I knew Vernon was different the night I met him. I was in my late twenties and had moved from Atlanta to Jacksonville, Florida to work for a dot com company at the height of the internet boom. I traveled back and forth frequently to visit family and friends. I met Vernon in Atlanta on … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Healing for a Broken Heart (Loss of a Spouse) – by Andrea Plowden
From my teenage years, I had clear plans for my future. Following college, I would head to a big inner-city, probably New York City, to work for the Salvation Army. Children weren’t in my plans as a previous surgery led me to believe I wouldn’t be able to become pregnant. However, after meeting Mark at … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Always With Me: Through Sickness and Death (Loss of a Spouse) – by Tina Akridge
I met Sean in the early 80s when we were both sophomores at MLK High School in NYC. Like most high schools, the lunchroom was the social hub. Sean and his friends sat at the lunch table next to ours. They were funny but not obnoxious, well dressed, but not too popular. Sean stood out … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: From Harlem to Heaven – A Love Story (Loss of a Spouse) – by Elise Minor
I married my husband Rafael on February 14, 1987, which I lovingly call Love Day in honor of Valentine’s Day. It was very cold with snow on the ground, yet it was a beautiful day - the beginning of the rest of our lives. We were very young by today's world standards. I was twenty-three … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Navigating Life After Losing Your Only Child – by Zayda Santiago
I met Hillmon when I was nineteen, in a youth social club in Williamstown, NJ. This was in the mid-1950s; he and his siblings would drive over from Camden to the youth clubs in that area. At first glance, I had no idea of the love, friendship, and companionship I would experience after 61 years … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Rediscovering Myself After A Great Loss (Loss of Spouse) – by Margaret Moses
On June 11, 1996, my beautiful baby boy, Cameron, was born. When he was 4 years old, he was diagnosed with autism. In those early years, my husband Russ and I worked hard to take care of him, support him, and accommodate his special needs to ensure he had the best life possible. This didn’t … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: A Mother’s Journey Towards Healing and Peace (Loss of Child) – by Yolanda McKinney
Labor Day had always been a special day to anticipate. Celebrating the end of summer and the last barbeque of the season - I could always remember the smell of the cedar planks and charcoal that we used for grilling. But after 2011, what Labor Day signified changed for me. Never again would I think about … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Lessons from Labor, Loss, and Life (Loss of a Child) – by Jerrice Moore
My story began in 1969 when I married my husband, Tommy. He was an officer in the mortuary division for the United States Army, and we were stationed in Germany. We agreed not to have children for the first few years of marriage so we could enjoy each other. After we were ready to start … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: The Comfort of God After a Great Loss (Loss of a Child) – by Hazel May
February 2, 1995, was both a blessed but confusing day. I gave birth to my first beautiful baby, however, I also received the worst news of my life. My son Alfred William Lee, III was born happy and healthy. I was surrounded by family and had all the medical staff I needed to feel comfortable … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Accepting the Inevitable, Understanding the Purpose (Loss of a Child) – by April Lee
We’re taught at an early age to create goals for ourselves and to work towards something meaningful in life. But what happens when one of those goals takes longer to achieve than you expected? Like me, you may get thrown off track. And sometimes, it can be difficult to recover. The idea of getting married … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: What a Little Bit of Faith Can Do (Infertility) – by Janelle Bowman
Have you ever heard the sound of complete despair? It’s a DEEP, LOW, LOUD, GROWL, WAILING from the gut type-of-sound. I was a complete mess in my bedroom; sobbing and snotting, distraught and shattered, and just not able to pull myself together like I had done so many times before. “Is that sound really coming … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: God Hears Even When We Don’t Think He’s Listening (Infertility) – by Jamie Swain
With my wedding day approaching, I was nervous and excited about the journey Andre and I were starting together. We were engaged just months after we met, and our wedding was a year later. During our engagement, we were in pre-marital counseling, where we discussed our backgrounds, finances, expectations for our marriage, and how to … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: He Didn’t Bring Me This Far to Leave Me (Infertility) – by Deitra Smith
