Page 1

Welcome elcome to our November issue, full of many moving stories! We are so proud to call this issue a first for us. It is the first time to have an international Inspiring Woman. Megan has had such an incredible journey. Her story is time sensitive, so be sure you flip through to that story right off and see what you can do to help. Another great addition to this issue is a new feature we will have every month. It is called ‘Life Change.’ You will read and see how individuals have implemented change in their lives to better their overall health and nutrition. As you read, you will see for yourself how inspiring this feature will prove to be.


Well, the end is near; the end of 2012, that is! Crazy to think we are in the wind down mode for the year. For many, it comes with great hesitation, and for others, it is the part of the year they look forward to the most. Me, I am a little mixed. I dread the hustle of the holiday season, but the giving spirit of the season melts my heart. I love that people

photographed by  Morgan  Due

really dig down deep this time of year and help their fellow neighbor. What better way to be the hands and feet of Jesus? This month’s Stretch Marks article by Melissa Radke is so moving and powerful. It was inspired from the heart of a child. There is so much we learn from our children when we see the world through their eyes. So as we go into the season of giving, remember to keep your eyes and heart open. You might

miss the chance to be Jesus to someone who needs Him most. Here’s to the season of sharing and giving. Happy November.



Contents NOVEMBER2012





CONTACT US: M a i l i n g : P O B ox 1 5 0 5 37 | L u f k i n , Texa s 759 1 5 P hys i c a l : 1 1 5 E . S h e p h e rd | L u f k i n , Texa s 759 0 1 936-­634-­7188 |



12 14 16 18

36 38 39 40

Home Tour: the Deaton Home In the Kitchen: A Tasty Twist on Turkey Leftovers Your Pantry: Making Thanksgiving Memories Grammy’s Dirt: Lasagna Garden

Fashion: Fabulous Fall Boots Under $50 Makeup Box: A Simply Natural Fabulous Fall Look Health: Warthan Dermatology Center Life Change: Charissa Porter



22 24 28 30

44 46 49 50 52

Relationships: Do You Trust Me? Stretch Marks: May We Find Thanks in Our Giving Calendar Inspiring Woman: Megan Malnar

Pretty Babies Parent Thoughts: Such is the Life Look at Me Birthday Bash Why I Love Being a Mom: Beth Fleniken

Cover Photo of Megan Malnar (pg 30)

president: Stephanie Oliver managing editor: Beth Johnson | director of sales: Kim Iribarren | marketing consultant: Kevin McCarty | office manager/accountant: K\iip:XdgY\ccsf]ÔZ\7kadX^%Zfdlayout and design: Macy Haffey event photographer: Lisa Crow | | event photographer: Morgan Due | contributors: Jessica Tinsley Bridges, Felicia Dark, Kelly Finnerud, Kathryn Greene, Amy McLeod, Melissa Radke, Raegan Cassels Williamson distribution: Lisa Crow, Janet Glover, Jarod Thompson

Your Home home  tour  12 in  the  kitchen  14 your  pantry  16 grammy’s  dirt  18


the Deaton Home

estled on 20 beautiful acres, Ryan and Jennifer completed their home in 2011. This Texas Hill Country inspired house has 4,300 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Numerous antique pieces were collected over the years and were incorporated into the cabinetry throughout the house. Antique light fixtures and an elk antler chandelier can be found in this custom home. The house also has a 25-foot Austin limestone fireplace in the great room as well as a 12-foot limestone fireplace in the master bedroom.  The large family room and open concept floor plan make family and friend gatherings fun and easy. Their 3 children enjoy plenty of room to roam in the front pasture with the horses or down by the barn in the back pasture. This active family of 5 has fallen in love with life in the country, just minutes from town. 



hen you’re planning your big turkey dinner, the one thing you want to be sure to do is get a turkey big enough for some delicious leftovers. While turkey sandwiches are good, there’s a lot more you can do with this tasty bird.

a tasty  twist  on


Breakfast or Brunch — Wake the family up to a hearty breakfast casserole that’s a creamy blend of turkey, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, cheese and hash browns. It has a crunchy topping with a surprise ingredient; and you can finish it off with a dollop of fresh and flavorful Wholly Guacamole. Make it ahead of time so all you have to do is pop it into the oven in the morning. Lunch — Enjoy lunch on the lighter side with a turkey salad sandwich. Instead of mayo, this dish gets flavor and 20 nutrients from the avocado in Wholly Guacamole. For extra zip, go with the spicy variety. Dinner — For another make-ahead meal, try a zesty turkey and corn enchilada casserole. This dish is easy to put together, and you may have all the ingredients in your pantry already. A cornbread base, your favorite enchilada sauce, turkey, cheese, and a generous serving of your favorite guac all add up to a new family favorite. Get more leftover ideas with a twist at


cups cubed turkey cup low-fat sour cream 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup cup milk cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided bag (30 ounces) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed onion, diced cup corn flake cereal cup Wholly Guacamole

In mixing bowl, combine turkey, sour cream, soup, milk, 1/2 cup cheese, hash browns and onion. Spread in bottom of 2 quart dish (greased). Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 1 hour. Add additional 1/2 cup of cheese and corn flake cereal, and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve with a dollop of Wholly Guacamole.

GUACAMOLE TURKEY SALAD | Serves: 6 2 1/2 1 1/4 3/4 1 2 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 2 1

tablespoons canola oil teaspoon salt, divided cup of turkey, diced teaspoon black pepper teaspoon cumin, ground lime zested limes, juiced, divided teaspoon sugar teaspoon Mexican chili powder cup red bell pepper, diced cup yellow bell pepper, diced cup red onion, diced tablespoons cilantro, rough chop cup Wholly Guacamole dip

Mix oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, cumin, sugar, chili powder, lime zest and juice of 1 1/2 limes. Add to turkey and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes — do not exceed 30 minutes. Mix in bell peppers, onion, cilantro, dip, turkey, the rest of the lime juice and remaining salt. Serve in a pita, on a whole wheat bun, as a lettuce wrap, or with crackers.

