Deborah Joy Winans aka Charity Greenleaf from OWN’s ‘Greenleaf’ is Pregnant in Real Life!

Hello World,

While Charity Greenleaf’s pregnancy and motherhood was a major source of drama on OWN’s Greenleaf, Deborah Joy Winans, the actress who portrayed her, had yet to experience pregnancy and motherhood. In fact, I asked her about this when I interviewed back in 2016. See the excerpt below:

And now you’re pregnant on the show, do you have any children in real life?

I do not. I’ve got two nieces and three nephews so that’s about all of the kids I have right now. I spoil them rotten and send them back home. Hopefully, in the future if the Lord blesses us to have kids of our own, that would be awesome.

To listen or read the entire interview, click HERE.

Well, Deborah Joy Winans and her husband have been blessed by the Lord in due time! Pun intended! See an excerpt of the ESSENCE article in which Deborah Joy shared about her pregnancy below:

Although a pregnancy can last up to 40 weeks, sometimes longer, actress and singer Deborah Joy Winans, best known for playing Charity on the OWN hit series Greenleaf, is prayerful that she will make it to 28. For the 37-year-old, that will be the end of a nerve-wracking process, but also a beautiful beginning.

“As long as I can get to 28, we should be okay,” Winans tells ESSENCE, 26 weeks at the time of our conversation and expecting a son. “Once we get to 28 weeks, [my doctor] knows that he’ll be good and healthy if he came that early. So, 28 is the goal.”

Winans and her husband of eight years, Terrence Williams, knew from the very beginning that their unborn son would possibly come early. Before she found out she was pregnant, as she consulted her doctor about how to begin the process to conceive last December and stopped taking birth control, she found out, by her own inquiry, that she had fibroids. Not just one fibroid, but eight, and one in particular that is the size of a watermelon, having grown for what’s estimated at eight years. Surgery, a procedure similar to a Cesarean section, was recommended to remove them all.

Read the rest HERE. 

And see her jubilant IG announcement below:

I wish Deborah Joy Winans and her husband the absolute best in their pregnancy and delivery, and I looking forward to the news that their son (I wonder what what his name will be) has arrived! And I hope he inherits the Winans’ gift of music as well!

Any thoughts?

The Top 10 Blog Posts and or Magazine Articles for Black Christian Women in May 2021…

Hello World,

I’m back with my monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine articles for black Christian women! Below is my Top 10 monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine/newspaper articles for black Christian women for May, but you don’t have be a black Christian woman to to check them out. As usual, let me know if you like my list! Enjoy and share!

1. “Oldest Living Tulsa Massacre Survivor Viola Fletcher Celebrates 107th Birthday” by Ny Magee

Excerpt: The oldest known survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre recently celebrated her 107th birthday.  Viola Fletcher was seven-years-old when racist whites unleashed their deadly wrath on the Oklahoma city in June 1921. She celebrated her milestone birthday on May 5, and her special day was also acknowledged by the Greenwood community on Monday. Speaking to Oklahoma State University’s Oral History Research Program in 2014, Fletcher said her secret to longevity was “Sleeping and eating and exercising. It’s no problem with me.” As theGrio previously reported, many died and thousands of Black residents were injured during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre after angry white mobs attacked the area once known as ‘Black Wall Street.’ See more at: thegrio.com.

2. “NBC unit adapting Stacey Abrams political thriller for TV” by Mychael Schnell

Excerpt: An NBCUniversal unit has acquired the rights for Stacey Abrams’s new political thriller for a small-screen adaptation. Working Title Television, part of NBCUniversal International Studios, won a bidding war for the rights to Abrams’ latest book, “While Justice Sleeps,” which was released on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. The book, published by Penguin Random House, deals with a Supreme Court justice who falls into a coma, leaving the court and country in turmoil. It reportedly tells the story of young law clerk Avery Keene, who is pulled into the spotlight when her boss falls ill. See more at: thehill.com.

3. “3 Romance Novels by Stacey Abrams to be Reissued” by Associated Press

Excerpt: Nothing like a prominent life in public service to help your other career as a romance novelist. At least that’s the case for Stacey Abrams. Berkley announced Tuesday that it had acquired rights to three out-of-print novels by Abrams that she had written nearly 20 years ago under the name Selena Montgomery. Berkley, a Penguin Random House imprint, will begin reissuing the books — “Rules of Engagement,” “The Art of Desire” and “Power of Persuasion” — in 2022. See more at: thegrio.com.

