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Ladies Magazine

The Second Issue

Letting Go Is Good For The Soul by Kate Pereira

Dear Girl, a good man will still want you..... Felicia Delta

The Challenge of Faith by Christine Tate Reasonable Service the Olive Brittain story

Lessons in the Desert by Sherry Stahl A Servant's Garden by Laura Harrris

And much more......

Elise McMillan | Elise's Photography | Owner& Photographer Dalton Road, Delhi, On. N4B 2W4

{E} {W} {FB} - Be sure to “like” Elise’s Photography Facebook Page

In this issue Page 2 Sherry Stahl Lessons in the Desert Page 4 Free Yourself for the Summer Page 6 Dear Girl, A Good Man Will Still Want You Page 7 Coffee Breaks With Jesus Page 8 The Challenge of Faith

f.a.i.t.h. Magazine We exist to encourage and inspire women to grow into their purpose in the Kingdom of God. Whether we encourage them to make it through another day, or inspire them to reach new heights - we desire to meet and serve them right where they are. Because right where they are, is right where Jesus is.

Page 10 Get POSH Ministry

to see more of what we are about and to access the on line version please visit

Page 12 Reasonable Service Page 14 A Baby Girl is Nothing to Celebrate?

we would love to hear from you

Page 16 A Servant's Garden

We believe that sharing our stories is an important part of ministry "But to those who can't see it yet, everything comes in stories, creating readiness, nudging them towards receptive insight." Mark 4:12 (the message bible) "They overcame by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony" Revelation 12:11

Page 18 Finding Joy in the Pouring Pain Page 20 Single Mom Dating Dilemma

Kate Pereira

creator of f.a.i.t.h


A Lesson Learned Only in the Desert A Lesson Learned Only in the Desert By Sherry Stahl By Sherry Stahl Author of Water In The Desert

I’ve always been an energetic, bouncy, happy person, but travelling in the desert can leave you so dry and dehydrated that you’re left with only a shell of yourself. I graduated High School from Cayuga Secondary School filled with a sense of God’s calling on my life for ministry. I went to Bible College and loved it! I finally felt like I truly belonged. People shared the same passions that I lived for. Studying with like-minded people energized me! I was sure that when I graduated I would set the world on fire for Christ! During my last year of College I was swept off my feet by a charismatic guy. We would talk for hours about how we would make a difference in this world. He spent so much time visiting me at College and that made me feel special…loved. He joined me in ministry where I was a Jr. High Youth Pastor. I thought my future was set, but my dreams turned into nightmares as I quickly learned that I did not marry the man I dated. By the first month of our marriage my husband began threatening divorce. I lived with a constant dread for 20 years that we would end in divorce. It’s a horrible way to live. Our marriage was a roller-coaster ride of emotions. One day feeling like everything was going to work out fabulously and then devastated by hurtful words and more threats of divorce. In desperation I would cling to any offer of love sent my way…any shred of hope that this horrible mess could turn around. After the years of emotional turmoil my heart was battered and broken. I felt unloved, even unlovable. When divorce actually happened the depths of despair seemed bottomless. I was afraid I might not be able to come out of it, but I held onto God’s Word and it kept me going. Micah 7:8 was a key verse that God used to encourage me: “…though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.” (NIV) I quoted this verse to myself, especially when I didn’t feel like I would rise above my circumstances. It stirred up hope inside of me! During the time of my divorce I read through a book written by a friend of mine. A is for Apple by Peggy Kennedy became the well God was using to bring me water in my desert! The devotions, so eloquently written guided me through the Song of Songs. They taught me, to a much deeper level than I ever knew, how I am the Lord’s beloved. When I felt the most unloved the truth began soaking into my heart that I was loved! When I read Peggy’s devotion, “D is for Desert” on Song of Songs 8:5 it profoundly affected me. “Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” (NIV) As I read the verse I could see myself walking “up”, over a sand hill in the desert, arms locked, leaning on my Lord; like a couple in love! In an instant I knew that this desert time wasn’t going to a waste. God was using this journey to show me how great His love was for me. If I learned to “lean” in on Him, I would come “up” from the desert! Hope began to overflow in my heart. Circumstances didn’t have the stranglehold on me that they had before. It’s not that I didn’t have emotions, but they didn’t cut so deep anymore! I was learning to lean on my Lord, the one who calls me beloved. I was loved and I began to feel lovely. Too many times us girls lean on the wrong arm. We give our hearts to the wrong people and end up broken. We try to stand on our own. We lean on love relationships with men, or friendships with girls. We lean on our job, the bottle or the drug. None of these crutches can hold us up like we need to be held. The result can leave us falling to the ground, with no way up. Only God can truly lift us up out of any desert circumstance. The best lesson I learned in the desert was to make my relationship with God the most beloved of all my relationships. Today I am walking with a slight bent…leaning on the lover of my soul! Girls, I hope you learn to walk like I do. It’s this leaning posture that positions you for the great adventure God has in store 2 for your life, as you walk with Him, “up” out of your desert!

Sherry Stahl is an author, speaker and blogger. Happily remarried, she is a mother of two, and stepmom to another two, all great kids. She travels North America preaching and teaching, Lessons Learned in the Desert along with other messages of hope! Sherry and her husband Todd; author of 40 Days In The Man Cave, have started where individuals can sign-up to read through one of their devotional books and receive daily emails to keep motivated throughout the challenge. Churches can take the Challenge using the Campaign Toolboxes to make the program a complete success, engaging their members in daily devotions. Let the Stahl’s travel with you or your church to greater spiritual growth!

Here’s how to connect with Sherry: (Website with her Soul H2O Blog) Email: Facebook: AuthorSherryStahl Twitter: @sherry_stahl Instagram: @sherry_stahl

Soul H2O

An inspirational and refreshing blog, Soul H20 is published weekly every Monday morning on Sherry's blog.