TURKEY AND CORN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE | Serves: 6 First Layer 1 15-ounce can corn, drained 1 15-ounce can creamed corn 8 ounces sour cream (non-fat) 1/2 cup ricotta (low-fat) 1 8 1/2-ounce package corn bread mix Second Layer 1 cup turkey, shredded 1 cup shredded cheese 1 cup enchilada sauce, divided Wholly Guacamole dip, for garnish

Mix together all first layer ingredients in a casserole dish. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until firm. Take out of oven, poke fork holes all around it. Pour 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce over corn bread. Top with turkey and cheese. Put back in oven until cheese melts. Top with remaining enchilada sauce, guacamole dip; serve.

Quick Turkey Tidbits: Need some more inspiration for turkey leftovers? Try one of these easy snack ideas: Turkey Nachos — Shredded turkey, peppers, onions, black olives and cheese on limeflavored nacho chips. Top with chunky guac, salsa or sour cream.

14 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012

Turkey Bites — Top your favorite crackers with a little turkey and a slice of pepper Jack cheese. Microwave until the cheese starts to melt. Add a dollop of salsa or guac.

Mini Mexi-Pizzas — Split an English muffin, and spread a little salsa on each half. Top with turkey and shredded cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly. Top with a dollop of sour cream or guac.


can still remember the first time my family hosted our Thanksgiving meal. We were so excited to have our turn to prepare and serve our very own turkey with all the traditional fixings. I think that’s when we knew we were officially grown-ups. I chuckle when I think of my husband in his apron that year, patting down the turkey with oil and spices. He couldn’t wait to open the oven and baste the glorious bird.


Inevitably, when we sit down to our Thanksgiving meal, someone asks, “Why don’t we have turkey like this more often?” We should

serve turkey more often. Turkey is a delicious and nutritious entrée. Turkey is loaded with protein and B vitamins, is low in fat, and its uses for leftovers are endless in soups, stews, salads and sandwiches. Whether this is your first time to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey, or if you’re an old pro, you’ll enjoy trying this delectable recipe for Roast Turkey with Cranberry Orange Glaze, courtesy of Butterball. Be sure to check out Butterball’s Good as Gold Thanksgiving tips when you are getting ready for the big day. From our home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving from Brookshire Brothers - a celebration of family and community!

Roast Turkey with Cranberry Orange Glaze Directions: Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine marmalade, cranberry juice concentrate, maple syrup, vinegar and salt in small, heavy saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently 12 to 15 minutes, or until glaze is reduced to about one cup. Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities of turkey; discard or refrigerate for another use. Drain juices from turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey. Place turkey, breast side up, on a flat roasting rack in a shallow pan. Brush turkey lightly with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Roast turkey for 2 hours. Cover breast and top of drumsticks loosely with foil to prevent overcooking of breast. Continue roasting turkey for another 45 minutes. Remove foil and brush generously with glaze. Return foil loosely to top of turkey. Cook for another 45 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 180°F when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh.

Ingredients 3/4 cup orange marmalade 3/4 cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed 3 tablespoons maple syrup 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 (14 pound) Butterball® Frozen Whole Turkey, thawed No-stick cooking spray

Brush with remaining glaze. Let turkey stand 15 minutes before carving. Nutrition Information: Calories 275. Fat 10 g. Saturated Fat 3 g. Sodium 325 g. Carbohydrate 24 g. Protein 26 g

Fowl Advice %

Butterball app: Download the new Butterball app on your Apple device to get recipe ideas and cooking advice at your fingertips.


1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372): Turkey Talk-Line experts will be available this season starting November 1, 2012 through December 24, 2012 to answer questions and assist Thanksgiving cooks.

About the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line: One of the first national, toll-free consumer help lines, the original Turkey Talk-Line staff of six home economists fielded questions from 11,000 turkey-troubled Americans during its first season in November 1981. On Thanksgiving Day, the small group took hundreds of calls – with only a rolodex of notes and their own knowledge to help them answer the nation’s questions. Each November and December, professionally trained turkey experts assist more than 1 million cooks through the Turkey Talk-Line, Butterball. com, Facebook and Twitter in the United States and Canada. With 50 staff members, the Turkey Talk-Line has the resources to answer questions from either English or Spanish-speaking callers, as well as respond to questions via e-mail.

by Amy  McLeod,  RD,  LD

making Thanksgiving memories Good-­as-­Gold Thanksgiving Tips Butterball has five key tips that will help in preparation for the big day, ensuring your holiday meal goes off without a hitch. 1. Connect While You Cook: In honor of Golden Thursday™ – the Black Friday of turkey and Thanksgiving – we’ll offer savings with a golden coupon deal on Facebook, provide goldstandard tips on Twitter, share recipe ideas on Pinterest and deliver advice at your fingertips with the new Butterball app.

2. Turkey To-Do: Set aside some time to write a daily to-do list – that way, you don’t have to spend time thinking about what you need to do each day since you’ve already made a plan.

3. Master the Menu: Finalize your menu two or three weeks in advance and collect the recipes and ingredients you’ll need to avoid forgetting anything. Be sure to check for goldstandard recipes, and find at least one that you can prepare in advance.

4. Shop Early for Savings: In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, keep an eye out for opportunities to save without sacrificing quality. Look for specials at Brookshire Brothers and check your Sunday newspapers for Butterball coupons and promotions. Be sure to buy your ingredients well in advance to set the stage for a gold star meal.

5. Turkey Tool Set: Make sure you have the proper equipment – a pan for the turkey, a meat thermometer, Reynolds Wrap ® Aluminum Foil, a large platter, sharpened knives and containers for leftovers – and that everything is clean and ready for you to use.

Amy McLeod,  RD,  LD  is  a  Registered  and  Licensed  Dietitian  and  Healthy  Living  Spokeswoman  for  Brookshire  Brothers.   For  products  “Approved  by  Amy,”  go  to

17 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012 /  17

by Felicia  Dark


Lasagna Garden


quash, Cabbage, Onions, and Turnips—everyone knows what these are and where they come from— right? WRONG!

In this day and age, there are so many children who do not have a clue what vegetables are, much less where they come from. Sad to say, but true. About eleven years ago, Linda and Gerald Snider, along with Marlow Shubert and Richard Campbell, all Angelina County Master Gardeners, started a program at Huntington Elementary School called the Lasagna Garden. This small group of Master Gardeners goes to school every year to help each second grade class get their fall garden started. They teach them how to build raised beds and how to plant and maintain their garden. Even though the Master Gardeners supervise, the kids, along with their science teachers, tend the garden until harvest. At that time, they are able to reap the fruits (or vegetables) of their labor. They get to eat what they have grown. How rewarding!