Growing up, I wanted to be married around the age of twenty-five with kids by the age of thirty. That was the dream, right? Fall in love, get married, have babies, and live in a nice house with a white picketed fence. Well, that was not my story. I married my husband at the age … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Releasing My Dream and Plan to God (Infertility) – By Kelly Redman
As a single woman, I prayed for a man who was God-fearing, loyal, committed to his family, responsible, and would put me first in his life. If I met a man and he didn’t have these characteristics, he wasn’t for me. Archie and I attended the same church and met in 2006 during choir rehearsal … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: The Sacrifice of Not Always Being Seen (Stepmoms) – By Dr. ShaEssa Wright Rice
We have all heard the saying, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. This quote is often said as an encouragement to someone going through difficult times. It is certainly true about my life. I have survived so much trauma and have become stronger as a result… As a young wife in my early twenties, I … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Finding Strength in a Season of Despair (Stepmoms) – by Cherron McCutchen
As a teenager, dating someone with a child, my thoughts oscillated between where to go out to eat Friday night and talking through parenting styles with the dreamy guy across the table. Seven years later, I stood face to face with that dreamy guy, saying “I do” and in that sacred moment becoming a wife … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Chosen Motherhood (Stepmoms) – by Stephanie Judy
I’m not going to sugarcoat anything. These last six years of marriage have been tough. But what could be so difficult about being married to your best friend? Terrell and I grew up a block away from each other but didn’t know each other. We even worked at the same job at one point, but … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: When the Blender is Broken (Stepmoms) – By Jasmine Moore
As we were planning our marriage, my husband Eric and I talked about having four children. We had always considered adoption, but of course, that would come after we had our own children naturally. It was always in our hearts to bring a child into our home who needed a loving family. However, God had … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Seeking God’s Voice for Direction – An Adoption Conversation with Jennifer Smedberg
As I stared at the picture of my family – my husband Scott, and my son Brian – I hoped that the birth parents reviewing our portfolio would be drawn to our family and give us the honor of raising their unborn child. At first, family consisted of just Brian and me, then I married … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Trusting God’s Timing and Process – An Adoption Story by Jeanine Robbins
“I’m sorry Tom, but you are sterile and will likely never bear children.” I looked at my husband, devastated. After over three years of trying to conceive, thirty-six months of praying and hoping for a baby, the doctor’s words were like a punch in the gut. I barely listened as he proceeded to share other options … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Being Steadfast in the Storm – An Adoption Story by Faith Evans
Late one night in 2015 while working for a crisis response organization, I was assigned to an emergency home dispatch. As a Mobile Response team member, I was routinely assigned to investigate behavioral or mental health issues. Soon after my arrival, the two children I was checking on fell asleep, and the mother poured out … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: As God’s Word Changes Hearts – An Adoption Story by Allison Bell
I always wanted children, but it took me a long time to become a mother. After battling infertility and failed artificial insemination attempts, I finally had Danielle when I was thirty-seven. As a single mom working two jobs, my mother helped me care for her. But the desire to have more children never left me, … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: When the Road is Difficult – An Adoption Story by Brenda Woodard
After a few days of a really sore neck, I woke up with a painful throat. Nineteen hours later I couldn’t even walk, and there were purple spots in my eyes from broken blood vessels. My husband rushed me to my doctor a few minutes away from our home, but they couldn’t locate my blood … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Trading My Scars for God’s Splendor – An Adoption Story by Rebecca Robinson
I was pumping breastmilk for my seven-month-old daughter Taylor when I first felt a lump in my breast. I was at her daycare pumping the milk to leave for the next day. I didn’t think much about the lump as I thought it was a clogged milk duct, so I massaged the lump as I … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Unshakeable Faith During My Cancer Fight – by Tina May
