tell you how much this lie angers me. I can’t even tell you have often I’ve heard it because I’ve heard it too many times to count. I even heard it just last night.

“You need to give it to him in the bedroom. You have no idea how happy he’ll be to do things for you  if you make him happy in the bedroom. ” “When I have sex with my husband, he can’t wait to do things for me.” “Having sex with my husband puts a magic spell on him — he can’t wait to do things for me right after we’ve had sex.” “If he’s not doing what you asked him to do, just have sex with him.”

I could go on, but I won’t. You get the picture.

Let me be VERY clear: your husband’s not a dog and sex is not a bone.

God gifted sex to husbands and wives as a means of deriving great pleasure, unity, and joy, not as a tool for manipulation in the hands of a bossy wife.

Sex is not an obligation – something you do because you have to not because you want to. Sex is not a tool – a way to get things done. Sex is not currency – a way to pay for having things the way you want them. Sex is not a reward – something you deign to bestow on your husband when he has performed a trick to your satisfaction.

If you think sex is any of those things you have completely misunderstood God’s design for it in your marriage. Your sex life might be in shambles, you and your husband might be sexually unsatisfied, and you might be prone to believing one, two, or all of the lies presented in this post.

But why are these incorrect messages about sex damaging, idolatrous, and sinful?

Because, at their core, they greedily and perpetually worship self.

If you are told that you are not a sexual being, and you believe it, you won’t think it is a sin to withhold sex from your husband. You will think that your husband’s desire for sex is a result of him being the disgusting, insatiable animal he can’t help being, and he needs to get over the fact that he only gets sex as often as you decide he is worthy of having it. You make yourself the gatekeeper of sex in your marriage, and use what little power that fake position gives you to make your husband jump through hoops before you let him in. News flash: that’s horrible. Also, he will resent you for it if he doesn’t already.

Similarly, if you are told that sex is not enjoyable, and you believe it, you will not feel the need to work cooperatively with your husband to create a sex life that is equally enjoyable, stimulating, desirable, and unifying. You will not bother to communicate your fears, worries, disappointments, or questions about sex to your husband and you will resent having to engage in sexual intercourse when you get nothing out of it yourself. If you believe the lie that sex is not enjoyable for women or encourage other women to believe that lie, you are saying that God did not know what He was doing when He designed the female body or when he created the very act of sex. God has very clearly shown us in His Word (and in our bodies) that women should and are able to enjoy sex, so to claim otherwise is a massive lie that cannot be allowed to persist in the church.

Finally, if you have believed the lie that sex is the best way to get your husband to do what you want him to do, please, just stop. I can’t tell you how damaging this particular lie is in marriage. If you feel this way about sex or about your husband, you are debasing him, disrespecting him, dishonoring him, and insulting every noble, honest, brave, good, right, strong, motivating, loving thing that exists within him and you should be ashamed of yourself.

God did not design sex so that you could get your way. Let me say that again a little louder:


Sex is sacred. It’s weighty. It’s important. It’s foundational.

Your sex life matters to God. How you think about sex matters to God. How you feel about sex matters to God.

Rather than believing the lie that because you are a woman you are not a sexual being, why not learn about your body and help your husband learn about it too. Figure out how you can emulate Solomon’s lover, both in body and in mind. Figure out what feels good to you. If you don’t already, learn how to fantasize about your husband. Look at his body. Learn how to drool just thinking about it. Learn how to long for his body, for his touch. Teach him how to touch you. Tell him what feels good and gently correct him when he does something that doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to tell him you’d like to try something new. Don’t be afraid to ask him if he’d like to try something new. If both of you consent, it’s not sinful, and its not illegal, by all means – do it! Or try, I should say. It might not be all that successful at first, but try it again and again and again until it’s what you hoped it would be. And if it never pans out, try something else. You get the idea here – sex is supposed to be fun and you are supposed to enjoy it. If you don’t, find out why and figure out how to overcome whatever makes you shy away from it.

