Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Holy Ghost Spoke... and My Child Listened

Today Tyson was having a hard time doing his math.  He had been working on it for a couple of hours and feeling very stressed.  He asked if he could play my husband's Jericho Road version of , "Abide With Me" on iTunes while he studied.  Silly me I almost said no!  I quickly realized that his request was a wonderful, spiritual one.  After turning it on, he literally finished his math within 5 minutes!  The soothing music relaxed his mind enough for him to be able to think more clearly.

My son's request was a blessing to me as well.  A few seconds after he played this soothing hymn, I received a text from a friend saying that I should come visit our sick friend as soon as possible.  I was deeply worried about my friend, and my mind was racing trying to think about the logistics of taking an impromptu 11- hour drive.

Before I could fully stress or grieve over the situation, my heart was immediately calmed and comforted upon hearing the hymn that so beautiful speaks of our compassionate Savior.

This was the very first time that Tyson had ever asked to play a hymn while he studied; I know the Holy Ghost prompted him to play it right at that very moment.  I'm grateful for this miracle today- that my son chose to listen to the promptings he had received so that he could finish his math and so that I would know that God was very aware of my sick friend and of my grieving heart.

Here are the words to the hymn that continue to touch my heart:
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me! 
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day.
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me! 
Abide with me; 'tis eventide,
And lone will be the night
If I can not commune with thee,
Nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world, I fear
Would in my home abide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide. 
O Savior, stay this night with me;  
Behold, 'tis eventide.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Not a Coincidence

The following are a series of very interesting events where the timing couldn't have been more impeccable.  Several hundred thousand people live in this particular area of Utah where these experiences took place, so the likelihood of this being a coincidence just doesn't stand to reason.

Abe is in Utah today for only one day.  He flew in last night and leaves tomorrow morning.  He didn't tell anyone that he was going there because he knew he wouldn't have time to see all the people we love there.  Two of the people he did see though were pretty significant.

*I had a college roommate for 2 years who also lived with me and Abe for a short time.  She was even one of my bridesmaids- we're that close.  Abe happened to see her at the grocery store today and was able to give her a big hug for me.

*Today, Abe was trying to keep up with his buddy who had to check about 5 stores in an effort to find a specific item.  As they were running between stores, they passed through the food court when someone called out Abe's name.  He turned around and saw our nephew standing there donning a Chic-fil-A uniform. We didn't even realize he was living there because his family lives in Arizona!  He's our only nephew old enough to even be living on his own!  They had the wonderful opportunity to give each other big hugs and express their love.  How special to see him!!  Neither of us had seen him since before his mission!!   Coincidence?  Nope!  God knew that Uncle Abe and Daniel needed to hug.

*Several years ago, when I was a college student, I was sitting on a blanket with thousands of people around me outside of the BYU football stadium watching fireworks.  I had been living in Idaho for the Summer as a camp counselor, but I wanted to come to Utah for the 4th of July because it was such a fantastic celebration.  I had been sitting there for at least an hour when a little girl walked up to me.  I looked at her twice and then screamed with excitement.  It was my niece!!!!  I turned around, and my sister from Arizona had been sitting literally 2 blankets away from me the entire time!!!  There were thousands of people everywhere, so we hadn't even noticed each other.  I had no idea she was coming to Utah for a visit, and she thought that I was still in Idaho.  I was living out west with no family around, and I definitely needed a big hug from my sister!!

*This past Summer, I drove our 6 children and my teenage niece and nephew to Utah.  I was just leaving BYU campus with the some of the kids, when someone yelled my name in the parking lot.  I looked around wondering who in the world would know my name here in Provo?  My cousin was walking right behind me!!  I hadn't seen her since my wedding 11 years ago, and there she was with her husband and all her kids.  We hugged over and over again and took lots of pictures.  We had tried to meet up the previous year at my mom's house, but it didn't work out.  She was visiting in the area from Colorado for only one day, and God had orchestrated it so that our paths could cross.  I'm sure God enjoyed creating that miracle for us.  We were all filled with so much joy to have an instant reunion.

*On a separate occasion that very same week, I had 2 thoughts as I was driving to the store... It wasn't a formal prayer to God, but I was talking to HIM about my predicament.

