Breaking Off The Orphan Mindset

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Since the age of 5 I was often home alone, I learned to kill bees on my own as a kid. I felt alone many times as my mom was often at work and I did not grow up with my dad. But in the many years of learning to be independent I learned to rely on God. I felt that I needed to be financially independent as I didn’t want to be a burden on my single mother.

However, I was living out of an orphan mindset. 

I was trusting God for provision however I was limiting Him by not knowing how to ask for help or believing that I was worthy of it.

There were many times on this trip I had to verbally ask for help. For example, asking to carpool or for a ride from a stranger because I had no sim card or way of getting home. So many times our phones actually become our emotional crutch but on this trip I’ve learned to open my heart. 

Recently I watched a movie called “More Than Blue”, it’s a Taiwanese movie about 2 orphans. One whose parents and family died in a car crash, and another whose mom abandoned him. What happens when 2 orphans come together? Codependency.

Here are symptoms of an orphan mindset:

  1. You feel like you have to rely on yourself (and God) and no one else.
  2. You feel like people cannot be trusted.
  3. You feel like love must be earned, and that people will only love you if you are good to them. This results in you putting on a mask or pretending to be happy all the time.
  4. You suppress and stuff your emotions or how you really feel because you’re scared of rejection and that others will stop liking or loving you because of you telling your truth.
  5. You’re ashamed of asking for help, you don’t believe you are worthy of it.
  6. You believe it’s easier to be alone and as a result you don’t know how to share you heart with people.
  7. You carry severe woundedness and feelings of rejection because of past experiences.
  8. You handle pain on your own, you feel that vulnerability is a sign of weakness.

ONE HUGE SIGN of an orphan mindset is that you CONDITION your behavior around those you are around (your behavior depends on who is around you at any given moment). God wants us to come into an alignment in our being to feel the freedom to be who we are without changing no matter who is around us. Most of us don’t feel safe to be who we really are because most people are not safe to be around (to be honest).

What happens when we find stability in our identity in Christ? And we find people who we can be honest with? Powerful authenticity.

There has been a number of movies recently about orphans, Instant Family for example.

Not to ruin the movie or anything (don’t read it if you’re going to watch it)- but they don’t tell each other how they really feel until the man is about to die. And then they lie and coerce each other to do what they want thinking it’s what will make them happy. For example, the guy says “you should get married to someone nice” when in truth he actually loves her…however because he is about to die he fears that she cannot handle the loneliness. He also does not tell her that he is sick.

In truth, she knows he is sick and is handling the pain on her own (orphan mindset). In the end, she married a guy just to make the man he loves happy, then leaves her husband to be by her lover’s side because she didn’t follow her heart to begin with.

Anyways even though I cried my eyes out, I thought to myself “this is really F#$% up”…how dare she use an innocent guy just to fulfill her lover’s wish.

So then, he dies and then she swallows some pills and kills herself.

While I was crying a bunch, God’s like “that’s not love”. I’m like okay I know, but the world seems to romanticize it. It seems romantic to die by your lover’s side.

In truth, the whole relationship started out with an orphan mindset. They felt abandoned and alone and instead of healing together, they basically became an orphan couple.

The girl could have lived a happy life without him if she had Jesus.

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A child of God Mindset: 

  1. Knows that in your weakness, God is strong. It’s powerful to be vulnerable and say how you really feel. You know that the ones who love you will still love you no matter what you say. 
  2. The Lord is your shepherd, you lack nothing. You are enough in Christ Jesus, you are not lacking. Your worth doesn’t come from what you do for others but who you are in Christ.
  3. You have a healthy understanding of building trust, that it takes time, but that your trust is not in people but in God. You understand that people are imperfect and people make mistakes and you understand that forgiveness is important to go on.
  4. You can ask for what you need or want without feeling guilt about it because you know you are worthy in Christ Jesus.
  5. You know that love is honest, not fake and you’re willing to be honest and show your true self. You understand that you heart is also not to be shared with just anyone. You understand your worth.
  6. You can share your pain with others who can be trusted. You know that it’s okay to share your vulnerabilities because it is the beginning of relationship.
  7. Your stability is in your identity of being a child of God, not in what you do or achieve, but in the unconditional love of Jesus.

It took me a long time to put my guard down and trust people, to learn to ask for help. The first time I asked my mom for help I was sobbing because I felt so ashamed. All my life, I was independent and could do everything on my own but it was the beginning of learning to be a child of God.