Linda said, “This is the most rewarding program I do as a Master Gardener. To see the kids light up when they plant, care for, and get to eat what they have raised is just the greatest thing.” Gerald states, “Sometimes you may have a little manure flying down someone’s back, but they are learning and having fun. You can learn a lot from the kids. You would be surprised what a second grader will share with you.” Because of the efforts of these Master Gardeners, you will not find too many kids in Huntington Elementary who do not know their vegetables and where they come from. This program is beginning to catch on at other schools. I think it’s because we as adults are beginning to realize how far from the basics our children have gotten. A huge thanks to Linda, Gerald, Marlow, and Richard for giving your time for the betterment of our children. If anyone is interested in this program, you can call the Angelina County Extension Agency, 936.632.8239. Felicia Dark is an Angelina County Master Gardener. She is the proud Grammy of 12 grandchildren. /  19


Ellen Trout Zoo Member’s Dinner

20 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012

photographed by  Lisa  Crow

Your Community relationships  22 stretch  marks  24 calendar  28 inspiring  woman  30

Beautiful Things  |  Sale  at  the  Barn

by K athryn  Greene


Do You  Trust  Me? “Accept each day exactly as it comes to you. By that, I mean not only the circumstances of your day but also the condition of your body. Your assignment is to trust Me absolutely, resting in My sovereignty and faithfulness.” (Taken from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, page 263)


sat in awe as I read the above devotional thought… “Accept each day exactly as it comes to you.” I believe that God knows everything that comes my way. He knew all about today before time ever began. I know that He has provided everything that I need for my days! I know those things with my head, but not necessarily with my heart.

You see, it is one thing to say I trust God, but it is quite another to say that when the events of the day are challenging and somewhat traumatic. Where is that trust when I learn a grandchild has just been diagnosed with leukemia, or a husband has life-threatening blood-clots in both lungs, or a wife who has been suffering with painful pancreatitis now has cysts on that pancreas that will require surgery, or a 10-month old baby has an undetermined illness that has become life-threatening? How can there be a God in heaven that truly cares? How can a loving God allow that little one, that loved one to hurt and suffer? Over the years, I have searched for answers to these questions. As a counselor to women, I have listened to many stories of abuse, rejection, and much emotional hurt. I confess that there were times that I questioned, “Where is God when one of His little ones is being hurt by the ugliness of this world?” In my search, I came across some scripture that has helped me with these hard questions. “The Lord says, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.” (Isaiah 43:1-2) “…I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) I began to understand that neither my suffering, nor the suffering of my loved ones around me, were any surprise to my God in heaven. None of us live in a glass dome, unable to be touched by this very imperfect world and its imperfect inhabitants, but when we are touched, God has informed us that He will walk with us through it all! He promised He would be with me – all I have to do is ask Him! That doesn’t mean that everything will be great by my standards, but it does mean that He will work all things together for my good, if I truly love Him and respond to His purpose for me. (Romans 8:28) I need someone who said He would never leave me and He would walk with me in this journey of life. That is the best and greatest relationship of all!

22 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012


Pineywoods Purgatory

photographed by  Lisa  Crow /  23

by Melissa  Radke


MAY WE FIND THANKS IN OUR GIVING few days ago, I was driving the car while my kids tried to kill each other in the back seat. It was just another Tuesday in our family. After a minute, my oldest, Remi Hope, begged me to please turn down Justin Bieber, she had a question. It went a little something like this:


ƌɄ !Ʉ4*0Ʉ)Ʉ%0./Ʉ" /Ʉ/#*. Ʉ/ )" -.Ʉ*0/Ʉ*!Ʉ/# Ʉ#*0. Ʉ/# )Ʉ maybe you’d have time for something else.


ƌɄ *0Ɩ- Ʉ +- "))/Ʉ )Ʉ /$- ƇɄ )Ʉ )Ʉ Ʉ )*/#$)"Ʉ '. Ʉ /*Ʉ the to-do list.

Remi: Momma, sometimes I think we are going to run out of money.


ƌɄ*0-Ʉ%*Ʉ$.Ʉ4*0-Ʉ 1 -4Ʉ2&$)"Ʉ(*( )/ƇɄ)Ʉ4*0Ʉ- Ʉ./-/$)"Ʉ to grow weary in well doing.


Me: What? Why would you think that? Remi: I just get afraid sometimes that we will, because whenever I ask you for something off the snack cart at school, you always say, “No, momma doesn’t have the money for that.” Me: Well that’s just because momma doesn’t always carry around a lot of change with me, but that doesn’t mean we are going to run out of money. Remi: If we do run out of money, will we also run out of food? Me: Baby that is not something you even need to worry about. We are not going to run out of money. Besides, you know that if we ever ran out of anything, food or money or clothes, God will always provide for us. Right?... Right?...Remi? Remi: Well, you told Rocco that there are children all over the world who don’t have enough food to fill their bellies. Me: That’s right. I did. Remi: Well, why isn’t God providing for them? It’s been a week or so now and I still haven’t answered her question. How could I? I don’t have the answer. It’s a question I want an answer to, as well. Why isn’t God providing for them? Why do they go to bed at night with their tummies rumbling and their body’s cold? How do I explain to a six year old that the responsibility to clothe and feed should never be put on Him and Him alone? That’s why I was given hands and feet and the willingness to do something. Anything. Today I write my article not to diminish your holiday, not to make light of your turkey and dressing, your pie and your naptime. Take it all in, every bit of it. We will. But I write in hopes that this year, as you look around your table and thank God for His faithfulness, that you are reminded that your job is not just to those sitting amongst you. Ʉ

ƌɄ0- Ʉ4*0Ʉ- Ʉ-$.$)"Ʉ4*0-Ʉ"-)&$.ƇɄ)Ʉ/Ʉ4*0-Ʉ" ƇɄ$/Ʉ. (. a full-time job.


ƌɄ .ƇɄ4*0Ɩ1 Ʉ/& )Ʉ4*0-Ʉ ' -'4Ʉ+- )/.Ʉ$)Ʉ)Ʉ/#/Ʉ. (.Ʉ/*Ʉ be all you can do.

