EnSpired: Luke Mickelson, Making Beds So Children Can Sleep in Heavenly Peace

photo above courtesy of bing/lukemickelson/shp

“No Kid Sleeps on the Floor in Our Town”

This is the motto of Luke Mickelson, whom founded the non-profit organization “Sleep in Heavenly Peace” and since its start in 2012, that motto has lived up to its standard.

Before founding ‘Sleep in Heavenly Peace’ a.k.a SHP, Luke Mickelson had a great life; a beautiful family and  booming career. He coached his children’s sports team, was an avid church goer and for downtime, he’d go fishing in the river by his home – Life was sweet as you can say for Mickelson until he received some disturbing news; news that would bring his “normal” life, into perspective.

Mickelson, had learned that a family in his community were struggling and one of the major struggles was that of a little girl, not having a bed to sleep on. The girl slept on her clothes every night, clothes that resembled that of a birds nest per Mickelson.

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Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP)

“This little girl had a nest of clothes; it looked like a bird’s nest – a nest she’d built as her bed. “It was such an eye-opener for me, I sat there in silence thinking. “Is this really what’s going on?” Luke Mickelson.

The situation pulled at Mickelson’s heart strings, so much so – he immediately jumped into action; to devise a plan to help other families/children whom may be in the same situation. Mickelson used the safety guideline and his daughter’s bunk bed as a prototype to start constructing bunk beds of his own; using funds out of his own pocket and with the help of recruited family and friends, Mickelson began buying the wood and supplies needed to begin his project.

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Sleep in Heavenly Peace Volunteers

Since its inception, the non-profit has built more than 1,500 free beds for children across America. So passionate about his new found career, Mickelson gave up his corporate job to focus on ‘Sleep in Heavenly Peace’ – a decision he doesn’t regret!

“I found that the need I have isn’t financial, The need I have is seeing the joy on kids’ faces, knowing that I can made a difference.

And rightfully so, as the first bed he made and delivered to the little girl with the bird’s nest bed; hugged her bed and wouldn’t let it go. A first memory that Mickelson would not soon forget, a memory that keeps him focused on his mission as he continues to make sure every child ‘Sleeps in Heavenly Peace.’

Check out SHP and the Great People/Volunteers that keep this mission driving forward:

 

To read Mickelson’s interview with CNN – click here

You can follow the non-profit – Sleep in Heavenly Peace on FB

To learn more about the organization and how you can help, donate or apply for a bed in your state   – go here.

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon

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Back To School – OH NO!, Savings – OH YESSSS!!

photo credit above: bing/backtoschool

I’ve never been the parent that school shopped early for my kids – I was the one, just like millions of other parents, fighting the long lines and busting through the aisles trying to purchase every item on their school list. We all know (for those of us that have kids) how that time of year is – It’s almost like Christmas shopping except this occurrence happens months earlier when the weather is dreadfully hot.

Seemingly, I always succumbed myself to this madness every single year. In 2016 I vowed that I would take a different approach the following year; but then again, I said that every year and still somehow found myself caught up in the masses of bogard shopping my way through the crowded stores and congested aisles.

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photo credit: http://stephie5741.blogspot.com

So, last year (2017) I remembered what I told myself that previous year and decided to break the “back to school” segments down. I had to come up with a way to do school shopping a little bit smarter without breaking the bank all at once, it was then that I decided to do my son and daughters school shopping by my pay period schedule. Whether you get paid once a week, every two weeks, twice a month or once a month – I came to the conclusion that back to school shopping had to be done strategically, especially if I wanted to save a little money.

I set out to come up with a plan; I get paid twice a month so therefore I laid out what I would purchase each pay period (starting in July), by the time August rolled around I had purchased everything the kids needed to go back to school; including their school supplies!!!! I was so excited and proud of myself for thinking smart this go round – while other parents were in the stores, scrambling for supplies. I was at ease because I planned my work and worked my plan.