At the heart of this message, believe it or not, is hope. I hope each and every woman reading this message is able to experience the exhilarating pleasure God designed sex to produce in her marriage. I hope each and every man reading this message is encouraged to know that his wife is being encouraged to love and enjoy sex. I hope each and every wife reading this message is encouraged to see sex the way God sees it, not the way some older women in the church see it. I hope each and every husband reading this message learns how to pray for his wife in a new and more selfless way. And, if by chance you are not married and reading this message, I hope you carry it with you into your future and remember the most important thing anyone could ever tell you about anything at all: God’s design for your life is perfect, and He is good all the time.

Until Next Time My Friends,

S. Taylor

The Taylor of All Trades






Miscarrying at the Foot of the Cross: God’s Sovereignty in the Midst of Sadness

My story is not unlike the story of many women. The pain of losing a baby is not unique to me. I am not the first woman to miscarry and I won’t be the last.

But just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s easy. And just because I share this story, doesn’t mean it isn’t painful to recount. I would guess there are many women who still mourn the lives that never were, and that’s probably not something that ever really goes away. Not if you believe, as I do, that human life is a miracle every single time it happens – regardless of size or age.

Psalm 139: 13-16 provides a beautiful explanation of why miscarriage is such a sorrowful event:

13  For You formed my inward parts;
      You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
      Marvelous are Your works,
      And that my soul knows very well.
15  My frame was not hidden from You,
      When I was made in secret,
       And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
      And in Your book they all were written,
      The days fashioned for me,
      When as yet there were none of them.

When we lose a child to miscarriage, we are losing a whole person. A whole, eternal soul whose earthly days, although few, have been numbered from the beginning of time.

So even though miscarriage occurs quite often (in 10% of all known miscarriages for women under 40 and up to 33% of all known pregnancy in women over 40, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), it is a loss that is just as real as the loss of any other loved life.

So if you’ve lost a child to miscarriage and thought – even for a second – that your sadness is illegitimate, just know that it’s not. If Scripture is True (and it always is) the gift of life is a divine miracle that is preciously near to the heart of Almighty God. In Jeremiah 1:5 He states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” God’s eternal plan – which was written in eternity past and unfolds before us according to the perfection of His timing – always included the life of your precious baby, even if that child never grew larger than a lima bean. 

That was the case with our most recent pregnancy. We were so excited to welcome our fourth child into the world and were eagerly anticipating the blessings and challenges that newborn lives represent. As far as pregnancy detection goes, I usually know VERY early on that I am expecting because I am extremely regular. In addition to a consist monthly cycle, I had been taking pregnancy tests for a couple months because I knew that we were unofficially trying. As with all my pregnancies, I found out that I was expecting VERY early – around week four, just as I was anticipating the start of my next period. When it didn’t come, I knew I was pregnant. I bought a shirt that said, “THIS IS MY LAST ONE, SERIOUSLY,” and I was elated to be able to “gift” the news to my husband on his birthday. He took the news…um, well, the way any hard-working-man-who’se-hardly-ever-home-and-already-has-three-children-under-five would. A little shocked, a little worried, and a lot happy.

Like clockwork, I began to “feel” pregnant two weeks later. Nausea, raw meat aversions, increased appetite, exhaustion and fatigue, the works. As far as I could tell, this pregnancy was progressing exactly as it was supposed to. I’d had my pregnancy confirmed by my doctor and was excitedly awaiting my first official prenatal appointment and ultrasound which were scheduled to occur at around 10 weeks gestation.

But a few days before that appointment I turned to my husband and said, “I think something’s wrong.” As I thought about it, I realized I had stopped feeling pregnant. My nausea had disappeared and I hadn’t been feeling nearly as tired as I usually did at this point in my previous pregnancies. But Andrew, ever the rationalist, said, “Don’t worry. We won’t know what’s going on until we see the doctor.”

And that’s how we found out we’d lost our baby. Since it was our first prenatal appointment for this pregnancy, when we saw the doctor, he asked us the normal battery of questions – When was the start of your last period? How many pregnancies have you had? Any complications with your previous pregnancies or deliveries? And so on. After he’d finished asking all of his questions, he finished with, “anything you’d like to add?” And so I told him that I was concerned because I had been spotting the entire pregnancy – which was very abnormal for me; I’d never spotted with any of my other pregnancies – and that I thought something might be wrong.