4. “Simone Biles Becomes First Woman to Land Yurchenko Double Pike in Return to Competition” by Wayne Sterling

Excerpt: Defending world champion gymnast Simone Biles became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault move in competition at the GK US Classic in Indianapolis on Saturday. The Yurchenko double pike — a high-difficulty skill historically only done by men — is a roundoff onto the springboard, followed by a back handspring onto the vaulting table, and ending with a piked double backflip into the air to landing. Biles, 24, performed the move and then added two extra hops for a slightly imperfect landing. “I was just thinking, ‘Do it like training. Don’t try to like overdo anything,'” she said afterward, “because I have a tendency as soon as I raise my hand to kind of overpower things, and I did a little bit, but at least I was on my feet. It’s a new vault and I’m proud of how today went.” See more at: cnn.com.

5. “Naomi Campbell’s Mother Celebrates Baby: ‘I’ve Waited a Long Time to be a Grandmother'” by Safeeyah Kazi

Excerpt: Naomi Campbell’s mother Valerie Morris-Campbell has said she is “beyond thrilled” to be a grandmother. Her supermodel daughter announced the arrival of her first child, a baby girl, in an Instagram statement on Tuesday, with a snap of her daughter’s feet in her hands. See more at: newsweek.com.

6. “Poet Maya Angelou and Astronaut Sally Ride Will Be the First Women Honored on Series of Quarters” by Jen Juneau 

Excerpt: The U.S. Mint is honoring 20 trailblazing women on a new series of quarters, starting with Maya Angelou and Dr. Sally Ride. The poet and the NASA astronaut will be the first two women featured on the back of the coins, which are debuting in January and will continue in circulation through 2025 as part of the American Women Quarters Program. U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee said in a statement that “for too long, many of the women who have contributed to our country’s history have gone unrecognized, especially women of color.” See more at: people.com.

7. “Former Uber Driver Earns Bachelor’s Degree after a Passenger Paid off her Debt” by Rachel Trent

Excerpt: A single mother who used to drive for Uber has a bachelor’s degree now thanks to a passenger from three years ago. It’s a big milestone for Latonya Young, who dropped out of high school when she was 16 to raise her first child, then later dropped out of college. In 2018, Young was an Uber driver, a hair stylist and a mother of three. She told one of her passengers in Atlanta her story and how she couldn’t re-enroll at Georgia State University because of a $700 balance she owed. See more at: cnn.com.

8. “Yamiche Alcindor to host ‘Washington Week’ on PBS” by Sytonia Reid

Excerpt: Journalist Yamiche Alcindor is making history by becoming the second Black woman to moderate Washington Week, following her mentor, Gwen Ifill. This Friday, the PBS NewsHour White House correspondent will film her first episode in the moderator’s seat for the acclaimed primetime news program. Alcindor’s move follows the 2020 departure of journalist and previous moderator, Robert Costa from the show.  “I know how much ‘Washington Week’ meant to Gwen, and how much she put her stamp on the legacy of the show,” Alcindor, told the New York Times. “I also feel this incredible responsibility to think deeply about taking this on and making it a show that people want to watch, that people will feel is living up to its great legacy.” See more at: thegrio.com.

9. “Celebrating the First Harvard Business School African-American Mother-Daughter Duo” by B.J. Wiley Williams

Excerpt: I’ve always admired my mom, Benaree Pratt Wiley, and her courage, and was amazed when I discovered she was one of twenty-eight women out of 800 in Harvard Business School’s Class of 1972. During her tenure, they didn’t even have a designated women’s restroom in Aldrich. While the experience was one of the hardest in her life in a white-male dominated institution, the struggle was worth it. Growing up, I noticed the value of the Harvard MBA experience, especially as a Black woman. It gave her the skill sets, credibility, and community to have an influential career. It allowed her to take risks that she might not have felt as comfortable with otherwise, like following her passion to found and build The Partnership, a sustainable social enterprise that has forever changed the fabric of Boston’s business community, especially for people of color. Even after stepping back from full-time work, she’s continued to drive impact through her current five Corporate/Non-Profit boards helping to strengthen their governance and commitment to diversity and inclusion. So I knew at an early age that I wanted to go to business school so that I would have the leadership training, resources, and community support to amplify my journey and contribution. Little did I know, we’d become the first African-American mother-daughter duo to graduate. See more at: hbs.edu.

