Tis’ the Seas- Wait what?? No Christmas?

NOCHRISTMAS

Yep. We don’t celebrate Christmas *cue some dramatic music, the hissing, and the yelling ‘You ol’ Scrooge, you!’*. (a person sharing my mindset = often compared to Scrooge, the Kranks, and the Grinch)

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You ol’ scrooge! How could you?!

Y’all. Get real. No, we don’t ‘do’ Christmas. What does doing Christmas even mean? Isn’t it supposed to be a celebration? And where in the Bible does Jesus say “INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT, like way more than obeying my other commands, make sure that you celebrate my birthday, on a date that was originally pagan, and celebrate it by spending months stressing and going broke so you can satisfy your kids for a few minutes and then you all eat way too much junk food and say ‘thanks Jesus for being born so we can do this’ and etc.”

But I’m not writing this so I can rant and rave about how bad Christmas is. I fully understand the intent behind it, I really do. We did Christmas for many, many years, it was a huuuuuuuge ordeal, and it was fun. My parents were really great about making it all about Jesus, but still.

Anyways, I don’t judge anyone who does Christmas. I just wish it was easy for everyone to see why it might be better to not do it.

This is not me trying to stuff my beliefs down your throat. These are just words. But words do have meaning, and I hope you can see the goodwill in mine.

The origins of Christmas are incredibly pagan. Let’s face it, December 25th was a pagan day. The ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals ‘Saturnalia’ and ‘Dies Natalis Solis Invicti’. Saturnalia meaning Saturn, the god, and Des Natalis meaning birthday, and Solis Invicti (unconquered sin) was the official sun god of the Roman Empire, who was apart of Roman cults. So why did early Christians chose this day to celebrate the birth of Christ? Apparently because Mary was supposedly told on March 25 by the angel that she would have the child, and nine months later is December 25. Or because of the roman festivals, people were already celebrating, so people attempted to switch what they were celebrating to Jesus instead of the sun.

So that in itself makes me uncomfortable, why would we want to celebrate Jesus, pureness itslef, on a day full of sin? Many people have said things like ‘well, it’s okay, because we really are celebrating Jesus.’ and I believe the intent behind it, but that still doesn’t make it okay. If a day is that awful, you can’t really redeem it.

It’s not commanded anywhere in the Bible to celebrate Jesus’ birth, so why not instead celebrate His birth everyday by following in His footsteps, celebrating the holidays He celebrated, and the commands He obeyed.

I won’t go into the rest of the pagan origins (Christmas trees, mistletoe, santa claus, etc),  but there’s other things that confuse me. Even as a child (and my family celebrated the holiday until i was 8 or so) I always wondered why we gave/got presents on this day, in my head, it was about Jesus, so why did we actually make the holiday about gifts? I always thought, hey why not give gifts on Thanksgiving?

Here’s a link to an article sharing some other views from Christians who have chosen not to participate in Christmas. I don’t agree with everything they say but it gives an interesting perspective, and brings up some points I didn’t mention.

Anyways I’m just letting y’all now a little bit of why we don’t celebrate Christmas, but I do hope you enjoy your time with your family, and the coziness that comes from the holiday, and that you will truly try to keep Jesus at the center, just like we should year round.

❤ Lissa

What’d y’all think? Did I offend you (hope not)? Do you agree/disagree with anything?

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when it’s hard to be thankful

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Let’s be truthful here, life is really difficult sometimes.

And let’s be even more truthful. Sometimes it’s really difficult to be thankful.

Sometimes, you search and search and search for something to be grateful for, and nothing comes to mind.

My family and I have been enduring some really awful hardships lately.

And it makes it so difficult to be thankful.

Life is awful, so how could you be thankful? Right?

Yeah, I’m having a really hard time with life right now, and I’m stressed. Life stinks and then you die. That’s my life motto. I’m kidding, I’m kidding, it’s not. But sometimes I feel like that.

BUT LIFE IS STILL GOOD. GOD IS STILL GOOD! God is there.

And I have my family. I have friends. I have shelter, and food, and so much more than life’s necessities.

So yeah, it’s really difficult to be happy. But maybe we don’t need to be happy.

And it’s hard to be grateful when life is so difficult, and things are kicking us down, over and over, but God is with us, and isn’t that enough?

So this Thanksgiving, even if you can’t find much to be thankful for, there is enough, because God is with us.

Happy Thanksgiving, and God’s blessings.

mothers

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aMazing

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sTrong

  Happy

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Mothers. Wow. Just wow.

