In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats—the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill—The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it—and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the left-hand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round windows looking over his garden, and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.
I am so excited about my Valentine, I mean Galentine’s Day weekend trip we have planned. For those who may not know, it is a nonofficial holiday, celebrated as a day for “ladies celebrating ladies.” We are going hiking and Hobbit House hunting. I have been reading J.R.R. Tolkien to be ready.
“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”
“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something…You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”
What is a Hobbit?
I am super excited about what adventure Saturday holds with my friends I have made here in Washington. I hope each of you have a memorial Valentine’s Day this year and if you didn’t…try to make it special for someone else. Joy and Happiness is in the journey, it is never a destination. Read the book when you get a chance! It is full of great lines!
Oh, and here is a little song for you while you are out on your weekend adventure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHjv0GS-f8Q When life’s giving you a hard time and you feel as though you’re being overcome, come back here, watch this video, close your eyes and listen to it again. Let peace and serenity enter your heart once more. This song makes me homesick for a place I have never been before.
“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”
There are over 20 million people trafficked globally and this crime not including the porn industry profits an estimated $150 billion dollars a year.
Let me begin by sharing a true story of an average American family. We were raising a family. Buying a house. Working. My husband is a union crane operator working here in Houston. We were driving along the hwy in November 2014 when we came across a museum where I learned about the history and current problems of human trafficking and how relevant this is to today’s society.
That day changed the way I saw the world paround me. It was just the beginning for me. I went home realizing I wasn’t hearing enough about human trafficking.
Human trafficking is old bondage of people selling people for a profit, predators preying on vulnerabilities of the weak.
I began to study and According to the National center for missing and exploited children an estimated 2 million American kids runaway from home every year. Within 48 to 72 hours on the streets, one third fall into the hands of pornagraphy and prostitution.
I published a fiction novel In April of last year titled Pushing Back the Darkness and have sold hundreds of copies. I’m working with a team of eight writers and we are in the second phase of editing a curriculum now titled Called Out: A 16 session emotional healing and restoration curriculum for survivors of sexual abuse. Our goal is to have this published In July of this year.
I have been invited to teach and bring awareness to over thirty different settings and speaking engagements at churches, schools and libraries , but I want to scale these workshops and replicate them across America. Research your city and community. Human trafficking affects all of us.
My goal is to launch this program engaged in the fight to end modern-day slavery & help with aftercare of survivors. Through education and awareness we can bring Hope to those who have none. We can change the very communities we live in by making meaningful impact in a place of need. We have identified the problem and now we offer a solution. Thank you.
Those were my notes from the IMPACTJUNKIE meeting at the Worklodge which was an incredible place!!
The original Temple of #Solomon was built with cedars from #Lebanon. When the foundation of the new temple was laid, the description of simultaneous joy and weeping is noted in #Ezra chapter 3 :10-13. The older community remembered the former temple and the new generation was celebrating.
You will not find recorded here the grumbling, murmurs or complaints of the older crowd. One reads the sound was heard a far off and people couldn’t discern the noise of joy from the noise of grief and weeping. They did it together. Unity. The old hand in hand with the new.
There was no thought of “if it’s not done my way then we cannot work together”
The glorious praise was shouted when the expectation of the temple #foundation was laid and the first steps completed. They had a long journey a head of them but the work could not be done alone. The people had to work together in unity.
There was mourning for the loss and rememberance of the #destruction of the original temple but the glory of the New Temple would surpass that of the first.
How does that apply to Impactjunkie.co?????
What does that have to do with Tribes!?
Well, I believe that We must all work together and not have a “my way” mindset.
Or a hindsight viewpoint of constantly remembering the old ways and not putting our hand to the plow and helping with what’s going on today and now.
Today and #Tomorrow is a better day. We are headed to a bright future of the church if we work together to bring in the harvest and labor for souls #together.
Help your brother with his dream. Help your sister with her vision. Work together for the kingdom of God.
Impactjunkie.co may be a New thing but it is out there helping others and using the tools we have in our hands. Using our time
Girl, Taken – An interview with Author Elena Nikitina
posted on: February 6, 2018
To me, age is a state of mind. Depending on the day, I can feel myself anywhere between 18 and 90.
