Summary: Headed Someplace is a bi-weekly podcast where strong, inspiring, enduring women share their stories with us.
Today’s guest is Cece Jones-Davis. [The following is from Cece’s website] Cece is a worship leader, speaker, writer and social advocate from the beautiful town of Halifax, Virginia. She is a graduate of Howard University, Yale Dvinity School, and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Worship, and the Arts. Cece is also blessed to be a member of the inaugural class of Princeton’s Black Thelogy Leadership Institute. Working at the intersections of faith, worship, and social justice, she is passionate about seeing God’s Kingdom come in the areas of racial healing, women and girls issues, and criminal justice reform. Cece’s writing and advocacy work have been featured in Huffington Post, Essence.com, Self Magazine, Yahoo! Health, Teen Vogue and many more sources. Her music has been shared across the country and featured on Stephen Hurd’s "The Overflow” and “Times of Refreshing”, as well as Grace Covenant Worship albums. Her singles, “Dreams” and “Your Love is Deep” are on all digital outlets. Ever hopeful, Cece believes in the power of God accessed through people, and feels grateful to be alive for such a time as this. She currently serves as the teaching pastor at The Table in Oklahoma City, and enjoys spending time with her hubby, Dr. Mike Davis, and and their sweet lil’ babies.
Today’s guest is Lauren Gilliam. Y’all, this girl’s got heart! She is a caregiver in every sense of the word. She’s mothered two precious souls through foster care and successfully advocated for their reunification. She’s poured years of energy and love into inner city ministries and OKC schools. She’s cared for family members battling disease and walked through trauma with abused & neglected students. Lauren is SO strong. But she’d also be the first to say “It’s okay to not be okay.” In today’s episode, Lauren speaks on living in the tension between strength & sorrow. She talks about trusting in the goodness of God and how sweet it is to know that His heart breaks with ours over this world. It’s so good, guys. Lauren’s love of literacy and Groundhog Day are a few things you’re going to want to hear more about! Can’t wait for you to listen in & meet Lauren.
Today’s guest is Kara Gates. She shares about life with her sweet boy with special needs (Cri-du-chat Syndrome). You’re going to be so inspired by her energy, motivation and determination to advocate for her kiddos and fight for the fullest lives for them. She also shares about the miscarriage they experienced this last year, as well as what it’s been like to deal with her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Her perspective on life is unique and hopeful and the amount of energy she pours into her family is inspiring! Can’t wait for you to meet her!
Today’s guest is Sheryl Jacob. Sheryl is originally from southern India, but pretty much lived her whole life here in the U.S. BUT! She’s moving BACK to India at the end of this year with her family to plant a church in Mumbai. Perhaps the coolest story she shared is about her ARRANGED MARRIAGE to her husband Sujith. It’s fascinating. And even though she did actually get to meet him in person a handful of times before marrying him, they had not even exchanged pictures until after they already pretty much decided to marry each other. What??!! They lucked out, huh? Just look at that beautiful family! Sheryl also shares about how she met Jesus, how God has helped her walk through anxiety and what she’s learning in the season of preparing to move to a culture different from her own. (Even though she is from southern India, Mumbai is in northern India with a completely different culture, food, language, etc.) You’ll also get to hear from Sheryl’s husband Sujith as he sings the praises of his courageous and beautiful bride ;-) Can’t wait for y’all to know them!
Today’s guest is Sarah Brooks. She’s HILARIOUS. And carries humor into all aspects of life, including raising her three boys (that she had all within a 4-year span - WUT?) She blogs about their crazy lives here. We talk about how she became a public speaker overnight, the prank she played on her 4-year-old to make him think he grew a tattoo. We talk about social media and how to discern what’s really meaningful in life. We talk about loving on women in the sex industry… We bounce all around, laugh a lot and talk about some of life’s most meaningful moments. This describes Sarah to me: “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the days to come.She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (Prov 31:25-26)
Today’s guest is my dear friend Jennifer Gerhardt. She’s a wife, mom of two girls, author, speaker, Storytelling Minister at her church and ex flag football quarterback (stud). Jennifer just released her fifth book, A Grief Received: What to Do When Loss Leaves You Empty Handed, shortly after releasing one of MY FAV BOOKS OF ALL TIME this past November - Swallowed Up: A story about how my brother died. And I didn’t. Y’all. This is a woman who is well-acquainted with grief, but who refuses to let death extinguish life. She also happened to be there for me through my journey of losing my sweet mama, so we talk a little bit about that too. We talk chat about marriage, parenting, the enneagram… I really hope all of you - men, women, young and old - will listen to this conversation with Jennifer and take heart :-)
Today’s guest is Karen Hill. Karen and I are related, but it’s actually the first conversation we’ve ever had! And you get to listen in on it :-) She’s an author of 30 children’s books, mom, grandmom and cancer survivor. She is also the executive editor and executive assistant to author/pastor Max Lucado, who may or may not make a guest appearance on the episode ;-) Karen shares about losing her father, mother, brother and a sister and how God can use our grief and suffering. We talk about questions we have for God and how doubt is a part of faith. We also talk about Sabbath rest, mentorship, parenting and much more. Karen is a woman of wisdom who trusts God in the midst of chaos and searches for him and his purposes in all the “random” circumstances of life. I’m so inspired by her attitude toward life; she knows that as long as she has life in her body, God has plans for her. So, come join me as I learn about Karen and glean wisdom from her story.
