Why do you get offended?

I am reading a book right now called the Bait of Satan by John Bevere and regardless of your faith, I think all should check it out….anywho:)

It made me start thinking of all the times I would get offended by what others would say, think or do to me. Being a mut (mixed breed), which I called myself often when I was younger, meant that I was not a pure breed or of one race. It meant I was different, it meant I was never going to fit into any, one, group. I was always going to have to either explain why my hair is curly and that I don’t need fake hair.

This point always made the people of certain races dislike me and I was never invited to the African American club in school. I was told I was “not black enough.”

“Why do you not talk like a black person?” The question I would get from the Caucasian people around me and therefore, I was not white enough and was not invited to the clubs where mostly white people would gather. They were a little more subtle about telling me, “you are not white enough”, but if you are mixed, you know the looks you get.

“Your last name is Rivera, but you don’t speak Spanish, why?” This question I got from the Hispanics around me and was never invited to the Chicano clubs because I would be told, in so many words, and usually in Spanish, which I did not understand, you are not Hispanic enough.

Therefore, I was on the outs through school. Now I tell you this to give context as to why people who are mixed, must learn to adapt and must learn to love themselves so deeply, because we never fit into any mold, ever. There was no mixed people club (thinking back I should of started one, lol). There were no groupings of just mixed people at school. I was lucky enough to be good at sports and therefore, I didn’t have to worry about fitting in. If you play sports in school, you are in no matter what, but does that make it easier to walk around school or the world? Sometimes, yes and sometimes, no.

When someone tried to pull my hair once and ask me if I had a weave on, I just turned around and said, “nope!” And then walked away. They were looking for a fight and I didn’t and don’t fight with my hands. My mother always told me,”when someone is being mean to you, simply turn to them and say “thank you.” I then added a little to it and would tell them…

“Thank you for giving me so much attention! I guess I must mean a lot to you because you really want to talk to me, so thank you for making me feel important!” In that moment, I would usually get weird looks and they would just say, ” Michelle is weird!” So that turned into me knowing I was unique, special and not like anyone else! That made me feel powerful!

In school I had and still have great friends who loved me for me and never told me I am not enough of something to belong. I just chose to stay away from people who were negative and didn’t see the awesomeness that was inside of me.

Today, I know who I am and I know whose I am. I am never alone. During the hard times and the great times, my Lord is beside me. If I didn’t go through all the hard times (some came later in life), I would never have leaned on the Lord the way I have. If I would have never leaned on the Lord, I would never have known the strength He provides, through the Holy Spirit, in my weak moments.

So, today I do not let the offense get under my skin and bury itself within my spirit. The Bible tells us that there is no way to avoid offense, but it is how we react to that offense that is given. Therefore, I am proud to be of a mixed race and I am thankful for when offense comes, it gives me the opportunity to test my faith:)

How many of us have control issues?

Being mixed I have control issues…I am sure it is not just because I am mixed, but what I mean is…I think and care about what others think and how my words or actions will affect their emotions. I like to stay in the middle. I don’t want to offend or hurt anyone. I never try to at least. I want people to know I was raised by good parents who loved me and that when people see me, they can trust me and not be afraid or unsure around me.

But I can not control peoples emotions or what they think of me.

I have had to learn, through the Holy Spirit, Celebrate Recovery, the support of my husband and the support of my family and friends, that I have no control over my life. If I try to please everyone around me all the time, I become a control freak who is OCD and can never go with the flow. Oh sure, “…take a few shots and you will be able to chill,” is what I used to tell myself, but that never took away the thoughts, just numbed the feeling, for a bit. Nothing took away the OCD or people-pleasing, control antics I went through. No amount of drugs, alcohol, food, travel, exercise or sleep, would stop the thoughts or emotions… I had to surrender! But surrender to what?

This world wants to give you a pill or tell you take this drug, it will help you heal. Or they tell you, the stars are aligning, I can see your world getting better:) It all sounds great, but who created the scientists and astrologers who tell me these things? Who created the trees that move at the command of the wind? Who told the sun to go to sleep and told the moon to give us light during the darkness? The Creator, our Lord God Almighty is the One who makes the wind move in the direction He wants it to go! Or tells the sun to rise and set and the moon to come alive and greet the stars!

Release control!

Help me to do you will, for you are my God. Lead me in good paths, for your Spirit is good. (Psalm 143:10).

*God is a gentleman. He will not force His will on you. He will wait for you to invite Him in! He won’t come where He is not welcomed. It has been said that “willingness is the key that goes into the lock and opens the door that allows God to begin to remove your character defects.”

But you need to be ready and willing to let him into all areas of your life and when you are, you will experience a peace that surpasses all understanding!!

*From the book “Getting right with God, yourself and others.” John Baker, celebrate recovery

Happy 4th everyone! Let us be thankful for the men and women, who God has empowered, to risk their lives for our freedom!!

Today and everyday, I am very thankful for our military! They risk their lives to keep us free!! We have the freedom to love who we want to love and be with who we want to be with, without getting shot or thrown in jail. No matter what you believe, like or don’t like, you can never say that you are not happy to have freedom. I, personally am very happy that my mother and father, who were from very different backgrounds and were 14 years apart in age, were able to have my brother and I. We may have been made fun of for being different or got weird looks, but we had both our parents and they taught us the greatest gift of all, LOVE. Thank you God for being so good and putting up with us all who have fallen away from you and are wanting to come back to you. Thank you for always walking by our side, even when we have been mean to others, rude or disliked someone because they were different than us. God is so good and God bless the men and women who are in the military serving our great country! We appreciate you!

Why is our world consumed by worry?

This morning, while I was reading the Bible app, the verse of the day hit me pretty square between the eyes.

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

https://www.bible.com/116/mat.6.25.nlt

Why do we worry and when we do so, others tell us that it’s normal to worry and it means we care… WHAT!?

I have always been confused by that, but yet I worry about things I cannot control. I worry that we won’t have enough money to go on vacation or buy the next new gadget or go to a really fancy restaurant! These are things I definitely shouldn’t worry about or even care about. I have enough to pay my bills, feed the children in my life and put clothes on our back. However, I am not perfect and what the world has to offer, sometimes gets in the way of what the Creator has in store for my life.

Coming from different backgrounds, as a kid, I had to learn to adapt real quick! Therefore, being a worry-wort became my norm. Enjoy both sides of my families cultures, learn about the lives my great-grandparents lived, be okay with going to multiple houses of different cultures, often, and not ask too many questions. Be okay with the looks others would give when I walked by them with a white father and a little brown-skinned girl on his arm. And then ask my father, “why is my skin brown and your’s is white?” You would be surprised how much you have to adapt to when you don’t look, talk or act like one side of the fence.

Since my childhood, I have learned that it is okay to be unique, different, weird, crazy and all the other wonderful words I have heard over my 37 years:) God has made us all in His image and that is why He tells us not to worry about the everyday things of this world. Life is much more than what we put in our body or what we put on our body. This one life that we get to live is for our God to do with it, what he needs to do, to bring people to Him. We do not know how that will happen, so we just have to trust Him and trust His ways.

I leave you with the serenity prayer… something I say weekly in Celebrate Recovery

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

Why is “mixed lives matter” not a thing?

We have different colored skin than who we are told to “pick a side” with. I have a black and Native American mother and a Puerto Rican and Greek father, how do I choose who to connect with? I was raised to love everyone for who they are, not for what I think they should be. More in this later… for now, just a quick thought to leave with you… what would happen if people saw each other as God sees us?