What are you passionate about?
I’m an artist at heart. I enjoy writing, painting and photography. My other passions are Latin dance and shooting weapons at the range. I love to work out and create things as well. I love to design new stuff from scratch or transform ugly things into beautiful ones. I love fashion and my dream is to create a fashion clothing line one day. I’m also passionate about real estate – I’m a licensed agent in Ohio.
What human trafficking looks like and how does it affect American youth?
Human trafficking is illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Behind those words there are many broken human lives. Each story is an incredible tragedy of a person who is torn away from his normal life and deprived of his freedom and human rights.
Young people are particularly vulnerable, as criminals can find victims and manipulate them through internet, social media and private chats. One report cited “13 years old as the most common age in Ohio for youth to become victims of child sex trafficking”.
What motivated you to write a book and more importantly what inspired you to get involved with bringing awareness to human trafficking?
The book Girl, Taken – is a true story about kidnapping and survival. The plot of my book took place in real life and I just described it in my own words.
I saw and experienced things no one should have to go through. I’m sure that right now, right at this particular moment, there is someone who is suffering from being a victim of kidnapping or trafficking or facing a similar ordeal in life. I wanted to deliver a message to those who seek hope or to those who are about to give up. Hope and faith should never leave you, even in the moment of total and all-consuming despair.
Every human trafficking story looks similar to mine. The incredible tragedy that involves not only one person – it’s an adversity for all family members. Unfortunately, most people consider human trafficking as a problem of the past or believe that it is limited to being outside the United States only. Only by bringing awareness and education about this problem taking place everywhere there will be a chance to fight this crime.
Tell us a few statistics concerning human trafficking in your city and the surrounding areas.
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that occurs in every state, including Ohio. Ohio ranks number five in the nation for the most human trafficking cases. Last year, 375 Ohio trafficking cases were reported based on calls to the national hotline–according to Polaris, a nonprofit organization that tracks human trafficking cases in America and across the world.
If any readers might think a loved one is in harm’s way what would be a few actions you would suggest so they can get the help they need?
The professional help from the therapist and a good family environment are the best sources, in my opinion.
What steps did you take to begin bringing awareness and getting involved?
I’m at the very beginning of my journey at the moment. I think social media is the best way to bring the awareness.
What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Through the horrifying months of my captivity – witnessing atrocities, surviving bombings and sexual violence, and trapped in a land where countless people were dying every day, I fought desperately to stay alive, stay sane and not lose the one thing that kept me going – my hope.
We never know what we are capable of until we are placed in a situation when you have to make a choice – stay strong or break down. Choose to remain a victim or choose to become a survivor.
At some point, I decided for myself – I wanted to be a survivor and not a victim. I like to believe we can all make this choice, no matter the hardships we face in life.
What advice would you give to parents of youth?
Pay attention and talk to your children. Be proud of what they are accomplishing. Love them.
So many people have dreams and want to start nonprofits or businesses because they have a burning desire to change the world. They want to be men or women of influence with a powerful message. Then doubt sets in or failure happens.
-What are your thoughts about this?
Robert Kiyosaki – famous American businessman and author – once said: “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success”.
Pursuing things that truly matter gives people a sense of purpose and this, in turn, will help people persevere in their pursuits.
-What would your message to these people include?
Take a risk to make a difference. If you win, you will be happy. If you lose, you learn.
What is your favorite quote or mantra?
This too shall pass.
My favorite of all times, meaning that nothing is permanent.
When everything is good, remember that it won’t last forever. So, enjoy and cherish it while you can. When things are bad, remember that it won’t last forever. Have faith, bad times eventually will pass.
What motivates you?
Achieving the desired results motivates me.
When was the last time you were out of your comfort zone?
A few days ago, I was honored to give a public speech about my book Girl, Taken. That was something I have never done before and had zero experience with. I was way out of my comfort zone.
What are your most important gifts you have to offer your city and state?
Every voice has an influence. Many voices have the power to change the world or to stop a crime. To be involved in the organization or a group with like-minded people – is a gift that every citizen should offer to their community to improve the quality of life.
