Mother & Daughter Bonding Magazine Fall 2020

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Mother DAUGHTER

FALL 2020

www.mdbn.org $2.95

&

Plus

BONDING MAGAZINE

Survival

A TRIBUTE TO AN EXTRAORDINARY MOTHER Sheyann Webb-Christburg

CELEBRITY SPOTLIGHT Q and A with Courtney Arlett

Not My Footprints, But The Lord’s!

featuring

Ainsley Ross (Daughter )

Actress/Martial Artist/Singer/Lifestyle Influencer/Seven Lions Cover Model Ophelia

& Aubrey Cohorst (Mother)

CEO of D19 Entertainment


s t n e t Con STORY 16 COVER Not My Footprints, But The Lord’s!

By Aubrey Cohorst (Mother)

The Objects in the Mirror are closer than they appear! By Ainsley Ross (Daughter )

SPECIAL FOCUS Celebrity Spotlight:The Fast-Rising Star from the television series, “Pretty For A Big Gurl!..................... 44 By Courtney Arlett

A Tribute to an Extraordinary Mother! At the Age of Eight, I Began to Nurture the World!.............................................................................................. 48 By Sheyann Webb-Christburg

FEATURES

Daughters and Codependency: Survival Awareness........................................................................8 By Cynthia Oliver

RVing, Revitalized My Mother and Daughter Relationship!............................................................. 15 By Angela Huntley

My Sister the Warrior Queen! Metastatic Breast Cancer.................................................... 22 By Vanessa Henderson

Surviving Domestic Torture................................................. 28 By Dr. Anne Wade

Prayer Strategies That Move Mountains!............... 33 By Corinthia Burney

Putting the Mother-Daughter Relationship Ahead of Differences................................................................. 40 By Helen McIntosh

Photo Credit (Front Cover, Contents & Cover Story): Bene Photography


IN EVERY ISSUE Letter from the Publisher.......................................................... 5 Editor’s Corner.................................................................................... 6

Message from the Dean .......................................................... 7

Getting inspired: Spiritually Speaking........................ 31

DEPARTMENTS Cebrating Mothers........................................................................ 10 Book Fair................................................................................................. 25

Minding Your Money!................................................................. 34

Fashion Designs by Hedge-Elven ................................ 38 Fitness....................................................................................................... 42

Mother

&

DAUGHTER

BONDING MAGAZINE

Vanessa Henderson, Editor Dr. Bessie Fletcher, Publisher Cynthia Oliver, Dean Dr. Anne Wade

Contributors

Ainsley Ross Angela Huntley Angelia Johnson Astrid Bedoya Aubrey Cohorst Corinthia Burney Courtney Arlett Dr. Norma Mclauchlin

Elder Linda Adams Helen Mcintosh Ivy Bennett Leah Hammond Lynette Graham Sheyann Webb-Christburg Tiffany Terrell Toni Beasley

Creative

Samantha King, Graphic Designer Leah Hammond, Copywriter/Proofreader


BRINGING MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS

TOGETHER IS OUR MISSION Dr. Bessie Fletcher, Christian Clinical Psychologist, has over 20-Years working with mothers and daughters to heal their relationship.

WATCH INTERVIEWS

with Dr. Bessie FletcherFollow Dr Bessie Fletcher, Ph. D. on Youtube:

www.youtube.com/channel/UC9DfggESTcrFHEE7rix6dVQ

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on everything related to the Mother and Daughter bonding network & subscribe to the Mother & Daughter Bonding Magazine, go to: mdbn.org

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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

DON’T JUST SURVIVE IN YOUR MOTHER AND DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP,

Photo Credit: Janice Pauldo, J’s Photographer

! t I e v i Rev

Don’t just survive in your mother and daughter relationship, revive your mother and daughter relationship! Start living the relationship that’s in your heart! A relationship that only you can create. If you are the mother and your daughter doesn’t want to take part in improving your relationship, you can create within your heart the loving relationship that you imagine. Just living in that space in your mind will bring peace to your heart. A peace that surpasses all understanding. The peace of God will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) Daughters, this advice is for you, too.

Christian Clinical Psychologist, Ph.D., Chaplain; Mother and Daughter Relationships Expert

In this issue of the Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine, we are focusing on “Survival.” What does survival mean to your mother and daughter relationship? Survival is a state or fact of continuing to live or exist. So, let me ask you a question; how is your mother and daughter relationship? Are you living your “Best” mother and daughter relationship, or are you just existing within the relationship? Mother and daughter relationships are hard to maintain. Especially when you both live in the same house. You may find your thoughts saying she is getting on my nerves! As you struggle to find peace. To exist is to do just enough to get by. You both trying to stay out of the other’s space and avoid having brief conversations, as much as possible, to avoid arguments. If this sounds like your mother and daughter relationship, answer the question, I just asked. If you are struggling to “Survive,” in your relationship, it’s time for both of you to have an honest conversation. There is a hidden secret among you. You might think to yourself; I will just let it go. But your behavior doesn’t agree with you! You think you are handling the situation, but you are not. It is affecting your behavior, your actions, your decision making.

You say, but how can I create such a peaceful state of mind? Start looking back at the times when you and your daughter used to have fun! When the two of you would laugh and play and joke with each other. Think back when you went on vacations, her birthday parties, pictures, or special moments in her life that made you smile. Daughters, go back and look at the times that you and your mother used to laugh. The times when she would surprise you with that thing you asked for, that you didn’t think you would ever get. When she trusted you, when in her heart, she had doubts, but she said yes, and hoped for the best! Each of you should create a list of loving thoughts, things, pictures, and events. Each time, when you are feeling down or depressed about the state of your relationship, think about those things! Those thoughts will bring you back to a peaceful place of love, trust, and forgiveness for each other. As a mother and daughter relationship specialist, I often hear mothers say to me during their sessions, I don’t know who this girl is? If you think you don’t know who your daughter is, mothers, go back into your mind and recapture that moment when you first looked into her eyes! A moment most mothers will never forget! That’s your daughter.

Dr. Bessie Fletcher, Ph.D., Publisher www.mdbn.org

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r e n r o C Editor’s Wow, what a busy and fast two months it has been. We are here again with our amazing Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine. How do we talk about some things we have endured and experienced in these recent times? We are still living in a climate with COVID-19, there is still sickness and death all around us. And no one really has an accurate answer to what is going on. But we still realize as loyal women of the highest that we must continue to press our way. Some of our days in the past few months have been unbearable and unthinkable, but we continue to move forward on this journey, that God placed us on. We have dedicated this issue to survival. When we think about survival and what the word truly means, we can go to a lot of different spaces in our lives, as we continue to live, despite our difficult circumstances. I too truly know what survival all is about. I’ve survived many health issues, family, and Worldly issues that I had to trust God to get me through them! When you look back over your life and review the things that God has brought you through, don’t forget to thank God. He gives us the strength we need to endure hard things.

Vanessa Henderson, Editor-in-Chief

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MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN

THE TIME IS NOW!

Dare to Start Where You Stopped! How long are you going to beat yourself up with your intraconversations, saying to yourself, I wished I had stayed in college or I wished I had gone to college! Do you have college credits? Do you feel that you wasted your time, money, and credits? What if I told you that the Mother and Daughter Bible College can restore your time, money, and credits, by accepting “ALL” your college credits, no matter how old they are! Now, what are you going to do? Are you going to continue to “Procrastinate or are you going to “Start Where You Stopped?”

No college credits, no problem! You too can get Started! WE HAVE A SCHOLARSHIP FOR YOU!

For more information got our website:

www.mdbn.org


Daughters and Codependency:

Survival BY CYNTHIA OLIVER

Awareness

A daughter often gets parentified as the result of taking on her mother’s role. She now plays a vicious part in the process of role reversal. And if the daughter has siblings, she is more than likely mothering them too. The mother in this case is psychically present but emotionally unavailable. The mother, broken by life, has failed to seek help for her woes, which she is 100% responsible. Emotionally unstable by the happening of life with her low self-worth, she cannot muster the energy necessary to play the role she was designed to have. And when addiction is part of the equation, codependency and manipulation get compounded. Codependency itself is an addiction and gets compared to alcoholism. The daughter, too, is addicted to being a slave of the mother, the mother’s sin, and her own self-pity. Traditionally, the daughter who is codependent is a victim of her mother because of the vicious unstable emotions. Riddled with guilt, she constantly tries to soothe her mother’s fears and anxieties, when unable to do so, she creates her own anxieties. Unaware, this goes on for years. Ambivalent, the daughter loves

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but hates her mother for what she has done to her. She cannot wait to get out of there, robbed of her childhood, she lives in a constant state of fear, grief, and anger, but she sucks it up every time because she cannot afford to think about her own selfish needs. Just one consequence of being codependent. Being a caretaker in this sense, you give up yourself for the needs of others.