My first clue should have been that he ordered an immediate ultrasound. Usually I have to wait two-three weeks before an opening, but 20 minutes after we saw the doctor, were in the ultrasound room. I’ll never forget how beautiful I thought that little alien was. All head and torso, with the smallest, sweetest little arm and leg buds. Just a perfect, precious person that was mine. My heart was so full of joy and o, how much I loved that child already. Andrew was sitting with our other three at the foot of the bed, and the only thing written in his features was pride. A life had been granted by God and we were ecstatic.

But our joy didn’t last long. I waited for the tech to let us hear the baby’s heart beat, but instead, she asked, “And you started your last period August 6th?” I thought it was an odd question because tech’s usually receive that information from the doctor, but I said, “Yes, the 6th.”

Her response should have been my second clue. “Hmmm,” she said. “The baby is measuring a little small for 10 weeks. More like eight weeks. I’m going to get these images upstairs and see what the doctor wants you to do.”

That should have been my third clue. Seeing doctors quickly is not our provider’s strong suit, and we’ve never seen the same doctor twice in one day within an hour’s time. But that day we did. The tech told us that the doctor wanted to see us immediately, so we headed back upstairs.

When he came in, the first thing he said was, “I have bad news about the baby. It’s small. It measures at eight weeks, but it should be measuring at 10.” Looking back, I feel like such a dunst. When he said that, I immediately thought he was going to tell me that there was something wrong with the way the baby was growing. I somehow thought he was going to tell us that they were able to see developmental abnormalities or physical handicaps or something like that. Not once, not even for a second, did I think he was telling me that my baby was dead. But he was.

“The tech wasn’t able to detect a heartbeat, and because of the size, we can tell the baby stopped growing two weeks ago.”

He kept talking, but I couldn’t figure out what he was telling me. “What?” I thought. “What is he saying? I…I don’t understand what he means.”

And then the hammer dropped. Suddenly I put two and two together and realized that someone whose heart wasn’t beating couldn’t be alive. This baby that we’d prayed for, that we loved so much already, that was so very wanted and precious and joyfully expected, just wasn’t going to come.

My heart was broken.

The doctor kept talking about what had to happen next. Natural passing. Medicated passing. Surgery.

I wasn’t listening. I was crying.

I think he realized we couldn’t process what he was saying, so he said he’d give us a minute to think and talk and then come back.

When he left Andrew and I sat in silence and cried.


We named our baby, Shiloh Lael, meaning, “Gift of God, Belonging to God.” That little life had been gifted to us, but the Lord chose to grant that eternal soul admittance into Glory before ever having spent one moment outside my womb.

We were devastated, but we were grateful. It was a stark reminder that none of our children belong to us. They all belong to God every moment of their lives, both their earthly and their eternal ones.

It doesn’t mean we don’t or wouldn’t deeply mourn the loss of them. Rather, it means we rest in the knowledge that every moment of their waking lives is intimately known by the great I AM, and we can trust that His will is best for them, whether or not it causes us pain along the way.

And, in this case, our pain was complete.

The days following the death of our baby were filled with fervent prayer. I had decided against a D&C because something about it rubbed my conscience the wrong way. Even though Shiloh was dead, the procedure seemed too much like an abortion for me to feel comfortable undergoing it.

And so I “hit the books.” I researched every alternative method to a D&C available to me, and settled on natural labor inducers, such as vitamin C, cinnamon, and intense physical activity.

I’ll never forget how much like real labor my miscarriage was.

I was standing in the kitchen making dinner for my three other children when my water broke.

Liquid rushed down my leg and pooled around my feet. And, because I was miscarrying, blood began to pool on the floor as well.

Not knowing what to do, I made my way upstairs and ran a bath. I called my husband and he made arrangements to come home. Since it was going to be a little while before he arrived, he called our good friend Julia and she rushed over to help with the kids while we waited for Andrew.