Free yourself for the summer Letting go is good for the soul…

A synonym for defeat is loss. How true is that? Not being able to relinquish unhealthy and painful emotions is definitely a personal loss. A personal loss of control, emotional health, joy, peace, I’m sure the list goes on.. Sometimes, we don’t want to let go. What is familiar is often comforting. Not that something painful is comforting; but perhaps holding onto our own justification of why something hurt us appears for a time to help us through. When we justify feeling the way we do, perhaps we see no need to let go. We are just fine thank you PHOTO BY ELISE PHOTOGRAPHY

“Just let it go girl”. When facing a difficult season in life, or perhaps the aftermath of the storm, this is one of the worst things someone can say to you. Just let it go - really? Like I didn’t know I needed to. My response was always “I know, I’ve tried, I’ve really tried.” Let’s be honest, letting go is hard to do. For years I told myself and everyone else that I just couldn’t do it- that I had tried and tried, and it was no longer my fault that I was hanging on. In fact I wasn't the one hanging on - it was in fact hanging on to me. Mhm... I had given in to my feelings, and succumbed to the idea that the feelings of my past would always taint the thoughts of my future. Not being able to let go of something is in itself, a variation of self-defeat. Subtle perhaps, because we don’t often see it that way.

very much. Knowing that someone doesn’t deserve our forgiveness because the hurt goes so deep; or that something was just so unfair might keep us from ‘just letting go’. We can get defensive and say ‘but it’s complicated’. I agree with you sister - it always is. Perhaps you think you own your feelings instead of your feelings owning you. Take a few moments and reflect on some of the more difficult issues in your life. Determine if they warrant ‘letting go’. Search your heart to see if you have let them go, like really and truly let them go. Try writing it down or journaling. I know that sounds way too simple, but what if we start a Let It Go Journal. I am certain there will be no problems filling the pages. As long as we are here on this earth, there will forever be things to let go of. I’m sure the gratitude journal won’t mind sharing a page or two for the purpose of emotional release.

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Write down the person or issue you are struggling Healing is different for everyone, there is no one right method. Just as we are all unique individuals, so are the methods that bring us healing. Some of us require dialogue, others symbolic gestures, reading in books, writing journals, some sort of closure. Whatever it may be, we all handle things in a slightly different manner. Moving on is not the same as letting go. You can have moved on while still clutching to old hurts, habits and regrets, but you can only get so far. Perhaps it may be that letting go of a hurtful situation all at once feels overwhelming, or that your trauma is being minimized. It’s frustrating when people suggest you do something, but then don’t tell you how to do it. But before you can figure out the solution you need to acknowledge the need. Problems don’t often solve before they are realized. Take time today for realization. Perhaps it is time to take an emotional inventory. Are there negative thoughts or feelings you are overstocked in, and you know you really shouldn’t be?

with. Then write down why you think you have not been able to let it go. I know, once again, it sounds way too simple to even give it a try. But it’s powerful. Seeing your thoughts in writing can change your perspective. And since it is you that you are dealing with, isn’t your perspective the only one that matters? The only one that needs to change? I think that you will have no trouble writing down your issues. However when that second part comes, you might find it harder to justify to yourself why you are holding onto the negativity, unforgiveness, bitterness, and the inner turmoil that comes with all of that. That burden is heavy – cut yourself some slack…gently, carefully and purposefully let go of those emotions that are drowning your soul and poisoning your future. Be sure to pen that as well. Write down that you are letting that thing go – write it down as many times as you need to. You can read it back to yourself and remind yourself that it’s over. That chapter has closed and you are purposefully moving on. Letting go is very much a mindset. It’s very much a conscious choice. A few of my close friends and I once had a letting go party. There were plenty of tears, some laughter, and of course plenty of chocolate! We shared what we had been struggling with and prayed together. At the end of the evening we wrote words on small pieces of paper that we each felt we needed to release. Words that represented our emotions, such as fear, anger, rejection etc. We prayed for each other as we folded our feelings and placed them carefully in a balloon. We continued praying for each other as we released our balloons as a symbolic gesture of releasing our issues to the Lord. I encourage you to lighten your load today. Free

Have a balloon Release Party this summer.

yourself for the summer. Free your future!

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Dear Girl, a Good Man Will Still Want You Dear Girl, You’ve written me many times because you have many different faces. You’re blonde. You’re brunette. Sometimes you have dreads. You wear long skirts; you have tattoos. You wear purity rings, you have wayfarer glasses. You’re you. You’re as diverse and vibrant as the autumn leaves: coming in every shape and color, beautiful to those who see you twirling in the winds of life. You’re all different. But there’s a common thread that unites you; a commonality that makes the many into one. You’re one dear girl worried about one hard thing: Will a good man want me? We live in a world singed around the edges with the black burning of sin. And not just singed, but rotting at the core; not just touched by darkness, but dwelling in it. And then there’s you: the light-child, the one born newly with a lantern in her heart. You’re a differencemaker. But it’s hard to forget the scars, isn’t it? It’s hard to forget when you’ve been burned. We’ve all been touched by that burning, whether we chose it or not. Sin’s fingers grasp our hearts from the moment we enter this fallen world, leaving marks we can’t erase by any good work of our own. And then we grow up, and can choose to let that grasp tighten on our being or let Grace break us free. But even the free forget their freedom, sometimes. Even the free think more of their own scars than the scars of Him who crushed their shackles and broke their chains. Dear girl, I know what you’re doing. I see you in your room, looking at holy Words. You disbelieve the promises because a voice tells you the scarred and broken don’t deserve a second chance. You think good men come from a high and holy sphere, beyond the reach of the crumb-eaters and the robe-graspers. But you’ve forgotten something. Good men are good by Grace alone. You feel so undeserving of a godly love. You think that who you are dictates the hope of your future. But who you are has nothing to do with this, and if who you are has no bearing on your salvation, who he is has no bearing either.

The ground is level at the foot of the Cross. You may think your story is too alarming for a good man to handle. You may think no godly man could love a woman with a past like yours. Listen: God’s men are draped in the same unmerited favor that you are. There is no favoritism. There is no better-than. But there is hope. Dear girl, good men aren’t good because of what they’ve personally achieved. They are good because they are grateful for Grace. Because they understand the depth and height and breadth of the love they have received, they strive to live that love as the men God made them to be. In loving you, God’s man will reveal God’s grace. It may take time, meeting God’s man. You have to choose trust instead of hopelessness. It’s this testing-period we call singleness – a trial, really – that only becomes a gift when we see the strength God’s given us through dependence on Him. God isn’t using your past as His outline for your future – and neither should you. I’m a married woman now, but I once stood where you stand. I’m not married because of any great thing I did, any prayer I prayed, or any 5-step program I implemented. I’m married because God saw fit to use a good man to teach me more about His grace. And right now, in this singleness-trial, He’s teaching you. Don’t let Satan speak condemnation over a daughter of the Living God. Don’t let him snuff out the lantern in your heart. Dear girl, a good man will still want you, no matter what you’ve done. He won’t want you because of your past or in spite of it. He’ll want you because you’re God’s woman: the kind of woman whose attachment to Grace echoes his own. He won’t be looking for you to prove yourself. He’ll be looking for a hand to hold in this walk toward eternity. Because to him, your love is the favor he didn’t deserve.