BUT WHAT IS CODEPENDENCY? According to research, codependency is a physical, mental, and spiritual condition. It is one’s attempt to fix the behavior and life of another, making extreme sacrifices in one’s attempt to satisfy a person(s). And if the daughter in this case fails, there is no amount of rational self-talk that will soothe her because she lacks personal boundaries. An example is when the mother gets anxious and depressed, the daughter too gets anxious and depressed. The problem here is that the daughter cannot separate her emotional experience from that of her mother. The codependent daughter is in fact compelled by her attempts, while the mother typically repelled by her daughter attempts to control or fix her. Despite this, both the daughter and the mother deceive themselves in this family pattern because neither knows how to disengage or detach.

TO TEST YOUR MOTHER AND DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP, HONESTLY ANSWER THE FIVE QUESTIONS 1. Is your mother-daughter relationship intense and filled with drama? 2. Do either of you constantly need the reassurance of being each other’s best friend? 3. Does your relationship with your mother-daughter define you? 4. Do you feel the need to defend or always make excuses for your mother-daughter? 5. Can you say no to your mother-daughter without feeling guilty? If you answered yes, to 3 or more of these questions, you may have some codependent issues, No worries:

THERE IS HELP FOR CODEPENDENCY THE WORD OF GOD AND/OR GETTING THE PROFESSIONAL HELP YOU NEED The first step is awareness (recognizing what it is). Scripture tells us in all our getting get understanding Proverbs 3:5; Psalms 142; Galatians 5:1 and 6:5. Because the symptoms are deeply ingrained, the person needs to seek spiritual understanding. Second, seek professional counseling or a support group. To get help, you can contact us at: info@mdbn.org. www.mdbn.org

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g n i t a r b e l Ce ers Moth A Four-Year-Old Little Girl’s

BY ASTRID BEDOYA

Prayer

A few years ago, the Lord promised me in a dream, I would give me a daughter and I was to name her Abigail. I was already a mother of two wonderful boys, so this definitely came as a surprise. After 15 years of being the mother to boys, our family welcomed our precious daughter, Abigail! Where the colors pink and gold filled our usual blue colored world. This might sound pretty “normal” for mothers of daughters out there. So many families comprise both girls and boys. But with my background, I never imagined I would be a mother of a girl, nor I ever thought I would be ready for it. My mom left our home when I was 4 years old. My dad and my two older brothers raised me. Thank God for them. I was a very confused little girl, who never received a formal explanation of what had happened to my mother. Where did she go and why? Why did my father leave me behind for long periods of time? I used to spend long hours in my bed begging God for answers, feeling a literal void in my chest. I missed my mother so much; it hurt me deeply. God worked on my behalf. He heard a 4-year-old little girl’s prayer. He worked it out so I could visit my mother once a year, for two weeks (she lived abroad). I made a calendar and stuck it on my bedroom wall to mark the days before I’d see her again. The countdown kept me going! But as soon as I saw her, the thought of having to return home stole the joy of being with her. It was a heartbreaking cycle. A year visit turned into another and before I knew it, I was a teenager! A teenager with many unanswered questions. Seeing your mother once a year, for two weeks, makes it hard to build a relationship. Just as I was saying hello, I could hear myself saying goodbye. I tainted my teenage years with bad choices. I was constantly seeking approval from others. I was dealing with trust issues, wondering if the people in my life would stick with me or would they just leave.

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As a young girl, I could feel God’s hands all over me. He protected me. I know for myself that God hears the prayer of a child. I am a witness of His Love and Protection. My mother left me in the house with three men. No woman to teach me how to be a young girl or how to grow into a young lady. I am sure it wasn’t easy for my daddy to raise a young girl, but I think he and my brothers did an excellent job! They show me love and they were kind to me. I sure they felt my pain being the youngest and a girl, as they dealt with their pain of losing a wife and a mother. God protected me and introduced me to my now husband of almost 20 years. We had our first child when I was 18. It was not an easy start, but God redeemed and restored our lives, turning it into a beautiful testimony, and He’s still shaping us! God knows our needs so well. For instance, He placed very strategic women in my life to teach and guide me when my mother wasn’t around. He placed my grandmother, godmother, former stepmother, and my mother-in-law in my life. They have been pivotal in my own healing process. Seek those godly women they can make a big difference in your life. I still wonder how I will raise my daughter in a God honoring manner and not let my own scars and fears get in the way. How will I guide her in those hardteenage years? How will I point her to our Lord and teach her to trust Him no matter how hard life gets? How will I make her feel loved and accepted? I don’t have the answers, but my God is faithful, He will guide me and provide the wisdom we’ll need for our journey. He has always done so, and He will continue to do so. I am sure I will not be a perfect mother for my daughter, but that’s ok. We all have our own journey with God and acknowledging that as a mother is liberating. Before being my daughter, she is God’s daughter, so trusting Him in the parenting process is key. I am doing everything I can to learn how to be a better mother for our daughter. I am reading books and seeking wisdom from seasoned mothers. But I also trust the fact that the Father sent me His child for a reason, and just as He has shown His faithfulness and grace throughout my life, He will continue to do so in the upcoming seasons. Me, a mother of a girl? Sometimes I think God has a wonderful sense of humor…. but also a very compassionate heart. We just have to hold His hand tight and look up and listen to His instructions.

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g n i t a r b e l e C s r e h t o M How I Rebuilt My Life with The Help of My Breaking Through Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Mother

BY LEAH HAMMOND One of the most exciting times of my life was 2018, as I was finally making the move to Nashville, Tennessee. A place I had dreamt of living during my twenties. Although I felt afraid of the unknown, I knew that Nashville was where I wanted to be. I felt that God was telling me that’s where I needed to be. So, I packed up my car and headed to Nashville with my dog, Phoebe. Who was essentially the only living thing I would know in Nashville besides my roommate, I just met a month prior. The first few months were a whirlwind. I had a new job, started a new church, and was making new friends. It appeared I was going in the right direction, until I started having crippling anxiety, which resulted in panic attacks, and I felt terrified and thought for sure I was dying. I was wondering what was happening to me. What happened to my happy, go-lucky self and the optimistic person I once was? I drove myself to the hospital during my first panic attack, assuming I was having a heart attack. I was attempting to use my GPS while my hands and body were trembling. And there I was, in a hospital bed, getting hooked up to monitors, having x-rays done, you name it, all because of a panic attack. That event led to more panic episodes, depression and feelings of despair which eventually lead me back home to Cleveland, OH. I thought for sure that as soon as I saw my mother again that everything would be okay… I was wrong. The next three weeks felt like a nightmare. I found a therapist, got on medication to help subside the panic attacks, and my mother and I together tried to tackle whatever was happening to me. She took time off work, slept next to me, held my hand, and coddled me through the entire process, like I was a newborn baby. She pushed me throughout the process and wouldn’t let me give up. She got me off the couch, got me outside, and forced me to interact with the world around me even though it felt scary and strange.

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Long story short, she drove me back to Nashville and told me she would not let me give up on the life I was creating in Nashville. She stayed there with me for a short time, and I gradually forced myself to go through the awkward motions of getting back into everyday life, pushing through my anxiety, and rebuilding my life again. Looking back, I thought I would never get out of that stage of my life. I was a wreck, mentally and physically, and convinced I lost myself. But I was wrong. Here I am, far better than I ever thought. I realized that the change of moving away from a place I’ve known for 28 years and starting fresh in a new city, had me unexpectedly shook. I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed for where I am today, and I’m especially grateful for my mother. Without her and our relationship, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My advice to those struggling is to lean on someone that loves you unconditionally. Make a commitment to yourself to commit to seeking help, take one step at a time and develop a deep trust in God.


I just knew I was going to that night and I BY TONI BEASLEY

die did!

It all started when my mother had me out of wedlock. She wasn’t in her right mind, which is how I ended up in foster care at three years old. Foster care can be a blessing, but unfortunately; they placed me in a dark place; I was supposed to call home. I grew up dealing with molestation, physical and mental abuse. Being a little girl, I felt lost in a World of dark and evil things happening all around me! There was no security in my life. I grew up thinking that one day I am going to escape from this life of destruction, evil, molestation, physical and mental abuse! I was tired and I couldn’t deal with it anymore. A thought came to me to get your stuff and just leave. I thought anywhere is better than where I am. I was in my last year of high school, so I thought that would finish high school, get a job and I could take care of myself. I thought that I was free, but I realized I moved from one dark place to an even greater place of darkness! I didn’t know who I was or how incomplete I was. I had so many empty holes inside of me. Life filled most of them with pain and anger. I filled the others with random guys. Because I needed to feel wanted and loved. I felled in love with one guy and got married at 21. The marriage was genuine in my heart, but not his. The worst thing you can do in a marriage is to be in love by yourself. He never loved me, but he wanted me to love him. I started seeing red flags such as domestic violence, adultery, and a lack of integrity. I knew it was time to end the marriage, when he put a gun to my head! I just knew I was going to die that night and I did! My hope for my marriage and family died. And whatever light I had inside of me faded. I found myself back on the streets; I was just trying to breathe! I was doing what I had to do to survive, like working at the strip club for fast money. Not understanding my reason for existence, I wanted

to die. I put a gun to my head, but was too afraid to pull the trigger. The damage my soul felt was too heavy to carry, which led to suicidal thoughts. As I cried out for help! God showed up. He sent people in my life that not only saved me from myself, but taught and showed me God’s LOVE. Once I learned and accepted His LOVE, the Spirit of the Lord came alive inside me and I wanted more! I didn’t feel lost anymore; I got to know myself through God’s LOVE! I also saw that I wasn’t free because of the strongholds, bondages and generational curses were still there. Healing and deliverance took place as I took heed of the Holy Spirit’s guidance to freedom. God’s Grace felled upon me, and for that I’m grateful. He blessed me with a husband who treats me like a Queen and a daughter who’s love for me overflows like Niagara Falls. It’s a blessing and a privilege to experience a Godly life. God transformed my mind, my body, and my Soul! Thanks to the Holy Spirit, I am moving toward my destiny!

