We have arrived

22 12 2006

Well, we are finally and thankfully in Maine. We had nothing but excellent weather the entire trip and we are hopeful that we will have the same kind of weather driving back to VA.

We left Virginia at 7:33pm and I drove steadily (besides the fuel/starbucks refills) until 4am. We stopped for a brief nap at a rest stop somewhere in Connecticut. We were on the road again at 4:30am and I drove until 5am. I was exhausted so Beth drove from 5 to 6am. Beth’s eyes started crossing so we took a nap in New Life Church, Biddeford from 6:15 to 7am. Beth graciously agreed to drive until we reached Waterville and we grabbed a quick breakfast at McDonalds. I drove to Presque Isle where we arrived at roughly 12pm.

After unpacking the car and saying hello to the Blackstone family, I took a trip to Grave’s Shop n’ Save to say hello to my mom who is a cashier.

I then stopped by Wallmart to get some stocking stuffers, but was overwhelmed by the amount of traffic and people…it was crazy!

More to post later…





Maine for Christmas

21 12 2006

Hey Everyone!

Beth and I are leaving for Maine tonight!  We are so excited to see everyone.  We will be leaving around 7/7:30pm and driving through the night.  We love you.  Keep us in your prayers.

Joshua and Bethany





The Taylor Family Christmas Letter

9 12 2006

Dear family and friends, 

As I turn on my all time favorite Christmas album, and began to write, Joshua and I pray that you are truly enjoying all of the blessings of this season. We have so much to be thankful for! Joshua and I have yet again experienced a whirlwind year as we continue to see God’s favor in our lives. This year has not been without its challenges but we surely understand God’s grace in new and wonderful ways.

For those of you who still can’t keep up with where we are living these days, we are currently living in Northern Virginia just west of D.C. In the last 3 ½ years of marriage we have moved 5 times. The first two years we lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex while Joshua attended Bible school and had three different living arrangements. Upon his graduation in May of 2005 we moved back to Maine to be closer to family. We enjoyed living in a wonderful duplex until August of 2006. The last week of August brought a huge move again as we felt it was time to relocate to the Northern Virginia area. And here we are now!

As I reflect upon where I was this time last year I realize many of you were helping clean Joshua and my home after a fire smoke damaged most of our belongings. We are so thankful for family and friends that reached out to us those weeks right before Christmas in helping us clean, wash clothes, organize belongings, and repaint. We are so grateful to God for sparing us from greater disaster and count our blessings as we now look around our beautifully decorated apartment! (see pictures in previous post)

Winter in Northern Maine last year was a surprise to both Joshua and I as it has been 6 years since we have actually lived through a Northern Maine winter. We found we have softened up quite a bit after all those years in Texas! We realized that even as much as we griped about the severe cold and daily scraping of car windows, you just can’t replace a good snowfall with evenings around a fireplace! And plus my parents have a hot tub that was a great enjoyment on some of those extra cold days!!!

Joshua and I seemed to never have a dull moment this past year. In fact many might say our lives were just far to busy! We immensely enjoyed helping out in the college ministry at the Presque Isle Wesleyan Church, participating in the worship team, and serving as co-leaders on a mission trip to Guatemala with the church. Joshua was working fulltime in Mars Hill for Basic American Foods and I was employed as a receptionist/bookkeeper for my dad’s office.

In January my dear friend Laura convinced me to join her in training for a half-marathon race taking place in May in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I agreed and so began a 5-month journey of getting my very out-of-shape self back into gear! It started with running 3 miles a day and slowly increased that so that my “easy” runs were 6-7 miles a day with a “long and easy” run of 10 miles on Saturday. We added in speed workouts and hill training and miraculously by May I was able to run a full 13 miles with out stopping! Now Joshua is going to join me in training for a half-marathon here in Virginia this spring, and hopefully Laura will be coming as well!