About the Author

My name is Phylicia, I'm sort of like Susie Homemaker meets business casual. Mary Janes and cold frames. Apple pies and Excel files. Lipstick and running shoes. That's who I am, and that's what you will find on this blog. I believe in loving God and loving life, learning to be a lady of both sophistication and simplicity. My name is Phylicia, and I'm a project of Proverbs 31.


To read more from this fantastic woman of God please visit

coffee breaks with Jesus

In the beginning { of my day } was the Word { and it was with Coffee } Courtney is a follower of Jesus, drinker of coffee, and avid daydreamer. Because coffee is her love language, she started her own blog, Coffee Breaks With Jesus.

Get a journal if you’d like, I’m a visual person so sometimes it help me to rewrite a verse, what I took from it and maybe doodle something to help me memorize it. After you read your Bible take time to talk your Saviour. He’s a great listener, so talk to Him about anything and everything. I have a 30 minute commute to work every day, so I drive a lot, to make good use of this time I’ve

Mornings are not my thing, there is nothing more painful than crawling out of my warm bed and getting ready for another workday. You would think that after all these years it would get easier, right? This struggle has led to my unhealthy obsession with coffee, I drink a lot of coffee. So much that my friends poke fun at it! But hey, whatever makes the morning easier right? However coffee isn’t the only thing that makes my morning easier. No the best mornings are when I get up and have a cup of coffee with Jesus. Seriously nothing can ruin my morning, I am invincible! I know life gets crazy, days get longer, and nights get shorter, but one thing that remains the same is Jesus. But spending just a few minutes of my morning with Jesus just recharges my soul. If you don’t already have a system for spending time with Jesus in the morning then I hope that I can inspire you start doing it.

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” Psalm 143:8

The Bible is one great big lover letter, no one will ever love you as much as Jesus already does. So start your morning spending time in His Word finding out about His love, what He’s done for you, what He’s done for others. The great thing about the Bible is you can start at the beginning, in the middle or read it backwards. There is no right or wrong way to read it just as long as you read it! Sometimes I start with a certain book, sometimes I randomly open to any page and read, or if I’m dealing with a particular circumstance I will find verses that pertain to that. The Bible has lots of great advice and encouragement about every difficulty that you go through. There has never been a problem that I’ve faced that a verse couldn’t help me with. Google is great for this, and so is the Bible phone app. So your first plan of action is to simply open up the Bible

made a Spotify playlist with worship songs and I just pray. From the time I leave my home to the time I pull in at work I pray about everything. I usually start with thanking God for my morning, for coffee and for to-go mugs (but seriously… Praise God!). I ask Him to go before me that day and give me favor with my boss, my job and whatever else is on my agenda for the day. I pray for the people I love and the days they have before them. Sometimes I pray about anything that I’m struggling with, anything prayer requests I’ve gotten from my loved ones. . Sometimes I pray for my church and it’s leaders. I also pray for government leader and their decisions. I pray about my future because time is non-existent to God. He is here, He is past and He is future. Those 30 minutes set up the rest of my day, I can go to work in a good mood or I can let every little issue drive me insane. It’s your choice! Make your requests known to God because He loves you and He cares. “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3 Journals are also great for praying. I like to keep a list of prayer requests along with the date of the request, before long you will able to cross them off and write the day that they were answered. That’s an awesome feeling! This is a great faith boost when you are feeling down or discouraged, because he heard you then and He hears you now! So set your alarm, don’t touch that snooze button (I know it’s hard, but It’ll be worth it!), get out of bed, brew yourself a nice cup of coffee and spend some time with Jesus. Read His incredible love letter, crank up some worship music and pray. Pray like your day depends on it, because it does! Just watch your mornings and your whole day change just because you gave Him the first of your day. Because when you give Jesus the best, He always blesses the rest!

and read it. The Bible app has a ton of great devotional plans for studying God’s Word, and I also love the blog She Reads Truth, it’s a great resource!


The Challenge of Faith By Christine Tate

When I was little, I struggled with the concept of faith. Yes, I knew there was a God, but that’s not the kind of faith I’m talking about. The struggle I had was with the kind of faith that comes when you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God is going to step in and take care of everything. The kind of faith that brings peace and contentment because you know that no matter what, you have nothing to worry about with God at the helm. It seemed I was always asking my mother, “But how do you know (fill in the blank). Where’s the proof?” Her answer was always the same. She would patiently say for the hundredth or thousandth time, “First you have to believe, then God will show you the proof.” Not the answer I was looking for at the time, but a wise answer that I now recognize was full of inspired, Godly guidance. As I grew in both years and maturity, it seemed that God gave me plenty of opportunities to practice stepping out into the unknown with only Him as my safety net and no assurances of anything. God used unfamiliar people, unfamiliar places and unfamiliar situations to take me out of my comfort zone to highlight that all I really had was Him. When that wasn’t enough to get my attention, He threw obstacles, problems and brick walls at me as if to say, “Now are you willing to rely on me and admit you can’t do this on your own?” Of course, I wasn’t willing to admit that God could and would take care of things better than I ever could so He threw more obstacles, problems and brick walls in my way. When you don’t learn your lesson the first time, God will keep taking you around the same mountain until you get it right just like He did with the Israelites in the desert for forty years. Unfortunately, I needed a few more trips around the mountain than most. Throughout all the challenges that came my way, I was still going to church, praying, reading the Bible and growing in my walk with the Lord. Then, one day, somewhere along the way, I can’t say exactly when, it finally occurred to me that somehow, miraculously, everything did always tend to work out despite anything I did or didn’t do. When I contracted mono, God healed me. Not in my time, but His. When I worked for that boss, you know, the one no one wants to work for, He led me out of my Egypt. It took a few years and it certainly wasn’t in my timeframe, but it did happen.


