More to Be is about more than just one woman’s mission to see real change transpire in others through the power of God at work in their lives. Rather, what you’ll find behind the scenes at More to Be is a collection of gals, from all seasons in life, offering their voices as they serve in various capacities. It is truly a collaborative effort.
Founder of More to Be
M2B Advisory Board
Linda has lived on Long Island her whole life and remembers the struggles and pressures of her teenage years all to well. Although she always loved God, she didn’t understand what it meant to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Since the time she surrendered her life to Christ in 1995, it has been her desire to reach the next generation with the Love of Jesus in a relevant way…by sharing her heart and life story. Through the years the Lord has given her, she has had the honor and privilege of mentoring some amazing young women, who in turn have changed her life and enriched it deeply. Linda is a self-employed hair designer and art teacher, both of which she counts as blessings. Linda is married to her husband, Anthony, for 26 years, and they have three grown children that she adores and cherishes.
Amanda lives in North Carolina with her husband and two little girls. Her greatest passion is women’s ministry and helping equip a new generation of strong leaders for God’s Kingdom. She is a women’s ministry leader in her church and also leads Acteens, a mission group for teen girls. When she’s not doing the juggling act between wife, mama, and ministry leader, she writes on her blog, Give Her Grace. Visit Amanda at givehergrace.blogspot.com
Brenda considers herself a “recovering single” after years as a single woman chasing her dreams instead of God’s dreams for her. Now she lives with her two miracles: her husband who God physically saved from Cardiomyopathy after a dramatic heart transplant and her baby girl who was recently born from those three hearts. Brenda encourages women to live a life surrendered to Jesus in every season on her blog, Triple Braided, and she recently published her first eBook, Fall for Him: 25 Challenges from a Recovering Single. Visit Brenda at Triple Braided Life and Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Sarah lives in Ohio with her husband, Steve, and their two children, Hannah and Owen. Although she’s dreamed of becoming a writer since age 8, her dream wasn’t realized until she began Making Much of Him 365 – a blog about intentionally making much of Jesus every day of the year, weaving Him throughout daily life. Sarah’s writing centers on God’s love and faithfulness -‐ Psalm 36:5, “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.”
Sarah grew up West Virginia and earned a Journalism degree from West Virginia University and a Master’s degree in Teaching English from Marshall University. Before writing full-time, she worked in public relations and taught high school English. Sarah loves spending time with her family and friends, serving others, reading, learning, and teaching. She has a heart for marriage and mentoring wives as well as teens. Visit with Sarah at her blog, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
As a recovering perfectionist, Jennifer is passionate about sharing the grace of Jesus with women, moms, teens and tweens. Through her various trials and mistakes, Jennifer has learned God’s amazing love and mercy remains consistent. (She also has learned motherhood sometimes requires a steam cleaner and Legos do not mix with bare feet.)
Jennifer has an M.S. in Communication Disorders, which served her well in her professional career as a speech-language pathologist and as a mother to a child with autism. She lives in Texas with her two daughters and husband Brandon of 12 years. As a cancer survivor, carpet-cleaning veteran, and originator of the “Messy House Ministry,” Jennifer is blessed daily to share joy, peace and humor with others.
Even though she is 39 (for the first time), Jennifer remembers the difficulty of her teen years, often reflecting that surviving cancer was easier than high school. She hopes to help others navigate the murky waters of adolescence with more grace than she did. Visit Jennifer at Twitter @JenniferDyer, JenniferDyer.net, JenniferDyerBooks.com, and on Facebook. You can also connect with her on MomLifeToday.
M2B Advisory Board & Contributing Writer
Cara has been working in the field of psychology for over 15 years. Professionally she has worked on research teams to assess and analyze behavior and development, presented at a conference, and written on topics of interest that are pending for possible publication. She did her graduate studies in counseling psychology which allowed her to apply the research and theories learned into a practice to help others. She has spent the past few years working as a Behavior Specialist, a counselor at Eastern University, and opening a private practice.
Cara is married and has three children that she adores. She lives at a boarding school in New York, which has given her the opportunity to serve as a dorm mom to teenage girls. She spends her free time cooking Italian food, playing music, and working on projects. Cara became a Christian as a teenager and has since then taken steps of faith to grow into the woman God has designed her to be for His purpose and glory.
Kaitlyn is from the Sunshine State but has totally fallen in love with the Magic City (Birmingham, Alabama). She’s a lover of words and crazy about the power of story – because every single story matters. Oh, and she’s unashamedly addicted to coffee, queso, and the smell of a new book.
In between writing on her blog and working as a Virtual Assistant for DaySpring, Holley Gerth and several others, Kaitlyn released her first book. If you’re walking in an in between, somewhere in the middle of your story and wondering where to turn and how to trust God on the pages you wouldn’t have chosen, Even If Not is for you! Connect with Kaitlyn at her blog or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Kristie freely admits that she needs to start each morning with a cup of coffee and a side of grace. Though it’s been a long process, she’s learning that being real trumps “perfection,” and goes much further in strengthening friendships and community. As the children’s minister at her church, Kristie loves seeing the truth of God speak to young hearts. She also has the opportunity to meet with middle and high school girls while hosting a book club for teens. In her most important role, Kristie is mom to two lovely ladies (ages 6 and 8) and wife to Aaron. Kristie and her family make their home in Minnesota.
Christine lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and their three beautiful girls, 13, 11 and 2. After going through some very difficult years of her own insecurity, she met God and surrendered her life to His leading. Since then, she has had a passion to teach and mentor young girls to build their foundation on God so that they live their lives secure.
