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TRULY WOMAN | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

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TRULY WOMAN | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

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CONTENTS Features 5 St. Lucian Filmmaker Drops Narnar’s Paradise this December

10 Four Letter Words 16 Catherine Tyson Invites You to Grand Cayman for Inspiration and Jazz

18 Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Pro-Grace

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In the News

High Season High Fashion

8 Domestic Violence and the Economy 20 New Author Carol Mitchell

Inspiration 6 Ask for Water 22 The Power of Forgiveness by Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe

23 The Look of Love

Cover Photo: Courtesy Reuters Truly Woman Magazine is a Truly Caribbean Production of Goldenmedia | Montserrat | W.I. E-mail: info@trulycaribbean.net © 2008 All rights reserved.

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The Grace to Live I will confess to you that creating this magazine each month is not just a labor of love; it is also a reflection of my own journey and of a God that is taking a personal interest in my growth. I always have an idea of the stories I want to tell but each issue becomes a God-directed enterprise and it makes me excited to share it with you. Thank you to those who drop me emails and share how you are inspired to grow and also how you download copies, print them out and share them with family, friends and even put extra copies at your favorite dining spots. We all know a woman who can use a positive word and some encouragement to believe in herself and continue her journey to become all God wants her to be. So thank you for sharing the good stuff. I am sending mad love to Adonza in Grand Cayman, Carol in St. Kitts and Brenda in the Bahamas for making sure I made it to the end and pressed send. This issue features the thoughts of several women who are following their dreams and doing their part to empower others. For those of you needing a getaway, I hope we can meet at the Me In My Life Seminar, which takes place on Grand Cayman December 5-7. You can learn more about why Catherine Tyson created this event on page 16.

“...May you be inspired to dream, to forgive and to receive all of God’s grace...”

I admire the energy and effort that filmmaker Mathurine Emmanuel puts into every project and her latest movie is no different. In her own words she shares her concern for our youth and why she is compelled to overcome every obstacle and make movies that matter. So many women know the pain of choosing to end a pregnancy rather than taking it full term. I share my thoughts on why we need to see this as more than a Pro-Choice or Pro-Life decision but an opportunity to experience and share Grace. There is so much for you in the pages of this special November/December issue. May you be inspired to dream, to forgive and to receive all of God’s grace in every area of your life.

Nerissa aka Truly Caribbean Woman CREATIVE DIRECTOR goldenmedia 4

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Ask For Water By Nerissa Golden Judges 1: 14b, 15 "And as she sighed sitting on her ass, Caleb said to her: What aileth thee? But she answered: Give me a blessing, for thou hast given me a dry land: give me also a watery land. So Caleb gave her the upper and the nether watery ground. (Douay-Rheims Bible) "And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs. (KJV) Are you thirsty? Ask for water. Is the land where you now reside a dry land? Ask for water. This short passage caught my eye this morning and I got stuck there. I had to research other interpretations of the scripture to make sense of these short verses. Acsah was the daughter of Caleb and she had been instructed by her husband to ask her father to give them a field. Caleb had just given her hand to the son of his younger brother and she was now coming back to make a request. Caleb saw her and realized she was bothered and asked what do you want? She responded very matter of factly. You gave us dry land, we need land that has water in it. Her father did not hesitate, he gave her two new areas that had springs. As women today who are supposed to have it all together, it has become quite difficult to ask for help. We fear hearing no but I think greater still we fear being perceived as not having it together or incapable of handling our own business. When a woman shows a bit of sensitivity, she is told to be tougher, when we open ourselves for help we get shot down or abused in the process. However these are not the only responses possible. We must become comfortable in our place as women to ask the men in our lives for help. When we recognize the Old Testament scriptures as a type and shadow of what is to come, we see the redeeming message of Jesus Christ even in this story. Caleb represents our Heavenly Father God, Acsah is the bride of Christ and Caleb's nephew Othniel is Jesus. God gave us to be the bride of our Lord Jesus Christ, who when asked took up the mantle of our sins and layed down his life for us. Othniel took up the challenge to destroy the inhabitants of Debir

