Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays and In Loving Memory...





Rest In Peace
Jodi Nicole Thomas
May 14, 1963 - January 18, 2009

You are Worthy
When I think back over the year 2009, so many emotions consume me. By the Grace of God, I was able to scratch the surface of a dream I've had since age 13; to create Peace In The Storm Publishing. I am so very delighted that my dream has come to fruition. And if I never published another book, I thank God for the journey thus far.
They laughed as she chased her dreams. Said she didn’t fit the part. Told her she was unworthy of it all. They ridiculed her for aiming high. Told her to get off her high horse. They highlighted the flaws in her structure and passed them around for the world to see. They failed to see the cracks in their own foundation. I could go on and on about the numerous times I've been told that "I Can't" and that "I'm Not Worthy."

Instead, I'll speak about the Dream...
You see, for me, this has not only been about me and my dreams. This has been about the dreams of some of the best people I know. I am so blessed to be able to start my publishing journey with incredibly talented people whom I admire, like Lorraine Elzia and LaToya S. Watkins. These women could write a full-length novel about a boiled egg, and any reader would would be in awe.
The love I have for Jessica A. Robinson can not be measured easily because she has blessed me with her presence. There are some people in life who are just born with a gift to encourage and inspire, and Brian Ganges has this gift.
Jacqueline D. Moore graces hundreds of emails daily with her encouraging words and devotionals. She's a tiny flame of fire with a tremendous heart of gold.
Then there's the hustle of Tamara Angela Grant; an author who knows what she wants and is unfraid to get it. Ebonee Monique gave us Ebonee Monique TV, opened our eyes to suicide in the African American community, and Cheryl Lacey Donovan left no stone unturned in pursuit of spreading the word about her ministry.
S.D. Denny taught us about sacrificial love, Claudia Brown Mosley kept us on the edge of our seats and Pamela D. Rice gives us a peek into domestic violence in the church.
Even sinners have souls, and I'm amazed that my work has been a source of encouragement, as my latest novel, A Whisper to a Scream has helped so many women go out and seek help as they are victims of domestic abuse.
Peace In The Storm Publishing won several awards throughout the year, including 5 African American Literary Awards, one of which was for Best Independent Publishing House of the Year. What an honor!
What I'm most proud of is that All of the wonderful authors of Peace In The Storm Publishing write with our motto in mind, "Giving your Soul a Rise...One Page at a Time." They've touched so many lives this year alone. I am continously inspired to press forward because we're all affecting positive change.
My wish for you this Christmas, this Holiday Season and throughout the New Year is that you take time to become a humble giver and help those who may need you. It is such a blessing to be a blessing. And, most importantly... To all of my dreamers and believers; never give up and never let anyone convince you that you are not worthy. Remember; you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Enough said. With all My Love.
Merry Christmas,

Elissa Gabrielle

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Peace In The Storm!


May the reason of the season inspire you beyond your fantasies, as it bombards the borderlines of your realities and ultimately results in your dreams that saturate your possibilities. And in all those efforts and desires, may your New Year be one that is filled with a peace that over runneth your cup. Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy New Year.
~Lorraine Elzia


Christmas is that special time of year. We are supposed to celebrate the goodness of the Lord all year long, but during Christmas time, we celebrate the birth of the king, as well as celebrate each other. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
~LaToya S. Watkins

The holiday season is a time to give thanks and show love to those who have touched our lives throughout the year. At this time I would like to thank all of you for your acts of love and support throughout the year. May you and your loved ones be richly blessed with God's peace this holiday season, and may you have an abundance of blessings in the New Year.
~S.D. Denny


May the joy of the Lord be your strength during this time and all year round.
~Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Wishing you a happy holiday season to you and your family. Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
~Jacqueline D. Moore

Don't get tied up with the hustle and bustle of the holiday frenzy. Reflect on the good things that happened to you this year and the lessons learned; and then look forward to good things to come in 2010. God has brought you from a mighty long way, and He's not done yet.
~Brian Ganges

My wish is that everyone will find it in their hearts to spend time with family and those that you love...cherish your life and those around you because at the end of the day family and friends are your lifeline. If you have any differences with those ones you love, take this holiday season to resolve them. Go into the New Year, with a new start.
~Jessica A. Robinson

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Peace In The Storm Publishing family. Thanks for your support and we hope to deliver many more exciting and relevant titles in the years to come.
~Pamela D. Rice


In Loving Memory


On January 18, 2009, my beloved sister Jodi passed away at the tender age of 45. I remember growing up, looking up to my sister Jodi. When I was a young girl, I thought she was the prettiest woman in the world.
Jodi swore I had a knack for acting, and would force me to do commercials and dance in front of all of her friends. I was the live entertainment during these days. I never felt humiliated, though, it was just a part of growing up. All a part of what life has offered me.

Well, life has changed drastically since those good ole days of doing commercials in the living room and dancing to ‘70’s disco music.

This is truly not a dress rehearsal, so we need treat life as the
precious gift it is.
I'll never stop loving you...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and please remember the importance of the season that has come upon us.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Win BIG from Elissa Gabrielle!

Win a Decadent Gift Basket from Elissa Gabrielle

Order your copy of A Whisper to a Scream from
September 1, 2009 to September 30, 2009.
One lucky pre-order will receive a special gift:

A Delicious and Decadent Gift Basket valued at over $200 filled with
everything you need to take you and your honey from A Whisper to a Scream.

Music from critically-acclaimed Spoken Word Arist and Author Marc Lacy;
RTIQLation: Spoken Essence of Music and LyriCode 256.
Autographed copies of A Whisper to a Scream, Good to the Last Drop,
Mocha Chocolate Anthology and Point of No Return by
Elissa Gabrielle.
A selection of Notecards from
Greetings from the Soul: The Elissa Gabrielle
Collection
$50 American Express Gift Card
A Bottle Champagne

All pre-orders for A Whisper to a Scream will be mailed this fall.
Remember, in order to qualify for the random drawing, you must order your
copies before September 30, 2009.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Art of Serving Others


Remember, Nothing makes you like other human beings so much as doing things for them. ~ Zora Neale Hurston

Scripture:
Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 1:22-24

Recently, a friend complimented me on being there for him. He told me that my willingness to help him, even though I really didn’t know him that well, inspired him in his own Christian walk. I was a little taken aback by his words as I was feeling that I hadn’t done as much for him as I had expected I should have.

As we discussed our relationship and the willingness of others to birth a dream, the dream of helping other Christian writers promote their work, the reality of what we were doing really hit home. You see, his initial intent in starting the project was to sell more books. However, what he discovered along the way became the thing that was of most value. What he discovered was that his own self-ambitions were diminished as he pushed others ahead of himself. It is something that each of us can and will discover when we learn to put the needs of others ahead of our own.

I will share something today that most don’t know about me. My secret is this; whenever I become discouraged and want to give up, God always manages to put people in my life that I have to help. What I mean by this is that someone will contact me with a need that I have to address, whether it be prayer, counseling, our just being there to talk. That need forces me to put me aside and put that other persons needs ahead of my own.

By the time I get back to what my situation is, I am usually better prepared to put it in its proper perspective. God is teaching me to be selfless and in doing so, I am being blessed by it. And so it should be with each of us.

The dawning of each day brings with it it’s own set of challenges and blessings. We usually have a choice to make. That choice it to wallow in our own self-pity or reach out and impact the lives of others. When we take our eyes off our own problems and reach out to others, God is right there to carry the weight of it all.

My challenge to you today is to take your hands of your own troubles and help someone else carry theirs.

