Mother & Daughter Bonding Magazine July/August 2020

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ANDRENE WARD-HAMMOND Actress on the NBC Series ManifestÂ

TYLA HARRIS Actress on the CBS Series For Life


Time featuring

Daughter & Mother:

Tyla Harris & Andrene Ward-Hammond

One-hour live counseling-type talk show helping mothers and their daughters deal with their issues through honest conversations! Dr. Bessie Fletcher, Christian Clinical Psychologist, has over 20-Years working with mothers and daughters to heal their relationship. Click here for Dr. Bessie Fletcher’s YouTube channel!

r e n r o C s ’ r o t i d E Wow! When, I think about how this position came about, I knew It was God. Truly, this is not a year for the faint of heart, but for the soldiers of the highest God to battle and radiate in the beauty of life. We would like you, our readers to come along on this journey as we will share with you, our stories of pain, lost, gain and true inner peace. We will talk to you through mothers and daughters from all walks of life. You will read their amazing articles. They will make you laugh, and you might shed a few tears. Ask me how I know? This year still has been an amazing year for the woman of color in all aspects of relationships, media, politics, and fashion. In this issue we are addressing “Quality Time,� and how important it is within the mother and daughter relationship, as well as it is in their families. We have highlighted some amazing individuals, and they have shared their mistakes, leaps of faith and their successes. I am writing this, as we are experiencing the coronavirus moving into a new upsurge of the 2nd wave. This pandemic has taken over the world, causing us to realign our lives and our way of thinking. It is an eye-opening time. We realize that during this time of the COVID-19 with families being lodged at home, the ability to be creative with your time is important. It is also a time to pursue your dreams. We want you to become a risk taker by taking the necessary steps to achieve the milestones of your dreams. This gave our team the opportunity for new goals and to open alternative possibilities. I can say that it has been a time that has strengthened my faith, especially in the loss of my father a couple months ago and the placement of my sister in the care of Hospice. But through it all, God is giving me the strength to keep pressing on, to do what he has placed for me on my journey, in this thing that we call life. So, we ask that if you have questions, that you reach out to us here at Mothers and Daughters Bonding Magazine. We will take your concerns and comments into consideration. I would like to thank Dr. Bessie Fletcher for this amazing epic opportunity to be the editor of such an amazing magazine.

Vanessa Henderson, Editor


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COVER STORY Mother and Daughter: Andrene Ward-Hammond & Tyla Harris


Celebrity Spotlight: Tiana Sirmans............................... 24 A Tribute to an Extraordinary Mother! Oprah Winfrey by Dr. Bessie Fletcher.................................. 48


Twenty-Five Years Journey Out....................................... 10 of the Darkness by Cynthia Ingram The Love House by Patricia M. Goins.................................... 12

What makes our Relationship Work............................ 13 by Maria Cephas

Waiting...16 Years for my Daughter to Die!............ 28 By Wendy Vaniglia and Dr. Aimee Knauff

Take off the Mask Mothers................................................... 32 by Vanessa Henderson

For Years, My Mother Was Not Sure............................. 37 If My Grandfather Was My Daddy! by Jaime Cowhick

Taken from My Mother, at 17-Months Old.............. 40

by Cynthia Oliver

Author’s Insights...Good News! God Speaks........ 53 to Mothers and Daughters by Dr. Bessie Fletcher

Special Section

LIFE AFTER PRISON.......................................................................... 18 Nineteen Year Sentence by TayQuaill Cain Life in Prison by Debra Tyler Prison Changed Me from “Watusi,” to Thelma by Thelma Wharton

Front Cover and cover Story photos by: Jerry A Barnes Photography / Cover Make-Up by: Perris Hull and Hair by Tricia Bailey


Editor’s Corner.....................................................................................3 Mother and Daughter Bonding Tips............................. 6

Getting inspired: Spiritually Speaking....................... 27 Letter from the Publisher, .....................................................30

Message from the Dean ........................................................ 51


Beauty........................................................................................................ 21

Celebrating Mothers.................................................................. 34

Fashion Designs by Van Miller.......................................... 38 Teen Scene.......................................................................................... 42

Book Fair.................................................................................................55





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


Ainsley Ross Ashley Haas Cynthia Ingram Debra Tyler Dr. Aimee Knauff Jaime Cowhick

Linda Trimble Madelyn Battle Maria Cephas Mikica Day Riley Mya Xeller Patricia M. Goins

Sasha Anne TayQuaill Cain Thelma Wharton Tracy Secombe Wendy Vaniglia


Samantha King, Graphic Designer Leah Hammond, Copywriter/Proofreader


Paul Murray, Tommy (T-Drop) New Magic Productions Kenneth Stout, Aroc Marketing Managing & Consultants, The Skeembeatzradio, music review Dorothy Westbrook, Book Cover Set Design Angela Huntley, Lael Agency, Dr. Bessie’s Book Publisher and Website Designer Brett Ettridge, Creative Designs, and Producer Joe Kegman, Production Assistant

Mother and Daughter



have your head massaged as your hair is being rinsed! It is a treat you can give to each other. Keep in mind that this time is about loving and taking care of each other.


d n a r e h t o M e t a D r e t Daugh Just as we have a Mother’s Day, we can have an unofficial Mother and Daughter date. Sometimes, you get caught up in your hectic schedules and forget to come up with creative ways to enhance your mother and daughter relationship. Here are a few ideas on how to create a special mother and daughter date.

HAIR DATE Whether you have natural or straight hair, a general wash day takes a suitable amount of time and energy. Use such a time-consuming activity to bond with each other. You should wash each other’s hair, then afterward prepare for your deep conditioning treatment. The treatment gives you the time to sit back, play a game, have an honest conversation, or get out some old pictures and have a delightful laugh to take you back to the wonderful times you both shared. Now, it is time to rinse out your conditioner. This is the time to pamper each other. You know how great it feels to


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You are home and you look down at your feet and back up at your nails; you say to yourself, “wow! I have go to do something about my nails!” Doing your own nails can be difficult. This is how your mother or daughter can come in handy. Mother, this is when you say to your daughter, I will do yours, if you will do mine? As, she looks at you with the thought of “REALLY?”. Yet, you both agree. You ask yourself, do I have the ingredients to do my nails. Look around your bathroom and you see that you have lotions, body wash, scented oils, perfumes, and some olive oil in the kitchen. For example, you can mix olive oil, sugar, and some scented oil to make a great scrub for your hands and feet. If you do not have nail files or clippers make a quick run to a local dollar store. Create a spa date that you both will remember!

ONLINE SHOPPING DATE You should be careful shopping during this risky time with COVID-19, but you can use online sites to create a shopping date experience together. Make a list of what your needs are and imagine that you’re both in the mall. In most cases, the daughter does not want to shop only with her mother. She wants to run around the mall with her friends, as she does her shopping. When you finish shopping, pretend the two of you just returned home. You both set a time and an amount of money for your online shopping spree. Now, it is time to share what is in your shopping cart. This is the fun part! You get to see which one of you are the better shopper? Who bought items that were not on their list and which one stayed within their budget? This is an educational moment to stay focused on your needs and your finances!

Nine MONTHS Motherhood is a unique journey full of teaching and learning. From the moment of conception, every decision you make affects your baby. Environmental factors also play a part in the development of your baby, but did you know your internal feelings (such as stress, happiness, etc.) can also impact her?


While it is true that your baby gets the nutrients she needs to grow and thrive from you, she also gets chemical signals based on your feelings. When you are happy and your body is releasing oxytocin, your daughter feels that. However, she also feels when you are sad or stressed and this can negatively impact her development both in and out of the womb.

STAYING STRESSED Many studies have shown how stress affects pregnancies. If you are in a bad relationship or living situation and you’re consistently stressed throughout your pregnancy, you are increasing the risk of several conditions for your daughter. Our bodies release a hormone when we are stressed and a small portion of that goes to your baby. Chronic stress can lead to premature birth and low birth weight. There may even be links between chronic stress and behavioral issues later in life for your daughter. One study a few years ago showed a link between chronic stress while pregnant and ADHD.

DEPRESSION Just like stress, depression can affect your daughter while she is still in the womb. It is common for pregnant women to develop depression since hormones are all over the place, but it is important to learn how to cope. Not only can depression lead to low birth weight and premature birth, just like stress, but a study has linked depression while pregnant to an increased risk of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

AFTER BIRTH Your baby is the only one who knows what your heartbeat sounds like from the inside. You were her safe place for 9 months and suddenly she is in a new world, filled with lights and sounds she has never seen or heard before. The months following birth are crucial for her development. She is watching everything you do and say, down to the conversations you have with others.


Mother and Daughter BONDING TIPS


Though she cannot make you aware that she understands, those memories of you and what you say around her are tucked away in her subconscious. Studies show that infant negative affect (such as distress or irritability) are linked to increased chance of being diagnosed with anxiety later in life. You can eliminate this risk factor by being sensitive to your baby’s needs and soothing her as she needs it. Do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Frequent eye contact, especially when feeding, helps her bond with you, and you with her. She will take in the details of your face and start reacting when she sees you. This builds an unbreakable bond.

WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR HER Do not feel guilty for getting stressed while pregnant. Inconsistent stressors, such as a bad day or stressful events, will not have a major impact on your daughter. However, if you are stressed daily, you should find ways to cope and manage your stress. Everything you do impacts her; from the foods you eat to the feelings you have. If you are in a bad relationship, now is the time to look for your way out so you can create a better environment for you and your unborn daughter. If daily life is your stressor, try a relaxing bubble bath or pick up a new hobby to keep your mind busy. Finding ways to cope with stress and depression helps put you in control of your emotions so you can better serve your daughter. After she is born, remember that she takes in everything you do and say around her. She hears the good and the bad and captures those moments in her little mind. Be mindful of how you act and what you say around your daughter, especially as a newborn since they soak up all the information they hear. Love her, teach her, and guide her to be the best daughter, she can be.