W hen I was lost in my career search,

The Bible says “Now faith is the substance of God showed me the way to go. When I was in a things hoped for, the evidence of things not major car crash and incurred serious injuries, He seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV) When you let go sustained my life. The healing process was long long enough to let God show you what He has and drawn out, but He did eventually heal me. I planned for you, you’ll see the proof of everything you’ve been hoping for. could have easily died that day, but He proved His protective presence by saving my life. When It must be an unwritten law that mothers are I dated the boy that gave me chronic stress and always right because mine always seems to have the right answers. Through the passage of my parents many sleepless nights, He time and many years of spiritual growth, I can eventually replaced that relationship with the now look back and see exactly what she was one, true soul mate He created for me to spend talking about. I don’t need proof anymore my life with. Again, it didn’t happen overnight, because I’ve seen God’s proof over the years. but it did happen. My mother’s words rang Reminding myself of all the times He has been through my ears. Was this the proof she had there for me in the past gives me the strength of been talking about so many years ago? faith to face whatever currently challenges me in Eventually, after enough life lessons, I realized my life. But, true to my mother’s words, having that faith is more than just believing. It’s about the proof only comes after you step out without giving up control. For a Type A personality like any assurances and give God the opportunity to me, that’s no easy task. I’m the type of person give you proof. And really, if you have proof up who doesn’t easily give up the driver’s seat. Or front, then it’s not true faith, is it? at least the perception that I was ever in the driver’s seat at all. When we fail to let go of our Christine Tate is the author of “The No-Homework Women’s Bible Study: Group Hug” series, perceptions of control, we prevent God from available through Stationed in stepping in to take real control and show us Virginia Beach, VA, she is also a military wife, what He can do when we let Him. I say perceptions of control because control is just an homeschooling mom and has a passion for gardening and Starbuck’s green tea. illusion that we let ourselves believe. We have about as much control over our lives as we do over our heart beating or the sun rising each morning. The real challenge of faith is being able to let go Facebook Page: The No-Homework Women's Bible long enough to give God a chance to show you Study: Group Hug by Christine Tate what He can do. It sounds like such a simple Join the Conversation and put the fun back in task, but it can be the hardest thing you’ll ever your women's small group Bible study today! do. We have to get out of the way before God will make a way for us. All He asks is that we believe. Believe that He is a can do God. Believe that He is a will do God. Believe that He is a won’t-let-you-down God. God loves you enough to protect you, guide you and lead you through any circumstance or situation that comes your way and He will take care of everything. Ironically, when you let go so God can get started with His plans, you start to see how much better He can take care of things than you ever could. It’s a humbling experience to have to admit God doesn’t need your help. 9

Get P.O.S.H.

Building Self Esteem in Women and Teen Girls

Get P.O.S.H.

empowers women

through the ministry of beauty! They provide beauty and wellness

services for free or at

low cost to women who are underprivileged and in impoverished situations.

Sheila Walls

Sheila leads a team of volunteers that share in her vision and desire to use their talents to serve the women in need.

Get P.O.S.H. Ministry, Inc 7749 Galemeadows Court Ft. Worth, TX 76123 O| 817-372-1762 F| 817-349-0074 Facebook: Get Posh Ministries Twitter: GetPoshMinistry 10

Meet Sheila Walls, one inspiring and fabulous human being. Get P.O.S.H Ministry, Inc. was founded by this dynamite women's empowerment enthusiast. She is dedicated to enhancing the lives of disadvantaged women and young teens. Sheila leads a team of volunteers that share in her vision and desire to use their talents to serve the women in need. Located in Forth Worth Texas, get P.O.S.H. empowers women through the ministry of beauty! They provide beauty and wellness services for free or at low cost to women who are underprivileged and in impoverished

situations. They collaborate with non profit organizations, community programs, local churches and schools to expand our reach and become directly involved in the lives of these women. What does P.O.S.H mean? Positioned and Ordered Steps by Him P.O.S.H is an acronym for Positioned and Ordered Steps by Him and is based on the scripture found in Psalms 37:23-26. Positioned by GodFrom faith to fashion, He has placed us in perfect position to be a witness to others in how we represent His kingdom. Ordered and Ordained-

Our destiny has been pre-determined. By studying His word we are able to define and fulfill our destinies. Steps- Our steps are ordered by God and He is delighted to see us walk in them. Him- We are made in His image and are made complete and whole by embracing what His word says about who we are. Often times it is hard for women who are experiencing financial hardships to see herself as beautiful. Her selfesteem is destroyed by the many obstacles and issues she's facing.

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Statistics show: · Girls today are prone to low self-esteem. 78% admit that it is hard to feel good in school when you do not feel good about how you look. · Three-fourths of girls with low self-esteem engage in negative activities, such as disordered eating, bullying, smoking or drinking. · One of the main factors in teen promiscuity is self-esteem · Only 2% of women think they are beautiful · 90% of all women want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance. Statistics also have shown that just by receiving a simple makeover and a little pampering her confidence will soar! Our vision is to see every woman feel better, feel more empowered and ready to go out into the world and achieve her dreams Last month Get P.O.S.H.

had the joy of teaching a group of teens at ACH Services about skin care and makeup. Teenagers who have been victims of abuse and possibly victims of human trafficking! A Posh Clinic provided them with new tools necessary to learn how to love themselves again and a course on how to “properly” wear makeup for everyday. Simple things that we take for granted but has been stolen from them. It is no secret how vital having a healthy selfesteem is for success in life. Our Posh Girl’s Workshop in April turned into a workout! Fitness Trainer Shonda Dombrowsky (Restored to Fitness) joined our teen girls ages 13-17 and taught about fitness and nutrition as we did a quick Zumba class! This monthly event builds self esteem in teen girls; opening up their ability

to reach for higher goals and become a productive part of the communities in which they live. This Summer we will launch our first Fit2ReLease Bootcamp which will include a balloon release celebration! We are partnering with fitness trainer Ivorie Ford of Performance Experience and surrounding ministries and non-profits to come together for a morning of fitness and then… Release! Log onto our website for details about the Fit2ReLease Boot camp Celebration coming in August 2015! All of this, and so much more, is only possible

because of God. Yet YOU play a huge role in it as well. Please visit our website and connect with us via Facebook and Twitter to learn how you can partner with us . Together, we continue to see God’s hand guide us as we build selfesteem in women and teen girls; empowering them to become all that God called them to be! Stay Posh! Sheila R Walls, Founder & Executive Director


Reasonable Service Reasonable Service is the true story of single missionary Olive Brittain who served in India from 1954 to 1991. Share her adventures as she teaches school beside a den of tigers, goes pony trekking in the Himalayas and faces communists invading Assam. Battle alongside her through bouts of dysentery, malaria and heart attacks while still giving thanks. Above all, learn to love the resilient and proud Indian people as she did.

