Halloween? -Growing Up Messanic

October 31, 2018

Halloween is a touchy subject for Messainics. Actually, in my experience, it’s is not a ‘touchy subject’ at all. According to messianic thinking and beliefe, October 31 would be considered to be bad. In fact, to a small majority of Christians Halloween is bad.

I love the way I was raised. I would not change anything about it if I could go back and relive my adolescence. However, with any denomination, there are going to be problems that present themselves over time.

As many parents raising their kids in the faith try to do, I was very sheltered. So many things were deemed as being ‘Bad.’ From Jell-O to a Christmas tree (yes that sounds silly but these are things that cause controversy in the messianic community). While these seem small, they can quickly turn into an argument over if its ‘Right or wrong’ to have in your life or even be around.

I have witnessed, and even been a part of every discussion possible about paganism, how it affects our lives. I have been apart of intimate discussions that go for hours on end about the evils in the world, and especially how —bad nonscriptural holidays are. It is no secret that those who were raised similar to my upbringing have and are leaving the synagog, once they are old enough to choose if they are going to keep the life that their parents made them have. I personally think, its because we were all raised strict, and sometimes hostile environments that we need space and time to breath a little bit. We got judged by our peers and sometimes even in trouble for wanting to taste a Pepperoni Pizza. And while there can be tremendous joy-filled in the temple, it is difficult, especially as a young child to live a life that is extremely different then what the world teaches us to be. We got pulled out of class for Christmas parties, learned how to politely decline when we were offered food that wasn’t Kosher (or accept and feel guilty afterward), and if we were raised around Christians we constantly had to explain our beliefs to our friends who tried to constantly convert us. Again, I am by no means stating that I would change anything about my upbringing, I am simply stating that it can be difficult to grow up in the movement.

As someone who has been in the Messianic movement for most of their life, I urge other parents to do the following:

Trust. Trust that your children will walk in truth.

Trust that your children will know when to leave a Halloween party if they need too (or any party for that matter)

Trust the work you have done as a parent whether your child is 6 years old or 16 years old.

Teach them about the ‘evils’ of the world but at some point allow them to decide how they are going to handle them because if you look deep enough there are pagan roots in pretty much everything. And as much as every parent would like too, you cannot shield your Child from the impurity of the world. And eventually, they are going to decide for themselves if they are going to make your faith their own or not.

I am not an expert in human or relations or even my parent. These are just my thoughts on this subject. Feel free to reach out.

-Leah

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When You Realize You Are A Bully

“Hurt people, hurt people”

This is a phrase that describes a common cycle of bullying. As I have shared before, bullying awareness is dear to my heart because I endured years of bullying at a school who didn’t care to do anything about the situations that I was in throughout the years. I choose not to allow the roads that I have previously walked through to define me in a negative sense, but instead, use the pain as a source of strength.

As I have gone tremendously further then I was a few years ago, or even a year ago, I am the first to admit that some of the repercussions of bullying from the past still taint how I see myself today.

I still experience bullying on a regular basis. I share my life online and with that comes trolls, weirdos, and bullies. I try to be as transparent as possible but everyone has their own opinions when you do that.

Recently, a photo of myself was turned into a small advertisement. I was (and still am) overly thrilled for this to happen. As an aspiring model, I am always excited when my photos are used for something practical. I am proud of myself and the team who worked on this project.

Last week, a former bully came across this photo. I was given a new ‘Name’ that I had never been told before. I was called a, “Big Eared Bitch” I laughed when I was told this, especially because my Dumbo years are the only feature that I have that has never been bullied (at least to my knowledge).

I began thinking about how the perspective others have of me have shaped who I am today. For instance, I have been tormented about the way my eyes look for years, and because of that, I tend to hide them. It wasn’t until I got photos back from a photoshoot this spring that I began to see beauty in my eyes. I had been hard on myself for years and came to the realization that I was being a bully towards my own appearance. In fact, I have been a bully my entire life. I had dealt with ‘Hurt people’ and that turned into hurting myself for years. I changed how I saw myself on an outward and inward way.

The Leah that I was when I started sharing my life on the internet, would have found a new insecurity of my ears. I would have taken every photo down that I ever posted of my ears. Today I am going to make a conscious decision to look at myself in the mirror today block out what a bully would say to me, and visualize what the KING would say to me. I am going to be reminded that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I am loved, and that I am the daughter of the highest. I am going to verbally say that I have BEAUTIFUL ears, eyes, face, and body because I was created with a purpose. Most importantly, I am going to make the decision not to be a bully, not towards or myself.

 

With love,

Lama-Leah

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