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g n i t a r b e l e C Mothers

Inspiring

Overcomers to Help Others to Become Overcomers!

BY DR. NORMA MCLAUCHLIN Norma “First Lady” McLauchlin was born and raised on a farm in Reidsville, North Carolina, a small town north of Greensboro, NC, close to the Virginia border. At eighteen years old, Norma graduated from high school. She spent the next two-anda-half years in the US Army as a Communications Center specialist. She spent the next six years in Fayetteville, NC before relocating to the Navajo Indian Reservation in Dilkon, Arizona for nearly three years before moving back to Fayetteville, NC where she still lives today. In and around her community, they know her as the one who inspires women to embrace spiritual change and live more fulfilling lives. Walking in her gifts and operating from the heart of her own experiences as a wife, mother, Co-Pastor, and administrator. She is a best-selling author and a publisher. She is a Co-Pastor with her husband, Pastor Allen S. McLauchlin, at New Life Bible Church and New Life Christian Academy. Dr. Norma has the expertise to connect with women from all walks of life. She accepted the call to help women develop their self-esteem and selfworth. She helps them and encourages them on how to realize their God-given gifts and potentials by helping them find their way through their Spiritual Growth, Journaling, and Coaching. She helps them 14

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through education. She allows them to select books from Free to Choose Books, from Chosen Pen Publishing. Dr. Norma knows the importance of reading books, writing, and journaling. She is an inspirational and creative nonfiction author or several anthologies, devotionals, and journals. It inspires her to bring her passion of the ministry to women, to help them find their passion and mission, as they build their self-esteem. Dr. Norma is inspired by a mandate from God to help heal the broken-hearted through stories that others have overcome. I call those experiences the “Job Experiences,” taken from the Book of Job in the Bible. The Holy Spirit told me that “If Job can make it through, so can you!” So, that’s my mantra. No matter the situation, someone has overcome it. Therefore, you can, too. My plan is to assist at least 1,000 individuals to tell their God-given stories through writing, poetry, song, or whatever their gift is and share them with people who are so desperately waiting for them for spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical healing. I want to be known as a woman who motivates overcomers. That they would assist individuals who are experiencing difficulties in their life to become overcomers and pay it forward. I also want to leave that same legacy for my son and grandchildren.


RVing, Revitalized My Mother and Daughter

Relationship! BY ANGELA HUNTLEY, BOOK PUBLISHER Obviously, the year 2020 is different from any year that we have ever experienced. There have been some real challenging times from finding modified ways to conduct business, to cancelled travel plans, and even quarantine. If we were told at the beginning of the year that we would spend months working from home and having to go out wearing a mask, I’m willing to bet none of us would have believed it. I certainly would not have. But one thing that was most unexpected was the time we would spend away from our friends and especially from close family members. I was not prepared to spend several weeks away from my mother. Ours is more than a mother and daughter relationship. We are friends. We talk and get along like friends, but then we also can get on each other nerves like friends. But we both feel that spending time together is invaluable. Not only do we talk on the phone several times a day, but we were in the habit of spending time together doing every day-life things like going out to lunch, running errands, or just taking a drive to get out of the house. So, when the quarantine first happened, I did not understand or realize the ramifications it would have on my time spent with my mother. Because COVID-19 was and still is, a mystery. We thought it would be wise to be on the side of caution by staying inside and away from people as much as possible. This limited our time together to just talking with each other from a distance as I dropped off groceries to her place. It was weird seeing my mother and standing so far away from her. But we both were doing what we thought was best to keep each other safe. After several weeks went by and we learned a little more about how the virus could spread. We learned that by staying 6 to 8 feet away, wearing a mask to

prevent droplets from spreading and frequently washing our hands, we could safely be together. So, one day we went out for an RVing excursion, which is a passion we both share. It all started back in the 90s when my mother was the first one in the family to discover this form of travel and introduced it to my kids when they were little. At that time, I did not understand it. I had absolutely no desire to travel inside of an RV. But as I got older, I realized that RV travel was a wonderful way to get the entire family together for a grand adventure. So, we broke ranks with the “shelter in place” restrictions and took a mother and daughter ride out in my RV. However, since we were still being responsible inside the RV, we had enough room for social distancing. It was so nice to be out of the house for a change of scenery, but most importantly being able to spend time with my mother like we used to. We laughed and enjoyed the breeze all the way down the highway. We didn’t have a particular destination, nor did we have any activities planned when we got there, but we enjoyed the trip, anyway. We drove about 20 minutes outside of our city to a rest stop and then turned around and came back. It felt like we had been on a vacation! My point in sharing this story is to demonstrate how important it is to connect with your mother and daughter, especially through these challenging times. Sometimes just a small gesture like taking a walking in a park or watching a television program together can make a world of difference in helping you stay connected. Yes, it’s true COVID-19 has interrupted 2020, in many ways, but it doesn’t have to interrupt your mother and daughter relationship, which will be here for a lifetime. www.mdbn.org

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y r o t S r e v o C

AINSLEY ROSS (DAUGHTER) & AUBREY COHORST (MOTHER)

NOT MY FOOTPRINTS, BUT THE

Lord’s!

BY AUBREY COHORST (MOTHER)

“As mothers, we need to stop raising our daughters to live up to impossible fantasies.” We are setting them up for failure, poor communication, dishonesty, depression, anxiety, internal battles, and standards impossible to live up to. As parents, we only want our kids to see the best side of us…. without realizing it, we are unintentionally setting them up for failure. I will never forget the moment I realized this, the magnitude it had and still has in my life today. My daughter, Ainsley Ross (6 years old at the time) snuggled up to me in our bed on a Saturday morning when she said, “Mommy, I love you, I then looked at her and said, I love you too, baby. She followed that with: I want a perfect life just like you, and I want to be just like you mommy.” “I’m going to meet a

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perfect man and get married; I’m going to have a beautiful house like you and I’m going to be the Mommy that you are to me.” Most mothers would think this is the best thing that their daughter could ever say to her. Followed by thoughts of I’m a great Mom, I set outstanding examples, and my daughter is going to have a great life, if she follows my footsteps. That was not my reaction at all! My heart skipped a few beats, and I literally felt it beating in my feet. Before I even had a moment to gather my thoughts. I looked at my daughter and said, “don’t you ever say that again!” That was one of the worst things you could ever say to me. My daughter’s eyes got so big, and her heart was heavy and full. Her quivering voice replied, “what do you mean, Mommy?” In a daughter’s or child’s eyes of any age, they would think that is one of the highest compliments they could give.

Photo Credit (all cover story photos): Bene Photography

THIS IS THE PROBLEM! By me accepting that compliment encourages “her” to live up to an impossible standard. I asked her to tell me three things she would do differently, as a mother one day: Her response was, “I wouldn’t do one thing different.” I said, “baby girl, communication is so important in life. I am not perfect, and I don’t have a perfect marriage. I am not a perfect mother and we do not live a perfect life.” I continued, “be your own person, just focus on being exactly how God made you. I pray that you take the good things that I have done as a mother and add your own ideas to them. You should also take my weaknesses and the things you think should be different and use that to raise your children. Be the best that you can be! “

Again, I asked Ainsley to tell me three things she would do differently than I did as a mother. When she becomes a mother? Ainsley thought and thought and quickly came back with her #1 answer. Keep in mind, I stressed the importance of honesty, before she answered. Answer #1: “If I were you, I would get my muscles back from when you were younger,” My inner monologue was, did my daughter just call me fat? My response was: “WHAT?” And she replied, “Yes Momma, I would find my muscles if I were you.” I then said, “what an honest response.” A lesson for another time is how to make a graceful delivery. Answer #2: “I wouldn’t say bad words around my daughter like you.” My inner monologue was “I thought I did a better job hiding that.” KIDS HEAR EVERYTHING! Yes, even when you spell it out…. They sound it out, making the curse word longer and more drawn out than ever. My actual response: You are right! Her 3rd response: I would be in Church every single Sunday. My inner monologue was “My sixyear-old daughter just checked me.” My actual response: “What great answers, see how easy it was to be honest.” God has a plan for every one of our lives. The plan for my life, and the plan for my daughter’s life aren’t the same. We unknowingly start teaching our daughters to conform at an early age. For example, I want to be just like you, or to be dishonest ex: Telling grandma how much I love the sweater she made me when instead we could say “thank you so much for loving me enough to make this sweater for me, I am so thankful”.

