A Change of Heart

by Mitzi Aylor
Hey ya’ll...my name is Mitzi Aylor.  I am 5” and my feet don’t touch the ground 99% of the time when I sit down.  Most people know me for the gift God has blessed me with, photography.  When I was a little girl I did not dream of being a photographer, I dreamed of being a mom with a house full of children and I dreamed of being a teacher.

I grew up in Chandler, OK (on Turner Turnpike where the cows are on the hill Exit 166).  I had a great childhood.  My dad had several careers, but the longest and dearest to his heart was being a social worker for DHS in Lincoln County.  My mom was known in town as the Cake Lady.  If you had a birthday or were married in the 80s - 90s, my mom probably made the cake.  Our house smelled of cake and icing ALL the time; I thought everyone’s house was supposed to smell like sugar!  We were very involved in our local church.  My mom was on the Hostess Committee, my dad was a Deacon and also served as the youth pastor for many years.  I was involved too.  I became a nursery volunteer at 10 years old.  I also babysat for all the families in the church.  In high school, I used to babysit for families that had 5-8 children.  My junior year, I began to work for the Evans family, and I LOVED these kids.  The desire for a large family grew in my heart.  I KNEW God would give me what I wanted--it tells us in the Bible He will.  Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  BOOM...MIC DROP

Fast forward to college, I received a degree in Early Childhood Education (check that off the Dream To Do List).  Then my junior year, my eyes were opened to a sweet quiet man.  We fell in love, got married, I moved into the bachelor pad, and we began to live my dream. (Remember the Evans kids, I married their uncle, so now I’m their aunt...God did a nice little miracle there.) It didn’t take long before I realized that this Cinderella fairy tale was not real life. Married life was hard for me. But even though it wasn’t picture perfect, we began to work through the hard things.  Two years into our marriage, I got the baby bug BIG TIME!!!!  I thought it was time to have our first child.  Steve was fine with that, since he is a bit older than me.  We were unsuccessful for many months.  I went to a specialist and found out that I had PCOS.  This disease can make it very difficult to get pregnant.  We had several failed procedures, but in the end we had one successful pregnancy.  Our little peanut was born October 26, 2004.  

Thomas Wade Aylor was the joy of our lives. I was SURE God would continue
“giving me the desires of my heart” the way I envisioned it.  He would give us 2-3 more biological children.  When Thomas was a year, I really wanted to try for another child.  So we did.  Unfortunately, nothing was successful, but God began to develop other interests in my life.

During this time, I began working in the CCC nursery and MDO.  I loved being with the children.  Thomas enjoyed MDO.  Steve and I had a group of friends that had young children, so Thomas had kids his age to play with.  At this time, I also began to do more and more photography.  The gift of photography began to grow. Steve took note of it and encouraged me to follow this avenue.

Today I joke a lot about my camera being my second child.  When people see me without it, they ask me where it is, as if I have left a child somewhere. The camera is a tool God has given me to bless others.  I get to be with and capture so many memories for people, from the most joyous times to the most devastating. I love how Melanie Shankle says in Everyday Holy, “God sees something in me that I don’t see in myself.  I see all the fears and insecurities and worries and just general yuck, but He looks at me and sees something entirely different.  He sees something He can use for His plans and purposes.”

This January, I started getting up early.  I would journal, read the Bible and pray.  Seven months ago, I had no idea what was going to be happening.  God simply needed me to show up.  As I spent more and more time with him, things began to stir in my heart.  Some things didn’t make sense to me, but I listened.  Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Sometimes you have to let things go in order for God to use you in a new way.  This summer, I stepped out of my role as lead nursery teacher.  It has been an amazing 14 years.  This was not an easy decision, but I knew it was what God was telling me to do.  Thank you Covenant family, for sharing your children with me.  I have LOVED so many children. I hope they will always remember, “Jesus loves you and Mimi does too”.  There was something on the horizon, but it can be scary to take the step, not knowing where that step leads.  A few weeks after stepping out of the nursery, I was asked to teach Yearbook at Southwest Covenant Schools. (I have to tell you, I’ve always said, I don’t teach anyone taller than me, and now they want me to teach High School.) I NEVER imagined teaching high schoolers.  The little kids have always been my jam.  I KNOW God had been working on my heart.  My first thought was, “Why not?” Steve was on board and I could not be more excited and
nervous. This can ONLY be God, because all high schoolers are taller than me! You guys, God has given me the desires of my heart in a way I could have NEVER imagined.

Thinking back to my dreams as a little girl, to teach and to have a lot of children, I now see that God has changed my heart and given me more than I ever dreamed. Psalms 113:9 says, “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!” Yukon is my home!  My
clients are not simply clients, they are friends and family.  (Yes, I will continue to photograph and build Aylor Photography) Covenant has been a home for me, where I have loved children and now SWCS is a new home where I can love and mentor teens. WOW...WOW WOW WOW.  

Isaiah 41: 9-10--”you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, says to you, ‘You are the servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off’; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
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