Custom Invitations, Announcements, & Holiday Cards…

Custom Cards by Nina LOGO

 

A little something I’ve done on the side for a few years now is digital design.

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I custom design invitations or announcements made to match your  theme/design/colors.

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I can also add photos.

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Be sure to like my Facebook page HERE for updates, specials, ordering info, & lots of samples!  I also love to create holiday cards!

Elementary of Entitlement…

 I saw this little article floating around Facebook

The “Entitlement Generation”

and while reading, the quote below really stuck out:

“I won’t be held accountable at school because my parents will come and yell at the teacher for me.”
 
I really think this is where the entitlement starts for kids, other than at home obviously.
 
This is where kids first learn that they are always right even when they are wrong.
 
This is where they really figure out they can get away with anything and not face the repercussions out in the world, because rules and consequences don’t apply to them. Where they realize they actually can control & manipulate any situation. When they began to believe they are no longer the kid and are on the same level or above the adult.
 
Parent’s, you are doing your kid a big disservice by not backing up the school and your child’s teachers.
 
It’s one thing to get away with stuff at home with parents, but once a kid figures out they can do what they want at school with no regard for rules or authority and not have to answer for it, they began to live their life that way and grow up with that mentality. They apply that experience they’ve learned in school to the rest of their life, and the next thing you know, you have a 30 year old living at home in and out of jail that can’t hold a job because they don’t know how to respect their boss or take any personal responsibility. They have an entitlement complex. And it started with you, the parent,  in Kindergarten because you thought Mrs. Smith was too hard on little Johnny. 
 
To not back the school, is to teach your kids that they are above the system. That it doesn’t apply to them. That mama can always get them out of it.
 
In our home, the teacher is always right. We will listen to our children and let them tell their side and then we explain to them why we are holding them accountable, but we always back the teacher and the punishment.
 
Even when our kids are only kinda wrong or if we don’t agree with the punishment. We back the school. To not back them is to immediately take away your child’s respect for them.
 