As an 89 year old senior citizen, Olive Brittain has earned the right to rest. She spent her adult life serving as a single missionary in India. While others stayed home, married and raised families, Olive taught Indian college students and ran VBS clubs and camps for the children, returning to Canada only once every four years. Hers was a happy and fulfilled life in service to her Lord. She retired from the field in 1991 at the age of 61. After almost 40 years as a missionary, no one would have blamed her for attending church and giving the occasional devotional in a ladies meeting at Bethel Baptist in Simcoe. However, God had other plans for Olive. Even before the flurry of invitations to speak at her supporting churches slowed, Olive continued her home ministry of visiting the elderly ensconced in nursing homes and hospitals. When the pastor asked her to teach a Bible Survey course to the seniors for Sunday School, she didn’t hesitate. And while she bathed each lesson in prayer, she didn’t forget her beloved Indian nationals. Olive founded Ministries that Multiply as a way to send Christian literature and study aids to pastors and schools who would otherwise never be able to afford them. She places her orders through GLEAM, an organization based in Pennsylvania. Their mission is to ship containers of donated books to disadvantaged Christians in third world countries. Letters of gratitude from India began to fill her mailbox. As the years passed Olive still accepted speaking engagements from churches, continued her seniors visitation ministry, and participated in church ministries – sending Christmas gifts to orphans in the Philippines, donating food to disadvantaged families and spending hours in prayer for missionaries around the world. In 2009 Olive made the painful decision to give up her drivers license. The cost of operating and maintaining her vehicle became too much for someone on a fixed income. It seemed that her ministry days were over. Although spontaneous visits became a thing of the past, God provided friends who pick her up and accompany her on trips to continue her ministry to local seniors. Recently Olive completed work on her biography Reasonable Service. Last year, at her home church Bethel Baptist she began a Tuesday morning Coffee Hour for seniors in the church gymnasium. It’s just another opportunity for fellowship with believers and to share the gospel with visitors. So when is ministry over? For those with a servants heart, not until we’re called home to glory.

Olive continues to serve Jesus in Simcoe Ontario. To find our more about her book and how you can 12

order a copy please visit All proceeds are being donated to Bearing Precious Seed Print Ministry towards the Canada Gospel Project.

A Note From Auntie Olive "For years people told me I should write a book, I'm still amazed that after all this time it's finally happened. DeAnna and I combed through boxes of prayer letters, hundreds of photographs and called or emailed most of the people mentioned to complete Reasonable Service. My prayer is that while you enjoy my "story", God will be glorified."

On tour to the Lambadi villages in 1957.

Refrigerator provided by donations in 1956

The gospel record player 1957

Auntie Olive with the children she loved so much

Article and book by DeAnna Kirkwood


A Baby Girl is Nothing To Celebrate Gospel For Asia

At last, the baby began to crown, and with him came the fulfillment of his parents’ wishes. Five years of barrenness, five years of bitter arguments—this baby would put it all in the past. He would bring pride to the family, reap a dowry from his bride and help provide for the family. He would restore his family’s joy. As the baby took his first breaths, however, something wasn’t right, and hopes built up over the last nine months quickly died away. Mayuri and Rafat’s little boy turned out to be a little girl—and that was nothing to celebrate. Five years earlier, Mayuri’s hope hadn’t been for a baby boy but for a harmonious family life. While Mayuri’s father, Ekaling, spent his days drinking, gambling and chasing after women, Mayuri went to work every day with her mother, Olimani. Together, they earned enough to feed the family of five— except for when Ekaling demanded their wages. If Mayuri and Olimani refused, Ekaling would beat them. Sometimes, he’d beat Olimani without any excuse. Olimani worshipped all the deities she could, especially the local goddesses, in hopes that they would change her husband, but Ekaling remained the same. Finally, she decided to give 14-year-old Mayuri the escape she couldn’t have herself and arranged Mayuri’s marriage and a new life for her. But before Mayuri’s 20th birthday, she would wish for a second escape. 14

Life with Mayuri’s new husband, Rafat, seemed promising in the beginning, but within a few years, the young couple’s infertility created tension in the family. In South Asian cultures, women are blamed when a couple can’t produce children. For more than four years, Mayuri bore the couple’s failure alone. hen Mayuri finally became pregnant, happiness returned to the home, but it only lasted nine months. Rafat expected a son, and when a daughter came, he refused to celebrate. He made certain to fully punish his 19-year-old wife for their child’s gender. A few years later, a second daughter followed, and Rafat’s abuse doubled, and his mother joined in on the torment. Rafat spoke badly about Mayuri in front of the family, and just like Mayuri’s father, he began beating his wife. Rafat threatened to leave the marriage, but in the end, it was Mayuri who fled. Her in-laws rejoiced at her departure. With nowhere else to go, Mayuri returned home. After all Olimani had dreamed for her then-14-year-old daughter, she grieved to see Mayuri now. The child had years of marital abuse to match her own, and now she had two daughters to provide for alone. Mayuri’s father was gone. He had married another woman, and now both his wife and daughter could cross off the men who abused them from the long list of struggles they faced.


