October Editor’s Note: My Big News

Hello, October!

Back in my June Editor’s Note (here), I kind of talked about surprises that change all your plans. There was a lot going on for me that time of the year, and I wasn’t prepared to share all of it then. 

As I wrote in that post, I went back to Iowa with my toddler in May after a nice deployment visit with my husband in Croatia. At that time, he was in the middle of a 6-month deployment.

Two days after we arrived in Iowa, my grandma suddenly died the day before Mother’s Day. It turned out to be a very melancholy Mother’s Day, especially for my dad. I was also putting things together for little O’s 3rd birthday party. I missed my husband, and everything just felt crazy. And it was about to get even crazier.

You might have already figured out the “big news” by now. 

On O’s third birthday, I went to the doctor for a check-up. And there, I found out we had another baby on the way. Certainly, after the loss of my grandma, this was a bright spot.

We are so happy and feel so blessed. But, as with O, I’ve had a bit of a difficult pregnancy. I would not be able to get through without our families! I am so, so grateful.

I have had to cut back on what I am doing in all areas of my life (even now that I’m back in Italy) and take care of myself. My mother-in-law is here helping me out too while Brandon is away again (again, thank God for family.)

That’s why this post will be the last until our Christmas series begins. And after Christmas, Devotional Diva will be on hiatus until sometime in the spring.

Because in addition to a new baby girl in January, we’re moving back to the US in February! 

I’m going to re-insert the scripture I included in that June Editor’s Note here. It’s the motto for my life right now!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 

Proverbs 3:5-6
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A Song in My Heart

Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor June Titus. See her last post, What to Wear, for more encouragement!


I don’t know about you, but I am one of those fortunate people who have a melody constantly playing in my brain. Sometimes it is the same one for days on end; sometimes it is a tune my head makes up as it goes; sometimes it gets downright annoying, especially when I can’t connect the tune to the words or a title. Mostly, it is enjoyable.

Music has always been a part of my life since I was a tiny child. I could carry a tune by the time I was two or three and could harmonize at age five.

Music, too, has been a balm for me in trying times, bringing comfort to my hurting heart, producing needed tears when I needed to grieve, and lifting my spirits when work seemed overwhelming. Song lives in me and I am thankful.

I call to remembrance my song in the night;
I meditate within my heart,
And my spirit makes diligent search.

Psalm 77:6 (NKJV)

Recently a dear friend has been going through yet another heartache in her life. She, too, loves music and sings beautifully in the church choir. She quietly goes along in these difficult days with their important decisions, yet when it comes to singing in the choir, she is there. I can see the tell-tale concerns etched on her face, yet when the music begins, and she sings, her entire face lights up with the joy and praise in the anthem. The beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ is in her face.

I spoke to her later and told her how encouraged I was seeing her singing when I knew what she is going through in her personal life. She told me how difficult it was to sing that Sunday, although it was a simple song. It was not the choral arrangement that was so difficult; it was the words, Oh when I am alone, give me Jesus.” 

My friend knows from experience she is not alone in this struggle; Jesus is there, guiding, listening, healing.

What is it about music that can fill our hearts with joy, peace, courage, and hope? Psychology explains it in part—what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years—that chemicals are released in the brain for different emotional reactions. Soothing music will alleviate depression; pleasant music can help someone do a difficult task. Music can speed healing, increase creativity; improve memory; help us fall asleep. There are negative effects of music as well, such as: too loud, irregular beats, disharmony, and repetitive patterns. The result can be anywhere from learning disabilities and behavioral problems to anger and boredom—among others.

“Music absorbs our conscious and sub-conscious mind and directs those thought either in spiritual or unspiritual directions.”

If music itself has an emotional impact on us, how much more do the words of the music touch us in communing the attributes of Jesus to our soul. Those musical strains that run through my head, so long as they relate to meaningful words, might do me some good. My friend is working through her difficulties singing the lovely music along with the deep meaning of the words, and she is given courage, being blessed, and blessing others.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.

Psalm 28: 7

June Windle Bare

June W. Titus is a retired nurse and poet and mother and grandmother, living with her husband in southern Georgia. Now in her eighties, she remains active in her local church. Among other church responsibilities, she teaches a Sunday school class of her peers. She writes a weekly blog on Facebook, entitled “Monday Musings.” Prior to moving to Georgia, she was a regular contributor to “The Watauga Democrat” newspaper, and “all About Women,’ a monthly magazine, both in Boone, North Carolina.

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My Miraculous Morning

miraculous morning

My Miraculous Morning

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Patrice D. Wilkerson. Thank you so much for bravely sharing this story, Patrice!