I am probably the only mother in the world that got a call from the office when her kid was in Kindergarten, and when told that the punishment was a choice between swats or in school suspension, replied with…give them BOTH.  Even though, I didn’t think what they did was that bad or even wrong, but because I had previously told my kid the next time they went to the office for ANYTHING they would get both. In the end, it doesn’t really matter how my kid got to the office, what mattered was teaching them the weight of being there and following through with consequences,  AND showing your child you respect the discipline process and the adults & their decisions that landed that kid in the office. 
If you don’t respect the adults/teachers/principals/aides/lunch lady/ whoever, their decisions, their punishments, the rules, and the system as a whole…then your child won’t either.
It’s pretty much the same system in place as out in the real world. When you are a kid in school it’s made up of teachers, rules,  principals, the office, & in school suspension. When you are an adult it’s cops, laws, judges, a courtroom, & jail. Same system. Only the first is  more fair and understanding and meant to prevent use of the second. The first one is in place to love, guide, direct, & discipline your child. It deserves as much respect or more as the second that is only in place to keep order and punish. You don’t see mama’s up in a courtroom yelling at the judge telling them why the cop is wrong and their baby shouldn’t be sent to jail. As parents, you must teach and model for you kids respect for the school’s system so that they can also respect it and they don’t end up a part of society’s system.
Just this week, Daynie had to go to the office. She came home so upset saying she didn’t do it and still got in trouble. A little girl she was hanging out with went to two other girls and told them something ugly that involved a cuss word. Daynie did not walk over to those girls and say it, in fact, she stayed behind. The girls told on both Daynie and the girl that actually said it to them, and off to the office they went. In Daynie’s mind, she did the right thing. And in it’s simplicity, she did.
Now there was a lot more to this story regarding events that led up to the girl saying what she said and why these girls included Daynie when telling, but in the end the real issue at hand was did Daynie do it or not. No she didn’t. Then why did we as parents allow her to be punished for it? Because it’s a good lesson. We told Daynie that is the consequence for continuing to make decisions regarding friends that she constantly finds herself in trouble/drama/bad situations with and that will lie about her. Also, for standing by while her friend did something wrong. Daynie may not have actually walked over and said it to those girls, but she bears just as much responsibility for discussing it with the friend and being her audience while she did it. We used this as a teaching opportunity to make Daynie understand her responsibiliy and to explain to Daynie how to handle these situations. She should have said I want no part in it and walked off. She needs to learn at this young age that when you hang around with someone doing the wrong thing, whether you are doing it or not, you are now associated with it and can and will be blamed for it too. I’m glad she has the opportunity to learn this lesson in elementary with cuss words, rather than  later in life with something more serious like cheating, stealing, drugs, ect.
I’m sure you are thinking, well that’s the lesson WE taught her by allowing the unfair punishment to stand but it still doesn’t excuse the school for punishing her unfairly.
Stop right there.
Remember when I told you whenever our kids get into trouble at school, Danny and I always assume the teacher is right? That’s because this ain’t their first rodeo. They’ve seen it all and we trust them to handle these situations. They were there. We were not. And that’s the whole point.
Your kid comes home and tells you their version of events. Either they know they are wrong and want to spin it to seem like they weren’t, or they, from the perspective of a child, were right and want to convince you that.
So if it isn’t a cut & dry situation, where the child’s story and the teacher’s note or whatever and/or maybe the punishment just don’t align properly and we just really need to get to the bottom of something…we will call the teacher and ask for their version. Often, this helps us as parents when knowing the full story to better address it with our kids, especially to shut them down when they are trying to manipulate their version to get out of trouble. I will never just take my kid’s word for it when it comes to an adult. I will always investigate further and see what the adult says.
 I believed Daynie did not walk over and say that to the girls, but I didn’t believe she was completely innocent in the situation. I called and spoke with the vice principal that handled it. Although Daynie was telling the truth when she said she told the teacher she didn’t do it and got sent to the office and punished anyway, she was only telling a half truth. She did get sent to the office based on the fact that she supposedly said that to the girls, but she did not get punished for that. Her punishment, as explained by the vice principal, who listened to the whole story from the girls and made decisions based on that and years of experience, was for discussing and saying it within the conversation with her friend. The friend amitted in the office that Daynie did not walk over there and say it, so the principal knew that.   So Daynie was not being punished unfairly. She was punished for her part in it, just not the part she told us when telling her story.
As for Daynie initially being sent to the office based on something the girls said she did. That’s just the way it is. Danny and I were not upset about  her getting sent to the office for that. That teacher has a class and a lot more to deal with then petty girl drama. That teacher doesn’t have time to go into he said/ she said with a bunch of 10 year old girls and try to dissect all their stories….she just needed to send them to the office to let them handle it. Once at the office, the vice principal went into depth and figured out the truth and disciplined accordingly.
The issue at hand that bothered both Danny and I enough that I felt I needed to address it was not that Daynie was sent to the office based on something she didn’t do, but the fact that when questioned by the teacher about whether she did it or not, when Daynie said no, the teacher would just ask her again and again until Daynie finally said yes. Daynie’s words to me were…”Mom she wouldn’t take no for an answer. My only way out was to say I did it. If I didn’t then she also would have wrote lying down and I would have gotten in worse trouble.” Basically in the mind of a 10 year old, the teacher already believed she did it, so Daynie didn’t want to be branded as a liar too and thought that just admitting it would render a less severe punishment.
Danny and I both drilled into Daynie that she better NEVER under any circumstances admit to anything she didn’t do. Period. If no one believes her or the adult won’t listen, and she honest to God did not do it, then she needs to demand they call her mom and dad immediately so that we can come up there and figure it all out together.
The reason this angered us is not because we don’t want our child getting into trouble for something she didn’t do, although that too, but because we don’t want her to rationalize that it is acceptable admitting to something you didn’t do because you think you will get in less trouble. Like I said….today it’s cuss words….tomorrow it could be stealing or drugs.
We also don’t want her to think that admitting to something she didn’t do is her only option against an adult that has already made up their mind. So let me just end this part by saying, I did call and talk to the teacher about it. I did not go into the convo being accusatory and telling her she was wrong. I asked for her version of events, as I always do first, then I told her Daynie’s version. She agreed she didn’t know a lot of it when making the decision to send the girls to the office. I told her that was not my issue, she absolutely should have sent the girls and let the principal handle it. I voiced my concern about her asking Daynie over and over until she admitted it. The teacher said she did do that and really didn’t think that much about it at the time but looking back she can see my issue.
Ya’ll…these teacher’s aren’t perfect either. They are doing their best and dealing with a whole lot more than just your kid. I appreciated her recognizing and understanding my concern, but the purpose of my call was not to tell her what she did wrong or to put her in her place, it was to make sure that it did in fact happen the way Daynie said it did. My main issue wasn’t the teacher questioning Daynie in that way, as much as Daynie giving in and admitting to something she didn’t do.
 