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REFERENCES Association for Psychological Science. “Can fetus sense mother’s psychological state? Study suggests yes.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2011. releases/2011/11/111110142352.htm Florida Atlantic University. “Depression study examines levels of ‘love’ hormone and its impacts on motherbaby emotional bonding.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2016. 2016/03/160322100712.htm Haltigan, John D et al. “Infant negative affect and maternal interactive behavior during the still-face procedure: the moderating role of adult attachment states of mind.” Attachment & human development vol. 16,2 (2014): 149-73. doi:10.1080/14616734.2013. 863734 Kids, Caring. “Depression in Pregnant Women and Mothers: How It Affects You and Your Child - Caring for Kids”. Caringforkids. Cps. Ca, 2020. handouts/depression_in_ pregnant_women_and_mothers


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Twenty-Five Years

Journey Out of the

DARKNESS My journey started in July 1992. I was destroying relationships with my family and friends. The one thing that hurt me the most, I had destroyed my relationship with my daughter. Using had become more important to me than being a mother. I connected with others on the same destructive journey. We started using at different stages in our lives, but for the same reasons, to escape life’s responsibilities. I learned that we were sharing the same feelings and emotions, which became our crutch of justification. Addiction is such a cunning, baffling, and insidious disease. Addictions are not just the drugs we see plaguing our streets. There are other types of addictions, such as sexual, physical, mental, emotional, food and more. The journey always begins in a dreary space in the individual’s mind. You feel that you just want to fix the problem you are facing now. No one intends to become an addict. The mental escape takes you to a place where you think you have found peace until you discover that you are on the wrong road of life. A road that takes you on a lengthy journey of pain and humiliation, and even consequences from jail to the worst-case scenario, death.


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Community Resource Specialist

As a recovering addict with 25 years clean, as they say, I have been there and done that! For a number of years, I could not see the “light at the end of the tunnel.” The light of self-forgiveness did not shine into my life until I was at the point when I felt I was sick and tired, of being sick and tried! I saw how I was killing myself and wasting the precious life God gave me. There are many stories like mine, of addicts and the terrible disease of addiction and their journey out of darkness. I am sharing my story to help shine my light of hope to anyone that is on that unlit road of destruction. Being clean of any substance for 25 years is not easy! It is a day by day process. I must remind myself daily that every day is a new day and a fresh opportunity to serve God, myself, and others. My advice to anyone going through what I went through is, I want you to know you are a child of God and all you have to do is call out His name, ask Him to help you and wait on Him. He will always come! Then you talk to Him every day, depend on Him to lead you through the day. I know because I have been doing just that for 25 years! It works, and you will recover!





Start where you







We are in a critical time in America. The first six months of 2020 has been a tough season for everyone. We went from the fear of disease, loss of freedom, and the death of loved ones due to the coronavirus, to the reality and pain of police brutality, social injustice, and racism. Two pandemics have spread across the globe at lightning speed, affecting every man, woman, and child. It has been through these challenging times, that the important of the family unit has come to the forefront. Family members have had no choice but to lean on each other for comfort during these trying times and try to understand each other when emotions run high. The relationship between a mother and her daughter will be the focus of this article. I wrote a series of books a few years ago about a domestic violence shelter in Atlanta, Georgia called The Love House. The Love House is part of a three-book series about a shelter counselor named Karen King. The books are not just about The Love House and the abused women who go there for safety, but also about Karen’s relationship with her daughters. In the book, Linda Marie and Kacess’ion struggle with jealousy, sibling rivalry, and the attention and acceptance they crave from their mother. It forces Karen to learn tough lessons about patience and accepting each daughter as she is, and not how Karen wants them to be.


Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine

In these tough times, it is easy to allow the emotional stress caused by issues of the outside world, to affect how mothers relate to their daughters within the home. It is important for mothers to remember that every child is born with unique personalities, characteristics, talents, and gifts. These unique qualities are the DNA that God instilled in them at birth. God gave them these qualities, gifts, and talents so they could fulfill their earthly assignments. The challenge for Karen, as it is for most mothers, is to embrace the differences between her children and try not to compare one with the other. Far too often, mothers will glorify the actions, intelligence, or talents of one child, while vocalizing her disapproval and impatience with the other child. This usually causes problems between the siblings and can cause lifetime damages to their self-esteems. God places daughters in a mother’s care to provide love, guidance, and the necessities of life, while the girls grow wiser and stronger to begin following their own individual paths, ultimately fulfilling God’s plans for their lives. So, instead of losing patience, judging, and criticizing your daughters for their differences, try to nurture and cultivate their individuality.


Relationship WORK?

As a mother and a professional Life Coach, it is challenging to switch hats to communicate with family and friends about life’s issues. From time to time, women have asked me, how does the connection work so well between my daughter and me? Is it because you are a coach? That must be the answer? I realized that my daughter and I had an amazing relationship, but the questions on how we maintain our relationship was a question I never thought to ask my daughter. I have a 35-year-old daughter whom I love! From her childhood to now, we have had good communication. So, when she left to go to college, we continued our conversations, using technology. She would call and say, “Momma, I am just checking on ya,” and our conversations would start from there to whatever topics came up. Never boring, never rehearsed. We have a communication flow that works well for us. On Mother’s Day 2020, I asked my daughter the question. What does she believe makes our relationship work? As she pondered the question, I did as well. As I waited for her response. I could tell that was a question that she probably never thought about. My daughter broke the silence and answered, “I believe it is because of the respect and trust that we have for each other”. She grew up knowing she could come to me and discuss any subject and I would do my best to give her an answer that she could believe and trust. I included her in making joint decisions. When she was a junior girl, I valued her opinion. I included her in making joint decisions on what she wanted to wear, eat, and our entertainment. Something my mother did not do for me or my siblings. With my mother you wore what she bought and ate what she cooked! It was that simple!


CPLC Life Coach

As with most of us, I wanted to improve my relationship with my daughter, compared to my relationship with my mother. As I grewup and became a mother, I gained a better understanding of what my mother went through. She was doing the best she could. I now know that she could only give me what she had. My daughter and I have thousands of memories, some good and some challenging. The ones that I like to recall are her milestones, her birthdays! I enjoy going all out for her birthday. Her reactions would just fill my heart with joy! I remember talking to family and friends about what to expect when your daughter turns 13 years old. I heard so many weird stories; I did not know what to expect. On the eve of her 13th birthday, I had been preparing for the battle of the unknown teenager. I woke up early on the morning of her birthday. I enjoy going into her room at the exact time that she was born to sing happy birthday. Only on this birthday, I slowly tapped her on the shoulder and stepped backward to see if her head would spin. It didn’t, so I said, “Happy Birthday, doll face!” That is just one of our playful moments. She rolled over, opened her eyes, yawned, smiled and replied, “Momma, I knew you were coming”. She sat up, gave me a hug, a thanks and said I will see you in a few, as she rolled over and went back to sleep. I eased out of her room and went to my room thinking; she is going to be a great teenager, and I went back to bed and fell asleep. As an adult daughter, we spend quality time together daily! Our days are filled with many conversations or you can find us on vacation or traveling through Europe (one of our many vacations together).


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ANDRENE WARD-HAMMOND Actress on the NBC Series Manifest



You may have spotted Andrena in her weekly NBC series Manifest, or the critically acclaimed movie Loving as caretaker Laura, or in FX’s edgy series Atlanta. From those few projects alone, two major milestones to show black lives on screens both big and small. It is clear what Andrena Ward-Hammond strives to be: a woman of many possibilities, “an example of beauty, and success.” Andrena poured blood, sweat and tears into creating a place for herself in an industry where African American roles are scarce and riddled with stereotypes. There were many tears, especially on those sets where stylists did not understand how to work with her kinky hair. So where did she find that special brand of Andreamin (a nickname coined by her friends and fans) that pushed her into stardom?


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TYLA HARRIS Actress on the CBS Series For Life

For the actress, it was her mother who gave her a taste for adventure and the multiple possibilities life can offer. Immigrating to the United States from Jamaica at only 16, her mother was an explorer of life; she always found time to haul little Andrena across New York to show her whatever movies or plays the city offered. “She gifted me with so many experiences,” the actress shares, when many around her never even dared to set foot in Manhattan. The quality time spent as a child with her mother — who, she adds, may very well be the funniest person she knows — proved to be a fertile ground for Andrena as she developed her aspiration to become an actress. Watching Reading Rainbow helped inspired her, starring kids the same color as her. But, later in life, when she stepped into

an improv class where all the players were black, it was their enthusiastic feedback that gave her that extra push to make it in the industry. There were many auditions and endless hours spent driving across the country. To make things trickier, Andrena gave birth to her daughter on the very last day of her Theatre Shop final! Her first thoughts when she held Tyla in her arms? “She’s okay? Great. I need a nap.” Yet despite being a new mother on top of an aspiring actress, Andrena knew she had something she needed to show her daughter — perseverance. So, she did the best she could, juggling between her career and motherhood; and it looks like Andrena did


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great! Between relying on her own mother and the rest of her supportive Jamaican family, and bringing her daughter along with her whenever she could, Andrena made a name for herself and landed many inspiring roles that we see today. Her hard work shows her daughter or anyone looking to become an actress, it takes determination to hold on to your dream! Tyla got it! For all she achieved and the challenges she faced to live from her passion, Andrena has one piece of advice: “Make time for you children.” Hardships are just as vital as the wins for an actress. “You’ve worked that muscle; you’ve found your strength.” But life, work and dreams also have a way of snapping one’s attention! Andrena says, “I can’t believe how fast the years flew by, Tyla is all grown up now, and has followed my road map to success! I am so proud of her!


Tyla Harris is nineteen and set to take on the world. Starring in ABC’s For Life as the daughter of a wrongfully convicted African American man who becomes a lawyer behind bars, it sounds like Andrena passed on her goal representing black lives on-screen to her daughter. But for now, Tyla is still at the start of a very promising career. Highschool memories are fresh, along with the obstacles she had to face: the pressure of balancing auditions and schoolwork, hurtful rumors and even the racism of certain students. Yet she assures us the strains only strengthened her. Rings a bell, right? Though Tyla had already signed with an agent by the time she entered high school, she never took her future for granted. Acting career aside, she has already penned a poetry book, was the president of her high school debate team (which was an award-winning group), and somehow found the time to graduate Magna Cum Laude. Like her grandmother showed Andrena when she was a child in New York, the nineteen-year-old actress was also taught that there are many directions life can take and being “multidimensional,” as Tyla says, can be a goal. Years of being her mother’s “pocketbook” (what everyone called Tyla as her mother would never leave her behind) inspired the youth to become an actress. But even though the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, as she says, Tyla knows how to be her own person. The key is being the absolute best version of herself? Holding herself accountable. Which, she believes, will “inspire so many people to see the beauty and strengths in themselves?”