Beginning with July’s first check, I bought the kids some shoes – the next check I purchased their school clothes, in which my two have to wear uniforms – so, thanks to one of my best friends advice, Old Navy has now become my one stop shop for that, check them out as they have good deals on uniforms. school listWith August’s Check, I purchased their school supplies in which you don’t have to wait until local stores such as Wal-Mart puts out the big box that contains the various school supply list for your child’s school.  You can get that list early, by visiting the school’s website– most times, they’ll have the lists posted in July or early August, that way you can get a head start on beating the crowd and shopping early because trust me, the stores will be putting out those items real soon. If they can put Valentine’s Day items out in late December, early January – you can bet, those school supplies will be out as well.

I used to order my kids backpacks, but after having a couple of “epic fails” with that – I started going to stores such as Staples and/or Wal-Mart to purchase those, the backpacks are usually purchased when I buy their shoes. I usually don’t mind spending extra dollars on  a backpack because I like for them to last “ALL” year – but even in that case, I still have had to either find myself stitching them up or buying a new one before year end…..SMH, and she lets out a very slow sigh.…

deep sigh

If you can’t afford to purchase supplies (I’ve definitely been there) then you might want to check your community  website or the local papers in which you’ll find churches and/or organizations whom have back to school rallies in which they give away backpacks and school supplies to children in need. You can also check those same sites to see how you can donate items to those same organizations to help children going back to school or maybe even hold your own “Back to School Drive” to collect supplies and give them to a local school; I know the teachers will be thrilled to receive them as well as the students.

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** “A Word to the Wise Moment” **

If you can, maybe a month or two after school starts – this would also be a good time to buy a couple of extra folders, notebook paper, pencils, pens, glue sticks and etc. because if your kids are anything like mines? They go through those first round of items quick – next thing I know, I’m getting told “Mama, I need more paper, lead and etc. for my classes” and I’m looking like, did I just buy you a bunch of stuff?, which was in August and they’re telling me in February, I knew it wouldn’t last long – I just hate going out buying extra stuff, I know – lazy me. So, pick up some extra items either now or later to spare them the talk and you the headache.

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While kids may have going back to school right now on the backburner of their minds; us parents and/or caregivers can use this time to take our savings game to another level. Maybe you already do the tips I suggested above and just want to know where to go for the savings, well let me help you out with that.

Listed below are some back to school sites/savings that hopefully will help you spend less and/or save more for your Elementary, Middle School, High School or University student:

Backpacks You Say?

Right now you can order a back pack from Wish, one of our church members just ordered one recently. It took a week to come back and she said that it was not only in good condition but a good size as well, so check them out. (You have to sign up with them in order to see the deals, but it’s worth giving it a shot)

Who Loves Coupons, Raise Your Hand!

I’m not a huge couponer, okay let me be honest – I hate coupons (please don’t judge me). I just forget them every time I go to the store; I’m the girl that uses the coupons on the frozen meals that says “Save 1.00 right now on this product!” and that’s the only time I really use coupons (true confession) However, there are quite a few people who use them religiously, so this part is for you! Here’s a link to get those back to school savings for the kiddos – Back to School Coupons – Right Here!

Not a Couponer?, Well Maybe this will Help!

Now, while I may not be very coupon saavy, A girl do love a good deal! So, for everything else you may need, including when the tax free weekend will happen in your state, you can check out the sites below and begin to save, save, save! – Just click on this link – Give me the Deals!

Well, as we continue to enjoy the summer and for us parents (secretly count down the days to Back to School happiness) hopefully this post helps you to spend less coins than you did last year. Because savings of any kind when you have children is an

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Roshonda N. Blackmon

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

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Video: My Favorite Childhood Memory…Was…

photo source above: pinterest/childhood

Well, here it is Ya’ll – my last topic of the Q&A series “So, How “MAY” I Help You?” This was a very fun ride as I enjoyed getting topics from fellow bloggers and writing about them! Some topics were a challenge and caused me to really pull from deep within, such as the one you’ll see today but I was grateful for the challenge and hopefully to those that submitted your topics, I’m hoping that I did them justice.