You don’t receive what you don’t believe you deserve. You receive in life what you believe you deserve. 

So when you live out of an orphan mindset, you don’t believe God can freely give you anything so you work for it, you strive for it, you perform for it.

But when you realize you are a child of God, you learn to rest and receive it knowing Jesus paid the price for it. 

Example-

The prodigal son did not work for His Father’s love and acceptance, in fact he actually wasted his inheritance but received Grace from His Father, it was undeserved. This is grace, undeserved, unearned.

The elder son on the other hand worked for His Father out of obligation and felt bitter when the Father provided the best for His undeserving son. This is living under the law, working for God’s love.

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If my blog has helped you and you would like to contribute and sow a seed into this ministry, please click the links below. God bless you and thank you! 

https://www.paypal.me/rebekkalien 
https://venmo.com/Rebekkalien

My First Photo Journal – Mi Nombre Es Rebekka

My First Photo Journal entry! ….the end says “but I have FAITH!” You can contribute to my volunteer trip here.

I just had this ingenious idea right now and decided to share my journal with you. I’ll be posting doodles as I go to Ecuador and Brazil. I won’t be bringing my laptop due to safety and well, my mac is my life, so I’ll be handwriting all my experiences. These doodles will eventually become a little book that I’ll sell and all individual doodles will be for sale on Etsy!

Today, I went to Healthy Traveler in Pasadena to get my yellow fever vaccination. I had a moment of squeaking before I had to sit down and get the shot. I was anticipating a long drawn out shot, but it literally was a stab in the arm and VOILA it was done! Cha-Ching $154 please. Throw-up. Yep, the cost of traveling to a 3rd world country is much higher.

Furthermore, I found out I actually leave ON Mother’s day, the night of (1:30 ish am). Here’s a poem for ya’lls.

Push and pull, our story goes. I’m holding back, a flood of emotions, allowing the gift that is me, space and time. The essence of doing nothing, waiting feels like a suffocation. Though, each moment, I’m breathing, being in the present. He once said, breathe and pull yourself to the present since all you have is now.

In the gift of space and time, trusting that love is true even when words are not spoken. This is my dilemma. Why is it so hard to just be? To give up trying and receive. To give up pushing so you can push forward. To let go and breathe, letting love be free, flowing, not suffocated or silenced. Now I know that love was never easy, love was never just admiration and immature play…love is, more complex, more present, more simple. It is a dichotomy that can only be learned through experience.

Forgiving The Silence, A Trip Called “Coming of Age”

“I just missed my flight…there’s no way I can get to New York”- I thought.

My cousin said, well I’m also going there at 1pm, why don’t you stay over and we’ll go over together.

Suddenly, I woke up startled. It was 2 am in the morning. My head hurt from the dream, it felt like I was traveling in my sleep and reminded me of my 3 flights going to Ecuador. Each of my flight consists of layovers, 2 in Panama and 1 in Chicago. My internal being had been semi- processing and stressed out about my upcoming trip.

For some reason, an epiphany hit me.

I’m doing this trip for me. This was not for Marco. As much as it seems like it is for Marco, this trip is for me.

I know it might sound selfish, but selfish can actually be a good thing.

I was thinking about how the trip takes place beginning on Mother’s Day, a birth, a renewal, nurturing of a kid all the way in Ecuador. I also thought about how much I cared for a kid I hardly know. Why did I care so much?

Because a kid deserves to be known, a kid deserves for someone to buy a flight ticket to see him or her. This is something I never experienced. My own father never bought a flight ticket to visit me in America. I am not saying this to evoke your sympathy nor am I blaming my father. Lying in my bed yesterday night, I realize why this trip was so important to me. It wasn’t simply an act of compassion, some moral virtue or guilt trip to help the poor, this trip was FOR ME; this trip somehow symbolizes reconciliation, healing, an act of letting go and living a life different from my parents, different from any circumstances or people that may have hurt me. 

This trip WILL change me. This trip is another Rebekka’s coming of age. I realize my whole life is a story of healing, of power, of passion….someday it will be such an inspirational story of hope. People will read my blog, my book, my memoir and attain healing and inspiration to go on.

Doing things for YOURSELF can actually be doing good to others. Being selfish, reconciling, healing…

Whatever you do is a projection of your inner being. What you complain about is the very thing that pricks you, for a certain reason. What you complain about others may be the very thing you’re scared to become or the very thing that seeks to limit your freedom to be you.