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One thing is sure: we want to know more about this mother-daughter relationship, where the young Tyla Harris inspired by her mother’s achievements without being stifled, where she followed Andrena’s footsteps all while creating her own path. So, what is their secret ingredient?



Boggle games and Tik-Tok dance battles are two of the ingredients Andrena and Tyla uses to spend quality time. Even though the two women are both stars, it is plain old quality time that keeps their bond so strong. Not saying there have not been a few bumps down the road for the two of them. Especially during that “weird preteen stage,” Andrena confesses. She struggled with the delicate balance between leaving her daughter some breathing room and being there for her when her daughter needed a shoulder to lean on. As any mother, she worried she was not doing enough. But even through the tumult of teenage years, Andrena and Tyla always knew communication was key. We all know what a challenge talking can be, when there’s resentment and hurt in the mix. So, they strived to come up with their own strategies, to find whatever worked between the two unique mother and daughter duo. For Tyla, it meant writing letters to her mother when her frustration became too overwhelming. Writing proved to be a worthwhile solution for her to keep a cool head, all while expressing what she needed to say. It also meant understanding that her mother was human, and may blunder a time or two. At those times, working through those mistakes together was the way to go.

For Andrena, it meant developing a thick skin, and letting her daughter vent from time to time. As a mother, coming to realize that she should not take words spoken in anger, helped her understand her daughter’s struggles better. “We all just want to be heard,” the actress explains. And learning that sometimes, even a parent needs to say I am sorry, which can heal their relationship. Staying honest with each other, when it is unpleasant, made it possible for the pair of stars to build a relationship of mutual trust. Part of Andrena’s drive comes from the fact that she aspires to be a “reflection of the possibilities” that Tyla can become. Funny enough, her daughter has something similar to say: after following her mother to auditions, theatres and improv shows and watching her set such lofty standards for herself. Tyla came to realize that she reflects her mother. So, it sounds like the time they spent together is at the heart of the thriving relationship that pushed a mother and daughter to pursue their dreams. Being together, growing familiar and accompanying each other in whatever trials everyday life offered, made them strong, unstoppable women. And when they find the time between auditions, Andrena and Tyla like to play scrabble for a good dose of healthy competition. Because even though both actresses now share the same career, the relationship they have built is one where each woman can have her own role. So, tune into Andrena’s NBC weekly series Manifest and turn on Netflix to watch her romantic comedy The Lovebirds with Andrena as a detective! And do not forget to tune into Tyla’s ABC weekly series For Life. Andrene and Tyla, “As is the mother, so is her daughter.” (Ezekiel 16:44)


n o i t c e S l LIFE AFTER PRISON a i c e p S


As a 30-year-old female from Miami, Florida, I have traveled the road of incarceration with a 10-year sentence, and an additional nine years of probation following. No one plans on being incarcerated. It is not an experience anyone wants to have, but it was the best thing for me at the time and I made it work. After many years in prison, I was given an opportunity to apply for a transfer to a prison work release center. After arriving at the Women Hollywood Work Release Center, I signed up for the Mother and Daughter Bible College. Signing up for college was not something that was on my mind. I went to the Hollywood Work Release Center with a plan to work and save money to prepare for my exit. I sought information about the college, thinking it may be too late for acceptance. In prison I was conscious of making efforts to seek growth and development for myself. So, I took advantage of the opportunities presented to me to attend the Mother and Daughter Bible College. What stood out and motivated me to enroll in the Mother and Daughter Bible College, was their scholarship offer and the option to take all of your old college credits; that made my decision easy. They accept all credits, no matter how


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old they are, from an accredited institution. I gained expert knowledge while taking the courses, not just about the subject but about myself. I learned how to apply selfpsychology for better self-control. The integrated approach between Biblical Studies and Christian Psychology helped to lesson my struggles and anxiety. I never lost my Faith. I continued to trust and thank God for Professor Oliver and Dr. Fletcher whom he placed over this college. They care for women and have a deep desire to see significant change in the lives of their students. It was an interesting experience, despite the struggles I faced. I graduated valedictorian of the 2019 class with my Bachelor’s in Christian Psychology. It was only by God’s Grace that I made it! With my degree in hand, I got a job just one month after graduating! I am an assistant counselor in a group home for the Department of Children and Families:, a youth program for boys. The things that happened in my life, because of my choices, were never in vain. Prison turned out to be a lesson I do not want to repeat. The experience changed my life. However, it afforded me things I never imagined. Through God and education, I am “reformed!” To God be the glory!


As much knowledge as my mother had instilled in me, it still was not enough to prevent me from joining the Poor Decision Makers club. In 1979, I took my first trip to the juvenile detention center for stealing. Little did I know, stealing was just the beginning my journey of self-destruction. Four years later, what started out as joy riding with a few friends ended in an “accidental” murder! For which they sent me to prison. They sentenced me to a life sentence of 25 years. I never thought leaving my mother’s house at age 13 that I would be in such a situation! Those 25 years started out rough. I found myself in solitary confinement for fighting, often. It took me an awfully long time to realize that it was myself I was really fighting against. After eight years of dying inside, while serving my sentence, I made some changes in my lifestyle. I started making better choices on how to spend my time inside those prison walls. I found my purpose and how I could use that purpose to help those of us who were incarcerated. I became a Board-Certified Law Clerk. Where I spent most of my time working on other inmate’s cases. I worked on the Scared Straight program, which allowed me to share my story with youth headed down the same path I was on. I wanted them to know that when I was their age, I thought I knew what was best for my life at thirteen, too, so they could see that it didn’t work out very well for me. I told them my truth, and that was enough to scare them straight! With all that I was doing to help others, I still continued to work on me. I was extremely popular and well-known by old and new inmates. As a power of influence, I used it for both good and evil. Believing that I was doing what I needed to do to survive! There is a game in prison, and I learned to play it well!

One day, my best inmate friend came to me and told me she gave her life to Jesus Christ and invited me to go to church with her the next night. I became angry and upset with her, I could not believe that she had given her life to Christ! I was thinking, now what I am I going to do? She kept asking me to go with her to church. I thought okay, I will go but I am not giving my life to Christ. This was on April 21, 1996, and that day I gave my life to Christ. I was so filled with the Spirit of God; I went back to my cell telling everyone about the Love of Christ and how it’s going to change my life for the good! In my excitement, I started a bible study group in prison. I wanted everyone to know Jesus Christ. I wanted people to feel what I was feeling. My body was in prison, but my mind and soul were free for the first time in my life. I remember reading in the Bible, Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, and Knock and the door will open. One night I was lying on the floor in my cell praying and I asked God if He would let me out of prison, I promised Him that I would tell everyone I meet about His Son, Jesus Christ. I knew that I had 25 years, but I thought, why not ask. I asked and I heard God speak to me. He said, “Now, you are on the right track. I will let you go in two years.” I started telling inmates that I am out of here in two years! They laughed and said that I was crazy! Well, God does not lie! Two years to the day, an officer came to my cell and told me to get my stuff, that my name was on the list of departures! On August 18, 1998, God performed that miracle and set me free. My life sentence was reduced to time served, and they released me from prison. God can do all things if you believe!  He is a miracle worker, promise keeper, and light in your darkness. It is now 2020, and I have graduated from the Poor Decision Makers club, to the Pay It Forward club. I am now working on my bachelor’s degree, mentoring inmates coming out of prison, working as a co-host on the Mother and Daughter Roundtable Radio Program, and serving on several community boards. However, my greatest position in life now is to serve my Lord and Savior, who grants me guidance, gratitude, and grace. It is my absolute honor to pay those blessings forward. I give all the glory to God.



Prison Changed Me FROM “WATUSI,” TO THELMA BY THELMA WHARTON They knew me in the streets and among family and friends, as Watusi! When I look back over my life and recall the things I’ve done, the places I’ve been, the drugs I’ve used, the street lifestyle I was living, I know it was only that brought me through it all. They gave me a 9-year prison sentence and in the beginning, I could not imagine the day that I would walk out of prison back into the “free” world. During my time inside, I focused on getting through one day at a time and, to tell the truth, it was not a peaceful experience. I was just doing the time with no goals or ideas of what I wanted out of life. The months turned into years, I sought programs that were being offered in the prison. I took many classes, but they only offered certificates. The first seven years I had accumulated enough class hours to have a college degree. Then one day I went to church and gave my life to Christ. I did not understand who I was; for the first time I saw the real Thelma, whom I hid from for most of my life. As I spent time with God, I studied to understand more about His words. I grew, mentally and physically. I prayed and asked God to help me have a better life when I left prison. I did not want to go back into the world I came out of, as Watusi! Because I was just getting to Thelma, and I was falling in love with her. The Thelma God created me to be.


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Toward the end of a nine-year sentence, they accepted me in to the Hollywood Women Work Release Center. I had time to work and to reconnect to the world outside of prison. Two weeks after moving to the center I met these two gun-ho ladies, Dr. Fletcher, and Professor Oliver. They both have a desire to help incarcerated women find the hope they need to start a fresh life through education. I accepted their invitation to attend of the Mother and Daughter Bible College. My Spirit was pushing me to sign-up, but my thought was telling me I was not college material! After much prayer, I decided I would go for it, and now, I am glad I did! In 2018, I enrolled in the Mother and Daughter Bible College, studying Christian Psychology. However, I must be honest, I fought what these amazing ladies were offering me for a while. Today I am proud to say that I am a college graduate and I hold an Associate Degree and am also enrolled in the bachelor’s program with the college. I am grateful to these two godly women who did not let me give up on myself. They continue to give me the courage to have faith and believe in myself. It is in my abilities to achieve all that God has for me in this life. I am living today with Christ in me. May God bless all those who may come behind me, to this institute of Christian learning. A place where students can take part in furthering their education with Mother and Daughter Bible College. God Bless!



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One Million Smiles. Coronavirus has taken away smiling faces from so many and covered them with masks. Let’s ring the smiles back to those who are ill and quarantined. Send in your smile by tagging #simplysashaanne on Instagram Use Hashtags #onemillionsmiles #smilestones #smilesforsasha With over 1 million views on YouTube, Sasha Anne has made a name for herself as a beauty influencer and professional makeup artist. She is a Shorty Award recipient for empowering young girls with her Wonder Woman makeup tutorial.

