I am honored to feature Miranda Burton, child sexual abuse survivor and awareness advocate, as our newest Charmed Life Gem. Miranda is a shining example of how we can rise from our tribulations and help others to become triumphant along the way. Miranda is a champion for those who have survived child sexual abuse and an educator within her community. Read on to learn more about Miranda Burton and her nonprofit organization, Marion’s House.
Meet Miranda Burton…
I am a native of Louisiana, but I currently reside and work in Charleston, SC. I am a graduate of Coker College (Hartsville, SC) and a certified Darkness to Light Facilitator. I am a two-time survivor of child sexual abuse. This is why it is now my life’s work to protect child from being preyed upon and to educate adults in how to protect our children from child sexual abuse. I partner with the local school system through my nonprofit organization, Marion’s House.
About Marion’s House…
I established Marion’s House to benefit children and families around the world that have been impacted by child sexual abuse. Marion’s House is named after my grandmother, Marion Burton. She was a fighter and loved helping others. I just want to be half the woman she was while here on this earth.
Through Marion’s House we give an E.A.R. (Empowerment, Awareness, and Recovery) to the topic of child sexual abuse. On a monthly basis I provide Darkness to Light training sessions so that adults will know how to react responsibly when they become aware of instances of child sexual abuse. During these sessions, we discuss the community resources that are available to sexual abuse victims. I also conduct Marion’s House workshops and do book readings with youth groups to help start the conversation.
Miranda’s Charmed Life…
I have been able to overcome the effects of abuse by sharing my story and being an advocate and educator as a certified Darkness to Light Facilitator. I am currently in graduate school and I am proud to say that I have maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout my studies. I am grateful for the many opportunities that I have been granted to spread my message regarding child sexual abuse, including being featured in the Pain to Purpose broadcast, Women of Fruit Magazine, and numerous other media outlets.
Not every day is perfect for me. One thing that I have fought against is fear. Fear of how my family will react, fear of all the mistakes I have made and whether people will take me seriously in my adult life, fear that I cannot do everything that I believe I can do. There are times when I say am I thinking a little too far beyond the now, and then I have to remind myself that it is my season and I need to be here for those in need.
Every day is a new day. I am a survivor, but I struggle with staying in survivor mode. Through prayer, music, and sharing my story, I continue to survive.
Miranda’s Advice to Anyone Who’s Currently Working to Overcome…
Don't focus on your stressors. It's easier said than done, but no trial lasts always. Focus on what you need to do to get yourself out of the situation and accomplish your goals
Marion’s House survives on donations alone. We would greatly appreciate your financial support. You can email MarionsHouseSurvivors@gmail.com to request a PayPal invoice or donate via our GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/6jxe84. Follow our Facebook page for all announcements and upcoming events: https://www.facebook.com/MarionsHousePCSA/
There is no doubt that child sexual abuse awareness is a very worthy cause. Please use the links above to donate to Marion's House. Help me to thank Miranda for her selflessness and the amazing work that she is doing through Marion's House by leaving a comment below.
Are you interested in sharing your story on Truly Charmed? Email TrulyCharmedOne@gmail.com
ICYMI! Read about Charmed Live Gem, Alexan Green, HERE
Great things happen when we share our stories. The saying “you never know what the next person is going through” is the absolute truth. Another thing that could be said is that we don’t really know how much we have in common until we begin to share our stories. I am so grateful to the women who will be featured throughout the year on Truly Charmed. These are women who have beaten unbelievable odds to claim their charmed lives. Up first…Alexan Green. I have been cheering Alexan on from afar for a while now. She’s one of my Facebook friends who is always working…always spreading empowering messages. I had to share her story with you. Read on to meet survivor and advocate Alexan Green.
Hi, my name is Alexan Green. I am a 38 year old mother and wife from Lake City, South Carolina. I am the founder of Women Against All Odds (WAAO), an outreach organization/ministry designed to support women during their toughest challenges. At the age of 6, I was sexually molested by a family member who lived with my great-grandmother. This senseless act took place for quite some time until the relative decided to move back to his hometown. I kept the abuse a secret for many years. The aftermath was horrible. I dealt with a lot of changes over the years: struggling with my sexuality, dealing with multiple men, fear of telling, not knowing what would happen if I did, struggling with loving myself, and the list goes on. At some points I felt like giving up. I endured. Through age and with God, my experiences strengthened me. I began to know that I had a voice and needed to speak up and out to help other women.