24 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012

But our mission does not just sit at our table, sleep in our house, and provide us our paycheck. Sometimes our mission is beyond our door. Sometimes it’s beyond our sight. Sometimes it even seems beyond our abilities, but we do it because we can. Someday, if a six year old asks you the same question, I want you to be able to answer like this: “He does provide for them through me and you. When we say ‘yes’ to God - when we give our time, our money, or our help - then we are doing the work of Christ, and we are making sure that tummies get full, people get shelter, coats are handed out and medicine is given. We do for them what they cannot do for themselves.” It’s taken me a little while (and reading the following scripture over and over) to realize that. But that’s okay, because she’ll most certainly ask again. This time, I’ll be ready. Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they’ll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough! (2 Cor. 9:12-15) My friend, this holiday season, may you not grow weary in well doing. May you grow only more excited about the bountiful thanksgivings that will fill your heart when your life’s work becomes about someone else and something more. To a full table and an overflowing heart…

Happy Thanksgiving! Melissa Radke is married to the best looking man in town, whom she affectionately refers to as The Attorney General. They have two children, Remi and Rocco; you have probably seen their picture in the Most Wanted list at your local schools. She loves movie popcorn, telling her friends what to do with their hair and being the center of attention. You can find her anytime at or Chik-fil-A. You are encouraged to ask for her autograph. In fact, she insists.


Pineywoods Cattle Baron’s Gala

26 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012 /  27


calendar of  events

Viva Vaudeville! At the Angelina College Temple Theater. 7:30 p.m. each night. Adults $5.00, seniors, students and children, $4.00. For more information, contact Michele Hill at 936.633.5233 or email


Run for the Vets ProStar Productions and the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau are excited to announce Run for the Vets, a 1 mile, 5k and 10k fun run through Crown Colony. Twenty five percent of the proceeds of this fun run will go to a local charity: Because We Care (an organization that sends packages to our local troops). Price: $30 includes a t-shirt and $35 includes a t-shirt and time chip. Register online at: running/lufkin-tx/run-for-the-vets-5k-10k-run-onemile-fun-walk-2012. For more information, contact Alyssa Massingill at 936.633.0359 or email


Veterans Day Parade Downtown Lufkin at 10:00 a.m. For more information, contact Marilyn Davis at 936.414.1733


Veterans Day Parade Downtown Nacogdoches. Parade begins at 11:00 a.m. at T.J.R. Elementary School and winds through the streets of downtown. For more information, call 936.560.7772


The American Association of University Women November Meeting At Regions Bank in Nacogdoches. 5:30 p.m. A light meal will be served and Linda Stone King will speak about her varied experiences as a pilot flying for American Eagle. For more information, contact Anne Barker at 936.560.2631 or email

16 –  17

Holiday in the Pines At the Civic Center in Nacogdoches. Enjoy market shopping with more than 60 specialty stores and vendors gathered for your convenience. Friday, 11-8 and Saturday 9-5. Tickets are $5.00. For more information, visit


One Mile Fun Run At Burley Primary in Lufkin. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and the run starts at 9:00 a.m.


Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. At the Lufkin Middle School auditorium. Presented by the Lufkin Middle School Fine Arts department. November 16th at 7:00 p.m. and November 17th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. General admission tickets, $5 reserved seating $7. Children 3 and under, free. For more information, contact Teresa Ragland at 936.630.4444 or email


Tour de Nac Includes a 7.8 mile and a 53 mile route. The long ride starts at 8 a.m. and the short ride starts at 8:30 a.m. Entry fee is $30 for early registration and $35 for regular registrations. Entry forms available at the Nacogdoches Visitors Center and online at

11/23 –  1/2/13 Festival of Trees

At the Museum of East Texas. Enjoy the grand display of over 80 trees, ranging in size from three to twelve feet tall. Visit the museum Monday – Friday, 10-5 and Saturday and Sunday, 1-5. December 19 begins extended hours: Monday – Friday, 10-8 and Saturday and Sunday, 1-8. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Free Admission, donations accepted. For more information, call 936.639.4434


Wassail Fest In Downtown Nacogdoches. Shoppers can sample the wassail as they enjoy downtown shopping. Free admission. 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For more information, visit


Main Street Lufkin Lighted Christmas Parade 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact Barbara Thompson at 936.633.0205.

30 Nine Flags Festival Lighting Ceremony & Movie on the Brick Streets Lighting at 6:30 p.m. and movie at 7:00 pm. Enjoy over 3 million lights and the movie “The Polar Express.” Free admission


Jingle Bell Run Downtown Nacogdoches, 8:30 a.m. Early registration $20, regular registration, $25 and $10 for children 12 and under. For more information, visit or call 1-888-OLDEST-TOWN


Nine Flags Festival Lighted Christmas Parade and Fireworks Downtown Nacogdoches. Parade begins at 6:30p.m.


Harold’s House 2nd Annual Designer Purse Bingo

6:30 the Lufkin Civic Center. Tickets are $25. Tables can be reserved for $250. Proceeds benefit Harold’s House and East Texas Alliance for Children. For more information, call 936.634.1999


Home for the Holidays A musical Christmas Celebration featuring the AC Chorale and more at the Angelina College Temple Theater at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $4, adults and $3 seniors, students and children. For more information, email

To submit your event for the December issue, email your event to by November 20th.


was born and raised in Lufkin, TX with my parents, Bill and Kim Malnar. I followed in their footsteps and graduated from Lufkin High School in 2004. After being raised in an environment filled with traditions and a town where sports bring people together, I joined Texas A&M University, where traditions and sports are everything. I graduated from Texas A&M in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. My specialty is 4th-8th grade English Language Arts and Reading/ Social Studies. Although I started Texas A&M with a vision to be the best American teacher I could possibly be, the Lord changed those plans as each year passed and graduation came closer and closer.


didn’t matter. The Lord literally shook my heart for the children of Zambia. One moment in particular was life changing for me. While the leader prayed over a slab of concrete that would soon become the first Family Legacy School in Zambia, I was given a vision. I saw myself standing in front of a group of Zambian students with a Zambian teacher next to me. She was translating when the children couldn’t understand my English. I remember being the voice in the classroom, the one giving them hope for their life and encouraging a love for learning. Tears streamed down my face as he prayed and that vision filled my mind. I didn’t know what it meant, but I received it gladly. The Lord would show me the way if this vision was to be fulfilled.

