Month: April 2015 (page 1 of 2)

Sharing the Love

One thing I love about the internet is all the people who are joining in conversations and sharing each other’s ideas. It’s a way to encourage your friends far and wide, to learn new things, and to be challenged to grow. So here’s to sharing the love!

 

  • Lauren and Danielle are from my hometown. These two beauties inspire me with their art work and commitment to living lives full of beauty.
  • This post on hospitality is similar to my experience since moving from a teensy weensy apartment into a more spacious duplex. Hospitality is about sharing life, not impressing guests. Can I get an AMEN?!
  • This post about fad diets and religion challenged me to think about why food is always at the forefront of my mind. Although I do suffer from food related inflammation, I recognize that the choices we make about what we eat are not always about physical health.
  • She Reads Truth is a great devotional to follow. Today’s reading reminded me of all the emotions I felt after visiting Honduras my sophomore year in college. Jesus said, “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). As an American Christian, I’m starting to understand why…
  • And finally, this is my jam today!

Thanks for stopping by Milly Becoming Wilder. Will you share the love?!

I’m Offended!

Everywhere you turn, someone is getting offended about something, and I think it’s because we are a big bunch whiners. If I offend some people with this post, it’ll probably get more attention for the blog than my other, far more uplifting posts…I think people like being offended. It gives them something to clamor on about.

I feel like I can speak about this issue with some level of authority, because I am a person who gets my feelings hurt easily, and therefore I get offended easily. I’m sensitive to the core. I own that fact, and I have enough self-awareness to realize that the reason I get upset most of the time is that I’m insecure about my position.

The more I watch people on the internet and in real life, the more I believe that most people get offended when they feel like their lifestyle or worldview is threatened, and they feel the need to defend where they stand. For instance, if I were to get on Facebook and say I believe it’s best for children to be breastfed until age two or more, there would be a storm of people saying that my statement of belief is offensive to mothers who can’t breastfeed, those who don’t want to breastfeed, and those who breastfeed but wean their babies earlier in life. Say what?! Who gives a hoot what I say? The only people affected by my belief about breastfeeding are my own babies! The truth is, I DO believe that it’s best for babies to be breastfed until age two or beyond, but I weaned Josiah at 18 and a half months, because he was losing interest, and at the time, our family was going through a really, really tough time. I was sad that we didn’t make it to two years, and I wished that he’d been able to receive the antibodies from breastmilk longer, but it didn’t work out that way, and I’m fine with that. If someone else were to say mothers should breastfeed until age two, I’m secure enough to say that maybe I should have but I didn’t. I wouldn’t be offended, and I wouldn’t feel the need to defend myself. I’m secure in my position.

On the other hand, being a working mother, I have felt offended when other women have made comments about how mothers should stay home with their children. I’m not offended because they said or did anything wrong. I get upset because I am insecure about being a working mother. I feel the need to defend my choice, because I don’t always feel like I’m doing the best for my child. God knows my situation, and so do the people closest to me. I chose to go to work when Dustin and I were separated, rather than letting my family fall apart from financial distress. I know I did the right thing, even though it was the hard thing, but I still hate every minute away from Josiah. When I get offended, it’s because I wish people knew that I don’t want to be away from him, but I figured it was better for him to have his Daddy in his life than to have separated or divorced parents, and live with a stressed out mom on welfare (I think I may have just offended someone with my choice not to go on welfare. “Gasp, she must look down on people on welfare because she didn’t think it was best for her family!” I can just hear it now). Anyway, my point is, the other person’s opinion or worldview isn’t the problem, and I need not concern myself with it. You see, I believe I should be home with Josiah, but that isn’t our reality, so it hurts when I’m reminded. My problem is with my own insecurity. If I thought being a working mom was best, I wouldn’t care about those comments.

I think we can see this constant tension in the “Mommy Wars.” What this should be called is “Women Getting Bent Out of Shape Because They Are Insecure and Have to Put Others Down to Feel Better About Themselves”, but that’s not nearly as catchy. I have officially been on both sides of the “Mommy Wars” battlefield, and I think it’s a waste of emotional energy for all involved. If you feel secure in your life choices, no one else’s opinion should matter. Why do we feel the need to defend either side? Stay-at-home-moms want the world to know that they DO hard work. Working moms feel slighted because they believe THEY do the hard work. WHATEVER. Why do we value our motherhood based on how HARD we work? That’s a very MARTHA attitude in an area where Jesus wants us to have a MARY heart. Our hearts and love for our children should be how we value our motherhood, but we feel the need to defend ourselves to outsiders who JUST DON’T GET IT.