I literally cannot fathom how a mother is a mother.

They are the most selfless people, and their lives are literally revolved around their children.

How often do we even appreciate that?

I know I don’t express my gratitude to my mother often enough. Maybe because I take it for granted.

Moms truly are miracles.

“Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”

That’s so true. I hear my mom, and lots of moms saying things about how they aren’t good enough or how they make mistakes, or worst of all, that they are a bad mom. They usually say these things when they are discouraged, or us kids have done or said something that makes them doubt themselves.

And I just look at her in awe and think, ‘I’m so selfish I can barely make myself tidy the living room, and you just finished a wall to wall cleaning of the entire house.

And for kicks: “Nothing is officially lost until your mother can’t find it.” #truth.

“Her children arise and call her blessed. Her husband also, and he praiseth her.” ~Proverbs 31:28

I feel like we don’t do this near enough, don’t you think?

“She spent all her time loving herself, she sometimes forgot to spend anytime loving herself. She would pour all her energy into creating a beautiful world for her family, that she would forget to create beauty for herself.

She spent hours making sure her children looked presentable, and glance in the mirror to see her bun in disarray, her makeup smeared, her clothes messy. She would feel sad. Little did she know that when her husband walked through the door, he thought she was the most beautiful sight he had seen all day.

She planned a week ahead what she would make for dinner, but it was burnt. She was so excited to take her children to a nice restaurant for lunch, but they put their elbows on the table and blew bubbles in their drinks. She felt ashamed. She didn’t think that perhaps no one cared how overdone the food was, or that the children didn’t mind fancy food and just loved spending time with her.

She worked all day preparing something really special, and when she was met with disappointment, she felt like she was a failure. She didn’t know that the sad look on her kids’ face was because they were unhappy about how tired she was.

And at the end of the day, when tears are falling down her face, she is exhausted and fed up. When she simply wants all to feel right and feel like she actually makes a difference, when she wants to feel her worth, when all dignity is gone, that is the moment one of her children is thinking about how nice their mom did their hair, how clean the house was, how sweet it was when dad and mom smiled at each other, how yummy the food was, how cool the restaurant was, and how amazing their mother is. So they say a simple five words to their mother, five words they don’t say near often enough. 

‘Thank you. I love you.”

That is the moment that a mother should know she is incredible.”

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So on this day of celebrating mothers, I say thank you, Mom. I love you.

Happy Mother’s day to mom’s everywhere.

Not Getting Any Younger

Days are passing.

Children are sprouting up.

You’re changing.

Life’s changing.

The world’s changing.

And there’s nothing you can do about it. But you can enjoy the process.

It’s scary and overwhelming sometimes, but beautiful.

As they say, it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey (although, in the case of life, I kinda disagree, ’cause being with our Savior will be amazing).

We don’t have to be consumed with what’s going to happen next, or where we’re attending college, or what we’ll be doing in 10 years.

And we don’t have to worry about any of it, God is in control!

I’m not saying don’t plan ahead, you should know a general idea of what you want to do or else you will have many difficulties, but life is rushing by just fine on it’s own, you don’t have to hurry it along any more.

My dad just passed a milestone on his birthday, and it’s hard to believe he turned that age. Not that it’s old, just that like ‘my how time passes’. My niece, for goodness’ sake, is going to be turning so old, it seems, in just a few weeks. And I’m going to be driving soon!

It’s all magical and exciting and horrifying all at the same time!

So enjoy each stage of life while it lasts, because you are not getting any younger! That’s not a bad thing, it’s beautiful.

“Isn’t it funny how, day by day, nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different? ~ C.S. Lewis

The Birds Across the Street Had Better Shush RIGHT NOW.

Deep announcer voice: In other news, Lissa has decided to file a law suit against the birds that live across the street. Though she doesn’t actually have any idea where exactly they are located, she has great faith that someone will find them, and then deal with them the way they ought to be dealt with.

Okay, so that’s a little meladramatic. So what? These birds are very vocal. I am not a huge fan of extroardinarly loud birds who decide to interupt my peaceful afternoons.

Am I just complaining to you? Well, I mean, maybe. But bear with me, I do have a deep, philosophical point to make. Kinda.

As I was getting allllll worked up about these incredibly annoying birds, who have been bothering me the last several days, and I relized, why on earth waste my time getting so upset about some stupid ol’ birds?