Leslie is a mom of three boys, wife to a cancer survivor and an educator both at Oklahoma Baptist University and to her home-schooled kiddos. We talk a lot about early marriage, but even more about 3.5 years ago when her husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer. She shares about grief and depression even after getting a “happy ending.” Though she celebrates her husband being cancer-free, there are still things that were lost in the “fire.,” and so we spend a good deal of time fleshing out post-suffering grief. She also shares some wisdom that older-Leslie would tell younger-Leslie, particularly as it relates to parenting.
This hilarious, wisdom-bomb-dropping, unassuming, STRONG FREAKING WOMAN talks us through her life today in such a candid and personal way, you will laugh and cry and laugh all over again. When Natalie was just 14 years old, her parents were in a serious motorcycle accident. She lost her dad and, though her mom is still alive, her mental and physical state isn't the same. Natalie takes us through years of the grief process, feelings of abandonment, and some of the moments she's allowed God to "Father" her orphan-heart. She also talks about years of singleness while all her friends were getting married and having babies. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride... Welp, Natalie "finally" got hitched to her Latin Lover about a year and a half ago and they're expecting their first little bundle any day now.
Today I talk with my friend of 12 years, Jessica Mayfield. She's a creative entrepreneur, marketing/branding guru, photographer, wife, mom, the list goes on... We talk about navigating friendships, leaning into relationships when things get hard and showing up for people. Jessica also shares about running a business with her husband and their ultimate decision to close the business in order to prioritize their marriage. She also shares about the loneliness of miscarriage and how she has, since, learned to help friends as they process grief and loss.
Today's guest is Samantha Allen. Sam and her husband, Steve, have 6 kids ranging from ages 10 to 25. She shares about adopting a child from China who has special needs and the way the Lord placed her in their family. She also shares about losing their baby Bethany, shortly after she was born, all while living as missionaries in Thailand. So we talk through the grieving and healing process that follows loss. Samantha's husband, Steve, was diagnosed with a terminal illness (ALS) in 2015 and I know you will be inspired and encouraged by their faith and hope and perseverance in the midst of uncertainty. There are so many nuggets of truth and wisdom in this show and I'm so grateful for the seeds God has sewn into my life, in just one short hour with this woman. And BONUS! I have a couple surprises in this show for Samantha that include some guest appearances from her kiddos and hubby ;-) Two years ago, Hannah's mentor and friend died unexpectedly, leaving behind a 6-week-old baby and three older kids - 10, 13 and 16 years old. One day while standing in her friend's kitchen, Hannah knew she was supposed to quit her job teaching and look after these children for the unforeseeable future. And that's exactly what she did. Join as us we chat through the whole story.
Today's guest is Miss Hannah Hardin. We talk about the enneagram, life as a single lady and how Hannah went from teaching in the classroom to care-taker for a family of four. Two years ago, Hannah's mentor and friend died unexpectedly, leaving behind a 6-week-old baby and three older kids - 10, 13 and 16 years old. One day while standing in her friend's kitchen, Hannah knew she was supposed to quit her job teaching and look after these children for the unforeseeable future. And that's exactly what she did. Join as us we chat through the whole story.
Today's guest is the beautiful Moneek Odunze. She's a momma of two little boys and she and her husband shared their first kiss (to each other) on their wedding day!! Moneek shares about spending 4 months in the neonatal ICU with her second son who was born at 24 weeks gestation. He was only 1lb, 6oz when he was born! Moneek has also battled chronic illness for about 10 years and just in the last year has experienced tremendous healing. She also shares about the relational healing that's taken place over the last year with her mother and father who she rarely saw as a child. I also shared with Moneek how her husband Ernest's blog post affected me in the conversation of racial reconciliation
Just barely into marriage, Jordan got pregnant. And just after their first child was born, Jordan and her husband separated. She shares about navigating that difficult season, the decision to fight for her marriage and family, and the advice/wisdom she's picked up along the way.
Janet takes us through LOTS of life: from growing up not knowing her biological father, experiencing sexual abuse, being married to an alcoholic, going through two divorces from men who were unfaithful, from being born to a single mom and then becoming one herself... And then on the other side: raising four beautiful children, being a "Gigi" to her grandkids, meeting her biological father at age 42, and experiencing tremendous healing over the last year from lies she had believed about herself (and God) since she was a little girl. Wow! We pack a lot into this show and you will NOT be sad you took the time to listen to her story and wisdom.