Keeping the Hearts of Our Children Whole

Here are 3 honest and real quick tips to keep the hearts of our children whole and pure.  Great advice for parents who seek answers as to HOW we can do this!!!

As a kids pastor I talk with parents all of the time that are scared to death raising their kids in a culture that has such easy access to filth and darkness. And I get it. We are raising 3 kiddos in this world too. But can I offer you some perspective today? Lean in…God […]

via 3 Ways to Help Raise Kids with Pure Hearts — Living Planted

For tools to create an open forum with your child look into Damsel in Defense Safe Hearts story books. 

How protect kiddos from the dangers of the cyber world

Tips to stay safe online The proliferation of child predators using the Internet to target young victims has become a national crisis. A study shows one in seven children will be solicited for sex online in the next year. The Texas Attorney General is urging all parents and teachers to realize the risks our children […]

via Cyber Safety – Keep Your Family Safe Online — NOT IN MY WORLD!!!!

A great source for digital protection is Damsel in Defense Digital Defense.

Why People With Above Average Intelligence Are More Likely to have A Drug Addiction and Mental Illness

“Affecting some 2.5 percent of the U.S. population, bipolar disorder alone has touched many of our greatest achievers, including Vincent Van Gogh, Buzz Aldrin, Emily Dickinson, and Ernest Hemingway” (Taite, 2015).

Wondering how that well brought up and super smart friend ever got started on what is now a drug or alcohol addiction?  Have you ever listened to the “delusional” thoughts and beliefs of someone with schizophrenia and thought to yourself, “Hey, these ‘delusional’ thoughts don’t seem that far out there to me”?  How about a person with bipolar, while in a manic phase?  And what is up with all of these kids being abundantly diagnosed with ADHD?

It has been well established that environmental and genetic factors contribute to addiction and mental illness.  There is another hidden factor which is an important dynamic to be considered for people who struggle with addiction and mental illness.

People who are more intelligent than average are at increased risk for drug and alcohol use and addiction.  “In fact, the correlation is so strong scientists say the inverse is true: People of lower intelligence are the least likely to drink or use drugs” (Mientka, 2014).

Why?  Why would smart people put things into their body knowing that it could cause a chemical dependence?  One answer is curiosity.  The need to think outside of the box overrides fear and caution.

“Now, scientists have identified a biomolecular connection between curiosity as a trait and intelligence in general, as evidenced by a 2009 study in Neuron from researchers at the University of Toronto and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital. Specifically, the neuronal calcium center-1 protein was associated in a mouse model with spatial memory and curiosity. Interestingly, that same protein has been linked in humans to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia” (Mientka, 2014).

Speaking of thinking out side of the box.  Most highly successful and famous people who have schizophrenia excel in music.

Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash arrives to the 74th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California

John Nash

Unlike the others, famous mathematician and Nobel peace prize winner John Nash inspired the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind.  Nash endured a 30 year battle with schizophrenia.

“Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are the 3 conditions that develop most frequently in vulnerable individuals… Clinical evidence points to a common neurodevelopmental origin for all three. Similar results have also been seen in recent genetic studies” (Pediaditakis, 2014)


John Watson

Nobel Peace Prize winner John Watson contributed to understanding the structure of DNA.  He is a highly successful and world renowned molecular biologist and geneticist who was pegged to be a genius from his teenage years, though he didn’t think that he was.  John Watson has a son, Rufus, who has schizophrenia.  Did Rufus Watson’s “delusional” ramblings contribute to any of John Watson’s work and ideas?

“…creative geniuses envision new and comprehensively applicable paradigms of nature’s workings. They bypass our evolutionary limits of comprehension and invent ways to access the mathematical arrangement of nature, thereby conceiving, for example, quantum mechanics. Although often exhibiting a learned civility, these individuals may nevertheless be deficient in understanding the algorithms that help us perceive and comprehend the emotional gestalt, state of mind, and intentions needed for social interaction” ( Pediaditakis, 2014).

