16 December 2014

Sunday Saint Monday Ain't

My whole life, up until now, I have had something really bother me. As many of you know, I've grown up in a state where the majority of people are Latter-Day-Saints (Mormons). The thing that would really bother me is when people preached one thing and did another. Most of us call them "Sunday Mormons."  It happened far too often. I'll always remember a specific instance with a specific boy. His name was Chris. I went to a high school party. Chris was completely drunk and would not leave me alone about having sex with him. Of course, I said no, and went on my way. The next day, at my best friends farewell, I saw Chris. Blessing the sacrament. Now, for you individuals that aren't super familiar with the church, blessing the sacrament is something that worthy priesthood holders should be doing. Drinking and partying aren't something that worthy priesthood holders are advised to do. I instantly became bothered. I was upset because I couldn't get over the fact that Chris would act one way and the very next day, act a completely different way. I'll always remember my mom talking to me afterward about it. She gave me the talk about how it's not about him - it's about me. I need to focus on myself, not others, and work on how I am going to better myself. That helped. But I still thought it was ridiculous. Why couldn't people just be who they are and not be so hypocritical about it? 

For the first time in my life, I have had a completely different perspective. Now, let me first say that I do not think this type of behavior is acceptable and I am also not justifying it. But recently, in my congregation, I felt like a sinner. And yes, I am a sinner! Aren't we all? I messed up. I made a silly mistake. I failed at being an example of a disciple of Jesus Christ during a period of time, I'm sure there were people pointing fingers at me as a "Sunday Mormon." The fact of the matter is, there are hypocrites everywhere, in every congregation, and in every religion. In every church, there are liars, criminals, and crooks. I've made so many mistakes; however, for the first time in that sacrament meeting, I felt like the crook. I felt like the hypocrite. I was also kicking myself for judging Chris in high school, and many other people. Because it is not our place.

Nobody knows what I had going on in my life at that place and time. The important part is that I am trying. I am working hard at becoming the person I want to be. And I am gaining a closer relationship with Heavenly Father. We all stumble and we all fall. So next time I think of the phrase "Sunday Sain't, Monday Ain't" or even think to call someone a "Sunday Mormon," I will stop myself and realize that there is always two sides to one story. 

08 December 2014

Marriage & Christmas Traditions

So, let's be honest. When Trevor and I were first married, we didn't talk much about traditions. I'm not exactly sure why. I suppose it was because I automatically assumed that we had similar traditions. After all, everything else was basically the same. Ehhh, not the case. Our first Christmas together was a bit comical. When I woke up Christmas morning, my stocking was still hanging there, completely empty. I wasn't upset, because, I don't have to receive gifts to feel loved. But I did chuckle! I brought Mr. Schroeder his stocking & he instantly started apologizing. "I didn't know that I was supposed to get you stocking stuffers! I am so sorry! I feel like such a jerk." 

Throughout the whole time, I was laughing my little head off. Like I mentioned before, I was not upset. On the other hand, it definitely made me think about some traditions that we should incorporate into our own family. Here are some of our Christmas holiday traditions that we love to share with each other: 

1. Temple Square 

I'm pretty sure most people go visit temple square every year. The day after Thanksgiving, the lights on the temple grounds are absolutely gorgeous. It's a fun tradition for Mr. Schroeder and I to go grab hot cocoa, hold hands, and marvel at the beauty of the temple!

2. Ugly Christmas Cards
Okay, okay. So we usually send the ugliest Christmas cards we can find. But then we had a cute photo to use on our Christmas card, so we used that. Who knows. Maybe we have grown up or something. How cute are these Christmas cards from TinyPrints? I'm sort of obsessed. This is the photo we used:

We put it in black & white and put it on our TinyPrints Christmas card. Cute, eh?

I'll spare you the ugly photos of the previous years and tell you you can just click here to see my post I made on Christmas two years ago here.

3. Something "Service"

Because it's Christmas, I firmly believe that everybody should do at least one nice (and out of the norm) thing for somebody else around the Christmas season. I usually like my acts of kindness to be anonymous. Last year, we sent a family who didn't have much a tiny little Christmas tree in the mail. Attached to the Christmas tree were ornaments, rolled up money, and gift cards for each of the kids. This year, we plan to do something nice for somebody in our neighborhood, but don't necessarily want to put it out there! Anonymous, kids. It's more fun!