Within minutes the contractions started.

Now, I’ve had three babies, so I know what real labor pain feels like. It’s the most hideous thing on the planet. This was not like that. This was real, but it was significantly less intense than the kinds of labor you go into when you are birthing a 7 pound baby. On a scale from one to 10, if live births are an 11, this pain was closer to a 4. It was painful, but it was manageable.

Over the next 5 hours I contracted and bled and collected every single piece of tissue I could. I wanted to see, to really see, my baby. I wanted to hold Shiloh in my hand and know that I had done everything in my power to keep my baby whole. More than anything, I wanted closure.

It never came.

Although I did collect a great deal of tissue, nothing I collected looked like a baby.

When we took the tissue to the doctor the next day, he assured us that the white, brain-matter-looking tissue was our baby.

He explained that since it had been three weeks (by this point) since the baby had died, Shiloh’s body had begun to break down already and wouldn’t have been recognizable as a baby this late in the miscarriage process.

We had no other choice. We had to trust him.

What happened next is the reason I am writing this post.

After showing us exactly which tissues would have been Shiloh, our doctor turned toward the trashcan, opened it, and, as if our baby was nothing more than a soiled exam glove, moved to throw Shiloh away.

I immediately stood up and yelled, “wait!”

I explained we wanted to keep the baby and was surprised when he asked me why.

Did I really have to explain why burying our baby was a significant part of this process?

Shiloh was a real person. Someone who was once alive and now was dead. We were going to honor Shiloh’s death just as we did the passing of any other loved one. Shiloh wasn’t trash. Shiloh was a human being, our fourth child, an eternal being whom God knew before the very foundations of the earth were laid.

That’s what our sorrow was all about. When a child is conceived, a whole person comes into existence, regardless of how many earthly days that life has been granted.

We were grieving the days we didn’t have with this precious little life. We would never be able to kiss our baby’s forehead or count 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes. We would never hear our baby laugh or watch our baby take a wobbly first step. We would never dry our baby’s tears or encourage the dreaming of dreams. Our baby wasn’t called to spend time on this earth and we were grieving all the moments that were never meant to be.

That kind of grief doesn’t just go away. It never just disappears.

Sometimes, when I’ve had a chance to just be still, my mind turns toward Heaven and I think of Shiloh…of how much I love my precious baby and how much I am looking forward to seeing him or her when God calls me Home to Glory.

I am convinced I will know my Shiloh when we meet in Heaven and that the part of me that is Shiloh’s mom will finally be made whole.

But even if that isn’t true. Even if Heaven isn’t about wholeness, that doesn’t change the fact that God is good all the time and His will is perfect in all things.

Miscarrying Shiloh was one of the hardest trails God has ever asked Andrew and me to face. It brought a sadness to our hearts that will likely resurface many times throughout our lives.

But even in our sadness, we see God’s goodness. We don’t know why Shiloh was called home so soon and we don’t know how we will survive another devastation like this, should we be called to it.

But we do know one thing: God’s grace is sufficient.

Because of our loss, our understanding of God’s character has been deepened. We have found an endless vault of peace from which to draw, and our dependence on the Lord has increased in ways we never could have imagined.

Our love for and understanding of one another has matured and our hearts have experienced unity in a way that is altogether new.

Miscarrying Shiloh has brought us to the foot of the cross, and in that we are able to take joy.

We serve a loving Master. One Whose grace is immeasurable and in Whose perfect will we take refuge.

We can’t think of anyone more perfect to care for our precious Shiloh than the One who loved our baby first and wholly.

He who cares for Shiloh cares for us, and by that Truth, our hearts are mended.

Until Next Time My Friends,

S. Taylor

The Taylor of All Trades

“My Burden is Light”: Two Opposing Responses to God’s Will for Your Life

I’m in the little years. As I write this, my oldest is four and a half, my middle child is about to turn two, and my youngest is 10 months old. All three of them are huddled around me right now, and I have a feeling it’s going to take quite some time to get this article written.