And then there is this over diagnosed ADHD epidemic.  Why are so many children being diagnosed?  One answer is that gifted children (children who are more intelligent than average) tend to get an ADHD referral and diagnosis through their school system.  When a child acts out, is disruptive, or does not complete school work, it is important to solve the problem quickly (find medication) to maintain smooth operation of the classroom.  Measuring intelligence level and other factors is more time consuming and requires more effort.

gifted-children-and-addiction-mental-illness-high-intelligence-adhd-step-up-with-meChildren who are gifted are misdiagnosed with ADHD because they are board and seek a fulfillment that they may not understand.  They seek to fill a void.

“These individuals are to various degrees less social, more self-centered, and aloof. They may exhibit remarkable “learned” affability and civility, but they are, to various degrees, inner-directed, autonomous, and deficient in empathy and connectedness. They tend to “think” the world rather than “feel” it… They are often dysphoric and tend to feel an “inner void, and aloneness within. (Pediaditakis, 2014)”

Here are a few well known geniuses who are thought to have suffered from addiction and mental illness.

Gifted or Ill?


Emily Dickenson American poet 1800’s Alcohol abuse Manic depression Bipolar Anxiety Possible paranoia


Albert Einstein famous scientist late 1800’s early 1900’s chronic cocaine use possibly autism or Asperger’s


American Author and Journalist Nobel Peace Prize 1900’s Alcoholism Manic depression Bipolar


Buzz Aldrin One of the first American’s to walk on the moon in 1960’s Alcoholism Depression


neurologist, physiologist, medical Dr., founder of the study of psychoanalytic school of psychology, late 1800’s – early 1900’s cocaine depression


Vincent Van Gogh, Famous artist, 1800’s, Alcoholism, Depression, Anxiety, bipolar

Agree?  Disagree?  What are your thoughts?  Comment below or let me know what you think on Instagram, Facebook, or twitter.

Feel free to like and share this article.  More like this are coming soon.


References editors. (2016). 20 Genius minds and the drugs they were addicted to. Retreived from

Mientka, M. (2014). Why smarter people are more likely to be mentally ill. Retrieved from

Pediaditakis, N. (2014). The association between major mental disorders and geniuses. Retrieved from

Taite, R. (2015). Is there a link between intelligence and mental illness? Many times the eccentric tendencies of genius are associated with mental illness. Psychology today. Retrieved from


FBI Say’s 17 Year Old Spring Breaker was Fed to the Gators. Could it Have Been Prevented?


“One out of every three women are taken on spring break each year, and two out of the three taken, never survive and are never found” (Gradolph, 2015).

What tends to go unnoticed is that these high profile cases get media coverage because investigators want them to, for one reason or another.  Most spring break crimes committed against young women are not publicized, because they are under investigation.

I wonder how many of those women and their families were seriously concerned about her personal safety when she took off for spring break?  What do these ladies travel with for self protection?

“Ironically, those who drink the least are at the greatest risk because they do not have any tolerance for the alcohol, ”added Collins. (Glatter, 2014)

The two women listed below were brutally assaulted and murdered on spring break.  Could their assaults have been prevented?

  • Lucy Gradolph was a Michigan State University Senior who escaped murder by chance, while she was on spring break in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in 2014.  Lucy was brutally raped by her cab driver and the man who waved the cab for her (waving of a cab by a stranger being a normal type of thing in Cabo).  She was told that her limbs would be removed if she did not comply.  Lucy was lucky, because another vehicle pulled next to where the crime was being committed and her assaulters became nervous.  They then threw her on the ground and sped off.

spring breaker survived a brutal assault


“I am the blessed statistic that did survive and was found.
My main message to you is: Don’t be a statistic, don’t be a survivor, just don’t be in the equation at all” (Gradolph, 2015).

Lucy Gradolph died of unknown causes in early 2016.  May she rest in Peace.

Brittanee Drexel from upstate New York was just 17 years old in 2009, when she disappeared while on spring break in Myrtle Beach.  FBI agent Gerrick Munoz received information in 2016 from a prison inmate that lead to answers as to what happened to her.


  • Brittanee was held captive and gang raped for days, before she was shot after trying to get away.  Her body was then placed in an alligator pond.  Her body has never been found.

“A teenage girl from upstate New York who disappeared from Myrtle Beach seven years ago was abducted, gang-raped, shot to death and thrown into an alligator-infested swamp, according to an FBI agent who cited a prison inmate” (NBC New York, 2016).