I do this all the time. I get so upset. I love to complain. (I know y’all who know me personally are nodding your head and are like yep, that’s Lis.) It’s literally apart of me. And it is so annoying to me to be complaining all the time. But it’s so easy. It’s so simple to just open my mouth and fuss.

Do you experience this ever?

I know that that is my way of venting. I really do enjoy complaining, in the moment. Ya know, until afterwards when I’ve annoyed someone or even hurt feelings. Or I just get fed up with myself.

Okay, Lissa, this is great. You know you complain a lot, so just stop. Ta da!

Yeah, well it’s not that simple. At all. When something is ingrained in your personality and has been a habit you’ve been cultivating for the last five years or so.

For y’all who know me personally and are reading this, just know that I am aware of this habit. It’s just possibly the toughest one for me to break. So please, as I try to have patience with you, I humbly ask that you have patience for me. Also, don’t expect a sudden 180 or anything, ’cause I’m still me. (Also probably best not to mention this post in depth to me in person.) (Thanks.)

So what shall I do about it? That’s a great question. Try. Try harder. Bite my tongue.

Sometimes we complain about the cross we bear, not knowing what an honor it is to be carrying anything for our Messiah.

Here are some great verses:

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In EVERYTHING. This is God’s will. Wow.

Do all things without complaining and fighting so that you may become blameless and pure children of God. Philippians 2:14-15

To be blameless and pure, to be children of God, we have to cut out all our complaints and fighting, no matter if it seems harmless and even enjoyable at the time.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~Ephesians 4:29

No corrupting talk. Only what builds others up. So they can have grace. You might know a few people who are beautiful examples of this verse, and those are the people you love to be around. Because they aren’t focusing on their selves or comparing themselves to you. They are just being kind.

Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. ~James 5:9

When we complain about someone, we are being judged. If we speak well, we will not be condemned. But God is always weighing our actions.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~James 1:2-4

No matter how hard it is to be cheerful, it is important. When we are tested, and we prove ourselves worthy, we become steadfast which leads to perfection, completion, and non-lackingness (which is totally a word, by the way.)

I don’t know if this is helpful to you at all. But I think it will be for me.

Basically this is the overview; DO NOT COMPLAIN. If only it were that easy though.

In closing, I leave you with one last verse.

I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

No matter how hard it seems to just keep your mouth shut or look on the bright side, with our Messiah, it is truly possible.

First Fruits|BECAUSE OF HIM

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As she cried, she bent down, peered into the tomb, 12 and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Yeshua (Jesus) had been, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 “Why are you crying?” they asked her. “They took my Lord,” she said to them, “and I don’t know where they have put Him.” ~ John 20:11-13

Wow. Here is Mary/Miryam Magdalene so tired, so depressed after having seen her Lord crucified, having come to see His body and it not being there, being so overwhelmed and sad and confused.

She is there, mystified, and to be honest, she is probably a bit terrified. Her Savior’s body has been moved, and she doesn’t know whom by or where to. Her tears show us her sadness, her looking and not finding, her words of confusion.

Does this remind you of yourself at all? You are sad, and depressed, discouraged and overwhelmed. You think you know what will make things better, even if you’re heartbroken.

But you arrive at the place you think all the answers lay, and there is nothing. Just an empty tomb.

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I know that I’ve felt this way before, and it’s exhausting. But here’s the good news, the truly good news. HE IS RISEN.

So whether you celebrate Easter or First Fruits (like myself), breathe in His goodness to day as you think of how He lived and died and lives for us. For me. For you. He lives for you.

Our Messiah, our Savior, Jesus Christ, Yeshua, has risen from the tomb to be our Lord God, our Elohim. And that is the miracle of today. He is our first fruits.

14 As she said this, she turned around and saw Yeshua standing there, but she didn’t know it was He. 15 Yeshua said to her, “Lady, why are you crying? Whom are you looking for?” Thinking He was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you’re the one who carried him away, just tell me where you put Him; and I’ll go and get Him myself.” 16 Yeshua said to her, “Miryam!” Turning, she cried out to Him, “Rabbani! (which means Master)” ~ John 20:14-16

Can you imagine how miraculous, how awe-ing this would be? To be sobbing because He is not there, to be so distraught that when you turn and see Him you do not even recognize Him, and then to have your name spoken by the living Savior? This must have been incredible!

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Mary/Miryam then tried to touch Him, but He had not returned to His Father yet, so she was told not to. But He asked her to go and tell his brothers, the taught ones, so that they might know that He was going back to His Father.

