Astonishingly Honest #WhyIStayed graphics & shocking Domestic Violence statistics

posted on: October 9, 2018

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the focus is on making America aware of this nightmare. Awareness plus Action creates change so I am willing to do my part, however small that might be. Please contact me via lauraaranda@owlofhope.com to come to your school, church, book club and host a workshop concerning human trafficking in America and how it affects our American runaways.

The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766. 

A woman is beaten every nine seconds in America.

 

#WhyIStayed

 

10,000,000

That is the number of minor children exposed to domestic violence every single year. Just let that heartbreaking number sink in for a moment. These are your Sunday school kids, your classroom students, your neighborhood kids playing in the streets. We have to do something! 

 

 

Need help?

In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline or visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN.

https://hotline.rainn.org/online/

For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website. https://www.nsvrc.org

 

 

Between 55 percent and 98 percent of child sex-trafficking cases involved children who had prior involvement in the child welfare system.

Runaway and homeless youth are at particularly high risk for exploitation
by traffickers: A survey of youth in a homeless shelter in Salt Lake City, Utah, found that 50 percent of homeless youth reported having been solicited for sex by an adult.

Reports have also indicated that one out of every three runaways will be “lured toward” prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we may not know exactly how many young people are being sexually exploited and abused by traffickers in the United States, it is clear that the sex trafficking of children and teenagers is a significant problem that deserves concerted attention. The challenges presented by these cases are not insurmountable, and there is a growing coalition of lawmakers from both parties who are committed to strengthening state and federal laws to better protect young people from this devastating form of abuse. There is also a strong community of anti-trafficking advocates committed to raising awareness about sex trafficking of minors and developing policy proposals and best practices for identifying and apprehending traffickers and providing supportive services to victims.

 

above notes taken from:

https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/HumanTrafficking-brief.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is one thing you can do to improve all areas of your life at the same time – invest in yourself. The most famous investor of all time, Warren Buffett, says: “The best investment you can make is in yourself.” Go do something, become proud of yourself, get a career, go back to school, pick up a hobby, gain self confidence so you do not have to be subject to the opinions of another partner. 

 

 

🌟 Laura’s Daily Intention🌟

An *accountability partner* is great to have when we’re tackling big goals. Today, think about someone you can have in your corner as your work to get productive.

“Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.” T.G

posted on: September 19, 2018

 

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” —John C. Maxwell

What does passion mean?  It is a strong and barely controllable emotion.  If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion. That is true concerning college, a job, or any other thing you find yourself doing. Passion is energy. You will be able to feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you. One person filled with passion about a cause is better than 100 people who are merely interested in the cause. Passion for a cause is not something you can fake. You can’t pretend to be on fire, you are or you aren’t.

Have you ever heard Dr Laura Catherine Schlessinger? Wikipedia says that she was born January 16, 1947 and is an American talk radio host member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and author. Her radio program consists mainly of her responses to callers’ requests for personal advice and has occasionally featured her short monologues on social and political topics. Her website says that her show “preaches, teaches, and nags about morals, values and ethics”. I have listened to her for over twenty years. I love her!

Dr Laura Schlessinger used to combine her local radio career with a private practice as a marriage and family counselor, but after going into national syndication, she concentrated her efforts on the daily The Dr. Laura Program, and on writing self-help books. The books Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives, and The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands are among her bestselling works. I have had both and they are very good books. Check her out!

I was listening to this modern day philosopher today and something she said peaked my in

terested. I wanted to share what she had to say with you and add a bit as well.

Her question to the audience was:

What is your passion? 

How can you find out what your passion in life is? 

Her advice was from an article she read and shared with us. I want to share those with you.

  1. What topic could you read 500 books on and never get tired of knowing more or reading about? 

  2. What could you do for five straight years without getting paid? 

  3. If you had financial abundance to do anything in the world, what would you do? 

  4. Make a list of the people you are jealous of. This will give you clarity. What do these people do that make you jealous? 

These questions are taking practicality out thinking and just gets to the core. Don’t assume your passion is your job right now. Your job is the way to eventually entertain your passion. It is the practicality.

Are you starting to think? 

Your true passion will not be found overnight but it will be through a series of discoveries. 

“Passion is the genesis of genius.” —Tony Robbins

I could read 500 books about photography, speaking, leadership and the ability to be an encouragement in many different ways.

Regardless of payment, I would continue to read and share encouragements with others, travel and host in my home as often as possible.

If I had the financial ability to do anything in the world, I would travel constantly photographing as I went along to create books of wonder for others to cherish. I would continue to travel and speak and bring awareness to human trafficking and how it affects our American children and youth.