According to contributor, Robert Glatter, “…More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking…More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape” (2014).

prevent-spring-break-assault-step-up-with-meSpring breakers can get peace of mind with simple, cute, and fun self protection items to travel with through Damsel in Defense.  Great options are the Sock It To Me key chain striking tool ($10), a Holla Hers key chain emergency alarm ($15), a Take It AND Leave It pepper spray combo pack ($20 and you get one pepper spray for the hotel room and one pepper spray for the key chain).  The Gotcha stun gun is concealed as a camera ($80) and then there is a hotel room alarm called the Step Off that can be used for window’s as well as doors.  What’s great about Damsel in Defense is that all products come with a lifetime warranty.

Could $10 have saved Brittanee’s life?  Could $10 have prevented Lucy from being raped?  I would love to know what you think about all of this.  Comment below or let me know what you think on Instagram, Facebook, or twitter.

Read more articles like this one here



Glatter, R. (2014). Spring breaks greatest danger. Retrieved from

Gradolph, L. (2015). In her words: MSU spring break rape victim details abduction, attack. Retrieved from

NBC New York. (2016). Missing NY teen was abducted in Myrtle Beach, raped, thrown into gator pit: FBI. Retrieved from



9 Beautiful Women Brutally Murdered: Could It Have Been Prevented?


  • Chelsea Bruck’s remains were found on a construction site in Ash Township, Mi, six months after she disappeared. “Chelsea, who was 22 at the time, was last seen leaving a crowded Halloween party around 3:00 a.m. on October 26, 2014 outside Newport, Michigan. Witnesses told police she was last seen in a parking lot with an unidentified man” (Trost, 2016).  The male charged with her murder was giving her a ride home from the party.  The medical examiner determined that she died from blunt force trauma to the head.

    She also had fractures to her face, jaw, neck and teeth.  The arrested male claims that she accidentally died while engaging in rough sex, which he claims was her idea.

  • Karina Vetrano was jogging near Howard Beach, New York where she was raped and murdered.

    “Authorities said Vetrano put up a ferocious fight before succumbing to her killer” (, 2016).

    Two days later, another jogger was found dead not far from her.

  • Vanessa Marcotte disappeared after she went for a jog. Her burnt, naked body was later found near Princeton Massachusetts. She was 27 years old and worked for google.  “Police have not released a suspect in either case” (, 2016)
  • Dominique O’Neal was 6 months pregnant when she was stabbed to death inside of her apartment in Muskegon, Mi, in 2015. She was an Army National Guardsman and worked in a nursing home.  It took two years to prosecute the killer.
  • Becky Bletsch was found dead one mile away from her home in Muskegon, Mi, in 2014 after she left to go jogging. Though she was shot dead, the man being prosecuted for her murder has a track record for snatching and antisocial behavior.  “In two additional arrest warrants, Willis is being charged with multiple counts of manufacturing child pornography, copying child pornography and using a computer to commit those felonies” (Hausman, 2016).  This same man is being charged with the disappearance of a gas station worker who has been missing for 4 years.
  • Jessica Heeringa was working alone late at night when she

    disappeared from a gas station in Norton Shores, Michigan, in early 2013.

    For years the only thing that police had were a few drops of blood outside of the back door of the gas station.  The man being charged with her murder is being charged in a kidnapping case as well as the murder of Becky Bletsch.  “Police said they found a pistol, rope, chains, handcuffs and syringes in Willis’ van when they arrested him in the spring. If convicted, he faces life in prison without a chance for parole (, 2016).  Jessica’s story was featured on the Investigation Discovery Networks’ Disappeared.  She is still missing.

  • john-eric-armstrong-serial-killer-step-up-with-me
  • Kelly Hood and Wendy Jordan of Detroit, Mi were both strangled and posed by a serial killer in the late 1990’s. DNA technology was evolving at the time and helped to solve these cases. Both women were killed while on a date with a normal looking man who turned out to be a serial killer.  The man charged with their murders was married with two children.  He is pictured here.  Photo’s of Kelly and Wendy have not been located.
Teresa Tyler Murdered. Case was never solved.