Mayuri set out to find work and came across a liaison who said he could get her work as a maid in another country, as long as she paid her own way there. The cost was more than she had, so she found people to lend her the money. Once again, however, Mayuri’s hopes were crushed. The man was a fake, and after he took Mayuri’s money, he left her carrying a load of debt—with interest. Like her mother did before, Mayuri begged every deity she knew to save her life, but night after night, she and her daughters went to sleep hungry. She only saw one option left: become a prostitute to keep her children from starving. Although Olimani didn’t approve of the new job, she could hardly tell Mayuri to stop—not with her two daughters to provide for and large debt to pay off. The neighbors, however, were less merciful and made clear how much they despised the whole family. Years later, when a doctor discovered a tumor in Mayuri’s abdomen, she had no one to tell but her gods, and if history was any indication, they would offer her nothing. In search of healing, Mayuri visited many temples and offered sacrifices, but her condition continued to worsen. One day, however, Gospel for Asia pastor Patakin offered her the chance to pray to a different God. It wasn’t the first time Pastor Patakin had told Mayuri about Jesus. While other villagers did their best to avoid her, Pastor Patakin had dared on numerous occasions to visit the prostitute’s home. Normally, Mayuri ignored the pastor’s words, but when he invited her to a Christmas service at his church, she decided to go. Years of being shunned had taught Mayuri to expect the worst when she walked into the church. But instead of condemnation, the believers gave her true, unflinching love. Mayuri left full of joy, and she eagerly returned each Sunday afterward. During one Sunday service, Mayuri was touched as Pastor Patakin shared Psalm 91:15-16: “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” Pastor Patakin spoke of many women whom Christ had healed from deadly diseases. “If you pray to God, He will heal you and give long life to you,” he said. Mayuri believed and put her trust in God. Then, like all the women Pastor Patakin had talked about, she experienced the Lord’s healing touch. As Mayuri watches her two daughters grow older, she is grateful to know their lives will be very different from the first 35 years of her own life. Their father is gone, but they have an en re church congregation that loves and supports them. And as they attend Sunday school each week, they are growing in their relationship with a heavenly Father who provides for every need. After God healed Mayuri’s cancer, she continued to see His faithfulness as He provided respectable work as a daily wage laborer, which lets her send her daughters to school. “Today, I am living; that is only by the grace of God,” Mayuri said. “I was totally healed from my sickness by the blood of Christ. … Now I am living by faith in Jesus Christ.” By the grace of God, Mayuri’s life has been transformed, but millions of women in South Asia still wait for a glimpse of hope. This is where Gospel For Asia comes into play. They have made a gripping new documentary film telling the untold story of millions of women in South Asia who are abused and trampled for no other reason than the fact that they are women.

Take a heartfelt journey through the eyes of these women, and others, who unveil their personal stories of rejection, abandonment, tragedy and even triumph. Get a glimpse of the true resilience of the human spirit and the hope that has changed the lives of millions like these and is helping change millions more. Narrated by Grammy-Nominated Recording Artist Natalie Grant, this film was shot on-location across the stunning nation of India in some of the most remote tribal villages in the world today. This is a journey where few outsiders have gone before. While the film, "Veil of Tears", brings into focus the truth behind a dark reality existing in the world today, we are excited to highlight the hope of Christ being given to countless millions of women each day through the work and ministry of Gospel For Asia. Please take the time to visit the website and pray for our precious sisters in Asia , and for this missionaries who are laying their lives on the line to bring the good news of Jesus.

Gospel for Asia is a large Christian missionary NGO founded by K. P. Yohannan in 1978, focused on spreading the Gospel to India and Asian countries through the use of national missionaries. visit to see how you can help today. 15

A Servant's Garden By Laura Harris

When I was young, my grandmother wrote a special poem in my birthday card each year. She always wrote about the beauty of God’s creation, how the morning doves sang with the rising sun or how the lilies stretched toward heaven. Despite a tremor that developed in her hand with age, grandma’s stanzas were always written in patient and steady lines. She wrote like she did everything in life. Patiently. Consistently. Every morning, she sang hymns with gentle vibrato as she went about her day, sometimes bouncing one finger in the air with each note. Every summer, she tended her garden with a nurturing hand. And every week, she visited the sick, downtrodden and lonely people in her community. When I traveled to southern Michigan to visit grandma, I experienced one or all of these things about her. Often, I was directly involved in her work, whether it was pulling weeds, bringing food to a single mom or bird watching with an elderly widow. My grandmother viewed service very practically. That was her nature. She lived very simply. She never owned a TV, cell phone or CD player. Her only form of entertainment was a worn down radio she used to listen to the Detroit Tigers play. There she’d be, with her hair pinned in a neat bun, kneading some bread dough, when the Tigers would score. She would look up and say, “Hey! How about that?” 16

She often had a house full of children from the community who others considered a “handful”. I remember one child named Julie particularly well. Mostly because she terrified me. Julie had hit a growth spurt early and towered over me. At 12 years old, Julie had large glasses (common for a 90’s kid) and a frenzied nature that made her unpredictable around her peers. She did not know what to do with all her energy, and would sometimes jump on one of us or start pushing and throwing. My grandmother calmly handled every outburst, welcoming Julie back into her home again and again. Like I said, there was no TV, so can you guess what always helped calm Julie down? My grandmother’s garden. Digging in the dirt, planting seeds, watering, and chopping weeds were great tools to help Julie direct her energy toward something productive – to give her energy a purpose. We all went out there. I don’t remember a summer at grandma’s house without working in the rows of peas and green beans and corn and, my personal favorite, snap dragons. Where else could you channel your inner Jim Hensen and recite an entire episode of The Muppets Show by squeezing flowers to make their “mouths” open and close? I really don’t think grandma earned a dime from all the service she did in her community, visiting the sick or singing at a nursing home or babysitting children from broken homes. It didn’t matter. Grandma lived out God’s calling for her life. Patiently. Consistently. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” - James 1:27 NIV The last card I received from my grandmother was a short time before she contracted breast cancer. I was a young adult trying to carve out a life for myself when the card arrived. The envelope was thicker than normal. I opened it up to see something I’d never received from her. Two seed packets.

Grandma’s legacy. In her letter, she urged me to learn the art of gardening, to continue her work and to never take for granted how blessed I was to have a God who provided rich soil, rain, crops and harvest. She didn’t realize the bigger legacy she was handing down in those seed packets. Or maybe she did. She taught me to love unconditionally, even when no one else would. She taught me how to serve with a whole heart, not expecting anything in return. She taught me the sweetness of singing praises in the morning – how whistling makes pulling the weeds easier. Now would be the perfect moment to say that I walked right out the door and planted those seeds, yielding a tremendous crop that I shared with all my neighbors. I didn’t. I’ll be honest; I still had some growing up to do. However, shortly after my grandmother was admitted to hospice when the cancer metastasized to her brain, she requested to spend her last days at home. There wasn’t money for a full-time nurse. So just before my 21st birthday, I quit my job, packed my things and drove to Florida to be my grandmother’s in-home caretaker. During my stay, her condition worsened to the point where she couldn’t remember my name anymore, or hers. She

Laura Harris is a Christian financial coach, writer and mother of two. When she’s not on an adventure with her family or curled up on the couch with a good book, you’ll find her blogging about personal development and practical finance at

couldn’t recall stories from childhood or play board games. But she loved to listen. Sometimes, when visitors would break out into “Old Rugged Cross” or some other favorite hymn, grandma would nod with the music, raising a shaking finger to bounce with the words that lived on in her heart.