Beginning in April and culminating in July with a fast and furious weekend excursion we began contemplating a move to the DC area to join a church associated with Sovereign Grace Ministries. We were not alone in this venture though as Luke and Kristin Middleton were feeling they should also move. So over the July 4th weekend we packed ourselves into the Middleton’s Camry and made the 16 hr drive from Presque Isle, ME to Fairfax, VA to visit a church. We were overwhelmed with their hospitality and humility! I had never been to the DC area and both Joshua and I loved the area. I was able to interview for a couple different nanny positions and Joshua interviewed with a temp-perm agency. After returning to Presque Isle it would be only 7 weeks later that we would have a 24ft moving truck packed with all our belongings heading to Virginia. With this came a very difficult decision to give our beloved Roscoe, Rajah, and Tigger away due to the fact we were unable to find an apartment within our budget that would allow us to have large dogs. We were able to find great homes for all, but still miss the entertainment they brought to our daily lives!!!

July also brought Joshua and I to Guatemala in a team of 15 people for a 10-day mission trip to Pastor David Alvarez’s church in Guatemala City. Joshua and I have been blessed to travel to many places, but this has been our first mission’s trip while being married. It was incredible to see each other serving and giving ourselves to the people of Guatemala. The men helped in some construction projects but mostly we helped out in the morning feeding program for children, served in discipleship within the church, taught English classes and helped with evangelical outreach to the community. These people will grasp a hold of your heart in a powerful way and shake up your worldview. We were reminded of how fortunate we are and how much we really take for granted. Going on a trip like this helps put life into perspective, I don’t need more things, more clothes, a new car, a bigger house. . . I just need to be thankful for what I have and recognize that everything I have is a gift from God!

It was only 3 weeks after returning from Guatemala that we were moving to Virginia. We arrived late on Friday night, stayed with a family member of the Middleton’s, and on Saturday moved all of our belongings into our apartment and all of the Middleton’s things into a storage unit. I started work as a nanny on Tuesday and Joshua pursued opportunities through the temp-to-perm agency he had interviewed with. It wasn’t long before Grace and Carson found their way into my heart and my afternoons became packed with treasure hunts, puppet shows, baking cookies, playing with trains, coloring, and caring for these wonderful children. Joshua was soon employed by Christian Service Charities and began traveling to St. Louis, Chicago, Maine, and New York City on behalf of his organization. He is doing much less travel now and is working in the office 5 days a week. The charity functions much like United Way in that they represent charities at federal campaigns and channel charitable donations to these organizations.

Due to not being able to travel home, we had a great opportunity to host Thanksgiving at our apartment this year and enjoyed fellowship with people from our church and a nanny that works near where I work. You can see pictures in a previous post. We are very excited to be traveling home for Christmas this year and will be starting the 16 hour drive Thursday Dec. 21st at 7:00 PM and driving through the night, hopefully arriving in Portland Friday morning for breakfast with Josh’s dad and then driving the remaining 5 hours home to Presque Isle and crashing!!! We’re hoping to enjoy a White Christmas since there’s not much chance of having one here in Virginia.

Hopefully this has given a glance into our lives over the past year. It’s difficult to catch everyone up as we have family far away, family and friends that have been near this past year, and new friends that we are coming to enjoy more each week. Our dearest hope and prayer this year though is that each of you would enjoy the real meaning of Christmas and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who made a way for us to be reconciled to God through His death on a cross. We pray that this next year would be filled with joy and grace to you and your family. God bless you! Please enjoy the pictures in previous posts and also the ones contained on our link to our Flicker account.

Much love,
Joshua and Bethany Taylor

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Joshua and I at the top of Haystack Mountain on our 3rd anniversary






Picture Update

4 12 2006

Well Joshua and I have come through a busy couple of weeks! But now the apartment is painted and we have deeper friendships with those who joined us for Thanksgiving, and yesterday I pulled out the Christmas decorations!!! These next few weeks are sure to fly by.

So as was promised last month I am now posting the amazing home improvements! I tell you, a couple cans of paint can absolutely transform a white washed blah apartment into what looks like a pretty upscale joint! Much homier indeed! I’ve also included our Thanksgiving pictures.  Enjoy!

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We’re still not sure if we’ll paint the office/spare room, but we did get it much more organized and hopefully one of these days we’ll decorate it a bit more.  We are just so thankful though now for all God has provided and each day his grace is more abundant in our lives.  I pray you can find joy in life today, may your delight be in our Great God!