If anyone is interested in contacting you further what would be the easiest way to reach you?
The best way to reach me is through one of my social media accounts:
Is there anything else you want me to know that will help me write this article?
As I mentioned earlier, I wrote a book Girl, Taken – A True Story of Abduction, Captivity and Survival. In 1994, just after my 21st birthday, I was drugged and abducted from my hometown in southern Russia by a group of gangsters. The idea was to hold me for ransom, but an unfortunate thing happened. Soon after my kidnapping, the first Russian-Chechen War broke out…
I would love to share my story with the readers of your blog.
Readers love Girl, Taken.
Here’s a small sample of what they are saying:
“This book will astonish and inspire you. It is the harrowing tale of a young woman who saved her own life through nothing more than courage, determination, and inner strength.”
“One of the best books I’ve read in the past few years…”
“Girl, Taken kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. She is lucky to be alive. Very intense, hard to put it down. I would definitely suggest you enjoy the book for yourself and feel what it’s like to be kidnapped…”
Girl, Taken – A True Story of Abduction, Captivity and Survival. You can check it out on Amazon
Human Trafficking Awareness Interview with Michigan State Police Trooper Steven Kramer of Flint Post
posted on: January 29, 2018
Interview with Flint, Michigan State Trooper, Steven Kramer
Steven A. Kramer, age 44 is a community Service Trooper of Michigan State Police-Flint Post. For over the last four years, Trooper Kramer has pledged to do something to change the dynamics of the way human trafficking is viewed and dealt with in Flint, Michigan. Flint is well-known as the city drowning in so many other problems and fighting so many difficult obstacles. Studying online recorded the racial make-up of Flint consists of 57% black; 37% white while 42% of Flint residents live below the poverty line. The average household income is only $39,000.
Flint has ranked as one of America’s most dangerous cities for several years based on FBI crime statistics of violent crimes per capita.
Human Trafficking is just one more nightmare this city is trying to combat.
Human trafficking is both sex and labor trafficking. It is a form of modern-day slavery that occurs around the world and in the United States. It involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, or receiving a person through the use of FORCE, FRAUD, or COERCION. ANYONE can be a victim of human trafficking and ANYONE can be a trafficker. Flint and Michigan State Police are hoping to bridge the gap with Flint neighborhoods.
Below is an interview with one of the heroes on Flint, Michigan streets.
How long have you worked in this field?
I have been with the Michigan State Police for twenty years. I have been in my current role as a Community Service Trooper /Recruiter for almost five years. I have been involved with Human Trafficking awareness for about the last four years. My partner, Trooper Amy Belanger also works in this field and is heavily involved with human trafficking. We have been partners for about three and a half years. What are you passionate about?
I would say I’m very passionate about my job, especially the work I am currently doing with the community. One message I want the world to understand is there is no such thing as a juvenile prostitute! If they are under age, it is trafficking!
What does Human Trafficking look like and how does it affect American Youth?
This is a tough question to answer, because it can look like so many different things.
Human trafficking is a crime that affects victims of any age, gender, race, or immigration status. Human trafficking occurs in all parts of this country – from cities, to suburbs, to rural areas.
Traffickers/Pimps are constantly coming up with new ways to lure our youth into this lifestyle. They prey on desperation, curiosity, and naivety.
Pimps/Traffickers can be girls, women, boys, young men, and older men. Many kids are runaways at the time of recruitment. Between 100,000 and 200,000 of United States Children are taken into trafficking each year. The desired starting age is twelve to thirteen for girls and twelve years old for boys.
What motivated you to become a state trooper and more importantly what inspired you to get involved with bringing awareness to human trafficking?
My main motivation to become a State Trooper was my father. My father worked for and retired from the Detroit Police Department as a Detective Sgt. For as long as I can remember, being a police officer is all I ever wanted to be. I look up to my father and have much respect for him. I guess I wanted to follow in his footsteps. It was his suggestion to join the Michigan State Police if I really wanted to be a police officer.
I would say the more I learned about human trafficking and how it happens everywhere, I became interested in seeing what I could do to help.
