Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Dear Americans,

We have a problem. Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. But retailers can't make very much money off of it, can they? Not unless they sell food or decorations. So they have a nifty solution- make Christmas bigger. Ooh yes, they can make a lot of money off of Christmas shoppers. How do they make Christmas bigger?


Let's look at the history of Thanksgiving. It used to be on the last Thursday in Novemeber, did you know that? Always the last one, even if November had 5 Thursdays. And now it's on the 4th Thursday, which is sometimes the last Thursday but not always. When did that change? According to Congress, Dec 26, 1941. 

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But FDR started observing Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in 1939. Yup, during the Great Depression. Thanksgiving was on the last day of November that year, according to the "last Thursday" tradition. Retailers were afraid of losing money during the Christmas season because shoppers had fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And most people, at that time, didn't do their Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving.

Okay, so they moved Thanksgiving. Big deal, that was 72 years ago! Why am I writing a blog post?

Because, my friends, Thanksgiving is being completely disrespected. By retailers. Again. (Well, I don't have a problem with them having moved it. Especially cuz it was the Great Depression. But saying "again" just makes my point sound better)

WHY are stores open for Black FRIDAY shopping on THURSDAY night?? And after doing a little research, it's not just Thursday night.

It looks like Lowe's opened at 4am on Thanksgiving morning. Kmart wasn't much better- 6am. A few other stores opened Thursday morning as well.

I understand why. Retailers are increasing profits this way. But what happens when stores start opening at midnight Thanksgiving morning? At 8pm Wednesday night? When will it stop??

Just because I understand why they do it doesn't mean I think they should.

This whole phenomenon is totally disrespectful of Thanksgiving (and Christmas, too, if you think about it). Whatever happened to a day of giving thanks and eating way too much food and spending time with family? It's quickly turning into a major shopping day. And when you picture Black Friday shoppers, you picture loud, rude, selfish people who will do anything to get the "best price" on some materialistic thing. They're not spending quality time with their families. They're not being very thankful.

I have never been Black Friday shopping. But I've worked on Black Friday, twice now. I'm lucky to have my job, and not work at Walmart or something. We opened at 8am Friday morning (we usually open at 9am). It was awesome.

See, I work at this company called Hobby Lobby. We are closed on Sundays. Our CEO runs the company based on Christian values. We don't open at ridiculous hours just to make a little more money. 

So guess what, big greedy companies? It's possible to be less greedy and still make money. 

Be thankful, people. Spend time being thankful. And AFTER you spend a day being thankful, THEN you may go shop. Gratitude makes you happier. I promise.

I apologize for not knowing the image source on this one.

<3 Marie-Rose

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sitting at my grandparents' house, and my dad and uncle and grandpa are watching the football game. This morning we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This, my friends, is Thanksgiving :)

There's a lot that I'm thankful for. Where to even begin??

I'm thankful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It has brought so much joy to my life. I'm so glad my friends shared their beliefs with me :)

I'm thankful for the many promptings I have received and recognized over the past week. I feel so loved :) each one came at exactly the right time (obviously, cuz His timing is always perfect!!!) and I felt so much better knowing He's watching out for me :)

I'm thankful for my friends. Their love and support is simply amazing.

I'm thankful for my blog :) it makes me happy! Even though I only have like two readers :) I love you guys! And your comments make me happy!

I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my job. For the awesome food we just ate :) turkey and cranberry sauce and squash and potatoes and pickles and fruit salad and brown 'n serve rolls! I'm thankful for music. For internet. For scriptures. For scholarships. For fuzzy socks. For scarves. For my phone. For books. For khaki pants. For pillows and blankets. For jewelry. For those days when my hair cooperates. For my speech class. For snow. For sunlight. For sleep. For rocking chairs. For nail polish. For getting a good grade on my calc test a week or two ago. For school spirit. For happiness. For purple, cuz it's an awesome color.

I'm thankful for life on Earth :)

Most of all, I am thankful that "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us me we love Him" :)

What are you thankful for today?

<3 Marie-Rose

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

D&C 93:40

This is gonna sound really weird. But as a convert, I wasn't sure if I wanted to teach my future children the Mormon faith.

My reasoning? I don't want to force them into believing something. I want them to know that they can make a choice, like I did. I felt forced to be Catholic, like that's all my parents wanted me to do. Granted, after talking to them, I realize it wasn't like that, but I don't want my kids to feel that way.

But then I read D&C 93:40

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And then I found this blog post. Jeremy, the author of What I Believe  A Mormon Perspective, says that some people (like me, apparently), don't want to "force religion on their kids," so they can "exercise their agency."

