Hands Cuffed

Forgiveness brings emotional healing, even when the person who was in the wrong did not seek forgiveness. Some would even use the analogy that forgiving is “as sweet as walking into a candy shop.” Forgiving is in no way saying that what the other person did was okay but rather saying I see past that and I’m not holding a grudge anymore.

I am a caring person. Sometimes I may even become too caring at points and take on other people’s problems. At a young age I figured out how to get people to talk about things that they would have normally kept private. Even in my very young age I had several conversations with people that the world would consider to be  victims. Victims of bullying and rough household situations mostly. Because of this I have a huge heart for victims.

I love serving the victims of the world. I am often times praying for healing over them. A verse came to mind when I started to ponder the other side of victims – the abusers. James 5:8 says: “Confess your  sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful and affective.”

When you are in the middle of a sin it chains you down. Confessing it to man can be relieving but also terrifying because a lot of sin breaks not only the biblical law but the courts system law as well.

When I read James 5:8 for the first time I realized something, the abusers are people, too! I know it’s obvious but embarrassingly in my mind I think of these people as being horrid creatures forgetting that they need help in forms of emotional and spiritual realms just as much as the victim does. I would hope that they get legal justice but I still hope that they have a positive and wise mentor who helps them get out of the chains of their sin and began a new godly life.

My Uncle Nick is a godly man who does this. Once a week he goes into the local prison and has a men’s ministry. For years he has done this and because of his willingness to serve, hundreds of prisoners are going to heaven.

If we don’t invest in the victims and the abusers too, we are impacting society in negative ways. I say this because its extremely hard for an abuser to change their ways even if they have a desire to. It’s only through Christ that this can happen, but how can a transformation take place if they don’t even know Christ or have Christ like examples in their life?

You have to be someone special to be involved directly in this form of ministry. You MUST have decernment, strength, and caution. However, everyone can pray. Powerful things can happen through faith in Him. With faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains. What’s stopping you?

Two Full Days, Four Powerful Lessons

Happy Saturday lamaleahblog readers, I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend. On Wednesday I went on a small road to visit my big sister and came back today. I learned several things while on this adventure and this week I’m going to share with you some of the things that I have learned.

1) It’s okay to relax.
It sounds simple but it’s harder than some think. I have been under a lot of stress and it’s been hard to relax. However I realized it is actually okay to relax.

2) When you don’t have the the right supplies, be creative!
On my first full day there, my sister left with instructions for me to make homemade applesauce. If you have never made applesauce before, you need something to smash the apples with. However, I had one little problem, they didn’t have anything to do this with. By the time it was time for the apples to be mashed the two other girls who live there came home. Both of them wanted to help and had ideas as to how to get the job done. Some ideas where using a whisk or even a hand mixer. However, with team work and creativity we were able to get the job accomplished.

3) Sharing about truly difficult journeys bring emotional healing in the long run. Yesterday my sister left with the instructions of, “Get out of the apartment today!” I personally desired to stay in and watch Netflix. I decided to at least search for something to do. Well, I had forgotten that a Starbucks was near by. I hadn’t eaten lunch so I set out by foot in search for some food and caffeine without any particular plan, but I knew the general area that I was headed. After stopping at a few stores, I decided to go to a favorite local cafe. The last time I was in there it was a hard night. That visit to the beloved cafe, I shared with someone pain that I had been keeping inside for many years. I was crying and was unintentionally making a small scene. It was hard because I’m not one to really share my personal feelings with anyone. This visit was much more delightful. I was alone this visit and brought my poetry journal and reflected how much I have actually healed since the last time going in there. I had come to the realization that, that particular evening I emotionally healed more than I had in the years that I had kept that chapter of my book to myself.

4) Your dog will always welcome you home. I am very close to my two dogs. I was ready to come home. By the time I got home I was tired and little was on my mind. I was home for almost ten minutes before realizing that my furry babies had not said “Hello” to me. I asked my parents where they were and they told me that the dogs were running around in the backyard. I went back there to tell them that I was home again. My sweet Pomeranian ran to me and tried to jump into my arms; this was a special moment for me. This reminded me how special it is when God greets a lost Christian coming back home to Him. Just the way my dog does, He misses us and is patiently waiting for you to come home.

Everyone turns away from God at some point, however, it’s the uniqueness of when you come to Him when He Ftruly welcomes you back home.

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Re-routing

Although some may disagree, life is fair in the way that you get out of it what you invest in it. It is fun because we all blindly wake up not knowing what will happen and walk through to the evening never knowing what will happen. Sometimes the great Lord gives us detours in our day-to-day life.