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(read story Judges 1:11-15) and won Acsah as his reward. When Acsah came to her father, she did not come in the strength of their shared bloodline, she came at the instruction of her husband. Othniel knew he had favor with Caleb and he sent his bride to ask for a field with his authority. Today we can come in the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ when we accept His hand and become His bride. We no longer come before God because of a history of knowing but with a new relationship through Jesus. This relationship is stronger than anything that existed before. It gives us access 24-7 and guaranteed results. It connects with me today as I am in a dry place. It is raining outside as I write but yet I feel quite dry. The provision that I have been waiting for seems to always be out of reach and I struggle with the how and whys at times. As I read this, I know it is God's word for me and you today. He has asked the question just as Jesus asked many times while here on earth 'what do you want?' Do you have a ready answer? I do. I need the springs to come up, just as they did when Noah and his family were in the Ark. I need them to open up and gush forth, not just in a spiritual way, I have seen that happening already but the physical manifestation of it all. Where provision is constant and sure, where there is abundance to do what God has called me to do, where there is no lack and I can provide for others as my heart desires to do much more than I can right now Just as Caleb gave his daughter the lower and higher springs, so I need the rain of God's blessings to fall down on me and my children today. Caleb responded immediately. How much more a God that is greater and not limited by time and space is ready to pour out his blessings on us? In what ever situation you find yourself today, I pray you will answer the question He has already asked and continues to ask "what do you want?" Don't hesitate. Don't make excuses as to why you need it, just ask for what you want. Declare today “I hear the sound of an abundance of rain!�

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Narnar's Paradise is an inspirational drama which reveals the struggles of a teenage boy who is determined to create a better world for his deprived mother and his siblings. In this film young Owen takes on the responsibilities which his alcoholic dad refuses to shelter. He determines in his heart and promises his family that they will not go through the sting of poverty, abuse and neglect twice. He will learn well to achieve his goal of becoming a medical doctor, and he will help create a better world for them, himself and his country. I was inspired to write this script after attempting to convince the young men in my community to get off the streets and try to make something out of themselves. Many of them have given up on life, and blame their parents for their misfortune. I want to demonstrate to them that success in life stems from one's determination and the positive decisions you make. During the filming process I encountered my own challenges and hurdles. My nephew fell critically ill, my niece died from cancer in New Jersey and when I returned from attending her funeral one of my actors died suddenly. My creative energy dwindled for awhile but I learnt that in spite of adversity whatever one creates must live on. The story which was developing in the womb had to continue to develop until the day of delivery! I was not about to deliver prematurely! To date I have, by the grace of God, completed three films. I have achieved this not by my strength or means but by God's grace, leadership and strength. I listen and He does His thing in His own style. I simply follow His directives. I love to tell children stories that will not only help them develop positive characteristics but

also stories that will enhance moral values and help them become compassionate citizens, loving friends and thoughtful neighbors. I find joy in the simple things of this life, a brother's smile, a baby's touch, a mother's beaming pride, a sister's concern and a father's hug. Nature, God's words - life is just beautiful when it goes simple! I maintain my connection with God by praying every second. I walk with him and talk to him just as often. If he is not with me then I don't move! To be Truly Woman in 2009, one must be a woman of substance, a woman of compassion, a woman of integrity, a woman of courage. To be Truly Woman means to have substance enough to laugh in the face of adversity, to stand when everyone else is falling around you, to be able to smile when frowns are more plentiful than dust, to cry when your children are dying on the blocks, children who never lived in your womb are still your children because you are every woman. You are Truly Woman! Editor’s Note: Narnar’s Paradise will make its world premiere on December 28th in St. Lucia. Learn about her other films at www.iyanolapictures.com.

Photo (Top) Filmmaker Mathurine Emmanuel with Award-winning actor Danny Glover. (Left) Mathurine at BBC Oxford in the UK. Photos from Mathurine’s personal collection.

