By Erin Bishop
My car has a helpful feature that tells me how many miles of gas I have left before I run out. It’s basically a procrastination gauge. Last week I really pushed the limits and got down to one (1) mile of gas left in the tank before I filled up.
I always dread the inconvenience of running out of gas. Having to call someone for help, or push my car to the gas station. But it wasn’t until I posted a picture of my gas gauge on Facebook about almost running out of gas that my perspective changed. Robin Ball, owner of local company Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop and safety expert here in Spokane, saw my post and chimed in with some safety tips I didn’t consider, and you need to know about.
Robin said we should all consider our gas tank empty at HALF. If you run out of gas, you are vulnerable to natural disasters, predators, car problems, and more, on the side of the road.
Just DAYS after Robin shared these safety tips with me, a tragic story broke in our community. A woman ran out of gas at night and she began walking the long distance towards a motel her friend was staying at. A man in a car stopped her and offered her a ride. She accepted.
The woman said the man started driving but wouldn’t tell her where he was going. He grabbed her phone and threw it in the backseat, telling her it was “the last call she would ever make.”
The woman was ordered to remove her clothing and he drove to a secluded area and to a structure. Once inside the structure, he demanded she remove her clothing as he pointed a gun at her. She was sexually assaulted, and fortunately, got away. The suspect remains at large.
Here are 11 safety tips drivers of all ages can implement right now:
- Do not let your gas tank get below half full. If you run out of gas you make yourself vulnerable to natural disasters, predators, car problems, and more.
- Have your keys in hand before you leave your home, school, or other building to go to your car. Walk with purpose and focus to your car. Predators are looking for someone vulnerable.
- Do NOT be talking on your cell phone, texting, or checking social media as you walk to your car. Predators are looking for someone distracted. DO bring your charged phone and a charger in case you need to call for help. This should go without saying, but do not talk on your phone, text, check social media, or take pictures when you are driving.
- Look in the back seat for carjackers before entering your car. Park in well lit and populated areas. Make sure you keep your car locked at all times. Car jackers can break into your car and crouch in the back of your car or hide under items in the back seat.
- Lock your doors the moment you get into your car. Carjackers often approach cars and unlock the doors, forcing the driver out of the car, or, into another seat.
- Fasten your seatbelt and require your passengers to wear their seatbelt.
- Memorize your license plate number, the color, year, make and model of your car. There may come a time where you need to let police know how to identity your car.
- If you think you are being followed, go through a drive thru window and order something inexpensive. People normally won’t follow you to a public place. If you are followed into the drive thru, tell the employee to call the police without making a scene. You can also make four right turns if you think you are being followed. If the car continues to follow you, call 911 and drive to the nearest police station or a well-lit public place. Do NOT go to your place of employment, your home, or any other place you frequent.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Learn landmarks, street names, how to tell directions, and where east and west, and north and south start and end in your city. You may have to give directions to your location.
- Emergency items to keep in your car: flashlight and extra batteries, blanket, emergency flares, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable snacks, jumper cables, rain ponchos, tarp, and small fire extinguisher.
- Don’t stop to help people on the side of the road, but do call for help. Unfortunately, some predators-even women-pretend to be broken down and prey upon good Samaritans. Better to be safe than sorry.
What tips would you add to our list?
We are pleased to provide you with a FREE March 2017 “prayers and declarations for our daughters” calendar.
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Know that when you pray and declare these things over your daughter, we are joining you, and God hears our prayers!
By: Grace Pohl
Dating seems to be a big deal in your young adult life. I started to notice this even in middle school. Who is dating whom? Did they break up? Will they survive the summer? This was always the best gossip.
But when you really think about it, do you think you are going to find “your person” (yes, a Grey’s Anatomy reference) before you even have a license? Most likely not.
Even still at my age, I see girls settling for the biggest jerks out there and saying, “Omg, he is the one.” If you want to constantly feel bad about yourself and question if he is going to be loyal to you for the rest of your life, go for it.
But girl, you are so much better than him. You do not need him to always bring you down and question if you are worth it. Move on and wait for somebody to treat you the way you want to be treated. And waiting does not mean just two weeks until the next guy starts texting you.
If the guy you are with does not fit your qualifications for the “perfect man” then why are you with him? If you think you can’t do any better, you are wrong. Go find yourself the man of your dreams.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, I was never a fan of the whole dating just to date fad that goes on in our society. I waited until I found what I think is my “perfect man” in senior year of high school. It was worth the wait and shockingly enough; we are still together, even after high school. Weird how it works out like that, huh?
