The Magazine to Empower and Enrich Todayâ€™s Urban Woman
My Story May Be Your Story
Beauty Tips from the Kitchen
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r e k c a W l ta s y r C f
Table of Faith
My Story May Be Your Story ............... Page 2
Beauty Tips from the Kitchen ................... Page 5 Learning to Crochet .............................. Page 6 Top Music Picks of 2010 ......................... Page 9
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Editor-in-Chief ......................... Crystal Wacker Writing Editor ...................... Christina Williams Spanish Translation ..................... Jodi-Kay Ellis Spanish Editor ....................... Mona Ré Shields Contributing Authors .............. Margaret Lavisky Nena Podbury Jeanette Rivera Graphic Artist .......................... Robert Gibson
y Story ...
May Be Your Story by Jeanette Rivera
The testimony of a woman who is telling her story for the first time. She wants to express God’s love through her testimony. Jeanette: Did you ever think you went too far?
Jeanette: You chose to remain anonymous. Why was that important to you? IMWMN: Because I feel that people who know me would focus on me rather than my testimony. If you must have a name (smiles), I am many women (IMWMN). Jeanette: Well said. I know this must be a little uncomfortable for you; I just want to say, I admire you coming forward and sharing your story with Reach UP. We can stop whenever you feel it’s just too much.
IMWMN: Of course! But I wasn’t strong enough to stop. And after two years, our relationship took a twist. I fell for him, and things just got out of hand. I never thought that what would happen could actually happen to me. I was confused and scared. Yes, it did bother me. I was still married and I wanted to see if I could change my marriage. I wanted to see if I had the strength to fight. I wanted to see whether or not I really wanted to fight for my marriage. Unfortunately I couldn’t. I was so caught up in this sin! Then, I found out I was pregnant. I had two children already, and I couldn’t hurt them. What would they think of me? So I deceived my husband. I was so stressed out. The decision was made: ABORTION.
IMWMN: I feel ok now that I am set free, though it wasn’t always this way. Jeanette: Let’s get into a time machine. Take me back. You were married. What made you cheat on your husband? IMWMN: I felt unloved, unwanted, and ignored by my husband. After I met that other man, I began to become emotionally attached to him. I was shocked at how much I mattered to him. He became my best friend, and for two years I told him my fears and my wants. I never had to lie to him or pretend to be someone that I wasn’t. I was accepted. Reach UP
Jeanette: Was this your first abortion? IMWMN: Yes, but it wasn’t my last. Years later I became pregnant again. You would think I would’ve learned from the first one. But I decided to keep the child. By then my kids were grown, and I didn’t want to inflict the pain on them of leaving their dad. I couldn’t leave my husband because he was unemployed. The decision was made: have the child and pass it off as my husband’s. For the first few weeks I went to the prenatal appointments and sonograms were taken. However, I felt guilt and fear. What if he found out? Abortion was the easy way out. Again… Jeanette: Take me to the day. IMWMN: I was like a zombie. I was scared and I felt dead. You walk into a place like that and sit in a waiting room. It feels like hours when, in reality, only a couple of seconds have gone by. I felt cold and everything felt so dark. Instruments were everywhere. Everything within me wanted to run out of there! I wanted to yell for help. I was given an IV, and I felt mute. I remember closing my eyes, with tears just streaming down my face. Before I knew it I was asleep. I had done it again. I had taken it upon myself to take a life. And when I woke up…well, I can’t explain the feeling I felt. I cried all the way home. Jeanette: What do you want to tell other women? IMWMN: I would say, “Breathe, if you find yourself in a similar situation.” I would say, “Don’t go there, don’t cheat, don’t be deceived. Because in the long run, nothing will come out of that relationship but heartache and pain. Abortion is not the answer. It is a scar! To the young girl who’s afraid, don’t be. To the abused wife, get out of that relationship! To the saved Christian in this situation, trust God. To the women with stories like mine, THERE IS HOPE. JESUS is our hope.” Jeanette: Do you still think about it?
