Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Value of Your Heart

In church there is a lot of talk about taking care of our bodies, protecting them, not violating them, being chaste. We talk about what to put on our bodies, into our bodies, what not to put into or on our bodies. We talk about how our bodies are not our own and how they are "bought with a price." We even talk about how our bodies are in the exact image of our Heavenly Father.

But what about our hearts??

We talk about how we are responsible for our own body and for what we do to other people's bodies. We talk about how sacred our bodies are and the role they play the Plan of Happiness. We talk about what we see, what we say, and all sorts of other choices and decisions we make with our bodies.

With all this emphasis on our bodies I'm fully convinced that the Lord also values our hearts. I would imagine we will be responsible for the hearts we interact with for the good and bad. There is something to be said about what we allow others to do to our hearts and how we treat theirs.

I believe there is a responsibility we have --and rarely talk about--when it comes to hearts. I think that we are accountable for the hearts we mislead, the hearts we break, the hearts we hold, the hearts we cherish, the hearts we make commitments to, and the hearts to which we love. I also think we are accountable for our own hearts. We will be held accountable for those that we let walk all over our hearts, break our hearts, hold our hearts, and to those we give our hearts to. In this way it's very similar to the way we talk about our bodies.

To those of you who read this blog I hope you know the value of your heart to mine. I know I have a lot to learn about how I treat other hearts and how I let others treat my heart. And so in the moments you've trusted me enough to hold your heart (even for a moment--even just a little peace) and I've let you down, I apologize. And for all those other moments when my heart has interacted with yours for the good, I thank you.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Below is pictures of my infected toe...
and there's blood!

One big piggy went to the doctor...

So the other day my big toe was really hurting. I looked at it and figured I'd been bitten by something, no big deal. I just soaked it in Epson salt and figure it would go away with time. I was wrong and over the course of about 5 days it just kept getting worse. So I made a Doctor's appointment.

Just before I went to the doctor my foot started to feel really painful and unbeknownst to me (remember the toe was already in festering pain) it decided to bleed all over everything. I had no idea and was preoccupied by finding car keys and getting my wallet. I felt something sticky on my flip flop and so I looked down and there was blood everywhere--dripping from my foot.

I picked up the blood soaked flip flop and headed to the nearest sink (leaving a trail. I can't believe how much one toe can actually bleed!

Once the blood had clotted I headed to the Doctor. The Doc told me I had a bad infection and so she gave me a prescription for antibiotics. She also told me I needed to do this surgery thing on my toe before I went home.

She was going to give me 4 shots to numb my toe, then she would cut away the skin and a big chunk of my toe nail. This would help the infection to go away. A bunch of nurses and assistants wanted to watch so we had a little party.

Me, the Doctor, and 4 other people in one tiny patients room, and we were laughing, and then I was wincing in pain, then I was fascinated by the process, and then lots more blood. Then the Doc was pulling my toe nail out by the root with pliers-craziness! What did they do before we had numbing drugs?

Sorry it's not the best picture. The black line is there because my Doctor said to let her know immediately if my infection gets close the the line. The Left part of my toe nail where you see redness is where she removed a big chunk of my nail. Doc said it may or may not grow back--bummer!

The De Cordova Date

(L-R) Kristi Marie Thompson Criddle, Natalie Williams, Kylene Shields,
& Julie "Starlight" Hulet

The master minds of this great date!

The De Cordova Sculpture Park
Julie & Joseph, Marie & Preston, Natalie & Wiley, Kylee & John

Deep Thoughts...

Natalie hates geese--ever since she was attacked by them as a child

John & I climbed this gigantic tree--he actually climbed to the top!

The Party is at the Spruce House

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Little Sis is Getting Hitched!

Danielle Shields will soon be marrying Kevin Tvetan!
So here it is. My younger (can't say little because, like most of my sisters, she's taller than me) sister is getting MARRIED! I really am having a hard time saying and believing it. She just turned 20 the other day and she is so happy and in love. This is the rock her fiance, Kevin (my soon to be Brother-in-Law) put on her finger not too long ago. Danielle I really am happy for you!
Here's my dad and Danielle. Isn't she just beautiful!

The back of the Bridesmaid dresses

Fancy-dancy hem!

Front of the Bridesmaid dresses
We will have brown strappy sandles, be adorned in jewles, and of course have a rocking time at the Hawaiian themed reception!

Model: Kaitlin Shields

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I relearned a great lesson today from the Book of Mormon. It comes from Mosiah 26: 2-4.

Mosiah 26

2. They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.

3. And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.

4. And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God.

I wonder how many times in my life I have missed out on great growth, wonderful experiences, and enlightenment because of a"did not, could not, would not" attitude.