Have you ever experienced something so miraculous that it changes how you view your life? On November 7, 2015, I was involved in a car accident that could have ended my life. I was surprised that I was able to walk away without a scratch. I thanked God the moment I was able to get out of my car because He saved me. This tragic morning changed my life forever and proved that miracles do happen.

Even though this happened two years ago, I can still remember every single detail. It was a wet, rainy morning. I woke up late and it seemed like everything was going wrong for me. After leaving my house, I realized I left my lunch sitting on the kitchen counter. Immediately, I turned around to go back home. As I was driving, my car started spinning out of control. Everything was happening so fast, I was afraid for my life.  After a few minutes of spinning, my car landed in the ditch. I couldn’t get out of the driver’s side door so I quickly tried to get out on the passenger’s side. As I found my way out of the car I took a moment to look around at what happened. This event was something that I could not explain. After looking around, I realized that it was nothing but God that kept me here. There was a tree that was so close to my car. What if my car had landed into that tree? What if another car was coming down the road while my car was spinning out of control?  In the blink of an eye my life could have ended but God allowed me to walk away from this alive. All I could do was just look up in the sky and thank Him for allowing me to survive this tragic event.

There were so many lessons that I learned throughout this tragic event. The first lesson was to appreciate life because you never know when it will be taken away. Even though I damaged my car, I was lucky to be alive. God could have made it so that I didn’t survive this accident. So for that, I praised God for keeping me safe. It is easy to take life for granted. God wakes us up in the morning and keeps us safe throughout the day and we don’t even give Him praise for that. You just never know how your life can change.

I also learned that God gives us a wake up a call. Throughout the day all I could do was blame myself for the accident. I thought of all the things I could have done differently. This taught me to not rush but take my time so that I can live a safer life. It also taught me to live a better life that is more pleasing to God. I thought about how I can serve God more and become a better person. I definitely want to be ready when God calls me home. Now I attend church regularly, study God’s word, and strive to be a better person.

Additionally, the fact that God saved me allowed me to realize that my life has a purpose. Just days before my accident, I felt down because I couldn’t figure out what my purpose was in life. I would constantly ask God to give me a sign of direction he wanted me to go in. The accident allowed me to see the direction I need to go in. I realized that God allowed me to survive this accident so that I can tell others about how wonderful and miraculous God is. Now my life is fulfilled because I love to tell others about the wonderful things He has brought me through. 

I’ve never been one to believe in miracles but my story is a true testament that miracles do happen. This miraculous morning brought so many wonderful lessons to my life and it has allowed me to become a more appreciative, spiritual, and fulfilled person. I love the Lord because He turned my miraculous morning into my marvelous testimony.

Patrice D. Wilkerson is a MBA graduate who loves writing poetry.  She’s written a collection of poetry entitled, “Through It All, I’m Going to Make It” which was published in 2010.  She loves the Lord and gives her testimony through her writing.

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Spiritual Self-Evaluation

Spiritual Self-Evaluation

Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor Agnes Amos-Coleman. I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely been in a position to do some spiritual self-evaluation lately!

My friends, whether you are employed, unemployed, own your own business or retired – you have probably been involved in some sort of performance evaluation, or self-evaluation of how you think you have performed during a given period.

Our Christian walk is no exception. As the year winds down, there is no better time than now, to conduct a spiritual self- evaluation of our walk with the Lord. If we are not doing so well, reset and start again because we serve a God that is gracious and merciful.

After spiritual evaluation comes a renewed focus to live for Christ.  How, you may ask?  The answer lies in the following:

  • Remembering the God that is head over heels in love with us– (John 3:16) reminds us of this great love that led Him to give His Only Son Jesus to die for us so we do not perish but have eternal life. This thought should give us great focus to live for Him and for the joy of eternity that awaits us.
  • Remembering who the source of our existence is – (Acts 17:28) always gives me great comfort knowing that we live, move and have our being in Him. It will help us to live and do right for Jesus, knowing that we are His children and He is there with us and for us.
  • Remembering to share the love of Jesus with others – (2 Peter 3:9) reminds us that it is not His wish that anyone should perish, but for everyone to come to repentance. We owe it to our circle of influence to share this love with them. We do so by our actions, attitudes, and behavior.  “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. Matthew 5:16.

Christ follower, choose to live for Jesus.  If you are currently not a Christ follower, don’t wait another day, Jesus is calling – come

All glory to God!