I joined the Genesee County Human Trafficking task force and began to learn more about it. I also attended presentations from victims speaking about their experiences. I see how it happens and how it affects our communities. I felt that helping to educate the community was a great way to help.
Tell us a few statistics concerning human trafficking in Flint, Michigan and the surrounding areas.
It happens in Flint, Michigan the same way it happens everywhere in the United States.
Some interesting statistics:
62% of victims are tricked into trafficking by someone they know and trust (boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, ect.).
35% of victims are sold into human trafficking by their own family.
Only 3% of victims are kidnapped.
Every year, 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation.
Every minute, two children become victims of sexual exploitation.
A trafficker/pimp will know within seconds of contacting their victim if they “got them”.
It takes as little as 8 minutes for a trafficker to win over his/her target.
90% of all the children trafficked for sexual purposes are American children.
There are as many as 2.8 million runaway children each year in the U.S.
Within 48 hours of a child being on the street, 1 in 3 will be approached by a sex trafficker.
The most common approach is the “lover boy” approach.
This is where the trafficker will appear interested in a romantic relationship while gradually coercing the victim into prostitution.
If any readers might think a loved one is in harm’s way what would be a few actions you would suggest so they can get the help they need?
Be aware of and look for the warning signs.
Some warning signs of a victim include:
unexplained absences from school,
inability to attend school,
runs away from home,
makes references to frequent travel,
sudden changes in behavior or material possessions,
makes reference to sexual situations that are beyond ages specific norms,
signs of physical abuse,
Avoids eye contact,
fearful of authority figures.
There is a lot of valuable information online at sources like the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Polaris project, and many more.
The National Human Trafficking hotline number is 888-373-7888
What steps did you take to begin bringing awareness and getting involved?
I am a member of the Genesee County and Shiawassee County Human Trafficking task forces. I give presentations on human trafficking awareness at:
community action groups,
and anyone who requests one.
What advice would you give to parents of youth?
Monitor your children’s activity!!! I can’t stress that enough. Kids today have cell phones, tablets, computers with basically unlimited access to the Internet. Parents are too trusting of their kids. We should be keeping tabs on what our kids are doing! There is no such thing as violating your kids privacy when they are under 18!!
You should know what your kids are doing online including:
Who they’re talking to,
Apps on their phones,
Online places visited.
If anyone is interested in contacting you further what would be the easiest way to reach you?
The best way to contact me is via Email: KramerS1@michigan.gov Storytelling is never going to go away. I am honored to have the opportunity to be an outlet of sorts to bring honor to
Michigan State Police Trooper Steven A. Kramer Flint Post Community Service Trooper/Recruiter
Men like Steven need to be recognized for all they do to help open eyes and bring awareness to the crisis of human trafficking in Flint, Michigan and around our country. Together as a community and as a country we can make small steps to help bring awareness and support to those affected by human trafficking.
One person that has been personally impacted by his actions is Rebecca Huey. I’ve spoke with her many times. She’s a phenomenal person.
She had the privilege to meet Michigan State Police Officer Trooper Kramer, Flint Post when she was a special guest speaker as a Christian Actress for a Human Trafficking event held by the Genessee County Medical Society Alliance in 2015.
Now as an Entrepreneur, Actress and Motivational Speaker, Rebecca Huey’s life has been changed for the positive by being able to share her story with Trooper Kramer which gave her the opportunity to begin to heal. Over time, she was able to share with Trooper Kramer her story and journey and how she is overcoming and excelling today.
Rebecca is an American actress known for her award-winning role Store Clerk “Best Cast” in redemptive romance feature film Providence that came to theaters in February of 2016. She was nominated and chosen Top 10 and Top 3 in 2015 and Top 1 in 2016-2017 by fans from across the world and Faith Flix Films, Tennessee for her press release interview.
Faith Flix Films released her interview in 2015 and it has traveled around the world bringing many others hope – the only hope that can be found in Jesus Christ.
Rebecca is also a female business entrepreneur that holds a business degree from a private college and is the owner of Education Creation LLC with Trademark Cursive Kidz™.