My drawing “Forgiving The Silence” is about my journey to well, forgive the silence. I believe that I’m not the only one. Probably half of all Americans grow up without one parent, or both. Some have never met their dads or moms. I encourage you to be the ones to bridge the gap of silence…or learn to become a parent to someone you never met.

You can purchase the print for $20 @ MY ETSY STORE! 

Or you can also make a direct donation for my trip! $25 gets me one night @ a hostel, $200 covers cost of seeing Marco. $100 covers food & water for a week.

SUMMER MUST-HAVES! NEW Hello Kitty Glass Frames & Snap Pop Purses, All For A Good Cause.

Adorable HELLO KITTY GLASSES FRAMES – get your exclusive pair for only $25. What can $25 help me with? It will help me with paying for ONE night’s stay at a hostel, yes, that is if I’m not able to couchsurf. Though my friends have already told me to stay at a hotel because Ecuador is a 3rd world country…I’m just letting the spirit lead me.

Of course, there’s POP & SNAP purses, stores any size of sunglasses or glasses. Great for makeup, makeup brushes, cameras, phones! Not only are they silicon material, but they are great for those silly BIG handbags that causes women to search incessantly for their belongings…because it’s insanely bright. POP & SNAP purses start from $12-$16! They of course also fund my trip.

Yes, fundraising to go to Ecuador and Brazil is still happening! So far, I’ve raised $1,200 which is awesome! But it’s not enough for me to actually travel within Ecuador and Brazil. It’s enough to cover the flights, visas, etc. Thus, you can actually shop my extremely cute and original store online while supporting me while I volunteer and meet my sponsored boy of 4 years in Ecuador then to Brazil. I’ll be in Ecuador for 10 days, then Brazil for the next few weeks. I’ll be stopping at Panama City (layover) and Chicago when I’m coming back to LA.

Speaking of which, I’m fully liberated and have been slowly coming to terms with my self-employment. I’ve been really grateful for friends who have amazing mom/dad cooks that cook INDIAN FOOD, one of my faves. The other day I went to the Brazil consulate and was amazed by their efficiency! In order to get my visa, I had to make an appointment. After getting stuck in traffic, I ran to the consulate (after finding parking in cramped and expensive Beverly Hills). When I got there, I got a number, sat for 3 minutes and was at the window for one minute. Talk about efficient. I’m starting to like Brazil already!

You can also make a direct donation if you believe in my cause to help others and to write about my adventures! I’ll be volunteering and seeing my sponsored kid! DONATE NOW.

Thanks for reading friends! I appreciate it!

Interview About Marco, Not Polo!

Thanks to Jane Chen, who made this interview possible! Check out her Beauty/ Fair Trade Blog.

Rebekka Lien, a creative entrepreneur, writer, activist,artist and dear friend has had the privilege of sponsoring an Ecuadorian child through Compassion International for the past 3 years. Her current accessories shop donates a portion of the proceeds to support her child. Recently, an opportunity arose for her to be able to visit him!

I caught up with her recently to learn more about this exciting adventure!

1. How did you first hear about the organization that sponsors the child and what made you pick this org over others?

 I heard about Compassion International at a conference. The speaker was talking about giving and helping the poor. For some reason, I was really moved to support a child. I have been supporting non-profit organizations for awhile and thought sponsoring and becoming pen pals with a kid would be amazing!

2. Tell us more about your child: (name ,age, hobbies, his dreams,info on family etc.)

Marco Michael will be 11 in December 10, 2012. He is in second grade and likes group games, soccer and cars. His household chores consist of running errands, caring for animals, and cleaning. He lives with both parents and his dad is a farmer. 

3. What is life like for a typical Ecuadorian family? What are people’s occupation, education level, access to resources etc?

My sponsored kid lives in the plains of Tena, home to approximately 33,000 residents. Houses are constructed of cement and brick walls. The most commonly spoken language is Spanish.
The regional diet consists of maize, beans, beef and plantains. Common health problems are flu, dermatitis, intestinal illnesses, parasites, snake bites, broken bones, malaria and tuberculosis.

“Your sponsored child lives on the plains of Tena, home to approximately 33,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of cement and have brick walls. The most commonly spoken language is Spanish. Most adults in Tena are unemployed but some work as day laborers, animal herders or on plantations and earn the equivalent of $150 per month. This community needs schools, employment opportunities and recreational facilities.

