Video: My Experiences with Emotional Pain or Abuse from a Church or Religion

Hi everyone! I wanted to share this video I made recently for my Spiritual Agnostic YouTube vlog channel, in the hopes that perhaps others who have experienced similar things or even much worse, might find some comfort and strength in knowing they aren’t alone and that it is possible to heal and move on from things like this. In no way did I make this video to be mean or vengeful, but just to express my own process of growth and learning through these experiences.

Do the 2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge with Me!

I decided to do the 2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge this year! I have already started and plan to make YouTube videos each month to update which categories I have completed in the challenge. If you would like to do the challenge with me, please visit the official POPSUGAR page where you can print off a copy of the checklist. Don’t worry about whether you will be able to complete every category or not. This is simply for fun and to get all of us to read books we otherwise might not. You could even do it as a family if you wish!

Check out my first YouTube video for the challenge below!

Drugs are Scary

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Recently, my husband and I went to a special class about street drug use among youth. The only reason we really went was to earn some of our foster parent educational credit hours, but I must say that the class turned out to be eye-opening and even frightening on many levels. I thought I already knew the basics about street drug use…but apparently there is ALOT I still had to learn.

Following are a few of the facts and statistics that were shared during the class that surprised or even shocked me. Read them over for yourself and decide if we as a country should be worried…

  • Of all young people who die from overdosing on drugs, 98% started with marijuana. (Guess that kind of ruins our society’s whole “marijuana is harmless” belief).
  • Studies show that the risk of a person having a heart attack in the first hour after smoking marijuana is 4 times more likely than their normal risk.
  • On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the hardest to get and 10 being the easiest to get, getting crack cocaine in this area of Ohio is an 8 for a minor. (Although obviously this statistic would vary depending on where you live and other factors, it scares me that it is so easy for our youth to get hold of cocaine).
  • Ketamine, known on the streets as “Special K” is actually a tranquilizer for large animals. For this reason, many veterinary clinics and other animal handlers often become victims of theft and other crimes due to addicts pursuing their drug.
  • OxyContin, Morphine, Vicodin and Codeine are in the same family of drugs as Heroin. (No wonder these pain killers are so addictive)!
  • Heroin users often start out by abusing prescription drugs.
  • Approximately 1 in 6 meth labs EXPLODE! This is truly terrifying! And these are not small explosions!
  • People who abuse methamphetamines have less than a 5% chance of ever fully recovering.
  • The average age for someone who inhales chemicals to get high is 9-13. (If that is the average age, many kids must do it at even younger ages. We obviously need early intervention here.)

So did those facts worry you at least a little bit? They should. If you don’t already talk to your kids about the dangers of drug use of all kinds, please start talking. And always keep an eye out. Don’t be the parent that is in denial and doesn’t see a problem right before their eyes until it is too late.

Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My!

Ok, so I didn’t see an African lion today, but I did see a mountain lion, a couple different kinds of bears and some Bengal tigers.  Where did all this take place?  At Heaven’s Corner, a little animal rescue sanctuary not far from where we live.  This isn’t our first time visiting, in fact, we have been somewhat regulars there.

We have listened to the workers there explain how most of their wild animals are pets that people obtain illegally, and then when the wild animal gets too big or tries to kill their owner, the animals get dumped.  We have also talked to the guy who feeds the mountain lions and saw his half-eaten Nike sneaker.  Apparently he went into the lions den one night dressed differently and wearing cologne, so that the lion didn’t recognize him and almost mauled the guy to death.  The people who work there are brave and caring, but most importantly, they are doing what they love – rescuing animals that otherwise might be put down for good.

So here is my plea…I know illegal pets can be tempting.  Perhaps like me, you have always dreamed of owning a leopard, wolf, penguin or baby bear for a pet…but if you really care about the animals, think it through.  Are you really qualified and able to care for a truly wild animal?  Wouldn’t these animals be better off and happier left in the wild, rather than caught and sold as novelties?  It’s sad to see animals caged up that might have been free.  While you watch the bears or the tigers pace in their small jail cells, think about what that life must really be like.  Although I am thankful to animal sanctuaries for taking in these animals, I wish that it wasn’t necessary to do so.

By the way, while I’m thinking about it, make sure you support any local wildlife sanctuaries or conservation efforts near you.  Whether you donate money, time or your natural talents, the earth and all of its creatures will be better off for your efforts.