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In the News: Guard Against Increased Domestic Violence Due to Financial Pressures “Instances of domestic violence tend to increase during times of financial pressure and we must guard against this happening at all costs,” cautions entrepreneur and speaker Nerissa Golden. “Many domestic violence shelters in the United States have begun to sound the alarm that abuse of women and children is on the increase as many men are stressed financially and feel unable to solve their problems. The people they have sworn to love are now paying the price for their fears and are seeking help from churches and community shelters in record numbers,” explained Golden, who is an advocate for women having healthy relationships and lives. “By nature when humans feel pressure we tend to turn that pressure on others. We don’t pick on people bigger than us or even our own size. We go after those weaker and unable to defend themselves. Men are not the only ones guilty of this. We must all be on guard and find positive ways to alleviate the pressures caused by uncertainty of the future.” Nerissa is the author of a Truly Caribbean Woman’s Guide to Good Love and The

Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth.

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She recommends that couples discuss their fears openly with each other. “Fears tend to disappear when you shed light on them. They only exist in the shadows of our mind when we keep them to ourselves. They grow bigger and become reality when we don’t speak up about them and to the fears. Sharing your concerns with your husband or wife is vital. When we know someone share’s our burden we no longer feel alone.” The entrepreneur said that Caribbean men are especially pressured to be problem solvers and can feel inadequate in this time when their jobs and businesses may be on the line. “Don’t wait for trouble to come to you. Be proactive and research the possibilities. For each challenge work on a solution that can be achieved without having to close your business. It may mean downsizing, cutting back on your lifestyle choices but by all means take action. When we take positive actions we are confronting the fears and not allowing fear to control us.” “Rather than go into cave mode and try to figure things out by yourself, I advise men to actually reach out more to their wives and girlfriends. This is the time to be more involved in what is happening around you. Help with the ...

TRULY WOMAN | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

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dishes, laundry, and other household chores. Assist your children with their homework and getting them ready for bed. The focus is no longer on yourself but on those that matter to you and that relieves worry and also you are using a new currency of your personal time that they will appreciate.” For women, she cautions that they should not use the pressure he is feeling from the outside as the excuse why they permit themselves to be abused. “It is never valid to abuse a woman or a child. Immediately speak up that his actions are unacceptable and be willing to walk away,” she suggests. “Many women may also feel the pressure to accept the abuse as their spouse or partner is the main provider in the family. This she said is not acceptable and outside assistance must be sort. “You can lose your life while trying to keep the man in the house because of the money he brings in. Your life is not a worthy trade.” Golden, who is a single mother of four and has survived an abusive marriage said that every effort must be made to alleviate stress as the tendency under pressure is to lash out at those closest to us. “Be very watchful of increased areas of stress and find positive outlets to combat the pressure you may be feeling. Children and spouses are not verbal or physical punching bags. It is actually a time to reach out in love and give to others. The greatest power to overcome fear is love and this economic challenge is a good time to practice this.” “As crazy as it sounds this is the time to give more. Giving does not always have to be money. You can give your time. Community groups are always looking for men and women to volunteer their time. Many are always willing to give cash but there are times when your presence to assist and mentor young people is priceless. Get back into sports, running, soccer, or basketball. Find a positive outlet to reduce stress. There are many natural resources in the Caribbean that many of us do not make use of. The beach, the mountains, rivers, the sunrises and sunsets that we market to the rest of the world are all freely available for us to enjoy here at home.”

The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth and a Truly Caribbean Woman’s Guide to Good Love will both be available shortly in bookstores. The author and speaker can be contacted at info@trulycaribbean.net for advice and training.