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

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




Finding a Job AFTER INCARCERATION BY DR. ANNE WADE, EdD, Ph.D. Job searching is hard enough without having the baggage of having been incarcerated. Employers are concerned about hiring someone who has a record. However, there are still good employers out there who will give you a chance. How do you overcome the hurdle of being convicted of crime? How many years will employers look at that box you check on an application, the one that asks if you have ever been convicted? This is the reality; they will judge you by. However, there are some tips on minimizing your conviction and getting them to see you. When, you go to a business or industry for an application make sure you are


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dressed appropriately. No jeans, no tee shirt, and no tennis shoes. You can wear dress pants but make sure they are clean and wellhemmed. Look good and make sure your clothes fit you well. Nothing too tight or baggy and nothing low cut or shear. Tone down your hair and wear neutral make-up. Once you get the job, they will give you an acceptable dress code. Tattoos are personal, but for a personnel interviewer it can be overwhelming, if you have a lot. You want to be judged on you, not on your body art. If there is any way you can cover them when picking up an application or going for an interview, do so.

Do not take anyone with you, including your children, to pick up up an application or to an interview. You might be judged by their appearance. When you pick up an application on site and return it to a receptionist, be nice and get his or her name. Greet them by their name and remember to say thank you. Your interview starts the minute you walked through the company’s door. As you approach the receptionist tell her your name and that you are there to pick up an application or turn one in. Make sure you get her name. When you leave, thank the receptionist, using her name. For example, “Thank you Susan, I appreciate you giving me the application, or I appreciate you giving the application to personnel for me. Have a wonderful day.” This is an excellent practice, because in many cases, the interviewer will ask the receptionist how well you presented yourself. When you return the application to personnel (if you did not complete it at the company), again dress well. Always make sure you are clean and not wearing a potent perfume. Some people have allergies or just may not like the scent you are wearing. You have an interview and you are dreading the question, why were you incarcerated? In the interview, they will ask you why were you in incarcerated? Turn this into a positive for you, rather than a negative. Start by telling the interviewer that you are happy to share that information. But first, let me start by telling you what I learned in prison. Here is where you can shine.

Tell the personnel interviewer about the education you received, the anger management course you completed successfully, the awards or honors you received while in prison. Tell how it made you a better person, maybe even a more mature person. Do not lie or exaggerate, but tell the truth. If going to prison saved your life or got you out of an unpleasant situation, say it. Make sure you emphasize that you have served your time, for what you did (now is not the time to blame anyone else, or tell a lengthy life story of how you got there). After you have shared all the good you received while in prison. Then close with “I was convicted of _______________.” and “I take responsibility for my actions and I have fulfilled my prison sentence.” There is no need to dwell on the charge, the incarceration or family matters. When you are asked questions, answer them truthfully and briefly. Again, do not talk about your entire life’s story. If you are asked, if you have questions for them, ask your questions, but do not ask about pay. At the end of the interview, shake hands with the interviewer and thank him or her for the opportunity to interview with them. On your way out, be sure to thank the receptionist, again! Your job is waiting for you! Good luck!


Celebrity Spotlight


Tiana with her mother Tiffany Sirmans

She may be half the size of the celebrities she interviews, but her dreams are not any less grand. At only ten years old, Ms. Tiana Sheree Sirmans knows how to make the voices of others heard. And even though she mingles with the stars, the young journalist’s days includes time spent with her mother, school, and what every other fourth grader does for fun, that is, when she doesn’t have to squeeze in an interview before her 10:00 a.m. class. Tiana’s lengthy resume extends beyond her junior years. She is a reporter for TIME Magazine for Kids. The youngest member in the history of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. Her interviews include A-listers, such as Storm Reid, Ice Cube, Michael B. Jordan, Miss America, Tom Joyner. So, what’s the secret behind Tiana’s dazzling success? For her, it is her mother. But her mother would say it is her daughter’s endless imaginations and willingness to learn, which motivates her to


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keep setting her bar higher after achieving a goal, including her most recent goal of learning how to “hularead.” Tiana finds a place of creativity in hulahooping and reading a book at the same time. Her mother says she is amazingly multi-talented. Tiana was only about seven years old when she decided she wanted to become a journalist. She says ABC’s Robin Roberts and news anchor Alicia Viteralli inspired her. But Tiana will let you know that her mother was her very first role model. Tiana shared that her mother, Tiffany Sirmans is an “exceptional writer”

Tiana as a “Celebrity Godparent” in Keke Palmer’s ‘Saving Our Daughters’ Cinderella’s Program

and has a career of her own. She also says that her mother encourages her to chase her dreams. As Tiana chases her dreams, her mother Tiffany manages her budding journalist rising career, while maintains being her mother, her role model, teacher, adviser, traveling companion, playmate, and nurturer. When asked how they spend quality time together, they said, “we like traveling, cooking, dancing, and just being plain old silly together”. Keep in mind, she only ten years old! Every day is not always rainbows and sunshine for Tiffany and Tiana. When it comes time for mommy saying “no”, Tiffany says, the one thing she and Tiana work hard on is to listen to each other. It helps them process final decisions that works for both. As a mother of a 10-year-old that has the Spirit of an adult, makes mothering Tiffany strategic. Tiffany must have taught her daughter well because Tiana navigates her early success

with all the maturity and level-headedness of a person three times her age. She has starred as a “Celebrity Godparent” in Keke Palmer’s ‘Saving Our Daughters’ Cinderella’s Program, where Tiana’s advice to other young girls always remains the same, “keep believing and don’t stop dreaming”. Tiana launched her own web series “Lights, Screen, Action.” The next thing on her list, she dreams of becoming a chef, an author, and an actress. Tiffany says, she remembered telling Tiana at a very young age, “You can learn to fly a plane if you set your mind to it,” not knowing that those very words gave her daughter “Faith” to believe. From that day on, my daughter has been popping out one talent after the other, so fast that it used to frighten me! But that’s not all! Tiana has an eye for films, so she became a film critic! This tween’s interests not only reside in being a film critic, journalist, Red


Celebrity Spotlight


Carpet event host interviewing “Super Star” celebrities. She also uses her talent to help carry the voices of children, bringing to light the stress kids her age face, with eloquence and insight. Tiana is an influencer, and she uses her influence to help build the self-esteem of other youthful girls. She is their role model for realizing they, too, can live out their dreams! It looks like Tiana has the recipe for success. Between pursuing her dreams in the entertainment industry and voicing real-life issues affecting her community and age group, there’s one thing the 10-year-old can be sure of: her mother will continue to be the pillar on which she can rest and grow, as “she has always been there, no matter what.” Another thing that is certain, we have not finished hearing about this bright girl’s feats. We will have to keep an eye out for this pintsized journalist among the celebrities towering above her at many red carpet events to come. We look forward to seeing her grow into the multi-talented woman that God has created her to be. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out her Instagram page under @tianashereeofficial, where she shares snapshots of her adventures on the road to success.


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Spiritually Speaking


You are here on this earth and you have a gift, a purpose, and a service to offer while you are here in this world. That specific gift, purpose, or service is what your life should be about. Your gift will cause you to be in good health, good financial status, and good standing with God and man. Divine favor is in your life’s purpose, which means you have the grace to do it, be it, and achieve it. As a member of the Royal Family, you are given grace and mercy to help you to accomplish that which God sent you to accomplish. Rather, you know it or not, being a child of God connects you to the God’s Royal Kingdom. Making you, Royalty! “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Pet. 2:9 ESV) As Israel was, so are we—believers, the church— are also a chosen race. Deception is an act or statement which misleads, hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true. This is what the enemy used to invoke Eve, the first woman, to lose her identity. Someone deceived has accepted as true or valid what is false or invalid. To believe that you do not have gifts or talents, or that your time here on earth does not matter, because you have no specific purpose, is total deception. This is the enemy’s plan. We are

entitled, to every promise God has made, and the only way we do not inherit the promised blessings is if they deceive us to believe that they do not exist for us today. God has given us a spirit of love and power, along with a sound mind, to overcome the fear and timidity (1 Tim. 1:7) of the threat and operation of the spirit of deception. If you do not know who you are, you may experience bondage and captivity. Uncovering who you are, and your origin will reveal not only your identity but also the power and gifts that lie within. When you discover your untapped potential, then you will realize your God given Purpose. When you come from royalty, but live like an indigent, then you live beneath your blessings and purpose. Do not allow the enemy to cloud your view of yourself. You must look within and be in constant pursuit of your destiny and purpose. The enemy wants to keep you down by giving you “just enough,” which causes selfish and sometimes violent ways. Your Heavenly Father is the God of Abundance and No Lack! Once you realize who you are and what you can do, there are no limits to your success. Do not miss out and feel sorry for yourself for not achieving your life’s purpose. Get inspired now and go forth and achieve greatness. Forget about all the past issues and hurts. Whatever is inside of you right now is there for your prosperity and the good of others.


I dislike waiting, don’t you? The uncertainty is the most troublesome part. What do you do when the waiting is constant and there is no end in sight?

Waiting... 16 YEARS



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I am not talking about waiting on a dream to come true, or to reach a goal. I am talking about waiting for my beautiful daughter to die! I have been waiting for 16 years for my daughter to die! Every day, when I open my eyes, my first thoughts include the question, “Is this the day that my daughter Dies?” From that question, it fills my day with feelings of sadness, anxiousness, and depression! I have felt this and so much more while waiting… waiting and waiting,16 years for my daughter to die. A month before my daughter’s wedding day, with all the joy of a beautiful youthful woman set to marry the love of her life, they gave her a diagnosis that changed her life. Her Doctor told her she had a brain tumor! It devastated her! At first, she did not know what to think or do. But she knew she had to tell her fiancé. She needed to give him the opportunity to decide rather he wanted to marry her or call the wedding off. She knew that the news of having a brain tumor could change the dynamic of their relationship.

I tell you this story because I want to express how much my daughter has inspired me to be present...

When she told her fiancé, he was as heartbroken as she was. They have dated for over four years and the love that they had was stronger than a brain tumor! He assured her he loved her and together they would get through whatever life offered them.

decision to leave her practice and her dream home. They moved back to Pennsylvania to be closer to family and friends. She wanted to put in place a support system for her and her family for now and after her passing.