Teresa Tyler was 19 years old when she was murdered in 2004. After going out for a girl’s night, she was found in the bedroom closet of her Muskegon, Michigan home, shot by an AK47.  Her murder has never been solved.

These are 9 beautiful women who may have been able to run for their lives, if they had been able to carry a stun gun or 18% OC pepper spray.  Coincidentally, NY, MA, and MI happen to be three of the rare states, in the U.S. that do not allow women to carry these forms of non-lethal self-protection.

What do you think about this article?  Do you know anyone who would still be here if they had a stun gun or 18% OC pepper spray?

You can support my efforts and feed your mind by liking this article and sharing it with your network.  I am on instagram, facebook, and twitter.


Almasy, S. & Marco, T. (2015). Former cnners survive New Mexico motel gun fight. CNN.  Retrieved from

Christian, N. (2000) Ex-sailer linked to slayings of prostitutes worldwide. Rtreived from (2016). ‘Monster’: murder charge filed in 20013 disappearance of Michigan woman. Retrieved from

Hausman, J.  (2016). Jeffery Willis being charged with 2014 murder of Rebekah Bletsch. Retrieved from (2016). Murder Mysteries:  Two young female joggers found dead in NYC and MA.  Retreived from

Trost, R. (2016). Arrest made in 2014 murder of Michigan woman Chelsea Bruck  Retreived from

concealed carry in purse

I Survived Because I Had A Gun In My Purse

These three women are alive and avoided sexual assault because of their instincts and because they carried a concealed gun in their purses.

  1.  In January of 2016 Kristi McMains was violently attacked while leaving her office. Kristi wrote an article for about her experience.  She states, “I am a young, 5’3 attorney who probably was seen as an easy target. My attacker mistakenly perceived me as weak and stalked me into an elevator, which took me on the slowest and scariest thirteen second ride of my life” (Kristi, 2016).  kristi-mcmain-coneal-gun-purse-rely-on-u-step-up-with-meKristi met her attacker in an elevator when she was headed to her car which was in the parking garage.  Kristi told that she could feel her instincts kick in as soon as she noticed the other man in the elevator.  The man followed her as she walked as quickly as she could.  He then caught up to her and violently attacked her while attempting to get her into the passenger seat of her own vehicle.  While in the vehicle, Kristi was able to reach into her purse and get her gun.  “… I accessed my gun, shot my attacker multiple times, and saved my life. He will be spending years in prison for what he did to me” (McMains, 2016).
  2. According to the Houston Chronicle, an unnamed woman in Harris County, Texas used her concealed gun to shoot a man who attempted to rob her after she finished pumping her gas. The robber got into the passenger seat, pulled out a knife, and demanded cash.  “The woman agreed and reached over to her purse. But instead of money, she pulled out a pistol” (Glenn, 2015).  The robber was shot one time in the shoulder and survived the incident.
  3. A former CNN reporter was traveling with her husband when they stopped at a motel in New Mexico. While the husband Chuck de Caro was in the shower, former reporter Lynne Russell unpacked a suitcase from the vehicle.  On the way back to her room, a man shoved her inside of her room and held her at gun point.  When her husband walked out of the bathroom and witnessed this, the robber demanded money.  chuck-de-caro-lynne-russell-conceal-gun-purse-rely-on-u-tep-up-with-me“She told him she would look in her purse to see what they had” (Almasy & Marco, 2015).  Knowing that her gun was in her purse, she threw her purse to her husband.  The robber’s behavior became erratic and he ended up getting shot 3 times by husband, Chuck de Caro.


Did you like this article?  Comment below or let me know what you think on Instagram, Facebook, or twitter.  Sharing is caring!


McMains, K. (2016). What I want you to know on gun violence awareness day. FoxNews. Retrieved from

Glenn, M. (2015). Woman shoots man trying to rob her at gas station. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved from

Almasy, S. & Marco, T. (2015). Former cnners survive New Mexico motel gun fight. CNN.  Retrieved from


relyonudotcom-shop-smarter-6Suffer from anxiety?  Can’t shop unless you bring the kids with?  Feeling rushed to run in and pick up the same concealer that you have been using for 10 years, because there are humans and a million other things waiting on you, because the store is always way too crowded, or because you do not want to deal with the annoying sales person?  Maybe you love what you have been wearing for the last 10 years and where you go to shop for it!  Even so, chances are that if you have been wearing the same thing for the last 10 years, it’s time to spruce up your look.