“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” —Steve Jobs

Making a list of people I am ‘jealous’ of made me smile. This truly gave me clarity. The people I have thought of travel often, deeply care for others and those less fortunate,  spend quality time with their children and speak in front of many people, they have a well known household name and aren’t afraid to stand up and be a leader. I want to follow in their footsteps.

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” —Bishop T.D. Jakes

If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it. Gather everything you can and learn as much as you can so you can be the most successful at whatever it is, you wish to do.

“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” —Vincent Van Gogh

What are your thoughts? Share below! Comment and let’s see how many people are pursuing their passion in life.

My evening at Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue Farm Tenino, WA

posted on: July 13, 2018

Oftentimes, I have been intrigued by those beautiful people who dedicate their entire lives to a cause or business. One example would be a family Mom & Pop shop or a community’s meat market with a famous butcher who is the grandson of the creator and owner…a business that has been passed down from generation to generation. It amazes me that people can stay in one place and dedicate their entire lives to doing just one thing…for me, that would scare me to death to have to do that but it also impresses me that others are so good at so many things that the world may never know about. In this post, I want to share one of those special people I believe the whole world should know hear about and know. She may never be a household name but to alpacas, she is a hero. 

Many know, I am away on holiday visiting family in Washington. I am currently writing book two in the Pushing Back the Darkness series bringing awareness to abuse and sexual trafficking in America. I was driving to visit Mount Rainier one day last week, when I drove past a ‘llama’ farm. On a whim, I looked them up online and found Cross Creek Alpaca Farm. Without thinking to hard on the matter, I quickly sent her a message and asked if I could come visit her and check out the farm. She replied and invited me  out. Tonight I spent over an hour there. One of our first conversations was one of her explaining to me she had to find a job to support the rescue Alpacas. She relies on donations to feed them and nurture them back to health.  Alpacas are not native to the United State of America. Since 1984, alpacas have been imported from Peru, Bolivia and Chile into the United States but when they arrive here they can be mistreated, misused or neglected…sounds familiar, huh???  What a parallel…maybe that is why my heartstrings were tugged so tightly…..

   

Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue was founded by Sharon Bond and Jacklyn Glover who started with rescuing horses in 2003. Then in 2007, they began to rescue alpacas. There are very few animal rescues dedicated to the saving of alpacas but the need exists. Too often gelded males, older females and otherwise unwanted alpacas are passed from farm to farm, or they are put down for little or no reason other than they are a burden to the current owner. I was able to learn that llamas are bigger than alpacas. Alpacas love love love to be sprayed with the water hose and I had the distinct privilege to spray them down and watch them jump in the cool water and then lay in the cool dirt now that they were nice and wet. It was so cute!

Alpacas only live to about 15 years old but these can get to 20 or older since they are so loved and spoiled here at Cross Creek

If you could see them, you would fall in love with them just as I have. I didn’t even know alpacas could be abused or neglected…but they are just like any other farm animal that people don’t take care of. She is a hero and every alpaca rescued is one out of harm’s way.

What is abuse/neglect?
Abuse of animals could be defined many ways depending in which context you are speaking and to whom. In Webster’s dictionary abuse is defined as; to hurt by treating badly; mistreatment; causing injury.
Neglect is defined in Webster’s as; not to care for sufficiently or properly; slight; to treat as unimportant, through carelessness or by intention.

Many of her alpacas came from a rescue in 2014 from Polk County, Oregon. The owners of Jocelyn’s Alpaca Ranch in Falls City were charged with several counts of animal neglect in 2014 after alpacas on the farm were found dead or starving. (*CAN YOU IMAGE!??* THAT’S SO SAD!)
Jocelyn and Robert Silver were both indicted on 18 crimes: felony first-degree animal neglect, felony second-degree animal neglect and 16 counts of misdemeanor first-degree animal neglect.
They were arraigned on the charges Tuesday afternoon after press time. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has seized and is caring for 175 alpacas. Later the news came out that there were as many as 200 being kept on 3 acres with little or no food.These animals were in terrible conditions and as many as 50 have already died before the rescue.

Cross Creek’s website is full of information:

Why does she want to rescue an Alpaca?
Alpacas are not native to the United State of America. Since 1984, alpacas have been imported from Peru, Bolivia and Chile into the United States. Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are native to the Andean Mountain range of South America. In their native lands they have been used for clothing, food and heat for many thousands of years. In the US, attempts are being made to develop industries utilizing the fiber produced by alpacas. Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere. Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic.