Agnes Amos-ColemanAgnes is a leader with proven business acumen in a variety of industries. She holds an executive MBA from the University of Hull, United Kingdom, and is also a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP). She is the author of Transforming Business with Godly Governance: Nine Characteristics for Workplace Success; God Cares for Me in Every Season: Godly Insights for Singleness, Marriage and Divorce; The Provisions of God: Insights from a Cat Named Mascot, and  Weekly Insights for the Workplace: A Devotional for Christian Professionals

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Are We Running to Win?

Are We Running To Win?

Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Amy Frazier. Amy’s devotional today is based off of 1 Corinthians 9:24, which happens to be one of my favorite scriptures!

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.

I Corinthians 9:24 (NASB)

I was running late for work again.  It was one of those mornings where everything that could go wrong did.  My husband and I just trained our three-year-old beagle, “George,” to be off his leash and walk around our backyard unrestrained.  We didn’t have a fence and we really wanted George to have freedom like the other dogs in the neighborhood.  We worked with George for two weeks setting with him the parameters and boundaries of the yard. He was adjusting quite well, and we were pleased that he was establishing our trust.  That morning I let George out like I usually do for his breakfast and bathroom break.  I walked out with him that day and watched him carefully.  As George rounded the corner of our backyard to the side of the house, he trotted along rather fast.  I yelled for George to come here, in a sweet tone, and maybe even told him I had a treat.  George didn’t care and at this point, started running down the street in front of our house.  I was now yelling, “GEORGE EUGENE FRAZIER, get over here RIGHT NOW!” As he heard me yell, he looked back at me for a brief second and stopped, it felt like a long minute, as if he was contemplating obeying or living free.  As our eyes met, my eyes were pleading with George to come home but George’s eyes twinkled with wanting his freedom.  Just after that stare, George took off again; however, this time running faster than Forrest Gump.  Fortunately, our neighbor was witnessing the entire scene and pulled over in her car to get him.

George’s disobedience reminds me of how much we want our freedom.  We are born with a sinful nature that always wants its way.  When we enter into a relationship with Jesus, we become a new creature, but we still battle our flesh.  We are called to run our race with determination, self-control and eagerness to win. When given our parameters and boundaries by the Holy Spirit, sometimes we fall, similar to George thinking that outside of those lines is where our fun begins, but in reality, it destroys us.  

In I Corinthians, Paul is writing to the church of Corinth, to encourage them and teach them how to live for Christ in their corrupted city.  Even though this was written for the Corinthian church, it also applies to us today.   In verse 24, Paul encourages us to run as if we are running to win, not merely being partakers to win a medal for participation or to be disqualified.

If we look further down this passage of scripture, we see that aim and determination is very important in finishing.  In verses 25-27 it states, 

“Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore, I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Paul is stating that we compete in this race for a purpose, not merely just for the sake of running.  We must practice self-control in completing the race, making our bodies our slaves so that when we teach or preach to others, we are living out our faith and practicing what we preach.  We are not merely hearers of the word, but actual doers, therefore not being disqualified.  In I John 2:4-6 (HCSB) it is written,

“The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” without keeping His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in Him: the one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.”

We know God by obeying Him and disciplining ourselves to walk as Jesus did.  But please remember, we must rely on the Lord’s help!  We cannot walk rightly on our pathway by our own efforts, only with Christ.

Let’s finish this race well, with our goal ever before us.

Amy Frazier is a traveling worship leader, singer/songwriter and blogger out of Oklahoma City.  She has been leading worship and writing music for the last fifteen years.  She has a passion to write for the church about real life experiences so others can relate as well as see God’s mighty hand in their circumstances.  Amy is always looking to sing/lead at your next church, women’s conference, or Sunday worship event.  For more information about Amy, please go to her website at: http://www.amyfrazier.com  Join her Facebook page for updates throughout the year at Amy Frazier Music.  You can also find her on Twitter at @amyfraziermusic

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Diva Christmas 2018!

Diva Christmas Series 2018

It’s the 5th annual Diva Christmas series!

I really can’t believe that I’ve been able to do this for five years! If you’ve seen any of my commentary on past year’s series, you know I just love Christmas. And I love doing our Christmas series.

For me, there’s nothing like connecting with God through these devotionals over Christmas. Christmastime is a time I always feel the need to worship Him even more.

I know Halloween season is just starting and you might not be in a Christmas-y mood yet, but I gotta plan ahead! So here’s the scoop on theme, length and other guidelines of submission for this year’s series.

Theme: “The Best Christmas Ever” Pretty self-explanatory, but what I’m looking for here are stories reminiscing on the best (or one of the best) Christmases you ever had. I love reading these types of stories. When amazing things are happening, I feel very close to God because I marvel at His work. Maybe it’s a Christmas miracle. Maybe it’s a magical Christmas from your childhood. Maybe it’s sharing the Christmas story with your own kids. What’s the best Christmas you ever had? What memories do you like to look back on? How were you blessed?