One of my adoring fans. He must be involved in the writing of this post, he MUST.

In the past, I have often considered my children’s needs, which, as all mothers know can be relentless and unforgiving at times, to be demanding interruptions of the most mundane nature. Interruptions which inhibit productivity, disrupt functionality, and, most egregiously, deter me from reaching MY goals.

We’ve all been there. Weary of the incessantness of the requirements of motherhood on our time, body, intellect, heart, mind, soul, strength, and every ounce that’s left of our dwindlingly independent selves.

If this is how you feel today, I’m here to encourage you to recognize that you are holding onto an incorrect perspective of God’s design for your life and to provide an alternate perspective that is in keeping with the Truth of God’s Word.

But before I begin, I want to be very frank: this article is going to hurt a little bit. It’s going to prick your pride and defy your sense of entitlement. It’s going to call your sin out for what it really is, and will very likely offend you, especially if you’re the kind of mom that needs her insecurities coddled and her self-love justified. After all, you do so much for so many people so often, shouldn’t I, a mother who’s walking in your shoes and knows your struggles all too well, be the first person to validate, approve, and affirm you?

The short answer is: no.

If I love you, I will tell you the Truth…God’s Truth. I won’t share only those parts of Scripture that today’s world deems appropriate, nor will I shy away from holding up the mirror of Truth against which no false image of you can stand. This article is going to be the kind of mirror that shows you how ugly your selfishness really is, that shows you all your wrinkles, and lumps, and spots, and imperfections. But guess what, that’s the very best, most loving gift I can give you. Because once you realize how ugly you are, how weak and flawed you are, how desperate and needy you are, once your sin repulses you and your heart is broken before the Lord, THEN His beauty can shine through you. It is only when you empty yourself of YOU, that God’s perfect, sovereign, comforting, timely, FULFILLING will can be experienced. So, take heart. This article is going to hurt you, but only so that it can help you.

To begin, I’d like you to image two types of luggage with me. The first type is what I’ve dubbed The Hiker’s Steal-Bottomed Backpack. This backpack is large, heavy, full of tools and supplies, and self-contained. It has a finite amount of storage and gets heavier every time you add something. If you want to add something, often times you have to remove something else and it requires an expert understanding of its contents. The only way to add or remove things is through the top – because the bottom of the backpack is made of impenetrable, leak-proof steel – and you are the only person able to do the adding or removing. It isn’t good for much besides hiking and you would feel out of place lugging it around in any other setting.

The second type of luggage is very different. I call it The Mary Poppins Funnel-Bottomed Neckerpouch. It is light-weight, has an inexhaustible amount of internal storage space (just like Mary Poppins’), is flexible, travels well, is virtually invisible, its contents freely funnel out the bottom and can be utilized by everyone exposed to it, and it is capable of receiving input from many sources, not just one.

As you can tell, the first type of luggage is not the “good guy” in this scenario. And yet, this is often the type of luggage we carry around with us – spiritually speaking. We wake up one day, look behind us, and stagger beneath the weight of an enormous burden we feel utterly ill-equipped to bear. We are exhausted, our feet hurt, our back aches, our spirit is low, our self-esteem is shattered, and every time our husband, or children, or parents, or friends demand something of us, we have to find a way to make room in an already overly-stuffed backpack. To do this we need to ditch something that’s already in the pack, and, to our shame, that something is usually our time with the Lord, in prayer, or some other Godly pursuit. Over the years, we have amassed a huge store of Biblical Truths, tools and supplies that are meant to equip us for the path we have been called to tread, and yet, so often we don’t know how to apply those Truths, and so we cannot reap their benefits. We trudge along under the weight of our burden, selflessly serving our families, ministering in our churches, faithfully fulfilling our various obligations, clinging to the expectation that at some point during the day we will be able to shed our burden, put some distance between it and ourselves, and arbitrarily grant ourselves the respite we have so rightfully earned. We draw ourselves a bath, droop lifelessly into that much-needed, muscle-relaxing warm water, close our eyes, and exhale deeply.