Thought #1:  Juliana had fallen asleep in the car, and I needed to run in really quickly to get some formula for Jayden.  My older boys were at a football camp, so I didn't have anyone in the car old enough to watch the younger ones.  I would need to wake her up just to run into the store for 5 minutes.  I was thinking how much I wished I knew someone there so they could stand by my car while I ran in and out really fast.  I was even thinking that someone should start a car-sitting business for mothers with lots of errands and lots of children.

Thought #2:  I had no idea how to get a hold of 2 friends of ours.  One friend had worked with Abe years ago at BYU, and we just loved her motherly nature.  We never did have her phone number, but I just wanted to give her a big hug.  We knew the other friend from a connection we had through our love for adoption.  We had shared many dinners together in each other's homes.  I didn't know how to contact them though because they had moved, and I had lost her phone number.  I was sad that I would be leaving Utah without the chance to see either of them.

I pulled into the parking lot at the grocery store; and just as I was about to get out of the car, I saw a very familiar face coming toward my van.  Because of the way we were parked, both driver-side windows were facing each other.  She was parked right next to me, so I opened my door and called her by name.  She wasn't expecting to see me there, so I took her by surprise.  You know my friend with the motherly nature that I wanted to hug?  Her daughter was standing right in front of me!!!  They didn't even live in that city!!  She of course gave me her mom's phone number... and she watched my babies while I ran into the store to get the formula... just as I had hoped for.  That was no coincidence!!  That was a miracle.

The miracle doesn't stop there though.  Upon further discussion, I found out that she worked with our other dear friends whose number I had lost.  Not only did she know them, but she had their phone number too!  God would placed me in the direct path of probably the only person in the world with both of these women's phone numbers stored in her phone!!!  ...and to top it off... and just to let me know HE loves me and cares about the little things, God even provided me with a 5 minute baby-sitter.

It's always fun to run into old friends and especially family.  There are surprise meetings all the time.  I have long lists of situations such as these.  We will probably never know the full depth of the reasons we needed to see a certain person at that particular moment, but I'm touched when these experiences take place because I believe that God's hand is in these surprise reunions.  

I believe that God cherishes and values our relationship with HIM, and I believe that HE wants us to cherish and value uplifting and familial relationships here on Earth.  Sometimes it's for their benefit, sometimes it's for our benefit, and most of the time it's mutually benefitting.  I'm grateful that God orchestrates these meetings in such miraculous ways.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Writing For Our Posterity

On my way to bed last night, I decided to check on all the kids one last time. Everyone was fine except for Jayden.  He was sleeping soundly, but he reeked of poop.  (Sorry there just isn't a better way to put it.)  I began to change him and realized it was all up his back and down his leg.  I had to change all of his clothes and fully wipe him down at 4am.  Of course, that woke him up all the way, so my opportunity to go to bed any time soon was gone.  

After such a rough night, I woke up exhausted.  Even after I had been walking around for a while, I still could barely pry my eyes open.  I prayed this morning wondering if it was worth staying up later than usual last night to write.  Immediately, the thought came strongly in my mind, "You are leaving your stories for your posterity."  I thanked Heavenly Father for renewing me.  

Soon after, my mother texted me out of the blue and said, "Loved the priesthood msg. Beautifully done. Glad you are recording for posterity."  I couldn't believe it!  God had spoken the importance of my posterity into my mind, and HE spoke the very same message into my mother's mind who confirmed that same message back to me.  I believe God wanted to make sure I heard HIS message loud and clear.

I thank our loving Heavenly Father who answers all prayers. I thank HIM for reminding me of the importance of passing on my testimony to my posterity. 

In remembering the importance of my posterity, I decided to share another one of Tyson's miracles, for us to read now and also for his posterity.

I remember this experience; it happened about a year and a half ago.  I am touched that he remembers it so well too, and I am grateful that he chose to write it down... He is 9 yrs. old.