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Father God, today I got caught up in my own pity party. Forgive me. I often forget that the things that I see as problems, You see as possibilities. You see the possibility of my elevation and in the process seeing others being uplifted by me. You see the possibility of me winning someone over to Christ. You see the possibility of me becoming more Christ like. Thank You Lord, not for my problems but for my possibilities. Help me Lord always to be mindful that when I am down, all I have to do is look up, because You are always there, waiting on me to reach to You. Lord, may I always remember to lend a hand, be a friend and to put the needs of others before my own. May something that I do or say today, be a blessing to someone else. I pray that the words that I speak would be a reflection of He who resides in my heart, my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Now Lord, we ask for Your continued blessings, Your grace and Your mercy. Touch, bless and anoint our families, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. We humbly submit our prayers in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com . She has contributed to several anthologies and is currently promoting of her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Friday, July 24, 2009

2009 African American Literary Awards Show Nominations!


When a Storm is just what you Need


Since its first release of The Triumph of My Soul, Peace in the Storm Publishing Company has worked to consistently deliver books that encourage, inspire, uplift, and entertain readers. Both the premium quality of these books and the stellar talent of PITS authors have been recognized by several nominations across several categories in the 2009 African American Literary Awards Show. At Peace In The Storm, our first priority is to give readers what they deserve and desire as well as to show our appreciation for their support by continung to offer enjoyable experiences through literary journeys.
Peace in the Storm Publishing recognizes that we need our readers to be purposed and driven writers, if not for them, who would we be? PITS would like to thank you for your continuous support and ask for your help in acknowledging the art and the peace that has been introduced to the literary world through the creative and collective storm of talent that is Peace in the Storm. We humbly ask that you please help us by placing your vote at http://www.blogger.com/ for your favorite Peace in the Storm authors in the following categories:

Romance
Jacqueline D. Moore – Serving Justice
www.literaryawardshow.com/voting.html

Non-Fiction
Cheryl Lacey Donovan – The Ministry of Motherhood
www.literaryawardshow.com/voting.html

Break-out Author Of The Year
Ebonee Monique – Suicide Diaries
Lorraine Elzia – Mistress Memoirs
S. D. Denny – The Bakers Dozen
www.literaryawardshow.com/voting.html

Short stories/Anthologies
Elissa Gabrielle (editor) - The Soul of a Man: A Triumph of My Soul Anthology
www.literaryawardshow.com/voting.html

Independent Publishing House of the Year
Peace In The Storm
www.literaryawardshow.com/voting.html

Let your vote reflect that your soul has found Peace in the Storm
Thank you for being there when we needed you most
Please cast your vote today

www.literaryawardshow.com/voting.html

Monday, July 20, 2009

No Weapon


Remember, The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. ~ Marshal Ferdinand Foch


Scripture:

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD. Isaiah 54:17


Saints, I have been talking about being under attack for a large portion of this year. This reason for this is because I myself along with so many of my brothers and sisters is Christ, seem to be overwhelmed with trials and tribulations; one right after another.There have been times that I have wondered why I along with so many others seem to always be going through something.


Does this sound like any of you? Many of my sisters and brothers are unemployed and it seems like it's taking so much longer to find new jobs. Cancer is rampant among those we know. We are losing babies to catastrophic illnesses and even those we believed to be Christians, are committing suicide. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that being a Christian would be so hard.


However, there is a truth about being a Christian I want to share with you. You see, before you got saved and joined the family of God, life didn't seem so hard. That's because satan wasn't worried about you because he already had you. He wanted you to remain comfortable in being and living in sin. Once you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, it made him mad.


You see, as long as you were in the world, he didn't have to worry about you. When he lost you and you became a new creature in Christ Jesus, he has to get you back, so that's one of the reasons that the attacks against us increase. He lies to us, he tries to discourage us in our Christian walk. He wants us to doubt the promises of God. And you know what? Sometimes, every now and then, it seems like he may be winning.


But you know what Saints of God? God has said in his word; NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US SHALL PROSPER! That it His promise to us. We must learn to lean on our faith, walk by faith, grow in faith, see it and believe it IN FAITH. God cannot lie. He has already told us; he would never leave us nor forsake us, If we remain faithful to him!!


I for one am standing on God's word. I am holding on to his promise! I will not let go of his unchanging hand! What about you?


Be Blessed


Prayer:

The LORD IS my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; HE LEADS me beside the still waters. HE RESTORES my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For YOU ARE WITH ME; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. YOU PREPARE a table before me in the presence of my enemies; YOU ANOINT my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I WILL DWELL in the house of the LORD, Forever and ever, Amen.
Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com . She has contributed to several anthologies and is currently promoting of her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

God's Rare and Precious Jewels


Remember, the gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. ~ Chinese Proverb

Scripture:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 1 Peter 1:6-8 (New International Version)

Did you know that diamonds are made of carbon, one of the softest materials on earth? But when carbon is under extreme pressure buried deep below more than 75 miles of rock and is in temperatures more than 2, 192° F, it changes in to a diamond. What starts out as an inert object deep in the bowls of the earth, is transformed into a rare and precious jewel by pressure.

I often liken our lives to diamonds. We start out as; apathetic, asleep, closed down, dead, dormant, down, dull, idle, immobile, impassive, impotent, inactive, inanimate, indolent, languid, languorous, lazy, leaden, listless, motionless, numb, on ice, paralyzed, passive, phlegmatic, powerless, quiescent, quiet, slack, sleepy, slothful, sluggard, sluggish, slumberous, static, still, stolid, torpid, unmoving, unresponsive, (I’m using the thesaurus tonight), individuals who are usually full of themselves with selfish motivations and no real concept of who we are without God.

As things begin to happen in our lives that put us under pressure, we too begin to change. We start searching for that someone or that something that will be the catalyst for our transformation. Those of us, who are lucky, will soon discover that the something or someone who will be the motivating factor for our change will be God.

However, it won’t stop there. As we grow in faith, so will our situations. God isn’t content with us just being a Christian. God wants us to be the best Christian we can be. So in an effort to force out any impurities that may still remain in our lives, he keeps the pressure on.

The pressure is not to break us, but rather to make is into a flawless diamond; a rare and precious jewel.

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Lord, sometimes it seems as though I am fighting a never ending battle. Some days are filled with stress and strife. Sometimes, I become weary from the war that wages around me. I realized that sometimes it is I who has caused the war from within. Lord, help me to be strong and resist temptation. Help me to develop patience, perseverance and peace within. Father, as I pause to spend time with You, I ask that you would quiet the conflict that rages within me. When I am faced with trials and tribulations help me to be still and remain calm and turn control over to the Holy Spirit. It's Your spirit Lord, that dwells in me. It that same spirit that can give me rest if I would just succumb to it. It’s in that spirit I can find peace, joy and contentment. It's in that Spirit that I can find the answer to the questions that plague me. Father, sometimes it seems as though satan’s entire army has come against me. But Your word tells me that no army can defeat me with the Lord on my side. Thank You Father. I know that as long as I follow You, I am on the right path. I also realize that as long as I follow You, satan will be there trying to discourage me. I rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus. I call upon the name of the Lord, and I will surrender my will to his and allow the Lord to fight my battles. Thank You Father for the power and authority that has been given to me through Christ Jesus. Lord, bless my family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. Keep me nearer God to Thee. Glory to God, Praise the name of the Lord. Hallelujah, Thank You Father. Thank You Jesus. Amen.
Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com . She has contributed to several anthologies and is currently promoting of her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blocking Your Own Blessings

We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can / namely, surrender our will and fulfill God's will in us. ~ St. Teresa of Avila

Scripture:
Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. Matthew 16:23 (New International Version)

As we go through life, there are many things we may want or desire. We see someone and want to make them our mate. We desire big cars, fancy houses and a multitude of other riches. We want fame, fortune and success. However, I ask; how many of us seek God first before we go after the desires of our hearts?

Personally, I know there were a lot of things that I went after in my life without consulting God about it first. For example, when I met my ex-husband, I decided after our first date that he would be the man I married. Sadly, my marriage didn’t work out. I had made a life altering decision without going to God and seeking His guidance first.

Now this doesn’t mean that my ex was a bad man or even a bad husband. He just wasn’t meant to be my husband and if I had truly listened to what God was trying to tell me about that particular relationship, we never would have gotten married. I wanted what I wanted and I wanted to marry him. However, we didn’t want the same things in a marriage and that’s what led to the demise of my family.

I share this story with you today as a reminder that when we are seeking certain things in a relationship, in order for anything that we do to succeed, we must first take it to God and He will direct our paths.

God cannot bless our unions, our jobs, and our prosperity if those things are outside of his will. He cannot bless us as only He can when He sees us making wrong choices. God has given each and every one of us, free will. And as a result, we must learn to live our lives with His will for us in mind.