God granted my grandmother’s final wish and ushered her into heaven in April of 2009. Fifteen months after my arrival. Serving her showed me a glimpse of what her entire life of service was like. I walked a mile in her shoes and came out the other side a changed woman. More and more, God will use my grandmother’s spirit of service in my life. She was not perfect, but she left a legacy, as we all will; and hers was one for the books. Today, my own mother keeps a beautiful garden where my daughter loves to play when we visit. Seeing my toddler bend down beside her grandmother to examine the first strawberries in bloom brings all those sweet memories back to me. I am excited about starting my own garden with my daughter someday. It is also a delight that she will learn from her grandmother as I learned from mine. I am just sad that my grandmother will not be there to work beside us, whistling “How Great Thou Art” until the job was done. Then, we’d probably walk in the house and snap green beans. Grandma would turn on the

radio just as the Tigers would score a run. “Hey!” she would say with a smile, “How about that?”

After seven years of working in a community bank, my heart shifted from banking to coordinating Financial Peace University classes. I wanted to hear more of people’s stories, to learn from them and, most of all, to help. I graduated from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Coach Master Series in Franklin, TN. Since then, I have been serving as a one-on-one coach at my church. I am a wife, stay-at-home mother of two, Christ follower, writer, reader, piano player, softball player and one of the few weirdos in this world who doesn’t drink coffee.Future gardener. 17

Finding Joy In The Pouring Pain LIVIN' WHAT YOU'RE GIVEN

From Laura Padgett's blog

Laura Padget ministers through the arts of liturgical dance and oral storytelling at ladies retreats, workshops, churches and festivals in her home state of Colorado as well as several places around the country. She uses her training in dance, writing, and storytelling to help others find their voice when exploring issues of forgiveness and reconciliation. You can connect with Laura and her blog: and on Facebook and on Twitter @lauraleepadgett

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Was Pastor Ashley out of her mind? How could she say that we can

little birds took time to lend voices to the symphony of a fresh day. I

have joy no matter what the circumstances surrounding us? Wasn’t I

smiled, breathed in the smell of clean air and thanked God for the laughter

sitting in this chair just a few weeks after a car accident that left me

of children. I thanked Him for the robins and rain. I walked closer to the

with two swollen, bruised kneecaps and fiv displaced ribs? Wasn’t I

fence, “Hi Miss Laura,” they called in unison between giggles. I blew a

cringing under a load of guilt behind the fact that it was my fault? I

kiss to two of my favorite wee people.

totaled two cars, hurt another driver and if my knees could bend, I

It wasn’t long before the guilt came back. How could I allow myself to be

would be attempting to kick my own rear end. Bring on the joy.

drafted into their little world? I should not feel joy on any level at this time.

Hadn’t I just received news of a devastating tragedy that befell a

It wasn’t time yet. No I should not find joy right now.

family I adore? Hadn’t I just been made aware, again, of a family

I remembered a quote I had heard by Berne Brown, “Joy is a spiritual

relationship that no matter what I do will never be healed to the point

discipline.” New questions surfaced. How does one get their joy back?

of reunion? How do you find joy in the face of stories about one family

What does it mean to be disciplined? Was my heart so heavy because I

member being seriously mistreated at the hands of another? Right,

am undisciplined, unintelligent, and unable to make sense of a world that

let's join in the happy dance.

can be senseless?

But there stood my pastor saying it really is possible to have joy no

“You want some lunch? Honey, please come in now. It’s cold and you're

matter what trials we are facing and what questions loom over us. I

dressed like it’s 85 degrees. Please come in now,” my husband called

love my pastor and never leave one of her messages without a

from inside the patio doors.

nugget of truth and comfort. That day I chose to rage against the

“In a minute,” I answered, not wanting to leave this moment just yet. There

stubborn silence that fell like an impermeable granite wall in front of

were still questionsand guilt to deal with. I thought maybe, just maybe,

my questions.

answers were in the sights, sounds and smells of this early May scene

I spent the next several mornings on my back porch watching it rain. It

playing out before and around me. I opened my right hand, allowing rain

seemed to me it was going to rain forever. Worse, yet, it seemed like

drops to hit my palm and stared at each while praying one drop would

it had been raining forever. I wondered if we would be in for a dreary

hold a key to unlock the door to my prison of pain. I was not willing to

season from April until November. There was another question. There

trade my miniscule slice of peace for a retro reach into the past several

was more silence.

weeks of hell on earth.

One particularly wet and bleak morning, I stared into the faces of my

When I did come in, I ate in silence. I was soaking wet and Keith cast a

twin enemies -anger and confusion. They were collaborating to mask

worried eye over me all through lunch as he attempted to make small talk.

the deep pain gnawing at me and the authentic feelings that could set

After lunch, I went to my special prayer room where I could be alone, in

me free if I would allow them out from behind the silent screaming. I

my secret space, with God. I heard a small voice say, “Joy is a spiritual

couldn’t believe all this had happened within a month. I fought, I

discipline. Like all things it takes practice, patience and persistence.”

reasoned, and I demanded answers. All that came was the flood of

I dropped my head and said, “Okay, Lord. I get it.” I finally heard what

water from clouds that mirrored darkness in the depths of my despair.

