Prayer Request

Hello, lovelies!

I hope your week is going well so far. 🙂

Today, I’d like to talk about something I probably have no right to talk about: parenting. I’m not going to tell you how to bring your kids up (just, more like, strongly suggest 😉 ). But before you get all defensive, let me say something: this is all common sense. So if you’ve got some of that, don’t worry your pretty little mind.

Someone very dear to my heart is hurting a lot. Because of her parents. She’s not even a teenager yet, but she’s one of the strongest people I’m blessed to know. She’s taught me more than I think she knows about what it means to be strong, not give up, and act older than you should at twelve years old.

So what’s up? How are her parents hurting her?

  • One of her parents has been in jail many times.
  • Her other parent was getting better for a while. This parent has tried to raise their three kids alone for a long time. They got better, stopped smoking. Now, they’ve relapsed and picked up drinking and partying and dating as well.
  • The parent raising the kids also does not discipline their kids. The eldest (the twelve year old) basically makes better decisions than her parents. She knows right from wrong. She tries to step in and parent her siblings, but she can only do so much with a bratty six year old and mischievous ten year old.
  • Especially when the present parent is constantly yelling at her and letting the little kids do whatever they want because they don’t care enough to say no.

It’s hard for me to write this because this is something that happens to other people. Not the people you know and love. But I guess everyone is someone’s son, daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, or friend.

Now, all this begs the question:

What are a parent’s responsibilities?

  • Say flipping no. I get that you “love” your kids. I get that you don’t want to upset your little angel. But that’s part of your job. Upset them now to save them later. Want to know why your six year old is overweight? Because you allow her to eat only toast. You don’t force her to eat what she doesn’t want because that’s inconvenient for you. Which leads me to the next point:
  • Convenience isn’t in the job description. You gave that up when you decided to sleep around. Sorry, not sorry. You’re not allowed to go out ’till 3:00 a.m. while your 12 year old is up worrying about you. She should not be worrying about you. That’s flat out wrong, selfish, and just plain idiotic and immature. You’re not allowed to go out and get drunk every weekend. You’re just not. You have kids, responsibilities and you’re slacking.
  • Discipline. This goes along with saying no. But a parent needs to discipline their kids; otherwise, it follows that no decent parent will want your kid hanging out with theirs; when they go out into the workplace, no one is going to want to hire someone who doesn’t know how to force themselves to do their job.
  • You don’t get to swear around or at your kids. What do you think that does to or for them? Nothing except make them feel worthless.
  • You don’t get to tell your kids that what you’re doing is okay because you’re an adult. That’s illogical. That’s you making excuses. And the minute you start doing that, that’s the minute I know you’re trying to justify your actions.

Essentially, you don’t get to put yourself first.

You’re going to school, working two jobs, have three kids, raising them alone because your partner is a flop.

I get that. I get that parenting is hard. I get that I have next to no authority to talk about this. I get that parents everywhere despise the fact that a 17 year old is writing about their responsibilities.

But am I really telling you anything new? I certainly hope not. This is just common sense.

Your selfishness hurts everyone. Your kids most of all. Your family.

I don’t judge you. I judge your actions. And it hurts because I love you and I thought you were better than this. I know you are.

And I ask all of you reading this to please, please pray for this family.

Maybe if a minor can see these problems so clearly, actual parents with these struggles can too.

Love always + stay strong,

Rana

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You don’t deserve what you want + here’s why

Whoa.

Harsh.

Ouch.

Before you go run to grab the cold water and soothe that burn, hang on for just a sec. Hear me out. I was watching this video and one of the points that Ariel mentioned really struck me. (You love it when people put your thoughts into words too, right?)

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Oscar Wilde // gingerling.wordpress.com |

She was talking about achieving your dreams. And I’d like to touch on that. Here’s a list of my thoughts because, if you’ve been around for any amount of time, you know I love them:

#1) Your aspirations are yours to chase; they do not belong to your parents or friends.

You want to be the manager of Coca-Cola. That’s your dream. If you want it, you have to go get it. Your parents can’t call Coke up and ask for a promotion from nothing.

You have to start at the bottom and work your way up. If you can handle it and work hard enough, that proves you’re meant to be where you end up.

Good results don’t come from wishful thinking or simply asking nicely (although the latter does help). Good results come after one puts forth the effort, time, and resources.

So now that we know whose dream we’re talking about and who deserves it, let’s move on to why you don’t deserve what you want.

#2) You don’t deserve what you want because you’re still wanting it.

You get my drift?

No one gets handed their dreams on a silver platter (unless you’re rich and your dream is food). If you’re still wanting what you’re wishing for, you obviously haven’t worked…

a) hard enough

or

b) long enough.

Aspirations take time to materialize. You don’t deserve what the manager of Coca-Cola has because you haven’t made it there yet.

#3) Clarification Points

a) We’re talking about realistic dreams. If you come from a middle class family such as mine, your dreams are probably not as big (or expensive) as a kid of the President of the U.S., right? If you broke your legs, they got infected, and had to be amputated, winning first place in figure skating at the Olymipcs probably isn’t as realistic for you as it would be for someone with both legs. It’s just common sense (and life).

b) Even if you’ve worked hard, given up everything, and struggled toward your dream for ten years and still not there, you still don’t deserve it. Why? Because you obviously deserve much more.

I’m a firm believer in meaning. Everything has a reason for happening. And it all works out for the better (Romans 8:28). It really does. I know this from certain experiences in my life. I’m happier. I’m stronger. It could be from something as simple as not winning a debate round or more complex like not being born somewhere less miserable than Florida (which, by the way, is the place people come to die; seriously, more and more retirement homes are being built here). 😉

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do. Pope John XXIII // gingerling.wordpress.com |

#4) The point is, if you don’t chase your dreams, no one’s going to go out and get them for you.

Yes, cheesy. I know.

But the level of cliche does not determine the truthfulness of a statement.

At one point or another, we all need to realize that we are in control of our own lives and we need to get off out butts and do something with them. (I’m still working on this and it’s frustrating as all get out. Seriously, a certain family member told me they would choose a profession for me and make me go to college for it. But that’s not their decision to make, not their life to run, and they can’t make me do it – as much as I respect them. And if you’re wondering, I told them the above and that I was praying for direction and I think they dropped the idea.)

I encourage you to live; not merely exist. Take risks. Ask for help. Do something to promote your future well-being. Do something to love yourself now.

You deserve the things you get and the things you don’t.

God bless,

Rana

Count Your Blessings

Hello, lovely!

I want to take a few minutes to let you know what’s been going on in the world of Rana. My aunt and uncle-in-law celebrated their one year anniversary a few months ago and, because they didn’t really have a party after the papers were signed and their marriage was legally legit, they threw a party at their house a year later.

>>Now, they have a friend who owns a gluten-free/paleo bakery and you really ought to check it out if you live in South West Florida. It’s called Epiphany Gluten Free Bakery and you can buy their goods at Neighborhood Organics (just call before visiting – all the info is on the FaceBook page).

Anyway, this friend made their cake. It was literally the most beautiful cake I’d ever seen and one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever eaten. Seriously. Take a look:

Count Your Blessings | The Gingerling

Photo Credit to Epiphany Gluten-Free Bakery.

I jokingly asked her while she was cutting it up if I could work for her. She laughed and said absolutely. I kept thinking about it and realizing how much I really do love to work in the kitchen. I called her up and asked if she would mind my working there for free. Sweet soul that she is, Ruth said she would love to have me.

Long story short, I’ve been there twice now and have had a blast both times. I’m going to keep going once or twice a week over the summer to see if this is something I might want to do with my life.

Through this, I’ve learned that I need to step up and ask for things if they’re important enough to me. Which is something I’ve always had a hard time doing.

>>In other news, I think I’m leaning more towards not doing speech and debate for this, my senior year. It’s a hard choice because I’ve done it since I was 12 and this is my last eligible year. But like I said, it’s senior year, and I’m going to be incredibly busy succumbing to the pressure and trying not to be committed (to the funny farm).

The hardest part about that is I’ve just started to get good placing 4th and 6th at two different tournaments in debate, getting 13th place in speaker points, and moving on to semi-finals in all three tournaments with my speech. Plus, that’s when people start to know who you are and notice you and I’m not going to lie: That feels good.

But it’s a temporary thing as it’s always been and I need to let it go sometime. It’s either going to be now or next year.

>>For my writing buddies, I’ve started something new. It’s been going on for a while and still has no title. But it’s fun and I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish it. 😉 It’s about a girl from our world who gets zapped into a faerie world (think Tolkien elves, not the Christmas movie, Elf) and everyone thinks she has the power to move the stars (which, in their world, are people who have died or not yet lived). If she can do that, she can bring people back. But she doesn’t believe it and the prince of the fey people is in a perpetual rotten mood, so he’s put in charge of getting her to do the will of the evil king as a punishment for talking back on an issue he felt strongly about (and rightfully so).

Cliche? Maybe in some aspects. Fun? Definitely. And that’s (one reason) why I write. 😉

Fantasy is what I started with as a budding novelist and that crashed and burned. I’m hoping I can revisit it with more success this time, four years later.

Essentially, God has blessed me a lot so far this summer and I’m grateful. ^_^

So what’s going on in your world? What things are going your way?

Love always,

Rana

Why I Really Don’t Care That Animals Are Hurting

Hello, friend (we’ll see if you can call me that by the end of this post 😉 )!

I was going through someone’s FaceBook page and they were posting all about animals, the environment, petitions to save the [insert animal here]… It kind of made me ill.

I know what this sounds like: I’m the reason we have dog meat festivals in China, why antelopes are dying, why entire species are going extinct, and why happy meals from McDonald’s are really not all that happy.

Yeah, I get it. Animals die. Dogs get beaten, burned, skinned alive. Cats get beheaded. Antelopes die and are therefore no longer able to frolic on their plains and feed a lion family.

And we are the reason that’s happening. Animals don’t do this to animals. People – humans – do this to animals. I am 100% aware of that.

And it’s sad. I’m 100% against this behavior because I know we are better than that.

But you know what? I kind of don’t care.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Priority = precedence?” Well, it’s one I’ve heard in debate a lot and I agree (in this context, at least).

I don’t care about the brutal treatment of animals because I see this happening to people.

Why I don't really care that animals are hurting

Sarah with her dog, Zoe, and yours truly.

In a day and age where everyone is offended by anything and everything, I realize I’m stepping on toes. If you’re not comfortable with that, then just step back and stop reading.

Why can’t people focus on people? Why are we not okay with dogs being burned alive, but we can turn a blind eye when the exact same thing happens to a human being?

I don’t get it.

To be human means we can act beyond instinct and think for ourselves. I don’t care about animals dying because we have bigger issues to deal with. We have crimes against humanity to deal with.

Did you hear the story about an abortionist who sells aborted baby parts to customers? Sick? I think so. Which issue merits more attention/hurt? Tearing babies apart or animals?

If we can’t love each other, what business do we have loving an animal?

It is far, far more important to love (in the most real sense of the word: sacrifice) one human being than it will ever be to love the entire animal kingdom.

Until we can solve our world-wide human-hate problem, I won’t pay much attention to the species going extinct.

Why I don't really care that animals are hurting | The Gingerling

I would totally give credit to whoever owns this, but I don’t know whose it is!

Humans have dignity and can think for themselves; animals don’t and can’t. You tell me which issue is more important.

When you can identify that, you know which priority merits precedence.

(In case you’re wondering, I do have a pet. Over the years, we’ve had multiple dogs, chicken, geese, cats, a turtle, and cows. I know what it’s like to be attached to a pet. I love my cat. She’s sleeping by my feet as I write this. When I was little, we hatched a baby chick with a twisted beak. I cried when it died because I wanted it to be comfortable and happy and alive.)

Bottom line: essentially, I find it difficult to put so much focus on animals when we are avoiding the very real problem that has to do with a lack of love toward human beings. Toward people.

I suppose we can’t put anything totally into perspective until it affects us.

And, just to be clear, I don’t mean disrespect toward animal-lovers. I completely respect them and I respect you and your views (whether I agree with them or not).

And now that my rant is over, I release you and your precious eyeballs from their voluntary bondage to my words.

Love,

Rana

Art Dump + July the Fourth

Hey there!

Since summer break started, I’ve had time to be productive! Which means getting back into the swing of writing and creating art. Whoo hoo!

L’Art Dump

Lately, I’ve discovered that hand lettering is basically the bomb diggity, okay, and I’d like to share some of it with you. 🙂 A lot of other pictures are hanging on my wall and I haven’t scanned them yet, but hopefully soon! My process looks something like this:

Step 1) Waste a couple years scrolling through Pinterest.

Step 2) Select a sassy quote.

Step 3) Acquire scrap paper, sketch it out, and outline in black ink, adding doodles here and there.

Step 4) Tape printer paper over the scrap paper and trace with black ink.

Step 5) Hone in on that inner-kindergartner and color it in!

 

I follow a YouTube channel called the REL Show and, when Ariel is in one of her rooms, she's got this poster hanging on the wall. I liked it so boom. (Hers is much nicer, obviously. :P )

I follow a YouTube channel called the REL Show and, when Ariel is in one of her rooms, she’s got this poster hanging on the wall. I liked it so boom. (Hers is much nicer.)

Art Dump + July the Fourth

I used "the bomb" because I may or may not overuse "the bomb diggity."

I used “the bomb” because I may or may not overuse “the bomb diggity.”

Shakespeare coming to you with words of relateability.

Shakespeare coming to you with words of relateability.

I've picked up yoga. I like it. But I also like sleep.

I’ve picked up yoga. I like it. But I also like sleep and snarkasm.

Taken from Mirriam Neal's This Curious Madness.

Taken from Mirriam Neal‘s This Curious Madness.

Art Dump + July the Fourth

I usually use a ruler to make sure everything is even. Apparently I was having a lazy fit...

I usually use a ruler to make sure everything is even. Apparently I was having a lazy fit when I attempted this…

Alice in Wonderland is next on my reading list!

Alice in Wonderland is next on my reading list! And I promise I can draw people better than that. ^ I just didn’t feel like it there.

July the Fourth

This day of remembrance was spent with my mom’s side of the family. At night, we set off fireworks in my aunt’s backyard.

Little Cousin + Me = Red Hair x 2

Little Cousin + Me = Red Hair x 2

Art Dump + July the Fourth

| red lip classic thing |

| red lip classic thing |

Art Dump + July the Fourth

#naturallypatriotic #redhairwhiteskinblueeyes

 

Someone get me a crown because I found my throne.

Someone get me a crown because I found my throne.

Miscellaneous News

I am sort-of-interning at a gluten-free + paleo bakery for the next few months. How blessed am I? And I’m just realizing that gluten-free and paleo can taste good. Furthermore, my grandma gave me an espresso maker and my mom bought me a cute owl mug.

My music obsession for the moment is With Beating Hearts, Christina Perri, Christina Grimmie, Ms Mr, Daughtry, Joy Williams, & Kelly Clarkson.

Love always,

Rana