Length: Normal requirements. 500-700 words.

Bio: If you’d like to share a photo and bio (you can now submit anonymously if you’d prefer!) the bio should be 3-4 sentences and all your social links can be included in there.

Examples of Past Christmas Posts: The True Star (2017), Our Finest Christmas Tree (2017), Joyous Response (2016), Peace and Joy (2014)

Deadline:  October 25th (finished product)

How to Submit: Email me at editor(at)devotionaldiva.com with your idea!

I hope you’ll consider submitting to the series this year! Please let me know if you have any questions. By the way, I did have to close all regular submissions for the rest of 2019. It’s just the Christmas series for now!

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We Are Not Invisible

We Are Not Invisible

Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Kathy Cheek. You might remember Kathy from last year’s Diva Christmas series! Here is that post, Faith that Grows at Christmas. Kathy just released a new book yesterday, First Breath of Morning – A 90 Day Devotional (more information in her bio below!) Congrats, Kathy!

I woke up today and I felt small and insignificant. Why? It happened when I fell into the trap of comparing myself to others. 

I doubt that I am the only one that does that. You might also be feeling small, insignificant, and maybe even invisible sometimes. I have felt all of those at one time or another.

But I reminded myself that the Bible thankfully tells me otherwise. I have read how God worked in the lives of insignificant and invisible people in a mighty way. I could easily think of five that God moved from a place of insignificance to a position of great ranking.

David was invisible and God handpicked him while a young shepherd and anointed him to be the king of Israel.

Joseph was invisible while falsely imprisoned – until his appointed time when God promoted him to second in command to Pharoah in Egypt and was used by God to save the people from famine.

Moses was invisible, feeling defeated and finished on the back side of the desert until God burned a holy bush and called him to let His people go.

Nehemiah was invisible during his captivity as a cup bearer for King Artaxerxes and God enabled him to lead the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

Gideon was invisible as he hid—threshing wheat in a winepress when the Angel of the Lord appeared and called him a mighty warrior and God gave him an unconventional victory in battle with only three hundred men.

Recalling the accounts of each of these men assured me that God sees me. He sees you. We are not invisible to Him. But if you feel that way today I would suggest you read about David, Joseph, Moses, Nehemiah and Gideon. Let their stories tell you what they told me today. We are not insignificant and we are not invisible.

God sees us and He has a great plan He wants to work in our lives.

For more of their stories see Scripture passages below:

David: 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Joseph: Psalm 105:16-22, also see Genesis 41:39-41, Moses: Exodus 3:1-10, Nehemiah: 2:4-6, Gideon: Judges 6:11-12

kathy cheek

Kathy Cheek is an inspirational writer published in various Christian publications and guest posts on devotional and ministry sites. She and her husband live in Dallas, TX and have two daughters and one son-in-law and grandson who also reside in the Dallas area. Kathy’s debut book, First Breath of Morning – A 90 Day Devotional is available now!

First Breath of Morning is an invitation to the relationship God wants to have with each of us and it starts in the first breath of each new morning where He waits for us every day. You can find out more about First Breath of Morning at www.kathycheek.com

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What to Wear


Editor’s Note:  This is a guest story by contributor June Titus. I love this devotional because it also has a poem in it! Check out June’s last devotional, Vital and Green, here.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 

Colossians 3: 12-14 (NLT)

Dog-days are over. Cooler weather is coming, and soon the trees will be wearing their showy fall colors, truly exquisite attire that we might have a difficult time if we try to duplicate it. With the crisper air, shorts and tees may not be adequate for that morning walk. So, “What to wear?”

The children are back in school, and there are new trends in fashion, or maybe school uniforms or a dress code. So, they may be concerned with “What to wear?” Young adults going back to college or, perhaps, heading out for a job interview ask, “What to wear?” Mom and Dad want to look their best for the job, business meetings, social occasions, and worship services. “What to wear?” Our elder population, more concerned about how to stay warm than the latest fashion trends, still want to know, “What to wear?”

No matter what stage of life we are in, we think of what we should wear on any given occasion. It’s a daily routine for most of us. As a girl I remember a prayer we prayed at the supper table, voicing our gratitude to God for food, shelter, and clothing. That was a good exercise in thanksgiving for all God gives us, but He has more for us to wear than these outward togs.

Indeed, a greater concern in any season of the year, and more so in any season of life—certainly apropos as we check our physical appearance before heading out for the day—is “What to wear” to reflect our Lord Jesus Christ? If Christ is King of my life, should I not be dressed in a “Royal Wardrobe?” Some years back I sometimes shopped in a used clothing store called “Glad Rags,” so I wrote . . .