Satan is always trying to make our lives difficult by filling our hearts with lust for the wrong things. He is constantly putting up road blocks and distractions in our lives in his effort to keep us from the kingdom of God. Far too often we fall into his traps and as a result, will block our own blessings.

Remember, God cannot bless you if there is something else in the way.

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Father, there are times when I realize that I have a selfish spirit. I want what I want. Sometimes, I will do whatever it takes to get what I want. Lord, I come asking that You would help me to overcome my spirit of selfishness. Help me to develop a more Christ like spirit. Father help me to see my life through Your eyes. Help me to recognize my sins and faults and to work on my negative attitudes. Lord, help me to see when I am blocking my own blessings. Father, if there is something that I can do or something that I can to say to help someone else, help me to see it. When I am doing or saying something that is not pleasing to you, help me to know it. Father, I ask that You would order my steps this day as I surrender my will to Yours. Lead me, guide me, bless me. Use me Lord, for Your edification. Continue to bless my brothers and sisters in Christ. Lord, I give You all of my heart, All the praise, All the honor and glory, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com . She has contributed to several anthologies and is currently promoting of her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Don't be Afraid


Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. ~ Ambrose Redmoon

Scripture:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Saints, have you ever been in a situation and didn't know how you would get out of it? As you looked around at your circumstances you just couldn't understand how did you get here and how would you get out.

I talk to many people about their circumstances. Some are having problems with the marriages. Some are struggling financially, and some just feel like life is overwhelming them and they just don't know what to do.

God's word tells us not to fear our circumstances. That no matter what we come up against, No Matter What the Outcome! He will be with us always. It doesn't matter how you got where you are. Learn to depend on God for your strength, but most of all, for your guidance.

He will never leave you, nor forsake you, but most of all; he will never lead you wrong.

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Father, I don't know how I got here, but I know that You can lead me home. Lord, I realize that I cannot always see what You have in store for me. I just ask that lead me and guide me as I seek my way home. Lord, we ask that You would continue to cover Your children. Help us Lord, to always seek Your guidance in everything that we do. Father, we ask that You would touch, bless, and anoint those saints reading this prayer right now, our family member, friends, and soldiers who are away fighting for freedom. Bless us now Lord Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit. We Love You Lord, with all that we are. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com She has contributed to several anthologies and is currently promoting of her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Love your Neighbor by Cheryl Lacey Donovan


Love Your Neighbor

John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

We all know how difficult it can be to love some people. Yet, it is one of the greatest commandments in the Bible.

As parents, it is important for us to stress this point to our children. Inevitably they will face a bully, or perhaps they will feel they have been treated unfairly by a teacher in school. It's at these times when we must minister to our children about the sacrificial Christlike love that will take them beyond the superficial feelings they may be having. We must also look for ways to demonstrate this love to each other.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Q&A with Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Q: What would you like your readers to know about you?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan: Cheryl Lacey Donovan is a walking, talking, testimony of what God can do.
Q: What is your latest book about?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : The Ministry of Motherhood is about my journey from being a teenage mother who suffered abuse at the hands of her husband, to the self assured woman that I am now and the role motherhood played in that journey.
Q: You say motherhood is a verb. What does that mean?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan: It means it’s something you do not just who you are.

Q: You’ve made the statement “There’s a war going on and the spoils of war are our children’s bodies, minds, and spirits. How can we win the war?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan: The Bible says we battle not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities in high places. As mothers its time we put on the whole armor of God and battle with our children against the powers that would have their souls. If we don’t we destined to lose an entire generation

Q: What are you tips for raising responsible children?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan: First of all we need to change our definition of what success is. We tend to view success according to the world’s standards. But God’s view of success is totally different. As believers we are not to be conformed to this world. Therefore, we should seek God first in all we do. Once we’ve done this everything else we need will be added. God says he can do more than we could ever ask or think and that He came that we might have an abundant life. So as parents our primary teaching responsibility for our children is to make sure they have a healthy personal relationship with God. Then everything else will fall into place.
Q: Where do you see yourself as a writer ten years from now?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan: Ten years from now I hope to be spreading the message all over the world. Telling women that they don’t have to settle.
Q: What marketing tips can you provide to new authors?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : Develop a marketing plan, follow it, and visit it regularly to find out what does and doesn’t work.
Q: What other projects are you working on?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : I am working on my next book with my husband. The title is Do you Still Do? What Happens Happily Ever After? It is a book about marriage and what it takes to keep it together.
Q: When do you write and for how long?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : I write whenever it hits me. I can be riding along in the car and something will come to mind. In that case I record it on my cell phone and write it down as soon as I can.
Q: Do you have a favorite location for writing?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : I usually like to write outside, near my pond and waterfall in the swing. It’s very peaceful there.
Q: What three words best describe your writing style?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : Transparent, honest, conversational
Q: What other hobbies do you pursue when you aren't writing ?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : Of course, I love to read, I like to travel, and I love entertaining.
Q: Are there any hidden jewels or talents that you possess that many of your readers may not know?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : Well, if I hadn’t become an author, I may never have known how good I was at being a talk show host and public speaker. It’s been a blast.
Q: Where can folks buy your latest book?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : My latest book can be purchased wherever books are sold including http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/, and http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com/
Q: Where can folks meet you?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : Wow! I will be on the road quite a bit in the near future. It’s best to visit my website http://www.cheryllaceydonovan.com/ for updates.
Q: What have been some of your toughest obstacles as a writer?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : My toughest obstacle as a writer has been me. Getting on paper what was in my heart was difficult at times due to the nature of the situation, but I am glad that I was able to get it out. It was cathartic.
Q: What time do you awake normally every morning?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : Normally I get up around 5 or 6am. I tell my husband all the time I think we’re getting old because I can remember when we talked about our parents getting up so early all the time, even when they didn’t have to go to work.
Q: How do you find time to connect with God?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : I pray, read the word, and meditate to hear a word from God. The latter is something many people neglect to do. They feel all they need do is pray, but they don’t wait for an answer. A solid prayer life is the key to emotional and spiritual growth. Only when you have learned how to pray to God and listen for His answer can you find true peace.
Q: Do you watch television or listen to the radio when you're writing, and if so, what do you watch or listen too mostly?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : The television is usually on when I write, but there is no one program that I watch regularly. I just seem to write better when it’s noisy. Crazy Huh!
Q: Do you have an exercise regimen to suggest for busy writers?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : In order to get better at your craft it’s important to read, read, read. Read everything. It will help to expand your mind.
Q: What is your pet peeve?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : My pet peeve would have to be people who say what they can’t do even though they haven’t tried. I happen to believe in Philippians 4:13 which says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Q: What is your passion in life?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : God has given me a heart for women who are struggling with life’s twists and turns. My message to them is even when we can’t diagnose the problem, God’s word can bring us healing and wholeness. I want to bring this message to all women. I want them to understand that until they fall in love with Jesus, the chains of sin and bondage will never be broken.
Q: What is your favorite motto?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Q: What do you particularly like about the literary world today?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : The internet has leveled the playing field between traditional vs. small press and self published authors. It’s great! Many authors who might not have gotten a chance to be heard are now being recognized like never before. It’s a renaissance of sorts.
Q: If you could leave one word of advice to people in general, what would it be?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : To love God, love yourself, and love others.

Q: What is next for you?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : Currently I spend a lot of time working on my internet radio show which airs on blog talk radio Tuesdays, 7:30pm CST and Saturdays, 3:00pm CST. I am also traveling quite a bit with the Ministry of Motherhood Tour. Anyone interested in having me come to their town to talk to single/teen mothers can contact us at cherylspeaks@gmail.com

Q: Where can visitors find you online?
Cheryl Lacey Donovan : Everywhere. http://www.cheryllaceydonovan.com/
http://www.virtuouswoman-31.blogspot.com/, http://www.ministryofmotherhood.blogspot.com/, http://www.twitter.com/donovancheryl, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worthmorethanrubies, http://www.myspace.com/donovancheryl


Meet Cheryl Lacey Donovan
Cheryl Donovan is a native Houstonian who is walking in her destiny as she ministers the word of God all over the country. Her captivating messages are delivered in a no nonsense transparent dialogue with her audiences.