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C

y r o t over S

CONTINUED

When our daughters think we’re perfect they base their relationships, friendships, careers and goals off of a fantasy. In return, if their relationship doesn’t work out, it is extremely hard for them to come to us in honesty to have an honest conversation! Because they feel like a failure and like we will not understand what they are feeling, especially if all they see is the good and strong side of you. This makes it exceedingly difficult for our daughters to communicate with us. Our daughters may deal with the fact that they have let themselves down, and that they have failed themselves, because of the impossible expectations they have placed upon their lives. The only footprints our daughters should ever follow are the Lord’s. We think selfishly that our daughters are ours. We need to check ourselves! Our daughters are His, and He has trusted us enough to bless us with the amazing opportunity to raise a delicate and strong woman of God. I honestly believe in that moment, when my daughter was 6 years old, we set the tone for our incredible and honest relationship. I love my daughter Ainsley Ross more than all the stars. We are mother and daughter, best friends, accountability partners, the best snuggle buddies. We love our mother-daughter bible studies. But make no mistake, it is very clear who is the mother and who is the daughter. I do not seek her approval but love it when it is there. We respect each other immensely. We do not always agree and are quite different people. Our moral compass is the same and we seek God first, always. It is wonderful seeing things differently as it brings so much perspective into both of our lives.


THE

Objects

IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR! BY AINSLEY ROSS (DAUGHTER) We are all daughters. The definition of “daughter” itself means: a girl or woman in relation to her parents. When you think about this definition.... what do you think about? Being a daughter is like a mirror and some objects are closer than they appear. As daughters our maternal instinct is to go to our mothers. This is by God’s design. I remember when I was six, and I looked to my mom and said, “I want to be perfect like you.” “I want to have the perfect relationship just like you” I didn’t receive the reaction I longed for, instead the harsh reality cratered my mind. My Mom said, “that was one of the worst things you could have ever said to me.” Naturally, it confused me. Now, it all makes perfect sense. As I have grown up through the years, I remember how honest my mother has always been in and throughout my childhood.... now and then, the thought “she wouldn’t understand” would pop up.... and create unease in my heart. The feeling that “she didn’t go through this, why am I?” popped up in my mind. It wasn’t until through her honesty, love, and care that she showed what every mother

should embody.... she explained how she had a similar experience, and her vulnerability with me and authenticity allowed my heart to feel relief. We should feel strength and pride when talking to our mother’s not fear nor worry. Circling back to the “Objects In the mirror are closer than they appear” theory, is when you look at yourself in the mirror, you are more like your mother than you think. I realized that, I, as a daughter wanted to keep things from my mother, because I held her to a perfect standard. One day she sat me down and had a conversation with me and it all made sense. She told me that “God made me just how I am.” She told me about how her relationship wasn’t perfect, and how she didn’t have all the answers and that made my heart feel such relief, because now, I felt like she could understand. Unknowingly, I was saddened that my relationship hadn’t worked out. It left me feeling alone, and that it was just me having to deal with my relationship issues.

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y r o t S over

C

CONTINUED

Our jobs as the daughters are to be real, and honest with our mothers. We unknowingly try to live up to their shadow whether you want to be better or be just like them. Love binds us and defines us.... however, it is defined, is up to you. Remember, before you were hers, you were His. We are each a princess because we are the daughter of the King. He gave us our mothers to mold us. It is our job to allow their example, no matter how good, or bad it may be, to drive us to be strong, beautiful, intelligent women. Honesty is the key in a mother and daughter relationship. My mom is my person, through thick and thin, I thank God for her every day. Just like any significant thing, there is a lot of honesty and constant growth involved in maintaining a great relationship. No matter what your relationship is or isn’t with your mother, know that God wanted you

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to be here and that He chose her to bring you into this world to live out your purpose. We can choose to strengthen our bond with our mother’s or sever it. It was never meant to be severed. If your mother is no longer here or a part of your life, it is your duty to be the best mother you can be or be there for another mother who is in need, of a loving example. Proverbs 31:25-31 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also praises her. Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.


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MY SISTER THE

WARRIOR

Queen!

Metastatic Breast Cancer When I think about the word survival, the first thing that comes to mind is my sister Tina, Chesapeake, Beverly, Dr. Bev, and the list could go on. The one thing that I know is that she was a true warrior and a fighter for the last four years of her life. But on July 3, 2020, she gained her wings and return to our Heavenly Father. She had metastatic breast cancer (MBC). She lived her life knowing and dealing with its effects. She was a powerful woman; she educated herself on the effects of metastatic breast cancer and prepared her life accordingly. I never saw her shedding tears of sorrow. She even told us; her children and siblings that she did not want us to cry over her departure. “No crying for me�, she said. Metastatic breast cancer is a little-known cancer to many women, but a cancer that does a lot of damage to the body and has no cure. Although Tina knew there was no cure, she kept living and enjoying her life.

BY VANESSA HENDERSON

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Metastatic breast cancer can start months or years after you have finished treatment for an earlier-stage cancer. They call this a distant recurrence. Once the cancer has reached other organs, it forms new tumors. Treatments like surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy helps in removing or killing cancer cells. But sometimes, they can leave a few cancer cells behind. Even a single cancer cell can grow into a new tumor that spreads to other parts of your body. This happened to my sister. She went through a lot with her fight, but she always kept believing that she could beat this monster. We were believers with her, and because she kept going, so did we. We learned a lot about trusting God, keeping the faith, and ultimately dealing with death,


“Gracefully.” Losing a sibling puts you in survival mode. Her last request was to have no funeral, no memorial, or final viewing. But, prior to her death, she asked all her siblings to come and spend her last week with her and we all shared our memories and love for each other. Now we can only keep her memory alive as she left us with no closure to her life. We can only remember her from her photos and the last conversations she had with us. I am shedding tears, as I am writing this article for you, my sister. I, too, have been in survival mode. I am doing all that I can to survive missing the body that housed you. Although, I know that you are with me, in spirit! But I am finding it hard to survive, without attending your funeral or memorial. It’s like you just vanished! Here are some key points about metastatic breast cancer and how it travels throughout the body: • Bones. Breast cancer travels to the bones through the bloodstream. The ribs, spine, pelvis, and long bones of the arms and legs are the most common bones that breast cancer reaches. Bone, pain, and tenderness are signs that the cancer is in your bones. Breast cancer cells can also get into bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made.

• Liver. Cancer cells can get into the liver through the bloodstream because the liver filters the blood. • Lungs. The lungs are another common site for metastatic breast cancer to spread because your blood flows through them to pick up oxygen. • Brain. Any type of breast cancer can spread to the brain, but HER2-positive and triple-negative cancers are most likely to reach this organ. Signs of cancer in the brain include headaches, seizures, vision changes, and dizziness. The brain is where her cancer traveled. She was still in survival mode even while she was in hospice. She continued to have hope that she would beat it. First, the doctor told her she had two months left. Two days later, her daughter called me to say that the time they gave her has been cut down to a week or less. Our family all traveled, during the pandemic, to be by her side during her last days. Truly from this loss our family has learned what survival really means. Because we just lost our daddy a few months earlier. Survival does not just affect the one with the illness, it affects all the people involved. Our family is still in survival mode.

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The Mother & Daughter Bonding Magazine would like to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH An annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Join in the cause to help women in need today.

For more information about breast cancer, to find support, or to get involved, go to: www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month


Book Fair This book of messages from God is wakeup call for all mothers and their daughters! The book will teach you how to create an intimate relationship with God through your intraconversations.

Relationships between mothers and daughters can be messy and hurtful. Dr. Helen McIntosh understands the uncertainty of a strained relationship and the scars that can develop.

ourmendedhearts.com

mdbn.org/store

This book will expertly guide you on a journey that will have you re-examing and red-defining the relationship between your human nature and your internal identity.

corinthiaburney-author.com

Dream Recipe gives you an opportunity to deal with your inner desires. Most people have a dream, but they don’t know how to make their dream a reality!

mdbn.org/store

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Surviving

Domestic Torture BY DR. ANNE WADE

The signs of an abuser are those I know well. As a mature woman, I like to share my story as a girlfriend and wife of a “Domestic Torturer!” Even until today, I am still mad at myself for allowing a man to treat me the way my husband treated me!  I had to forgive myself, because at some point you must let go of the pain and reclaim your power.  At 19 I married a 20-year-old controlling, narcissistic, psychopathic individual. Looking back, I can see that I was young, dumb, and naïve.  I fell for a boyfriend that was controlling. He convinced me that my family did not understand me, but he did, and I believed him!  He asked me to marry him and I said, yes! On my wedding day, my Dad either saw something or felt something that led him to ask me a question as we walked down the aisle. My dad asked me, “Do you want to turn around and run out of the church?” He said, if you do, I will explain it for you. I almost took him up on that offer, but when I looked in the Catholic Church and saw over 200 people sitting there waiting for me, I took a tentative step forward and my dad took that as my answer.

