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God's Grace in Action as a Mother

I am super excited to host my first ever guest post on the blog. I've known Iris Wilkes for a few years now -- ever since I've had the pleasure of coaching her daughter, Alexis, a few years back. Iris is the personification of a phenomenal woman. She's a mother, author, wife, and a Woman of God! Her two books The Making of a Beautiful Vessel and Royalty Unveiled are products of her love for the Lord and her ministry. 

I was honored the opportunity to work with Iris to document her honoring two single mothers here in Greenville, NC! Without further ado...

here's Iris!

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I am Iris Dupree-Wilkes founder of Envision Summit. "As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes" - Mark 9:23 (GW). We must take the time to envision our life better than it was on the day before. My goal is to teach, build, equip, and encourage people to live a better life. If you can see that there is a possibility for a better life then you can achieve it in reality. Everything is possible if you believe. 

On June 26th, 2015 I had the pleasure of recognizing and celebrating two outstanding mothers in our community here in Greenville, NC -- Mrs. Latoyia Blount and Ms. Kendra Jackson. We met over dinner -- here at the Longhorn Steakhouse here in Greenville NC -- for a time of sharing, loving and encouraging letting them know they are doing an outstanding job in raising their children. 

The word outstanding carries the meaning of exceptional, excellent, magnificent or superb. These two young women are single and strive daily to raise their child(ren) by giving of themselves from the deepest treasures of their heart. 

The three pillars of an outstanding mother consist of:

  • Love and sacrifice
  • Strength and endurance
  • Teaching and equipping

These pillars are definitely evident in each of these young ladies lives. Their love for their child(ren) is unconditional and will last for generations to come.

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greenville nc single mothers bryant tyson iris wilks

As a mother, they must rise early to make sure the needs for the day is in order and will be put in motion once their child(ren) awaken. They go from the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and to the bus stop within 30 minutes. They understand that time is precious and they must make wise use of it before punching the time clock at work. They understand that each day offers a new beginning and is an opportunity to do things a little better than the day before. 

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God created each of them with a plan and a purpose for not only their life but also for the lives of their children. Maya Angelou said, "If you are always trying to be normal, (fit the mold) then you will NEVER know how amazing you can be." Embedded within each of these young ladies is the potential to be all that they were created to be. "For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11. There is a great future awaiting these strong, beautiful, and talented young women. 

I understand that no one is born a mother, nor does anyone automatically know what comes with the title. It is a title that you can develop and mature in over the years. These two ladies have been mothers for over six years and have gained surmountable knowledge and wisdom of the "do's and don'ts" of motherhood. It was such a pleasure to celebrate and acknowledge these two young mothers, Ms. Latoyia Blount and Ms. Kendra Jackson. 

Latoyia Blount

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Ms. Latoyia Blount, age 32 of Greenville, NC is the proud mother of Tatyana Brickhouse (age 14), Ilana Brickhouse (age 12), Taeshaun Blount (age 10), Zaeshaun Blount (age 9) -- and is the caught of Daniel and Nellie Mae Blount of Greenville, NC. 

She received her associates degree in Human Services Technology from Pitt Community College in 2011. She is currently employed at Wintergreen Elementary School and is a student at Mount Olive College to obtain her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. 

From the heart of Latoyia's Parents,

I love my daughter Latoyia very much. She is a special young lady with a lot to offer the word. She does not allow the fact that she is a single mother to stop her ability to move forward in life. She has done a splendid job and must continue instilling in her children’s future.
— Mr. Daniel Blount (Father)
My daughter Latoyia is a very bright and intelligent young lady. She is a very independent person and has often worked multiple jobs to cover the needs in her home. I am proud of the young lady that she has become and will continue to push her forward in all that she seeks to do in life!
— Mrs. Nellie Mae Blount (Mother)

Kendra Jackson

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Ms. Kendra Jackson (age 25) of Winterville, NC is the proud mother of Isaiah Jackson (age 7). She is the daughter of Michael Jackson of Edenton, NC and Gwendolyn Dupree of Greenville, NC. 

She received her bachelor's degree in Communications from East Carolina University in 2012. She is currently employed at ECU Parking and seeks to become an entrepreneur and an English teacher in a foreign country in the near future. 

From the heart of Kendra's Parents,

My daughter first of all is a child of GOD and then a mother. She has accomplished so much and I am proud of her accomplishments. She’s a dedicated mother and sets high standards for my grandson through leading by example and work ethics for him to follow not only in school but in life. They are my heart! Kendra, you’re the best and most beautiful daughter of them all.
— Michael D. Jackson (Father)
Kendra knows that God is a redeemer of all situations and therefore... I find my daughter to be very dedicated to her son, he is one of the most important people in her world and she loves him very dearly and unconditionally. She possesses patience, displays love through hugs, kisses and her communication. She is a comforter, when he is sick she believes in his healing, when he is heartbroken Kendra builds him up and lets him know he is a somebody and reassures him of her unwavering love.
— Gwendolyn Dupree (Mother)

A mother's job never ends yet it brings great fulfillment, joy, love, peace and happiness to their lives. They have learned to teach and train their children through ordinary moments, which will lead them to their bigger and brighter future. As mothers, they don't mind saying "no" today to a need or request in order to strengthen and build character in their children for tomorrow. They understand that sometimes the word "no" is the most beneficial answer that they can give them even when all they want to hear is yes. It's during these times that they must continue teaching and equipping them for life.

One of my favorite quotes to live by is, "You've got to do right if you want to do better." If you expect your child to do better then you must teach them to do right. It's hard for one to do better if they refuse to do what is right. Therefore, in a mother's life she too has to do the right thing in order to do better. She has to make better decisions that will lead to a better future for her child. Being a mother is not about fitting the mold of someone else, it's about being who you were created to be.

- Iris Wilkes