As I stood in front of the door of our new living quarters, I had Jamison on my hip, while holding Julian’s hand. Taking a deep breath and then blowing out the heaviness from my sorrow, I opened the door to my new life. In 2009, I unexpectedly had to move from Florida to the … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: God’s Provision and Protection During My Cancer Fight – by Jewel Taylor
I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled series of Faith-Filled Moms because my friend Shari passed away from cancer less than twenty-four hours after my first guest blog about Faith-Filled Moms and Fighting Cancer was posted. My friend had valiantly fought her sickness for years. She believed God was going to heal her. And so did I. We … Continue reading A Different Look at Death
I moved with my family from North to South Jersey in 2006 to start Crossbridge Community Church. For the first year or so, we held Bible Study in our home, allowing us to fellowship with the members, meet new people in the community, and tell them about the love of Jesus. I loved being a … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Receiving God’s Help During My Cancer Fight – by Libby Barnish
When I first heard the oncologist say “Markisha, you have cancer” I went numb and escaped someplace else in my head. “We can start your treatment today.” Still not quite there, I responded, “No, Monday is better for me. I have the day off.” It was the week before the MLK holiday in 2013. His … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Rediscovering God During My Cancer Fight – by Markisha Greene
I wish I could go back in time to warn my twenty-five-year-old self to get ready for the ride of her life. My autism journey started with infertility and unsuccessful IVF. I mistakenly believed it was my fault that I could no longer have children and that I was being punished for my sins and … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms – An Autism Story by Jeanine Robbins: Finding Purpose in the Pain
I welcome Deitra Smith back as a guest blogger to Destined 4 the Dub. You can find her previous blog here. Deitra is back to share a very important topic - the preparation and care of children with autism transitioning into adults. I pray her story encourages you, and please share with other moms who … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms – An Autism Story by Deitra Smith: An Uncertain Future
Donna Blake is my guest this week and I know you will be encouraged by her story. We also had a wonderful conversation about her son KJ and their journey leading up to his diagnosis on the Autism Disorder Spectrum, and beyond. You'll find that below as well - please enjoy and share with a … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms – An Autism Story by Donna Blake: A Strong Foundation
My summer break is over! This week I'm excited to kick off a 9-month series where I will be feature guest bloggers every week on different topics. For September I am welcoming mothers of children with Autism to share their stories, their journeys, their insight, and their faith. This week's guest is Sheera Berdecia, who … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms – An Autism Story by Sheera Bercedia: Transitions
I remember when I wrote this...getting out of bed was difficult. I just wanted to sleep so I wouldn't have to think, wouldn't have to remember, wouldn't have to deal with life. I was living with a crushed spirit. Last week I talked about a spirit of heaviness and sadness that I was experiencing after … Continue reading When Life Gets Too Heavy
Have you ever wondered why God has you on a certain path? Do you find yourself questioning the direction of your life?
Finding myself on a dark and lonely road was a great reminder that no matter how bad things may look, God is always with me.
I was interpreting the success of another as a reflection on me (or my family) and not understanding that it was just truly about the other person. If only I would take myself out of the equation, I could easily be happy and rejoice with and for someone else.
After experiencing a difficult season, I share how I taught my daughter resilience in facing the tough times in life that we all must encounter.
The path to purpose starts with the unique talents, gifts, abilities, and strengths that God has given us in different areas. But how do we know what we are supposed to do with them? How do we manage the potential that comes from the way we were created?
It's happening again... the infamous end-of-year awards. As the school year is ending, the ubiquitous part of the graduations and moving up ceremonies is the handing out of special recognitions and awards. For every child who receives an award, there are countless others that don't. And twice as many parents in the audience possibly grappling … Continue reading Remember This – Your Child’s Worth is Not Found in Other People’s Opinions or Judgments of Them
I started questioning myself - did I really trust God, or was my trust in Him confined to what I wanted Him to do for me and my family?