I know that some parent’s sitting here reading this are thinking only about the “bad kids” and office visits, but folks, this applies to the small stuff too. There’s so many ways this can apply to you and your ‘good’ kid too. 
 
A few weeks ago Daynie was looking at Garridon’s spelling test and said  Garridon spelled the words right but the teacher counted them wrong because his handwriting was so bad that they were hardly legible. He should have actually made a 100. Now, I was driving so I didn’t actually check the words myself, but if Daynie said they were right then I’m sure they were. Both of my kids started that….”see that’s not fair” blah blah blah blah.
 
And I know quite a few silly moms would march their tails right up to that school and put that teacher on blast because they so wrongfully held bad hand writing against their kid when their kid was really right and handwriting shouldn’t count against them and doesn’t really matter because the answers were right. And that mom would have looked just like my 8 and 10 year olds whining in the backseat “that’s not fair”.
 
Well guess what…life’s not fair. And it does matter. Every bit of that whole situation matters. Parent’s who don’t allow kids to experience “life’s not fair” now, have a child who get’s a big old slap in the face by reality later. When life’s not fair there is usually a hidden lesson involved that makes you a better person in the end. But guess what…in this instance…it really was fair. The teacher’s decide on their tests what constitutes a correct answer. His teacher had every right to count those wrong. 
 
I simply told my kids…oh well…that’s just the way it is… I guess if Garridon wants it to be counted right then next time he will write more clearly. And guess what…the next few spelling test that came home were back to his usual 102’s & his handwriting was almost perfect.
That kid learned a lot of valuable lessons from that simple situation that he will carry through his whole life. I’m thankful that he had a teacher that cared enough to teach it to him and thankful that I had enough good sense to shut up & allow her to.

Crockpot Ranch Chops

Crockpot Ranch Chops

Gather the Goods:

Pork Chops

Ranch Seasoning Dry Mix Packet

1 can of Cream of Chicken-plus one can of water as needed (-or- two cans of cream of chicken)

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We also love to use cream of mushroom or one of each.

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Put your chops in your pot.

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Sprinkle on the ranch packet.

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Add the cream of chicken.

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And cook it on low 4-6 hours depending on how many chops you use.

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I put mine on before work at 7 for 8 hours on low and when I come home from work it’s perfect!

The extra “gravy” is great on mashed potatoes & other veggies. You can even use it on rice! My kids love to dip their bread in it!

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How to clean up spilled Scentsy wax…

Can you feel your neck tense up & your body cringe at just the thought of spilled Scentsy?

It literally drives me INSANE. And we have certainly had our fair share at our house.

Just ask my kids….it seriously makes me crazy.

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When we moved into our new house, we bought a used little sectional from a friend. It was in excellent condition and even still had the tags on it! The only catch was he spilled Scentsy on one of the end tables and because he was a single guy…he left it there indefinitely.

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I actually left it for a few weeks because I had no time and no clue how to tackle it without ruining the wood.

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And then my good friend came over & showed me a little secret…

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Seriously…who knew?!