My sponsorship allows the staff of Caminitos de Luz Student Center to education, provide nutrition and hygiene education, special celebrations, academic support and sports activities. The center staff also provides health and nutrition education and parents’ school for the parents or guardians of your sponsored child.”

4. When you meet him, what message do you want to convey to him?

I want to convey to him that he is important, special and unique. I want him to know that he is not just any kid in this universe, but that he was created for a purpose. I want him to have the opportunity to pursue his dreams and passions and not to allow his current circumstance to become a hindrance. In fact, I desire for him to use his hardships, suffering, joy, life experience as his greatest strength to relating to others and having compassion for those that he may have a heart to help in the future.
Personally, my life’s biggest suffering and trials have become my life’s victory and source of hope and inspiration for others. I went through the hardships of immigrating to two different countries, parent’s divorce, constant moving and change, poverty, and alienation in new environments. Those experiences have helped me to be who I am today and continues to inspire other people to overcome their own obstacles.

5. What have you learned from this experience? How has this changed your global perspective?

I learned that world issues are not far off. They relate to us in every way, our world is interconnected and we need to be aware and compassionate for people here and across the seas. We can’t wait for other people to do something, we are ourselves capable agents of change. I have decided to experience first hand the lifestyle and living conditions of a boy I’m sponsoring so I can understand.

If you would like the opportunity to partner with Rebekka in funding her trip to see Marco, please visit: http://igg.me/p/78412

To learn more about Rebekka’s outreach adventures, visit her blog: http://rebekkalien.com

Preparing For Ecuador: Allow PEOPLE To Interrupt Your Travel Plans

Plans are great.

But they never go the way you expect them to. Something always goes “wrong”.

But perhaps the universe is guiding you to something even better, beyond your wildest dreams.

I got approved to meet Andi Marco today! I’ve been sponsoring since 2009 and will be going to Ecuador to visit him and do some GOOD in the world. His dad is a farmer. He is going to school because I’ve sent him! This is one of the greatest thing you can do for someone- give them education. Education is the first step to opening up a world of possibilities. Join me!

So even though a part of me is freaking about logistics, finance, fundraising, planning my return flight, itinerary, rent, work…

A still small voice says to “calm down and I’ll take care of you”.

This has been true for 6 of my overseas trips. I started going on international volunteer trips when I was 18. I went to Taiwan at 18, Japan at 19, Germany at 20, Taiwan at 21, China/Hong Kong at 22, Australia at 23. At first I went on very structured trips, consisting of waking up at 6 am and sleeping at 12 am. The day was filled to the  brim with ACTIVITIES. Then I went with other organizations that allowed you to have freedom to be, to explore, to engage. Pretty soon, I learned to allow time and space for the PEOPLE of the land to be priority on my trips. It’s unfortunate that people travel only for the sights and scenes.

What makes a country what it is- is it’s culture, it’s people. People are the ones that make the culture.

From my experience, I believe PLANS limit us from the most pleasant surprises that make our trip meaningful. It’s those divine connections, those moments in space that two people meet. That one person you meet, that you could NOT have if you weren’t there. That person will forever change the course of your life, as small as the encounter was. Vice versa.

This is true of our own lives. We can plan when we want to graduate, to work, to marry. We can plan our stability to the detail, but in the end, it’s people that makes our lives what it is.

Thus, allow PEOPLE to interrupt you, not all the time of course. Let people become important in your daily routine, work and life.

Be unconditional, forgive easily, and be offended minimally. Know that people are different and accept their differences; cherish their upbringing and background. Let their hearts be nurtured by who you are.

Note: this is coming from someone who used to plan to the minute, if you are ultra opposite, please take these advice lightly. All that I write about is from my experience, not an ultimatum of law.

The friends I can always count on when I’m back in LA. LA will always be my home!

Taiwan

Switzerland- became friends with a airplane buddy

As I embark on another journey of love- check out my campaign, join me, support me or give! 

I am at $150 and am aiming to raise $4,500 ($5,000 minus website fees) in 20 days. Believe in me and trust that every journey I take, I am making a difference in someones’ life. Our world is interconnected, not one person is an isolated individual. Thus when you support me, you are making a difference in areas of this earth that you may never go to yourself. Thanks for your constant support!