Most of all I pray that they were an inspiration to those that read them. Please feel free to give me a topic at any time of things that YOU would like for me to talk about or discuss right here on the blog – I don’t talk about politics or Scientology but everything else is cool. I’m not an expert but I’ve had many hurts, habits and hang-up as well as made a slew of mistakes – so my goal for my page has always been to be transparent about those processes by writing about my shortcomings so that I may help those who may be suffering or experiencing the same hurt/pain – by spreading my light so that they may spark their own.

Any-who, I thought I’d take this last topic to video to close out this topic session with a BANG! It’s my first YTUBE video on my regular page. PLEASE BEWARE! I’m not good at the editing, special lighting and all that – It’s just my phone, however; I did look up a couple of editing apps, some I incorporated in the video above, in which you’ll see throughout – but please forgive any errors. So, without further ado, above is my story of: My Favorite Childhood Memory – topic submitted by poetic blogger Understand546.

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Have you Heard? About Wednesday’s Word? – Every Wed @ 1pm, starting July 11th! Come Get Inspired with me on FB Live!

 

Did you miss a post topic? No worries, you can catch up below:

The Grieving Process, What Not To Say – Topic by Tracy C.

Trials & Hope, Hope In Trials – Topic by blogger Rejoicing In Hope (RIH)

FUN, FAMILY, FRIENDS! Tips To Get the Good Times Rolling – Topic by Marissa B.

The Online Dating Dilemma – Topic by blogger Understand546

How To Keep Going, When You’re Out of Steam! – Topic by Tracy C

The Dating Game, Christian Style – Topic by blogger Driftyness

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

 

 

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Parents, Let’s Not Be Weary – Shall We?

photo above courtesy of bing

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”

This is the all so famous bible quote located in Galatians 6:9, this is also the scripture God brought to my mind one day when I deliberately told myself “I GIVE UP!!!” literally wanting to throw in the towel on parenting one day as I became frustrated with repeating the “same” thing over and over and over and over and over again, to my two children. I heard God speak so calmly in my spirit “Don’t be weary in well doing”

In a Hurry? You can listen to this post here

Like, Really God – You’re Punking Me Right?? How many times do I have to ask them to clean their rooms and wash the dishes and take out the trash and wash their clothes and to keep their mouths closed at school when they want to abruptly speak out of turn – because if I get one more note from the teacher, I’m going to SCREAM!

But on the later end of “Don’t be weary, is ——– you will reap, if you faint not! Well, something tells me I better reap something because this sista is on her last fuse…

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As a parent you’ll have a rainbow face by the time your child reaches 18.

You’ll Have WHITE moments, RED moments,  BLUE moments, YELLOW moments and GREEN moments. You’ll also have ORANGE moments in which you’re confused and trying to figure out if you’re doing the right thing or not, you’ll question yourself many, many, many times. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll say things you don’t mean. You’ll become too overprotective and you’ll learn to let go when you need too. Letting Go, doesn’t mean you’re giving up on them, it just means you’re giving them room to grow, room to plant their own seeds based on the decisions “they chose” to make.

About a month or so ago, my teenage daughter made a decision that totally blew me away. After all the talking and grinding and trying to push her in the right direction from silly mishaps, I get a call from the principal stating “Ms. Blackmon, I need to talk to you – your daughter is suspended off the bus for three days because she was caught kissing a boy.” I was totally confused….are you talking about my daughter?, surely he dialed the wrong number..

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But NOPE! he really did mean to call me and YES, he was talking about my daughter – I have to say, I heard him talking but soon his voice became a murmur; sort of like those Charlie Brown episodes, because all I could see was black. When I got off the phone with him; I was sooooo hurt, I had to take a time-out and get myself together – being called on your job for something like that doesn’t make for a good rest of the day. As I left my desk, with tears flowing down my face – the only thing I could see was me wringing her neck, slapping her and locking her up to never come out of her room again….I MEAN NEVER! As my mind went back and forward about the fussing and cussing and beating I wanted to do to her (mind you, I do not curse – but I can’t say words weren’t’ coming to my mind during that time) I realized that I needed to talk to someone and not just anyone – I had to talk to her creator – God.