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The iron melts the wax and it sticks to the towel.

Seriously so simple you guys!

 

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And here’s a little video of her working her magic!

Creamy Spicy Chicken

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Chicken can get real old, real quick…so I’m always looking for new recipes to spice it up.

 

1. Preheat oven to  375F.

2. In greased glass dish, place the chicken pieces without overlapping. I like to cut mine longways into smaller, thinner pieces.

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3. Gather the Goods:

4 large chicken breasts

8 oz cream cheese

4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp minced onion

1/2 roasted red bell pepper, cut into small squares

1 cup shredded cheddar

4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

1/2  tbsp hot pepper flakes (or more to taste)

(FOR LESS JUST HALF THE RECIPE….This fed a family of 5 with leftovers for lunch!)

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4. Mix it up.

Combine: cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, butter, and minced onions.

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5. Spread over the chicken evenly.

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6. Add stuff on top.

This is where you can sprinkle on the roasted red bell pepper if you so desire. We didn’t desire. It’s not our favorite.  BUT FOR SURE add your cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and then red pepper flakes. As you can see I only put red pepper on one side for the adults so I didn’t have to listen to my kids whine.

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7. Pop it in the oven & BAKE uncovered for 45 min, until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

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8. Let sit 5 min before serving.  PS…all the saucy creamy goodness around the chicken is yum on veggies.

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Mad Knitter’s Tea Party

CAUTION! This is LONG, lengthy post with LOTS of photos! I had to break it up into several pages (6 total) so when you get to the bottom just hit the next number to go to the next page!

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This was one of the most fun, time consuming, & creative parties I’ve thrown to date! I have wanted to do the Alice in Wonderland “Tea Party” theme for a long time. This party was a fun little twist off that. My mom knits & crochets and has been a long time tea lover so I thought it would be fun to mix it up and have a fun theme!

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Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins

 

This was a fun easy recipe that the kids loved to help with!

1. Gather the Goods:

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1 lb ground chicken breast

1 whole egg

1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tsp Italian seasoning

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup marinara sauce

2. PREHEAT Oven to 350.

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3. Mix it all up.

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Throw all the ingredients EXCEPT marinara sauce & mozzarella cheese into a bowl & mix it all up.

4. Spray a regular sized muffin pan with some non-stick stuff.

 

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4. Evenly fill each cup with about  1/4 cup of the mixture.

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5. Top each cup with 1 tbsp marinara.

 

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6. Pop that sucker in the oven for 20 min. Then take out & cover with all the yummy mozzarella cheese your heart desires. Cheese is sorta our thing…so we use a lot. 

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7. Stick it back in for a few to melt the cheese into yummy goodness.

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8. EAT. IT. UP.

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My kids LOVED it!

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That damn dress…

Oh. Mah. Gaw.

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This gaudy dress is breaking the internet!

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We’ve seen explanations as to why it is or isn’t white/gold or black/blue. From simple to complex to WTF.

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“it’s about primal biology and the way human eyes and brains have evolved to see color in a sunlit world.

Light enters the eye through the lens—different wavelengths corresponding to different colors. The light hits the retina in the back of the eye where pigments fire up neural connections to the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes those signals into an image. Critically, though, that first burst of light is made of whatever wavelengths are illuminating the world, reflecting off whatever you’re looking at. Without you having to worry about it, your brain figures out what color light is bouncing off the thing your eyes are looking at, and essentially subtracts that color from the “real” color of the object.”

I mean…I don’t know about alllll that BS craziness…all I know is:

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That dress is OBVIOUSLY white & gold.

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I have looked at it every which way possible. It don’t change. & the folks out there saying it changes…you crazy.

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BUT…the BEST part about The Great Dress Debate of 2015?!?

 

The jokes….

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No shortage of chuckling to be had.

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I rounded up a few of my faves.

Enjoy.

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Teen Mom OG…

Well well well….

My favorite guilty pleasure is back!

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These are the girls that spun my reality show addiction into a full fledged obsession!