I started my non-profit, Women Against All Odds, in 2013. The mission statement sums up the purpose of WAAO: “Helping every woman live through adversity in order to conquer, survive, and thrive”. I hope to inspire and empower women during the greatest challenges in their lives. WAAO has hosted a networking mixer on the third Thursday of each month in my hometown of Lake City S.C. at the Railway Restaurant from 6-9 p.m. During the meetings, ladies would network and chat about their business, fellowship, pray, and share stories of survival. With the restaurant being under new management I'm looking to move to another location. The journey has been challenging, but I'm believing and trusting that God will continue to send women to help me build this amazing organization.
Alexan’s Charmed Life…
I still have days in which I wonder will I ever be able to put the aftermath of molestation behind me. I came to the decision that no matter what I was going to keep moving forward. I met a wonderful lady by the name of Jennifer Robinson, whose outreach program, Empowered To Heal, helps women who have been sexually molested. I meet with her monthly for counseling sessions to chat about some of the adversities that I still deal with. Now a mother of three and a wife of eleven years, I feel like I have more support and love than I have ever had. I'm glad that God saw fit to spare my life so that I could give life to my children. I am inspired by being connected to women with the same purpose and drive. My advice to anyone who may be going through difficulty is to keep fighting until your victory is won.
To say that I was moved by Alexan’s story is an understatement. I am so grateful for her transparency. This will, no doubt, be a blessing to the lives of those who read it. If you are a survivor of child molestation, look at Alexan’s story as inspiration. Speak up. Speak out. You are not your circumstances. Share this story. You never know who may need it.
Protect Our Children!
Talk to your children about molestation. Let them know that it’s not ok.
Make your children feel confident that they can confide in you. Keep the lines of communication open.
Listen to your gut instinct!
Do not force your children to show affection to others, relatives or not.
Be cautious about who you allow to spend time with your children.
The greatest lessons can be learned from our little people, our children. In my case, they’re not so little anymore (ages 15 and 17), but over the years my children have enriched my life in so many ways, including teaching me some very important lessons. In general, children see possibilities where cynicism has caused us to go blind. They find hope in circumstances that life’s upsets and fumbles would cause us to give up. They dream big. They have fun. Unfortunately, “adulting” and all that comes with it has left some of us jaded and it may become necessary for us to take a step back and look at life through the hope-filled and unadulterated eyes of our children.
My son, Zy, is currently in the last semester of his senior year in high school. Yes, a SENIOR! It blows my mind to think about it. My daughter, Chris, is 15 years old and a freshman in high school. They have grown up so quickly on me. I often find myself thinking about our journey, the wisdom that I have strived to instill in them, and the ways in which they have made me a better person. Here are a few lessons that I have learned from my children.
Because of my children, I travel more and I have become more open to new experiences. I was motivated to take my goals off of the backburner and pursue my blogging and modeling careers. I am more confident in my own abilities and beauty. I could go on and on about the ways in which my children have caused me to widen my horizons and to check my perspective when it comes to certain things in life. I look forward to witnessing their growth into adulthood and their bright futures. I know that a lot of you who are reading this are parents, educators, aunts, uncles…in what ways have the children in your lives taught you lessons? Comment below.
What is the cloud? “The cloud” is anything that interrupts life, anything that keeps you from wanting to do the things that you must do in order to thrive, including the things that you enjoy doing. “The cloud” threatens your quality of life. For you it could be naysayers, negative people in your circle, or your own negative self-talk. In my case, I deal with the dual burden of anxiety and depression. I have dealt with this for many years, but a name wasn’t given to my struggle until I was diagnosed with chronic depression in 2006.
I had no idea of the number of people who also live with these conditions until I became transparent and began to talk it. Most days are fine. On my worst days, it feels like a battle just to get out of bed—as if I’m being held down by a boulder. It takes so much resolve and an iron will to thrive in spite of the pitfalls of anxiety and depression. Maybe your cloud is the same is mine, maybe not, but here are five ways to say no to any cloud and claim your charmed life!
I hope that this post helps you in your effort to push forward and live a happy, healthy, and prosperous life. Never allow negativity or any other hindrance to stop you! Let’s claim our charmed lives. Comment below and let us know how you thrive despite the clouds of life.
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of performing arts, so, last month, I was nothing less than pleased to attend the Pee Dee Community Arts Team’s performance of Restored III: An Inspirational Dance Musical Production. The Pee Dee Community Arts Team is comprised of a diverse group of young people who are immensely talented. The group is headed by the very inspiring Minister Leya R. Elijah-Eller. I had been looking forward to this production for a while and I was oh so glad that I attended.
As described on PDCAT’s Facebook page, Restored III is “a moving and soul-stirring story of life and living in a very real world”. It was exactly that. Segments of the production addressed a variety of relevant issues, including personal salvation, police brutality, domestic violence, and more. There were very touching moments. There were through-provoking moments. There were humorous moments. One thing is for sure, there was not a dull moment throughout the show. One of the many highlights of the evening: award-winning vocalist Carlett Martin performed and brought down the house.