4. 12 Days of Christmas
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with numero three. The 12 days of Christmas have been one of my favorite traditions since I was a kid. We would always choose a new family in the neighborhood, or someone who had recently been given a hard trial, and give them a gift on their doorstep once a night for 12 days, until Christmas. One of my favorite times was when the family we were delivering the 12 days of Christmas to would always try and catch us. We had to dress up in robber masks & go at different times every night. It's always a blast! Click here to see what I did two years ago for the 12 Days of Christmas. It's best if you drive and let your man do all the sneaking around. Or your children, if you have any.

5. Neighbor Gifts
These are one of my FAVORITES. I don't know why, but I absolutely LOVE to bake, especially when Mr. Schroeder is helping me. It's always fun to bake together! On the other hand, I don't like to cook whatsoever. It's probably because cooking doesn't usually result in something sweet. I love making cute treats & delivering them to my neighbors. Especially because we've lived in 7 houses in the last 3 years, and usually, the neighbors are completely shocked! These were my favorite neighbor gifts I have given out so far!

Throughout all of our traditions, I always hope that we can capture the spirit of Christ. This is a little quote I absolutely love and believe it goes perfect with the holiday season!


13 November 2014

Grandma Mary

Most called her, "Mary." But I called her Grandma. I always thought of her as my Grandma. It's not that she was a replacement of Grandma Joan, but it's more of the way I felt about her. She was my Grandma. She was perfect. She was one of the sweetest, patient, giving, and most humble woman I had ever met.

She has been in my life for 15 years. We were pen-pals for a few years of those 15. Every time she would come and stay, her and Grandpa would come listen to me play the harp and the piano. They loved listening. On October 15, we laid Grandma Mary in the ground. It all happened so fast. One minute, she needed open heart surgery. Another minute she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Then, suddenly, she was gone. I am so worried about my poor gramps. She was the love of his life, and now he doesn't have her. Grandpa lost two wives. I hate watching people get old. It might be one of the most painful experiences I have ever faced. I'm not looking forward to my parents, my aunts, uncles, or inlaws getting old. I've had to shift my whole perspective in gratitutde to the Lord instead. It's all a part of the Lord's purpose, and I MUST remember that. I'm really grateful to know that we can see our loved ones again. I'm also grateful to know that pain can turn into spiritual power, if you allow it to.

11 November 2014

Stop Waiting

I've always considered myself a "Find Joy in the Journey" kind of girl. Well, I have always strived to live that way. I seem to always look back and think about the incredible moments I have shared with Mr. Schroeder and other loved ones in my life, and wish I would have enjoyed them more. I'm still trying to perfect the whole "Love where you are right now" motto. About a year ago, one of my good friends and I got into a little argument. Now, hopefully she doesn't hate me for telling this story. 

She began texting me one evening about how she hasn't found her other half yet, and it's heartbreaking. I tried looking on the brighter side of things & explained that she can't keep waiting around for a man to make her happy, but that she needs to find happiness within herself. (Side note: I totally get that having all of your friends married and you not being married can be heartbreaking, and it can hurt. I DO get that. But I do believe that happiness can only be obtained by reaching inside of your soul, as far as you can go, and find what makes YOU happy. Nature, music, spirituality, art, whatever it may be. You can't depend on someone else to fulfill your happiness) Okay, I got a response explaining that I don't understand because I have my prince charming, I was married already, and things came easy for me. Though I'm not going to get into the argument part of it, it did hurt. I think people are silly. 

Why are we comparing our weaknesses to others strengths? Why are we comparing what we don't have to what others do have? Obtaining happiness will become impossible if this is the attitude we have. I've experienced it too. Life will be a lot easier once school is done & we both have our careers! Life is going to settle down once we start a family. No, no, no. I want to have joy & happiness in the NOW. If we're constantly looking forward to summer, or marriage, or something we don't have, we're never going to be happy. Readers! You wanna work on this with me, or what?