Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Faith Precedes the Miracle

The story of the Children of Israel always fascinated me as a kid, the plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea, the wandering, The mana from heaven, the healed bitter water, the golden calf, The Lord continuously blessing them, and their foolishness & murmuring after 430 years of pleading to be delivered from bondage.

I have heard theses stories many times, as have you I'm sure, but yesterday as I was preparing to teach my seminary class there was one phrase that stuck out to me. The strange thing is that we are in Exodus 14, which has a lot of powerful and beautiful phrases, and the one that stuck out to me was not one of those. It was simple and found in Exodus 14:15 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward (emphasis added)."

Almost immediately I thought of Simon Peter in Matthew 14:22-33. Here again we usually talk about Peter and his walking on the water, how his faith falters, and the Lord saves him. But I was drawn to this part of the story,... "And when Peter was come down out of the ship..."

In both cases, the Children of Israel & Peter, had to take action (faith + works) before the miracles came. The Children of Israel had to walk forward towards the Red Sea--before Moses parted it by the Lord's power. Peter had to get out of the boat and step into/on to the water--before being able to walk towards the Savior on the water.

I wonder how many times in my life I have asked, even pleaded with the Lord, for deliverance. Then on the cusp of the Lord making it happen, in His time and on His terms, I have murmured because the way seemed impossible. I wonder how many times I've asked the Lord to work miracles in my life. Then when the opportunity came I sat inside the boat instead of walking on the water.

I hope to be more faithful; more of a believer and less of a murmurer. I hope that in order to make more miracles happen in my life I become action-oriented with my faith. I hope that I can, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord" in my life.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thank Goodness!

I'm thankful...
  • for the Old North Bridge
  • that I live near my amazing sister and husband
  • for living the questions
  • for making things happen
  • for the unexpected
  • for Kigatsuku
  • that I live in a beautiful house
  • for my eternal family
  • that I have amazing friends
  • for music
  • for good books
  • for first kisses
  • that I'm surviving a broken heart (not from romance)
  • that the last thing I said to my brother was kind
  • for holding hands and butterflies
  • for fireworks, waterfalls, stars, trees, swings, and rain
  • that not all my prayers have been answered how I wanted
  • that some of them have
  • to know there's a plan
  • for punk kids, early morning seminary, and sleeping in
This list could go on and on....but I'll stop here, for no particular reason, and just say that I have a long list of things that I'm thankful for. Chances are ,if you are reading my blog, you are on my list! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm allergic to working during the holidays

So I'm sitting here at work and my office closed at 2:00 pm. I decided to go get some lunch and come back and work for a few more hours. I got back to the office and sat down at my desk and as I was talking on the phone it started....

So here I am at about 3: 20 with hives all over my body. I have no idea why or what I'm allergic to. The only thing I can think of is that I'm allergic to working during the holidays. I guess this is my body's way of saying---GO HOME!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

I thought that for your birthday I would share a list of qualities that I love about you and how these qualities are manifest in your hubby & kidlets. You have left a distinct trace of your beauty, talents, desires, personality, faith, love, and all that is you in your family.
Smarty Pants
You helped inspired Chelsea and I to graduate from college. You set the example that graduating from college is important-even if you have to do it with 2 children. So now you have 2 college graduates, 1 college student that has just finished her Master's degree and is working on her PhD. , 1 working kid who plans to go back to school to get her Master's degree, and one husband (through your dedication) who not only got his Master's degree but went on to get his PhD. Mom thanks for your love and appreciation of education and for inspiring us to go out and learn about life!

The man of your dreams

You lucked out and happen to marry that most amazing man ever (but this blog isn't about you dad)! I venture to say that Dad is the man he is today, in part, because of you! Mom you have been one incredible wife! You have always supported Dad in all that he does. All those nights he went jogging so he could run his marathons, all the times the family had to move for education or professional pursuits, and all the time you sacrificed away from Dad so he could be with other families in his church capacities. There is so much more but I want you to know that your relationship with Dad is inspiring to me and many others!

Book Worm

I may have gotten my love for writing from Dad but I got my love of reading and words from you. You are my wordsmith. You seem to know just about every word there is, how to spell, it and what it means. My love for reading started at a young age when you would read to me. This love of reading and words became my major in college and is still a big part of who I am. I believe there are a few more things about me that come from you or are inspired by you but I have a hard time separating me from you and at any one point. Love ya mom!

Don't Settle for less

Mom, you have always inspired us to dream big dreams, to accomplish our goals, and to never settle for less than we deserve. Chelsea is the perfect example of this. With her will to be educated, her desire to go to Africa, and her choice in a wonderful loving husband, she has listen to you, and embodied this mantra! She is fiercely independent, strong, powerful, loving, smart, and she continues to learn from you what it truly means to be a woman today.