You bled, and then You died, and then You rose again for me. (Phil Wickham: Messiah/You’re Beautiful)

But these which have been recorded are here so that you may trust that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by this trust you may have life because of who He is. ~John 20:31

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So that you may trust that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah… that by this trust YOU MAY HAVE LIFE BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS.

Amen.

Discernment and Boiled Eggs

*I am going beyond my comfort zone by writing a silly yet personal post, so don’t judge too harshly. Also, for y’all who are new to my blog, I’m not usually this weird. More normal posts DO await.*

Let me tell you a story about eggs. Wow. Thrilling, right? Right. Just listen to this cheesy analogy story.

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Scene recreated for dramatic purposes. 😛

Okay, so I was going to the fridge to get some boiled eggs. There was a little fluke, though. Not all the eggs I grabbed where boiled. One was only partially boiled, so as I was peeling one of the eggs, I heard a sound of doom.

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An egg was rolling off the counter behind me. At first I thought, no problem, they’re boiled, it’ll live. But apparently this one wasn’t. In my head I saw the other eggs, the good, polite, boiled eggs, stare in shock at their friend on the floor. Little did I know I would be mentally scarring eggs today.

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The one on the far right looks bored, but she is actually very worried. Okay? Good.

“Okay, Lissa,” you say, “this is really strange. What has this to do with anything? You think eggs have humanistic characters?” Well, just ask my friends, I get very easily attached to inanimate objects ;D

But my point is, to me, and to the other boiled eggs, this one looked just like any other boiled egg. But it wasn’t.

All this somehow led me to think about discernment, and welcoming others in.

“You just get stranger and stranger, don’t you, Lissa?” Well, yeah…

But I’d just like to say a few more words, so keep reading.

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I would love to say no eggs were harmed in the making of these photos, but that would be a lie. I didn’t break it on purpose, but it was rather ironic, so I made the best of it.

I don’t want to be injured by seeing an egg fall of the counter and see an inside I never imagined was there. Okay, I don’t mean a literal egg, this is an analogy, after all. But I was thinking about welcoming people into a group. People who you kindly accept, even if they act a bit different, because that is the right thing to do. To be accepting, and welcoming, and make sure everyone feels included.

But can this ever take a wrong turn? I hadn’t really thought about it, but this egg, yes, this one egg, made me think.

I’m not saying if you’ve made new friends, drop them right now just in case. I’m just saying, use discernment because that is a huge part of life.

I like to be the person who welcomes others in, and when I successfully do that, I feel really proud of myself, because I’m shy around strangers. But I need to be aware of what people are like, so that I won’t have to clean up any messes from a cracked egg, or put a shell back together, something Humpty Dumpty taught us was difficult.

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I’m not really sure how I came to all this just by seeing a cracked egg, but I did. I’m just weird like that. But did I give you any food for thought? Or did I make no sense and I am just an insane weirdo who sees little ‘people’ in eggs?

Good question. Let me know in the comments! Whether or not you got anything at all from this silly post, I know that it made me aware and I will go into this next week thinking about an odd little lesson an ordinary little egg has taught me.

p.s. Perhaps I shall start calling myself ‘The Crazy Egg Lady’?

p.p.s Also, can I just tell you how fun it is to draw on eggs and to do photography with them? I’m totally going to do it again some time on the blog. For reals.

Emotions ~ A Poem

I am no poet, but I was just thinking of how incredibly interesting emotions and feelings are, so I decided to jot down some thoughts about them.

Feelings are unexplainable
They move us in everending rythym
We do not understand them
There is no rhyme or reason

What even is a thought?
Emotions intertwined with ideas
That reach each other and touch,
Affecting what we do,
Affecting what our actions are

Sometimes I am happy,inexplicably joyful
Full of euphoria and delight
Beautiful images of prancing girls,
Flowers, the moon, and evening gowns
Dance across my mind, making me happy.

As a result of joy, I am kind
I speak evenly, with care and sensitivity,
I enjoy others by looking for the good,
Therefore they enjoy me.

Other times, I am angry, lonely, sad, confused
At these moments in time,
All I do is drown in my sorrow,
Frowns, broken glass, and such

And I am rude, angry, even hateful
I don’t think of the one I am talking to.
I am all that matters
But then, perhaps by just the sight of a dandilion,
I envision peace, and so envisioning,
I become peace.

Image result for dandelion on book photography