Cheryl believes in the Psalms 11:25 which says, She who refreshes others will herself be refreshed; therefore, she tries to be transparent as she speaks and writes about her valley to mountain experiences.

Cheryl resides in Houston with her husband of 16 years. She has two grown sons and a step-daughter who has a son of her own.

To learn more about Cheryl or to have her speak at your next event visit http://www.cheryllaceydonovan.com


About the Book
In a time when teen pregnancy is on the rise once more and single mothers are being blamed for all of societies problems, Cheryl Lacey Donovan presents a view of single motherhood that tears down all the excuses for why single mother's can't succeed. Cheryl Donovan shares her valuable insight into the spiritual and biblical principles associated with being a good mother. A former single mother herself, Cheryl shows readers that through the abundance of God's grace and love along with determination and perseverance, children don't have to become statistics. Cheryl identifies key biblical principles and displays practical life lessons that can help to establish solid foundations upon which to rear happy, well rounded, productive children. Cheryl provides insight the will assist the reader to look inside themselves for change. It will help them identify the strongholds of poverty, lack of education, and abusive relationships and help them tear them down with the help of the creator. Cheryl's powerful testimony about her journey from teen pregnancy, domestic violence, and single parenting, to award winning author, educator, and inspirational speaker is sure to empower, enlighten, and inspire mothers everywhere.

Friday, May 29, 2009

And a Child Shall Lead Them by Cheryl Lacey Donovan


And a Child Shall Lead Them

John 6:8-9 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"

Seeing life through the eyes of a child can teach each of us a thing or two about standing on God's promises.

In this story Andrew obviously thought that the child's lunch was insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But Jesus took what was offered and performed a miracle.

Children have a special way of viewing life. They always tend to see the glass half full rather than half empty. Their outlook is always unlimited and free. We can learn alot from our children and their view of life.

They teach us that even a small gift when placed in God's hands can be multipled into something more than we could ever imagine.
Learn more about Cheryl Lacey Donovan at www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Prodigal Son by Cheryl Lacey Donovan


The Prodigal Son

Luke 15:20 So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.


Perhaps you are familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son. What a powerful story of unconditional love between a parent and a child. God calls each of us as parents to love
our children in the same way- even when our two year old wets the bed, or our teenager breaks curfew, or even when our adult child is a "live in." We should never be too angry or disappointed to embrace them with the same kind of love our Heavenly Father gives to us in our failure.

The most effective way we can embrace our children is through prayer. Give them back to God. Thank Him for allowing you to be a steward over their lives and ask Him to teach you how to love them as they are and watch God give you the ability to open your arms to them and love them as He loves you.
Cheryl Lacey Donovan is the author of The Ministry of Motherhood. Find out more at www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Ministry of Motherhood by Cheryl Lacey Donovan



The Ministry of Motherhood by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Mother is a verb. It’s something you do, not just who you are. I learned the hard way. Who would have imagined it would happen to me -- a mother at sixteen! Why didn’t I listen? Why had I engaged in premarital sex? These questions have reverberated in my mind many times over the years. I was smart enough to know the potential outcome. But, I did it anyway. It just felt so right. How did Tina Turner put it -- what’s love got to do with it? Let me answer that for you. Nothing when your emotions collide with immaturity and stupidity. What a disastrous mix, to say the least. Dwelling on the obvious became a lesson in futility for me each time I looked into my children’s eyes. I understood the monumental task that stood before me as I tried to make ends meet as a single mother. I lived and learned as God prepared me for a manifested destiny. It’s called motherhood with a mission...a ministry. Every word I spoke, every move I made, affected two other innocent souls who didn’t ask to be here. Without a choice, I had to pull myself together and prepare a sermon based on my life. I had to formulate meaningful text, outline life’s lessons, and deliver the message loud and clear so that my children and others could be saved with God using me as a vessel.

I had every reason not to be a good mother. All the cards were stacked against me. Life’s hurdles stood tall at every turn. I was a teenager and the victim of an abusive marriage. From being unable to get public assistance to my ex-husband refusing to pay child support, I was placed behind the eight ball every time. But, to be a mother is one of the most important tasks God has entrusted to women. God chose women as the vessels through which He would bring into being His most valuable creation: mankind.

Mothers are assigned with the task of developing, encouraging, nurturing, and cultivating the lives that are placed in their care. Our most important role is to teach our children about God, His principles, and His plans for their lives. True mothers don’t throw in the towel when the going gets tough. Instead, they look for avenues that lead to destinations that can enhance their lives as well as the lives of their children. Mothers are charged with loving their children unconditionally. The bond that exists between a mother and child is a special one. Faithful and dedicated mothers are the ones that are not afraid to dig down deep into the dirt and pull their children up from sure destruction. This type of love can only be compared to the Love of God for His children. Children are a blessed heritage from God. Mothers should always remember the value that God has placed on children. When He told His disciples, 'suffer the little children to come unto Me for such is the kingdom of heaven', He made it clear that children are important to Him. Mothers should view their role with importance.

This is my journey on the path we call motherhood; the ups, the downs, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’d like to share with you my labor of love and dedication to make sure that others don’t follow my path. Initially, I will share with you my angst upon finding out I was pregnant. Telling my mother was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. In Chapter three, you will discover the parallels between modern day single mothers and those in the Bible.

As the book progresses, the latter chapters deal with my adaptation to motherhood and the implied tenets of ministry-- chapters with such meaningful titles as Open Door Policy; The Abyss; Mama’s Sermon; Innocence Lost; Happily Ever After; and The Cycle Begins, et al. Each one of these episodes give you a look inside my heart, my soul, my very being...sharing and digging deeper in myself for those nuggets of wisdom. I use biblical scriptures and ‘thus sayeth the Lord’ dictates to guide me. It’s the ministry fundamentality that propels the outreach gesture so that you may be mindful of doing the right thing. This is what this book is all about.

The Discovery…
Order your copy of The Ministry of Motherhood today at http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com/.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Leading by Example by Cheryl Lacey Donovan










Leading by Example

Ezekiel 20:18 I said to their children in the desert, "Do not follow the statutes of your fathers or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols.

"Do as I say not as I do." How often have I heard this phrase repeated by parents to their children. But the reality is our children are like sponges. They are a captive audience as they absorb into their psyche everything they see us say and do. The likelyhood of their not following in our footsteps is 50/50.

In Ezekiel 20:18, we find the prophet Ezekiel reminding Israel how God warned the younger generation not to follow in their elders footsteps because of their idolotrous practices.

What would God say to your children about your practices? What about your attitudes, behaviors? Do they match what you say you believe?

Determine to live a life that encourages and inspires your children in the admonition of the Lord.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why ask Why by Cheryl Lacey Donovan


Why ask Why

John 13:6-7 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.'
When my children were younger, I can remember how inquisitive they were. Time and time again they would ask the question "why"? Nothing would frustrate me more than when those questions had answers I couldn't explain. It would become even more frustrating when those questions would come in the middle of a busy project or an intense business discussion. It was at those times when I would respond with an impatient "Because I said so."

As I reflect on those moments, I'm reminded of the many times when I didn't quite understand what God was doing in my life. When I inqured of God, I wanted a gracious answer like the one Jesus gave to Peter in John 13: 6-7. Jesus told Peter He would understand later.

Take the time to offer your children the same grace and patience Jesus offered to Peter, even if it means telling them they will have to wait for the answer.
The award-winning Cheryl Lacey Donovan is the author of The Ministry of Motherhood. Order your copy today at www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Teaching Your Children To Be Conquerors by Cheryl Lacey Donovan



Teaching Your Children To Be Conquerors

Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Life is sure to bring twists and turns. But its the way we respond to these obstacles that will determine our ultimate outcome.

As parents we must teach our children through our actions that no matter how bad the situation may be they can always count on God for protection, guidance, and security. His love never fails and His mercy is everlasting.

In the end God is always on our side and we must demonstrate this to our children by reacting to unpleasant circumstances in a way that is honoring to God. We must respond with the knowledge that we are more than conquerors through Him and that ulimately the victory is ours.