Hugs & Kisses

Though Grant could be rowdy, obnoxious, and into everything and everyone's business--he also had a heart of gold. I remember many times he would be angry at me and then minutes later he would sit next to me and hug me. He would love to just be with his sisters, hold their hands, sit next to them, hug them (hit them), and even snuggle up next to them. Mom Granty got that from you. Grant fought to live when he was born, the struggled while he was alive, and he was only with us for a little while. It was your strength, wisdom, courage, love, honestly, and devotion through the thick and thin has been and continues to inspire all who know you.

" Traditions...traditions" ( think Fiddler on the Roof)

Whether they were dad's family or your family--you filled up our home and lives with traditions. Danielle loves these traditions and just the other day was reciting to me a bunch of the family traditions that she treasures. I don't know if Kevin knows what he's in for with carrying on those cherished traditions. Mom you have always been the one encouraging us to go pursue our dreams but you are also the first one to want us all back at home with you together. Danielle exemplifies this as the middle child. She loves to be surrounded by her family (though she might not readily admit this). I think it's going to be a struggle for all our in laws to realize that we Shields have our traditions!

Little Miss Black Book

You knew it would happen eventually. With 6 girls you knew that at least one of them would be like you were as a girl-boy crazy! I hear it told that in high school and college you were the dating queen and had to swat the boys a way (heaven knows why I didn't get that part of you??). Well Kaitlin has clinched that spot by having her first kiss first (well, so far), having boyfriend(s) in high school, and for running up your cell phone and text messages.

Express Yourself

I remember you singing in the kitchen, in public, or where ever your heart desired. We'd say stop and get embarrassed but you'd say, "You don't want an ordinary mom do you?" Well, mom as a result you don't have any "ordinary" kids! Alexa exemplifies your freedom to express how you feel. You've never been one to hold back. You get what you see and people love you for that.

Wild Child

I know you have spent the better half of you life trying to fool everyone into believing that you didn't have a wild side--but the truth in manifest in Clay! We all know you didn't do anything to crazy and wild in your past, but mom--you did ( and still do) have a wild side. Clay is spitfire and full of wild child but he also can be very complimentary and sweet. Besides we got to give him credit for being surrounded by girls, girls, and more girls all the time. It's no wonder he's a bit on the wild side!

Mary & Martha

Camryn is mom's little helper. She is Martha in that she helps with dishes, does her homework, practices her piano, and does what mom and dad say. She is Mary because takes the time to pray, to write letters to her sisters far away, to say she loves you, and to do so many little things that matter so much. She, like you mom, is both Mary & Martha. You take the time for the things that matter (even if they don't seem to make a difference at the time): FHE, Family scripture study, family prayers, family reunions, watching family videos. You also do the things that a mom does-the practical, needs to get done stuff: driving kids every which way, making food all day long, laundry, cleaning, and so much more!

Family....isn't it about time!

Can you believe that you had all these kids?? Can you believe that they are all growing up, graduating from college, getting married, accomplishing their dreams, staying close to the Lord, and still bugging you. Can you believe that you are done being pregnant (I think 6 years is long enough), that all your kids are gone during the majority of the day, that you only have half the bunch now living at home, and that you have 2 new sons. Can you believe that you have 4 returned missionaries, 8 temple worthy members, a son who holds the Aaronic priesthood, a husband and 2 sons-in-law who hold the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood, a son preaching the gospel in the spirit world, and a life time of memories still to come. Thanks mom for being a part of all of our lives!

Here is a special poem for you.
I love you Mommy!
The first born in the wilderness, Kylee

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

San Diego on Fire

I haven't written much if at all on here about my mission. Not because I don't like to talk about my mission-in fact I absolutely LOVED my mission. I learned so much about others and about myself. I also fell in love with San Diego (this is not hard).

Lately San Diego has been on my mind and heart as it was burning out of control. People were evacuated from their homes, waiting where ever they could find places, and wondering if they would have a home to come back to. I thought of all my "families", my "areas, my "temple", my "Mormon Battalion Visitors Center." They were all weighing heavily on my heart.

I think in part I was reminded of 15 years ago when my best friends house burned to the ground and I was states away from her and coudn't do anything. She had to move to a apt. for a while until they could rebuild her home. She lost everything. It was devastating. Eventually they did get to go back "home" and they rebuilt their lives.

Also it reminded me of when the seminary building where my Dad taught, across from my hgih school, was burned to the ground. This was a hate crime. It was hard to realize that people have that much hate. Here again, we rebuilt, and this time we got a nice building and we strenthend our testimonies.

I know that San Diego will regrow, rebuild, and start again but today my heart and prayers go out to those who have to do that. To those who lost everything-you are on my mind and in my heart today.