Read on for tidbit and pics...
Michael, a member of PDCAT's musician team, got the show started very nicely.
Restored featured the music of Take 6, Sounds of Blackness, Karen Clark-Sheard, John Legend, Kirk Franklin, and more. Very entertaining!
Watching these young people perform reminds me of my own daughter on stage when she was enrolled in dance classes. She studied tap, jazz, and ballet from the age of 4 until she was 9 years old. I was overjoyed to see the poise and confidence in my baby and the other students. Though she decided on sports instead of dance, the benefits of dance have stuck with her until this day. This is why I strive to support the arts in my community.
I am certainly looking forward to PDCAT's next production which is expected to premiere in April 2017! Follow Pee Dee Community Arts Team on Facebook for future show dates.
Are you a fan of performing arts? How did your love of the arts begin? Comment below!
Read on to enjoy tidbits and pics from the Beautiful SistersUnited Meet and Greet Luncheon.
On Saturday September 17th there was nothing less than sheer power in the room at the Beautiful Sisters United Meet and Greet Luncheon. Beautiful Sisters United is an empowerment organization based in South Carolina founded by Audra Blyther. Audra orchestrated the event with the intent to bring awareness to breast cancer and domestic violence, issues that require our attention year-round. The luncheon featured inspiring speakers, spoken word and liturgical performances, and a fabulous fashion showcase.
I had the honor of participating in the event in two capacities: official event blogger and as a model for Outter Wear Boutique and Infinity Boutique during the fashion showcase.
I won't go into detail about each individual speaker for fear of leaving anyone out. One thing is for sure: each story was awe-inspiring. There are so many women who have endured and found the courage to escape domestic violence relationships. There are so many of us who have either directly or through a loved one, witnessed the fight against various forms of cancer. The women featured at this event are those who had the insight and courage to champion for others who may be experiencing the struggles that they once endured.
My Take-Aways from the Event
The fashion showcase featured fall looks from Infinity Boutique and Outter Wear Boutique.
Congratulations to Audra Blyther on a successful event.
Follow Beautiful Sisters United on Facebook!
From time to time I post about things, however trivial, that I feel the need to vent about. Here’s one of those posts!
There’s always that one coworker. I was walking across the office one afternoon, returning from my afternoon break and a male coworker (one who seems to pay attention to my every single move) looked at me and said “it can’t be that bad”. This immediately annoyed me because I already knew that he was referring to my facial expression, but I humored him anyway. I asked “what are you talking about?” He said “well you should smile more. It will make you feel better”. So, yea I had to school him on a few things.
I pulled him aside and let him know 1. I am not here for your entertainment, so there are no smiles on demand (yes, this had to be said due to other comments that he’s made). 2. You’re assuming that I am upset/angry/sad based on a facial expression which is a terrible assumption to make. 3. If you’re truly concerned about how I am feeling, just ask if I’m ok. I know that, to some, this response may seem overboard, but this wasn’t his first time and this whole “you should smile more” “put a smile on your face” thing is a pet peeve of mine. Here are a few reasons why:
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t show concern or care for a loved one when they seem to be feeling down, but what I am saying is that is so unnecessary for you to tell a complete stranger to change their facial expression. We have no need for self-appointed captains of the smile brigade. It’s irksome…it’s annoying. Just stop it because I'm truly ok!
What are some of your pet peeves? We all have our hang-ups and idiosyncracies. It's ok. Comment below!
This post is the first in a series entitled The Gems Before Us. We should take great pride in our history and the legacy of those who came before us. In school, you learn about only a few of the figures who played transformational roles in black history. This series will focus on those who made major impact but who are not talked about as often.
Born in Charleston, SC in 1898, Septima Poinsette Clark rose to become a respected educator and civil rights activist. She played a pivotal role in the education of both youth and adults. Clark was committed to increasing literacy among African Americans. Through the establishment of citizenship schools, Clark took on the task of informing African Americans about citizenship and the democratic process. When you hear people speak of important figures in African American history, hers is a name that should come up more often. Today’s educators, community organizers, and social activists stand on her shoulders. Read on to learn more about the iconic Septima Poinsette Clark.
Inspiring Moments in the Life of Septima Poinsett Clark
There’s so much more to her story and I hope that this post has sparked your interest in knowing more about Septima Poinsette Clark. I will definitely be ordering the autobiographies!
Stay tuned to Truly Charmed for the next post in The Gems Before Us series! Subscribe HERE
There is no doubt that MC Lyte is a pioneer in the hip hop game and she has always been a favorite of mine. It is rare that you will not see Lyte’s name on anyone’s “best of…” hip hop lists. She has a flow like none other and it stands to this day. So, of course I follow MC Lyte on Instagram…and I was so excited when she announced that she has her own app. Sorry that I’m just now getting around to telling you all about it, but you should definitely check it out.