The powerful Cheryl Lacey Donovan is the author of The Ministry of Motherhood. Please visit http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com/ for more info on Cheryl!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Blending Out by Ebonee Monique



Blending Out by Ebonee Monique

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never been apart of the “in crowd”. I’ll never be the girl who’s able to pack a house full of friends for a party or throw an elaborate Avon party buzzing with interesting people. My phone doesn’t ring off the hook with requests to hang out and my day-to-day routine couldn’t be any more systematic. I get up at the crack of dawn, walk my dog Sophie, prepare my breakfast, head to work and at the end of the day, I head home in preparation for the next day. In all actuality, nothing ever changes.


I used to watch the popular television show “Girlfriends” and wonder “When will I have that?” And by “that”, of course, I mean the “cool” factor. When will I have three girlfriends to hang out with who I’ll tell all my problems to and shop uncontrollably with? I like to shop. I like to talk and I definitely like to be liked. But, as I’ve figured out, liking to be liked doesn’t guarantee a spot in the cool hall of fame.

At 26, I think I’m finally okay with not being cool. But believe me, it hasn’t been an easy journey to the acceptance of my lameness. I don’t think anyone is ever prepared, mentally, to accept not being cool. We’re bred that way. In elementary school, the popular kids are awarded plaques and stylish pencils for being “Terrific Kids”, while middle school has the ever-so-popular “buddy pictures”, where you can either be confirmed or denied of your popularity with others. And don’t even let me get started on high school, with its student boards, powder puff games and- lest we forget- the superlatives. It’s no wonder everyone is determined to be cool.




So, when I headed to college at Florida A&M University, and majored in education, I was sure that my “it” factor would kick in as soon as I stepped foot on the campus. After all, they say that when you come to college you can become whoever it is that you want to be. Well, how is it that I got stuck with plain Jane me? The same me who stuck to herself, did boring cross-word puzzles and wore hand-me-down clothes. For 4 years I made a handful of friends- mainly through class-related group projects- and stayed away from any and all large crowds. After graduation I headed to Kansas for a job at an upscale private school. I told myself that I needed the change. Florida hadn’t been my “thing”, but maybe Kansas would be. A year into my job, and still friendless, I made a jump to a school in Washington D.C.- where I knew I’d make friends that looked and thought like me- which left me more miserable than before. The teachers at my new school already had their cliques and they weren’t looking for a newbie to tag-a-long. I recalled sitting in the teachers’ lounge, with my Stouffer’s microwave lunch, pretending to read through an old Ebony Magazine while I eavesdropped on a conversation that a group of the teachers were having. I listened closely, hoping that something- anything- would give me an excuse to join their conversation. I leaned forward, as I heard one of the teachers mention my Alma Mater, and quickly felt my chair giving way. Just as quickly as a light at the end of the tunnel appeared, it was smack dab on the middle of the linoleum floor with marinara sauce oozing all over it. I watched in horror as the other retreated from the lounge, only to have their laughter echo throughout the hallways. That was my breaking point.


As usual, I jumped ship and took another teaching job back in my college town, Tallahassee, Florida. By now, my hopes of finding the perfect “Joan”, “Mya”, “Toni” or “Lynn” are diminishing right before my eyes.
I’ve been at Leon High school, for close to 6 months and already I can feel the itch to continue searching for my inner coolness. I know it’s out there and, just like the perfect man, I’ve got to search for it.

As I said before, I’ve embraced not being cool; but that doesn’t mean I like it.
“Mrs. Armstrong, can I get the bathroom pass? I’ve gotta go bad.” One of my over-the-top students, Lamont, said as he held himself with one hand and fanned his face with the other one.
“A brothers’ gonna burst and that’ll be on you.” He said as the rest of the class laughed.
With the exception of my lessons, I rarely held any conversations with my students; but even I had to admit that Lamont was the school’s class clown.
Modestly smiling, I reached in my wooden desk and handed him the bathroom pass and told him to be back in 5 minutes.


Just like the rest of the people I’d ever tried to be friends with; my students hardly ever paid me any attention. It was almost as if I was invincible and was only good for was shelling out assignments and, on occasion, telling them to calm down. But this class was my favorite because it was the last one of the day. It wasn’t like I had anything important to do- just return some Christmas gifts at the mall and then go home and clean up- but anything was better than being confined in a room full of people who didn’t even know you existed.


With less than 5 minutes left before the end-of-the-day bell rang, I let the kids hang out on the front steps of the school, in preparation of being released. Even that act of slight bribery, to get them to like me a little bit, got me nowhere. No one thanked me, no one said how “cool” I was for letting them out a little early and no one even acknowledged that I had done a good thing for them. So typical, I thought to myself as I grabbed my things and followed the last kid out of the room towards the steps.


It was a beautiful day outside too. I watched as my students chatted on their cell phones, talked to each other and listened to their MP3 players. When I was in school, CD players were hot, we weren’t allowed cell phones and to be caught with a pager was a serious offense. Now, though, it seems like technology runs our school more than we do. Myspace and Facebook have got to be the biggest distractions I’ve ever seen and how could I forget text messaging. Whatever happened to face-to-face interaction? If we keep this up, we won’t need social interaction, the way we did in the past, all we’ll need is a keyboard and a screen.
A lot had changed since I’d been in high school, I thought, as I watched a cute girl named Kiara talking closely to Lamont.


I’d noticed Kiara before; she was a quiet girl that, unless you directly talked to her, barely spoke a word. She had transferred to the school a few weeks after I’d arrived and Lamont, who was a cute-but troublesome-kid himself, took to her immediately. She had perfectly clear butterscotch colored skin and squeezable chubby cheeks.


Kiara was a well put together girl. She never wore raggedy clothes, her hair was always neat and presentable and her vocabulary-when she did talk- was pretty impressive. But despite how smart she seemed, I could see the desperation in her eyes as she talked to Lamont and gently stroked his hand. I’d seen that look before, only it was as I was looking in the mirror. Kiara had come to the school one way and was slowly losing that uniqueness, as she clung to the hope that the other kids would befriend her. I’d walked into the main hallway restroom, during lunch one afternoon, and found Kiara eating her lunch by herself. We didn’t even speak or acknowledge the fact that she was eating her meal by herself and in a bathroom. I guess I should’ve said something but, I did what I do best and kept to myself.


From my observation, Lamont had been the only one who had actively made an effort to be Kiara’s friend; and as I caught myself staring at the twosome, the school bell rang and everyone scattered like cockroaches discovered in a dark room.
Remembering that I hadn’t locked my classroom door, I hurried back into the brick building and reached into my purse for the keys. As I struggled to find the correct one, I heard a pair of heels clicking towards me.