10. “At 14-Years-Old, Trinitee Stokes Makes History As The Youngest Person In History Accepted To Emerson College” by Brooklyn White

Excerpt: At the age of fourteen, actress Trinitee Stokes became the youngest Black person and the youngest enrolled student to ever be admitted to Emerson College! Stokes is a budding actress who appeared alongside Oscar-winner Zendaya on Disney’s K.C. Undercover and ABC’s Mixed-ish. “We are enormously excited to welcome Trinitee to Emerson,” said Lee Pelton, the president of Emerson College, in a press release. “She is a remarkably talented young woman in several dimensions, and I have no doubt she will succeed at Emerson.” Stokes plans on majoring in Political Communication and minoring in Public Diplomacy. See more at: girlsunited.essence.com.

If you know of any black Christian women bloggers and or writers, please e-mail me at jacqueline@afterthealtarcall.com as I’m always interested in expanding my community of black Christian women blog, magazines and websites. As I noted before, while this is a roundup of interesting blog posts and or magazine and newspaper articles for black Christian women, you don’t have to be one to appreciate these pieces  🙂.

Any thoughts?

Becoming a Mother Over 40 & Beyond…Janet Jackson isn’t the Only One…A Mothers Day Testimony & Miracle…

celeste

Hello World,

Editor’s Note: I originally published this blog post on Mother’s Day 2016, but for the benefit of my new subscribers, I decided to publish this blog post again because a miracle never gets old. Additionally, C. Celeste Marshall will be sharing her testimony on a radio program tomorrow, May 10, 2021. See those details at the end of the interview…

Last month when Janet Jackson announced she was postponing her tour to focus on creating a family with her husband Wissam Al Mana, my friends and I via text (our easiest way to communicate in our busy lives) speculated on whether Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty was indeed with child at 49 years old (now our speculation has been confirmed) and whether being 40 or older is too old to become a mother.

Below are a few of our responses:

“It is weird.”

“It’s a miracle. If that is her dream. My friend just had a baby at 48. Not planned.”

“My grandmother had my mom when she was around 40. My aunt around 44. I had my son at 41. Let her story be a leap for womankind. She has led a fabulous life and is now embarking on a new journey.”

So Janet Jackson isn’t the only one who has defied the odds. That is the testimony of C. Celeste Marshall, a college friend who struggled with infertility for 10 years before finally giving birth to her son Terry Simeon Marshall in August 2013! Celeste recently released her book “Memoirs of a Barren Woman” Below is my interview with her about her journey to motherhood and her new book!

When did you get married, and did you want to be a mother when you first got married? Tell me about your desire to be a mother.

My husband, Todd, and I got married in 2001.  We were immediately ready to start our family.  During this particular time, we had a few nieces that I was very close to and we played the parent role for them at times.  My desire to become a mother intensified as I saw them grow and several months had passed and nothing had happened for us.

How and when did you find out you were “barren” or couldn’t conceive children? How did you husband respond?

After almost a year into our marriage, with no success, my doctor at the time felt that it was time to see a specialist.  A few days following this appointment, I remember getting the call at work.  The news was devastating, and work was not the place to receive it.  I was told that I would not be able to have children.  The doctor suggested that I have several female organs removed and that my best chance would be to try in vitro.  My husband responded in a very supportive way and tried to act like it would be fine if we weren’t parents, but I knew that his desire to be a father was just as strong as my desire to be a mother.

Why did you keep believing you would be a mother one day although you were told you couldn’t have children? Did you ever have any miscarriages? What were you doing for those 10 years?! Did you consider adoption?

In 2006, while recovering from my first surgery (fibroids and endometriosis), God led me to a scripture in II Kings.  It was II Kings 4:16.  It read, “this time next year you will be holding a son.”  I anticipated the day that I would be able to say that I was pregnant because I had never had a positive test before.  I never had any miscarriages because time after time I was always told that I would not be able to even conceive a child.  I had received a prior promise from God in 2004.  So during this time of waiting on God to fulfill His promise, I fasted and prayed about my desire and His promise.  After several years passing and my “this time next year” not happening, I mentioned adopting to my husband but he was not open to it.  I knew that it was my spirit settling and trying to rush God’s hand.

When and why did you decide to fast and pray and what was the result? Tell more about it.