In 2007, I was in my senior year of college and was thrilled to get out in the career world. I dreamed of being the “Freedom Writers” type of teacher—the one who takes students in very difficult home lives with no hope and transforms them into people who fight for themselves. I believed that my students would have a 100% passing rate no matter how hard life was for them. I knew they would long to come to my class every day. What I didn’t know at the time was that the Lord had a much bigger plan in store for me. Not only would my teaching career be one of the hardest experiences of my life, but also the direction of my life would radically change. My perspective would never be the same.

Eight months later, I fell to my knees in my classroom. I knew the Lord was shutting the door at my current school, but I didn’t know when or if he would open another. I had surrendered my life at that point. I remember saying, “Lord, do something. Show me where to go, because I’m surrendering to you.” Less than 2 weeks later, Family Legacy sent out a letter with wonderful news. They were starting their first 4 schools in Zambia. These schools were in the slums and would educate the sponsored children in their program.

In 2008, the Lord spoke Africa on my heart. I knew he had something for me there, but I didn’t know what. In August of 2008, after hearing a dear friend’s testimony of her experience in Zambia, I decided to sign up for Camp LIFE with Family Legacy. Camp LIFE is a camp held for orphans living in the slums of the capital city of Zambia. The children come and are placed in a group with an American and a Zambian group leader—it resembles a vacation bible school in the states. My experience at camp shook me. All the years I lived prior to that moment

I immediately emailed them, and within the week I had an interview. Within 2 weeks, I had the job as “Education Coordinator” and was set to move to Zambia in the fall. What a whirlwind. I started on staff in August of 2010 and moved to Zambia in December. Since December of 2010, I have served as the Education Liaison for the US office. When I arrived, Family Legacy had 4 schools, with the intent to open 2 more. In 2011, we successfully operated 6 schools. They served the sponsored children in our program. In order to adequately serve orphaned and vulnerable children, every school is located in the slums. In 2012, we launched 9 additional

schools, bringing our count to 15. Although we’ve experienced ups and downs along the way, I have felt the Lord’s presence so thick in this place. Someone needed to launch the schools, to be the initial contact person on the ground, and the Lord chose me. I was and continue to be incredibly humbled that he chose me

megan malnar to do this for HIS kingdom. I remember the day my vision was fulfilled. I stood in front of a classroom of beautiful Zambian children, teaching them for the day. A Zambian teacher was beside me, translating for those who couldn’t understand. I was totally in my element. I fit.

After a year, I still felt like the Lord wanted me to be in Zambia. I went home for the holidays in November to be with family and to get prepared to go back in December. I remember boarding the plane with the same determination to enhance our schools for the children of Zambia. Just

like before, the Lord was going to soon surprise me. The Lord started speaking to me about becoming a mom in November of 2011. I had 2 dreams about a little boy. I didn’t know who he was, but I knew that I was his

“I didn’t  know  who  he  was,         but  I  knew  that  I  was  his  mom.” /  31


mom. I remember walking up both times and feeling a weight from the Lord. After my second dream, I asked the Lord to clarify if the dream was from him. In the next 3 days, I was without a doubt certain that he was calling me to motherhood. Now, you can only imagine the thoughts running through my mind. I’m single. I live in Africa. I work to educate orphans, not take on full care for them. How am I going to do this alone? When will I know that I’ve found my son? Is he already born? But the Lord is faithful. Over time, he gently addressed different parts of my anxiety and worry. He even gave me a name to pray over, Elijah. Although I was staying obedient and waiting patiently, I went through many doubts of whether this is actually what the Lord was calling me to do. On May 15th, I saw a picture of a sweet boy from the orphanage I visited in January. When I looked at the picture, the Lord said, “Megan, this is what Elijah looks like.” I was confused, because I wasn’t sure if the Lord was actually telling me that my Elijah will look similar or if this boy was actually Elijah. I didn’t say anything to anyone, but a few hours later, my roommate brought her computer to me with that exact same picture and said the exact same phrase, “Megs, this is what Elijah looks like.” That’s when I felt this could possibly be my son. The next day, I went to visit him. The Lord instantly connected my heart to my son. He IS the boy I’ve been praying for. When I saw him, held him, played with him, and looked in his eye, I knew that it was my Elijah. Although that was not his birth name, the Lord placed it on my heart to change it to Elijah. I’m very excited and humbled that the Lord has chosen me to step in and care for this sweet boy! The process of adoption in Zambia is a long and hard road. It’s not easy. There are many steps and tiny details that are not laid out specifically on paper. This makes it very hard to get the right paperwork with the 32 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012

right documentation to finalize everything. For example, it took me 3 months to finalize paperwork just for fostering him. But, as I’ve said, the Lord is faithful. He has walked ahead of me each step of the way. On August 7th, Elijah came home with me. He is such a joyful and clever boy. He is strong, content, nervous, scared and excited, but is now being loved the way God intended for him to be loved. He is going to be a powerful man of God—he IS anointed. He has already begun praying and speaking with authority, like a pastor would. Although the road ahead of me is long, bendy, and bumpy at times, I know it’s the straight and narrow path to which the Lord is calling me.

Since having Elijah, the Lord has shown me the importance of placing him first in my life. I still love working for Family Legacy and intend to continue until the Lord calls us away. Although I am unsure of what our future holds, what I do know is that he will guide us. He is our provider and I trust him alone. Find rest, oh my soul, in God alone. Malachi 4:6 is the verse the Lord has given me for Elijah: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.”

A word about Megan’s adoption process: The cost of Elijah’s adoption will be $6,500. The money is needed in different steps throughout the process. The final step of the process is a visa to travel home. Megan hopes to bring Elijah to the states in May of next year. Megan hopes to have her funding in place by December of this year. /  33


Chonda Pierce at Harmony Baptist Church

34 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012

photographed by  Lisa  Crow

Your Body fashion  36 makeup  box  38 women’s  health  39 life  change  40

photographed by  Morgan  Due

by Jessica  Tinsley  Bridges,  Co-creator  of


fabulous fall  boots


under $50


t’s all about the boots when it comes to fall shoe shopping. I’m head over heels about this year’s boot trends. From knee highs to stiletto styles, you are sure to find a trend that you will love. The great thing is all these boots are less than $50, and they sure don’t look it. At these prices, you might just have to buy two!