“Elise; hey, girl, how are you?” I heard a raspy voice say as I hunched over in front of the door.
Turning to look, I could’ve dropped everything I was holding as I caught a glimpse of Tamia Sanders, the psychology teacher that had to have been the most popular thing walking the hallways of the school. Tamia was one of those people that always had a flock of people surrounding her and hanging onto her every word. She just seemed to have it like that.
She wasn’t overly pretty or anything, but she just had that “it” factor that made people want to be around her. I even had to admit it; I’d made a few conversations starters with her- in hopes that we could be girlfriends that chatted before school or maybe during lunch- but it went nowhere. Before today, I didn’t think Tamia knew my first name. I felt just like I did in high school when the head cheerleader, or school whore- who was just as popular but in different circles- spoke to me. My hands grew clammy, my mouth dry and I couldn’t figure out what to say.
Trying to sound cool, I swallowed a huge dry lump in my throat and plastered a smile on my face as I turned to face the teachers’ version of the prom queen.
“Hey, what’s up?” I heard myself say, sounding totally out of character. I wanted to scream “Hey, Tamia! Do you want to go to Macy’s and catch a sale or hang out and talk about our relationship problems?” But I knew that would be too strong.
Tamia fidgeted with something behind her back before pulling it out for me to see. It was a big ring of keys, which I recognized as the after-school detention lock-up keys.
“I was supposed to watch the after-school detention kids and, girl, I forgot all about my Maltese’s grooming appointment. You wouldn’t mind doing it for me, would you?” She asked sweetly.
Now I see how men get caught up in doing ridiculous things all for the sake of a woman.
My face was hot, my head was starting to hurt and- worst of all- I was taking the keys from her before my mouth could say no.
“Sure, girl, I didn’t have anything else to do.” I lied, knowing I had a ton of things to return to the mall. True, Tamia had never even acknowledged me fully before that day, but maybe she was seeing something in me.
Tamia blew out air and held her hand to her chest as she laughed.
“Girl, you saved my ass. I probably would’ve gone crazy if I had to watch those kids for another hour.” She said laughing.
I could tell that she saw the hesitation in my eyes, as I realized how long I would have to stay after school, and so- just like clock-work- she went in for the kill; hitting me where I was weakest: a possible friendship.
“So, what are you doing this weekend, girl?” She said as she leaned against one of the lockers and tilted her head towards me.
I watched as her perfectly cut hair swung with her motion and I took a deep breath and smiled as I answered.
“I don’t know, I was thinking about going to the Jill Scott concert at the civic center, what about you?”
“I don’t know, probably nothing.” She replied as she inspected her perfectly manicured nails.
Tamia was one of those women that just seemed to have it all. A banging wardrobe, fly shoes, perfect nails and pedicures and- I’m guessing- a pretty sexy piece of eye candy at her disposal. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion as I envisioned myself wearing the designer duds, haircut and perfume that Tamia sported. What would I do with the popularity and notoriety that Tamia had right at her fingertips?
I shook my head as the silence between us became deafening, and I struggled to think of something to say to keep her majesty around, if only for a few more seconds.
“Well, hey, if you want to come with me to the concert I’m sure I could round up another ticket. I’ve got the hookup on tickets.” I said getting excited about the prospect of Tamia Sanders hanging out with me. In all actuality, I didn’t have the hookup. I had extra money and was willing to pay for her ticket to the concert. Having the hookup just had a cooler ring to it.
Tamia opened her mouth and struggled to find something to say.
“You know what? I just remembered that my girlfriends did buy me a ticket to the concert. I don’t know how I forgot that.” She said as she lightly tapped her forehead and giggled nervously.
I could feel the burn in my throat as embarrassment rushed over my body. This time, when I tried to swallow the dry lump in my throat, I was met with pain. I couldn’t swallow my pride that was on the verge of causing a flood of tears.
I turned my back to Tamia and pretended that I was still trying to lock up my classroom and said, over my shoulder, “I guess I’ll see you there.”
Tamia didn’t hang around at all after rejecting my offer; she bolted towards the front door of the school, probably towards her stupid Maltese.
“Just put the keys in my box when you’re done.” She said before she disappeared into the beautiful day.
Just like that I’d sacrificed my things to do, for a shot at being Tamia’s friend; she’d played me hook, line and sinker.
I made my way towards the detention room and took my seat as the rest of the students lingered in.
To me, detention wasn’t anything more than a place to sleep or- if the student happened to be studious- a place to finish up homework. I wasn’t about to be strict in a place where I didn’t have to be.
I flipped through an Essence magazine, hoping that maybe they’d have an article on how to make friends or how to get over being rejected by a potential friend; but I got nothing.
After close to an hour of silence, I let the kids out early, made my way to my Honda Accord and checked my watch. I still had time to get to the mall and back to my house in time to make Dr. Phil.
I walked into Macy’s with my two bags full of items to return and headed straight to customer service.
“How are you today, madam?” An older woman asked as I sat the bags up on the counter and smiled back. Regardless of the type of day that I was having, I couldn’t knowingly be rude to anyone.
“I’m doing okay, how about you?” I asked as she began going through my bags of things.
“Oh, I can’t complain; even if I did, no one would listen.” She said as she cackled and pulled item by item out and scanned them into the cash register.
“I hear that.” I smiled as I picked up a little trinket that sat next to the register and examined it.
“You know, you look just like someone I know.” The woman said as she folded one of the shirts and placed it in a pile.
“Is that right?” I said smiling widely. “Whoever they are, I hope they’re pretty.”
“She is; it’s my granddaughter. She’s younger than you though, I’m sure. She’s only 15.” She said proudly as she closed her eyes and placed her wrinkled hand over her chest.
I nodded my head and smiled with envy as the grandmother told me all about her granddaughter, Chantal.
“I swear you two could be twins.” She said as she finished going through my items.
“What school does she attend? I teach at Leon.” I said happy for the conversation.
“She goes to FAMU high and she loves that school.” She smiled before locking her eyes with mine. “You know, you’re doing a great thing by being a teacher.” She said.
“I’d like to think so. Thank you.”
“Did you go to FAMU?” She inquired as she started looking for the paperwork for me to fill out for my returns.
“Actually I did. I graduated about 3 years ago.” I replied, feeling proud of my alma mater.
“Alright, go Rattlers!” She laughed as she sat some white forms in front of me.
“Just fill these out and ring this bell when you’re finished and we’ll get you all taken care of.” She said as she disappeared towards a rack of clothes in the juniors department.
I bent over the counter and started filling out my name, address, phone number and other contact information, when I heard- what sounded like- an aggressive tussle around the corner.
Before I could turn to find out what was happening I saw my cashier friend, a young white gentleman with a buzz cut, and a chubby, round face that was so familiar to me I couldn’t resist calling out her name.
“Kiara?”
With her hands behind her back and shame spread all over her face, I looked in Kiara’s face and shook my head. By now, I knew what this meant; it was clear as day. The white guy had Kiara by one of her elbows and was escorting her to the back room of customer service. In his other hand was a few items, which I assumed she’d tried to steal, crumpled up into a ball.
The security guy and Kiara whizzed by me and, for the life of me, I couldn’t take my eyes off of my student.
“You know that young lady?” My cashier friend asked me as she watched me stare at Kiara’s journey to the room with the glass walls.
“Yeah…uh…well, she’s one of my students.” I said not taking my eyes off of Kiara.
The woman shook her head and pursed her lips together tightly
“I don’t understand how those children can come in this store and steal what they know doesn’t belong to them.” She said taking a deep breath before returning her glare to the papers in front of me.
“You done with those, honey?” She asked pointing to the papers.
“Uh, yeah.” I finally responded as I pushed them towards her. “What’s going to happen to her?” I found myself asking, just as Kiara looked over her shoulder towards me.
Fear and pity were all I could see as I studied her face.
“Well, we’ll probably have to send her to the juvenile center and once they assess how much she tried to steal, that will determine the charges she receives.”
“Charges?” I said loudly as the woman raised an eyebrow towards me.
“Yes, charges. You know, it is still illegal to steal things.” She said matter-of-factly.
“But she’s just a kid.” I said feeling myself getting riled up
“She still broke the law; I can’t do anything about that.” The cashier said as she typed something into the cash register.
“But what if it was your granddaughter and…” I started.
“My granddaughter would never do something like this.” She shot back, damn near burning a hole through my head.
I dropped my head and paced in front of the counter with my hands over my head, wondering what I could do to reverse the situation. I knew what Kiara had done was wrong; if anyone knew I did, but she was still a kid and had made a mistake.
The woman quickly finished processing my returns and turned to face me with a wad of cash in her hands, along with my return receipt.
“Here you go. Have a good day.” She said shortly.
I reached to take the money and grasped her hand tightly. Up until that moment, I hadn’t cared to know the woman’s name; but my gut was pulling me to do something; I had to start somewhere.
“I’m sorry, what’s your name?” I asked as she eyed my hand closely and slowly pulled it away.
“Glenda.” She said as she shoved both of her hands into her pockets and stared back, defiantly at me.
“I’m Elise; it’s nice to meet you.” I said calmly, hoping I could reel her sensitive side back in.
“Okay…” Glenda trailed off.
“Now a few minutes ago you told me I was doing a great thing by being a teacher; that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I’ve gone from school to school for years to find a way to make a difference. Now I realize it was all so that I could be here, right now, to help Kiara out of her own way.” I said swallowing. “We’ve all made mistakes, right?”