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I knew in my heart the character of the person I was marrying. I did not know how bad it could get! You thought, maybe when we get married, things will change, maybe he will treat me like his wife, maybe I can help him change, maybe, maybe, maybe! On our wedding night, he showed his true self. He got angry at me and locked me out of our hotel room.  I spent the night on a lounge chair at the indoor pool at the hotel, crying all night.  I spent the next 8 years saying I was sorry for things I did not do, just to keep the peace.  I watched as he converted my money to his, paid for his college with loans in my name, as he picked out my clothes, my friends, and even my college classes.  Frequently, I’ve cancelled dinner plans with my parents because of a noticeable injury on my face.  I found myself as a young woman 26 years old and afraid of being alone. I was not sure if I could make it on my own! I felt my husband’s power was overpowering my power. Sometimes I didn’t think I had any power! It took a gall bladder attack to show me how precious life was. I went to the emergency room and after tests and medicine; they sent me home. On the ride home, I got sick from the medicine they gave me at the hospital. I vomited out of the truck window and some got on his truck door! When I finished, I rolled up the window? He got so angry that he pushed my head into the window with such force; it cracked my skull! It was then that I decided I am done with him and the marriage, as I cried.

I created a plan, and I gathered up some of my friends to help me.  I started putting away food, money, and clothes. Little by little, I would take some of my belongings to my friend’s house on my way to work. Then one day I took a deep breath and left him. I was 27 years old, before I could get the nerves and confidence to leave. I was not sure if I could survive and make it on my own. It was difficult, but it was worth it.  Often, I think of the power that I gave to him. Now, many years later, I realized that my husband never had my power. My power was always with me. God, he gave me power over my destiny. It was when I realized my power came from God the Father; I became empowered!  God made a way to deliver me from the pit of Hell and reminded me I am worthy of love, respect, and admiration, and God does not make mistakes!  I survived!

A few weeks later my husband dropped me off at the hospital for a gall bladder surgery.  He returned a week later to pick me up! In the meantime, he told my family no one could visit me. When I found that out, then I finally got mad! I knew then that I had to take my power back from him!

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OCTOBER IS NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, WHICH FIRST BEGAN IN 1981 BY THE NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS A DAY OF UNITY TO CONNECT BATTERED WOMEN’S ADVOCATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

The Mother & Daughter Bonding Magazine would like to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month

HELP AND RESOURCES Domestic Violence Hotline: www.thehotline.org 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) TTY 1.800.787.3224 Break the Cycle www.breakthecycle.org Take A Stand ncadv.org/take-action Domestic Violence Awareness Project www.dvawareness.org


GETTING INSPIRED

Spiritually Speaking

Power THE

of Pressing Your Way BY ELDER LINDA ADAMS

Often when we encounter dilemmas in our life, we may ask ourselves; why me? What did I do to deserve so much pain and suffering? Our life can be like a roller coaster that goes up and down and even twist and turn in various directions. I believe that things happen for a reason and there is a season in our life when things will not always workout the way we want them to. I also believe that God will allow us to go through difficulties in our life to get our attention to carry out a specific task. I am reminded of the Bible story of the woman that had an issue of blood for twelve long years. This nameless woman spent all that she had on physicians that could not heal her infirmities. One day she heard that Jesus was passing through her town; so, she pressed her way through the crowd of people to touch the hem of His garment. In the Gospel of Mark 5:34 Jesus said to her “Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace and be freed from your suffering, and immediately the bleeding stop.� I can relate to this story, because I had an infirmity for many years as a child growing up.

Let me share my story. Being paralyzed from my waist down because of a traumatic untreated childhood disease that almost claimed my life. After several months of treatments and hospitalization, nothing seemed to help my disease. One day as I was waiting in the hospital corridors; I heard this still small voice telling me to get up. As I looked around, I did not see anyone. It was just me and the still small voice telling me that there was much work for me to do. Work that I could not do sitting down in a wheelchair. Just like the woman that pressed her way through the crowd for her healing; I lifted myself up from my wheelchair and started walking on my own. I want to encourage someone that may read this article, that sometimes you may have to press your way through a critical situation. But know that God will never leave you or forsake you in times of trouble. The race was not given to the swift, neither to the strong, but to those who endure until the end. You are a winner!!!

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A Perfect Love International A Perfect Love International, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) organization whose mission is to provide community based services to empower people of all ages and abilities to reach their highest and best potential. Since 2016 we have helped over 2,000 individuals with food on a weekly basis, and are expanding into the housing industry to assist displaced families in this time of need. Please consider joining us in our efforts. We have many more families to serve! Additional Services Offered: Educational Services Resource Center Utility Assistance Health and Wellness Counseling Rent Assistance Family Counseling Job Placement Mentorship ●

MARKEDA HOGAN Executive Director aperfectloveintl@gmail.com 770.615.8886

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Prayer

STRATEGIES THAT MOVE MOUNTAINS! BY CORINTHIA BURNEY

We need not to have a pity-party with our emotions, which can hinder any effort to defeat the enemy. For those who may not know, there is a spiritual and invisible enemy in the world (earth) system. His name is Satan (devil). His sole agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy the things God has promised to those who love and obey Him and Jesus’ our Savior. Whom has atoned our sins on the cross? It’s up to each person to take spiritual responsibility for their life and not depend on someone else to care for their spiritual well-being. We cannot defeat spiritual warfare with flesh and blood, but only in the spirit with the Word of God. He is your armor and shield. The most powerful revelation is to attain the wisdom, knowledge, power, and authority of God for self-deliverance through your Faith in Jesus Christ.

A PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE I break all generational curses of rejection, sickness, failure, destruction, pride, poverty, death, fear, infirmity in the name of Jesus. I command all generations and hereditary spirits operating in your life and family bloodline through curses to be uprooted and cast out in the name of Jesus. I command all spirits of hurt, anger; wrath, sadness, depression, discouragement, grief, bitterness and unforgiveness come out of your emotions in the name of Jesus. I command all spirits of confusion, forgetfulness, mind control, mental illness, double-mindedness, fantasy, and pain to come out in the name of Jesus. I break all curses of rebellion and the root of bitterness to come out in the name of Jesus. I command all spirits of addiction to come out of your appetite in the name of Jesus. I command all spirits of pride, stubbornness, disobedience, self-will, selfishness, and arrogance to come out in the name of Jesus. I command all spirits operating negatively in your head, eyes, mouth, tongue, and throat to come out in the name of Jesus. I command all hidden spirits hiding in any part of your life to come out in the name of Jesus.

A PRAYER OF DAVID Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you, for you will answer me. Among the gods there are none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seek my life—men without regard for you. But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, helped me and comforted me. (Psalm 86) Praying specifically helps to activate the ultimate power source, the Word of God. Prayer and confession of Scriptures are two of the most powerful weapons we have in life to conquer the spirits of darkness. Believers must know and operate with authority. I encourage you to call on the Lord; he delights in answering your prayers; calling on the Lord will bring salvation and deliverance from the principalities of darkness. I encourage you to continue to pray toward fulfilling Jesus’s commands and the Creator God’s promises. www.mdbn.org

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MINDING YOUR MONEY!

Financial

INSURANCE DURING THE PANDEMIC BY LYNETTE GRAHAM, FINANCIAL CONSULTANT Wow!! I don’t think no one could have predicted what has happened since the start of 2020. The economic downturn has caused a growing uncertainty about many investment sectors, and about the U. S and world economies. More than ever, everyone is noticing the negative impact that this increasing uncertainty is having on their finances. This has caused so much stress for many people and has had a negative impact on their mental health. There are some measures you can take now to manage or balance your finances during this troublesome time. What will it take to get you to your goals of creating financial independence, preserving your wealth, and living an exceptional life? Small, calculated changes and a shift in your mindset to remain focused, staying positive and being optimistic. Here are some steps you can start taking now, to create a solid strategy toward financial freedom and relax knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel to having a peace of mind.

Step 1: You Have to Start Somewhere Create a spreadsheet and list every financial account to your name, then list all of your significant physical assets, then all of your debts. This is your net worth. Recognize where you are to get where you want to be.

Step 2: Build a Discipline with Your Finances You can start by paying off your credit or debit cards in full every month. Open a savings account to save at least 10% of your income or a set amount for each paycheck. Try to budget for that same amount each time. Set financial goals whether they are short or long term and

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don’t spend unnecessarily. Create a monthly budget and stick to it. Always pay yourself first.

Step 3: Enhance the Mind through Financial Education Financial education is your best investment. Investing in yourself will not only improve your life but also the surrounding lives of your family. When an economic crisis occurs, adapt.

Step 4: Create Other Streams of Income Be willing to explore new and uncharted territories. Don’t let a recession discourage you, millionaires are made during recessions. Where your Focus Goes, Your Energy Flows–Creating a Mindset for Success. You have to start thinking like an investor where you can make residual income while you sleep. The universe provides unlimited opportunities, use them. DON’T WAIT, MAKE THE CHANGE TODAY!


