He Bought the Trip Insurance

Taylor (third from left) with friends on a sandhill crane hunt in Lubbock, TX

This past week was a little weird for me when I flipped through my planner for the first time in a while. I normally carry my planner with me everywhere, taking great care each January to pick out the perfect one for the new year and getting way too excited about it in the office supply aisle at Target. With no plans during quarantine and no reason to write anything down, I was a little shocked to realize it was already the last week of May.

The week before Taylor’s accident he was on a trip with his dad, Mark. They went to San Antonio, Texas for a cattle convention and were blessed with some precious time together. When Taylor got home that weekend he was eager to tell me about the convention and a bachelor trip some of his friends were planning to Costa Rica over Memorial Day Weekend. I’m thankful I was a “cool” wife about the trip and fully supportive of him going. Taylor valued friendships more than anyone else I’ve ever known. He loved all people, and he really loved good people. He saw opportunities like the Costa Rica trip as an investment in his friendships, valuing time he got to spend with good friends above most other things in this world.

Sunday evening Taylor helped put our girls to bed. After reading them books and tucking them in, not knowing it would be the last time, he booked his flight to Costa Rica. He mentioned to me that he also went ahead and bought the trip insurance. I was really surprised by this and he just brushed it off. If you knew Taylor, this fact would be shocking to you too. We sat in his office the rest of the evening talking and just being together while he looked up stuff about Costa Rica. I pulled his passport out of the safe to double check the expiration and we talked about what he might need to pack for the trip. I am confident God already knew that night that Taylor would never make it to Costa Rica.

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money,’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'”

James 4:13-15

As I look at my planner and realize that I should have been unpacking Taylor’s bag last week, probably filled with sand, and doing the laundry from his trip, I am baffled at my reality. His bag from San Antonio is still on the floor in our bedroom. I’ve rifled through it and held his worn shirts against my face, but I haven’t brought myself to unpack it just yet. I think about the trip insurance a lot and see it as a gift from God who put it on my husband’s heart to purchase. A gift to a wife who tends to over analyze and has a desperate need to approach everything with logic. That trip insurance is a gift that constantly reminds me there was never supposed to be another bag to unpack. It is a gift that tells me God has another plan for Taylor and it is all going to be OK (even when it really sucks right now).

God never promised that life would be easy, but he did promise to never forsake us. When you are going through a hard time, even if it seems trivial in comparison to real world problems, look for the gifts. Look for all the ways God is letting you know that he is right there with you. The only thing we are assured of in this world is what is promised to us in the bible. When the time comes for all of us to embark on our final trip, the insurance has already been paid for with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Have you ensured that you will arrive at your final destination by accepting that insurance?

Love, Molly

Copyright © 2021 M. Marley, LLC

Answering the Call

View from our house of the ranch headquarters.

In the days following Taylor’s service I had no idea how to act or what to do with myself. My desire to keep my girls on their routine as best I could would keep me going until their bedtime at 7. After that I would read books on grief or write until I could no longer keep my eyes open. Those first days were so raw and I felt like a zombie going through the motions of our normal schedule even though nothing was normal anymore.

Looking back, I think one of the best decisions I made was to push myself to carry on with our normal routine. Taylor’s service was on a Saturday at our church and at my request our family attended Sunday’s service the following morning. We cried through most of it and I noticed there were some unfamiliar faces in our section that must have had no idea what they were in for when they chose those seats. The following Sunday I sat in church and was so thankful I had “ripped off the band aid” and gotten myself through the sanctuary doors the week before.

There were a lot of places that first week that I made myself go back through the doors of, leaning on precious friends for support. This was an especially important step and probably saved me from life as a hermit considering we were quarantined a little over a month after Taylor’s passing (more on that in another post). I used to be a member of a Wednesday morning women’s bible study in town (CBS), but left in January 2018 when a great job offer came along to go back to teaching art part time. The new job conflicted with the study and was my only con for going back to work. Most of my friends that were home with young kids still participated and I knew it was where I needed to be in my season of loss, immersed in the scriptures with my sisters in Christ.

My friend, Emily, served as the class coordinator and put me in a small group with two of our other friends, Brittany and Jalene. That first day back I brought my sister in law, Kate, with me and we met Brittany and Jalene in the parking lot of the church. We waited in the pickup together with our Starbucks and walked in after the other women would already be settled into their groups-I wanted to avoid the hugs and pity looks.

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

1 Corinthians 15:58

My favorite thing about studying the bible is that it truly is a living scripture. Often the answers just jump out at you no matter what your are going through in your life. Kate and I jumped in with the group studying 1 Corinthians chapter 15 (the whole study covered 1 and 2 Corinthians). What a perfect time to be reaffirmed with the truth of the resurrection and the salvation of all Christians! What a perfect time be reminded that the victory over death has been won!

Not long into my Corinthians study, I felt as if Paul was speaking directly to me through the Holy Spirit about using my God given gifts. There were over 800 people at Taylor’s service who heard his testimony of faith. What a gift! It became clear to me that I was being called to write about my own faith and continue ministering through Taylor’s life and death. God’s work with Taylor in this life is finished and I am answering His call to continue sharing our faith. I hope you will subscribe and follow along with me.

Love, Molly

Copyright © 2021 M. Marley, LLC

#WAISB?

WHY AM I SO BLESSED?

When I lay my head down at night I am often reminded of the saying, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for the night before.” This would put me in the mindset to focus on counting my blessings during my prayer time rather than asking God for the things I thought I needed. My family and my husband, Taylor, were always at the top of my list. There was never a day that went by that I took our marriage for granted and it is still a shock that a night came when Taylor was no longer with me to thank God for.

Taylor Always said that if he could ask God one question it would be, Why am I so blessed?” He was a firm believer in approaching life with a positive attitude, often noting that because your attitude is one of the only things you can control you might as well make it a good one. Taylor’s faith and outlook on life has helped me tremendously since his passing. I can’t change what happened, but I can control my attitude toward my new circumstances.

Why am I so Blessed?

  • Because God is good. #WAISB?
  • Because Taylor is enjoying life in heaven in the presence of the Lord. #WAISB?
  • Because I have been saved by grace and will see Taylor again. #WAISB?
  • Because God entrusted me with two beautiful children. #WAISB?

I have learned in the hardest way possible that this life on earth is short and nothing is promised to us except for salvation in heaven through Jesus. When you look at the big picture, our lives here are just a blink of an eye compared to eternity in heaven. When you look at the smaller picture it is important to control your attitude and ask yourself…

Why am I so Blessed?

  • When you get a flat tire…be thankful you have transportation. #WAISB?
  • When you have a trying day at work…be thankful you have a job. #WAISB?
  • When you have to dip into your savings account to replace your roof…be thankful you have a home. #WAISB?
  • When you lose your husband at 32…be thankful for the time you had together and the wisdom he left you with. #WAISB?

In the time since I lost Taylor I have thought of innumerable things I am thankful for and look forward to sharing them with you. It takes a little discipline, but changing your mindset to focus on the good in a bad situation can change your day and your life. I would love to hear from everyone why you are so blessed. #WAISB

Love, Molly

Copyright © 2021 M. Marley, LLC