Luckily, I didn’t have to stay at work all day that day as I had a doctors appt. previously scheduled; so I was leaving early anyway…Thank God for small favors…

When I left my appointment, It was still early….the only thing I could think of was calling everyone and let them know what she had done, but before I could pick up the phone and make one call, I heard God’s voice say “Before you talk to anyone, Talk to me first.” So, wanting to be obedient, I went to Taco Bell – ordered something small to eat and sat down “Okay, God; I said…what do I do, how do I handle this. While I proceeded to eat my food and once I finished, God began to download things within me of how I should punish her and what she needed to do during the punishment; even the things that I needed to talk to her about.

After all, what I had to realize was that my daughter – while I birthed her; was not really “my” daughter, she’s God’s child whom is on loan to me. God entrusted me with her and therefore when it comes to the challenges of dealing with such circumstances, he’s the first person we should go to and seek in regards to their life – because, father knows best.

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Tip 1: As parents, its our job to make sure we tell our children the truth with transparency; hey, if you got caught kissing a boy or making out with a girl in school, tell them that as well as what you learned from it and how the affects of such can lead to other unwanted things and/or actions. At the end of the day, when it comes to our children, it’s what we DID say as opposed to what we DIDN’T.

Tip 2: No matter how “good” our intentions are for our kids – giving them God’s word regarding certain issues such as sex, lying, bad behavior and so forth in their life is all we can do. While we don’t want them to suffer, experience or go down the same road we did – we have to realize that they’re going to do life the way they want, sometimes it’s not going to work until they experience it for themselves.

It’s just like if you keep telling a baby to not touch the stove because it’s hot, you can make all types of noises to distract that baby from going near that stove, but it’s something about curiosity that gets people in trouble. Soon, one day while you’re not around; that baby crawls over to the stove and touches it anyway….they cry in pain because you were right, the stove really was hot. Now, they know for themselves not to touch that object anymore because they have experienced the effects behind it, that’s why the word says “Warning before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18) 

So, to sum up the tips – We have to make sure we’re warning our children about everything – punish when needed, squeeze those hands tight in prayer and hope for the best.

The main thing is letting our children know that every bad decision, leads to a consequence. The bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he’s old, they won’t depart from it.” Prov 22:6.  Not to say they won’t stray, but the seeds you planted in them will begin to sprout at the right time when they need it the most. Parenting is no easy feat. but if we know whom to give them over too, we shouldn’t be weary because not only will we get valuable instructions, but if we stay the course – no matter how hard or trivial – the water of your words will water those seeds and produce a great harvest that’ll pay off greatly one day – my fingers and toes are crossed, but my hands are definitely closed tightly in prayer for that PAYOFF!

Cheers and Best Wishes to all parents whom are desperately waiting for that day as well! DON’T BE WEARY – YOU GOT THIS!!

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You Get My Drift!!! #PayDay!

 

Do you have teens or any parenting tips that has helped you? Leave them in the comment section below, you never know whom you may be helping. 

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

How We Can Instill An Attitude of Gratitude In Our Children

Stop Sign Hold On a Minute

Okay, so before you give me a “You don’t tell me what to do with my kids look” – I just want to say, HOLD UP! this post is not about how you should raise your kids. That’s totally your business and your prerogative however; this post is about my experience or should I say “on-going” experience with making sure I instill this in my own children, which has it’s many ups, downs, curve-balls and catch 22 throws – given the day.

So, if you’re struggling with getting your kids to appreciate what they have already as opposed to having their hands out waiting on every new gadget that comes out on the market, then maybe some of the tips I have will help – then again, you may have some pointers that can help me out, so please feel free to leave any helpful tips in the comment section, they will be greatly appreciated –

When I had my kids or I guess I should say “before” I had my two kids, my goal was to give them everything in the world, including the things that I felt like my own mom couldn’t afford to give me – I was determined, when I grew up,  I was going to make sure I made up for my loss through my kids. Let me just say, that was a fantasy world filled with rainbows and unicorns that never came to fruition because “after” I had my kids, reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t count on going through a divorce, foreclosure, repossessions, dead-end jobs that didn’t pay enough money, let alone having to raise them all alone. So the glitz and glamour life I dreamed of for them soon became a fire that seemed to never go out.