Entrepreneur The

Starting a Business from Ground Zero BY TIFFANY TERRELL, CEO/FOUNDER, URBANISH DIGITAL Entrepreneurship is not for the faint at heart, neither for the sprinters. Entrepreneurship is a Marathon. Whether you are the Make-Up Artist, Recording Artist, or even a Model. Entrepreneurship has one thing in common it is a “Process”. Most people “Processes” are different. It all depends on if you are a “First Generation” Entrepreneur or were you born into it. I am a “First Generation” Stage Play Writer, Author, Publicists, and Journalist. Started my journey as a Blogger 8 years ago. Never knew it would have me going down a road that some people look at as far-fetched. From Blogger, to Network Genius, Manager, turned Publicists. No one never handed me a business. I started from “Ground Zero”. Making connections with people that have turned into long-lasting relationships. The power of “Networking” will take you further than any dollar will. So many people die with their dreams. The cemetery is the richest place in the world. Just imagine you doing what you love, no matter what. Showing the world all your gifts. I have met people that admire what I have accomplished; I am just getting started. What inspires you? What is your purpose? Is what you should ask yourself. You may not want to be an entrepreneur, maybe a class you wanted to take, spend more time with your loved ones, or even inspire someone else to be a better them. On this journey what I have learned is not how many titles I can hold, but how many people I can

inspire. To leave a legacy here for my Grandchildren where they are not starting from “Ground Zero”. Not to just have a success story, but a story that people can mirror. Life is not a one size fit all, neither is accomplishing goals. I will not allow my blood, sweat, and tears to go in vain. 2020 has been a year, many people have lost loved ones, some are suffering from depression, and even going through a divorce. This year for me has been clarity, a chance to catch my breath, and just slow down. We must look at everything within a positive light, taking the ugly out of reality. This year for Entrepreneurs has caused them to close businesses and having to shift in alternative ways of learning. For the next few months, let us learn to be a little kinder, smile a little more, be good to yourself, finish what you started and make better decisions for your health. My journey as an Entrepreneur was not the road most traveled, more toward the one less traveled.

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MINDING YOUR MONEY!

CONTINUED

Debt

Freedom, What A Concept! How I Paid Off $32,571.03! We are living through what is being called ‘unprecedented times.’ In the United States, hundreds of thousands have succumbed to COVID-19, job stability is increasingly shaky (entire industries have collapsed) and food insecurity has increased. Overall, there is a general sense of doom and gloom. So… why talk about money habits? Well, next to staying healthy, money is probably the most important tool that we have during times of uncertainty. Mortgage payments, rent, car note(s), insurance, credit card payments, student loans, food, the list goes on. Having access to money in which you can pull from can make this moment in time a little less stressful, A LITTLE. While we collectively try to maintain both our health and sanity, the habits we develop day-to-day is what will keep us afloat and ready for the next emergency, and there is always a next emergency!

BY IVY BENNETT, TRAINING ARTIST, PROGRAM DIRECTOR

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Let me tell you a little about my ongoing journey to debt freedom where my goal is to be 100% consumer and student loan debt free. In 2016, I happened upon a debt elimination challenge on Facebook. I took part because I wanted to increase my credit score. Improving my credit score was my general understanding of finances. Over time, I dug into Facebook groups, read finance articles/ books, watched videos on the internet, discovered the debt free community and took off from there. Debt freedom, what a concept! I had always thought debt was something that you lived with for life (Myth!). To date, I have paid off $32,571.03 in debt, created and sustained an emergency fund,


increased my retirement contributions by a small percentage each year and opened a 529-college savings plan for my nieces. To say that I am proud is an understatement; I would have never imagined gaining so much traction in such little time. My last remaining debts comprise (13) student loans, whew! That number does not scare me nor deter me from reaching my goal, I have proven that I can do what I set my mind to and I will pay off all of my remaining student loans by the end of 2021 (#MoneyGoal). Want to get started, here are some things that you can do: 1. Acknowledge your debt: I know it is uncomfortable, but it is a necessary first step. Pull your credit report and document what you owe. You cannot defeat what you will not face! If you see inaccuracies on your report, be sure to file a dispute. Resource: https://www.annualcreditreport.com 2. Build a budget: Budgeting gets a bad rep, but it can be one of your most powerful tools. Write all of your monthly income and then write all of your monthly expenses. Next, subtract your expenses from your income. While looking at the money you spend monthly, search for areas in which you can cut back. The remaining money is what you have to plan and play with. There are tons of budget templates online, try one or create your own!

3. Increase your income (optional): This step has helped me tremendously. I have two careers that I love; I am a Program Director at arts not-for-profit and a licensed Florida Realtor. I live off a portion of one income and pay off debt with the other. There are so many talents that each of us have, use them to monetize your way out of debt. 4. Create a money routine: Each month, I check my budget spreadsheet and reconcile twice a month. You can do this daily, weekly, or monthly. This will depend on how much accountability you feel that you need. As with any routine, consistency will be your best friend. 5. Set money goals: Money goals should be specific and doable. Be sure to dream a little too. For example, I will pay $20 extra on my Visa credit card each month to pay it off by a certain date. Much like fitness goals, money goals should be personal, fit your lifestyle and pivot, as necessary. If you do not tell your money what to do, it will tell you what you can do. 6. Keep going: So often when things get difficult, we stop. Do not allow setbacks to knock you off track. You owe yourself the freedom that comes with getting your finances under control. You can do this!

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Fa sh

io

n g s i s e D n

BY HEDGE-ELVEN

Agency: @miles_models (MILES MODELS) Clothing: @hedge.eleven (HEDGE ELEVEN) Models: @katiestrickland08 (KATIE STRICKLAND) @itsbrandiphillips (BRANDI PHILLIPS) @sylviashipman_ (SYLVIA SHIPMAN) @Hannah.modelchic (HANNAH NELMS) Photography: @jmaxwell.creative (MAXWELL PIERRE) Creative Director: @lovillasantiago (LOVILLA SANTIAGO) Asst. Creative Director: @dariana.mua (DARIANA ORJUELA) Staff Coordinator: @atownsfinest (MICHAEL PIERINO) Wardrobe Stylist: @stylist.jazheri (JAZHERI MOORE) Makeup Artist: @makeupbyjakki (JACKIE LYNCH) @letsmakeup.gn (KAYLYN FRY) Hairstylist: @simplyelegantextensions_ (LIYAH HAMBRICK) @she.sew.addictedhair (SHEQUITA BENNETT) Production Assistant: @rem1031 (RISA EVANGELINA) 38

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Putting the

Mother-Daughter Relationship Ahead of Differences BY HELEN MCINTOSH

When I was growing up, I wanted to be closer to my mother. But often it would seem like failure would crush those waves of hope. I remember washing lettuce was something I tried to do to help my mother, to show her I wanted to please her. But it never worked out as I hoped, and instead of bringing us together, it would tear us apart. She would rage at the way I washed lettuce, which caused me to wonder how we could be so different that I couldn’t even wash lettuce, correctly. To me, my mother cared more about being right than how we related to each other. How do you see yourself in your relationship with your mother or daughter? Often, we let our differences of opinions impede our relationship. We have to let those differences go. Putting

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the relationship ahead of your differences, even if it means not trying to prove you are right. Because my mother was dealing with illnesses, addictions, and personal issues, our relationship was on a rocky footing most of the time. But I remember thinking the overall relationship was more important than the incident at hand. The good news is that every difficulty I had with my mother helped me in countless ways in my relationship with my daughter Blythe. I definitely learned not to be so critical of Blythe. My mother had a critical spirit that suffocated me day by day. For the longest time, I thought something terrible was wrong with me. I longed to let Blythe be who she was, and she has always been what I call “velvet steel”—soft on the outside in how she approaches people but strong and fiery on the inside. One of my favorite relational sayings that I say to my daughter is this: “What I want is a good relationship, and you are more important to me than this problem, this difference of opinion, or this snag.” It might help you handle those differences in your mother and daughter relationship. Whenever a problem springs up, my default thought is always the relationship comes first. That sets a tone for any discussions of differences of opinions to follow. Maybe the other person is right, or maybe you are, but it is always right to honor the relationship. And not because they earned it. Honoring your mother or daughter does not mean you stuff down all the pain. No one and no relationship is beyond hope. We can tell you of many mothers and daughters we’ve heard from over the years as we have shared our story. People say, “I wish I could have a relationship with my mother or daughter like that.” And what we say is, “You can! It’s not too late.” Blythe and I encourage people to work on the brokenness in a relationship that involves reconciliation with each other. When deep and lasting healing takes place in the relationship, this sets the relationship on a course of freedom and unity you can’t pull apart.

Start where you

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FITNESS

t s e t ee w S THE

MOM-BUDDY WORKOUT SYSTEM

Frustrated with facetime calls for your weekly catch-up sessions with your mother or daughter? It’s time to change up your typical bonding routine, instead of talking on the phone or shopping, then lunch, make your mother your new workout buddy. It’s a healthy substitute that will have you both looking fit and fabulous and more importantly, feeling the healthiest you’ve felt most likely in a long time.