“Ahhhhhh,” we think to ourselves. “This me time is JUST what I need.”

And then, seconds after we embark on our glorious, self-pampering detox journey…WEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHH! One of our littles begins to scream. Our eyes bolt open, the serenity of the moment is hurtled into oblivion, and we leeringly make our way back over to our backpack, donning it ruefully – it and all its daily, weekly, monthly, yearly demands.

Technically, the tools we need to handle our disappintment graciously are in the backpack. Even the tools we need to honor God and bring Him glory in this (or any other) trial are stowed away somewhere within its labyrinthian interior. But we’re exhausted. We’re beat. The last thing we want to do is wage a war we can’t fathom winning with a behemoth bag that does little more than break our backs every waking moment of our lives.

And so we ignore God’s Truth, ignore His help, ignore His will, and we simply…trudge on. A frown marks our every feeble attempt at joyful faithfulness, and the truth is, we’re fooling no one. Not even ourselves. In this perspective, honoring God is miserable and we are miserably failing as we attempt it.

Is this you? Is this how you feel as you struggle to live this life well? To look after your husband, children, and home well, day in and day out, without so much as a word of appreciation? I’ll be honest with you, this perspective is what marked my life for many, many years – marriage and motherhood only fanned the flames of this incorrect view of God’s will for my life. And I’ll be even more honest with you: I have often looked at God, pointed my finger at Him obstinately, and blamed Him – BLAMED Him! – for being the one who put that burden on my back in the first place. At times I have been so angry at God for filling my backpack with tools and supplies that I didn’t know how to use, couldn’t access when the need arose, or felt ill-equipped to master. In addition to that, I have accused Him of cramming relational, monetary, physical, familial, emotional, professional, and health issues into my backpack when neither my will nor my legs were strong enough to bear them.

Regardless of how much empathy I feel for those of you viewing God’s will this way; as easy as it would be for me to tell you that your perspective is justified and you deserve to feel discouraged or downtrodden, that simply will not do. Why? Because to view God’s will for your life in this way is to sin against Him by calling Him a lair, something that it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to be.

Matthew 11:28-30 says:

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The context of these verses in chapter eleven is Jesus condemning the cities to which His prophets had paved the way for His coming, and yet they still chose to refuse Him. John the Baptist had been heralding the coming of Christ for years but it wasn’t until Jesus began His miraculous ministry that some cities began to repent. Even then, with visible proof of Christ’s power, with eye-witness experiences of the very Truth of God’s Word, there were still cities that refused to repent and honor Jesus as the prophesied Savior.

After Jesus condemns and curses the flagrant rebellion of these cities, He expands His message to all those who would hear Him. He preached the Truth about His ultimate will for their lives, juxtaposing it with the pharisaical, works-based religious system that had blasphemously taken up residence in His house. Jesus was making it very clear that true dependence on Him, true repentance from sin, and true submission to His will looked vastly different than what people had come to view as devout religiosity under the pharisaical system. The false religions operating at that time were contingent upon “right” behavior, not sincere faith. They were man-centered, not Christ-centered. They lacked absolution because they were based on finite principles, whereas Jesus’ Truth was (and is) based on the inexhaustible well-spring of that which Almighty God expresses about Himself: that His “yoke is easy and His burden is light.”

To view His will in any other way is to call God a lair, and to call God a liar is to sin. Worse still is how easy it is to justify this sin and minimize its egregiousness in God’s sight. If you are viewing God’s will for your life as an exhausting, tedious, demanding intrusion on your personal plans, one that drains and discourages you, you are making yourself the center of all your pursuits. If you are prone to feeling sorry for yourself or contentiously punishing your husband and/or children for not appreciating all you do, you are engaging in self-worship, which is also a sin against your holy God. God alone is God, not you, not your pride, not your needs, not your desires, not your aching joints, not even your well-meaning ministerial or evangelistic endeavors. Nothing and no one is God, but God, and to defy this Truth is to defy God Himself.

That’s the bad news.

But there is good news and it is exactly what Jesus is talking about in this passage – the Good News of the Gospel.