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Economic Challenges is a Time to Shine “Although the reports of a dire tourism season is cause to tighten our belts, it is also a time to free our thinking and move outside the box,” says entrepreneur and author Nerissa Golden. Golden is the founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Symposium and Truly Caribbean Network, a non-profit foundation established to create opportunities for Caribbean people globally. The Caribbean is bracing for a tough tourist season as many of the largest world economies are struggling to regain their financial footing. Governments and tourism organizations are scrambling for solutions and many are fearful of whether they will have a job in the coming months. “This is not a time to allow fear to control and limit your thinking. It is time for Caribbeanpreneurs to find new strategies to get ahead. This crisis is also creating new opportunities and we need to open our eyes to see them,” added Golden. The entrepreneur suggests that people who may be fearful of losing their jobs in the coming season first of all, see the time ahead as a great moment of transition which can be to their benefit. Many of the most successful billionaires made their money during the toughest economic times, she explained, enterprising Caribbean people can do the same. “First this is not just a problem for Caribbean governments to solve for its people. Each of us can take steps to improve our personal economic situations. The small kitchen business can probably be a greater source of income with a better strategic plan and some promotion. Rather than pressure clients who are also experiencing the same financial crisis to pay you all at once, find alternative payment structures to alleviate their burden and yours, barter where possible and be patient,” explained the author.

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Words r e t t e L r u rnal: Fo u o J s ’ n a TC Wom

DIRT er hair. It was under her finger-

her skin, h d re e v o c t I . everywhere soul. Dirt. It was er clothes, it was in her been defiled. the shower. in n h e e d a b in h s ’d a e e h nails. It w irty inside and out. S time since sh h t n e t e h d t s r She wa kicked in fo y to keep track of time. nd had admitted to d e p m u p n r e r husba only wa e The cist h e , th o woman; g s r a a e w ls th t o ia I n c . a fa d h te it d n n She had cou starts, five shampoos a in his use of her body w een in her face for Ten pump The defilement wasn’t the truth that had b ge air. having an aff willingness to acknowled ive herself? g r o f e h n s u r ld e u it was h him but co nd not to see? What e iv . r rg a fo e y ld a u o n and w he prete s more tha ld id u have lied, o d c y ld e h u h o w S w , . y e g ll in H fu th h Crazy More trut e had confronted him? no, so she believed ? it e e s e sh Why didn’t e done a year ago if sh She knew he would say v would she ha ver asked the questions. ity, her id p u t s r e h f e y. The sins o ect marriage. She and so she n d lies. a w a s in s r e e h rf the unanswer e washed. She washed perfect man and a pe ew life, new focus, And so sh ials, her fantasy of a bringing n g long ago. She s, t r so f o m n de win ptis naivety, her ness in the water. A ba e. They had stopped flo nd fasts. a e sought forgiv Her tears no longer cam rama fests, food binges ied. She cried with d r . new dreams hem on pity parties and ig with child and she c s, and first words. b t had wasted poured down her body aby’s first cry, first step or the girl she had f b The water e that of a otten wishes. She cried y she married and k li s s e n w e n g o a longing for the lost dreams and for g. She cried for the b in r She cried fo woman she was becom in was red k s r e H e r. e th t been and itted to. ore facials la m m m o o c tw s a d n w a e s the man sh p clicks, six shampoo as free of the fear. e way she h t t o N . n m a w u m Eleven p but her mind s going to be loving her he way she would in g in b b u r c s from all her o longer afraid. She wa lease her “or else” but t She was n ay when he had to p sterd loved him ye en loving turned to love. h the future, w

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Note to Truly Women Readers: There are so many of you who are struggling with hidden pains you have never expressed. Journaling is a great way to find out what ails you and to cleanse your soul. Whether you are a Christian or not, the pain needs to come out.. Sometimes they are angry words, hurting words, naughty words and just the words you wished you could have said if you had the courage to stand up for yourself, Writing became the way I prayed when it was hard to verbalize to God how I was feeling. He understood even when I didn’t. Often times it was not until my pen touched the paper I knew what I wanted to say or how I was truly feeling about a situation. I share these words with you hoping you will journal your way to freedom. Since I couldn’t curse I found four letter words of my own to vent what was happening inside of me.

