"I am a scrappy activist and advocate. The seeds of my activism were planted and have bloomed in and out of seasons and pushed me ever closer to my purpose. Season One: Childhood I was born into a family of educators who spent their careers educating children in large urban school districts. Growing up I heard stories about children who were poor, lived in marginalized communities, and often did not have enough to eat.  Of the many stories that I heard there is one that stands out. My mother was an elementary school principal.  One morning my mother was called to the cafeteria because a first grade student...

"Being Her Mama Has Made Me Strong" "When life flips upside down, you can either hang there and accept it or fight to flip it back. I chose to fight. Yet, I didn’t make that choice right away. No, there was a solid few months of self pity, followed by anger, then fear, and then eventually, and quite surprisingly, strength. This is important, because we often think that we have to choose an emotion and react immediately. We can only be strong, angry, scared, silent, or happy. Yet, in reality, we are typically feeling all of these things, all at once. We have become experts at displaying one...

A Testimony of Courage "I'm a very passionate woman. I have a heart for the hidden cries in the inner city of single mothers and children. I love to feed the homeless--for I was once homeless with a new born baby.   I was born a crack baby at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. At five weeks old I got adopted by two wonderful people. As I began to crawl my left leg used to drag behind me. I also did not speak until the age of 4 years old. My mother kept me in therapy at Children’s Hospital. I wanted to share my story because its...

"Never Give Up" Meet Joe Woodley "I was involved in a long-distance relationship with a young lady from Columbus. We had known each other for quite some time and I had traveled to Columbus numerous occasions. In April of 1998, she called to inform me that she was pregnant. Having grown up with my father not being involved in my life, I wanted to do what I thought was the right thing, and be there for my child. Frankly, I was afraid and I knew that I was ill-prepared to be a father at the time, but that August I boarded a Greyhound bus which departed Grand Central...

  [caption id="attachment_9342" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Emma[/caption] Hello! My name is Emma and I have had quite the journey. I spent a year in the Dominican Republic and a month in Spain. I have taught English, tutored children in an orphanged and worked with woman coming out of sex slavery. I have experienced great times of depression and joy as I have searched for direction in my life. As time goes on, my desire to share my faith and the love God has for everyone in different and wonderful cultures around the world grows more and more. My next journey is to the Japanese Alps where I will...

E Elyjah, L Live or die-- he had a choice to make, whether to let his situation will determine his purpose or not. 31 days in children's hospital led him to a mature mental state unheard of for his age. Y You may be thinking he's gone. However, J Jumping to conclusions usually doesn't produce a positive outcome. The A Aftermath of a brain abscess turned him into a beast on the inside and a cub on the outside, and became a part of who he was, and what he felt the need to preach through his own experiences. Most wouldn't understand nor agree with an idea that the H Holy Spirit was now inside him. N (k)nowledge...

I can tell when something's just not right.   And, right now.  Something's just not right. How can I tell? My heart is racing, my stomach is turning, and there's a bubble in my throat that makes it difficult for me to breathe.   Have you ever felt nauseous in your throat?  Almost like, you've done something terrible, but you don't know what it is? That's how I feel right now.  That's what my anxiety feels like.  And, a lot of the time I don't know why. People closest to me know that I was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) in the 6th grade, and have struggled with...

Is it just me or do others put off important things that don't result in quick gratification?  I put off writing this story because writing does't come easy for me; I have difficulty sitting quietly and reflecting. But, I made the commitment to write this story.  I just kept putting it off each day. That's how I handled my weight too.  I kept putting it off.  Honestly I didn't eat that much--I could go until 2 and without eating anything.  I would tell myself their must be something medically wrong, or I'll eat better tomorrow. I remember one time Last April when my 10 year old granddaughter, Chloe, told her...

I want to explore the subject of exploring for a minute, because it's not something everybody gets to do. "Wealth is the ability to fully experience life." ~ Henry David Thoreau Many of us seek adventure and yearn for experiences that we've only heard about.  Like, eating fresh spaghetti and calamari tossed with sun-dried tomatoes at La Gensola in Italy, Rome.   Or, sea kayaking in Scotland.  Road tripping coast to coast across the United States.  The point is--whether you want to admit it or not, adventure lives inside all of us.   And the reality is that far too many of us will never have these experiences. If...