Faux-Leather Ankle Boots Old Navy

$47 Worthington Sophie Tall Boots JCPennys

$35 Mossimo Kalina Cowboy Boot Target



Racquel Side Zip Bootine Payless Mossimo Kailey Flat Slouchy Boot Target


Mootsies Tootsies Repeat Riding Boot Bealls 36 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012

Jessica (Jess) is a 28-year old brunette born and raised in Lufkin. She is in love with fashion and wearing high heels, even though she’s 5’10’’. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin with a Fashion Merchandising degree. She and her husband live in Houston with their 2 dogs, Bella and Bentley. She is an assistant buyer for a department store in Houston, Texas. She and her sister-in-law, Jo, have their own fashion blog where they share their love of fashion on a budget.

by Raegan  Cassels  Williamson


a simply natural fabulous fall look:


It’s all too often that we are left in the dark on certain trends of the seasons. Even if we educate ourselves about such trends, we don’t always have the time to apply them in our make-up routines. Here is an easy, natural fall look that only takes minutes.

Use an angled brush to lightly fill in you eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil or a powder. Great shaped eyebrows are a must, because they frame the face.

3 4


Using an eye shadow brush, apply a light nude or bone colored eye shadow from the brow bone to the lash line. If you desire a hint of color to your eye, a small amount of darker eye shadow may be added in the crease.

Next, use a black or dark brown liquid or gel liner to the eye to create a “winged” or “cat eye” look. Try not to get too carried away when creating this look. Follow with dark black mascara. The darker the better, because it will enhance your natural eye color.

If you desire to wear a foundation, apply a light liquid or mineral powder. A tinted moisturizer will also work.



To complete the look, add red or wine-stained lipstick or gloss to the pout.

For the cheek area, a rose colored blush should be applied to the apple area of the cheek. The rose color can range from deep to a more subtle natural blush.

Raegan Cassels Williamson is a wife, mother, nurse and cosmetic enthusiast. She has put her career on hold to be a mother to her two-year old son, Legend. In her spare time, she owns her own business, Airbrush Artistry. She specializes in airbrush tanning, airbrush and traditional makeup applications and makeup tutorials.





arthan Dermatology Center and Dr T. Lynn Warthan, a Board Certified Dermatologist in Nacogdoches, are pleased to announce that his daughter, Dr. Molly M. Warthan, also a Board Certified Dermatologist, has joined him in his practice.

Dr. T. Lynn Warthan has been practicing dermatology in the East Texas area for over 35 years. His practice includes a wide array of dermatologic skin conditions, including Medical Dermatology, Surgical Dermatology, and Cosmetic Dermatology. Dr Molly Warthan specializes in a skin cancer surgery called Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery. Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery allows a dermatologist to remove a skin cancer layer by layer while microscopically examining each section. This allows complete removal of skin cancer while preserving the maximum amount of healthy skin. It provides the highest cure rate for removal of skin cancer (97-99%). The procedure is an outpatient procedure, using only a local anesthetic, and the patient is awake during the procedure. Both Dr. Lynn Warthan and Dr. Molly Warthan treat patients of all ages with common dermatology problems such as acne, eczema, warts, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, brown spots, and skin cancers. In addition, their cosmetic practice includes treating patients with Botox, Dysport, and dermal fillers such as Restylane, Perlane, and Juvederm. Warthan Dermatology is also pleased to offer new cosmetic procedures including laser hair removal, laser for spider veins, laser for facial redness and telangiectasias, and laser for brown spots. Warthan Dermatology now offers Coolsculpting, which helps reduce the muffin top and love handles that often times will not resolve with diet and exercise. Coolsculpting is the only non-invasive FDA procedure that is approved to eliminate unwanted fat. It freezes the fat cells, which causes them to burst, and they are then naturally eliminated by the body. It is about a one hour procedure. The patient does not have to diet or exercise to reduce or eliminate the fat that is frozen during the procedure. This is a noninvasive procedure. There is no surgery involved, and there is no down time. Coolsculpting consultations are complimentary. To learn more about our products, monthly specials, and events, please visit us at and like us on Facebook. Also call our office at 936-564-6107 to reserve your cosmetic consultation or book an appointment with us. /  39




harissa Porter has an amazing story to tell. It is one of beauty, strength, inspiration, and determination.

Like many women, after having babies, your body changes, your mindset changes, and overall, we become different people. For Charissa, that very thing happened. After getting married and giving birth to her  two sons, she slowly began to add weight throughout the next ten years. 

For a lot of people, the meal preparation may sound like a daunting task. Charissa says, “We as women are multi-taskers. In the beginning, it may be difficult to get into a routine, but once you implement it in your life, it will become a part of it. You just have to take the first step in trying.” Since Charissa’s initial weight loss of 50 pounds, she has lost even more. Today, she weighs 150 pounds. “For me, it’s not about

“It was easy, quick, on-the-go food. It was all about convenience. I never took into account the nutrition of what I was eating,” says Porter. “Looking back, I now see why I had a weight problem. I was always tired and really not happy with myself.” Just like many others, she and her husband tried different weight loss programs over the years. None of them ever worked. Finally in 2010, Charissa and her husband, Jad, decided to make drastic changes. “It was time to make a life change for our quality of life and to be an example for our kids.”