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My mom used to always tell us growing up, “If you appreciate what you have now, God will bless you to what you want later.” that talk usually came during the time when we had to eat brown beans and cornbread for 3 or 4 days in a row. As a child, I didn’t understand why we didn’t have what other kids had or why we always had to get our clothes from the thrift store and when mama worked in the cafeteria at a local high school, why did the leftovers that nobody touched or wanted had to be our dinner for the night. While I didn’t understand those times and hardships or why mama worked so hard to seemingly bring home nothing in terms of money, she was so right “God definitely did bless us to get what we wanted to eat, when those food stamps came the following week…lol

We learned to be grateful for little and when we received a lot – we knew how to handle it. Now that I’m older with children of my own – although the jobs offer more and we have a little more than back then – the principal of “being grateful” still exists. But when you live in a world where everyone wants “MORE” it can be a strain sometimes on a parent to fulfill that thirst with our own kids; especially when they’re coming out with a new phone every two months or new sneakers every single day and when your kids see that?, the only thing they know is “They want It” and as a parent, we try our best to make sure they get it – but is that really good behavior? I mean, what are we telling them, that life works that way? You see it, You want it, and it will be given to you?

UNFORTUNATELY – NOT IN THIS LIFE!!!

Listed below are a couple of things that I do to get my kids to be more grateful or appreciative of what they have.

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photo courtesy of bing

Let them Know Life Requires Work

As a Mom I have to remind my kids that if they want anything in life, they have to work for it and that doesn’t mean when they get in their 20’s, No – the act of working for what you want starts now! If I let them get away with not doing the dishes but still reward them anyway, then that’s setting them up for failure because they’ll get older and think that life is supposed to work that way and unfortunately it doesn’t.

Saying No, Will Not Hurt Their Feelings in the Future!

Okay, I admit – I hate saying No to my kids but at the same time, I can’t always say yes either because they’re not going to always receive a YES in life, I wish that were true but again, unfortunately it’s not. Saying No to your child now teaches them early about disappointment. As parents we have to teach them how to deal with disappointment when they get a NO because their attitude will determine what the outcome will be.

Give Them Real Talk About Your Situation

I know most parents hate telling their children when they have hit hard times or maybe dad or mom just got laid off of work in which will bring major changes to the household. But I say, talk to your kids about what’s going on – (Use your discretion) but I feel like when things are hidden its a setup for disappointment, anger and resentment – now while you still may get that type of behavior once you reveal your truth, at least they know what’s going on – and then again, you just may be surprised at how they respond or take it. I talk to my children about our hardships and I have been very surprised at how they handled it and what suggestions they have come up with to help out.

Teach Them To Be More Givers instead of Receivers

We live in a world where children no longer want or feel as though they have to work for anything, as parents, they feel as though we’re made of money. An ATM in which they can come, push a button and get what they want – but not so! The act of giving more than receiving has to be taught to them, as it’s not something that they will grab a hold of themselves – it has to be shown through you. My mother was a huge giver of her money, time and resources and because of seeing her be that type of person my whole life, it stuck with me and it’s something that I try to teach my kids to do and that’s to be selfless.

Unfortunate Situations – Show Them, Don’t Tell Them

Another great lesson in which I ‘m trying to instill in my kids is that everyone is not as fortunate as them. My daughter complained one night because she had to eat green beans with her dinner and because she didn’t want to do it, she decided that she wasn’t going to eat at all due to the fact of it not being what she wanted. I had to tell and show her that every child is not so fortunate to have a meal or a mom to come home and cook for them. There are children whom would eat those green beans and anything else you put on their plate, because they know at one point they didn’t have anything to eat and are just grateful to get anything. In most countries children are not even given choices as to what they want to eat – so showing our kids unfortunate situations could help them be a little more grateful for what they have, even though it’s not what they want.

Raising kids is hard-work as we have a limited time to teach them everything we feel they may need to know in the world. Teaching them to have an attitude of gratitude may not be one of the lessons that seem to be with them now but if we keep teaching – hopefully the seeds being planted will yield a good harvest, and maybe just maybe – They’ll thank us for it later.

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photo courtesy of bing

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire Often & Love Hard!