It took me years to realize that my face and maturity level where no longer 21.


Check out what I was doing VS what I should have been doing!  Mild exaggeration :)-.  Why do we wear makeup in the first place?



Makeup makes us look healthy and youthful!  (As cited in Psychology Today, Didonato, 2015)

Eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara may exaggerate facial neoteny. In other words, adults are often viewed as beautiful when they have features typical of the young, including large eyes (as well as small noses and large lips). Such exaggerated youthfulness tends to have greater appeal.  (Jones et al., 1995)

What?!  The stuff that made our faces look AWESOME 10 years ago can actually have the opposite effect as our features and skin change? 

Rolling with the inevitable changes in life can be scary!  Regardless, the Self Reliant Woman does not have time for the nonsense that occurs when we have to take our kids shopping with us or when we suffer from anxiety.  Walking into a store with 500 options and standing in front of the shelves staring at a big blur… it tends to suck all of the fun out of something that should be enjoyable for a woman!  Then, we try and be smart shoppers, so we get the sale item, but then while we are trying to read since the kids are behaving at the moment, that sales lady is STILL talking at us.

Now that all of our time and patience have been exhausted, the kids are getting wild.  Struggling to keep it all together, at the checkout we realize that the foundation was not the price we’d thought, because there was no time to read the fine print on the big orange tag.  All the while, one kid is on the floor wiping peepee pants all over the place and the baby is knocking everything off of the shelves and trying to escape!  UGH!

Here is how we Self Reliant Women can reduce stress, anxiety, spending, and manage our time wisely.  These suggestions help to conserve emotional energy for the things in life that truly matter.  PREVENT the drama, stay productive, and stay happy.


  • “I know what I want and I have no interest in trying something new.”

Shop online!  Most of the drug stores as well as the top beauty stores offer decent rewards programs, if you shop regularly.  The downside to the Ulta reward program is that it varies by region (in some states the rewards are not so attractive).  Wherever you choose, get on their email list and receive notifications about sales and other promotions.  Often, there are exclusive offers for online shoppers.  If you decide you are ready to try something new, take a look at the next two suggestions.  I do not recommend purchasing without having tried a sample or an option to return.

  • “I am super particular but I think that the time has come for me to try something new. I am interested in learning about what’s out there as far as new products and brands.”

Birchbox BABY!  Subscribe with Birchbox for $10 per month and receive a box with your choice of personalized samples every month.  They are offering a ton of different brands to choose from.  There is man stuff too!  If you find something that you like, you can keep your sanity and order online, all from the same website.

  • My personal favorite!   Take control of your situation and all that you juggle.  Prevent yourself from experiencing all of the stress that comes with so many pieces of the cosmetic and skin care shopping experience.

“I know what I am into but need to be educated and updated on what’s trending.”

“I want to keep things as simple and stress free as possible and stick with one brand for everything.”

“I normally shop Urban Decay, Bare Minerals, or department store brands, but I can’t keep up.”

Are any of these you?  Younique Cosmetics and Skin Care is one of the only MLM companies that allow you to purchase the business starter kit with absolutely no strings attached!  What’s the big secret?  We Self Reliant Women can use this “starter kit” as a “sample kit”.  If we decide that we like, there is a lifetime discount of 20% -30%.  On top of that, if $200 or more is ordered at once, we get FREE items and 50% off!  FREE AND HALF OFF?!  YES PLEASE!  The Younique sample kit is sold with no monthly fees and there are no penalties if you never buy or sell a single thing.  There is a 5 day return policy for the sample kit and a Love It Guarantee for all other products.  You can get your kit here.

Self Reliant Women shop Smarter Not Harder!  Our sanity relies on it.  Kick a** at your outer beauty and feel amazing about having the drive and emotional space to crush it at all that you need to be.  We don’t need more stress than we already have.


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Didonato, T. (2015).  5 research-backed reasons we wear makeup. Psychology Today. Retrieved from