The wedding was sweet, but with a bitterness. As her mother, it broke my heart. I was uncertain if she would make it to her wedding day. For most brides and grooms saying, “I love you for better or worst through sickness and health,” is just a part of the original ceremony. For Aimee and Adam, it was a trying moment. During the wedding ceremony, tears welled in both Aimee and Adam’s eyes as they spoke the words “through sickness and in health,” knowing that they were entering an unknown life of trauma!

I tell you this story because I want to express how much my daughter has inspired me to be present; for myself, for her, her family and for others. She reminds me that every moment spent in the past, or worried about the future, are moments lost forever. Worrying about anything only keeps us from fully enjoying the best things while they are here. Be here now. It is the only time any of us have.

Aimee had a craniotomy the following month. She was told that she would not live long. After the surgery, she, and her husband with their cats and all their belongings drove to Arizona. Aimee is a strong, determined, young lady. As a child she would set her mind on a thing and nothing could stop her from achieving her goal. They accepted her into medical school, and nothing would stop her from attending her first day of class. She would not let her diagnosis hold back. After being in medical school for six months, they scheduled her for her 6-month checkup. Aimee’s MRI revealed that they only removed half of the tumor. So, they scheduled her for a second brain surgery. Life kept going, and she kept living. The following 5 years were full of exciting events, along with tragic events. Not only did she complete medical school and become Dr. Aimee, but she had 2 children, underwent a 3rd brain surgery, suffered a stroke and a stage 3 cancer diagnosis—but none of that held her back. The family moved to Vermont, where Aimee opened her own practice. They bought their dream home and welcomed their third baby. Several years went before an MRI revealed she had brain cancer again. After her fourth brain surgery, Aimee made the heartbreaking

It has been sixteen years, and she is still living, Praise God! Aimee decided a few weeks ago to stop all treatments. Because they made her drowsy and she sleeps through most of her days. She and her family are home like most of us during COVID-19. She stopped treatment because she wants to enjoy her children. She said, I am not afraid to die! I know where I am going. I will step out of this life into a life with God! She has prepared her children and her husband for that day. She has also set-up Hospice when the time arrives. As a mother writing her memoir, it is the hardest thing a mother must go through! Anytime. I spend with my daughter Dr. Aimee is “Quality Time!” I write as she dictates. She is full of joy and laughter, as if she does not have a care in this World! I feel that part of me are dying as I often ask God, “Why?” Here are a few thoughts from Dr. Aimee’s memoir, “Beloved and Brain Cancer, Learning to Live Each Moment as if it Were Your Last.” “God is with you, even in the hard times. When you get to the end of your rope, you just must stop and say, ‘I need you.’ He will lovingly embrace you in His arms, arms that have been reaching out to you the whole time. You will know His incredible love for you as He carries you through the times, when it is too hard for you to walk.”



r e t h g u a D d n a r e Moth BONDING MAGAZINE

We create the Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine for mothers and their daughters. Which includes all women, because every woman is a daughter and has their own mother and daughter story. The magazine focus is on helping mothers and daughters create a healthy relationship. Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine focus on the motherdaughter relationships, as it nurtures individual mothers or daughters. This includes grandmothers, stepmothers, mothers-in-law, and any woman who nurtures a young girl. The magazine contains a mixture of engaging mother and daughter bonding stories, testimonials, practical solutions to mother and daughter issues, tips on how to spend quality time that heals their relationship, spotlights on outstanding mothers or daughters in their communities, mother and daughter businesses, momma’s recipes, finance and money management, and how to balance life in the world and live a Christian life. As the publisher of the Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine, Spiritually, I was led to share the testimonies of mothers and daughters. My mission is to reveal that all mothers and daughters have one thing in common, the need for having an honest conversation. These honest conversations are the key to opening the heart to forgiveness.

Photo Credit: Janice Pauldo, J’s Photographer

The Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine contains a variety of content. You will read stories on mothers and daughters from television and movie stars, business owners, young and adult entrepreneurs, fashion designers, community leaders and organizations, ministers, prison work release programs, life coaches, educators, working mothers, at-home mothers, and professional experts. Our goal is to create a platform for mothers and daughters to share their life experiences to help other mothers or daughters, as we all travel through this thing called life! Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine is a bi-monthly publication online and print-on-demand.

Dr. Bessie Fletcher, Ph.D., Publisher 30

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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 770.615.8886

J’s Photography

Recipient of the following awards: • Unity People’s Award • Black Lives Matter People’s Choice Award • People’s Choice Award

For all your professional photography needs contact:


Take off

THE MASK MOTHERS As I look back on the past, I realize that I have truly worn a mask for a long time. Yes, I said it! So, you can admit it, or you can continue to wear your mask. How do I know this to be true? First, a mask is a covering that covers your mouth so what you are saying isn’t clear and no one can see your lips. With 2 Timothy 2:15, it says, “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who need not be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” Have we lived that? I made sure to always have the look, say the right things, be in the right places. As I left my family to do things such as working, going to school, and doing what I had to do to put food on the table, I made sure I always had the right look, said the right things, and be in the right places. At that time, I thought I was doing what would better their lives, but did it? I was a working mother of three children, and wanted to make their life better than the life I had experienced. Although if you ask me about their grade school and college years, I can’t really tell you much about it because I wasn’t “there.” I ask myself, “how can I fix their broken hearts?” I can only hope that I will get the opportunity to revisit those unforgivable places in my daughter’s heart. Over the past 20 years, I have felt the results of my actions.


Now some twenty years later, after the heart aches, illness and a lot of time being alone. I realize if I could change some things, would I really want to, probably not. Because I know that I only did what I believed to be the best for my children at the time and they all finished college and are doing well! Do I regret the time that I missed when they were younger, yes! I cannot change it, but I want to find that space where we can enjoy where we are now and the rest of our lives together. One day my daughters will be in the position I was in, mothers, and how will they handle it all? Will they, too, say they weren’t home because they had to work to make a better life for their children, their daughters? Truth will always find its way back. So, as Queens of our beautiful Princesses lets learn to enjoy each other no matter where we are or what we are doing! So, take off your mask of forgiveness, mother, and live!


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g n i t a r b e Cel others M Beautiful Blessed Mamma BY ASHLEY HAAS

I am a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur, and a daughter of God. When I quit my corporate job during the time when I lost my grandmother, I did not know what I was going to do. In my heart, I knew I had to put worries in God’s hands. I knew he would handle it, and I would not have to carry my burdens alone.

I had to find a larger property to meet the expansion of the business and the ministry. With all that I was going through personally, I could not give up on the plan that God placed in my heart. We are more than a store and we are more than just clothes. We are a place where women can come when they need a hug, a smile, and a Word from God. I believe God sends these women my way so I can share His light and His glory with them.

God touched my heart to start selling clothes from my closet just to make ends meet. I had a dream for many years, 10 years to be exact, to open a clothing shop for plus size women. I knew in my heart that I could help them feel confident and beautiful in the clothes they wore.

Over the past 9 months at our new location, God has consistently sent women, placing them in the path of our business and ministry. I know He will use me and the ladies in the community to spread His love and His message. It is my desire for this business and community of women to continue to be a place of light in the darkness and a place of peace! I call my shop a lighthouse, because I feel I can reach someone else through my testimony, and my journey. What I want is to show the ladies the love of God and how He has blessed my life.

Keeping this dream in mind, I started in my bedroom with the clothes from my closet; just one rack. As time went on, my consignment shows on Facebook grew, attracting new viewers with each show. We became a family full of love and support for one another. Over the last two years, we took the shows from a one bedroom, to a building in my yard, to a storefront. The building in my backyard became a place of fellowship and have encouraging conversations. After a few months, the space became too small. We grew so fast;


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Our lighthouse is called Blessed Mama Plus Size Boutique. I am a mama and I am blessed beyond measure. I wanted to share my blessings with you. If you feel a Word from God, asking you to step out on Faith, just do it! He will create something wonderful through you.

Ladies in Waiting


Founder and CEO Ladies in Waiting Ministries International, Inc.

Minister Battle yields to the call on her life. To see women and girls become willing vessels for the Lord, ready to hear His voice and move at His bidding. Ladies in Waiting Ministries International, Inc. (LIWMI) is an organization to help heal the hurt of women and girls across the world, bringing them healing and hope (Isaiah 6:8,9). LIWMI has been serving the communities for the past 35 years, providing various services and opportunities for women and girls. To help inspire and promote their growth in the Word of God. LIWMI offer job preparation and job placement, locating housing for displaced women, teaching new skills to help them become employable or to start their own businesses. LIWMI partners with several organizations and businesses to help unite their services to empower the neglected and under-served communities.

Appreciation of BY TRACY SECOMBE

As an ordained Minister and a Motivational Speaker, Minister Battle supports her church, her community, and various other ministries. She provides pastoral counseling, conducts workshops, retreats, and community events. Which include radio and television and hosting a weekly radio show on WIGO and Love 86. Minister Battle is the Elect Lady, a wife of 47 years, a mother and grandmother who ministers alongside her husband, Pastor Franklin D. Battle, Sr. They have served in the ministry together for 38 years. Mrs. Battle and her husband have three adult children and eight grandchildren. She and her husband started the Upper Room Church in Jonesboro, Georgia. Minister Battle attended Joe E. Brown High School in Atlanta, Georgia. and Southwestern University of Americus, Georgia. She is a Certified Dental Assistant, Extended Duties, and has been practicing in the field for 39 years. On the lighter side, she enjoys traveling, listening to classical music, the theater, watching old movie classics, fishing, reading, writing, and mountain climbing.