When Charissa first began her journey, she weighed 230 pounds. Her initial goal was to weigh less than 200 pounds. She far exceeded that goal and lost 50 pounds. “But then I gained 20 of it back. It’s important for people to know that because it doesn’t mean you have to go back to that lifestyle. Every day is a new day to start anew.” She set very small, realistic goals for herself. She and her husband committed to daily exercise and clean eating and cooking. They began eating 5 small meals a day, along with watching their protein and carb intake. “For us, a big part of our success is in meal preparation. We will spend a day grilling and preparing our food for the week.”


being fashionably thin, it’s about our health, and it’s about our family. We wanted to be role models to our kids on nutrition and health. Now they love the food we cook and enjoy trying new things.” Charissa encourages everyone to read labels and know your own dietary needs. Just because something is deemed “healthy,” like a salad, it might not be the best option. Educate yourself, and do it for you and your family. /  41


3rd Annual Lufkin’s Bistro

42 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012

Your Child pretty  babies  44 parent  thoughts  46 look  at  me  49 birthday  bash  50 why  i  love  being  a  mom  52

Gavin Howard  |  photographed  by  Andrea  Howard


1. Luc Andrew Duckworth. 4/18/12. Proud Parents: Greg & Amy Duckworth (Lufkin, TX). Proud Grandparents: James & Charmis Nerren (Lufkin, TX) / Gregory Duckworth Sr. (Oklahoma) / Kathy & Danny Moore (Rainbow, TX). 2. Baylee Faith Fisher. 8/13/12. Proud Parents: Jeff & Amanda Fisher (Diboll, TX). Proud Grandparents: Jimmy & Sabrina Fisher (Diboll, TX) / the late Mike & the late Kim Jones (Hudson, TX). 3. Kristabella Palomino. 9/4/12. Proud Parents: Louis & Brenda Palomino (Diboll, TX). Proud Grandparents: Tomas & Maria Fuentes / Josefa Perez (Diboll, TX). 4. Kelcie Ponder. 10/5/07. Proud Parents: Chris & Nichole Ponder. Proud Grandparents: Tommy & Karen Stanley. 5. Kylie Ponder. 9/8/11. Proud Parents: Chris & Nichole Ponder. Proud Grandparents: Tommy & Karen Stanley. 6. Rowdy Ray Robertson. 7/5/12. Proud Parents: Charles & Jeana Robertson (Alto, TX). Proud Grandparents: Rick & Barbara Reyes (Pollock, TX). 7. Chloe Ann Robinson. 4/12/11. Proud Parents: Jordan & Melissa Robinson. Proud Grandparents: Mark & Barbara Brantner / Deanna Robinson / Bruce Bonner. 8. Tatum Nicole Terry. 8/28/12. Proud Parents: Kristyn Choate & Justin Terry (Lufkin, TX). Proud Grandparents: Mark Terry (Lufkin, TX) / Charlotta Peebler (Lufkin, TX) / Jody Choate (Lufkin, TX). E-­mail Pretty Babies submissions to Please include the information seen above. Submissions are free of charge.

by Kelly  Finnerud


Such is  the  life… …of the Mommy of a potty training boy. Yesterday, a group of friends went swimming in a friend’s pool. I’ve never had a problem with my son pooping in his swim trunks until, you got it, yesterday. Several ladies, and even more kids, were sitting on the pool steps when one momma says, “I think he’s poopy.” I’m looking around to see who has to change their kid’s diaper. She says it again, then says, “Eeeeewwwww!!!.” Everyone swims away, and I realize the only one left is my dear son in just his swim trunks, along with a nice cloud around him. Great. Luckily I found a water hose and washed him down. Of course I had no extra shorts or diapers for him. Why should I? It’s never happened before. Such is the life…

…of the cool girl. During our lovely swim yesterday, it was decided that I would be in charge of getting together the group for today. I told everyone that we’d meet at the same time at the same pool. My boys and I showed up to swim, each excited about hanging out with friends. That didn’t happen. We got the whole pool to ourselves for 2 hours. Such is the life…

…of a procrastinator. I was so proud of myself for ordering my husband’s birthday present 5 whole days in advance. Yesterday, I got the email saying it’s ready to be picked up to be shipped. Today, the notice hasn’t changed. I’m starting to think I paid for a mailing label, which, I suppose, would be a better gift than nothing. Such is the life…

46 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012

…of the Mommy of a …a child of God. one year-old with no words. I can sit here and know that even though

My youngest son is adorable! He has finally mastered the signs for “All Done” and “More”. He does great when he wants more or is obviously finished, but there comes a time when I think he should be full, but I’m not sure. So I can just ask him to show me the sign, right? “Do you want more?” He smiles and shows me “More.” Then I ask, “Or are you all done?” And he smiles and shows me a big “All Done.” This can go on and on till he’s laughing like crazy and I either shove more food on his plate or take him out of the high chair so we’re done with the (non)conversation. Such is the life…

…of a busy stay at home Mommy. As I was typing this, I realized I was thirsty, so I jumped up to run in the kitchen for a drink. I want to hurry back and finish typing before the boys wake from their naps. I immediately sliced my foot on a bed rail that we should have put in the attic long ago, hopped into the kitchen as quiet as possible, grabbed a paper towel to put on my bleeding foot, took the small swig of water that was left in my cup from lunch and stuck my foot under the faucet since it’s bleeding pretty good. I ran back toward the computer room and slipped on my wet foot. Now I’m sitting here with my knee up trying to get the bleeding to stop, and I’m still thirsty. Such is the life…

…of a grammatical nerd. I’m grimacing at the thought of publishing this with that huge run on sentence in the paragraph above. Such is the life of…

my baby can’t talk, my 2 year-old poops in the pool, no human wants to come to my pool party, I can’t get a gift on time for my husband, but I backspace to correct typing errors so much my fingers hurt, and I’m probably going to bleed to death since I have more desire to finish this article than actually put a band-aid on my booboo, God knew this would happen and still chose me. Such is the life...

...of me. This was an article I wrote five years ago while in the throes of earlymommyhood. The boys are 6 & 7 now. The youngest speaks very well, and you can rest assured that the oldest no longer poops in the pool.