HEAT

Liquid heat pou ring down core. Thought it had dried u my thighs, flowing from the p brought me b c ack to life. W and died but with one look revices of my passionate ith under baby cri of es, money woe out a word you lit my fire your hooded eyes, you s, heartaches, thought long sm I don’t want a n y d othered o u e m to p ty sp lo e a ve . k ‘cause then dream, a fanta yo that you’re not sy, one that can’t come tr u would remind me that th ue. T is is my Committed to husband, not my lover, tha he sound of your voice wo just a uld say his needs in m a man who no longer noti t I belong to another. y wet folds bu ces my passion t sion but filled with his seed. leaves me panting for more is waning, who satisfies Se mento of unfulf – illed need, unfu ed about to produce anothe feeling empty of pasr offspring, an lfilled passion. I wish you wo other meu ld sp e a k . Ask my perm not just accept ission to hold wh me, touch me I wish you wo at you give. , kiss me, to u ld c o m e close, so I cold, being alo can n further than y e, being used. I want to kn feel your heat. I am tire d o our eyes? Is heart? there heat in w what your heat feels like. of being your touch, yo D ur kiss, your oes it go No. I’ve chang voice, your simply take th ed my mind. I don’t wan e gif t to My embers st t you offered and make of it know what your heat feels like. I’ll what I will. I’ll go make m ill have heat, and where there is heat, y own fire tonig there can be fi ht. re. I think

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Tickets to the Inauguration of President Elect Barack Obama, as the 44th President of the United States, although free, are being sold for more than $20,000 by enterprising scalpers. Whether you plan to attend or have your own celebrations this coming holiday season, the Noreen Phillips Couturiere Collection has something for you. With sizes for women from 2 to 24, her cocktail dresses and evening gowns can be adjusted to fit and Noreen herself oversees the work of her staff at the Redcliffe Quay store on Antigua. Here are a few of our favorites with much more to be seen on her website at www.noreenphillips.com. Call 268-462-3127 for special orders and shipping details. All photos courtesy of Noreen 12 TRULYAntigua. WOMAN | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008 Phillips Couturiere,

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By Catherine Tyson As I looked around at my sisters, I found that we all had one great thing in common; the ability to multi task, though often thanklessly, and do it with such great effort, poise, accuracy and attention to detail. We take care of everyone in our lives. Those of us in the sandwich generation take care of our children and our aging parents. Those of us still in our youth take care of young children, husbands/significant others, and employers, among many others. We look out for sisters and brothers, extended family members and friends but the one person who often gets overlooked is our self. In the hustle and bustle to keep up with the rats, so to speak, we always seem to leave out that woman in the mirror. The one that is there day in and day out, through all of the rushing around trying to make sure everything is ok. We often forget to feed her when she is hungry and nurture her when she needs it. The one person that has been there from the beginning and will, undoubtedly, be there until the end is the one that is easiest to forget. I wrote a book entitled I'm Somebody's Mama as a testament to the years that I have spent as a single mother to three of the most wonderful human beings that have graced this earth and throughout this journey I have noted

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that "Me" is left out more often than not. I fight for justice and injustices, I bake brownies, bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and try to never let him forget he's a man; because I'm a woman. I wipe tears and counsel teenagers and fight battles and learn lessons, because I'm a mother but what do I do because I am just me and how long has it been that ...

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...I have forgotten about just me? I have three children and I had a husband many years ago and now am currently embarking on getting another one and I often find myself asking the question; who am I in my life? Am I just somebody's mama, am I just somebody's daughter, just somebody's sister, partner, lover, friend? And the answer is yes, of course I am just those things. But am I also just a woman, a living breathing woman, with real needs that run deep and passions and desires that are kept under wrap and hidden from the world because either I don't have time for them or I don't want to bother others with having to worry about my needs while I am busy fixing or saving the world? When do I figure out who "I" am in my life and when do I find some time for me? After pondering hard and long on this thought I felt that I wanted to decree a day for just me and I thought, how about inviting my friends along for this day. A day for us to regroup and refresh. A day for us to listen to our hearts and tap into our souls. A day for other women to pamper one another and talk candidly about our needs, wants and feelings. A day for healing and forgiving

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while basking in the glory that is "me", in my life. Sister friends I think it is high time to look at ourselves and take care of that woman in the mirror. Is there a you in your life and who is she, what does she want or like or need? Let's take a moment for ourselves and let everything else take care of itself. Let the men in our life handle it for a day or so. Since he "knows" he can do it better anyway, then we should at least give him the chance to prove it. And what better place to do it than in the beautiful paradise called the Cayman Islands and couple it with a lovely outing such as the Cayman Jazz Fest with such acts as Anita Baker, Michael Bolton, Angie Stone, Terrence Howard, Robin Thicke and much more fabulous musicians set over a three day period. I look forward to sharing this wonderful day with all of you fabulous ladies while we just bask in the essence that is simply "just you"! Register for the Me in My Life seminar online at www.somebodysmama.com.