Yesterday I was blessed to have a detour. My family and I skipped church to see God’s beauty in a different form by going to a few community art shows. Towards the end of the evening we decided to go to an art gallery that we hadn’t gone to before. Well, the parking was full and we ended up accidentally taking a detour. The next block after the gallery laid a high class apartment building. Somehow in hopes of finding a parking spot we end up behind this apartment building in an alleyway and,  let me note, that my family has lived in this city for years and has passed by this building hundreds of times. It turns out that large Victorian homes are tucked away in a busy intersection. This was one of the blessings of Shabbat.

The second blessing arrived moments after the first one. Once a parking spot was foun, I finally was able to enjoy the art. Now, art shows are almost as much about the social aspect as the art. It’s about running into old friends, making new ones, and meeting the artist. It is a type of atmosphere that you have to experience and words cannot explain. In the midst of all of the people I ran into a dear friend that God has given me. This lady is very special to me. This was only the third time that we have seen each other ever but yet I am very blessed. She told about what God is doing in her life amongst other things. I secretly hoped to be a little introverted that night. This was definitely God re-routing my evening, but it was 100% worth it.

In a day the Lord will always be sure the sun rises and the sun sets, however, when He sees fit, He throws in hail storms, warmth, wind, spring storms, and snow storms, but it is your own atitude that decides if you dance in the rain. Embrace every moment.

If my family hadn’t been desperately looking for a parking spot, we wouldn’t have found  the beautiful houses. I was extremely fortunate that these detours were good ones; however, life doesn’t always play out that way. As I live in this life that’s full of blessings, some of which I can see now and some that I don’t understand, yet I learn it always works out best to be open to directional  changes because you never know where He will lead you until you actually move forward in that way.

Blessings,
~Lama Leah

Dear Bully — An Open Letter

Dear Bully, how are you doing? I want to thank you. Thank you, my dear, for helping me become a strong person, for pointing out my best and worst personality and physical traits to me. Even though I am now thanking you, I will not let what you did to me change me for the worst. I am not going to let your opinions about me change myself. You told me I am fat; I’m not going to lose weight for you. You told me that I’m weird, well, I’m just going to embrace that. You told me that I’m ugly. I don’t put makeup on for you every day. I put makeup on because I enjoy doing it and love playing with different colors. You told me that I’m stupid; I’m smart in my own ways. Your words won’t change me, but instead will strengthen me.

It is obvious that you are hurting, yourself, and you find it easier to bring others down then lift them up. You are insecure, have low self-esteem, and have probably been hurt yourself by someone else. However, though, I feel sorry for you. While I make a choice not to hurt others because you hurt me, you did not make that same decision. I want you to know that you are precious in G-d’s sight. I want you to know that I’m praying for you.

I also know that I will not purposely surround myself around people who bully me because I’m tired of being hurt. I am tired of the little comments, and the rumors. We both have been hurt by different people and we both have a choice — we can choose to continue to hurt others or we can lift others up. Both of us are doing one of those options.

In the end, no one will remember who was the smartest, funniest, made the varsity team, or had the cutest outfit. Others will remember you by how treat others and how you treat yourself.

With Shalom,
Lama Leah

Fall Leaves

Fall, a season for hoodies, pumpkin spice lattes, and leaves falling under the trees. There is a definite change in the atmosphere, fashion, and appearance of nature.  Besides pumpkin spice lattes, the colors and variety of leaves is my favorite thing about this season. As an artist, I love noticing variation in colors of leaves.

Today was the first day I noticed a definite change in the leaves. Some are brown, orange, red, or yellow. All of the leaves are different but have similarities. Just as a leaf falling from a tree never lands in the exact same place, in life people never “land” in the same place. In life it’s easy to compare one person’s path to another. We all blossom at different times. Just as you can’t compare how one leaf has changed in its color, texture, and size, you can’t really compare yourself to others about how they are growing spiritually, thriving in the workforce, or walking on paths that you wish you could have walked.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to talk to a man who has written a book on following your dreams. He asked me what my dream is. I was reluctant to tell him because I haven’t really gotten many good responses when I tell others what my dream is. After a little convincing, I finally told him that my dream is to be an artist someday. He gave me some advice that I have been pondering since then. He told me that sometimes when you try to follow your dreams it isn’t always your time to pursue them. He told me that the important thing is to continue to follow them after you have grown. That was encouraging because even though I would love to be a professional artist now, it may not be my time to be one. I might have to wait a long time, or it may never happen. But that won’t stop me from doing and enjoying art. I cannot compare where my leaf is falling compared to other’s leaf because G-d has a specific plan for everyone’s life.

At times I have been angry at G-d for allowing me to go through certain things. Many times I have questioned Him during enduring trials, but I am starting to see how it has all been an a part of His plan for my life. I am slowly learning that without my experience, heartache, and at times misery, I would not be able to connect with others the way I can through the trials. This blog would be very different without them because I would be a lot more close minded and unable to write with empathy towards my readers. Lama-Leah is just a small way that I’m able to use my long journey in beautiful ways.