When Christ is explaining His plan of redemption He is pointing out the fact that even the most valiant efforts of decent human beings to achieve salvation count for nothing when all is said and done. His Gospel, however, is a liberating one. No more toiling to attain that which is humanly impossible. No more wondering if your works are sufficient to secure a place for you in Heaven. No more worshiping at the alter of self-justification or toiling fruitlessly toward an uncertain end.

God’s Will for Christ’s life was to do away with all of that. So perfect was this plan, and so perfectly submitted to it was He, that Christ didn’t even pray for an alternative option. As John Bunyan writes in his book, Prayer:

“As the Spirit is the helper and the governor of the soul, when it prays according to the will of God; so it guides by and according to the Word of God and His promise. Hence it is that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself did make a stop, although His life lay at stake for it. ‘I could now pray to my Father, and He should give me more than twelve legions of angels; but how then must the Scripture be fulfilled that thus it must be (Matthew 26: 53-54).”

That is, Christ knew that God’s plan for His life was perfect and He had fully submitted Himself to that Truth, so much so that, even though He could have, He surrendered His ability to ask God to protect Him against those who sought His life. And may we praise His name forever because of it! If Jesus hadn’t willingly gone to the cross to suffer the separation from God that our sins warranted, if He hadn’t died our death, and if he hadn’t defeated sin when He rose again, we would have no other option but to carry the heavy burden of works-based righteousness and there would be no hope of relief from it.

But the cross abolished such a painstakingly uncertain system and that’s what we have to understand when we live our lives daily. We are not fighting this fight alone. We are not toiling in vain. We are not loving and looking after our families to no avail. Living in the center of God’s Will, and doing so joyfully, is a “yoke that is easy” and a “burden that is light.”

But it does need to be said that living for God and serving our families as an act of service in His Name is still a burden in that it must be carried out, it must be done. But the difference here is that we are not the one carrying the burden, Christ is.

Christ’s work on the cross has forged for us everything we need for “life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3), and, in our analogy of the luggage bags, this would be The Mary Poppins Funnel-Bottomed Neckerpouch. This small, light-weight, piece of “jewelry” is the blessed consequence of Christ’s perfect power to defeat sin and death on our behalf. And when the most dangerous of perils is overcome already, all the rest of life and living is an easy burden to bear.

But first we must admit to ourselves that living out our lives faithfully for the glory of God cannot be done without the Spirit’s enabling, whether that be wifing, or mothering, or nursing, or lawyering, or teaching, or any other calling. We can take no self-pride in that which we accomplish for God because it is only through God that we can accomplish anything at all in the first place. And when admit that we are capable of nothing, we make room for Christ to work marvelously in and through us to accomplish everything.

As Paul exclaims in Galatians 2: 20-21:

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

And, so, we “bind truth around our necks” (Proverbs 3:3) and use it as the foundation for not only all that we do, but also for all of the ways we respond mentally, spiritually, and emotionally to what we do. God’s yoke is easy to carry because we are not the one carrying it. Christ carries it for us and equips us in every way to do that which pleases Him most. The necklace we wear is a seemingly insignificant trinkets, one that many people can’t even see (because they are blinded by sin or hatred of God), but one that is endlessly able to contain Truth after Truth after Truth from God’s Word, just as did Mary Poppins’ bag. And as that Truth funnels down into our hearts, it guards our every word, thought, and action, prepares us to respond rightoeusly in the case of every eventuality, gives us grace as we humble ourselves before God (James 4:6), and blesses everyone with whom we come into contact.

We have no need of shuffling things around to “make room” in our neckerpouch when new demands for our time, wisdom, affection, attention, etc. come our way because the focus is not on the task, it is on Christ. The task, in essence, is not an issue at all. The only issue is our heart before the Lord. As we “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, all things will be added to us (Matthew 6:33),” whether that’s food or clothing or healing or clarity or companionship or blessing or encouragement or any other thing. As we faithfully spend time in the Word and in sincere prayer, God remains true to His promise “never to leave us for forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).” In Him, all things are bearable. Because of Him, no illness or conflict or trial or worry or fear can ever beset us – IF WE SUBMIT TO HIM AND SURRENDER TO HIS WILL.

