Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Millennial Entrepreneur Blog Series

I am so excited! Next week on the Butterfly Phoenix blog and my LinkedIn blog, millennial entrepreneurs will be answering questions about their businesses, how they became entrepreneurs, and what their hopes for the future look like.

The blog series will feature local favorites, such as Courtny Evanson, the inventor of the Nevaeh, and CEO of Innovative Mother. Read her uplifting and inspiring story!

You will also hear from one of the youngest, most successful and sought-after photographers in Fargo Moorhead, seventeen year old Kaytlin Dargen. Miss Dargen launched her photography business at sixteen years old.

These are only two of the millennials who have struck out on the road to success, with a drive and passion to achieve their wildest dreams.

Don't miss this series!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Be Harper's Hope

As most of my readers know, I am huge supporter of Pay It Forward. Today, on Butterfly Phoenix, I want to pay it forward for a two year old little girl, whose shoes I wore so many years ago. Well, not the exact same shoes, because Harper has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which is different than ASD.

Harper was five days old when she underwent her first surgery - 5 Days Old, her second at 4 months old, and her third at 2 years old. That's a lot of surgery for such a little child. Harper is also suffering from PTSD from all of this.

I don't know Harper personally, or her mother. What I do know is being a little girl who is scared, hurting, and confused. I understand all too well the separation anxiety little Harper feels when her mother can do nothing to comfort her as the doctors and nurses poke and prod, and she has to go into that operating room - alone. Forty years later, I haven't forgotten. It's something that is etched on your heart and soul.

Today, I am asking my Twitter followers, my LinkedIn connections, and my FaceBook friends to be Harper's Hope. I'm asking you to pray for this little girl, and help her mother with the medical and travel expenses she is incurring on a daily basis. Harper's mother is only asking for $2500, and has already received $750. We can do better than that. Through our contributions, we can remove a lot of the financial stress from her mother, so her mother can focus on Harper.

This is not a time when we wait for someone else to do what God has called us to do ourselves. Together we can make a difference in a little girl's life. We can give her a chance to grow up into the beautiful woman God created her to be.

Click this link to donate today: Be Harper's Hope

Thank you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Men - You Need to Step Up Your Game

In light of the fact Father's Day in America is coming up on June 21st, I had to ask myself, "Where are the fathers in America? Now most people who read this post will shrug it off as a non-issue.  However, we see it all the time, young men who strut their swagger in the clubs, in the workplace, on the street, wherever they happen to be. Young men who violate every tenant of the meaning of Manhood.

It seems that some young men today have confused Manhood, with their manhood. If you don't know what that means, you probably aren't old enough to be reading this article.

We have created a society where the idea that children without fathers is OK. IT'S NOT OK! Children without fathers are more likely to live in poverty. 39.6% are considered poor, while 51.9% live in extreme poverty. Those who live in extreme poverty live on a family budget of approximately $200 a week. That $200 a week must cover everything from housing to daycare to food. Forget about clothing or extra-curricular activities or birthday parties, or anything beyond survival. (source:  thesinglemotherguide.com)

Responsible fatherhood must become a mainstream ideal of our society. Men, you have a duty and an obligation to the boys of the nation. YOU need to step up your game and start teaching responsible fatherhood to your sons, nephews, students, and boys in your community. Girls and women are only half of the equation. They are not solely responsible when a baby is created.

The father's absence in a boy's life causes them to feel ashamed of who they are. That void lives with them their entire lives - even if another man steps into the father's place. The voice in the back of their head says, "I'm inadequate. I'm not worthy. I'm unwanted. I'm unloved." Boys crave the love and approval of their father.

I've heard every excuse in the book: 
  • She got pregnant on purpose to hold on to me. - You knew what kind of woman she was when you got with her in the first place. Not an excuse.
  • I had to leave. That [insert explicative here] was crazy. - You knew what kind of woman she was when you got with her in the first place. Not an excuse.
  • It was just a one-night stand. It didn't mean anything. - You knew what kind of woman she was when you got with her in the first place. Not an excuse.
  • Hey, she came onto me. - You knew what kind of woman she was when you got with her in the first place. Not an excuse.
  • I had to leave, we didn't love each other. - You knew what kind of woman she was when you got with her in the first place. Not an excuse.
 Note: You can switch the gender roles in these excuses and it's still true.

In a perfect world, none of the above would happen, but as it is, human beings are fallible creatures and we all make decisions that result in unintended consequences. Unfortunately, it is the children who are suffering. Not one of the situations above is a reason to abandon your child. This isn't about the woman, it's about the child.You don't have to live them to be a part of their lives.

Judge Lynn Toler of Divorce Court said it best in a case in which the video has gone viral on the internet. The virility of the video in itself says a lot about the current state of the definition of manhood. Watch it here:

Millions of Americans are in agreement with Judge Toler. Just because you can make children, does not make you a man.  You must be emotionally intelligent, financially secure, able to love and receive love, and most of all respect yourself and women. The children you create are depending on this. Step up your game and live manhood.