Quality Time

When my Mum was still alive, she used to show up at my door on the weekends unannounced to visit us. In many other ways, she was unassuming and would never come across as pushy. But for her family and staying close and connected– it was, non-negotiable. She would not let busy lives impede, keeping her large family close. I look back on that quality time, folding laundry together, laughing, crying, telling stories and remembering the fiercely, protective love she had for us all. When Mum died in 2016, she had 5 children and 9 grandchildren. For every single birthday, she would hold a family birthday dinner for each of us, including our partners — 21 birthday dinners per year. When Mum and Dad downsized, they did not stop. We would cram into her

little home and share a home-cooked meal, while Mum made sure there was always a photo of the birthday cake candles being blown out. During Mum’s final four months in hospital, my brother came back to Australia from Florida, and my sister came home from Canberra with her newborn son and we five siblings put our lives on hold and went to the hospital together every day. We had the chance to say everything we wanted to say to our precious Mum. As sad as we were, it brought us all closer together. To this day, we continue to celebrate family birthdays in Mum’s honor, spending precious meaningful time together. Thank you, dear Mother, for teaching us the blessing, of quality time.



g n i t a r b e l e C s r e h t o M

My Mother Did Not Like Me! BY MIKICA DAY RILEY my brothers must have thought about me and their values of me, as their sister. How our relationship affects their views on other women, their dates, or wives. I think the mother and daughter relationships are important to the well being of the family.

When asked to share my story for the Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine, I did not know where to start! I knew that I still had questions for my mother, one being, Why? Why didn’t you see me? As her only daughter, I was invisible to her. I knew something was not right, because I could feel there was a difference between the way she treated her sons and the way she treated me, her only daughter. She could only see her sons! Just imagine that you are an only girl with brothers and not being included in the conversations, or decisions made. I knew my mother did not like me and I questioned if she loved me! As a child, her actions tore down my self-esteem. I suffered mentally from her behavior toward me. Despite her behavior toward me, she provided a place for me to sleep and eat. What I needed was her love! Through the years, my relationship with my mother was fickle and filled with tension! When I look back over my relationship with my mother, and all the tension, it affected the entire family. I imagined what


Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine

As the only daughter, the brunt of my mother’s care was on me. I had to take care of her during her illness before her death. I remembered, reflecting many days on the question, “Momma, why?” I did not let my thoughts affect the quality of the care I gave my mother. I played a valuable role and I do not have any regrets! As an adult, and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Mikayla 19-years old. Over the years rearing our daughter, I used my mother’s relationship with me to help me create a better relationship with my daughter. I know there are no perfect mother and daughter relationships, but I work hard to create the best experience for my daughter. My mother had a firm business sense. That was one of the things I admired about her. She instilled in me the desire to own a business. I used to write my business plan as a child. That has remained in my life. I can see her traits in my business style. I wrote a book in hopes to enhance the lives of others. My goal now is to take my knowledge and life experiences to hopefully use to inspire and encourage others so they can strive to do their best. To the mothers and daughters reading this article, it is important to be affectionate with your daughters from infancy! She will need to feel that you love her. Build a loving bond and be her friend.

For Years,

My Mother Was Not Sure If My Grandfather Was My Daddy!

I was born in utero, to a mother who was mentally and physically abused by her daddy. Her daddy molested and provided her with drugs, which led her to a life of addictions. It was a house of horror! My grandfather was molesting not only my mother but her sisters too. My mother suffered more trauma in her forty-six years than anyone could ever imagine. She had to live in a house of fear with a mother whom she thought knew about what she was going through. Can you imagine being an immature girl afraid to take a bath, to go to bed or just sit and watch television because your rapist is setting right in front of you every day. He is watching and plotting, and you do not have anywhere to go? My mother became pregnant at fourteen years old. Her family was all confused about who the father of her child was. Even my grandfather was not sure. So, he insisted that she aborted me. He did not want anyone to discover that he could be my daddy! My mother was an addict of many substances, but deep down in her Soul she could not find the strength to abort me. Thanks to God, my mother chose life for me! I was born on December 2, 1977. My mother wanted to keep me, but due to the trauma and drug abuse and her lifestyle, she knew she could not keep me. The day after my birth, she placed me in a foster home. A home that I feel even today, that something traumatic happened to me there. You may think how I can know that, at three weeks old, I do not know, but it still lives in my Spirit today! Then I was placed in a home for adoption. A couple years later, I was adopted.


My adopted home became an unpleasant place for me! I grew up longing for my mother and her family. When I was eight years old, I can remember hearing the song “Somewhere Out There.” It fueled my desires to find my mother. I felt lost and like I did not belong to anyone or anywhere. I grew up looking for love in all the wrong faces and places, which led me to my life of destruction. The drama of “who’s my daddy,” went on for years. I grew up overhearing those conversations, so often that I looked at my grandfather as my daddy. I felt if my mother did not know, then who would? My mother’s family was not sure if my grandfather was my biological father or my grandfather, and I surely did not know! If you want to know who my daddy is, go to: youtu. be/X_MtPFdOroQ (YouTube/Dr Bessie Fletcher Ph.D./ Jaime Cowhick Story).


Fa sh


n g s i s e D n


Vanessa Henderson is a radio show host, magazine editor, mentor, influencer, community activist, motivational speaker and wardrobe stylist. Van Miller is a three (3) time Designer of the Year fashion consultant to the stars, as well as co-founder of Queen of Hearts International Mentoring Program. Vanessa started her journey as a young girl with a dream that has spanned the broad spectrum from runway, theater, film and now playwright.

Photographer: Jerry A Barnes SHE IS Model: Phylisia Reynolds; Kamaria Church Designer: Vanessa Henderson, Vanmiller International HS: Parris Hull MUA: Olympia Kent; Phyliisia Reynolds; Elyse Davis; Kamaria Church Stylist: Jazheri Moore; Jacki Barnes


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Model: Toni Gladden Designer: Vanessa Henderson, Vanmiller International HS: Tricia Bailey MUA: Bernice Ferrell Stylist: Jazheri Moore; Jacki Barnes

Photographer: Jerry A Barnes Model: Toni Beasley Designer: Vanessa Henderson, Vanmiller International MUA: Jada Fleming Stylist: JoHonda Rogers

Photographer: Jerry A Barnes Model: Kryshe Katon Designer: Vanessa Henderson, Vanmiller International Makeup: Kryshe Katon Stylist: JABarnes Photography LLC

Photographer: Jerry A Barnes Model: Adeline Troutman Designer: Vanessa Henderson, Vanmiller International HS: Tricia Bailey Parris Hull MUA: Olympia Kent Stylist: Jazheri Moore; Jacki Barnes



from My Mother, at 17-Months Old BY CYNTHIA OLIVER As a girl growing up living at my grandmother’s house, I did not know who my mother was. I could hear different conversations from the adults that led me to plan ideas about who could be my mother. One day I overheard a conversation that led me to believe that one of my aunts was my mother. Just that thought gave me a joy of belonging to a mother. I never called her momma; it was in my heart. It was at age 5 that I discovered that the woman I thought was my mother, was my aunt! I was back to square one. Where is my momma? As the years passed, I became an angry adolescent girl. It only made me angry when I would hear other girls say the words “My mother is my best friend!” It made me angry enough to want to fight them. I carried that anger even as an adult. I grew to have an angry spirit toward women! I did not know what I wanted from my mother. I knew I was missing something in my life. Even when my grandmother was doing her best to fill in the gaps. In my intra-conversations, those ongoing conversations in my head, I knew I needed to know why she neglected me. Why she was not in my life? I could not understand why I had never gone shopping, eating, playing, talking, or laughing with my mother. As a result, I had misplaced aggression and anger. It was during my internship at substance abuse center for women and children when my superior asked me, why are you so angry? Immediately, I strongly stated, “I am not angry!” She kept insisting that I was angry. For days, I would work with the women and my thoughts were, “I don’t even like you people!” I took it personally with the women at the center, those who chose drugs over their children. It was personal for me, to where I was bold in letting these women know, that I did not like them. Every process group that I got to facilitate; my opening statement was “I don’t like you people”. Still in denial because I had neglected to see that there was a link between my attitude and the neglect I had experienced by my mother. It was not until a mother at the center committed suicide, leaving behind a 17-month-old baby boy. That the Holy Spirit revealed to me why I was so angry.


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I was driving to class when I received the news. The moment I walked into class; my professor picked up on my angry. She asked me the question again, a question that she had asked so many times in our process group at school why you are so angry with the women at the center. Annoyed by her question, I quickly passed her and set at the table where a classmate posed the question. Maybe they remind you of someone? Again, I did not want to have that conversation, asked them to leave me alone. I put my head down on the table and I began sobbing uncontrollably. I heard the Holy Spirit say, oh yes, you are angry because every woman at the center reminds you of your mother and every child there reminds you of you. That was my “Revelation!” My breakthrough! I had my conversations with God, and I changed my perspective and stop judging the ladies. I realized that I was looking in a mirror. Once I realized that God called me to work with substance abuse women, I fell in love with the population. I serve them with the love and discipline of God. I was 13 years old when I met my brief mother. It was an introduction, but I knew in my spirit, she was my mother. For the next 35 years, I saw my mother occasionally. I never got to establish a relationship with her. I was 48 years old when I met Dr. Bessie Fletcher. I went to the Mother and Daughter Bonding Center to volunteer my service. After my meeting with Dr. Fletcher, on my way out of her office, she asked me her signature question, “How is your mother and daughter relationship?” I could feel myself getting angry. I was wondering why is she asking me about my mother? She picked up on my hesitation and asked when was the last time I seen my mother? I told her it has been a while! She asked when was the last time you talked to your mother? I hesitated again, I said, I do not know! She asked, where does your mother live? I said, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She said, oh, that only ten minutes away!

She suggested that I have a conversation with my mother. She said, it would hypocritical of me to work with mothers and their daughters, when do not have a relationship with your mother. I explained my limited knowledge of my mother. The information that had on my mother was third party opinions. Dr. Fletcher challenged me to go to my mother and ask the question? She invited me to have a conversation with my mother. I went, and I got there she had nine teddy bears on her bed with all her children names on them. I was the baby of the first four children taken from her by my daddy. She started telling her story from there. Letting me know that she has always loved us, and that she kept us in her heart. I got to ask my questions, and I believed her answers. I made a conscious decision to forgive her. I returned to the center and had a session with Dr. Fletcher. Two weeks later I introduce Dr. Fletcher to my mother. They became instant friends. I remember my mother thanking Dr. Fletcher for bringing her baby back to her baby. A year and a half later, my mother’s cancer came back. My weekly visits became more frequent. The last six months of my mother’s life I got lay in bed with her and cuddle, as we talked, laughed, and shared intimacies with each. I was that 48-17-month-old baby, back in bed with my mommy. She was funny and interesting! We had so much in common. A month before she passed, Dr. Fletcher, the Chaplain, led my mother to the Lord. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and savior! Dr. Fletcher and I have been working together for eleven years. My advice to mothers and daughters, stop judging each other. Sit down and have an honest conversation. Do not believe what you have heard; ask the questions you need to help improve your relationship. Now that my mother has passed, I do not have the hunting questions in my heart of why? Proverbs 3:13 says, “Happy is the man who finds Wisdom, and the man who gains Understanding.” I got my answers. Now I am at peace!