He is a voice for me and so many others that don’t have the strength to speak right away. He has gone above and beyond his job. He deserves to be honored and recognized for his sacrificial hard work, tireless effort to help others, superior dedication to combat human trafficking and for being a loyal trusted voice for those that don’t have the strength to speak. He is doing so much to help so many others in human trafficking in Michigan. He has helped me more than he will ever know and he deserves to be recognized for all he is doing. -Rebecca M. Huey
America tips her hat to you, sir. Thank you. Keep up the good fight. We stand with you.
Written by Author Laura Aranda who published her first novel titled, Pushing Back the Darkness in April 2017. This novel brings awareness to human trafficking in America. You can find the book on Amazon or at her blog: Www.authorlauraaranda.com
For speaking engagements email: email@example.com
📝Interview with Khaliah Williams on 🛍️No Spend 🛒January, mentorship, 🎊New Year goals 2018🎊
posted on: December 24, 2017
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me. Can you tell the readers a little more about yourself?
Hi Everyone! I’m Khaliah Williams. I was born & raised in Pensacola, FL. I am a Full-time Mom, Wife, Worker, Student, Couponer and Contest Enterer! (I’ve entered more than 300 contests this year and so far, I have won 36.) I am married to the love of my life and we have 2 small children. I enjoy journaling, writing, reading and helping my community in any way that I can.
Explain No-Spend November to the audience.
No-Spend November is a no spend challenge that anyone may take part in. It is where you make a commitment to not spend any extra money outside of your monthly written budget. This would include but not be limited to, not eating out, no coffee stops, no Target trips … (I love Target, though!). But you should commit to not spend anything outside of your normal month to month bills/budget that you have created previously.
Why did you decide to participate in the event?
My husband and I decided to take on this challenge because we recently started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Course & Baby Steps for the 2nd time. We originally started in Summer 2015, but quickly lost motivation and our purpose at that particular time. We are more than READY, and more than willing to do everything possible to live like no one now, so we can live like no one later, as Dave Ramsey says.
How can someone get involved with that event if they wanted to?
If you would like to join the No Spend Challenges, and be able to be involved in other frugal living & budgeting lifestyles you can join several Facebook groups that will help you reach this goal. A list of these groups will be provided at the end. And if we can do it, I do believe that anyone can!
Are there any more events like that one coming up soon?
Yes! No Spend January will be starting Jan. 1. You can take part of the challenge by joining the noted Facebook “No Spend” groups at the end of this interview.
Do you see a positive change in the way this has helped your family?
Yes! It has forced us to become more accountable for our spending habits. It has helped us become more caution of where all of our hard earn money is spent. It has also made us happier to know that there are support groups and other families just like us who all have the same financial goals in mind! You are never alone in this.
How has this event changed your family’s spending habits?
We have cut back on all of our “extras”, for example .. I’ve cut my Sirius Radio Subscription, two educational apps/websites for our oldest, and my Chegg’s Study subscription that I used for school. It has been 1 year since we cut our cable bundle as well! Our bundled bill decreased from $202 down to $104 and just recently to $94/month for just internet. This is currently the best promotion that our provider has to offer with their fastest internet speed. So in my book, it’s a win win for both of us.
What are your goals spiritually, financially and even emotionally for 2018?
Spiritually – I’d like to attend church more often. We have committed to attending church at least three times a month, if not four. We have vowed to pray more, and worry less in 2018!
Financially – Recently my husband & I sat down and wrote out our financial goals for 2018 and a few of them are; Maintain a zero based budget each and every month. This means that every single dollar that we have has a “name” and place to go. This will help hold us more accountable especially while doing the No Spend Challenges. We will continue to vow to always pay ourselves first, meaning our savings and 4-Walls first then pleasure later. We have made goals to not only double our Baby Emergency Fund per Dave Ramsey, but to become consumer debt free! All credit cards, all student loans and even our leased phones will be PAID IN FULL by 12/31/18.
Emotionally – I vowed to pray at least twice a day, everyday to help me remain strong and focus within myself and my faith. I have also decided that I will take 5-10 mins each and everyday to read my devotional and continue my journaling as planned, along with this I’d like to implement some type of mediation time to rejuvenate my mind, body and soul and remain focused on what my purpose in life is.