Photo Captions: Top Left: Catherine Tyson, Bottom Left page: Georgetown, Cayman Islands.

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A few years ago, I would have stated adamantly I was Pro-Life as defined by the dictionary, meaning abortion should be illegal and every effort should be made to preserve the life of an unborn baby. (A minimalist view of a very vast label.) I still feel that way but I also feel strongly that women should continue to have the right to make that choice. My reasoning has nothing to do with whether the woman was sick, raped or some other tragedy that has caused her to reach that

decision. The truth is that God is a great God and He can do anything. If we choose to believe He can heal our unborn baby, He can. If we choose to let Him turn a baby born of rape into a blessing, He can certainly do so. If we choose to believe that life would be better without an unwanted baby, He also accepts that decision, recognizing we don’t see the whole picture. But from the beginning of time, God gave us the right to choose. Joshua at the end of his days, spoke to the Israelites and asked them to choose who they would serve. He reminded them

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of the promises that his predecessor Moses had written down from God. There was no doubt about it. They had a choice. They could choose to serve the only Living God and reap the blessings that came with this life or they could choose to walk away and serve themselves and false Gods. The end result would be curses that were the opposite to the promised blessings. God has never taken away our right to make choices. When Jesus came, He always spoke about the commandments and declared He came to fulfill them. He reminded us that the greatest commandment was to love. In other words, it is a matter of the heart. It is a matter of choosing to follow God’s plan over our own ideas. It does sadden God when we don’t see the gift of life within us. He put it there. Every baby created is a slap in the devil’s face as he cannot create life. No matter the circumstances under which the child was conceived, God gets the glory when we bring them to life. Women need to count the cost of their choices. They cannot look at just the immediate relief of the cover-up, the ease of not having to change their lifestyle to make way for a child, but the long term questions they will ask themselves. For many who have come to Christ since having an abortion it can be a bittersweet moment. They missed a chance to experience God’s grace to bring them through a challenging moment. Missed a miracle that He wanted to give them in the form of unmatched provision and blessings through a little creation. Yet they experience that same grace when they cast their choices at the feet of Jesus and accept His forgiveness and healing for choosing to have an abortion. God gives us the power to choose our own path and destiny. His heart’s desire is that we choose life but no matter our decision, He will be waiting to embrace us with extravagant love and to help us make improved choices next time around. This is not just about personal choice, we are also talking political ...

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...as well. I for one am relieved not to be in the position at present to make a political decision on this issue. I pray for all those in power that must. However, all of life is built around laws. God set out His laws in the word and so governments are also run on laws. On the issue of murder, of course I would expect a woman who killed her toddler two be charged with the crime. As I write now, I see how naive I have been to not learn more about this issue and the many facets it involves. On the island where I live presently you can go to your doctor tell them you want to have an abortion and you can make an appointment to have one at a local hospital. I didn’t even know this until a young woman asked me to assist her with transportation to have “the surgery” done. At the time she had no one else to support her. I struggled with this for several weeks. Does my taking her to the hospital mean I support her abortion? No it did not but I realized I had to choose to respect her right to make a choice she could not see all sides of. As much as I could, I did tell her my feelings and even expressed that God wanted to do something special for her through this unborn baby that she was getting ready to kill. This was not a one-time conversation. I shared this over and over with her. She made the choice anyway and I know it hurt me a lot and it felt sometimes that it hurt me more than it did her. Not because she was heartless but because I realized she couldn’t see what I could. She could not see that God had a plan to make this new baby be for her good. At the end of the day, I was still there. I couldn’t chastise her. I could only love her and declare that God’s grace was sufficient even in this moment. I believe that is when I really began to understand the power of grace. I also know grace is so much sweeter when we choose just to accept it and allow it to work in our lives before we make life altering mistakes. What the Lord told me even before this woman’s abortion was that “she had not fully counted the cost.”