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IMWMN: I know that God has forgiven me, but as a human being I must admit it is hard to forgive myself. I think of it all the time. When I look at my kids, I think of it. I just went too far. I will never lose the memories or the scars of the abortions. No matter how much someone says it’s ok, I’m not ok with what I did. There are so many things I could’ve done differently, but I didn’t. Abortion is not the answer – no matter what the situation. If you are in a complicated relationship, get out of it. Don’t take it out on an innocent life. Jeanette: There are many people who believe that during the first stages of pregnancy, such as before six weeks, the fetus is not a living thing. What are your thoughts? IMWMN: When I was young, I was very ignorant. At that time I would have agreed that it was just a blob. But because I know better now, I say YES, it has life. Some people, especially young girls, have abortions as if it’s a birth control method. I tell my testimony to beg and plead with people – men and women – because both make these decisions everyday. God is the one who gives and takes, not us humans. When did we become God? Jeanette: Who are you in Christ now?
IMWMN: I consider myself a woman who loves God. I rely on Him for peace. He delivered me from guilt. He delivered me from shame. Am I fully healed? I must admit that because of my own thoughts, I don’t think I have allowed myself to be fully healed yet. My story is not a good one. I hope I didn’t anger anyone or offend. My intent was to help someone who may be in the shoes I wore. God has become my best friend. I wish I would’ve met Him back then. I would’ve made Him my best friend then. Today I am serving in leadership at my church. Women come to me with all kinds of stories and I give godly counsel. I love who I am in Christ, though my scars remain. I know My God also remains true to me and to His word. Jeanette Rivera was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She began ministry in the inner cities of New York at the age of 18 working with Metro Ministries. She’s married with four children. She and her husband planted their first church in Columbus, GA, as part of their ongoing ministry to a troubled community. Among her many activities, Jeanette is continuing her education and working on her first book.
There is help!
If you’re pregnant and feeling overwhelmed, there is help. OptionLine has a toll free number that you can call and talk to someone. Call
In 2009, 41% of all healthy pregnancies in New York City ended in abortion.
If you have access to the internet, their website is www.optionline.org
You are not alone.
BEAUTY TIPS Kitchen
You don’t have to be rich to look fabulous; you just have to be a little creative. But watch out! Some of these quick fix beauty remedies sound good enough to eat! Olive Oil for Nails: Works great for strengthening your nails. Dip a clean nail polish brush into olive oil and lightly coat each nail. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wash it off. Also, because your nails and hair follicles are made up of the same proteins, you can use a similar treatment to strengthen weak hair.
Banana Wrinkle Fighter Recipe: Banana is wonderful as an anti-wrinkle treatment. Mash 1/4 banana until it is very creamy. Spread it all over face and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Follow with a dash of cold. Gently pat dry.
Toothpaste: You use it for brushing your teeth twice a day, everyday. But did you know you can use it to remove water marks on stained wood when the kids don’t use coasters? It also works great for reducing the redness of blemishes. Why spend money on designer creams when you already have one sitting on your bathroom counter? After washing your face, gently dab a bit of white toothpaste on your zit. For best results, let it sit overnight. Then wash off the dried paste with your regular face wash and blot dry with a soft towel.
Hair Conditioner Recipe -- Egg: Mix together oil, 1 egg yolk and 1 cup water: Beat an egg yolk until it’s frothy. Then add 1 teaspoon baby oil and beat again. Finally add 1 cup of water. Massage into the scalp and throughout your hair. Rinse well. Hair Conditioner Recipe -- Avocado and Coconut Milk: Combine mashed avocado with some coconut milk. Comb it through the hair and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse out.
Facial Mask -- Honey: The best facial mask is honey. Place a cloth in warm water and apply it to your face to open the pores. Then smear honey on your face and leave it for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water, and then use cold water to close the pores. Use once a week. Facial Mask Recipe -- Lemon and Egg: Squeeze half a lemon and mix the juice with one beaten egg white. Leave this mask on your face overnight, or for a quick pick-me-up, leave it on just 15 minutes. Splash warm water on your face to rinse. It helps to removes blotches because the lemon works as a bleaching agent. Reach UP
Crochet by Margaret Lavisky
Reach UP’s 2010/11 Winter issue featured the story of Margaret Lavisky’s childhood. She told how she admired her mom’s creativity even in very poor conditions. Margaret wrote, “She always kept busy. She crocheted and knitted. And we can teach that. So much can be done. I remember that mother would reuse yarn that she pulled from an item that no longer fit, or had a hole in it. We learned: Reuse it; remake it and you get something new!” Our readers responded to her comments, so we asked Margaret to give us a basic lesson in crocheting. If you’re interested in learning more, go to the library and get a book on the subject, ask around for someone who knows how to crochet. Somebody may just want to help you create your own blankets and sweaters and scarves!
