African proverb, Elephant, Mother’s Day, Power of Love, Sermon, Truth principles

The Power of a Mother’s Prayer: Answered via elephant’s trunk

As parents and guardians, we often believe that we know what’s best for our children. You’re on the right track if are responsible, loving, nonjudgmental, generous, open and truthful parents.

You’re off track if you have those same qualities and your children are young adults who decide on their careers and life passions, sans parental advice. If you’re a parent like me and guessed what each of my children would do after they left home, you are likely surprised when you watch their deepest desires come to fruition and are not quite what you envisioned. Yet, it is all well with our souls.

“It may seem you are over your head,” Rev. JC said, pointing to the large screen behind the pulpit.

The image showed the tiny trunk of a baby elephant who was in waters over his head while closely following his mother.

“When you are moving through muddy waters, someone has gone before you … keep moving forward,” said Rev. JC aka my daughter, Jocelyn Cheryl Kimbrough.

Her sermon or “Journey in truth,” was previewed by one of my favorite songs by the late Luther Vandross. Vandross’ song was appropriately the background music for the beautiful images of mother-and-baby animals who led the congregation to “The Power of Motherhood” message.

Rev. JC continued: “We are all uniquely equipped with the resources” necessary to live our best lives. Amen is what I was thinking while rapidly reflecting upon Jocelyn’s colorful life that kept me in constant prayer and humility.

There she was: Standing before the congregation at the Living Truth 365 church in Marietta, Ga. My mother, her grandmother and I were seated on the second row. Jocelyn’s remarks were peppered with humor, Biblical references and “Jocisms” as I refer to her wisdom.

I learned lots from her sermon including the elephants’ way of successful living. Elephants travel in herds that can number up to 25. Women are the bosses and the male elephants remain with their mothers for about 15 years and then join the male elephants for the remainder of the young elephant’s development. Elephants cannot jump but they are fast movers. Finally, the elephants are pregnant 22 months!

“The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride.” — Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV, NET, Araimaic).

Indeed. The challenges I had in my pregnancy with Jocelyn and twin John Charles, paled in comparison to their joyous births. That beautiful baby girl who was born with a headful of thick, curly black locks, erased all memories of the heavy weight of carrying two 9-pound fraternal twins. Her 8:27 pm arrival was 2 minutes behind her brother’s. Her sermon reminded me of her little elephant-like trunk following closely to make it through the murky process to begin another phase of her living.

Blessings Rev. JC. Another great Mother’s Day gift.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects.


O-Mama! Happy Day to my Omaha and Chicago Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day.

An ode to the ladies who brought me here.

My mother, Angie Wead, delivered me into the world known as Omaha.

It didn’t stop there.

Mom was joined by legions of women in Omaha and Chicago during my early years whose collective super powers formed a human shield of protection and life lessons for my sisters, peer age cousins, friends and me.

Matriachs Mama Helen, Ma Daisy Wead, Gram Ann Green. Grandma Edna Robinson, Louise, Rosanna Duncan; Aunts Beverly Blackburn, Cecilia, Kathryn, Carolyn, Myrle; Lyla Wiggins, Greta; Cousins Carmen, Carolyn, Connie, Paula, Madeline, Alice, June and Ramona.

It didn’t stop there.

They were joined by super teachers, camp counselors, mentors, 4-H leaders, journalists, dance theatre artists, charm school leader, church mothers, hairstylists, community activists and pastors whose titles reflect my respect and admiration.

Mrs. Watson, Mrs. Harvey, Mrs. Hangar, Mrs. Gibson, Mrs. Myers, Mrs. Patten, Mrs. Bryant, Mrs. Gilmore, Mrs. Garrett, Mrs. Billingsley, Mrs. Bonner, Rev. Charlotte, Mrs. Eure, Mrs. Swanigan, Mrs. Buffett, Mrs. Gilmore, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Pickens, Mrs. Nichols, Mrs. Donaldson, Prudence, Carole, Peggy, Vivian, Cecilia, Sybil, Valerie,

Cathy, Bettye Joe, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Lamberts and the mothers of Clair UMC, Wesley Chapel UMC, Trinity Church of Christand Church of the Living God.

It doesn’t stop there.

The mothers who were janitors, waitresses, librians, coaches, bus drivers, child care workers and whose names I do not know.

All of these ladies leave a lasting legacy that I honor through words and deeds.

Happy Mother’s Day 2018.

It doesn’t stop here.


FRIDAY’S: Ask My Expert on College Student Success

I’ve known Cheval Breggins for several years. He is highly regarded as a college business professor, community volunteer, avid multi-sport spectator and university academic counselor. I hired him at a Florida university as Director of Student Success for journalism and graphic design students.

In his current position at Thomas University, Breggins is the Director of Student Success and is instrumental in university-wide change strategies.

Take note students:


  • Shift your mindset – College is not the 13th grade, a continuation of high school. The expectations and demands from your instructors and your independence will move to the next level. Faculty and staff will assist you, yet they will expect you to show the maturity of a yound adult.