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From a legal standpoint, I can’t be on both sides of the issue and I am for life all the way. I just hope that for everyone who has to make these choices they are pro-grace and will allow God’s love to come forth first in all we do.

Meditate James 5:16: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective Romans 8: 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, [a] 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death . Titus 2: 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Hebrews 4: 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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TRULY WOMAN | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

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I won’t even pretend not to be proud to write this article. This amazing woman has been in my life since the day I walked into her business and got nosy about her big belly (she was pregnant with her first child) in 2000 on St. Kitts. Carol Mitchell is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and now author. I expected to be celebrating the release of a musical CD but she has plans to stick to karaoke. Instead, Carol is launching on November 26th the first book in the Caribbean Adventure Series.

“Reading is a key part of our children’s development and this is why I have created the Caribbean Adventure Series. “The books are about three West Indian children who have adventures in the past that lead them to discover their history. The first, “Adventure at Brimstone Hill” is set at the Brimstone Hill National Fortress Park in St. Kitts where they wander down a tunnel in search of a pet monkey and find themselves in the past and in the middle of a historical battle at sea between the British and the French,” she explained. If you are already making a Christmas list for the children in your life, then be sure to check this book out. You can learn more by visiting www.cCaribbeanAdventureSeries.com.

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TRULY WOMAN | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

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Countless women are grappling with the same dilemma as this reader, and far too many women still have not admitted to or dealt with emotional wounds deep within… A reader asks this ques-

tion, “I am engaged to be married, and I have not shared with my fiancé that several years ago I had an abortion. I am worried he will not want to marry me or love me anymore if I tell him. As our wedding day fast approaches, I feel as though I should be honest, but I can’t seem to make myself do it for fear of how he will react. What should I do?” While honesty, although frightening and sometimes painful, is always the best policy, you and only you can decide what is comfortable when faced with the need for personal revelation. Certainly, I suspect, your fiancé has not shared every detail of his life and past relationships with you so keep that in mind, but your apparent need to tell him about a past abortion points to a number of more compelling issues. First, while you do not share the details of your abortion, or if your mother or another family member is aware of what happened, the fact that this part of your past is so dominant in your thoughts indicates something extremely distressing, and that is the fact that you have not forgiven yourself. Imagine walking through life with a hundred pound bag of mangoes on your back. Wonder if you had to sleep with this burden, bathe with it; sit down at the table for a snack with it attached securely to your back. Sooner than later, most of us would find a way to rid ourselves of such a limiting burden. Although we may not realize it, but that is exactly how some of us are living our lives daily, weighed down by baggage that we simply refuse to discard. Far too many of us are journeying through life carrying the emotional and psychological anguish, strain, stress and strife from numerous past hurts; the situations and circumstances of our past. The past serves but one purpose for us as we journey through life, and that is to teach us how to live better in the present, and “mo better” in the future. Holding on to negative attitudes, feelings and experiences have a direct affect on our health, well-being, ability to personally flourish, as well as to love.

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Spend some time reflecting on what happened, what you learned from that experience, and then work on letting it go by expressing your inner thoughts to someone you feel comfortable talking; do this immediately if you can. We all make mistakes and choices that we often regret later, but reliving the situation daily is not healthy and only serves to diminish the quality of your life right now. If telling your fiancé enables you to forgive yourself and be free to enter into the marriage feeling whole, and absent of guilt caused by keeping a secret from your intended, then tell him. True love can transcend any setback, disappointment, or challenge; and sadly I must say if he walks away, his love for you is not that deep, and the smallest trade wind would certainly topple your relationship in the future. Secondly, learning to forgive both others and ourselves is one of the most powerful personal traits a person can possess. The power to forgive gives way to personal resiliency and this characteristic enables us to move forward even in the face of life’s inevitable challenges. Granted, we are all products of our life experiences and our personal histories, but we can choose how we allow these past events to impact our current thoughts. Each of us has a choice to make, do I stay “stuck in the mud,” or do I choose to move on and “enjoy the gift of life and the beauty of the sunshine each day.” The power of forgiveness sets our minds, souls and spirits free. Whether we realize it or not, it takes more energy to maintain the pain, than it does to resolve the matter and rid ourselves of the negative and unproductive feelings that hold us back from the blessings, and in this case, the love that seeks to come your way. You have to believe that you are worthy of being loved, and that one mistake, one regrettable choice, does not change that divine fact. Allow yourself to be showered by your fiancé’s love, and that is possible if you first start loving yourself. For you see, all of our experiences, both good and challenging, serve to shape us into the unique individuals we were destined to become, and choosing to have an abortion in the past does not diminish your goodness. The Most High has already forgiven you isn’t it time for you to do the same.