God says, “the reason some people have turned against you and walked away from you without reason, has nothing to do with you. It is because I have removed them from your life because they cannot go where I am taking you next. They will only hinder you in your next level because they have already served their purpose in your life. Let them go and keep moving. Greater is coming.”
By Tracy Steel
Fellow moms, I came across a term in my social media newsfeed that makes my heart hurt: drunkorexia. If you have not seen the articles circulating about drunkorexia, here is an excerpt from one of them:
“The term ‘drunkorexia’ has been used for several years to describe a particularly risky type of behavior on college campuses—students skip meals or exercise intensely before drinking, or deliberately purge during or afterward. Generally, the idea is to cut down on calories consumed or to increase the buzz, and sometimes a little of both. A new study, however, suggests that the practice is far more common than thought, reports Inside Higher Ed. The University of Houston survey rounded up nearly 1,200 students who had at least one bout of heavy drinking in the previous month and found that 8 in 10 had engaged in at least one behavior linked to drunkorexia, including inducing vomiting, consuming laxatives, or skipping food entirely before drinking…”[i]
I realize most of you have teenage daughters. But look at what the following graph shows. This is from 2014 and depicts the binge drinking rates of 12-20 year-olds:[ii]
Shocking isn’t it? Add to this the statistics on teens and eating disorders. ANRED is reporting that “1 out of every 100 adolescent girls has anorexia” and “4 out of every 100 college age females struggle with bulimia.”[i] Drunkorexia habits and practices may not magically begin once a young girl enters college. Especially if she is already binge drinking or struggling with eating disorder behaviors in Jr. High or High School.
So what can we do?
Let me start by saying what I don’t want you to do: freak out and never allow your daughter out of your sight. After reading about issues like this one, I seriously consider telling my husband our daughter is no longer able to leave our house, for like forever. But is this feasible? No, of course not. Plus, I am pretty sure Jesus came to set us free from living a life of fear, asking us to lay whatever burdens us at His feet. This includes our precious daughters and their futures. So what can we do as we consider issues like drunkorexia?
Pray for college aged students before you click out of this post. Pray for your own daughter to feel loved and secure in Christ. Pray for Godly friends and influences to surround her. Ask the Holy Spirit to protect her from temptation and to give her the strength to stand up to peer pressure.
~Be informed and ask questions.
Educate yourself and know the warning signs of eating disorder behavior. If you suspect your daughter is struggling with one, seek help from a Christian Counselor or Pastor. Do not stay silent.
Be aware of what is trending on college campuses. Talk openly and honestly with you daughter about what she may encounter there. How does she plan to deal with peer pressure? Other questions to consider: what are your boundaries/beliefs about alcohol use? Have you shared them with her? What does your daughter think of drinking/drunken behavior? Does she understand the effects of drinking alcohol and restricting calories has on her body?
How does your daughter view her own body? Does she understand God’s opinion of her/her body? Is she content and excited about her future or worried and anxious about it?
Fellow moms, one day our daughter will pick out a comforter for her new dorm room bed. Pursue your daughter. Fill her emotional tank with your affection and with as much Biblical truth as you can. Trust your Heavenly Father as you unpack her dorm room and drive away.
Thankfully, college officials notice that drunkorexia is a problem. Some are banning the sale of hard liquor on campus. Banning is a band aid. Jesus Christ, however, continues to be the cure for anything and everyone. May we continue to be a group of moms who cling to Him, proclaiming His name. We may not be able to change the current situations impacting precious lives on college campuses, but we are raising a possible future college graduate who may be able to do so.
By Kim Chaffin
Fall is my favorite time of year to stock up on lotions and body sprays from Bath & Body Works. I love to wear my “fall” scents all year long! I like the way they smell, and come on, who doesn’t like to smell good? I don’t know a girl that doesn’t smile when someone says, “What are you wearing? It smells good.
Just like we put on our favorite lotions, body sprays, and perfumes, we also put on our attitudes and sometimes our attitudes don’t smell good. Quite frankly, they can stink! Recently I heard my professor, Pastor Frank Damazio of Portland Bible College say this in a lecture: “Your attitude is the aroma of your character. If you are sour and bitter, people will smell you coming.”
Daily we choose what scent we want to wear, just like we choose our outfits. We also choose our attitudes. We can choose to be cheerful just as easy as we can choose to be grumpy.
What are you putting on each day? I know you would not purposely put on a fragrance that makes you smell bad; so don’t put on an attitude that stinks. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31 (NIV)
Daily I hope you choose to put on an attitude that comes from the Holy Spirit. The “fruit of the spirit” to be exact…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
Remember, your attitude is the aroma of your character and it is a reflection of Christ to your peers.