Once we were driving late at night and we were all tired.  Soon we came to a red light.  The car in front of us went, so we thought we were supposed to go.  When we went mom noticed she had went at the wrong time!  When she noticed cars came zooming at her.  Mom thought the cars would hit her!  But then something turned the cars tires and we did not get hit!  Mom knew that the angels turned the cars tires.  We all said a prayer of thanks.  I’m happy for angels and the Holy Ghost.  I also know that Jesus died on cross and suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane.  I love Jesus.  He is my strength. I know Jesus has a plan for us.  I love my family.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Healing Power of the Priesthood

I was a freshman in college returning home from my date when I saw the power of the Priesthood in a way I never had before.  Another couple was with us; and we were all saying our goodbyes in the parking lot, when we saw a girl stumbling towards us.  As she got closer, I rushed to her and realized I knew her from my dorms and that she was in serious trouble.  She was crying hysterically saying she wanted to take her life. No matter what we said or did we could not calm her down.

After hugging her, praying for her, and talking with her for about 15 minutes,  we were still unable to calm her soul.  Finally, my friend's date placed his hands upon her head and gave her a priesthood blessing.  Immediately after the blessing started, we could feel her body and her spirit calm down... letting go.  

I felt such gratitude for this young man in his early 20's who had the priesthood and was ready to use it at this crucial moment when this young college girl needed it most.  My date did not have the priesthood, and I wished he did.  I made a decision at that very moment that I would date and marry a man who would be able to administer blessings from God to me and our children.

Priesthood blessings have always calmed my heart when it has been full of stress.  They have also always been the source of great healing in our family.  Just this weekend, my husband was able to give our son a priesthood blessing for his health.  I'm grateful that Abe is always willing and worthy to do so. 

Last year, I was serving as the president over the young women in our congregation; and one particular day, I felt especially overwhelmed.  So many things weighed on my heart:  I felt inadequate as the president, inadequate as a wife, and inadequate as a mother.  

At that moment, I just needed to feel my Heavenly Father's love.  .  I knew HE loved me, so I knelt down to pray and ask God to help me to feel that love.  I stayed there for a few minutes, and I felt nothing different.  Feeling disappointed, impatient, stressed, anxious, and hurt, I stood up and went on with my duties.  There was no time to wait any longer.

That night, I was to meet with a member of our bishopric to let him know how things were going in my calling as president; it's called a stewardship interview.  I began to talk about the needs of the girls when all of a sudden he stopped me and said, "This may sound strange, but I believe we need to talk about you instead this evening.  Are you OK?  Would it be ok if I gave you a blessing?"  

Unable to speak, I nodded my head.  I knew if I spoke, I would cry.  How did he know I needed help?  Knowing absolutely nothing of my prayer earlier that day, this righteous priesthood holder placed his hands upon my head and these are the first words he spoke :  "Rachel, your Heavenly Father loves you very much, and HE wants you to feel of HIS love for you."  

My body trembled and tears poured from my eyes.  I opened my heart, and I felt HIS love stronger than I can even write.  It was strengthening and weakening at the same time.  Every bit of me knew and felt that I was loved.  I don't believe that Heavenly Father was ever withholding that love from me.  I believe it was me that had closed off my ability to feel HIS love because of my anxiety to receive it.  

I'm grateful for every opportunity I have to better learn how to let go of stress, anxiety, and doubts because those things impede us all from receiving deeper revelation and peace from God. 

I'm also grateful for the power of the priesthood.  I know that the priesthood is given by the laying on of hands, and it is the power to act in Christ's name.  

I am grateful for the miracles that come from priesthood blessings.

Miracle of Music

Last night was amazing... about 40 youth and their younger siblings came to our house to sing praises to God.  Sometimes we have up to 75 kids!  It's called Sunday Singers, and we invite them to our home about twice a month.  The youth, ages 12-18, sing with my husband upstairs while their younger siblings, ages 11 and under, sing with me in the basement.

I couldn't believe how happy my home felt hearing the music literally pour through our home.  I left the children for just a moment to check on the cookies coming out of the oven.  Upstairs, the youth- with powerful, unified voices- were singing the words:  "We are children, holding hands around the world!"  Downstairs, the giggly children were standing on their chairs and belting out:  "He's got you and me brother, in His hands.  He's got the whole world in his hands."  I burst into their room motioning my hands for them to sing even louder, and they did!  It was beautiful and fun, and it was a miraculous sound.

After they sang for about an hour, they all came into my kitchen and literally devoured the treats and socialized.  It's a time of unity- a time of strengthening their souls in Christ before they have to face the world again when they return to school the following week.

A scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants 25:12 says, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

The youth have so much negativity to face.  As they sacrifice their Sunday evenings to sing praises to HIM, I know God hears their prayers lifting up to HIM, and HE is blessing them.  The power of uplifting music has the ability to create mighty miracles.  These youth give devotionals that have touched hundred's of hearts.

My husband sings professionally in a Christian music group called Jericho Road, and we have heard many stories first-hand of the miracles in people's lives because God has spoken to their hearts through his music.  I know God works through music.

When Jackson was only 4 years old, we witnessed a tender miracle of music through his ears.  As a baby, he endured severe trauma and pain from major open-heart surgery, so he was just learning to verbally communicate with us.  On Christmas morning, several years ago, I'm grateful he was able to fully express what he was experiencing.

In our early morning scripture study, I had been teaching my children how beautiful it will be when Christ comes again.  I told them that the angels will sing from Heaven, and it will be a glorious time.

On Christmas morning, after getting the presents ready for the children to be surprised, we woke them up to come see the presents.  Jackson literally jumped over the presents without even looking at them and pointed out the window.  He shouted, "Do you hear them?  Do you hear them?"  Confused and not hearing a thing, I said, "What honey?  Hear what?  What are you talking about?"

Continuing to point to the window with an urgency, he exclaimed, "The angels!!!  The angels are singing!  I can hear them."

Maybe, Jackson got confused with my teaching between Christmas and the 2nd Coming of Jesus; either way, I believe that because of his great, undoubting faith, he was able to hear a special gift from God.

Little Jackson heard the angels sing; I have no doubt.  I also have no doubt that there are beautiful, heavenly voices speaking words of encouragement every day- if only we could erase our doubt, think as a child, and hear them.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Miracles Are Daily

Tonight, someone challenged my belief that God works daily miracles.  Feeling discouraged from that and other challenges in my life as well, I cried to my husband that I just wanted to shrink in a corner.  It hurt him to hear me speak this way because his love for me is so great.  As I spoke, my husband's voice slowly rose above mine quoting Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

Every time I read this quote, I feel courage to stand taller and reach higher.  I see more greatness in myself and in others.  I lose the tendency to compare myself.  Instead I gain a greater desire for the success of those around me.

After Abe quoted the words to me, I researched the quote some more.  I discovered something new about it.  I always knew that Marianne Williamson was the author of it and that Nelson Mandela shared it in his inauguration speech, but I had no idea when or where Marianne Williamson had written or spoken it.  

Tonight I learned that the quote came from a book entitled, Return to Love:  Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles."  

I have never read this book, but this is one of the reviews:

"The basic premise is that the ego has caused us to live in a world of illusions, caused by fear-based thinking. By focusing on God's will instead, the illusions disappear leaving only the perfection of love behind. In order for us to be able to see the world in this way, we need to pray ...for miracles – these miracles are changes in the way that we perceive things and will enable us to see the core of perfect love inside every being. It will also enable us to enter situations from the basis of love, rather than fear..."

Tonight it was a miracle for my soul that my husband spontaneously drowned out my discouragement with words from my favorite quote which came from a book that teaches about miracles.   

I speak with so many amazing people that defy opposition and discouragement in order to live their beliefs... in order to stand tall for their Savior.  I believe Christ has special blessings for those who seek HIM and then choose to follow HIM against all odds!!  I know that as we stand tall in our faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, HE will ALWAYS support us in our testimonies of HIM!  HE will never leave us alone in those testimonies... not ever.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Miracle of the Diaper Cream

My poor little baby Jayden had a diaper rash tonight.  :(

He had spent the last 2 days with acidic diarrhea, so I had been lathering him with diaper cream and changing his diaper VERY often.  I kept thinking that his acidic diapers would clear up quickly since nobody else in the house was sick.

Tonight at my boys' cub scout pack meeting, I took little Jayden out to change his diaper, and his little bottom looked even worse!  All of a sudden I realized that because I thought his bout of diarrhea would be short-lived, I hadn't even prayed for him to feel better yet!!  Right then and there I said a sincere prayer that I would know how to make him feel better.