TRULY WOMAN | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

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The Look of Love Brangelina step aside. No couple has captured the attention of women every where as the relationship between the President-Elect of the United States Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. We have sighed over her fashion style; the way she makes anything she wears look elegant. We have cheered as she stood by her man no matter the challenge he faced on the campaign trail. We certainly embraced her decision to make raising their daughters her number one priority at the expense of her own career. Michelle Obama managed with a series of decisions to choose the well being of her man and

her family over her own corporate climbing. That decision, feminists saw as a blow to the movement and a throwback to bygone years but in truth it is the choice more women wish they could make. It is clearly visible that her husband is crazy about her. Not only did he acknowledge verbally every chance he got but his eye contact, embraces, the famous fist-bump said Michelle is the most important person in my life. Many women might still be believe that he is the last of a dying breed but not so. There are many men of all races who are waiting for God to send them a special woman to be their partner and friend for life. The question is are you that woman? If we focus our attention on being truly women after God’s heart we won’t have time to be concerned whether there are good men left. Our good man will find us right on time.

Sometimes the Grass is Greener By Nerissa Golden “What you buy you wear,” I have heard my mother say. I’m not even sure I got the saying right but it doesn’t matter really since I’ve come up with one of my own. “Yes, I bought it but I don’t have to wear it. I can always return it, give it away, or just have the thing adjusted to fit.” Life is like that. You have to keep making adjustments. Since we don’t usually get it right on the first try, it makes no sense to beat yourself up for the mistakes you make. A better plan is to forgive yourself, work to correct the errors, and make restitution where necessary. Don’t you wish life was as easy as taking something to the tailors to have it adjusted? Usually life’s adjustments, cost you emotionally, financially and physically. But the costs are increased when you choose to leave things at status quo because you are afraid of the unknown. Is the grass greener on the other side? It all depends on where you are standing. When you are looking over the fence with jealousy, just wanting what someone else has…then you are most likely missing the blessings and good things in your life right where you are. If you can recognize that where you are is just a place of pain and your dreams are

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showing you that it is possible to have more, then the grass is most probably greener on the other side. The key to knowing when it is time is to be present in your life right now. Show up. Just don’t exist from day to day. If you are a mother, enjoy being a mother…don’t just wish for the kids to be grown or to have a nanny. Enjoy the gift of mother hood and spend time imparting wisdom and love into some of God’s finest creations. Even if pain and drama is your present circumstance, still be thankful that you are alive and can believe for more. Every day you live is another day to get closer to your ultimate purpose and the plan of God for you. Take a look inside. Be thankful that God saw fit to create you. Now ask for His plan and to show you when its time to move from where you are. Trust me, He will either swing the doors right open, or slam all of them shut. Closed doors don’t always mean a different future is denied, it just means hold on…I got this worked out but you still have some work to do before you can get it. Don’t ever stop believing that God loves you. His son Jesus provided the ultimate power we need to believe for all of the good things in store. Yeah… the grass is greener when you can see a future filled with all God’s love for you.

TRULY WOMAN | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

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TRULY WOMAN | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

visit trulycaribbean.net

Truly Woman Magazine - Nov/Dec 2008  

We celebrated love and the coming Christmas season in this edition.

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