This issue of being always offended and defensive applies in matters of religion and politics, as well. I wish it were more like France here. I mean, at least the France I learned about in high school. Apparently, matters of religion, work, and politics are (or used to be) considered taboo to discuss interpersonally. People choose and vote how they will, and they don’t expect each other to talk about it. You actually have a right to your opinion. Not so in the good old U.S.A. No, there is this mentality that if you don’t agree with me, I am going to badger you until you back down or change your mind. GOOD GRIEF. If you have to make other people agree with your stance, are you really confident in your position? I see it all the time in the media, especially social media. A person posts a belief about a modern issue, and it starts a fire storm. Why this need to attack other people because they don’t agree with you?

There is a man on Facebook that is friends with several people I know. We shall call him John. I would tell him everything I’m about to say, so don’t feel like I’m talking “behind his back.” John has a vendetta against Christianity. His worldview seems humanistic to me, and he is very passionate about his stance against organized Christianity. I hurt for him because he doesn’t realize what he is missing. He began attacking my friend’s Facebook status one day, and I jumped in, something I almost NEVER do. I came to my friend’s defense, as I thought he was attacking her personally (which is entirely uncalled for), but I also had a conviction that being in an open conversation with John might just plant a seed of interest about Jesus deep inside him. Now, anyone who knows him, knows that John is extremely intelligent and can “rip you up one side and down the other,” and he can lay down some pretty serious smack on your worldview. It’s very easy to become offended when you encounter John, and A LOT of people do. I usually tell them it isn’t worth getting flustered over, but the more I spoke to him, the more I had to check myself, as I felt all the defensiveness rising within me. So many times I had to step back from what I was typing and ask myself why I was feeling upset. Was it because he is rude? Was it because his arguments sounded smarter than mine? Did he make me feel stupid? Was I afraid he might have a point worth looking at? Maybe I was wrong? Is He effectively mocking my religion?

Being offended is a complicated emotion, and I see people attacking one another personally because they don’t recognize where the anger is coming from…within themselves. They feel threatened, so they attack. Anger is frequently a mask for fear. It would have been so easy for me to launch an attack of hatred on John that day because I felt offended. His crime, besides being arrogant, was disagreeing with my beliefs. Therefore, attacking him would truly be my problem, and I would have lost all credibility for the cause of sharing Christ with him.

I see this type of behavior in all different people groups; all races and creeds. People who profess tolerance become very hateful when things don’t end up the way they see fit or when someone disagrees with their point of view. I’m thinking, “Tolerance…I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” I also see Christians, who claim Jesus/God/Love, replying with hateful spirits when non-Christians put our brotherhood down. Jesus said we would be hated by the world, but many Christians still seem somehow shocked by this truth, so they react defensively and forget to speak truth in love.

The beauty of “freedom of speech” from our country and free-will from God is that we really do have a choice in what we believe. We have become a generation who wants to strip that away from one another. We are so thin-skinned. We can’t handle when someone disagrees with us, and I really believe that is a problem. Hatred is growing out of our weak resolve.

I have no issue with standing up for what you believe in, nor with trying to create social change to protect the innocent, but firing back at a person on Facebook or in a coffee shop or in your living room in a very personal way is a reflection of your own confidence. For instance, if I were to come in contact with a girl who was contemplating an abortion, and I had the opportunity to talk with her, I would tell her I don’t believe what she is doing is right or good for her. I would tell her that God has a much better plan available to her through the help of other people and that HE can provide a better way out than she could ever ask or imagine. This gets the point across with truth in LOVE, rather than saying something to the effect of “Don’t murder your baby, you dirty skank.” If you cannot convince someone of what you believe without scare tactics and overbearing, hateful language, then maybe you need to check yourself, find out what you really believe and why, and then make your case. An idea presented with confidence is far more convincing.