I lathered him up with diaper cream again and returned to the pack meeting.  Right when I went to my table, my friend approached me.  I casually told her that Jayden had a sore bottom, but I didn't even tell her I was having trouble or needed advice.  She immediately told me about a natural oil and vitamin mixture she makes for her baby.  She continued to tell me she had some at her house that she had just made, and she wanted to give it to me.

I couldn't believe it.  I exclaimed, "Oh my gosh!!  I just prayed in the mother's room to know what to do; and within minutes, you came up to me and gave me a wonderful alternative!"  She kind of brushed off my comment and proceeded to tell me more about her mixture.  Laughing, I stopped her and said, "Do you realize that you were a direct answer to my prayer?  That's a big deal!!  Angels just spoke to you!!!"

She laughed this time, but I was touched.  My prayer had been answered.  I'm sure she laughed because she didn't see herself as someone who had just received a Heavenly communication.  I don't think she realized that she was following a prompting to walk up to me and give me advice at that very moment.  I think it works like that more often than not though.  When we're simply working hard at trying to be a good person, God uses us just the way we are to be an answer to someone else's prayer.

After the pack meeting, I went directly to my friend's house for the special mixture.  She gave me a whole jar of it!  Once we arrived home, I rubbed it all over Jayden's little bottom, and he has been sleeping soundly ever since.

I love daily miracles.  I love answers to prayers!  Because God answered my prayer so quickly tonight, I realized that HE is always hearing my prayers at the very moment they are offered up.  When HE takes a little longer to show me the miracle, HE is answering that particular request in the very best timing that it is needed for my greatest growth.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Uplifted By YOU!!

Tyson, at age 9, is really becoming passionate about his writing.  He had been writing such a fabulous book that when my husband found some of his writing on the computer, he honestly thought it was a segment out of a real book!  It was that creative and well-written! 

Tyson's older and younger brother saw his passion and decided that they wanted to write as well.  I have loved watching my rough and tough boys type away at their stories!  Their stories are mostly about big scary animals chasing innocent civilians, but at least they're writing!! :-) 

After weeks of writing, Tyson mistakenly erased his entire story!  I felt so sad for him.  He and I discussed the pain of losing the work. Because I had lost big projects on the computer as well, I taught him that God would help him rewrite an even better story if he would move forward with lots of prayer.  Still... it's extremely discouraging to see all that work just disappear.

It had been a few days since I had seen him write on his story, and I noticed that his brothers hadn't had the same passion since he lost his story either.  Yesterday, I brought it to his attention.  I said, "Tyson, I am so sorry for you that you lost your story because it was simply amazing!  I really want to see you write it again.  When you write, your brothers write too!!  Did you notice that?"  

He gave a shy smile and said, "Yes, but Mom, you are the one that makes me want to write.  I write my daily miracles because I see you writing yours down." 

Every morning, I see my children on my blog reading my posts.  We have all been touched by the many uplifting comments and stories that we have received via email, phone calls, Facebook, and blog posts.  

My miracle today is recognizing that when we testify to each other, we strengthen each other.  I have been uplifted and strengthened by your life experiences of faith and love.  I thank God for the many miracles HE is orchestrating in all of our lives around the world.

Since "passion" has been on my mind, I decided to post one of Tyson's Daily Miracles about football... which is one of his greatest passions- what a great kid!  One of my husband's favorite parts of this story is where Tyson clarifies that he is not in the NFL. :-) 

I play Football.  I played on the Lions. Not the NFL but the 7-8 years old one.  I love Football.  It’s my favorite sport.  Before my games I say a prayer.  I ask Jesus to help me do a good job.  He always makes me better.  I know He cares for us.  He even cares about little things like you can’t find your teddy bear.  I know He cares for us.  

One day one of my Football games was canceled cause of the rain.  Instead of playing on Saturday they said we could play on Sunday.  I knew that Sunday is the Sabbath day. I did not go to the Football game. I am happy I chose the right.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Miracle of Passion

Tonight I watched a movie about a teacher who had forgotten the passion he once had for his job.  Over the course of the movie,  he took on a cause to help his school; and because of that, he began teaching with a stronger, more vibrant passion.  He became a great inspiration to his students!  The movie really was quite goofy with a lot of slapstick comedy; but for some reason, I found myself crying.  I made a stiff face trying to hold back the tears because I felt so silly crying over THIS movie of all movies.  I finally gave in and just cried.  