Kelly Finnerud  and  husband,  Ryan,  have  3  energetic  kids,   Aidan  (7),  Trace  (5)  and  Emmy  (3).  They  have  been   married  10  years.  Ryan  is  a  worship  pastor  at  Grace   Bible  Church  in  Nacogdoches,  and  Kelly  has  a  music   education  degree  and  has  been  a  band  director  in  the  area   until  staying  home  with  young  children.  Kelly  writes  for,  an  online  resource  sharing  local   activities,  parenting  stories  and  anything  else  kid-related   in  our  area. /  47


Pineywoods Cattle Baron’s Gala

48 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012




4 1. Summer Sailing in Maine! Sara Kate Harris, Lucy Gabriel, Camille Cumbie, Mary Grace Polk, Caroline Deaton & Caroline Chance. Blake Loggins leaving for Austin College. Brothers & sister (Brian, Brent & Brooke) giving him some love! 3. Adisen and Braysen Massie jug fishing on Grand Lake, OK. 4. Aiden Hale & Jackson Glymph making memories at Holly Beach, Louisiana. 5. Class of 2013 Zavalla seniors! 6. Owen & Reed Quarles. 7. Chip Buchanan, Blake Buchanan, Griffin Salas, Bosten Oliver & Malcolm Deason at the 2012 Texas A&M Baseball Camp. 8. Our sweet Kynleigh Kate Haney was ready for Halloween. 9. Asher, Bennett, Rachel, Erin & Kaytlin Hearne. 10. Cash Lee Raines, 2 years old on vacation at the beach. Cash is facinated with anything that has buttons and makes noise, & he lives in Nacogdoches.


7 6 8

9 10

Send a photo of your child & information to Submissions are free of charge.


REAGAN’S DINOSAUR CELEBRATION! Stomp, chomp, roar, prehistoric fun galore! Reagan Crow celebrated her 9th birthday at the Naranjo Museum of Natural History. The young paleontologists had a real dino adventure with a tour of the museum given by Dr. Neal Naranjo. The party guests jumped right into the action as they traveled back through time in a prehistoric treasure hunt that included a bone dig. After the expedition, a variety of snacks, perfect for carnivores and herbivores alike, awaited the hungry fossil hunters. They had worked up a giganti-saurus appetite! The party room was transformed with painted cloth, burlap, greenery, and faux boulders. However, the incredible Triceratops cake was the centerpiece of the party. It was a Jurassic journey the birthday girl won’t soon forget!

50 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012 /  51

YOURCHILD | WHY  I  LOVE  BEING  A  MOM “M.O.M” could stand for “MANY OVERLOOKED MOMENTS.” This seems like a sad title for a great job, but as a mom with grown children, I realized that we forget or overlook some of the details from events in our lives. Memories that we thought would be ingrained in our minds forever slowly lose some of the outlines. The other night we sat around the table with friends and family retelling stories that now are funny, but once seemed stressful and near tragic. I retold how mad I was when my son Alex broke his foot jumping off the roof of the house. Yes, you heard that right, ROOF, because he thought that was a great place to hide when playing “hide and go seek“ with his older brother. We laughed as we retold how Chris would pick up dates in his 1970 VW that had no heater in the winter. He carried a blanket to wrap around his date as they drove to the movies. I beam as I describe how blessed I am to have a daughter like Karlye who will call any hour of the day or night to share news or just to tell me a funny story. I love the nights she wakes me up to show me some great treasure she found on a clearance rack, because the news could not wait until morning. We live life so fast that some events seem like experiences from another life, because only the shell of the story remains. I admit that I may have been bossy, overbearing, and a worrywart at times. However, I must say it was in the “M.O.M” job description. In addition, I am their greatest fan, loudest cheerleader in the ballpark, and the person that could turn around a bad day with a trip to DQ for ice cream. Motherhood is a tough business because once you are in, leaving is not an option. Nor can you call in sick or take a vacation by yourself. Even if they are out of sight, your mind and heart are still there with them. When our children are growing up, our job is not to be their friend, because they

have many, but our job is to be a parent. They only have one mom and/or dad, so if we failed to do our job, they will be shortchanged for a lifetime. Once they are grown, friendship is your reward. We wear many hats, make tough decisions, not all right, but all made for the right reasons, with the best intentions. Looking back, the young years were filled with sleepovers, cowboy, and racecar birthday parties and little girl makeup nights. Teenage years were challenging with a capital D for Drama. I wish all mothers had a lifetime membership to a spa for bi-monthly bonding and advice sessions with their daughters, because world peace could possibly be achieved while talking and debating over a good pedicure. At the end of the day, my best accomplishment is being the mother of three beautiful, responsible, funny, and grateful young people. As part of my reward, I’ve now gained two daughters-in-law in one crazy summer, that I could not have handpicked any better to join the crazy Fleniken family. My oldest son, Chris, married Emily Kolk in March, 2012. Chris received a call from Emily in the summer of 2010 while sitting in his office at Real Graphics. Emily was going to school at U.N.T in Denton for Graphic Design and asked to intern with him for the summer. Chris did not realize God had already handpicked her to walk into his heart, as well as his business. They are a pair of graphic design gurus that make being together 24/7 work. I will always remember the night they got married, with the harp softly playing in the downtown courtyard at dusk. A backdrop of family friends looking on as Chris walked me down the aisle to my seat. I knew this was a goodbye to one chapter in my life and that with one kiss, he was beginning a new chapter


in his. He was barely able to contain the emotion as he watched his bride walk toward him. He had waited on God a long time to find just the right person that loved him with the same interest, values, and commitment as he was longing to give. The second part of the summer brought even more changes. Only five short months later, our family welcomed another member. Our second son, Alex, fell in love with Tifah Worrell several years ago. Alex had just begun a job as the Music Pastor at New Life when he met the young lady that was made for him. Tifah had a desire to follow the word of God and devoted her high school years helping with different missions, youth camps, and outreach programs with Alex. The hearts of these two worked as one for so long that they knew it was time to join their lives and visions together permanently. As we all sat in church on August 4th, 2012 waiting for the door to open, tears of joy flowed as I whispered a goodbye to the chapter in my life titled “Alex my little boy.” Now I sat ready to begin a new page. Time can never erase the sight of Tifah and her eyes filled with tears as she stood in the open door. With her dad, Ricky Worrell, guiding her steps, she began her walk with her eyes locked on Alex’s. He was so proud, and his eyes filled with pure tears of happiness. I never felt as though I was losing my boys, but only gaining two new daughters. My prayer now is that my daughter, Karlye, can find a godly man that will treat her with respect and dignity and love her as much as I do. We all may forget details from life’s events, but we never forget the feelings and smiles that each event engraved on our hearts forever. “M.O.M.” are only letters of the alphabet to some but for me “M.O.M.” stands for “Made of Memories.”


Power of Pink Luncheon /  53

54 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012 /  55

56 /  The  Journey  -  November  2012

The Journey Magazine, November 2012_2  

The Journey Magazine, November 2012_2

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you