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I was giddy as I set my DVR to snag the Getting to Know specials.

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So let’s talk a bit about it…

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First…Amber…

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First things first…thank the lort she got rid of those atrocious eye lashes & overall ghetto girlfriend style she sported in Teen Mom…but dang she forgot about the nails.

She used to be ranked right next to Jenelle for me. I cringed during her parts and blew up my Bookface news feed with statuses blasting the crazy psycho.  And now…

Well…as I said in the Being Amber special post… prison did wonders on Amber. I love that she chose to go and I love that she came out a totally different person. Amber is now tolerable on the show. I’m excited to see what she is up to in the new season. She has an amazing story to use for some good and help people….let’s see if she does.

I did cringe a bit during the scene when she flipped on her mom…but honestly…we don’t know that background there and I’m sure MTV did some fancy editing for dramatic effect. Obviously.

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Although…sometimes I do wish she could regress back to her drug induced boyfriend battery for a minute to put that douche Gary in his place.

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Now..Catelynn..

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OMG…what’s not to love?!? Her & Tyler have stayed strong as the cute mature little couple that America loves!

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Even when revisiting  Catelynn’s mom’s verbal & emotional abuse from past seasons…Catelynn & Tyler address her & her actions with love & forgiveness.

It was an emotional episode for sure. But these two handled it well.

Those TWO…..can they get anymore awesome?

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Just wait…they totally can….

 

LOVE it Catelynn!!!

Which brings me to Maci…

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Does the girl age?!? She looks exactly the same as she did in 16 & Pregnant!

I love Maci. Like LOVE her. I think she’s a strong, positive role model. She is a GREAT mom & her choice to not have her kid on the same show as a porn star reflects that.

The only thing that I’m a little iffy on when it comes to Maci…is those darn ear things! WTH?!

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And to the shock of no one….Ryan is an even bigger douche as displayed in this heartbreaking scene:

 

 

You can see the pain on Maci’s face as she watches it. GOOD MOM.

And last but CERTAINLY LEAST….the whack job Farrah…

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I can’t stand her, don’t like her, wish I could slap her. Just like in the Being Farrah special… I could barely sit through her episode.

Her parents can not even speak without her flipping out and making them out to be villains.

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At one point…her dad tried to pay her a compliment and Farrah was a huge B to him before he could even get the words out!  This clearly demonstrates her need for it to be ALL ABOUT HER.

 

 

And then….there’s the elephant in the room always….her porn that’s not a porn but really is…

 

 

This is where MTV has MESSED UP. This show is geared toward TEEN GIRLS and making better choices. With Farrah on the show there is constant references to her pornos, sex toy line, plastic surgeries, dogging her own looks, bad parenting, & disrespectful behavior.

This clip clearly shows how sad it is & what a poor parent Farrah represents…

Not cool MTV. If you want to showcase  Farrah…give her her own show & call it WHACK JOB.

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Get it?! Whack Job…as in her crazy AND her messed up plastic surgery?! hahahaha…sometimes I crack myself up.

No Farrah. No.

How does this girl even still have custody of that poor child?!

So basically…Farrah’s  Getting to Know episode was the same as her Being Farrah episode which hasn’t changed much from her Teen Mom & 16 and Pregnant days.

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I’m so aggravated that MTV would welcome that crazy B back that I started a petition to get rid of her!

Sign here: https://www.change.org/p/mtv-kick-farrah-off-of-teen-mom 

50 Shades of Christians…

I want to clarify something about my earlier post referencing the the “judgy holier than thou churchers” ….I am not talking about my church, which I love. Yes, I’m sure that there are a few there, as there are many in this world. But for the most part, my church is full of loving people that desire to love Jesus AND His people, despite their sins and differences. As I’m sure you are aware, I can be a bit over the top, rough around the edges, & full of sin. I have never walked into my church and felt anything less than welcome & loved. I go to church because I desire to be closer to God and church is the place I can do that. So please don’t generalize from my post that all church going Christians think they are better and will judge you. My church is proof that that is not true.

