Jun 29

15 Years Ago Today

15 Years ago today, my 2nd son was born.  His name is John Hayden Taylor. We call him Hayden…or Sweet Pea…or Hurricane Hayden :)   Notice that his nicknames seem to contradict each other, well that’s my Hayden.  Often misunderstood (except by his mama, who knows how sweet he is), this child truly is a hurricane one moment and a sweet mama’s boy the next.

When Hayden was a baby, I began praying Joshua 1:9 for him.  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)  (I used green because that is his favorite color.) I can’t tell you how many times this verse has been exactly what he’s needed.  That reminder that the Lord is always with him providing strength and courage has been of great value to my very strong on the outside but sensitive on the inside little (big) boy.

Even though the world sees my Hayden as an outspoken, confident, funny, tough boy who plays football and lacrosse, and is passionate about the Florida Gators and SEC football, as his mom, I am privied to the other side of him too.  The side that needs a hug, cares about his little sister’s feelings, and recognizes when his mom needs him.

I was recently reminded of how the time really has flown by.  Our family went to the movie, Toy Story 3 together.  The 3rd installment of the wonderful Toy Story movies did not disappoint. Instead it brought back wonderful memories. We are huge fans of the 1st 2.  After the movie, we talked about old toys that our kids used to play with and how much fun it was to be little. Hayden said it really made him miss being a little kid.  It made me miss it too.  In the movie, Andy, who is the boy that we have watched grow up in these movies, is going to college and his toys are worried about what will become of them.  It really made us all just want to cling to the moment and treasure our time together.  Time goes by and that is something we can’t change. What we do with our time, however, is in our control.  So we need to make the most of it!  And now we are treating the toys in our home like they are real people. It’s crazy!

I hope you are making the most of your day today!  Add a comment and I’ll pray specifically for you by name. I’ll pray Joshua 1:9 for anyone who leaves me a comment today in honor of Hayden’s 15th birthday.  Blessings to you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYDEN!!  Your Mama loves you “to infinity and beyond!”



  1. He is a great son! Wonderful post dear! I love you! Jeff

  2. Hey Melissa –
    I sure could use the prayers today. There are many things I am facing, including walking alongside a dear friend, whose husband is on home hospice, dying of colon cancer. New territory for me, as I haven’t lost anyone close to me before. He is a believer, praise God, so we know the final outcome, but a hard, terrible road to travel on.
    Many other things going on as well, more than I can write here…. I just went back and read some of the posts you wrote since the last time I visited. For sure needed them… all of them resonated with me.
    Thanks for the prayers!

  3. i would be honored if you would pray for my son, jacob. he is 25 and appears to be lost. he is a believer, but the world (and his own efforts) are tripping up his walk with the Lord. do you know the saying,”little kids little problems, big kids big problems”? someone’s mom surely came up w/ that one!
    a lovely post this morning, melissa. you are a blessing…..

  4. Not long ago I wrote out my life story somewhat detailed. I can’t even reread it, especially without wanting to harm myself. Now I think I’m going to have to discuss it in counseling and also read it aloud to someone to work through it. To say that terrifies me doesn’t seem strong enough. The only things that keep me going are my two amazing children. My son, at twelve, though is struggling through his own depression. I want to fight through this to be a better mom for them, but I’m also afraid that I’m hurting them through my own struggles.

  5. Melissa,
    I would be honored if you would pray for my son Joshua. He is 4 and sounds so very much like Hayden. In fact the Lord whispered to me this is the verse I am to pray and speak over him. My husband and I are both only children, and having a middle child is something very new to us. God is guiding us in helping him find his way out from his brother’s shadow, and find his role as a big brother to a baby sister. My husband who has had a heartbreaking relationship with his own Father is working hard to connect with a little boy just like he was, and sometimes I worry I just hold him too tight because of my own fear. Ha Ha maybe that Joshua verse is for All of us :)
    Thanks Melissa, for giving us all such a lovely gift on your son’s birthday!

  6. Mary Sawyer says:

    What an honor to be prayed for by you! I would ask that you pray that wonderful verse for my brother Tommy, who is really struggling right now in ways too many to mention here. As I have shared with you in the past, we lost my dad to lung cancer last August 11th, and we miss him terribly. Tommy in particular has so many battles, physical, mental and emotional, and they are a million times worse since losing my precious dad. Would you be so kind as to pray for Tommy?

  7. Melissa,
    Please pray for me to be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9 is a favorite of mine since just before I married and moved from Australia to Canada. I took on two step-children (teenagers), and subsequent rejection and messiness of a blended family. It has been difficult …. though God has been faithful and has made it abundantly clear that He IS with me …. but sometimes I forget about this verse that was given to me 5 1/2 years ago. Please pray for fresh strength and courage for the new chapter that God has for my husband & I. We do believe he has some wonderful plans !!!

  8. Thank you for your message. I have 4 children and the youngest is my son. He has grown up in a family surrounded by girls and often struggles to find his own voice amid the female chaos. Being a single mother, I have tried to seek out appropriate male models for him to spend time with so he can have a good image of how a man is to act. He can’t turn to his father out of fear of critisim. I am blessed that he still wants to spend quiet time with me talking about everything. I know that time with him will end when he gets older, but for now, I cherish my son.