The MC Lyte app features a link to sign up for fan mail and you’ll be the first to receive announcements about Mc Lyte’s upcoming events and projects. Subscribers to the app also gain access to Mc Lyte’s latest studio album Legend (2015). The MC Lyte app is available to both Apple and Android users.
Get the app here!
Let me know what you think!
The word legend is thrown around lightly, but MC Lyte has definitely earned the title. Not only has she established a long list of ‘firsts’ in the music industry, but she has maintained a long-standing and admirable place in the industry as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, inspirational speaker, actress, voiceover artist, and so much more.
Are you an MC Lyte fan? Comment below!
Subscribe to Truly Charmed and stay tuned for more posts about your favorite artists!
After months of planning, my very first Charmed Life Artist RoundUp was held on Saturday June 25, 2016 in Sumter, SC. If you missed it, you missed a treat! As many of you may know from prior posts, art has a very special place in my heart. I came to know writing as a love of mine way back in middle school. It’s only natural that I would use my platform, Truly Charmed, as a way to support other artists. So…on Saturday, 14 local artists decided to share their talents at the RoundUp! I am still in awe of all that took place...the transparency…the cool way in which all of the artists related to one another…the display of undeniable talent. It was a blast.
Emcee, Lady Ty, did a great job of introducing each artist and keeping the crowd energized.
I have to send a HUGE, heartfelt 'Thank You ' to everyone who contributed to the success of the Charmed Life Artist RoundUp. I definitely could not have pulled this off without the artists who took a chance on this brand new platform and decided to participate.
The visual artists displayed their beautiful works and were vulnerable enough to tell us about their inspiration, the ups, downs, and passion that make up their creative process. Thank you Linda Avery, LaToya Thompson,Tony A. Brown, and Earnest Hampton.
The authors intrigued us with snippets and run-downs of their latest novels. Thank you Rod Ballard, Monica Sumter, and Otiti Uwagbai Wright.
The spoken word artists sat quietly at their table, taking in the atmosphere, and then came roaring on the mic during the spoken word session. I was in AWE and so was everyone else! Thank you D Anntonette Sistrunk, Jajuana Smoot, Rian N. Jenkins, and Sequoia T. Gillyard.
Thank you to hip hop artist KuuL for bringing it! Not only did you perform twice at the RoundUp, but you were gracious enough to perform again at the after party. Thanks, Shanika Davis , for making that connection.
Thanks to Young Blaze and J Killa ( Mike Sumter Jkilla Streetera )for performing at the after party. The talent is so real. I hope that you all will come back and perform at the next installment of the RoundUp.
Thanks to CoolCee ThaDj for holding it down in the music and sound dept. I couldn't have done it without you.
Thanks and much love to my family and friends for being a HUGE help to me so that I could focus on the event. My sister, Tameka Williams-Holmes, my daughter, son Zaire Cain, niece, and friends Charlene Frazier and Jilita Johnson.
Thanks to the vendors Ma Connie's Creations and Exotic Appeal Exotic Appeal Fashion & Accessories.
Thanks to every single person who came out to enjoy event. I appreciate you.
Thanks to the sponsors and those who made donations toward the event:Natural Nora's Beauty & Wellness Apothecary, Kari Fraser-Farthing Independent Scentsy Consultant, Ragin Preparatory Christian Academy,SHEAR GLAMOUR SALON, Tiffany Holmes 1K Photography, That Natural Chick , Joyce Pringle of ItWorks! , Kimberly Suber of National Kidney Foundation Team SC
Charmed Life Artist RoundUp...Winter Session!
The creative energy and networking that took place in June was amazing, so we must do it again! Join us at the Charmed Life Artist RoundUp...Winter Session on Saturday December 3, 2016. For details and to purchase tickets, visit theartistroundup.eventbrite.com. The theme for this session is "Shout!". With so much going on in the world, we all need the space and opportunity to let our voices be heard. This is that opportunity! Whether it be about social injustices, concern about the welfare of our children, a celebration of love, or one's personal circumstances, we will Shout! Join us!
Follow the event on Facebook for all updates! HERE! We'll see you at the RoundUp!
Truly Charmed will continue to show appreciation for artists and their precious work. Check out this POST about local musicians Black Alley Band and Tiffany J.
Antoinette C. is a blogger who delights in all things that foster unity and growth in women. After all, if the woman is happy and fulfilled, so is her family and community. Through Truly Charmed, Antoinette will introduce you to women who have inspired her, and who will, hopefully, do the same for you! Here's to your charmed life!