Friday, January 9, 2015

Christmas of Miracles

It has always seemed completely crazy how people in the scriptures lose their faith so quickly after a miracle. Isn't it insane that after the Israelites were freed from bondage and experienced the Red Sea parting that they were so quick to worship other idols and turn to their prideful ways?  How could somebody forget so fast?!
In The Book of Mormon, Laman and Lemuel were beating Nephi because of his determination to do as the Lord commanded to get the brass plates.  An angel came and told them to listen to Nephi and that they needed to get the plates.  It says that after the angel had spoken, he departed.  IN THE VERY NEXT VERSE, Laman and Lemuel began to murmur.  Immediately! Really?!
I always think, "if I saw an angel, I would be so in awe that I would never doubt again!" But, I have a confession.  I am just like them.
2014 was filled with so much happiness and peace. I experienced so many miracles and without a doubt in my mind I can say that I know Heavenly Father has been guiding me. I had a tough day towards the end of that summer.  I thought, "nothing ever goes right for me!!! I am trying so hard to do what is right.  I am doing all I can to take care of and provide for my kids.  We have FHE every week and family scriptures and prayer each night.  I am doing all that I've been asked.  Then, why?"
Despite every miracle and blessing that I had received the whole year (and my whole life!!!), I got so frustrated.  I am so ashamed at my lack of faith.  I am no better than Laman and Lemuel.  I am no better than the children of Israel. 
This Christmas was one of many miracles.  The scripture comes to mind in Malachi from the Old Testament that says, "I will...open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."  That is exactly what I experienced at Christmas.  So many people have shown so much kindness and generosity. The things I was worried about taking care of, were taken of and then there was much, much more.  I felt that way many times.  "This is so much.  I can't even take it all in.  I don't deserve this."  I thought back on my down days and thought, "how could I have ever questioned that God was taking care of me? After all I have already experienced and continue to experience that make it so clear He is aware."  So I am pathetic! But I have to say thank you to all those who were my angels and who served in a way that was nothing short of how the Savior would serve. You all know who you are! I have cried many, many tears of gratitude for the way that you all have blessed my life!

The Challenge!

I realize I will never be able to repay everyone for their kindness and generosity, but I am inspired and determined to pay it forward.  I was thinking about the spirit of Christmas and how there is something in the air that makes people so giving and thoughtful around that time of the year.  I have made a goal with my children to turn the "12 days of Christmas" into "12 months of Christmas." Every month we will find someone to serve or something to give to. We will decide on the first Monday of the month at FHE what this will be. I plan to have my kids and I write about each experience on a paper and put it in a box that is wrapped like a present which I will put somewhere visible in our home. On Christmas Eve this year, we will read our experiences which will be our "gift" to the Savior.  I invite anyone who wants to join me in this goal, to do so.  Feel free to send me any special experiences that I can share on here anonymously.
The Savior spent His whole life giving.  I want to be more like Him.  I hope that this year my family and I can show our gratitude to all of you by spreading His goodness and love.  Thank you all again.  I have been changed forever and your love will not be forgotten!