Teen SCENE Isabella

Became a Millionaire at six years old!

ISABELLA BARRETT — ACTRESS / INFLUENCER / ENTREPRENEUR Isabella Barrett was only 5 years old when she first appeared in Toddlers & Tiaras, where she became an instant fan favorite with her sassy attitude. Behind her bold antics, displays a heartwarming reason for the junior girl to make a name for herself in the world of beauty pageants. Isabella’s older sister Victoria was the victim of a bullying incident in 2010, after which she had to undergo facial reconstruction. Competing in pageants was a way for Victoria to heal her battered self-esteem and little Isabella wanted to follow in her big sister’s footsteps. For the golden girl, starring in TLC’s hit pageant reality show was only the start of her road to success. Isabella soon shed her beauty contest tiara to venture into the daunting world of business. A World that offered her extraordinary business opportunities! At just six years old, she became one of the youngest millionaires in the United States. With her mother Susanna (who is a former Ms. Rhode Island), the mini mogul founded her own company, Glitzy Girl. Part fashion designer, stakeholder, and model herself, Isabella successful brand will delight tweens with its array of trendy jewelry and shimmery glosses. And as if one brand were not enough, she then founded a clothing line that the self-made princess appropriately named Bound by the Crown Couture. Which was featured at the New York Fashion Week, and has been worn by young celebrities such as the lovely Maddie Ziegler from Dance Moms, and a few stars from MTV


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and Disney. The then nine-yearold’s brand, combining timeless haute couture with a young and modern twist, became a musthave for any mini fashionista worth her salt. From the sound of it, Isabella’s net worth will grow to the multimillion dollar mark! With the same boldness that caught the views attention on TV, the millionaire doesn’t hesitate to say things as they are: “I’m a superstar, I have my jewelry line and I love being the boss.” But as business savvy as Isabella may be, she does not forget to invest her money in causes she holds close to heart, like the antibullying campaign. Thankfully, the business tween will share her recipe for success. She feels that she did it and she wants to teach other tween to achieve financial success. She starred in Get Made Global, a documentary series helping children to start their own companies. Her efforts to help others her age dream big–and make it big–span from appearances on various shows such as Kid Entrepreneurs, How Did You Get So Rich, and Teens Who Made Millions, and, interventions at conventions for young entrepreneurs. Between making millions, Isabella found the time to pursue other interests. It seems nothing daunts the girl, as she tried her hand at acting–and incidentally landed a few nationwide commercials and singing. Along with her BFF from her television days, Eden Wood, Isabella released LOL, a catchy tune about “little girls,” making it big despite online haters and skeptics.

• Beauty Influencer with 3.4 million views on YouTube. • Creator of teen fashion brand, House of Barretti, jewelry/ makeup line, Glitzy Girl, and couture clothing line, Bound by The Crown. • Author of upcoming teen guide to business.

And we will take her word for it because her recent ventures into social media prove that things like age or gender are irrelevant when you have a golden touch like Isabella. Her new YouTube channel will not stop growing with over 20k followers, where she gives viewers a glimpse into the life of a notso-ordinary teenager. Improvising herself as an influencer in 2019, her Instagram account @isabellabarrett123 is equally exciting. Now that Isabella has turned 13, her business endeavors are maturing with her. The young millionaire’s latest project House of Barretti features elegant and eyecatching suits for girls eager to take on the world. Geared towards modern teens and young adults, the tailored couture style is the epitome of the saying “dress for success.” We hope Isabella’s precocious success encourages many more adolescent girls with stars in their eyes to show their talents and follow their dreams. It may help if they have the guide-book Isabella is writing in their hands, where she will share her secrets about how to become a teen millionaire!

• Former beauty pageant star known for the hit reality show Toddlers & Tiaras. • Isabella released two pop songs on her own label, Bella Beats Productions. •



Teen SCENE Dedication


The Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine would like to remember one member of Saving Our Daughters, Miss Iliss Marie Benjamin. Marie had a Spirit of an “Old Soul.” She was a wise youthful girl and known by her strong Faith in God. During her last few weeks in the hospital, Doctors and Nurses would comment on how Marie showed strong Faith in God, she was ministering to all that came her way. Marie was a bit of a daddy’s girl. Not neglecting the wonderful relationship that she had with her mother Debbie. Her daddy’s side often found Marie at many events as she shared her thoughts on the situation. She was the daughter of the Co-founder Curtis Benjamin. She understood the full meaning of Saving Our Daughters. Marie, along with her father, mother and KeKe Palmer, laid out the mission for saving junior girls from being bullied. This foundation helped young girles with their self-esteem and their belief in themselves! Marie’s father said, after his own adolescent daughter’s death in 2011 from a brain tumor, his work took on even deeper meaning. In 2014, along with his wife Debbie, Marie’s father, Benjamin, launched

the off-shoot program Saving Our Cenedella’s on Broadway in partnership with an actress, singer and activist, Keke Palmer, from her acclaimed Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway musical, “Cinderella”. Since 2011, Saving Our Daughters creates the tools to get teen girls fired up to take the power away from negative issues of bullying, as celebrity supported art programs, educating girls beyond the borders of a traditional classroom.

Special message

from mommy and daddy to Iliss Marie: Our Iliss Marie was very spiritual as she often read her Bible and devotion most mornings. She encouraged and prayed for the other children in the hospital. She often woke up at the 3 A.M. hour and started speaking of God’s Love and praying for others. The nurses that witnesses Iliss’ faith often were in awe and encouraged of her strength. A parent never fully gets over the loss of a child. Some pain will always be there, but we get through the days by remembering that our dear daughter belonged to GOD first-and He entrusted us with her care. That is why my message as a proud father is to tell your children you LOVE them every day. Our sons and daughters are gifts from God.


Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine




Living, learning, loving, growing, and laughing are the components that life is made of. Perspective runs parallel with life! The Perspective you have can determine the mindset in which you enable.


I am Ainsley Ross an actress, international artist, singer-songwriter, stuntwoman, director, etc. If I have learned one thing about the industry, and life, it is the power behind a Positive mindset.


The simple things are what can make the biggest difference. One of my many simple pleasures in life is A CUP OF COFFEE or TEA! There is something about sitting down holding a cup of coffee or tea that makes me feel comfort and peace. This is usually that moment of the day that is the calm before the storm. So when you have these moments allow yourself to enjoy them; instead of planning, and thinking about all of life’s events you need to accomplish. Instead welcome the silence,


Even when Life gives you “Prickly Situations” we can allow it to propel us. Nature is a great metaphor for life. Take a cactus for example, it’s sharp and rigid, yet it can bloom the prettiest flowers. No matter your “PRICKLY” situation a flower can bloom if you let it.


Remember there is strength in your smile. Only you control your mindset! You are beautiful wonderful, and enough. What you put out there is like a boomerang! So make sure whatever energy you display is the same in which you want to receive.


One thing that helps me jumpstart my morning (besides COFFEE or TEA) is to name five things I am grateful for. Reflection of your daily goals is a way to tackle anything your day has to offer with the strength in your smile, That way you have set your day up for success! Reading positive affirmations, is another way to kickstart any day you might be having, with a head up, and shoulders back attitude!


Teen SCENE Mya XELLER I am Mya Xeller. I am 15-year-old, from CT. I have held many national titles and am the current Miss Teen World America Connecticut & was 1st Runner Up at Miss Teen

World America in Las Vegas this past October. I have modeled

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) with many

designers & recently starred in a music video for upcoming

recording artist, Peter Cestaro. I have also appeared as a national cover model & print model for various magazines.

Along with my pageant & modeling career, I am also a singer and dancer and have performed at big venues

including Citifield. My face can be seen on social media

advertisements for various pageants, make-up artists

and photographers. This past February, during NYFW, I

appeared on a billboard in Times Square for the fashion

line House of Barretti and shoe designer Marc Defang. I also have been filming for a new reality tv show, Next Big Thing NYC, coming to Amazon.

MYA XELLER Model/Actress/Singer 2019 Miss Teen World America CT Cast member of Next Big Thing NYC on Amazon TikTok: myaxellerrrr


Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine



Daughters are precious to God. Every daughter has the potential to become a mother. That is why the mother and daughter relationship is so important. Every woman is a daughter. If a woman does not have a daughter, she thinks she cannot take part in organizations like Saving our Daughters. Which is far from the truth! Saving Our Daughters needs the nurturing and the financial support to help raise up a new generation of strong healthy minded young ladies. Creating a World free from “Bullying” and helping to promote “Self-Esteem.”

About Saving Our Daughters

Saving Our Daughters: Saving Our Daughters, Cofounded by actress Keke Palmer, works with girls from multicultural backgrounds through theater, film, fashion culinary and literacy, to help them overcome the many obstacles they face growing up: bullying (cyber, gossip, face-to-face), dating abuse, domestic violence and other esteem slayers. Saving Our Daughters creates the tools to get teen girls fired up to take the power away from negative issues of bullying, as celebrity supported art programs, educate girls beyond the borders of a traditional classroom.


When I think about a mother, I think of Opray Winfrey’s innate abilities to nurture!


A to an Extraordinary Mother!



Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine

Every female is born as a daughter. God selects many of His daughters to become mothers by allowing them to birth other humans into the World. Then there are the daughters who have lost a child or not given birth to a human being, but yet they still have the same ability to nurture others. God creates each daughter’s life with an intended purpose. Some daughters enter the Earth from a peaceful 9-month experience within their mother’s womb and others enter from different levels of trauma. Their 9-months within the womb of their mothers help shape their temperament. I believe no matter what challenges, Oprah faced in her earlier years; God’s hand of “Favor” was on her. I believe she felt the power of His presence in her.