I do however want to caution those “holier than thou judgey Christians” about allowing the devil to use your passion for Christ to do his dirty work.

I am ALL about standing up for what you believe in and spreading The Message. BUT you should be careful in your pursuit so that you do not actually work against your cause by turning people away from Jesus and Christians and the Church. Be careful that your message is not seen as looking down on the person. When your message is one of judgement and condemnation, it is in fact YOUR message and not that of the Father.

Your message, delivery, and your hypocrisy are often what makes the unsaved uninterested and drives the saved away.

One thing I have learned from my social media & blog platforms is that people like to relate to other people and feel like they aren’t alone in their own struggles. They are turned off by fakes that try to project a perfect image. Therefore, when a person finds you unrelatable, they also find your message undesirable.

Back when I first began attending my church, I was intimidated by all the perfect little church couples everywhere, meanwhile I couldn’t even get my husband to attend. Then one day, a woman from one of those perfect little church couples opened up about her past struggles in her marriage and how years before they were close to divorce. For the first time since attending, I felt a connection. This couple that I viewed as perfect had the same struggles in life as the next guy. I could relate. From then on, I felt like a part of a church of people like me, not a sinner struggling to conform to a church full of perfect people.

Everyone sins. Be careful of judging others because they sin differently than you.

The big difference between me and you, is that I don’t try to hide my sin. I don’t flaunt it and celebrate it, but I also don’t pretend like it’s not there.

Be careful of the sins you point out in others. Sin is sin. So, my adultery and your white lie you just told your kid are one in the same in the eyes of the Lord.

Jesus loves me. PERIOD. I am going to Heaven. PERIOD. My sin doesn’t change either of those facts.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

As a saved follower of Christ should I try to be better everyday and hold myself to a higher standard? Absolutely.

But here’s where we will probably have a fork in the road.

To WHO’s standard shall I hold myself to? Yours?

The judgey Christian that has condemned a book & movie they have not seen nor read?

There is no debate that there is content in 50 shades that contains unchristian-like behavior. For instance, they are an unmarried couple engaging in sexual relations.    My husband and I lived together for 10 years before we got married. If a Christian thinks I shouldn’t watch this movie based on the adultery, then should people also have covered their eyes or refused to be around me and Danny before we were married?

As far as all the other particulars in the movie, who is to define right or wrong? I will judge it for me and you should judge it for you. But please, do not judge me for not judging it the same as you. In the end, God is the only judge that matters.

I am a mature adult capable of watching and/or exposing myself to anything and deciding how I will apply the experience in my life.

I don’t  believe watching this movie made be any less of a Christian or lover of Jesus. I didn’t commit adultery. I didn’t do anything sexually immoral. I didn’t lust. My husband was fine with me seeing it. If anything, it made me love & appreciate our marriage more. I enjoyed the love story and it was entertaining. The end. Plain & simple.

 

Everyone will take away a different experience from the movie, as with ANYTHING in life. Like I said in an earlier post…I chose to take away from this the story of a broken man that was saved by love from himself.

People in this world are flawed. Many are broken.  Followers of Christ should not turn their back on those people just because they are full of sin. Not everything in life is rainbows & butterflies, & buttermilk pie. Christians want to save, but they don’t want to get their hands dirty doing it.   The main character in the movie is one of those flawed broken people. His story is rough, graphic, and hard. But in the end he was changed.  I would love for it to have been Jesus that in the end saved him….but in the particular movie…it was love. And isn’t that what Jesus commands us to do? LOVE?

So that is my message. If Christians want to win the battle of good and evil, they should do it with LOVE. Concentrate on that when spreading your message, not what you percieve as the sins of others. But, really, what is your intention? Were you trying to win a soul over to Christ or bring the saved closer in their relationship by condemning their choice in entertainment? Doesn’t it seem like that is counter productive? In the grand scheme of things…what is worse…me watching a movie you don’t agree with, or you driving people further from Jesus in your quest to prove your image?

 

 

 

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