The alpaca industry has grown steadily with current estimates totally over 120,000 registered alpacas with the Alpaca Registry, Inc (ARI) in the US. Due to the small size of the national herd, the alpaca industry is a breeder’s market. This has led to the discarding of non-breeding alpacas due to age, deformity, illness and poor breeding practices. In recent years, many intelligent alpacas have been discarded as of no worth, due mainly to the lack of human understanding. Because of the influx of alpacas, there have been increases in neglect, abused and abandoned animals. The well-being of the alpaca is put into jeopardy. This was reason enough to be a hero and rescue them. I applaud her efforts and want to share her story with the world!

 

 

Click here to learn more or DONATE to : Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue Farm

A note from her:

CCAR is a 501c(3) non-profit organization,

and they rely entirely on private & adoption donations to pay for medication, veterinary expenses and feed.

All contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

SEND A CARD

Send a complimentary card with your donation to CCAR to let your family and friends know about the special donation you gave in their name.

Whether it be birthday, anniversary or in memory of someone, they will send them a personalized card.

When you use PayPal, you can attach a note to them that will let them know that you would like to SEND A CARD.  Or on their website you click on CONTACT US, and send them an email.  They will then contact you by email to get the needed information to send the perfect card for you. For more info call: (360) 350-3813

Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue welcomes your support. GO CHECK THEM OUT–Tell them AUTHOR LAURA ARANDA sent you!

America, What Nicaragua needs you to know and share

posted on: May 31, 2018

The below interview is from a man we met while in Nicaragua. His name has been excluded as well as the church he attends. I created this interview with him in a desperate attempt to get America’s attention.

Though he primarily speaks Spanish and responded to me in Spanish, all of his answers will be translated into English for our readers.

The strong Nicaraguan people are resilient but as they march on their Mother’s Day holiday this year they did not celebrate. The people declared it a day of mourning for the fallen as the death toll as reached over 80 people. Right now they are in what they call, “The Mother of all Marches”! This is a march for their freedom, for their liberties and for the future generations who don’t have a clue what terror Communism brings. You will see real photos here, however, I chose not to share some of the more graphic pictures he sent over. They were gruesome and worse than anything movies could portray. This is real. 

READ the interview and SHARE SHARE SHARE the interview to get the news out. These are real time events. Most importantly, PRAY!

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of

Tennyson

 

 

¿Dónde vives en Nicaragua?

Where do you live in Nicaragua? 

In a Managua neighborhood in an old mansion

 

¿Puedes decirle a América la línea de tiempo de los eventos nicaragüenses?

Can you tell America the timeline of the Nicaraguan events?

There has been up to three marches per week due to suspension of the dialogue.

 

¿Alguno de su familia ha estado involucrado?

Has any of your family been involved? 

Two of my innocent cousins were hurt just for the pleasure. On Wednesday, they took them and my aunt to the place where they are tortured and forced to beg them not to kill them. The police are murderous and corrupt.

¿Hay ‘chicos buenos’ y ‘chicos malos’ en Nicargua?

Are there ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ in Nicargua? 

The ‘good ones’ are the students and the ‘bad ones’ are the JS: Sandinista youth.

 

*Laura: The aggressive Sandinista Youth run about armed with iron pipes into the crowds of protestors with police protection. Vicious and cruel. 

 

¿Qué debe cambiar?

What needs to change? 

The government because it is very corrupt.

 

¿Qué debe suceder para que Nicargua sea pacífico?

What needs to happen to make Nicargua peaceful? 

Nicaragua has been peaceful, but because of the situation the country has worsened and there are many armed people.

 

¿Qué quieres que América sepa?

What do you want America to know? 

Let him know that we want a new change of government.

 

¿Cómo puede ayudar América?

How can America help? 

America can help if they will intervene in removing the corrupt from power.

 

¿Hay algo que Estados Unidos pueda hacer para ayudar a Nicaragua?

Is there anything America can do to help Nicaragua? 

Removing the corrupt from power helps the country improve the situation of Nicaragua since the president refuses to resign.

 

Comparta cualquier historia que desee que América sepa sobre Nicaragua.

Gracias.

¡Mantenerse a salvo! Que Dios bendiga a tu familia.

Share any story you want America to know about Nicaragua. 

Thank you. 

Stay safe! God bless your family. 

 

The story that needs to be told is that Nicaragua is repeating the same story for the second time when it is in shambles.

 

There is so much more I could add. There is constantly new information coming out but I just wanted to send out this plea from a citizen there. PRAY for them! Share this blog post and interview so it can open people’s eyes to the devastation going on right now. Find me on Facebook:

You should be able to see the album here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155839692111185.1073742148.734416184&type=1&l=eb5c2edc49

and you can see an album full of more pictures of Nicaragua and our trip there recently.

 

 

 

America, this is what the beautiful people of Nicaragua need you to know.