The correlation between believing-- leading to action/understanding-- leading to blessings is evident. Even more so is the correlation that desire/belief leads to communication with God. Belief is such an important part of the gospel. I guess that's why I have had this scripture running through my head for quite some time now: "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24)

Today I choose to be a Do-Can-Willer!

the Law of Undulation

Some of you may know that I have been in a funk lately. The worst part is I haven't been able to articulate to anyone-including myself what exactly is going on. I believe I'm currently in a so called "trough." To understand this idea you must first understand the Law of Undulation. C. S. Lewis talks about undulation in his book, The Screwtape Letters.

The Screwtape Letters,
originally published in The Guardian in 1941, is an epistolary novel in the form of Letters from the demon Screwtape to his nephew, the apprentice demon Wormwood. Each Letter is a beautifully crafted description of how the forces of evil seek to subvert good men and turn them away from Christianity. Take the following letters for example:


So you "have great hopes that the patient's religious phase is dying away", have you? I always thought the Training College had gone to pieces since they put old Slubgob at the head of it, and now I am sure. Has no one ever told you about the law of Undulation?

Humans are amphibians—half spirit and half animal. (The Enemy's determination to produce such a revolting hybrid was one of the things that determined Our Father to withdraw his support from Him.) As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation—the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks. If you had watched your patient carefully you would have seen this undulation in every department of his life—his interest in his work, his affection for his friends, his physical appetites, all go up and down...

To decide what the best use of it is, you must ask what use the Enemy wants to make of it, and then do the opposite. Now it may surprise you to learn that in His efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than on the peaks; some of His special favourites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else....We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct.

And that is where the troughs come in. You must have often wondered why the Enemy does not make more use of His power to be sensibly present to human souls in any degree He chooses and at any moment. But you now see that the Irresistible and the Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of His scheme forbids Him to use. Merely to over-ride a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo... He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs—to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best...He cannot "tempt" to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger, than when a human, no longer desiring, but intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

But of course the troughs afford opportunities to our side also... (Continued from Letter IX)

But there is an even better way of exploiting the Trough; I mean through the patient's own thoughts about it. As always, the first step is to keep knowledge out of his mind. Do not let him suspect the law of undulation. Let him assume that the first ardours of his conversion might have been expected to last, and ought to have lasted, forever, and that his present dryness is an equally permanent condition. Having once got this misconception well fixed in his head, you may then proceed in various ways. It all depends on whether your man is of the desponding type who can be tempted to despair, or of the wishful-thinking type who can be assured that all is well. The former type is getting rare among the humans. If your patient should happen to belong to it, everything is easy. You have only got to keep him out of the way of experienced Christians (an easy task now-a-days), to direct his attention to the appropriate passages in scripture, and then to set him to work on the desperate design of recovering his old feelings by sheer will-power, and the game is ours. If he is of the more hopeful type, your job is to make him acquiesce in the present low temperature of his spirit and gradually become content with it, persuading himself that it is not so low after all. In a week or two you will be making him doubt whether the first days of his Christianity were not, perhaps, a little excessive. Talk to him about "moderation in all things". If you can once get him to the point of thinking that "religion is all very well up to a point", you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing. (Emphasis added)

Your affectionate uncle,


And if you managed to get through all that without falling asleep or skimming you win a gold star. So that pretty much sums it up. I'm in a trough right now and I've actually decided to ride it out instead of powering through it to get to the next peak. I agree with Lewis about growth happening in the troughs.


My next few blog entries aren't going to be witty, there won't be any fun pictures, and they just might be boring to be forewarned.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday we decided to brave the crowds to check out Earthfest downtown. The concert was great and the weather was even better. I loved that I got to hear KT Tungstall and Guster!

The place was packed chuck full of peeps! It was such a great day! We all got so hot we decided to leave and take a nice cool dip in Walden Pond (great idea Timothy!)

KT Tungstall


My friend Sara came for the weekend from NYC where she lives now (just barely moved there) and she brought her friend Leslie. These girls and I had a blast of a weekend! Man, Ladies you two wore me out!

Schwer & Shields

Wiley, K, and John

Leslie, K, and Sara

A nice pic in the Public Garden on the way to Walden Pond. (L-R) Sara, Kylee, Timothy, Marianne, and Leslie


Marianne enjoying the Lobster!

How do you get this thing open?

Nick introducing us to our dinner--yummy!

Sara going to town on all the scrumptious food!

No Names was delicious and you can see that we had more than enough food to feed all of our ravenous tummies. We barely made it to the restaurant before it closed but we did. I have never seen such fast service in my life. I had Salmon and it was delicious--as was the Lobster!