But then he says
If they don't learn it from you, who are they going to learn it from before the world fills their heads with other meaningless, degrading, and harmful things?
 Very good point, Mr. Jeremy. Very good point.

I want my future kids to have the same amazing opportunity that I have, to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And if I don't teach them, the world will. And if the world (and Satan) teaches them, they won't learn the same things that I have learned: that Heavenly Father loves me, and I can one day return to live with Him, and He asks that I keep His commandments. (John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments)

And d'you know what? I know that Heavenly Father led me to find these things. He knew I was struggling with this dilemma, and He sent me an answer. I don't recall having ever prayed about it, but sometime in the future I would have. And that makes me feel so very loved and protected.

<3 Marie-Rose

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thoughts From Mass

(Mass is Catholic-speak for church service)

We sang this song at the end of mass today:

Canticle of the Turning
My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the one who waits.
You fixed your sight on the servant's plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears,
For the dawn draws near,
And the world is about to turn.

Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me.
And your mercy will last from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and those who would for you yearn,
You will show your might, put the strong to flight,
for the world is about to turn. (Refrain)

From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
every tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
These are tables spread, ev'ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn. (Refrain)

Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God's mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror's crushing grasp.
This saving word that our forbears heard
is the promise that holds us bound,
'Til the spear and rod be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around. (Refrain)

The part that really struck me was where it says "Though I am small, my God, my all, / you work great things in me" 

We as people are small as compared to God, compared to the Earth, compared to a mountain, etc.

Image location

I'm a relatively small person, on top of all that. As in, shorter than 5'3" :) go short people! Physically, I don't look that impressive. But Heavenly Father can still "work great things in me," even though I don't appear "great." I don't know yet what those things will be, but I would love to be able to do them. 

Ya know what would be really awesome, is if I could be like Al Fox (see her blog here). I lied, she's married now- Al Carraway. Anywho, she talks at firesides, her blog is amazingly inspirational, and she's totally my role model. Plus she's a convert like me, although her story is a bit more dramatic than mine. (Thank you to Whitney Sue at Feel My Sunlight for THIS POST that led me to find Al's blog!)

Are you open to letting Him work great things in you? Whether it be changes in how you live your life, missionary moments, serving others, or hundreds of other things He might have in store for you? It's something I need to work on. I want things to go MY way, but that's not how things go. I need to follow His plan for me. 

This song, Canticle of the Turning, has a wonderful message of joy. The gospel brings me true joy. I hope you can feel the same. 

<3 Marie-Rose

Thursday, November 14, 2013

212 Days

Guess what today is.

It's November 14. Guess what happens 7 months from today.

Seven months from today is June 14, 2014. That, my friends, is the day I will be baptized. 212 days from today.

It's been a year and 5 months since I decided I wanted to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. THAT'S SUPER AWESOME. I am SO EXCITED.

I know this Church is true. I know because I feel peace when I read the scriptures. I know because simply thinking about how happy I'll be when I get baptized makes me super happy now. I know because the gospel has brought me nothing but joy. I know because every time I see the little spire thingy on the Stake Center, I'm reminded of how awesome this Church is. I know because talking about our faith brings my friends and I closer. I know because I've felt the Spirit prompting me in the right direction.

I KNOW that I'm in the right place. I know I belong here.

Happy happy happy :D

In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.

<3 Marie-Rose

PS I'm not doing 30 days of Thanksgiving like lots of the awesome bloggers I follow, cuz I know I would forget or not have time and feel bad cuz I missed a day, but today I'm thankful for my faith :D

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Changed by Rascal Flatts

"I came up out of the water
Raised my hands up to the Father
Gave it all to him that day
Felt a new wind kiss my face
Walked away, Eyes wide open
Could finally see where I was going
It didn't matter where I'd been
I'm not the same man I was then

I got off track, I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place where souls get lost
Lines get crossed
and the pain won't go away
I hit my knees, Now here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am

I got a lot of "Hey, I'm sorry"s
The things I've done
Man, that was not me
I wish that I could take it all back
I just want to tell em' that
Tell 'em that

I got off track, I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place where souls get lost
Lines get crossed
and the pain won't go away
I hit my knees, Now here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am

I'm changed for the better
More smiles, less bitter
I'm even starting to forgive myself

I hit my knee, I'm here I stand
There I was, now here I am
Here I am, Here I am, Here I am
Yes I am
I'm changed for the better.
Thank God I'm changed."
(Source link)

I absolutely love this song. It totally fits me. "I hit my knees, now here I stand" :) and the first bit, about baptism- that WILL be me. I can't wait to get baptized.

Image source

The abbreviated story:
Remember how, in my conversion story post, I said after YC I started questioning my entire Catholic belief system and my emotional state was "not good"? Well, it went a little deeper than simply "not good," and it stayed that way for a long time. Sophomore year sucked. So did parts of junior year. I'm much better now, but I have a lil ways to go yet. This song, Changed, is like my theme song.

One time, I was driving home with my best friend, Katie, in the passenger seat. Changed came on the radio, so of course I had to sing along. It had been an amazing day, and I was super content with where I was, spiritually and emotionally. I'm not sure if she could hear it in my voice, but the feeling of peace and contentment was strong. It was amazing.

Anywho, the moral of the story is that it gets better. There will be times when your life takes a downhill turn.

And there will be times when you feel "Changed" and like you can smile again.

<3 Marie-Rose

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I have a Brother!

Before I get to the main point of this post, I have two stories to tell.

I have two younger sisters and no brothers. On my dad's side of the family, all my cousins are age 20+, cuz my dad is the youngest in his family. A Christmas or two ago, one of my cousins taught my sisters and I how to play chess. It was awesome. He was like an older-brother figure that day. It made me wish I had an older brother like him. Cuz some days, I get sick of being the oldest kid in the family. I have to do everything first (high school, license, ACT, college...) and then give my sisters advice on how to do it better. 

Second story: 
At one point of a Catholic mass (haha, you didn't expect to learn anything about Catholics today, did you?), the priest (who is NOT a priest in the Mormon sense of the word. It's quite different) says "...our God, our Brother, our Sacrament for life this morning" (or evening or whatever time of day the mass is at)(emphasis added). This is when he's blessing the bread and wine for communion (like the sacrament). Except Catholics believe the bread and wine literally change into the body and blood of Christ (that's where the "Sacrament for life" part in that quote comes from). 

So here's the main point of my post: 
I have a Brother! I just realized this today. I know we're all brothers and sisters, but I have yet to find a good older-brother figure out of all the guys I know. Some of them have potential, but I don't know any of them well enough. 


Jesus Christ is our Brother, in a manner of speaking. He is the Son of God, and we are all sons and daughters of God. And He loves us and watches out for us, just like a perfect older brother would. None of the bickering stuff. Just love and protection. He wants what's best for us, and He wants us to be happy. Plus, the Atonement. I'm totally in awe of the whole Atonement thing. To think that anyone would ever go through all of that pain and suffering for *me*.... Wow.

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It's like... He's our older Brother. He went off to college or something. Or moved to a different state. And life is much more awesome there, wherever He went. And all He wants is for us to join Him!!

That was a lame analogy. But I like it. 

I have a Brother :) and so do you! YAY! :D it makes me happy :) 

<3 Marie-Rose

Saturday, November 2, 2013

So I'm sure you wanna know how my speech went...

I ended up giving a brief history of the early church- focusing on the First Vision, the BOM, and the official organization on April 6, 1830.

There's two ways to judge how a speech went. Wait, three, I lied.

One- your grade.
Two- how you feel it went
Three- how the audience feels it went

So my grade was definitely not what I thought it was gonna be. I totally expected an A. And that's not just because I'm a straight A student. To jump ahead into how *I* thought it went, I thought I did really well. But I got 86%. Which is totally not bad, don't get me wrong! I just thought I did better.

I had to watch a recording of myself giving the speech. I thought I had a couple things to improve on (playing with my notecards, looking down to check my notes too often, saying "um" too much...), but those were mostly minor. I thought. I was super nervous before the speech, but during it wasn't too bad. I did have a few mini heart attacks, but it went smoothly. I didn't die. It was all good :)

And then my class got to ask questions! They asked good questions. Like if I'm going on a mission (I explained how missions are more optional for girls, and said I don't know yet if I'll go). One asked if I'd seen the BOM musical thing (I said I had not, and explained how we've been counseled not to see it [that's right, yes? I heard that someplace... Maybe New Era?] because it makes fun of us). One thanked me for sticking to facts and not trying to convert them all (I said I know I can't convert anyone. I believe that Heavenly Father is the only one who can convert you, I can just give you information). And lots of other questions!

I don't remember all of the questions, but none of them were rude or argumentative. They were all out of legitimate curiosity. And it made me super happy. I actually got an extra credit point for how I answered the question about the BOM musical, by the way :)

Anywho! My point is- if you approach the subject of religion the right way, some people just might listen to you. I wasn't pushy and I stuck to the basics. I was simply there to inform them so they knew a little bit more about my church. Remember how on the survey they all said they didn't know anything? I hope they know a little bit about the history now :)