"What brought these tears?" I wondered.  I realized it was because I truly love to see people live their fullest lives by awakening their passions within.

Just last night, when I was about to go upstairs to bed after finally finishing all my duties, my sweet husband turned on one of his favorite country songs.  He pulled me to my feet to dance at 1am.  Yes, I was tired; but after exerting a little effort, my strength was quickly renewed as we two-stepped our way around the family room.  

Dancing in the middle of the night required some effort, but the results were worth it.  How often do I have an opportunity to dance with my husband without other little arms wrapped around our shoulders as well?  I LOVE those little arms, but awakening the marital bond with my husband was just what Abe and I needed.  I have a passion for dancing, but I hadn't danced alone with my husband for a really long time! 

Passion is good for the soul, and it is certainly healthy for a marriage.  Passion breeds excellence in whatever we choose to do.

Jordan, our 7 yr. old, was our only child born in Missouri.  We didn't know which doctor to choose, so we just went with the one our insurance suggested.  Despite the doctor's quirky ways, Abe and I liked him.  He often said off the wall comments, and we would leave the room chuckling and shaking our heads from our experience.

The office visits were fine, but I was worried about the delivery.  I wondered if our doctor would be able to take the birth of our child seriously.

Delivery day came, and I was trying to take myself into a zone to fully relax, when our doctor burst into the room talking really loud to Abe about the game on TV as if nothing else was going on at all.  He didn't even acknowledge me.  I felt like shouting, "Ummm.... Hello!!  I'm having a baby here!!!"   To Abe's relief, I held my tongue. :-)

I'm glad I held my tongue too because this doctor proved me wrong!  The moment the serious labor began, he was the BEST doctor I have ever seen in action.  Abe and I looked at each other in bewilderment wondering if this was the same guy as before.  I can't even put into words what exactly changed... just that we felt the depth of his passion.  I felt like he was doing what God had sent him here to do.  He was fabulous, and we were genuinely surprised.

 I could tell that while delivering babies, he was in his element.  His passion surfaced, and excellence prevailed.

Daily, I pray for excellence in motherhood, and sometimes it's hard to muster up the energy and passion necessary to succeed.

A few years ago, when we lived in Utah, Abe and I took our 2 neighbor kids, Abe's sister and brother-in-law, and our 4 kids on one of our favorite hikes.

The hike is gorgeous!  There is a little stream along the way, and there is greenery all around.  As you climb just a little and go around a bend, suddenly, a stunning waterfall appears... almost like it pops out of nowhere.  Everyone always gasps with surprise at the hidden and majestic beauty behind the trees.

This particular time, as we went around the bend, I saw someone repelling in the waterfall!!!!!!!!  OH MY GOSH!!  It looked amazing to me!!  I immediately told Abe that I wanted to do it.  Crazy enough, the guy actually approached Abe and asked him if he wanted to repel down the waterfall.  Abe said no, and the guy almost walked away until I shouted, "I want to do it!!!!  Please!!"  He looked at both of us and slowly said, "Alllllright."  

I chattered away to him nervously as we tied the rope around a tree that was in the water.  All of a sudden it didn't seem like the safe or smart thing to do.  There was no one below to belay me, and I hadn't gone repelling since I was 13 years old!

Although I had my fears, the guy was obviously experienced, so I did it anyway!  With the ropes securely wrapped around me, I said a prayer and began my descent through the waterfall!!  

I wasn't prepared for how heavy or cold the mountain water would be as it pounded on my head.  I could hardly breathe, but it was exhilarating to say the least!!!!

As I stepped out of the water, I felt passion well up within me, and I couldn't help but jump around!  I wanted to tell the world what I had just experienced!  

I had been doing fine in my daily routine; but after this one experience, fine wasn't enough!!  I had a greater passion for everything around me.  I felt renewed for months!!  I put my whole heart into my daily chores and definitely into my family.  

Sometimes, doing the unexpected awakens my passion inside.  Other times, sitting quietly in nature awakens and nurtures my passion.   I realize the awakening is different for everybody, but one thing is certain:  miracles take place when we live with passion.