CHECK OUT A GREAT INTERNET YOGA CLASS In these unprecedented times, we must be creative and begin utilizing resources that have already been right under our noses, but because we were able to come and go as we please... unmasked, we were most likely to attend classes outside the home. Well, for now, that is a no go. Invite your mother over to release stress together by pulling up a yoga class. You and your mother will both enjoy yourselves while indulging in a peaceful, deep breathing hour of mindful movement.

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Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine

BY ANGELIA JOHNSON, FITNESS COACH


You may choose from one of the following classes. I am sure you will have no problem finding one on the internet, one that you both will appreciate. • Hatha yoga. Move and breathe at a gentle pace. If you both are relatively new to yoga, this is the perfect class. It focuses on deep breaths, and long relaxation at the end. • Power yoga. Put your brain and body to the challenge with this fast-paced yoga class that keeps you sweating. Make sure you are all set up with a healthy drink/smoothie to replenish vitamins and electrolytes after the class has ended. • Restorative yoga. We all need to restore our minds and bodies, especially through stressful times. And boy, are we living through stressful times. Allow yourselves to sit back and feel the stress melting away with this yoga style.

DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! If you and your mother have that rhythm and some cool moves, pull up some cool beginner dance videos. You can start with some of these.

ZUMBA Since it isn’t the best time to go out social dancing (ballroom, salsa), I suggest you pull up one of the many Zumba classes on the internet and dance your hearts out in

this high-energy class. And if you or your mother are a beginner and maybe not have the best cardiovascular endurance, check out Zumba Gold. They design this Zumba class for the age group sixty and up. Please, this is for the both of you. Do not concern yourself with getting the dance routines correct the first time as the instructor repeats the moves repeatedly throughout the song. You and your mother will have an amazing time dancing to outstanding Latin, hip hop and soca music. The important thing is for the two of you to have fun and exercise together.

CARDIO KICKBOXING This is an amazing workout for all the pent-up frustrations you both may have from how fast our world has changed just within the last few months. Again, you can scan through a plethora of internet cardio kickboxing classes to do together. Make sure it’s the perfect amount of challenge and or low impact that will give you both a great sweaty workout. These fun ways to stay healthy and fit with your new Mom-buddy will have you creating beautiful memories while getting fit together. It’s a beautiful thing!

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Celebrity Spotlight Q AND A ’S, BY COURTNEY ARLETT THE FAST-RISING STAR FROM THE TELEVISION SERIES, “PRETTY FOR A BIG GURL!” 1. WHERE YOU WERE BORN, NAMES OF YOUR MOTHER, FATHER, SISTERS, BROTHERS? I was born in Greenwood, MS, in 1984 to Mr. and Mrs. John Lockett. I am the middle, second to the last child and have a hand full of crazy siblings - my brother Kendric and sisters, Kembrya and Sieaundria. I’m a “fake middle child.” I know it sounds crazy, but there is an 11year gap between myself and my older siblings. 2. WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND? I am proud to say I am finally back in school working on my undergraduate degree. It took a minute for me to realize I even wanted to finish school. I got distracted with life and didn’t think it was necessary. I now see that in order for my life to be complete–it is imperative that I have no unfinished chapters, this includes school. 3. WHAT IS YOUR MARITAL STATUS-CHILDREN? I am a single woman with no children. I can’t say that getting married and having children isn’t in my future, but for now, I’m happy chasing dreams and making my goals a reality. 4. HOW DO YOU SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY? I serve my community by volunteering with my church for outreach ministries, including feeding the homeless, community block parties and clothing drives. 5. WHAT WAS A MAJOR TURNING POINT IN YOUR CAREER God has blessed me to be a part of over 20 productions since my introduction to the entertainment field in 2009. My initial introduction into the entertainment industry was as an understudy to a principal character in a local gospel stage play. The turning point in my career was when I was cast in a lead

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role as an actress, as SUNDAY ROBINSON, for the Independent project SUNDAY MORNINGS (Acero Twins Productions). Working with the ridiculously talented duo, Marie and Michelle Acero, showed me what was possible as an indie filmmaker. 6. HOW HAVE YOUR MOTHER CONTRIBUTED TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR CAREER, OR NOT? My mother is my example of what success looks like. She is my Clair Huxtable and my inspiration. She is my example of what womanhood and motherhood should look like. She pushes me outside of my comfort zone. She has always SHOWN me that nothing is outside of my reach. When I thought the stars were too far to aim for, she held me up until I could touch one on my own. 7. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PLEASURES OR PASSIONS? I’m a storyteller, it’s in my blood baby! My passion is writing and producing beautiful stories that transcend time, race, and social norms. I also enjoy traveling the world and experiencing new cultures. 8. WHAT DOES YOUR WORLD LOOK LIKE, AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHANGE? My world includes working with some of the most inventive and creative playwrights, directors, producers, and musicians Atlanta offers. I’m working on several independent projects, as writer, director, and actress, including full-length features, shorts, web-series, stage plays, musicals, and TV-pilots. I am also the creator of a series titled, “Pretty For A Big Gurl.” There was an opportunity to do something outside of the norm, so I took it. I wanted to see more roles for women who looked like me. Someone who is funny, sassy, and SEXY! SOOOOO, I wrote it! I’m known for pushing boundaries and creating my space to thrive in, so why not?!? I’m abnormal and I accept it. NO! I EMBRACE it! I EMBRACE who I am fully. Chile, I’m like Cold Stone ice cream; LIKE IT! LOVE IT! GOTTA HAVE IT! Okay!? LOL! It honestly doesn’t matter if I’m in front of the camera or behind it. It’s ALL my sweet spot! Toot! Toot! LOL! I’m proud that I represent ALL women from ALL walks of life. The common thread is not our size or color, it’s our femininity. It’s who we are at the core.

Courtney with her mother MaryAlice Lockett 9. WHAT DRIVES YOU AND KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED TO FULFILL YOUR VISIONS? My journey to this point has definitely been an adventure. I guess you can say it’s been both good and bad. Plus size women, they often overlook us in the entertainment industry and placed into one or two categories, funny or unattractively desperate. Regardless of how talented an agent, casting director, writer, or the overall production, may feel a plus-size woman, doesn’t physically fit the “standard.” One of the biggest issues (pun intended) I’ve had to deal with in this industry, is my weight. Or, rather, other people’s reactions and feelings towards my weight. This drives me to fulfill my dreams. Representation matters and I am determined to be the one to make it happen. 10. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG LADY THAT WANTS TO GO INTO SHOW BUSINESS? My advice is — Dear Dreamer, there will always be someone who doesn’t like you. Nothing you do will ever be good enough for the naysayers. No matter how talented, pretty, smart, caring, or supportive you are, THEY will NEVER approve of YOU. Stop trying to change their minds! Save your energy for living, creating, and making the world a better place because you are in it! On this journey, I have been blessed to meet some extraordinary people who saw my talent and NOT my size. However, even with

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Celebrity Spotlight Q AND A ’S, BY COURTNEY ARLETT

Courtney with her sister Sieaundria Lockett and her mother MaryAlice Lockett

their support, it wasn’t until I realized how beautiful my uniqueness was, that I could really spread my wings and soar. It’s those eureka moments, both good and bad, that have shaped me into the woman I am today. Be Bold, Live Free, and introduce YOURSELF to the world with NO apologies. 11. WHAT’S ONE OF THE CRAZIEST OR FUNNIEST MOMENTS WITH YOUR MOTHER? My mom and I never had crazy moments, but I guess our funny moments are the FaceTime calls. My goal is to always make her smile. To me, her smile is the most beautiful thing in the world. 12. THE GREATEST THING ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MOTHER? The greatest thing about my relationship with my mother is her love for me. A woman raising a child in the heart of the south and then again on the South side of Chicago is resilient and extremely strong. Stronger than most people give her credit for. There are a few things in the world that are strong enough to motivate and inspire–love is one of them, and my mother gives me everything she has because she loves me. 13. WHAR IS ONE OF THE GREATEST LESSONS YOUR MOTHER HAS PASSED ON TO YOU? The greatest lesson my mother has passed on to me is to LIVE in the now. To never allow my past to definite my future.