You are in college? What do you go to school for?
Yes, I am. I am in college for my AS in Business Administration. I am currently on track to graduate on May 7th, 2018. I then plan to take 1 class during Summer 2018, and pick up in the Fall with another 3-4 classes in pursue of my Bachelor’s in Human Resources/Business Management.
You told me a really great story about your extra income.
Can you tell me a little about your extra job babysitting?
About 2 months ago, I was asked by a old high school friend if I would be able to watch her kids for her while she worked. I told her sure, I didn’t mind. Not expecting to be compensated at all for this, my kids and her kids had a play date. I provided pizza, drinks, snacks and they all hung out together, played and watched movies. Upon the arrival of my friend, she handed me an envelope and said “Thank You”. Little did I know, there was cash in the envelope as a sincere “Thank You”. She knew that if I would have seen it beforehand, I would have given it back to her as I wouldn’t have charged her at all. This happened a few more times, and each time she refused to allow me to say “No”. The funding provided covered the cost of the food and other items that I purchased for the kids while on their play date.
I was compelled to talk about your part time extra job because of what I have written concerning human trafficking. Do you think there is any correlation between the two?
After our first play date I then became aware that my friend was an exotic dancer at a Gentlemen’s Club in our area. I never judge anyone, and I’d never judge her so it didn’t bother me at all, nor was I shocked or even surprised. At that point, I actually felt really good about watching her children as everyone else she knew, judged her, wouldn’t help her and so she was forced to allow borderline strangers watch her kids while she worked. I knew that her kids enjoyed coming over, and that my kids enjoyed them and that they all were in a very safe environment.
I do think there is a correlation between human trafficking, and exotic dancers etc. And that correlation may include things like, the fact that some younger girls may find themselves just dancing at a local club but in reality they are more at risk to be picked up by someone whose into human trafficking. By being in those types of places, especially during late nights and other peak times is one thing that may put them more at that level of danger. I believe that our young women who are a part of human trafficking were first introduced to it either in a club setting, or in a similar environment. This is why it is so very important to educate our young girls and women on the signs and reg flags to look for in order to avoid these things and to help save more lives.
You mentioned your home church was Apostolic. Can you talk about your days in church. How does church positively influence your life and walk with God?
Yes, our home church is Holiness/Apostolic Faith. Both my husband and I grew up in church. I remember sleeping on the back pews at Wednesday night services, helping my grandmother cook, dye eggs and make other various things for church functions as well. Over the years, we haven’t been attending church as much as we should have or as much as we would have liked, but it positively influences my life and my current walk with God because I know that he is real, he hears all, and he sees all. He sees the good, bad, ugly and uglier. But regardless of any of that, he still shows his continuous love and support for us as his children. When I keep reminding myself of that, my heart smiles!
You mentioned your grandmother. Was she a mentor of yours? How did she affect your walk with the Lord and what church means to you?
Whew. I get goosebumps as I speak about her as she went home to be with the Lord on 10/13/2013. Yes, she was my #1 Mentor right next to my Mom. We loved her and still love and miss her VERY much. She was always very positive, well spoken, loving, god-fearing and church driven. She constantly talked to me about doing the right thing, giving back, praying, and seeking Jesus. I must admit that I attended church more when she was alive than I do right now. She encouraged me to go, and be involved. This is another reason why I believe that this is the perfect time for me to get back into church and continue my walk with the Lord.
Church means various things to me, It means that you believe in something, you have a ‘place’ you can go and worship what you believe in, I also refer to it as a “gathering” and “fellowship” with brothers & sisters of Jesus Christ. I also like to think of it as, a learning and teaching environment. You are learning more about Jesus, his word, his works and his purpose.
Do you have any advice for someone who doesn’t feel like church is as important in their life?
One of the things that I say a lot is, “Everything is not meant for everyone.” You will know when it is right for you as you may change the way you feel, and your outlook on things. So, I’d suggest firstly to surround yourself with positive, like minded people. Find a community based event or group that you would like to be involved in, neighborhood watch, workout groups, mom/parenting groups etc. Once you find it, and begin to build relationships … you may be asked or given the opportunity to attend a religion based event, such as Easter Services, NYE Services etc and at which point, if you feel comfortable enough … give it a shot. Prior to this, you can also ask your friends or neighbors that you have gotten involved in about churches, support groups etc. Make the decision for yourself, but don’t knock it until you have tried it. 🙂
You have been on the news. Can you talk about that?