Getting Started: You will need a ball of thick, plain yarn to practice. You will also need a standard five-inch long crochet hook. The hook number has to be the right size for the yarn. Check the yarn label or the item instructions to get the right size hook.
Basic Crochet Stitches. 1. Make a slip knot about 4 inches from the end of the yarn. 2. Insert the hook into the loop of the knot and grab the yarn with hook. Draw the hooked yarn through slip knot and onto hook. This makes one chain stitch. 3. Repeat # 2 until you have the required length of the chain.
1. Create a chain and count the number of loops you have. (You do not count the loop on the hook). The number of loops on the chain should equal the number of loops required plus one. For example, a chain of 20 loops will include the 20 needed, plus one. 2. At the end of the chain, you will return back to the beginning loop by inserting the hook into the chain behind the end loop. To do this, skip the one chain loop. The single crochet is placed in the second (loop) chain from your hook. Draw the yarn through the chain stitch (or loop) and up onto the hook. There will be 2 loops on the hook. 3. Bring the yarn over the hook from back to front, and draw it through both loops on the hook. One
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loop emains on the hook. You have now created one single crochet stitch. Repeat # 3 to the end of the row. You made have 20 single crochet stitches. 4. To start the second row, make 1 loop (1 chain) before turning the work. This is your turning chain. After turning the work, insert the hook into the next stitch. (Your first stitch is the turning chain). Continue with 1 single crochet into each stitch of the previous row. 5. Continue the process until you have the desired number of rows. 6. To finish the project, cut the yarn from the main ball, leaving a piece approximately 6 inches long. Pull this piece through the loop so that a knot is formed. You have now finished a project using the single crochet stitch.
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Something to think about from For
ou knit me Y ; g in be t os m in y m d You create
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motherâ€™s womb. erfully made; d on w d an y ll fu ar fe I praise You because I am l, I know that fu er d on w e ar s k or w r You full well.
en fr My frame was not hidd when I was made in the secret place,
ed body; rm fo n u y m w sa es ey r You r me were all the days ordained fo fore one
written in Your book be of them came to be. How precious to me are thoughts, God.
Christian/Gospel Songs Compiled by Olga ‘Nena’ Podbury
Top 10 Gospel Albums
What you fill your mind with goes into your heart. What your heart is full of comes out your mouth. So fill your mind with good things like these songs! Top 10 Gospel Songs 1. I Believe: James Fortune & FIYA Featuring Zacardi Cortez & Shawn McLemore 2. Nobody Greater: VaShawn Mitchell 3. He Wants It All: Forever Jones 4. I Give Myself Away (Live): William McDowell 5. I Choose To Worship: Wess Morgan 6. It’s About Time For A Miracle: Beverly Crawford 7. Expect The Great: Jonathan Nelson 8. Walking: Mary Mary 9. The Best In Me: Marvin Sapp 10. Well Done: Deitrick Haddon
1. Rehab: Lacrae 2. I Believe Live: James Fortune & FIYA 3. As We Worship (Live): William McDowell 4. Captured: Flame 5. Triumphant: VaShawn Mitchell 6. Here I Am: Marvin Sapp 7. Greater Mt. Calvary Live As… Bishop Alfred & Co-Pastor Suse Owens Present: Greater Mt. Calvary 8. Fresh: Tye Tribbett 9. WOW Gospel 2010: Various Artists 10. Get Ready: Forever Jones
Top 10 Christian Songs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Your Love: Brandon Heath Light Up The Sky: The Afters Starry Night: Chris August I Will Follow: Chris Tomlin Lead Me: Sanctus Real Beautiful: MercyMe Jesus Saves: Jeremy Camp
8. You Are More: Tenth Avenue North 9. Hold On: TobyMac 10. Children Of God: Third Day Top 10 Christian Albums 1. And If Our God is For Us... Chris Tomlin 2. WOW Hits 2011: Various Artists 3. Move: Third Day 4. Awake: Skillet 5. Rehab: Lecrae 6. Tonight: TobyMac 7. Until the Whole World Hears: Casting Crowns 8. The Light Meets The Dark: Tenth Avenue North 9. Men of the Mormon Tab- ernacle: Mormon Tabernacle Choir/Orchestra At Temple Square 10. Remember To Live (EP): Flyleaf References: http://www.blessed-family.org and www.billboard.com
Given to you by:
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I’m a Reach UP woman!
www.myreachup.com coming soon
I’m a Reach UP woman!
www.myreachup.com coming soon