I thank God that at the time of receiving this news, I was already saved and was a member of a church, Free Chapel, where fasting is literally one of the church’s foundations.  My pastor teaches it often and each year our church does an annual fast which has become a global practice for many denominations at the beginning of the year.  I had seen the results of fasting and praying in my own life and also in the lives of others in the church.  It is a powerful tool often overlooked in the Christian world.  I challenge anyone to try it for themselves.  When you abstain from food and replace it with the Word of God, there is an intimacy that comes only from fasting.  There are several types of fasting.

What was your “life-changing decision” after your fast?

My life-changing decision following a specific three-day fast in 2012 was to cancel a surgery, which would have been my 3rd during this 10-year period.  The doctor wanted me to have a full hysterectomy, but by the time the pre-op had rolled around, we had agreed on a partial hysterectomy.  It never felt right in my spirit because I knew my body had to be whole in order for God to fulfill His promise. However, my doctor deemed it necessary, but following that three-day fast, and hearing from God on 12-12-12,  I canceled the surgery completely.

How and when did you discover you were pregnant? Were you scared during your pregnancy after all that happened to you? Why or why  not?

I was back at work from Christmas break, and I knew I was “late” but really thought that it was stress related since I had spent most of the Christmas break caring for my niece who had broken her ankle.  I took an outdated pregnancy test at work of all places.  I had them everywhere because I always anticipated each month…..hoping…..praying…..waiting……When it came back positive I was elated and scared at the same time….when you read the book you will know why 🙂

What was it like to finally give birth to your son? When was he born? How old were you when he was born?

My pregnancy was good, but the delivery was a battle.  And when I say battle, it was a spiritual battle! He was born in August 2013.  I was 40 when I found out I was pregnant, and I delivered him when I was 41.marshall

Do you have any final words of advice for would-be mothers who are having difficulty having children or who are ready to give up? What about fathers who are married to women with these challenges and desperately want to be father too. Any advice for them?

I tell everyone not to put God on a timetable.  We have in our minds by what age we should do this, this and this.  If we are truly in line with Him, and we seek Him daily, then we have to trust Him with the desires of our hearts.  When so much time had passed for me, I started changing my prayer…for God to remove the desire and He never did.  I knew what He had promised me, specifically a son, but satan is real and while God had given a promise, satan took advantage of any weakness and tried to steal my promise from God.  However, each year, as I would fast and pray, God would always confirm His promise to me, but of course I grew weary in waiting, but I stood on His promise and His Word: specifically II Kings 4:16.  And to the husbands of barren wives, never make your wife feel “less than, inadequate, or insufficient.”  Because these are the word satan would whisper to her.  satan often tried to remind me that the one thing a woman was created to do, I could not do…I felt broken at times, but I know that God does not make mistakes.

book

Why did you decide to write “Memoirs of a Barren Woman?”

My book was truly written out of obedience.  I never desired nor imagined that I would write a book.  After I had my son, I started getting invitations to give my testimony and what I realized is that God used my household for the basis of this testimony but He did not intend for it to stay there. I believe that my testimony if for anyone believing God for anything.  We all have a “barren” area in our life, male or female.

Was it difficult to write and publish “Memoirs of a Barren Woman?”And what has been the response?

 The book was not difficult to publish so to speak because God led me to the right resource the first time I inquired.  However, I had no idea about all of the editing.  There was so much back and forth for several months, actually over a year.  I started questioning what I had started because there was just so much delay.  But even in delay, I tell you God is working…putting things together.  The number of people who have reached out to me since reading my memoir to tell me the impact that it has had on their life spiritually has been overwhelming.  Young, old, male, female, single women, even women with children have commented on how my book has impacted their life in some form.  I look forward to sharing it on any platform God gives me.

Below is a video of Celeste giving her testimony at her church Free Chapel:

To find out more about C. Celeste Marshall or contact her, go to her Facebook page. Click on this link to buy her book.

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers, but particularly to mothers who are 40 years old and over! And see this poem written by C. Celeste Marshall in which she includes how she will be sharing her testimony on Monday, May 10.

This poem that I’ve written is the harsh reality of so many women, on this Mother’s Day. I pray for those that desire…

Posted by C. Celeste Marshall on Sunday, May 9, 2021

 

***Again, just be sure you see this, C. Celeste Marshall will be on radio station WGTJ Glory 97.5 FM/1330 AM at 9:05 am. Following the community focus segment with Ms. Millie Miller of Get Out Stay Straight/ Restorative Ministry, she will be sharing her testimony.

Any thoughts?