According to Wikipedia: On 18 April 2018, demonstrators in several cities of Nicaragua began protests against President Daniel Ortega‘s decree of social security reforms that increased taxes and decreased benefits. After five days of unrest in which nearly 30 people were killed, Ortega announced the cancellation of the reforms. However, the opposition has grown to denounce Ortega and demand his resignation, becoming one of the largest protests in his government’s history and the deadliest civil conflict since the end of the Nicaraguan Revolution.

Nicaragua, ladrón! Nicaragua, you thief!

posted on: April 26, 2018
Nicaragua, you thief!
I’ve lost my heart somewhere along the way.
I thought it came home with me.
My memories flitter along the broken streets and through the fray.
Oh Nicaragua, for my heart’s return I refuse to plea.
I only ask, where was I when you took my heart?
Was my heart placed in the hands of your golden children I held so close?
Where in your beautiful land did we stray apart?
Did my heart join the crowd as they raised their voice for liberty and in return were dealt angry blows?
Did my heart end up in the pocket of a sister standing shoulder to shoulder with me during praise?
I must not have felt it leave as we worshipped to the rhythm of a salsa drumbeat.
Can my heart be found in the dusty marketplace amongst the many different displays?
My mind flints up and down each and every Managua street.
Oh Nicaragua, you thief! You stole my heart with no promise of a return.
My mind is drowning in the memories of your golden children’s eyes.
For your voice and liberty and freedom I hold all concern.
I pray for the day I see you, from the ashes arise.
You stole my heart without a care and replaced it with a haunting memory
Oh dear heart, one day I will return to find you and then will I be whole.
_______________
Nicaragua, ladrón!
Perdí mi corazón en algún momento del camino.
Pensé que llegó a casa conmigo.
Mis recuerdos revolotean por las calles rotas y por la refriega.
Oh Nicaragua, por el regreso de mi corazón me niego a declararme.
Solo pregunto, ¿dónde estaba yo cuando tomaste mi corazón?
¿Mi corazón fue puesto en las manos de tus hijos dorados que tenía tan cerca?
¿En qué parte de tu hermosa tierra nos separamos?
¿Se unió mi corazón a la multitud cuando levantaron la voz en busca de libertad y, a cambio, recibieron golpes airados?
¿Acabó mi corazón en el bolsillo de una hermana parada conmigo hombro con hombro durante mi alabanza?
No debí sentirlo irse mientras rendíamos culto al ritmo de un tambor de salsa.
¿Se puede encontrar mi corazón en el polvoriento mercado entre las diferentes pantallas?
Mi mente recorre todas y cada una de las calles de Managua.
Oh Nicaragua, ladrón! Robaste mi corazón sin ninguna promesa de devolución.
Mi mente se está ahogando en los recuerdos de los ojos de tus hijos dorados.
Por su voz, libertad y libertad, tengo toda la preocupación.
Rezo por el día que te veo, de las cenizas surgen.
Robaste mi corazón sin cuidado y lo reemplazaste con un recuerdo inquietante
Oh, querido corazón, un día volveré para encontrarte y luego seré completo.
 
__________
Nicaragua, thief!
I lost my heart at some point along the way.
I thought you came home with me.
My memories flutter through the broken streets and the fray.
Oh Nicaragua, for the return of my heart I refuse to declare myself.
I just ask, where was I when you took my heart?
My heart was placed in the hands of your golden children that I had so close?
In what part of your beautiful land do we separate?
Did my heart join the crowd when they raised their voices in search of freedom and, in return, received angry blows?
Did my heart end up in the pocket of a sister standing with me shoulder to shoulder during my praise?
I should not have felt it go while we were worshiping to the rhythm of a salsa drum.
Can you find my heart in the dusty market between the different screens?
My mind goes through each and every one of the streets of Managua.
Oh Nicaragua, thief! You stole my heart without any promise of return.
My mind is drowning in the memories of the eyes of your golden children.
Because of his voice and freedom, I have all the worry.
I pray for the day I see you, from the ashes arise.
You stole my heart without care and replaced it with a disturbing memory
Oh, dear heart, one day I will return to find you and then I will be complete.

Pushing back the darkness book Vendor acceptance at Shine conference 

posted on: March 7, 2017

Super excited. Got the verification email today. My book has been accepted for a vendor spot at the Shine conference in Katy, Tx. April 7th and 8th next month. Super pumped. Just had to share the news. 

Ruben goes to the Restoration Conference with Daddy

posted on: January 28, 2017

Craig travels extensively with his job but when he is home, he makes the most of his time with the children.

Last night was no exception. He and the young married couples’ men from church went together to LA for a men’s conference. Ruben tagged along.

I spotted their notepads on the breakfast bar this morning. I couldn’t help but take a picture. Ruben may not be quite ready to spell yet but he was there with his notepad as well.

restore

I love it. Following in his dad’s footsteps.