I hope you have been enjoying this Faith-Filled Moms series - each story has been a blessing to me personally, and I've captured words of wisdom from each mom's story. You can also catch my interview with each guest blogger on Destined 4 the Dub's Facebook Page, as we go deeper into their stories. This … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Faith for the Unknown Journey Ahead
I am so excited to share my friend Deitra's story this week. I have gotten to know her and her family over the years, and especially sweet Myles in Children's Ministry, and he's kept me and my daughters on our toes! Be encouraged by her journey... I have Jeremiah 17: 5-8 hanging on my refrigerator, … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: Trusting God in the Darkness
In this week's installment of Faith-Filled Moms, I welcome my Sorority Sister, Kimberly Love, as she shares the story of her daughter's life-changing diagnosis. It is our prayer that her story would encourage those experiencing similar challenges due to an unexpected diagnosis, remembering that God has a plan for each of our lives. Where do … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: When the World Stops Spinning
In this week's installment of Faith-Filled Moms, I invited my friend Giselle to share her story. Giselle is a gifted writer and editor, and was a huge source of help and encouragement when I started on this blogging journey. I'm so excited to share her story with you! I woke up in a cold sweat, … Continue reading Faith Filled Moms: New Every Morning – A Memory of God’s Faithfulness
My brother has been gone for a year now. When I think about him, I always wonder what he is experiencing in his consciousness. I know his body has been laid to rest here on earth, but his soul is with the Lord. And as much as I miss him, I have never said that … Continue reading What I’ve Learned…A Year After Death
This month I am kicking off a tribute to mothers! Each week leading up to Mother's Day, I will be featuring a guest blogger to share a story of faith, and how each mother used their Playbook and believed the Word of God for their children's future, despite the challenges they faced. To kick us … Continue reading Faith-Filled Moms: A Difficult Road to Peace
April marks the observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I’ve invited Andrea Gadson to share this week, and she is a passionate advocate for sexual assault awareness and healing. In her book, Released: In Search of a King, Andrea shares a fictional story of healing for a survivor of sexual abuse. A companion workbook, Let … Continue reading It Can Happen to Anyone – Protecting Your Child in a Perverse and Depraved World
A few days ago I was talking to my youngest daughter, Kassadi, about all the changes we’ve experienced over the past year. She commented how hard it was to believe how different things were now than from the beginning of last year. It reminds me of the book title, The Interruption of Everything by Terry … Continue reading A Story of Heartbreak, A Story of Disappointment, A Story of Loss, A Story That is Still Being Told…
In February of 2020, the girls and I had traveled over the President’s Day weekend for our annual vacation. We had traveled each winter for the last twelve years, and it was a welcome interruption to our busy schedule and gave us an opportunity to connect and make memories with our extended family. But last … Continue reading How Will I Know the Right Choice to Make?
Well, wouldn’t you know it? I had a situation happen that would ordinarily cause me to respond in a way that would have gone against everything I talked about last week. We had to get the siding on our home repaired, and I provided a specific card for payment of the services. I also receive … Continue reading How Do You Like Your Fruit?
Have you ever met someone who claimed to be a Christian, but you found it very hard to believe that because of the way they spoke or behaved? Or maybe someone has thought that about you? I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at one time or another. There have been several times where … Continue reading Extreme Makeover: Spiritual Edition
How many of us long for a perfect life - one with no problems or issues, with everything going our way? A life with no sickness or disease; one in which we have our dream job, with all of our bills paid and plenty of money left over. Maybe your dream is having the idea … Continue reading That Difficult Thing You Are Facing? You’ve Progressed To The Next Level of Spiritual Difficulty
Imagine that a man has come on hard times, loses his apartment and has been living in his car. Unbeknownst to him, a long-lost aunt has passed away and he is her closest living relative. As a result, he has inherited her house, and legally has authority to live there. But he continues to live … Continue reading Your Proper Level of Authority Has Been Granted – Don’t Waste It
Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Tik Tok. YouTube. No matter where you turn, there is an appeal for you to Like, Follow, and Subscribe. Social media has led to the rise of a new phenomenon - The Influencer. An Influencer works hard to gain a following to connect with, inspire, and/or entertain. As a result of those … Continue reading How Many Followers Do You Have?
