When Facebook Becomes Too Much To Handle

 

First, I want to apologize for a couple of things. I haven’t written/posted in a couple of weeks, and I am sorry for the inconsistency. I also want to apologize for my content. It has been fluffy, and unreal the majority of the time this year, and I am sorry. I’m sorry I haven’t had the guts to discuss things that really matter. I only have one excuse: Fear. I am afraid people will be angry and upset or hateful. Unfortunately, most of the people who will behave in these outbursts are already saturated in these emotions. They are afraid of the future, people different from themselves, and don’t know what to do to protect their current way of life besides act out on social media.

I have been trying to keep away from Instagram and Facebook, but the other day I couldn’t help it and I just had to see what was going on in the Facebook newsfeed. And for the first time in a long time, I felt such an array of confusing emotions. I was exhausted after only 30 minutes of looking at the newsfeed.

Friends, it was the most hateful stream of articles I have seen. We have turned a social media into a hate-fest and fear-mongering place. No longer are pictures of vacations or breakfast foods, now articles about how Muslims are all bad, Black lives don’t matter as much as All lives, and Donald Trump are all I see. Facebook is now a place to hatefully share an opinion and openly share racist comments, all from behind a computer screen. Facebook is not a positive place.

computer

My heart aches as I see my Facebook friend’s opinions about groups of people who pose no threat to their way of life. My heart hurts because now I know what his/her heart really believes. People who claim to love others, instead are calling for the exclusion of people based on race and religion, or are voting for someone who is. Now I know too much about the hate that is placed in my friend’s hearts. I know they dislike my friends who look different. I know they are scared of my friends of different faiths. I know my friends value their own life over any other person. I know that they are willing to leave the lost, hungry, orphaned, and nationless in a state of instability, or even wish these people would return to the war-torn country from which they came. I know the truth now about people I looked up to as a teenager or had solidarity with as a peer. I know the only interest these people have, is in themselves. And my heart is so so broken.

I am so broken over these actions because these hateful words are what create outsiders. The fear of the people sharing these opinions is what causes the very acts of which they are afraid.If we continue to create a space of dislike for those different than ourselves, how can we expect those people to like us, let alone become a member of our society? We create outsiders who then feel wronged by not only the government or institution, but by actual people in society. People that may have appeared friendly, and then share hateful words minutes later on the internet only to create friction.

How do we share love, when that very love is continually picked-apart by people who claim to believe the same thing? How do we continually forgive after every single racist, hateful post? How do we keep from falling completely apart like the world around us?

I wish I could say that we have the power as people to rise against the hate, to really let love win. I wish I could say we as individuals can come together to love the hate out of people. But we can’t. Not on our own. Everyday is a battle of good against evil. Positivity over negativity. Light over dark. And it’s a battle we cannot do on our own. Christ is the only one who can give us the unconditional love we need to rise above the fear. Christ is the only one who can help us continue to forgive our scared friends, even if they never change their minds. With Christ’s love, I can continue to love my friends who dislike other people in my life based on skin color or religion. I can have hope that maybe one day, they will see His love, and will actually choose this love over fear.

With Christ, love truly wins; every time.

facebook (1)

And to my friends who are feeling the heat of this election or anti-difference articles:

I am so sorry for the hatred directed your way. I am sorry this the way America is choosing to display herself. I am sorry for any ill-will you have received. I love you all so much. You are so very loved and I am so thankful for each of you. I love your skin being the same or different than mine. I love you in spite of religious differences. I love you if you speak English or a different language. I love you if you are a vegetarian, vegan, or meat-lover. You are so loved, even if people try to tell you otherwise.

Much love. Much grace.

wpid-2015-10-30-20.27.24.png.png

 

This Summer: Come Home

Home… Such a funny word. For some, this brings memories of family in cozy rooms, yummy food, and welcoming smells. Memories of fights between siblings, traditions for holidays, and getting ready for school. For many people, home is wear they grew up; a town, a house, a school, or a city. To “come home” is what a person does to visit their childhood room and show visitors their teenage haunts around town.

Home [hohm] noun
1.a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.

2.the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.

For me (and many others)… home is different.

In the traditional sense I don’t have a “home”… and I never have. I have never experienced the giddy feeling that one attaches to a building. I moved around several times in my childhood so houses, even towns, don’t really provide me with warm, fuzzy feelings of “being home.”

home- (1)

The closest I have ever come to feeling at “home” in a place is with climates. I feel at home in cool mountain air or when smelling a cool, salty ocean. Smelling evergreens and feeling cool breezes through my hair are things that feel at home to me. I am not entirely sure why, but places with these things are places where I feel not just relaxed, but a sense of belonging and purpose.

Since I haven’t lived in that type of a climate since I was very young, home to me has since become the people in my life.

Not family as much as the friends who have surrounded me. My family has always been very spread out, so while that family is obviously there and loving, the friends I have made have become family.  Those who have taken the time to know me and love me, even at my worst, these are the people who enable feelings of comfort and “coming home”.

So this summer, take some time to figure out with whom your home lies, and come home. Take time to visit with those who love you and care for your well-being, and be home to those people as well.

Much love. Much grace.

wpid-2015-10-30-20.27.24.png.png

A Letter To My Galentines

Ever since I first heard of Leslie Knope’s idea for Galentine’s Day on Parks and Recreation, I loved it!