In conclusion, each leaf is beautiful in their own way, they all land in completely different places, so don’t try to emulate somebody else’s landing speed.

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Pro-Life Vegetarian *Gasp*

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I believe that what you consume affects your overall health. By striving to live this way, I have slowly been becoming a vegetarian. I have been doing this for health reasons and personal convictions about harming animals for my dinner. Let me tell you, if you are a new vegetarian or vegan, don’t try to shout it from the rooftop. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told, “Being a vegetarian isn’t healthy, there’s no way to get protein.” “You need meat.” “How can you live without bacon?” But by far the most hurtful things that others have told me on my quest to eat healthy and help the environment, economy, and the animals by trying to eat ethically is when I’m told that I can’t be pro-life and a vegetarian.

Yes, you read it right. In the past, I have been told that I shouldn’t be fighting for animal life and yet be pro-human life.

I’m not sure how some seem to compare eating veggies to baby’s being murdered in their mothers womb, but, however, I have been told that my focus should be on saving babies, not animals because animals don’t have souls. I recognize this, but in too many cases animals in industrial farming there’s an abuse in the way the animals are raised and murdered for profit.

I am pro-life, but that goes further than babies. I have personal convictions about what and who I support in the animal industry. I don’t push my beliefs on others, but I believe that it’s one of my responsibilities to stand up for the animals because they don’t have a voice. Babies don’t have a voice, either; I stand up for them, too. 

Let me make this straight, I am in no way saying that a steak is more important than a baby. I love people, so that means I love babies too! Often times the others define being pro-life as being pro-human. But I say that sometimes being pro-life it means more than human babies. It means pro-life of babies, animals, and the environment. All being life – just being in different forms.

Detox

Recently I started using Bentonite clay on my face. If you are not familiar with this, it is a powder that you make into a paste, then put on your body to draw out the toxins. For the majority of the summer I was able to easily eat primarily vegetarian, but since school started it has been much harder to do so. On days that I eat more meat than I’m use to consuming, my body feels miserable.  Being a vegetarian is simple when you get use to it.

I started using the clay to get the toxins out of my body. Every individual in most parts of the world is constantly around toxins on a daily basis. From bug spray to what you package your lunch in, even (depending on your diet) your food is filled with stuff that has the power to give negative health affects.

Besides the things that fill the land that contain toxins, over the months I have slowly realized that I had toxic people in my own live. For a long time I denied it. I made excuses and exceptions for them. I called them “friends,” but they were constantly pulling me down and the thought of telling them goodbye was not something I was ready to do. As time would go on,  the stronger the toxins had gotten and the sicker my soul had become. After an attempted confrontation about this went down hill, I realized that for myself I had to say goodbye.

It was devastating for me to do, but I realized that friends are suppose to bring you up, NOT constantly bring you down. They should bring you life and godliness, not toxins. Saying bye to the toxins in my life has been one of the best things I have done. Since doing it, I have had a joy that I hadn’t had in a long time because before it was being constantly sucked out of me. I didn’t know how miserable I was until they were out of my life. To be honest, today I don’t care what those toxins think of me. They are not a part of my life anymore. I pray for them but I don’t live to impress them. When I get the “death glares” or the comments I try just to smile at them because all they are is insecure and rely on tearing down others in order to find any kind fulfilment in their life.

Some toxins you can’t avoid, but please get the unnecessary ones out of your life. Normally, you don’t know how sick the toxins have made you until you don’t have them anymore.

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Beautifully Broken

Good orchestrates beautiful things. Recently I have had the opportunity to go to a bible study with other ladies of all different ages and backgrounds. All I can say is this bible study is filled with G-ds Kadosh, and he’s teaching me alot through it.

Typically at school I am around “Good Christian” students and staff.This is a great thing but most of the time there is a lack of those around me being real or open about what’s going on in there lives. Personally, I tend to get very frustrated with this mentality.

As I mentioned earlier G-d orchestrates beautiful things. Four years ago, my life was a complete mess. Three years ago my life was a mess. I’ve tried to get things together but even last week my life you guessed it…is a mess! It’s been a mess, but at the same time it’s been a beautiful mess. Recently G-d has countlessly blessed me by putting people in my life that I can minister to because of my story. My journey has not been an easy one. It has had steep hills, rocks, cacti, and ice. But it’s been the same way for the ladies in this small group. It’s been a different path for each one of us, but none of them has been easy. I am so amazed how G-d is able to take what I would consider a “mess” or “broken” and yet restore it into something amazing. I am learning to be greatful for the struggle because he is doing something beautiful with it to transform your life and possibly others lives too. This group has been great for me because the members are teaching me what I just stated. Does that mean that I have faith that everything will be okay all the time? Ha no. It’s still difficult most of the time. But I have a new element of trust in G-d, because I am starting to see beauty in brokenness through the blood of Christ.

Keep a biblical perspective of life, but also remember to see things as beautifully broken.

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THINK

I don’t normally start working on my Wednesday post on Monday, but because of Yom Kippur I decided it would be appropriate to start writing earlier, therefore, I’ll write about my Monday so far.

I’ve written about school before and my lack of love for it.
When I think of school I think of: frustration, insecurities, pain, and the dreadful thing called exams, more specifically getting the exams back. I have never had “school spirit” because I find other ways to use my time. I don’t go to basketball games on Friday’s (I go to Shabbat); I don’t go to any “fun events” that are on Saturday (I’m typically at the art museum), or any events on the rest of the weekdays as I’m probably leading or participating in a lengthy 4-H meeting. I don’t have a desire to have “school spirit” because I will never be a part of the rural community that my school is located in and frankly I don’t have a desire to. Don’t misunderstand me, I am grateful for my private Christian school education but often times it is hard to find a place to fit in when you’re the city girl who is considered preppy.

Monday…why do we have to have Monday? My Monday was discouraging. I had several disappointing moments and I just was not in the brightest mood. My mom asked me how my day was and all I said was, “I need chocolate.” I did not go into depth or tell her any glimpse of what was wrong until several hours later.

As I look back on my short life, so far, I see how just a little bit of encouragement can brighten almost anyone’s entire day. As Christians we should be lifting each other up and putting sunshine in their life when our acquaintances  are experiencing the thunder roar through their lives.

My Monday turned out to be okay. It was a reminder to always be kind to those around you. Especially to those who might not be cool.The tongue can do more damage than a sword, so use your words gently. Always “THINK” before you speak.
T-True
H-Helpful
I-Inspiring
N-Necessary
K-Kind

Beauty is Not Defined By Size; Young Girls Need To Be Taught This

Eight – the age she became obsessed with everything that she ate.

Nine – her friends were playing with yo-yo toys, but she was messing with yo-yo diets.

Ten – all she wants is to fit in; she used a combination of diet pills with exercise drills.

Eleven – all she sees is her so-called bigger built for that is why she puts on extra guilt.

Twelve – she puts herself under a spell.

Thirteen – boys are starting to look at her friends like crazy. She weighs 110; she tells herself if she “gets thin” she will get the boys and she will win.

Fourteen – her body fat is finally becoming the minority, but her eating disorder is slowly taking over as seniority. She starves herself for days; her parents see it only as a phase.

Fifteen – her E.D. is finally king; she channels her pain this way because her emotions have gone away.

Sixteen – was the last birthday she would ever see. Now, her self-hatred became king. She no longer had the chance to put on a wedding ring or fly free.

Because shortly after she turned sixteen…

She left a note on her bed telling them that she is drowning.

Drowning in the tub for she suffered from lack of self-worth and seeing G-ds eternal love.

~Lama Leah

This poem turned out darker than I thought that it would go when I started writing it. When I wrote it, it was eight in the morning I hadn’t slept at all that night. The sun was rising and I was still laying in bed and G-d put the first stanza in my head. I pulled out my beloved poetry notebook and started writing. I didn’t know how it was going to end, but the L-rd placed all of the rhythms and rhymes in my head to for me to put in a poem.

Personally, I am scared for this generation of young women. Girls who are already small in size are worried about having a thigh gap or a flat stomach or whatever it is because the media is constantly showing ladies what the “ideal woman” looks like through social media, television, movies, and magazines.

I can’t tell you the number of times that I have heard devotionals or older Christian women tell me something that goes like, “Beauty is in the heart…” yes it is. I have personally found out that the most beautiful women are precious ladies because of what is their heart, but when young girls are told this, in a way, the issue is being ignored about women who struggle seeing themselves in a positive matter because of their size whether they are a size two or a size twelve.

In this day and age the pretty girls have to be tall, skinny, and beautiful because they wear makeup that makes them look naturally beautiful. This is a lie because women come in all shapes and sizes and in many cases — this is impossible! In my poem, the girl thinks that she is bigger boned because she weighs 110 pounds. I made a point to put this in there because women themselves are their own worse enemy. Young girls need to be taught that beauty is not defined by size because every women’s body is different and one size/bone structure cannot be deemed more valuable than another. It is important that older women tell the younger ones this because just like the girl in my poem she saw herself as not having a good enough body type from a young age and it developed into a serious eating disorder as the years passed. Many young women have similar stories and I won’t let the generation behind me follow that thought pattern.