  9. I just saw an update on twitter and jumped over to your page, thank you for offering to pray Joshua 1:9 over us, would you please pray for His strength to quiet, refresh and restore me as I wait. Pray for the courage to lay down all of the pain and selfish pride I have been harboring, to not fear but Trust “with all my heart” prov 3:5-6 that God is fully control and that “NOTHING can happen without His permission”pslam 3:37. Next month marks a year since my husband left, I am fervently praying that God would captivate His heart and draw him into salvation and radically transform his life and reconcile our marriage with an unexplainable joy “that many would see what He has done and put their trust in Him” Psalm 40:3. Thank you so much.

  10. Jessica B says:

    Thank you for your honest posts and the glimpses of your personal life. When I read your post today, I thought “yes, someone to pray for ME” and then as I read the comments of others I heard God’s quiet voice saying ” your life isn’t so bad now is it????” Like jess who also commented on her, I have been without my husband for almost a year and a half. He is not a Christian, is searching for happiness among things and has no self-confidence. So I would ask that you pray this prayer for him. His name is Jeff.

    Jessica B.

  11. Sara Anne Cannon says:

    Happy Birthday sweet Hayden! All the Cannons love you and all your family….

  12. Happy Birthday Hayden! And yes Melissa, I need all the prayers I can get. Please pray specifically that my husband will be successful as he begins working from home on mortgages and refinances (a new field for us), and pray that God may speak to me and show me the direction he wants me to take in my life. I feel he is calling me away from my job of 26 years, but know that is not possible at the present time, so I wait until it is the right time, and I know that God will lead me all the way! Thank you for all you do for us through our Lord Jesus christ.

  13. Michelle says:

    Hi Mellisa
    Thank you for the gift of your prayers.Joshua 1:9 says something to me today. Right now I struggle to surrender to the reality of my life as a single mother of two teenage girls with developmental disabilities. Their father left after 33 yerars of marriage and filled for divorce. He wants a different life.I think he is in a mid life crisis or depression that goes untreated.
    So I ask for acceptance of my reality to be able to heal and go forward. My grief doesn’t want to go away. My girls are hurting . I feel their pain as well. I pray to God for patience to wait on Him to reveal his plan for me and my family. Blessings to you

  14. Dear Melissa

    Your website is really a blessing to me. I just love your blog. Thank you for offering to pray. Please pray for my daughter Tanya aged 3.5 years. She is my miracle child and the Lord has delivered her (and us too) from so many bondages and problems. Please pray that she speaks fluently.

    May God bless you and your family abundantly.

  15. Hi,

    When I was reading this post, it brought tears to my eyes…you describe how I feel about my son and what I want for him as well.
    My son is 14, his name is Jaimy, will you please pray for him. It’s very hard for us and I feel like I’m slipping away from God…please pray.

    I can’t spam your comment field here(well, I guess I could,but I wont ^^ ), so I just included a link to his recent “story”.


  16. Kim Kitchens says:

    Hey Melissa,
    Bennett’s 15th birthday is Saturday, July, 3rd. Wow, where does time go? Yesterday I had the feeling that I have less time now than I have ever had. One of Bennett’s best friends shot himself and his girlfriend, and his funeral will be on Bennett’s birthday Saturday morning. I have watched my big & strong, yet so sweet & sensitive son cry and sob, and the pain I feel for him is beyond any pain I have experienced yet in my life. I have spent 15 yrs. doing anything and everything I can to protect him from hurt and the reality of this world, but it seems in the last 6 mos. so much has come crashing through. Thank you for your verse. I will share it with Bennett today. I printed your top ten list the other day, and my favorite one that I am clinging to is “God WILL fight for you”. Thank you for praying for us as we walk through this weekend with Bennett, trying to comfort him, and lead him to what God is doing in his life through this horrible thing that has happened; praying that Bennett will know in the depths of his soul Joshua 1:9, that God is always with him. Jesus, fight for us!

  17. Diana Cahill says:

    Yes, Happy Birthday. Thank you for your wonderful sharing and the scripture verses. Am sending your message to our middle daughter Erin who does have a chemical imbalance in spite of countless prayers of many friends & us parents. She is herself w the right medicine. She was the most spiritual and searching as a child of our three, but since high school has trouble believing. I do covet your prayers for her.

  18. Carol Cote says:

    Hello Melissa,

    Happy birthday to your dear son Hayden. He is really blessed to have a mom whose so committed to his life and his walk with the Lord! I have a request for sons of two friends of mine that are a bit older than Hayden, but really struggle with the same challenges that he does and more. Their names are Andrew (age 18) and Elijah (age 17). They & their moms are in need of our Savior. They know about Him but don’t have a relationship with Him, a BIG difference. Prayers are SO important and are our direct link to the Lord, so PLEASE pray for these young men and their moms for, most importantly, their salvation, and the healing that the Lord can bring to them in the challenges that they face. Thanks you so much!! Blessings to you.

  19. Carol Cote says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I’m so sorry…I need to correct my previous comment. I was referring to your son Dylan, not Hayden. But, happy birthday to both of your sons!!

  20. Well…late on this one too…but I love how God is reminding me here again not to be afraid or discouraged…the very thoughts I just moments ago wrote to you on another one of your blog posts! What confirmation! Oh that the Lord would take away all my fear :)

    We haven’t seen Toy Story 3 yet…but hoping to possibly go today!

    You have a wonderful family my friend. I’ve so enjoyed reading about Hayden and Dylan. Praying also for Blake and Hayley Grace!
    Love ya,