For those who don’t know, Galentine’s Day is February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate the sweet girl-friendships you have in your life.

This year as a part of my resolutions, I am trying to be more available and intentional with the sweet ladies in my life. I have allowed myself to be very selfish with my time and now I am trying to give more time to be with friends.

Many of my Galentine’s live out of state (or even out of country!) so this post is dedicated to those sweet ladies (and really any sweet lady!) who are such great friends.

my valentine-

Dear Galentine,

Girl. You are the best. No REALLY. You are such a wonderful person in my life! You are not only super cool, but you are just full of such life.

Our friendship is something else.

Whenever we talk on the phone or see each other in person, we always pick up where we left off. The silly jokes, the hugs, the tears, and the laughs are always there… no matter what. No matter the distance or time that passes, we can always come back to each other.

You are encouraging.

There are days when I am upset, lonely, or sad; and somehow you know about these days! You send me “Happy Mail” or encouraging messages to lift my spirits. I don’t believe these happen by chance… because they always come at the most perfect times.

You are so graceful.

Like really. I am so bad at being a pen-pal and being intentional (I am trying to change I promise!) and you treat me with such grace and forgiveness. You don’t get upset when I am late with a Christmas gift, if I wait 5 months to send a card, or don’t message you back right away. You are just so understanding and full of love.

You are so loving.

Girl, you listen to me. You listen to my frustrations about school, my confusion about the future, and the joys that happen in my life. You grieve with me and rejoice with me. My triumphs are your triumphs and vice versa. You constantly point me back to what’s important. You bring such joy with your kindness.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Please know that you are so loved and appreciated on this day (and everyday!). You matter so much to me and I am so glad you are in my life. While you are a bit far, that’s okay. We have Facetime right? I love you, Galentine!

Much love. Much grace.

wpid-2015-10-30-20.27.24.png.png

Ps. This is the cutest cartoon ever. 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.12.45 PM

 

No Fear November

Fear is such a tricky and subtle thing. It can creep up in unexpected ways, like being scared of whales. Or it can develop over time coming from insecurities or traumas.

This past month I was asked to write as a guest blogger for a regional blog about marriage in my area. While I was so excited at first, I slowly began to become nervous and somewhat stressed. I began to become so stressed that I developed writer’s block.

I mean, how could I write about marriage when I have only been married for five months? I know nothing of trials and struggles that marriage can bring. People keep saying I am still in the “Honeymoon Stage”.

IMG_8358

As I began thinking of what to write about the more desperate I became. I would try writing whatever I could just to try to find an idea that stuck. I started and stopped about eight different times just trying to write one post.

As I said before in a previous post, writing was never my strong suit in school, and I began to remember the comments and even my grades as I would try to write this guest post. I was struggling.

Insecurities have a way of tearing us down.

Not quickly like outside or hurtful comments do. No, insecurities come from the inside. They come at us from our core and who we think we should be.

“I should be more graceful by now” “Why can’t I just stop eating Oreos?! That’s probably why I am so chubby” and on and on.

These little thoughts of negativity eventually bring us to a place of inhibited living or avoidance of certain activities, just like true fears do.

IMG_7939

This month is November, and in honor of Halloween being over, I am dedicating this month to overcoming my fears and insecurities. I will continue to write what is on my heart and I will begin conquering the insecurities that make me doubt myself.

Who’s with me? Let’s overcome our fears together this No Fear November. If you want to do this challenge with me, be sure to fill out the contact section on the blog and let me know!

Let’s see just who we can be without fears and insecurities weighing us down.

Much love. Much grace.

wpid-2015-10-30-20.27.24.png.png

Feelings and Choices

image

Love.

A concept that is wrapped up with many definitions, stigmas, and stories. We can love hot dogs, people, or places. Love can be seen as a strength, or even as a weakness. We as people crave stories about enduring love as we read books, watch movies, and pressure friends into dating relationships.

What if I told you that love was not any of these things? Instead, love is a choice.

Weird concept, right? Some say, “You can’t choose who you love!”, but I believe you can. While falling in love may have a less controllable feeling, loving that person day to day is a choice. When that person is hard to love, we have to choose to stay with them, to forgive, and to love them even at their lowest. Even friends (and family) are hard to love at times.

Friends, I feel so humbled writing this. It is so hard for me to love others. I feel very blessed that the Lord gave me a best friend, and now my husband, who is full of love for me no matter what I seem to do, he is right there next to me. Forgiving me and showing me what real, true love is: a choice. He chooses to not just “deal” with me or ignore me, but listens, cares, and is so wise.

I wish I could say the same about myself. I am finding myself becoming more and more impatient with people around me. I struggle with jealousy, that turns to bitterness in a very bad way. I become angry quickly when I don’t get my way or if I feel overlooked by others.

I am not choosing to love.

In fact, that is so very much the opposite of what love is supposed to be.

Love is supposed to be kind, patient, and not self-seeking. It is to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, there is a whole paragraph about what love is, and what love is not. Even if reading the Bible isn’t your thing, we can all learn a thing or two from this passage. We can all learn how to love others from this.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

This is just a piece of what the choice of loving others looks like. Friends, family, and significant others; the choice always looks the same when choosing love.

I challenge you to try choosing this love. Choosing not a fleeting feeling, but the trust, hope, and forgiveness that everyone desires; and that everyone needs. Let’s go change the world by loving in a new way.

Much love. Much grace.

image