Every human is born into this Earth with a desired plan by God yet he allows each of us to seek Him for help in discovering His plan for us, which is a part of His purpose for our lives. When we seek His plan, we experience the “Good of the Land,” but when we create our own plan, we create our own experiences. When we look back over history and observe the many daughters and their journeys on Earth, we can see how their lives unfolded. Like all humans we cannot see the future, so we hope and believe that which is driving us from within is the Hands of God. Life can be a challenge when you are facing the unknown. You should pay close attention to your intra-conversations (those ongoing conversations within your head) and to your heart when making your best decisions from your choices. Just hearing Oprah’s life’s story shows she had many traumatic experiences as a child and throughout her life. From being born and given to her grandmother to being dropped off, at six years old, to a mother she did not know. It was at that moment she realized that she wasn’t wanted at her mother’s house, a house she could not sleep inside. Instead, she was told to sleep on the porch. But God had His hands of protection on her because He knew her destiny! It is amazing that her grandmother and mother could not see the “Favor” of God on baby Oprah. The first sign was the changing of her name from Orpah to Oprah. They thought it was because of the difficulties of pronunciation. Like many called by God, He changed their name to match their destiny. From birth, Oprah showed signs of being “Extraordinary!” At two-and-ahalf years old, she had learned to read. Like Jesus at twelve years old teaching in the synagogues. Oprah at age two was teaching in her church congregation on an Easter Day, about when Jesus rose and why. As she grew older, Oprah kept on shinning. She told her kindergarten teacher who she was on her first day of school. She was very discrete, but wrote her teacher a note, informing her she belonged in the first grade. After showing signs of being exceptional, Oprah went from first grade to the third grade.

As a child Oprah knew that there was an audience out there waiting on her, so she started preparing for her life’s role. She role played her scenes before the animals on her grandmother’s farm. Even the animals knew there was something different about little Oprah. But Oprah had to leave her audience on the farm because God was broadening her territory! This is when, at 6-years-old, she moved north to Milwaukee and was placed in her mother’s care, a mother she knew nothing about. Looking back over her life, Oprah was where she was supposed to be. Despite the trauma she experienced, the enemy tried to use to keep her from fulfilling God’s call on her life. The Spirit of God within her was greater than the spirit in the World. As a teenager, the enemy tried to take advantage of the wavering of stability from her mother’s home into her father’s. Just when she thought she found safety in her father’s home; Oprah’s mother requested that she return to her. A place and time where the teenage Oprah experienced physical and mental abuse. And the wave of instability started again. As most young children, Oprah used her negative behavior to speak for her, and finally, her mother heard her and sent Oprah back to her father in Nashville, while she held on to God’s unchanging Hands. Being Spiritually led, Oprah became a strong determined young lady. She felt her father was her lifeline. So, young Oprah breathed! Even under the hands of strict rules, it was what she needed to guide her toward her destiny. Her father gave her mandates to fulfill, even before she could have dinner. She had to read and complete weekly book reports and learn five extra vocabulary words each day. That was not a punishment for Oprah, it was the “air that she breathed!” Oprah worked her way to become an outstanding student. She promoted herself in the student council, drama, and debate clubs as she gave them a glimpse of the Oprah to come! Oprah could feel and see her Spiritual Light Shinning. During those times, she would shine her light into unknown areas for a young black girl. It did not dawn on her she should not shine her light in a certain direction! She shined her light on the Elks Club speaking contest, and Tennessee State University, where she won a full scholarship. With her light still shining, it led her to the White House Conference on Youth.



Tribute to an Extraordinary Mother!



Still following her Spirit of Light, Oprah was crowned Miss Fire Prevention by WVOL! Now this is where the “Favor” of God illuminated her light. The local Nashville station could not resist the combination of Oprah’s “Light and Favor,” so they hired her to read the afternoon newscasts! Look at God! I believe that the time came for God to allow Oprah to birth the “Nurturing Spirit of Favor” that He sent her to Earth to share according to His will. He placed the anointing in her name, “Oprah.” Most humans want to be in her physical presence, but it is not just her physical presence, it is in her name. The name Orpah means the back of the neck in Hebrew, a name that most of her family and friends could not pronounce or spell correctly. God did not want Oprah looking back, so He changed her name from Orpah to Oprah, just like God changed Saul to Paul. The Spirit of “Favor,” exhumes from her name. He made sure everyone could spell it, pronounce it, and feel it when they hear it. Say “Oprah, did you feel it?”

For the next 25 years, Oprah’s nurturing Spirit of Favor fed many as they came by the multitudes from around the World! Her Spirit of Favor Light has shined on many as they became stars, entrepreneurs, educated, are fed and nurtured by her Spirit. I could tell you many things that Oprah has done over the years that we have seen and heard of, but let me tell you there is so much more to the works God has done and is doing through her. In Matthew 6: 4, God said, “So that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” I feel that Oprah knows the calling in her life. One so great that she dare not try to explain it to others. It is her private relationship with God. She has exemplified the Spirit of humbleness amid a light so bright that it shines to and forth throughout the World for all to see! It is an extraordinary Favor of a Nurturing Mother, Oprah Winfrey, that gives Hope to mothers and daughters around the World. When they see Oprah’s light shine, they believe! And God also said in Matthew, Matthew 22:14: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Thank you, Oprah.

Dr. Bessie Fletcher 50

Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine


Mother and Daughter BIBLE COLLEGE

As Dean of education and a professor for the Mother and Daughter Bible College (MDBC), I believe that most adult learners are unique individuals who have a desire to learn and mature. It is my desire as an educator to help students meet their maximum potential. I get to see them grow and become inspired through our courses of studies, Biblical Studies and Christian Psychology. MDBC is a private Christian college. Our students are introduced to the Word of God. We initially created the college to serve women in the Hollywood Prison Work Release Center. Now, God has asked us to extend our programs to all women-mothers and daughters who wants to complete their college degree. Our unique style is an integrative approach where the Word of God gets blended with self-psychology as it relates to reallife concerns and issues. We designed the courses to help our student gain a sense of meaning, purpose, and accomplishment! We challenge our students to spend time in scripture and to seek the wisdom of God, not just mere intellect. The idea is to get them to reach beyond the textbook, to go higher, discovering their calling. The one thing I know for sure according to scripture God has a plan for all our lives (Ephesians 2:10). One of the greatest things about MDBC is that we will take all your old college credits as long as they are from an accredited college. If you do not have college credits, we will take your high school diploma or GED. We will create a program specifically for you to “start where you stop.” We offer four programs: • Associate of Biblical Studies • Associates of Christian Psychology • Bachelor of Biblical Studies • Bachelor of Christian Psychology We offer scholarships to assist our students in reaching their educational goals. For more information on how to get an MDBC scholarship, go to click on the college tab to request the information package

Dean Cynthia Oliver, MACP



Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine


Good News!

God Speaks to Mothers and Daughters


In 1997, as I walked along the beachside, I was having my usual intra-conversations with God. I can remember having intra-conversations with God at the early age of 5 years old! (Those ongoing conversations within your head) After my morning meditation, I sat there in the sand astonishingly looking at the sea and enjoying the wonders of God’s creations right before my eyes! As the love of God filled my spirit, I walked along the beachside for my usual four miles up and four miles back. It was on my way back when I heard an old familiar voice coming over my left shoulder. God always speaks to me over my left shoulder. I often wondered why. Maybe that is my better listening ear. He said, “I have an assignment for you, and it will be your last assignment.” I got nervous, and I quickly asked, God, am I going to die? He said nothing! In fact, there was a complete silence on that intra-conversation for two years! Just for the record, God and I walk and have intraconversations throughout the day, every day! In 1999, I was training the staff of a major corporation and while the staff was on break; I took a break. I was briefly glancing through a magazine and I heard that old familiar voice engaging as it seems over my left shoulder continuing that same intra-conversation that we were having in 1997 on the beach. It was as if there was no break within the original intra-conversations that we were having about my last assignment. Two years had passed, and suddenly He started talking to me again about my assignment, as if nothing happened! Well, that is how it felt to me.



Good News!

God Speaks to Mothers and Daughters



God said to me, I want you to create mother and daughter bonding conferences and I want you to start the first Mother and Daughter Bonding Center. This was in July 1999. I conducted my first mother and daughter bonding conference in September 1999 and opened the first Mother and Daughter Bonding Center in January 2000. From July 1999 to present, I have been led by God to create mother and daughter conferences and a center, the first Mother and Daughter Bonding Magazine, Mother and Daughter Quality Time Bath Products, Mother and Daughter Roundtable Radio Program, Mother and Daughter Bonding network Events, (such as cruises, galas, retreats and workshops). In September 2011, Mother and Daughter Bonding Center became Mother and Daughter Faith Trust Ministries, the first ministry tailored for mothers and daughters. In addition, the creations of Mother and Daughter Crusade, Mother and Daughter Bible College for women in the Prison Work Release Center, Author of two books; Dream Recipe and Good News God Speaks to Mothers and Daughters, Mother and Daughter Spiritual Counseling, and My Mother, My Daughter Talk Show. Again, in November 2015, I heard that old familiar voice, again, saying, “I want you to tell my mothers and daughters that I Love them!” He also asked me to tell them, “That I need them.” He said, “In order for the World to heal, it will take the nurturing spirit of the mother. A Spirit that is needed to rise a whole new generation of mothers, who are our daughters, today!”

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Mother & DAUGHTER Bonding Magazine

That is was the conception of the pregnancy and birth of Good News, God Speaks to Mothers and Daughters. Question, are you one of those frustrated mothers who might exclaim, “Wow, if only there were an instruction book on how to raise a daughter?” Yes, or No? If you said, Yes, Good News is here, God answered! Good News, God Speaks to Mothers and Daughters, are messages from God to mothers and daughters. The book will teach you how to create an intimate relationship with God through your intra-conversations. As you build your intimate relationship with God, you will grow in faith, in love, and in forgiveness. As you grow in love and forgiveness, it will inspire you to mend and grow a renewed relationship with your mother or daughter. • You will discover the depths of God’s love for your mother and daughter relationship • You will learn how to create a Godly mother and daughter relationship • You will learn why God created mothers and daughters • You will learn what God expects from mothers and daughters • You will learn how to feel and experience a passionate and intimate relationship with God! The bottom line, God genuinely cares about the mother-daughter relationship. And that’s Good News!


Dr. Bessie Fletcher, Chaplain Christian Clinical Psychologist, PhD

Book Fair








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.