Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's Not About The Front Door

When Taylor swore in on Tuesday, his recruiter presented him with three t-shirts to commemorate the day.  One is a long sleeve black shirt that has the Marine Corps emblem on the side and Marines across the front. Taylor wore this when we went to the mall yesterday, and several people commented on it. There was a level of respect paid to him simply for wearing the shirt. Semper Fi!

However, Taylor is a Marine not because he wears a shirt that says he is.  He is a Marine because of the person he is, the fine man he has grown into. Last week, he told me that the house is only as strong as its foundation; the front door doesn't matter. That's pretty deep for an 18 year old. What he meant was that life isn't about what people can see.  What truly matters is what something or someone is founded on, what they stand for, what they are made out of. I tend to worry about appearances.  I want the titles.  I need the affirmation that I am doing a good job. None of that matters

We have spent this Easter surrounded by amazing people who have helped lay the foundation of who Taylor is - my parents, my siblings, my family... These people along with his coaches, teachers, friends, and other family members are responsible for Taylor being willing to lay down his life for ours.

Brandi taught Taylor Bible story after Bible story in Children's Church when he was younger.  He will tell you that one of the reasons that he wants to be a Marine is that someone must stand up and protect the family.  This is based upon a Bible story where the family members where placed behind the weaker parts of the wall because the leaders knew the soldiers would fight the hardest to protect their families even if the wall was weak. Brandi helped lay the foundation early.

Jared was Taylor's youth leader for a time. Jared is a Godly man, and serves as an example of the upstanding man you should strive to become.  When Taylor was in Youth, Jared explained that he tried to never lie, to NEVER lie.  Not just big lies but even small half-truths like not telling his wife what he had bought for Christmas.  What an example to have during your forming years! Jared helped lay the foundation during his teens.

Taylor and I have went on several mission trips beginning with one to Louisiana the year after Katrina.  Taylor was about 12 years old, and yet JJ put hm to work as one of the men.  Taylor became a mason's helper during that mission trip and worked for him throughout the following summer.  Taylor learned rock work, wiring, sheet rock, and a slew of other construction type skills under JJ. Tay never went through an awkward stage of self-doubt about his skills as a man because of upstanding Christian men like JJ who trusted him to work hard.

Cricket and Taylor are as close as brother and sister although they are cousins.  From the time that Taylor was born, the two have shared a special bond.  She carried him around on her bony little none-year old hip and taught him everything she knew. When I traveled for work, Cricket would move in and care for Taylor. She drove him to school, to practices, to games.  I would come home and while Taylor would be glad to see me, he mourned the loss of Cricket a little. She would allow him to ride on the trunk after getting the mail.  She would blow the horn and random people and wave.  She was fun and young and amazing. Cricket helped Taylor know he was valued and special.  She helped make sure the foundation was strong by showing Taylor love from day one.

I am leaving out a gazillion people, but the point is that Taylor is who he is because the people who have surrounded him during his lifetime.  You have made a difference (either positive or negative) on the people you meet.  Lay a strong foundation and don't worry so much about what the front door looks like...


  1. I've actually cut and pasted this quote 'the house is only as strong as its foundation; the front door doesn't matter.' It's so unbelievably true. I'm trying to ensure my kids know this as well.

  2. Thanks Sarah! When he said it, I asked him who the quote was by. He looked at me, and said Me.. I continued to be amazed at him. What a blessing children are.