  • Go to classOh, it will be so tempting to sleep in. After all, you’re a college student! You can do what you want, right? Well, you sure can if you want to scramble to make up for it later on. It is much easier to hold a GPA than it is to bring it up!

  • Purchase (and use) textbooks as soon as possible – Do I need a textbook for every course? YES, if it is required!! Should I get my textbook early? Yes, because you want to begin reviewing the content. Using one book for a semester (even with selling it back) can cost $100 plus! Many companies like Amazon sell textbooks cheaper than at universities and offer gift cards at a decent rate to sell them back.

  • Learn to balance and prioritize your time and deadlines – Time management skills are completely necessary to explore all that college life has to offer. There will always be activities, social events, school events, trips, homework, and tests for which to study. Part of life is managing the time that we have, so my advice would be to learn this early on in your college career.

  • Get involvedYou might be attending school in a different state, or even in your own state. Either way you can afford to expand your interests and meet new people. College is an easy way to make contacts and new friends!

  • Make friends – Friends will be one of your most important resources you have, especially friends who are ahead of you. You might be able to borrow textbooks and receive tips from the students ahead of you. Use your resources and contacts wisely. You can trade off with this friend or do something nice like bake him/her cookies for their help.

  • Make wise decisions – Yes, have new experiences. Yes, have fun. Do not do things that you know might endanger your life, health or self-image.

  • Ask for help! – Be a self-advocate. Have a voice and state what you want and what you need. Ask for things. Ask for help. Reach out to people.

  • Keep in contact with familyYes, you should make contacts and friends at college. This does not mean you should ignore your family who likely supports you, or encouraged you to get to where you are today. Give them a call, Skype or Face Time them, send them a card, or do something during the semester to let them know you are thinking about them.

  • Keep in contact with old friends – Break away and connect with the friends who have been there for you forever. You can undo some of the damage if you lose touch, but it will never really be the same.

  • Learn about yourselfFigure out what you want out of life. You don’t need to know right away, but be thinking about this as you experience new things, meet new people, and explore the world of knowledge.

  • HAVE FUNYou have a little bit of margin during this time to get away with being adventurous and not look too foolish (hey, it’s college!) Use this time to go on adventures and do fun things. This is also a great way to bond with your new friends.

    Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects.

Clark Atlanta University, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Teacher appreciation, Uncategorized

Job or grad school?: Thank you to my college professors and career mentor

“It takes a whole village to educate a child” — Nigerian Proverb

Back in the “ancient” days, I wore bellbottom blue jeans and  Angela Davis-style afro  while completing my college education at a small, liberal arts school in Atlanta. I had to pay my way through college so naturally I chose to stay on track, dress appropriately for my internships and graduate in four years.

A few days after crossing the commencement stage at Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), I faced an unusual ‘ fork in the road’ of life.

I was accepted to Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism, and I also received a coveted job offer from the Atlanta Journal/Constitution

I decided to attend graduate school. In their individual consults with me, my college instructors and administrators collectively sang the praises of Northwestern’s Medill School.  When I informed the AJC’s then City Editor Alexis Scott of my decision, she agreed with the others by telling me that jobs will always be available to me.

In honor of the annual Teacher Appreciation Day, I am again thanking Dr. Gloria James, . Nellie Dixon,  James McJunkins, Dr. Herbert Eichelberger, Dr. Eugene Walker and Dr. Larry Earvin. Ms. Scott taught me that learning, listening and engaging is not exclusively contained within the formal classroom.

Here’s what I learned from that brief period of exhilaration between May and June 1979, and again in June 1980:

  1. What I prayed for and worked smart to achieve, did manifest. I hoped for a great job offer and also an acceptance to my one-and-only choice for graduate school.
  2. When I achieved the aforementioned, I returned to my academic advisors and sought their insight.
  3. Listening to great advice remains my great advice to others. I always combine the sought-after counsel with guidance from my intuition, prayer and meditation.
  4. I did not tarry: I shared my time sensitive decision with the AJC’s Scott and began preparing for graduate school.
  5. Do what you say you are going to do. I finished strong from Medill and achieved a Master of Science in (Financial) Journalism degree.  I prayed for a great job and received four interviews at reputable newspapers in Florida, South Carolina and Illinois.
  6. I was open to repeating similar steps that a year before proved successful.  I am adding my graduate school educators and external mentors to my expanding thank you list. They are Dr. Elizabeth Yamishita,  Bill Hainey, Jay Harris, Marilyn Moats Kennedy, Monroe Anderson and Carole Carmichael.

Thank you to all teachers and especially to my favorites for sharing their knowledge of academics and perhaps the most important education of all: Wisdom of life. I carry your lessons of ethics, smart work, love, commitment, awareness, forgiveness and confidence.

Pictured: My mentor and journalist Carole Carmichael greeting the Hon. Nelson Mandela.



Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes.  Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects.