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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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

{Have you ever felt?}

Hello, you!

Have you ever endured a pain so consuming that your skin seems to shrink and crawl over bone and muscle? Your heart sort of morphs into a little monster trying to tear its way out of your chest and, in that intense moment, you’re not thankful that your ribs hold it back. You wish your fingernails were claws instead so you could tear yourself open and apart. Maybe then the pain would ebb and a comfortable numbness would replace it, right?

Have you ever waited until the lights were out before you’d allow your mind to run through all the thoughts you forced to the back of your mind throughout the day because maybe a memory might trickle down your cheek and you know others see tears as an invitation into your struggles even though they have no right to even ask to be let in?

Have you ever felt that people asked what was wrong, and listened to only half of what you said so they could take that less than half of a truth and use it as a conversation starter with someone else?

Have you ever felt there could be no reason good enough to justify the pain you’re barely making it through now?

Have you ever felt…?

It’s been something I’ve thought about for a while. I believe there’s a reason behind everything. But until recently, if someone asked me why, I wouldn’t have had an answer and that bothered me. Now, I do and I thought I’d share it.

{Does pain have meaning?}

Yes.

{Why?}

I have a few answers to this question.

>>>>>>> Because I’m only human and this world is crap. If I didn’t believe that pain had a meaning, I’d have no hope. This planet is full of suffering, bloodshed, hate, anger… If there is no meaning to pain, and life is full of pain, then, to me, life would have no meaning.

>>>>>>> Because I have faith that this suffering can be used to help someone else whether by helping me relate to their situation in the future or…

>>>>>>> Ever heard a Catholic say, “Offer it up?” Hold up, non-Catholics! This applies to you too (if you’re Christian). It has a Biblical basis. In Colossians 1:24, Saint Paul says, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church…” 

(Quick note: Christ’s suffering lacked nothing. What this verse means, then, is that we should unite our sufferings with that of Jesus’ on the Cross. We can gather this from Romans 8:17 which can be found below.)

Jesus told us to rejoice in our suffering in Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Now, where does the term “offer it up” come from? Well, we see it in Romans 8:17: “and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him”

When Jesus said, ““And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” in Luke 9:23, He was telling us that we would suffer. But for a greater glory. His glory and also (take a look back up at Colossians 1:24) for the sake of the Church.

So suffering isn’t worthless then. And that’s the biggest thing for me. If it means nothing, then a lot of our lives have been wasted. But, if it has a purpose, and we act upon it, then I think it’s justified. Now, if we complain a ton while we’re suffering, are we really acting as Christ would and uniting our pain with His? I think not.

For a more comprehensive article on the Biblical basis of why we suffer, I strongly urge you to click here.

I hope this helps you, lovely. ❤ I hope you can see the beauty in your pain and I wish you the best.

So what are your thoughts? Is there a reason behind your motive to push through pain? Anything that helps you deal with it? I’d love to hear it!

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

This song is just wonderful. Don’t be afraid to get hurt. Don’t be afraid of pain, darling.

{break me, heal me}

Good morning, afternoon, or evening, my darlings.

never surrenderWith so much going on in today’s world (like ISIS beheading even children, depression sucking in precious teens, failed relationships that tear families apart, a father’s drug abuse influencing his son to do the same, a mother’s lack of care for her daughter who seeks that love in all the wrong places…), it’s hard to remember that there is still some good in it (like the man who holds the door open for a woman struggling to get her stroller through it by herself, or the random person on the street who compliments you on your outfit, or the stranger who says something small but fills an empty spot in your soul, or the missionaries sharing love with those who didn’t know it was a real thing…).

Whenever it seems like nothing is going to get better again, force yourself to remember that you’ve felt like this before. Remember all the times when you wished you were someone else so you didn’t know the things you were struggling with inside, when you wished you looked like that person, when you wished you weren’t you weren’t your own worst enemy, when you wished you could just feel better, when you wished you could tear yourself apart.

What do you do when you find yourself asking, “where then is my hope? Who can see any hope for me?” (Job 17:15)

Remember that the hard things now make you stronger. Also, so cliche, but it isn’t the end. ❤ Don’t make bad choices based on the way you feel now. You know you’ll regret it. Think ahead to when you’re feeling better — what decision could you make now that will make you happier then?

There’s not insta-cure for pain. There’s no mental iodine.

In the moment, it seems like it’s going to last forever. Everyone’s been through something that would break your heart, love.

It hurts.

It does.

It’s hell.

But not forever.

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.  When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening.  They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”  He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him,  “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied.  Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”  Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. – Luke 18:35-43

“You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.  You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor” (Job 11:18 – 19)

I love you. Stay strong. ❤

God bless!

Rana