Yes, I’ve been on the news several times. A few times in my younger days and more recently in January of 2016. The interviews/stories were centered around the School Choice Program/Florida’s A+ Plan that Former Governor Jeb Bush signed in 1999. I was the first student in North West Florida to be given a full scholarship to attend any local Private School chosen by my Mother. This was made available to me because all of the public schools in my district were failing schools. It was a great experience, it gave me opportunities that I have not have been given before, I made a ton of new friends and associates all while receiving a great education and then being accepted in the Law Academy in 2007 in High School. I believe that opportunity has helped, mold and shape the person that I am today.
Where can we find out more about your business(es)? Websites? Blogs? Social media platforms? How can readers stay in contact with you?
I am Founder/Admin of 5 Facebook Groups but the following are the groups closely related to Frugal Living, Budgeting, Meal Prepping and all of the support you need to take on the various challenges.
– Gulf Coast’s Frugal Family Life. (My own personal group)
I smile as I think of the wonderful weekend with the Impact Junkie team in Washington DC area this past weekend. What an incredible team of people who use their abilities, talents and skills to help domestically and internationally. Impact Junkie
On this trip I stumbled across a project I need help with this year. The White is an old gorgeous home that has the best kind of creaky floors. It is located behind The Dream Center created by Mark Batterson’s Dream Team to give people a place to hang out, learn, grow, get their families involved in productive after school activities like ballet, martial arts and even basketball. Walking through the White house with my Impact Junkie team, we began checking off the list of things we would want to get done like:
fixing two broken toilets,
collecting all the holiday decorations from the attic and basement and
organizing those for the upcoming season.
I was excited to be there but my heart kept tugging me to explore the old house more…until I found the sun-room.
The sun-room was a warm haven. Quiet with huge glass windows that overlooked the beautiful DC residential area. As cold and windy as it was outside, I was warm and toasty and my heart felt peace in that sun-room. I decided to make this my project for the day. I cleaned, dusted, mopped and made it shine the best it could but it lacks art supplies and paint on the walls as well as it misses two window panes…the holes covered by wooden planks.
If you want a legitimate place to invest in. A place that really needs a small touch of love for it to really bloom and thrive I offer to you the other White House on South Pennsylvania Ave in Washington DC.
As I swept the floors I picked up old hand drawn art projects from children I will never meet. I thought about those kids and smiled. I prayed God would paint beautiful memories in their minds and cover any nightmares of memories they might have.
I dusted baseboards and asked God to dust away any debris in the kids’ lives that might be covering talents they could use to grow and have productive lives in the future.
I cleaned away old glitter from long past projects and prayed God would fill their lives with sparkle.
This was a peaceful place for children to come and be safe and artistically grow. As we washed the windows we noticed repairs needed. Two window panes are missing covered by wooden boards.
There are no art supplies left. Only broken chalk.
The three tables are sturdy but mismatched and their vinyl chairs are torn and the stuffing is coming out.
The one wall is beige and scratched from constantly been touched by little hands.
My friend Zuri came to check on me and I showed her the things I wouldn’t be able to fix today but it would be easy to make this room incredible.
Our idea? Let’s adopt this sun-room!
Three new donated tables and chairs.
And the IMPACTJUNKIE logo over the newly adopted door.
And of course the art supplies.
We would need a group of people with a vision to donate and contribute a very small amount of money to go to buying good art supplies monthly.
An idea was born and I have to see it through.
I may not be able to go overseas and do missions but I can offer these simple solutions and help kids here. If you’re interested in helping at all reach out to me and I promise 100% will go to those renovations. I can’t wait to show you the updates…the improvements on the adopted IMPACTJUNKIE sunroom. I have shared pictures with you here to show you what the room looks like right now. Color and new supplies would be all this room needed. Feel free to contact me: LauraAranda@owlofhope.com