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CONTINUED 14. WHAT BEHAVIORAL TRAITS HAVE YOU IDENTIFIED IN YOUR GRANDMOTHER, YOUR MOTHER AND IN YOU? I never knew my maternal grandmother, she died before I was born. However, I would like to think my determination and stubbornness comes from them both of them. I know for sure it comes from my mom. Her determination to succeed pushed her to continue her higher education while caring for her family. It took her longer than she wanted it to finish college, but she didn’t give up. She pushed forward until she reached her goal. 15. WHAT SUPPORT THAT YOUR MOTHER GAVE TO YOU TO HELP YOU ACCOMPLISH YOUR DREAMS? Both my parents work hard to support my dreams, from donating food for productions, to sitting on the front row of my production. However, I can proudly say my mom is my biggest supporter, and she loves me as I am. She checks on me when I down and encourages me when I am tired. She reminds me to always keep moving forward. 16. WHAT STRUGGLES OR CONFLICTS DID YOU AND YOUR MOTHER OVERCAME Communication is definitely something that we have had to work on for over the years. The stubbornness that I inherited from her is wonderful when I am working to succeed. However, it can also cause issues when I am too stubborn to listen to her sound advice. 17. LOOKING BACK OVER YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU MOTHER, WOULD YOU HAVE CHANGED ANYTHING? Looking back, I think I would have spent more time getting to know my mother when I was younger. As an adult, I have learned to grow and appreciate our differences. But I wonder where our relationship would be now, if I had this knowledge then. 18. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO HELP IMPROVE THE RELATIONSHIP FOR ANOTHER MOTHER AND DAUGHTER? My advice to another mother and daughter is to listen to understand and not listen to respond. Sometimes we (as humans) are so focused on being understood that we miss what someone else is trying to express to us.


“As is the mother, so is her daughter.” -Ezekiel 16:44 MDBN.ORG

“As is the mother, so is her daughter.” -Ezekiel 16:44 MDBN.ORG

MDBN.ORG

“As is the mother, so

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A

Tribute to an

Extraordinary Mother!

At the Age of Eight, I Began to Nurture the

World!

The Youngest Activist in the Selma Civil Rights Movement! BY SHEYANN WEBB-CHRISTBURG, SHEYANN WEBB GROUP

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Mrs. Webb-Christburg has built a lifelong career as a voice for hope, justice, equality, and human rights. She has worked over forty-one years empowering young people to strive for academic excellence and work hard to become the better version of themselves. Mrs. Webb-Christburg was born on February 17, 1956 by John and Betty M. Webb from a poor family of eight in George Washington Carver Projects where the now Historic Brown Chapel AME Church stands in the center of this housing projects. Mrs. Webb-Christburg was the youngest activist during the Selma Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called her the “Smallest Freedom Fighters�. As we know her today. She uses her story of courage, triumph, and overcoming adversity to affect millions across the country and globally. Mrs. Webb-Christburg is Nationally recognized for her coauthored book, Selma, Lord, Selma. This book depicts her childhood memories of growing up during turbulent times in Selma,


Alabama. Her book, “Selma, Lord, Selma” written by Frank Sikora. The book is now a Disney Movie that was nominated as the Best Television Mini- Series by the NAACP Image Awards. The story chronicles Mrs. Webb-Christburg’s childhood experiences as the youngest participant at 8 years old on the Bloody Sunday March in 1965, led by Congressman John Lewis and Hosea Williams. Her parents John and Betty M. Webb invested much time trying to convince Sheyann of the danger and risk that was involved with being a part of the movement. Sheyann, after meeting Dr. King, had already made her mind up that she wanted to be a part of the changes that Dr. King and others started in Selma. Sheyann became a very disobedient little girl who would sneak out of her house to attend mass meetings in the Selma Movement. She helped to lead the congregation in singing freedom songs and her favorite was “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around”. She would often get to school late to take part in many demonstrations and protests for social justice and for African Americans to gain their voting rights. Sheyann joined many freedom fighters during the 60s to go out in neighborhoods and county areas to convince them on becoming registered voters. Many courageous freedom fighters who came to join in the struggle for freedom in Selma didn’t have a place to sleep or eat. Sheyann took it on her own to invite them to stay in her house. Sheyann’s parents approved her invitations, because they felt and knew that they were taking care of her as she continued to get into “Good Trouble”, standing up for what she believed in and what she knew was right. Even amid her

Community Activist, Good Trouble!

participation in the movement, she was highly active in her elementary school activities, she was smart and admired by her peers. She also took part in extracurricular activities in her community and in church activities. She loved speaking, acting, writing, reading, and asking questions. Her habit for writing led her to write in a diary daily, especially writing about her experiences growing up in the movement. As she matriculated in school, her siblings attended all-black schools, but she wanted to meet the racist challenge of attending a white school. She attended a segregated public school in Selma when she became one of the first blacks to integrate an allwhite school. She was the only black student in many of her classes and felt the racial tension, insensitivity, and disrespect every day. It was rough, but she had a strong sense of determination with courage to face whatever she needed to because she knew that she was smart enough and ready to www.mdbn.org

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A

Tribute to an

Extraordinary Mother!

CONTINUED

Ms. Christburg and Maxine Waters, US Representative

compete on any level by any means necessary to press thru. She faced racial brutality daily. She was suspended from school, pushed downstairs, spat on, and attacked in various ways both physically and verbally because of the color of her skin. Her parents would constantly call and meet with the principal, but the school administration did nothing. She maintained her courage and dignity throughout those turbulent times. However, she fought her way to compete in extracurricular activities and faced whatever challenges she incurred. Sheyann later competed and become a cheerleader. She took part on the volleyball team, basketball team, and track team. In-spite of Sheyann’s many encounters with racism and poverty, she completed her college education at Tuskegee Institute. She found the Keep Productions Youth Development Mentoring and Modeling Program in 1980. She designed this program for youth ages 3 thru 18 to build self-esteem to gain the confidence they need to break out of nonproductive patterns and become successful leaders, overcome adversities, and find their passion and their purpose. This program also promotes Leadership Development, Academic

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Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine

Excellence, Etiquette Training, Community Service Projects, Entrepreneurship, Cultural and Social Projects, and Voter Education. She has worked with other youth groups in various capacities throughout the State of Alabama and has organized and conducted major Youth Development Workshops and Training Programs. Mrs. Webb-Christburg established the Sheyann Webb-Christburg Scholarship Foundation, for any motivated students aspiring to further his or her education. The Sheyann Webb-Christburg Scholarship Foundation is used to help cover tuition expenses and related educational expenses such as books and select cost of living. We will select scholarship recipients based on applicant’s academic achievements, those who have showed accomplishments in leadership and community service, and particularly to those disadvantaged youth who have faced significant roadblocks or challenges. Through her Consultant work, Mrs. WebbChristburg has worked with other Youth Organizations and served as a Life Coach, Debutante Director, Choreographer, Pageant Consultant, and Etiquette Trainer to name a few. In April 2017, Mrs. Webb-Christburg found the Women of W.I.L.L. Organization, which stands for Women affecting and Lifting Lives, a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to bring together women from diverse backgrounds to focus on Empowering, Educating, Encouraging, Inspiring, and Networking with young girls, young men, and women alike. This motivated group of women also serve the community by


Ms. Christburg at 8 years old providing Mentorship Programs, Empowerment Events, Health and Political Forums, Personal Development Workshops, Women Conferences, and Business Connection Opportunities. This organization strives to promote leadership development and activities which focuses on unity and a network of support for women. Over the years, Mrs. Webb-Christburg has received many Civic and Community Service Awards in the State of Alabama and abroad. She has appeared on all the major TV networks including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and other major Radio and TV Talk Show. They also featured her in the PBS documentary, “Eyes on the Prize”. Mrs. Webb-Christburg speaks for many organizations to include schools and colleges, Community Organizations, Government Agencies, Conventions, and also serves as

The Women of W.I.L.L.

Ms. Christburg and Senator Kamala Harris, US Vice President Candidate a Panelist Presenter across the country. Mrs. Webb-Christburg also is a National Speaker and Presenter for Virtual Platforms. Some of her topics are: • My childhood experiences with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. • Youngest Eight-year-old on The Bloody Sunday March 1965 • The Journey to Voting Equality • Race Relations and Reconciliation • Diversity and Inclusion • Selma 56 years later Mrs. Webb-Christburg has dedicated her life as a Youth Advocate and Change Agent mentoring our youth to “Be Better and Do Better.” She also helps to motivate and inspire youth to find their passion and purpose in life in order that they may become active participants and leaders to help create that “Beloved Community” and for this world to be a better place and for those who will come behind. Mrs. Webb-Christburg lives in Montgomery, Alabama, where she is still active in her community with Youth, Women and Civic Organizations. www.mdbn.org

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SPECIAL VIP INVITATION

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER GLOBAL MOVEMENT

MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS COM ING TOGETHER TO HEAL THEIR FAM ILIES The purpose of the

OUR MISSION: • To focus on raising a new God conscious minded generation of mothers and daughters.

is to bring together

• To bring the nurturing power of mothers together to restore family values, as they teach their daughters how to maintain those values, for their children!

leadership committee 200 women to

• To focus on the principles of the Virtuous Woman. (Proverbs 31:10-31)

organize a Spirit of

• To demonstrate how the fruits of the spirit can heal their relationship; “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and SelfControl,” are the ingredients for a trusting and honest relationship.

and their daughters,

• To remind mothers of their “Power of Influence,” over their daughters. An influence that can help or hurt their daughter’s decision-making processes.

Unity among mothers

creating “Healthier

Families and Healthier Communities.”

• To use God’s words to teach mothers and daughter how to plant “Seeds of Wisdom” into another mother and daughter relationship. • To provide Spiritual, Health and Economic relief to the members of the Mother and Daughter Global Movement.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, EMAIL: INFO@MDBN.ORG