Last week I shared about planting our seeds for the future, like a farmer plants seeds for an abundant harvest. You can find that blog here if you missed it. Prayer is one of those ways we can deposit seeds for a future harvest. This week, we are going to view our prayers as deposits … Continue reading The Best Investment For Your Future? Prayer
January is the usual time of year when people start planning and creating goals, making behavior and lifestyle adjustments to influence the change they want to see in their lives for the upcoming year. For many Believers, this month is a time of fasting, to deny ourselves of food, entertainment, and all those things we … Continue reading Those Dreams for Your Future? It’s Planting Time
My daughter and I love to complete the Brain Games at the back of my monthly Reader’s Digest magazine. I always look at the level of difficulty indicator before tackling each one. Sometimes a Difficult puzzle may be easy for me to complete, while one that’s labeled Medium may be harder, if not impossible for … Continue reading Degree of Difficulty for God? Zero
I just want to live in peace, with no conflict, perfectly calm and content. But unfortunately, that’s just not real life. Some of us have to fight - for our marriage, our children, our health, our finances, our mental stability, our career, our property… The list can go on and on. We are all on … Continue reading I Don’t Like to Fight, But…
I recently read an article about couples, and one of the men that was interviewed stated the thing he loved most about his significant other was that she didn’t try to change him. WHAT? I paused after reading this. There was nothing about this man that she wanted to change? Wow, must be nice… After … Continue reading Mission Impossible? Accept My Family Just the Way They Are
About a week ago I had to drive out to a retail store for a return. I tried to avoid stores during the pandemic by doing all my Christmas shopping online. But one of my purchases was defective and I had to return it in person. In order to avoid other shoppers, I decided to … Continue reading Don’t Ignore Your Navigation System – There May Be a Different Way To Go
Whether it’s due to the death of a loved one, illness, quarantine, travel restrictions, or gathering restrictions, Christmas will look different this year for many of us. Black Friday and the weeks after would usually bring the hustle and bustle of shopping for Christmas presents, attending Christmas parties, and participating in events to bless those … Continue reading What Exactly Are You Celebrating? What is Christmas Really About?
To tithe or not to tithe? Want to start an emotionally charged discussion? Just bring up the subject of tithing. For those that have never heard a sermon or teaching on the topic of biblical tithing, it is the practice of giving 10% of your earnings or increase to the local church where you worship. … Continue reading A Modern-Day Case for Tithing: I Dare You
Faith. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this concept is actually the foundation of this entire ministry and blog. Most of the stories I write about are rooted in faith – believing God for things that have not yet happened. Last night I started watching a series called Crazy Faith by Michael Todd. He … Continue reading Why Should I Hope? What Exactly is it Anyway?
As I was writing the story I planned to share this week, I received a text from an old friend. Her father had just passed away, and she was reaching out to let me know. Our families lived on the same block, and we grew up together. I knew him for as long as I … Continue reading How To Be A First Responder In the Midst of Loss
When I write, I want my words to be agents of change, causing my reader to re-think at least one aspect of their lives, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. A long time ago in math class I learned that even the tiniest change in the direction of a vector (in this … Continue reading What if God Had a Smartphone?
Not long ago, I was driving on the highway with the girls, and as I glanced in my rearview mirror, I saw an absolutely beautiful scene unfolding in the sky. As the sun was setting, pink and purple streaks lined the clouds. I’m an avid sky-watcher and when I see a magnificent sunrise or sunset, … Continue reading Why Would You Keep This Amazing Knowledge to Yourself?
This past week has been one like no other. The 2020 US Presidential Election seems to have brought out the worst in some people. Parts of our country are bitterly divided by individual beliefs, values, and principles. Civility was replaced with rude behavior. Patriotism was replaced with partisanship. Respect was replaced with contempt. Courteousness was … Continue reading How Was Your Behavior During This Election?
After finishing a long week at work and virtual school for the girls, I was ready to kick off an extended weekend and celebrate my birthday. I had planned different things to do and foods (and desserts) to eat strategically throughout the next four days to mark another year of life. Friday night, I planned … Continue reading Not a Coincidence or Twist of Fate, But a Divinely-Directed Master Plan
My birthday is next week. For the last few birthdays, I have focused on a certain theme or character trait to develop in my life over the course of that year. I remember year 42 was about being courageous, as a nod to Jackie Robinson, who wore that famous number when he had the courage … Continue reading A Gift or Weapon, What’s Your Intention When You Open Your Mouth?
Lately when we head outside, an awful stench sometimes fills the air. You see, we live down the street from a major pepper processing plant. I don’t remember it being this strong in past autumns, and usually we only smelled the odor when we drove by the plant after leaving the house. But this year … Continue reading Sin and Peppers at the Dinner Table
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the ten plagues in Egypt in the time of Moses and can’t help but wonder if there is a lesson in that story that relates to what we are going through now. There have been catastrophes across the country, unlike anything many of us have seen in our lifetime. An … Continue reading 2020: The Interruption of Everything, but Why? A Personal Reflection
It’s hard to believe I’ve been sharing our stories to encourage readers for two years. What a journey – one I clearly didn’t expect to evolve this way. Milestones are an ideal time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. In 2018, we kicked off the club track season fully expecting … Continue reading Is This What Winning Looks Like?