“Yeah, but none of mine have been illegal.” Glenda said quickly.
“And she’s wrong for that, but if she makes one mistake and we throw her to the wolves- instead of taking the time to tell her what she did wrong- then I think we’re doing her a disservice.” I countered.
“How do we even know this is her first time being in trouble?”
“She’s a good kid, Glenda. I wouldn’t vouch for just anyone. But, when I look at her I see…well, I see myself.” I said dropping my head and sucking my teeth.
“And if it’s wrong for me to want to save her, before she embarks on years and years of struggling to find her way, then I guess I’m wrong.” I said. “And if your granddaughter did make a mistake, you’d want someone to be at bat for her- regardless of the mistake, right?”
Glenda stared at me a few minutes before turning and walking off. I was sure that she was walking off to roll her eyes, or cackle with the rest of the customer service workers about how weird I was, but a few minutes after she abruptly left she and Kiara stood before me in an awkward silence.
“I don’t want to see you back in here stealing things. Ms. Elise is going to take you home.” I heard Glenda say sympathetically as she slightly pushed Kiara towards me.
Both of us looked like we were shocked at the outcome, and as we headed towards the exit, Kiara turned back to Glenda and lowly thanked her.
“Where do you live?” I asked as I started my car and stared over at Kiara, who had her head bowed.
“My dad lives in Quincy.”
“Quincy?” I asked, realizing that Kiara lived on the outskirts of Tallahassee.
“How do you go to Leon, living all the way out in Quincy?”
“We use my aunt’s address so I can go to a better school.” She replied, keeping her eyes on her chubby hands. “That was the school my mom went to.”
“Do you live with your dad and mom?”
“Just my dad and nana.” She said keeping her eyes down.
“Where’s your mom?”
“She died when I was a baby.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Thank you.”
After that, the silence in the car could’ve been cut with a knife, but I wasn’t about to let Kiara off the hook the easily. She had some explaining to do and, most of all; she had some realizing to do. I knew she wasn’t a stupid girl, her test scores were always the highest in the class and she was definitely one of the smartest students I’d ever taught.
As we got onto the interstate I looked over at Kiara, who was watching the trees move by, and I cleared my throat, to get her attention.
When she finally looked over at me, it wasn’t long before her head was in her hands and she was weeping loudly.
“What happened? Why were you stealing things?”
Kiara took a moment to think about her answer and, through gasps for air; she tried to explain everything to me.
“I…I’m just tired of them not liking me. They keep saying I’m a goody-two-shoes, just ‘cause I won’t do things that they don’t do.” She said shaking her head and shutting her eyes.
I listened closely, all the while trying to keep my eyes on her and road.
“They have sex. I don’t. They do drugs. I don’t. They steal things. I don’t. So, when Portia Bradley told me that I could hang with her and her girls, I was ready to do whatever to be down.” She said slowing down
“You stole just so a bunch of girls would like you?”
She shook her head silently and continued with her story.
“I was just tired of being different from them. I just wanted them to like me.” She said sounding eerily similar to someone else I knew.
I kept quiet as I thought how strange it was that a 16 year old girl and a 26 year old teacher were experiencing the same emotional roller coasters.
“So, they took me to the mall and we were all in Macy’s and Portia put one thing in her purse and the other girls’ did the same thing. When I got scared, and said I wasn’t doing it, they made fun of me Ms. Washington; so I did what they did, hoping it’d get them to like me.” She said as tears streamed down her cheeks.
“And that’s when you got caught?” I asked curiously.
“No, well, not exactly. I went back, after Portia and the girls had already got on the bus to go home, and I tried to put the things back. That’s when the guy saw me and said he’d caught me stealing.” She said in disbelief. “I did, but I was trying to put it back!” Kiara cried.
I instantaneously knew I was right about Kiara; she was a good kid with the best of intentions but wrong guidance.
“You shouldn’t have to make anyone be your friend.” I said reflecting on my own words.
“I know but…” Kiara said cutting me off.
I put my hand up and let her know I wasn’t finished talking.
“I just want you to listen to me, okay?” I said raising an eyebrow as Kiara nodded her head in agreement.
“When I was 16, I went to juvie.” I said taking a deep breath as I prepared to share a secret with a little girl that I barely knew beyond her test scores and cute face.
Kiara’s eyes widened as she studied my facial features to figure out if I was serious. When I didn’t crack a smile, she sat back in her seat with her mouth open. I was sure she was thinking, “How did my square teacher get in juvie?”
I would’ve been thinking the same exact thing. How did the same teacher who wore loafers and cardigan sweaters happen to be a bad ass in her former life?
“I’ve never really had a lot of friends and I’ve tried so hard to be that girl that has a lot of followers; but that’s just not me.” I said out loud. “But, when I was a junior in high school one of the “cool” senior girls started being really nice to me and I was so excited. I’d go to school everyday hoping that she’d ask me to do something cool with her and when she did, I jumped at the chance. Granted it was just to go to the mall and hang out, but it was something.” I said smiling, as I remembered that day vividly.
“And when we got there it was like she was my best friend. I thought I had finally arrived. I strutted around that mall like I was the queen of it. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t running things.” I said laughing, as Kiara chuckled a little bit too.
“So when she asked me to hold her backpack, I didn’t think anything of it. We went from store to store and each time we’d leave a store, she’d tell me she needed to get something from her backpack; then give it back to me when she was through. So we went into this record store and when I walked in-with her backpack on my shoulder-the alarms started sounding off and I was looking around confused. Before I could turn around and ask my new “BFF” what was going on, she was bolting out of the mall, leaving me standing in the arms of mall security.”
“Dag, that’s messed up.” Kiara said burrowing her eyebrows “She didn’t even stick around and take the heat with you? But you didn’t steal.”
“But security wasn’t trying to hear that and I ended up have to do community service and pay restitution to all the stores that the girl had stolen from.”
Kiara sat in silence, probably thinking how lucky she was that someone had stepped in and saved her from those same consequences, as she bit her bottom lip while contemplating her next question.
“Did the girl ever apologize?” Kiara asked raising her eyebrows in curiosity.
“You know what? That girl never looked at me again after that day; she had the nerve to blame me for getting caught.” I said as I shook my head.
“That’s messed up.”
“But you know what I realized?” I asked as we pulled off on her exit “I wasn’t that girl that was going to do illegal things for friends.” I said peering over to her as she soaked up what I was telling her.
“Me either, Ms. Washington.”
“Even though I still struggle with not having a lot of friends, I know my limits.” I said not looking at Kiara in her face. “And if I don’t, I learn quickly.”
“What do you mean, Ms. Washington? You’ve got friends. Mr. Beagle- the English teacher- is always really nice to you and Ms. Proctor- the lady in the cafeteria- always says what a nice lady you are.” Kiara said counting on her fingers. “And what about Principal Tucker?”
Kiara was absolutely right and, despite my thoughts that I didn’t have any friends, I realized I’d been blocking people out of my life because they didn’t meet my standards of cool friends; the exact things Tamia and other children, growing up, had always done to me.
I’d always had an ideal of how my cool friends would look. They’d be beautifully proportioned, wear trendy clothes, drive fancy cars and be the talk of the town. It never dawned on me that my cool friends might have come in a beat-up Volvo wearing baggy khakis and polo shirts- like Mr. Beagle.
I took a deep gulp and bit my bottom lip before starting to smirk.
In an effort to get more friends, I’d changed who I was completely, and I hadn’t even noticed it. It took a shy, chubby, mini-me to shine a light on the insecurities that had plagued me since I was a child.
“Don’t ever change who you are for anyone, Kiara. Losing your soul, and everything you believe in, isn’t worth a few moments of fun or coolness. Everyone in high school is blending in, trying to be just like everybody else. You don’t have to blend in like them. Blend out, honey. Be proud to blend out.” I begged her.
I could tell my talk with Kiara wasn’t one that I had with most of my students; you know, in one ear and out the other. Kiara was absorbing everything that I was saying and I really appreciated her for that.
“As a teenager, I wish someone would’ve told me the things I know now and had to learn the hard way.” I said as Kiara pointed towards a street for me to turn down.
“Don’t be in such a rush to grow-up, life isn’t going anywhere. I still think about what people will remember me for when I’m gone. I hope, to God, it’s not because I was rushing to jump into a world that I’m now having trouble maneuvering through.” I said cautiously as I continued. “I wish I would’ve slowed down on my quest to be an adult.”
“Laugh off the things people say to you, just because you’re different, and embrace the fact that you’re not like them. Trust me, the older you get the more you blend into the crowd; now’s your chance to blend out. And I know nothing I’m telling you can stop all the mistakes you’re going to make in your life, but just know that some things you can avoid.” I said as I slowed down in front of Kiara’s house.
We sat silent in the car for a few minutes, watching little kids run up and down the shabby street, before Kiara looked at me-with tears in her eyes- and wrapped her arms around my neck.
“Thank you” she whispered.
During my training as a teacher, they taught us to never get too close to a student because you never want to risk a lawsuit; but that day, I wasn’t her teacher and I wasn’t a liability of the Leon County School system. Instead, I was her friend; I had risked a lot to give her another shot at finding her way.
Kiara stood outside of the passenger side door, searching for something to say.
“I’ll see you in sixth period on Monday.” I said winking, as I put my car in drive, just as Kiara held up her hand for me to stop.
“Ms. Washington, you are cool.” She smiled widely, before running off towards her house.
Re-living my pain brought the realization that I was cool all along.
Just like beauty, it was simply in the eye of the beholder.