Yes, it’s true that The Mary Poppins Funnel-Bottomed Neckerpouch is a bottomless, unfathomable, expanding, treasure trove of God’s Truth, wisdom, grace, peace, mercy, love, joy, help, healing, comfort, provision, protection, and countless other of His blessings, but none of them can be accessed if one does not humbly submit her will to the Lord so that He can bestow this special grace upon her.

Our loving father is eager to bless us and teach us and heal us and help us, and His resources for doing so are infinite. But sin and pride will disable Him from being able to lavish them upon us if we are stubbornly determined to do this “life” thing our own way.

Admit it, you know exactly what I’m talking about and: 1) you have either already learned this lesson and can attest that Christ’s Word is True, 2) God is trying to teach you this lesson and you keep resisting Him, heaping destruction on your own head time and time again, OR 3) you are sick of resisting Him, sick of the struggle, sick of being and feeling overwhelmed all the time, and are finally ready to confess your self-worship to God, surrender to His will, and start living under the light yoke of God’s perfect plan for your life, rather than fabricating an unnecessary and untrue version of God’s will which is entirely works-based and not at all in keeping with what God has said is True of Himself.

How much time are you spending in God’s Word? How often do you pray? How sincere is your “religion” when you are alone? If you do not know who Christ is, you cannot pray in His Name for God’s Will to be perfected through your life. As Bunyan states:

“The man that comes to God by Christ [in prayer] must first have the knowledge of Him; ‘for he that cometh to God must believe that He is (Hebrews 11:6).’ This Christ, none but the Father can reveal (Matthew 11:27). And to come through Christ is for the sinner to be enabled of God to hide Himself under the shadow of the Lord Jesus, as a man hides himself under a thing for safeguard.”

Isn’t that a humbling thought?! In our hearts, we want to please God, but even the desire to pray for such a thing is a gift from God. Even the ability to pray effectively at all is the work of Jesus Christ and not ourselves!

Why do we think God’s burden is heavy? Because we and we ALONE are making it so. Doing anything to please God without first humbly admitting that you cannot do it without Him is an exercise in futility. Why, then, would you choose to view His will as The Hiker’s Steal-Bottomed Backpack, when, in reality, it is The Mary Poppins Funnel-Bottomed Neckerpouch, a beacon of Truth that does all of the heavy lifting for you and requires but one thing of you:


Oh that seemingly elusive element of Christianity that is the foundation of who we are and yet is so easily thwarted by sin.

Are you feeling neglected? Unappreciated? Hurting? Aching? Stewing? Fuming? Despairing? Complaining? Distancing yourself from your husband and/or children? Flailing? Drowning? Cursing? Defying?

If you are, there is but one path you must take: repentance. Humble yourself before God and admit that you’ve been trying to live this life your own way and for your own glory, but have had the gaul to do so in His Name. Confess that you have been self-worshiping and clinging to an incorrect view of His will for your life, even as you have been serving tirelessly so that His Name can be glorified. Read and meditate on the Truths included within this article and refuse to view God’s plan for your life as a heavy burden. Put on a correct view of God’s sovereign will for your life and praise Him for it. Learn how to thank Him for every demanding need presented by your husband, your children, your family, and your friends because you recognize that they are being used by God to strengthen your faith, grow you, mature you, humble you, and help you.

God loved you enough to allow His own Son to be killed on your behalf so that you wouldn’t have to carry the burden of the punishment your sin requires. Can you not also trust that the daily burden of living this life for His glory is one that is light because He carries it for you?

Learn from Him through the reading of His Word and in sincere prayer; Glean wisdom and understanding from godly men and women; Set an example of faith for your children; Have peace that surpasses all understanding. And most importantly: recognize that Jesus Christ is the foundation for all of these things and the reason why God’s “yoke is easy and His burden is light.”

Until Next Time My Friends,

S. Taylor

The Taylor of All Trades