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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

It’s been two years since I posted a picture letting everyone know I finished the book I started in November 2018.

I'm celebrating and reflecting on that journey. WHEN I WAS 4O was filled with pivotal moments in my life. I think about the subtitle Overcame Some Challenges, Still Learning and Growing, and I am grateful. Though I finished the book, like most people I still face challenges. With God’s help and the support and prayers of loved ones, I am still overcoming, learning, and growing.

I love hearing from people who have read my book telling me it helped in some way. It’s such a blessing to hear about what they’ve learned to keep moving forward.

Last year, I met a young man in his twenties who wondered how he could benefit from reading WHEN I WAS 40. A person that age can discover what to avoid and how to respond to situations differently. I challenged him to read it with an open mind and that if he didn’t learn anything, I’d refund his money. I think he read it because I have not received a refund request! But seriously, I don't think anyone should

get stuck on the title and think you can’t relate because of your age. I’m proud to say that readers in their twenties to eighties have expressed how much my book has helped them. So, I need you to help me celebrate these two years. I’m asking each of you who’ve read it to post a sentence or two. I’m sure something you say will help another person. I thank you in advance!

Just so you know, at the beginning of each chapter I share something I experienced when I was 40. Then I share what I learned, and how I’ve grown since that time, and each chapter ends with reflection questions. I've been told it would be ideal for a personal or group study. Check it out where books are sold and at the local library. I would love to hear from you. @charlenestevensjenkins on all social platforms. I’m here to encourage, inspire and motivate! For previous blogs and more information, visit I’m praying for you!

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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

Ever since I can remember, we’ve had family reunions in July. I just learned that July is National Family Reunion Month! I didn’t know until I was preparing for a Livestream earlier this month. I know African American family reunions have been around as long as I can remember, but they actually date back to Emancipation. It’s not surprising that once freed, my ancestors would make every effort to reunite with their loved ones and celebrate. I am a descendant of the Stevens and Anderson families, and the Stevens family tries to gather annually, and the Andersons every three years. I look forward to seeing my loved ones and celebrating our bond.

I was with my dad’s side of the family, the Stevens, the first weekend of July, and with my mom’s side, the Andersons, the second weekend of this month. It has been an amazing time with my family.

I planned to do the FB Live in Atlanta with the Anderson Family because our last reunion was in 2019 and we’ve had several losses, including our matriarch, Aunt Lois Anderson (Miami FL). We never know when we will see each other for the last time. During the Friday night activities, I felt inspired to interview the two oldest grandchildren of Papa Charlie and Grandma Bertha. They were Cousins Charley Anderson and Juanita Singleton. On Saturday at the park, I asked for their permission, and we met after a beautiful church service. They shared what they loved most about the family reunion. We had a wonderful time, and it was such a special moment. It was such an honor to speak with them and I’m looking forward to meeting with them again. I wasn’t satisfied with the lighting and the sound, so we will have a do-over Sunday, July 31st, right after the service at New Anderson Grove in Riceboro, my hometown.

I’m so honored. This will not be our only time meeting and recording their thoughts. I think it’s so important for all families to listen to and capture the rich history, while they still remember it. This is only the beginning of something amazing, something that can be treasured and shared with the next generation.

I hope you’re reading this and feel inspired to start recording your own history. It doesn’t matter if your family includes only one other person. That’s ok. You don’t have to wait until you have hundreds of people to account for. Start with the person or people you have and begin right where you are. Those who come along later can build on your foundation. One day someone will want to hear about you and those who come after you.

I’m praying for you. Call, email, or DM me. Let’s communicate. I’m here to encourage, inspire and motivate.

To read all blog posts, visit

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  • Charlene Stevens Jenkins

I’m having such a wonderful weekend! Juneteenth Festival Celebrating Freedom at the Riceboro Youth Center then Father’s Day and my birthday on the same day! I will enjoy a Juneteenth Celebration with my coworkers this week. Last year, Juneteenth became a federal holiday.

I’ve always been excited about doing something special for my birthday. Because of the significance of Juneteenth and what it means, I have a new appreciation for freedom. Many of my ancestors died before they could see freedom from enslavement and enjoy the liberties we have today. I don’t take anything for granted. I have so many liberties and I recognize the high price others paid so I could have them. Through them, I exercise my rights and fully understand how important they are.

In the same way that I reflect on my civil liberties, I think about my spiritual freedom. God, our Heavenly Father, sent His only Son to pay the ultimate price for our freedom from sin and bondage. His death gave me freedom, abundance, and eternal life. I remember His gift every day and as I partake in the Holy Communion. We remember Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection and its power in our lives over sin, death, and the grave. Sin no longer controls us. We honor God by living clean lives.

When it comes to opportunities, I’m so blessed to share time with my parents this weekend. I am so elated to celebrate freedom, recognize the abolishment of slavery, and celebrate fatherhood with my dad on Father’s Day. I celebrate and thank God for my Daddy who is loving, supportive, dependable, and hard-working. He made sure I went to church and was very instrumental in making sure I was introduced to our Heavenly Father when I was young. God has blessed me with a wonderful family. So, on Juneteenth I’m grateful to celebrate my natural and spiritual birth!

If you’re having a difficult time putting faith in a Heavenly Father because you didn’t have the example of a good earthly father, it’s ok. God already knows that you’re struggling, and He wants to have a relationship with you. His unconditional love is everything. You can start fresh today with the most important connection of your lifetime. Just call His name. You can start today. Psalm 145:18 AMPC “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth.” I’m praying for you. DM, call, or email me. Let’s communicate. I’m here to encourage, inspire, and motivate.

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