If you are feeling offended, step away from the keyboard or the conversation and wrestle with your emotions. Take responsibility for how you feel and what you believe before you place blame on another person. If you are confident in what you believe, you can stand alone and take no offense when others disagree. Then we could have open conversations that challenge each of us to grow in understanding and wisdom, rather than fear and hatred. In so doing, we might have more energy and time to spend fighting the things of this world that are truly offensive, such as childhood hunger, human trafficking, and innocent lives ended by evil hands…

Prayers for Raising My Boy

It’s a strange thing, raising a boy. The emotions I feel, the prayers I whisper…

Sleeping Josiah

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Peace Like a River

When I agreed to host a small group at my house, I was looking forward mostly to fellowship with other Christian women. I’ve been craving friendships like I had in Plainfield, where I made my faith my own and learned what adulthood really is. Deep spiritual connection is even harder to find than friendship. Ask and ye shall receive. This group and the study we’re doing has already challenged me and taught me so much.

We’re using Beth Moore’s Breaking Free to guide us in a deeper understanding of the ways we are held captive in this world.

Breaking Free(Find it here or here)

One of the sections that resonated with me was a discussion about experiencing God’s peace. In an age where anxiety is considered the norm, peace is something so many people desire, but few know how to attain.

Isaiah 48:18 says, “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” Peace comes from a life aligned with the will of God. In my experience, a lot of people find Christianity and the Bible to be a fun-sucking list of rules. I understand that. I’ve been there. So many things we should or should not do…but this is a serious misunderstanding of God’s Word. He gives so many commands because He knows all things and wants the BEST for each one of us. As a parent, I’m starting to understand this so much better. I instruct Josiah so that he will not fall into calamity, whether by harming himself or by becoming a person who is disrespectful and hurtful to others. I don’t give him rules to keep my thumb on him, but to help him live the best life I can imagine for him. Accordingly, I want him to learn to respect God’s authority, because the life HE desires for Josiah far surpasses my imagination. 

<<<Friend, if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, He is ready and willing to save you today. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Believe me when I say, there is NOTHING you have done that would keep God from forgiving your sins. Don’t hold back if you think you aren’t good enough. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God sent His son to die on a cross to save people who were not even ready to repent. He loved us so much that He was willing to take on all of our sin before we were even born! Don’t hesitate! If you’d like to read up on accepting Christ, this is a good place to start. If you are ready to talk about Jesus, feel free to contact me. If I can’t answer all your questions, I’m sure I know plenty of people who can.>>>

The Bible says that God will give us peace like a river if we obey His commands, but don’t misunderstand. A life of peace is NOT a calm, quiet life. Rivers can  flow smoothly, but have you ever seen one rage?!

Rivers become rapids when there is heavy rain, and so it is in our hearts. Life is full of hardship, and that doesn’t change when you accept Christ. This world is a sinful, broken place. There will be no more tears in Heaven, but I can guarantee there will be plenty of tears here on Earth. Peace comes in knowing that your life is in God’s hands; that the One who made the Universe is walking beside you and will protect you, even when life isn’t okay. The rain will come, but you can still experience a peace with the strength of a coursing river. Peace doesn’t mean a lack of chaos, but a life grounded in Christ. It’s trusting in the ONE who can save us in the midst of the storm. It is knowing that we live through each day by HIS strength and NOT our own.

One of my favorite hymns was written by Horatio Spafford, after he suffered the loss of ALL of his children. He knew immense tragedy, yet he remembered that God is mighty to sustain us in the midst of the storm.

“It Is Well With My Soul”

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And that shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, it is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul, it is well
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

I pray that you will find this peace for your soul, friend.

– Felisha

Resurrection Sunday 2015

Resurrection Sunday, also known more commonly as “Easter” is one of my favorite holidays. It’s the most significant one, if you ask me. Why it doesn’t get the same hoopla as Christmas is beyond me.

JESUS OVERCAME THE GRAVE, Y’ALL. That’s cause for some serious celebration!

My sister captured some of the sweetness of the day. Thanks, Alainie!

Resurrection Sunday 2I love our sweet boy and his antics.

Boys Resurrection DayThis pretty much sums up Josiah’s personality. That aside…look at these boys. God is raising up a generation of men for His cause. Glory!

Kids Resurrection DayI can barely handle all this cuteness. These kids are precious. Growing up in church is one thing; raising your kids alongside other Christians is another blessing altogether.

Resurrection SundayJesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11: 25-26). I do believe!

 

 

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