Berne Brown and Pastor Ashley were trying to tell me. The discipline is

I realized verbal fighting was not working. So, I chose to throw myself

not in owning joy but in intentionally seeking it. It is in the awareness of

onto a couch and beat my fists into pillows as if I could extract a truth

children’s voices, new spring growth, tiny birds, and even the cleansing

that would take away the grief, guilt and helplessness. My ribs

heavenly waters. It is in looking for, enjoying and not allowing guilt to

groaned, and my knees sent sharp, protesting throbs all the way to

overshadow the joys of this day we are given to live.

my toes. Finally, out of physical and mental exhaustion, I plummeted

The work of finding joy is sometimes found while standing in pain with

downward into a place I feared would be my emotional home for

others while waiting and believing there will be a sliver of sunlight through

many days. I made a conscious decision to submit, lay down the tools

the blinding darkness. The hard work of spiritual discipline is found in an

of battle, and let go. It continued to rain. I continued to pour my heart

obedient posture of seeking but not demanding answers. Finding joy is

out to God. Was Pastor Ashley out of her mind?

about resting in the one who has the answers, and still trusting Him when

Then I heard it. It was faint at first but grew louder as my sobs

the answers are never revealed.

subsided. It was the song of children at play in the neighbor’s

I resolved to not dishonor myself by shoving aside questions and grief

backyard. I pulled my tear-soaked, limping self to the patio door and

under a pillow of anger. Instead I chose to allow time needed to process

opened it to determine if my ears were playing tricks on me.

that which may not ever be processed thoroughly. I openly gave myself

How could the wee ones be playing, laughing and even squabbling on

permission to heal. And I resolved to find the laughter, singing birds and

this dark day? Didn’t they know that many worlds had been rocked by

love that are all around if I practice the discipline of active pursuit, even in

unspeakable sadness? Didn’t they know my heart was breaking for all

the darkest days. I came away with a new belief. Eventually the joyful moments will stay longer and crowd out, or minimize, the moments where hopelessness and helplessness reign supreme. I moved slowly (very slowly) out of my special space, kissed my concerned husband and said, “Maybe Pastor Ashley isn’t out of her mind after all.”

that was broken in my world and the worlds of many I love? Didn’t they know it was cold and raining? I stepped outside and stood in the rain, listening to their little squeals, as I looked over the hedge separating our yards. I saw them jumping in puddles and delighting in this, even this – a downpour of chilly water. They danced in pools among patches of grass made green by relentless moisture. The joyful chorus of song and dance was joined by robins flitting around them. No doubt the robis were looking for food. The gorgeous


The Christian Single Mom and the Dating Dilemma My toenails were painted, the kids were at their dads, and I had just got an invite for dinner. What should I do? I was a single mom and I deserved to have some fun, right? So many questions invaded my mind. What if no one ever loved me again? Would I walk solo throughout life? Am I not good enough? It was these questions that had me in a downward spiral of fear and panic. Having a spouse check-out leaves the heart broken and self-esteem shattered into a million pieces. Getting back into the dating scene is a very important decision. Dating has a whole new meaning now because life has changed dramatically. Dating and re-marriage is a question I wrestled with as I walked this single mom journey. I experienced deep loneliness and feelings of being unloved. I wanted to be cherished and accepted for who I was. God our Maker wants us to embrace that we are here on earth now, because He wants us here now. God wants us to know we are Women of Worth in His eyes, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. God weaved His thread of love and creativity into us and my dear one, He handcrafted you. Psalm 119: 73(CEV) “You created me and put me together. Make me wise enough to learn what you have commanded.” Being single isn’t a curse. It may not have been your choice for this journey but would you be willing to find out who you really are as a single person? I can guarantee there will be many new and positive adventures that you can achieve alone. God is rooting for you. Single Motherhood wasn’t my choice. My ex-husband left and in one instant, the direction of my life turned 180◦ in a direction I wasn’t even closely prepared for. It was the toughest and loneliness time of my life but it was also the best. Seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it? In loneliness, I found out that God was all-sufficient and I asked God to make me wise enough to learn what you have commanded. Truth was, I didn’t need a man for my identity or self-esteem. God helped me focus on getting healthy to find out who Linda was and what I could accomplish. God was enough. When you can appreciate and know that in your darkest hour He is there, you have found your worth in God. As I mentor women, they share how they panic and pick the first guy who shows interest in them. They want help raising their kids, need financial help, and can’t stand being lonely. I truly get that. However, dating for the wrong reason is dangerous. Sometimes I felt that God didn’t care if I was lonely or that my bank account looked grim yet He proved time and time again of His faithfulness. I was 12 years on my own. God wasn’t being mean or holding back, though I had many arguments with God telling Him it was about time! He was smiling saying “Now Linda just you wait, have I got a guy for you!” During those 12 years, God was helping a man with his painful marriage struggles and now in hindsight, I am glad I prayed for him whoever he was. Then at God’s perfect timing, He allowed our paths to cross. What happened to my failed marriage was no choice of the children. Twelve years was a tough journey but together the three of us made wonderful memories. I did date about a year after my ex left. I saw the change in my kid’s behaviour and it wasn’t positive. Thank God it ended.I had lost focus trying to get my self-esteem from this guy as well as some blended family issues surfaced. It was then, I resolved to put the kids first. I encourage single moms to process this very important question

for the family. Recently a single mom shared that she was tired of being single. She started dating a non-Christian man saying it was God’s will. The article is not long enough to go into details, but in her desperation she has comprised her faith and focus. Single Mom’s deserve a big gold star. Truth is; we do need help, we do need encouragement, and we do need to be cherished. God gives those freely. He sent people into my life to help me with my rickety old car, my financial stresses, and emotional support for the kids and me. I hope you understand I am not saying to give up on ever finding love again. If you let God lead you, He will give you HIS BEST for life. I asked permission from my girls if it was ok to date out of respect for them. They were older by that time, enoough to process life differently. This time, God was my focus. I didn’t want to have a replay of a failed marriage again. I wanted a fresh start with God leading me to a man who loved God and respected and cherished me. Should you date? You are the only one that can decide what is truly best for you and your kids. Lay your family at the Cross and ask God for direction. Dating and finding that special someone is not a race so take your time. Do you know how precious you are in the sight of God? Do you trust Him to guide you in this journey when it is the right time? And that, precious ones, is a great beginning….

Linda and her beautiful daughters then and now

Linda McCutcheon lives near Kingston, Ontario. Her passion is to help women to achieve all they can be amidst the pain and loss of life. She was a single mom for 12 years raising two daughters and is working on a book for single moms. She writes for various organizations and is available for speaking. Visit her blog at or her Facebook page at Linda R McCutcheon (Single Mom Survival Kit). Email:

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