Ebonee Monique is the author of the forthcoming Suicide Diaries, and you can learn more about her at http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com/


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Devotional: One Choice, One Decision by Jackie Moore



If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise. ~ Robert Fritz


Scripture:
To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 8:9-11 (New International Version) As I look around me at the world today, I wonder, how did we get here? The world has literally gone crazy. People are losing their jobs. Fathers are killing babies. Mothers don’t protect their children the way they used to and those that have would deny those who have not.It would be so easy to say, “that it’s not my fault. I wasn’t the one who caused these problems, somebody else did. I am not the one who took all the money and ran these companies into the ground. It’s not my problem, it’s theirs.”Saints of God, whether you want to admit it or not, it is our problem and it is our fault. We are the ones who chose to live beyond our means. We are the ones who wanted more, more and more. We are the ones who wanted what we want and to hell with those who don’t want it as bad as I do.

We chose to ignore the warning signs that our economy was in danger. We chose to turn a blind eye to those who were less fortunate than ourselves. We wanted what we wanted when we wanted it and in essence, we chose silver and gold over knowledge and rubies instead of wisdom.Now we are in a place that forces our hands and causes us to question our greed for the finer things in life that were bought on the precept of “buy it now and worry about paying for it later.”Now that it is later, what do you choice? What is the right decision to make?

Be Blessed


Prayer:

Father God, as I look at the world around me, my heart is heavy with grief. We choice silver and gold over the things that you taught us in Your word. We choice to turn a blind eye to those who were less fortunate than ourselves and now we find that we too have lost our way. Father God, forgive us for our sinful ways and desires. Help us O’Lord to return to your teachings and to putting our faith and our trust in You. Lord, help us to see the trappings of the devil for what they are, a way to cause havoc and cause us to turn away from You. Lord, I come before the throne of grace asking that You would once again take me down the path that You would have me to follow. Help us Lord, to thirst after Your Word instead of the way of the world. Lord, thank You for keeping me and my household safe from all hurt harm and danger. Your word tells says I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. Help me Father to return to a more righteous way of living. Now Lord, I ask that You would bless those who stand before You in need of a breakthrough. Touch that Father, that Mother who needs to know that the Holy Spirit is with us always, even in bad times and that He will never leave us or forsake us. It is in His most Holy Name that we submit this prayer. Amen.
Learn more about the phenomenal Jacqueline D. Moore and her debut novel, Serving Justice, at www.PeaceInTheStormPublishing.com.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Serving Justice Excerpt


Prologue

"No, that’s not possible. He couldn’t be dead. He’s not supposed to be dead. Oh my God, what have I done? How could God have allowed this to happen?"

With those last words, Angie’s world went black and she fell to her knees. All three of her friends went right down with her. They all surrounded their friend, crying with her and taking on Angie’s pain as if it were their own. "Angie, forgive me I didn’t want to hurt you like this. I wish I could take it all back and make it go away. I’m so very, very sorry," Rhonda whispered through her tears.

"What am I supposed to do? How will I ever be able to tell Tony? I will never be able to face him. It’s over. He will never be able to forgive me. Tell me what to do. I don’t know what to do."
Angie’s cries were like that of a wounded animal. She couldn’t be consoled. There was nothing her friends could do to stop Angie’s cries; to alleviate her sorrow. They tried but couldn’t get her to get up off the floor. They were afraid that if they didn’t do something soon, the restaurant’s employees might call the police.

"Angie, you have got to get a hold of yourself. Someone may call the police. We will work this out. We won’t let you go through this alone. We will be there for you and do everything that we can to help you get through this but you must help us. Come on let’s get you up off the floor, please!"
The friends let Angie cry until she was all cried out. They decided that she shouldn’t be left alone tonight and determined that Theresa would be the best person to stay with her. None of them had an appetite and were certain it was time for them all to go home.

As they stood outside in the crisp night air, it seemed to have a calming effect on Angie. She had finally stopped crying and stood there lost in her own world of anguish. They were able to hail a cab and Theresa helped Angie into the car and rode home with her.

"Theresa, tell me, was there something that I could have done to prevent this? I mean, what did I do that was so bad other than try to do my job. He didn’t deserve what I did to him."
"It is not for us to understand why God allows certain things to happen. Everyone is here for a time and a season. Unfortunately, he lost his way and there was no one there to help him find it again," Theresa consoled.

"There is a price for everything that we obtain in life. So often that price is total submission to the will of God. He will often allow adversity to come into our lives just so he can show up and show out. Won’t you trust him, please?"
Order your copy of Serving Justice today at www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com.

Monday, March 30, 2009

You Can Run But You Can't Hide by Jackie Moore


Remember, be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid. ~Basil King

Scripture:But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. Jonah 1: 3-4 (New International Version)

Recently, I asked a friend, “Why am I compelled to do these messages?” Needless to say, my friend couldn’t answer my question but rather said, “I don’t know, but I thank God that you do.”


You see saints, often times it is very painful to write about some of the things that I do. I sometimes feel that it is a great weight that I carry. No matter how much I try to deviate from writing these messages, I often find myself sitting here with a new story to tell. I realize that I have been given a mission by God and as much as may want to rebel, God will not allow it.

So it is with each and every one of us. God has given each of us a mission. It is our responsibility to carry out that mission whether we want to or not. When we try to walk along a path that is not of God, He will allow things to happen to in our lives that will force us back on the right path. You may be in the wrong relationship, pursuing the wrong job, or maybe you have just ignored the word of God and are following the world instead of following Him. Maybe just like Jonah, you have been given a directive by God but because you don’t want to do it, you try to run away from it. Maybe you are doing things in your life that God finds unacceptable. Or maybe, you have decided that you just don’t want to listen to what God is trying to tell you.I just want to let you know, that if there is something that God wants you to do, He will wear you down until you do it. If you are not listening to his voice, I urge you to pay close attention because God can and will get your attention, by any means necessary.


Be blessed


Prayer:Father God, I come before the throne of grace seeking Your face and Your favor. Lord, often times I hear Your voice and tremble. I tremble because I know that I am not doing your will but rather following my own. Forgive me Lord. I pray that You would forgive me for my mistakes of yesterday and I pray that You would find favor with me once again. Lord, I come standing in the gap for my family and friends. I pray for the family who lost a mother and the family who lost a young child. So many need so much. I ask that You would comfort those who are heartbroken, assure those who are at a lost, strengthen those who are weak. Lord, help us to realize just how blessed we are. We may not have all that we want, but you continue to supply all of our needs. Lord, we just want to thank You for all that You have done in our lives and for all that You are about to do. Keep us all in perfect peace and help us to keep our minds and our hearts set on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.
Jackie Moore is the author of Serving Justice. Order your copy of Serving Justice today at www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com!