I love new clothes and often shop in places old and new.

I try on clothes that may have been some outfit owned by you.

These “glad rags” are a welcomed change and suit me to a tee.

For pennies I can have a gown that looks so good on me.

It’s of no import how I’m clad or how I choose to dress;

It’s rather of significance—of greater weight to stress—

That I should wear the royal togs of mercy, love, and grace,

Because my neighbor sees these more than outward frock or face. JET

(Forgive the ditty, but after all, I’m a poet!)

Ditties aside, the real royal wardrobe is tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and of course, love. These robes cost us nothing, but yet they cost everything. They are free through the Holy Spirit to those who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. But on the other hand, they cost us to yield ungodly selfish behaviors, ungodly attitudes, and iron-clad grudges that prevent our donning these beautiful robes. (For more disrobing, read Colossians 3: 5-11) The new ones just don’t fit when we insist on wearing those rags.

But more than the cost of removing the robes of our old nature, it is important to recognize that it cost our Lord Jesus Christ everything—His life for ours at Calvary—so we could have access to this Royal Wardrobe.

What to wear? A wardrobe fit for a child of the King!

June Titus

June W. Titus is a retired nurse and poet and mother and grandmother, living with her husband in southern Georgia. Now in her eighties, she remains active in her local church. Among other church responsibilities, she teaches a Sunday school class of her peers. She writes a weekly blog on Facebook, entitled “Monday Musings.” Prior to moving to Georgia, she was a regular contributor to “The Watauga Democrat” newspaper, and “all About Women,’ a monthly magazine, both in Boone, North Carolina.

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It’s Time to Be Kind to Ourselves

its time to be kind

Editor’s Note: This is a guest VIDEO devotional by Betsy Pendergrass. I’m so excited to share it with you today! 

The scripture Betsy is talking about today is right below. I always like to see the scripture in writing, too 🙂

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12: 30-31 (ESV)
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Balancing Motherhood

devotional diva

Balancing Motherhood

Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Tiah Lewis. Devotional Diva Moms, do you ever relate to that feeling of not getting enough done in a day? I certainly do! Be encouraged today. 

“It’s Bigger Than Your Accomplishments”-Balancing Motherhood

Many of times I would find myself asking, what have I accomplished today? Sound familiar? Have you ever felt that way? Often we are moving so fast in our lives with daily schedules, kid drop offs, meetings, kids sports, the list goes on, only to feel at the end of the day that we have not accomplished anything and are still holding the same list of To Do Items we started with at the beginning of the week!

For me, this was a frustrating and daunting feeling, until I experienced a shift in my mindset. I want to share how my perspective changed on how I now define accomplishments in my day to day life.

I too myself had an exhausting list of to do’s when I would start my week. It included my normal school/daycare drop offs, laundry, cleaning house, preparing meals, running errands, practice drop offs, doctor visits, you name it. Many days felt like a blur and included the same mundane activities day in day out.
Then I began asking myself to define accomplishments. Well of course the standard definition is: something that has been achieved successfully and that’s when it hit me! I was accomplishing great things every day! I was spending quality time with my daughters, making memories, and listening to their gibberish unclear chatter, realizing I was there in the moment watching their vocabulary increase by the minute. I accomplished talking with my oldest daughter about how she felt about going into middle school, and any fears or worries she may have, and we know how it can be difficult to pull information out of a middle schooler. I was there to pray with her, ease her worries and anxieties and to provide comfort. And I managed to sneak in lunch dates with my husband when forcing him to break away from his work computer so that we could just catch up and chat about our ever-changing lives, just he and I.
Now ask yourself whose measure of accomplishments are we attempting to live up to? Could it be the false expectations of others of a mother, especially one blessed to stay at home with her children? Yes the expectations are false! One’s work day isn’t an 8-hour shift and all our tasks will not get completed during this time. We work countless “overtime” hours late into the evenings and even early morning hours. Now go ahead, give yourself credit, I’ll wait! You are accomplishing many great things every day. I am very thankful that in these moments I was able to stop and smell the roses. I realized that I was living in my accomplishments right where I was supposed to be without worry about the day or weeks to come. Here are some encouraging words about worrying.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34) NIV.”

Be blessed and go out and accomplish great things today! 

Tiah Lewis is a stay at home mom and author. She enjoys being a wife and mom to her four beautiful girls. The recommitment of her life to Jesus Christ began four years ago and she hasn’t stopped being in awe by the power of the living word and her desire to share it with the world. Follow Tiah: @Tiahlewisauthor

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