As a Certified Biblical Life Breakthrough Coach, she teaches young girls and women to break through life’s challenges to rediscover their identity and purpose. This role as a coach and mentor has come very handy in her current girl-dominated household, as well as her years as a high school Sunday School teacher. She cherishes every connection she’s made with the girls, and considers many of them part of her own family.
A self-professed foodie, Christine loves to cook gourmet meals for her friends and family. She’s never without a book (or three), loves to go on hikes with the family, is horribly addicted to her smartphone, and strives to bring beauty into every aspect of her life. She recently has decided to learn again how to play the violin, much to the dismay of her family. Visit Christine at her blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
Christie Hagerman, originally from South Carolina, has been transplanted to the heart of South America, alongside her husband of 20 years and their two teen daughters. She and her husband serve as missionaries to youth, focusing on evangelism and discipleship to tweens, teens, and young adults. She’s passionate about impacting this generation as a mentor, teacher, and friend and finds ways to connect with them through English classes, small groups, Bible studies at the juvenile prison, and the opening and operation of a Christian cafe in the town she’s come to love calling home–Encarnacion, Paraguay. You can find her posting about life and ministry on her blog, http://www.hagermans.blogspot.com, reviewing books at Hammock Librarian , pinning away on Pinterest, and checking in on Facebook.
M2B Advisory Board & Contributing Writer
Cherie Werner is a mother to three daughters ages 25, 23, and 13. She is passionate about spiritual growth, husband and her family. She loves to learn, and believes that the key to true success in relationships is loving others authentically. Cherie is keen on encouraging women in their roles as wives and mothers. It is her desire to help women become aware of the legacy that they want to leave behind. Writing and speaking is a way for her to share what she has learned along the journey. Visit Cherie at http://thewerners.org/.
Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird
Kristen and Bethany are two sisters from Texas with a background in Biblical counseling, young women’s ministry, teen mentoring, online blogging, and are the founders of GirlDefined Ministries. They are passionate about fighting feminism, embracing gender distinctions, and empowering girls to live out their God defined purpose. You can find them at www.girldefined.com or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/girldefined.
Karin is wife to a warrior and homeschooling mom to a six-pack of beautiful children. She holds degrees in English and Education, and has a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Yet with all her degrees she somehow missed for more than 30 years what is now the most important book in her life – the Bible.
Karin has spent the last 16 years following her Air Force fighter pilot husband where God leads, and she spends most of her time with their exuberant crew of six. She is a writer who blogs at Sunrise With A Six Pack about her faith journey through the eyes of a mother, a military wife, and a woman who lived more than three decades believing in a distant God. As a first generation American of German-born parents she holds dearly the freedom we have in this country to openly share our faith. She writes stories through the lens of the moments we live everyday and the wisdom God gives her in these moments. She writes to inspire and encourage – to remind others they are not alone.
Her goal is to be bold with grace, speak truth in love, and challenge herself daily to show the real, raw emotion that comes with battling doubt and finding faith. In 2014, Karin released her first eBook, Shine – 25 Stories of Light in the Darkness. Visit Karin at Sunrise with a Six Pack, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google +.
Stacy is a small-town country girl with a love for the big city, good food, coffee shops, and thrifting. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Samford University, a Master’s in Christian Education, and a Doctor of Education degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. After serving churches in Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee, she and her family enjoy life in a beautiful, small university town at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Alabama.
For the last 13 years she’s served her family as a full-time stay-at-home wife and mother and loved (almost) every minute of it. During that time she has learned how to make a home, cook for a crowd, homeschool five children, and live joyfully on a budget. Through it all Stacy clings to the truths she learns in God’s Word. You can read about her journey toward wholeheartedly loving and obeying God at www.blueskyobedience.com.
Kimberly is known for her creativity, strong faith, and commitment to living life with purpose and passion. Her desire is to impact the next generation through the truth of God’s Word and relationship. As the co-founder and managing editor of Circles of Faith Media, Kimberly builds community among women both online and in person through live events. She is also an entrepreneur, designer, and a contributing writer at Faith Gateway. Kimberly lives with her husband Carl and their three children in the NYC suburbs. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Etsy shop
Jen has written in some capacity for as long as she can remember. After resigning from her teaching career to stay at home with her two young boys, she became a freelance writer and editor. She’s also writing a book about her birth as a mother and her journey of letting go and holding on to Jesus. She writes about faith and motherhood at her blog www.cookiesandsanity.com. You can find her on Instagram (her favorite of all things social media!) @jenbabakhan, and on Twitter @jennbabakhan. She lives in California with her husband and boys and enjoys visiting the beach, where she always feels her soul refreshed.
Emily is a twenty-something native Iowan who enjoys traveling and spending time with the people she loves. She met Jesus when she was in college and her life has never been the same since. The Lord has impressed on her heart the importance of equipping women to live out their calling as daughters of God. After graduating from Drake University, Emily spent a total of a year and a half teaching English in China. She now works in public relations and writes as much as possible. Emily was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease and is learning what it means to trust God to meet her daily needs. She would love to connect with you more! Visit Emily on Twitter, Instagram, and at her personal blog: emilylofgren.com.
Christie Thomas is the Director of Children’s Ministries at her church in Alberta, Canada, as well as a mom of three busy boys. She is the author of Wise for Salvation: Meaningful Devotions for Families with Little Ones, a finalist in the 2016 Word Awards. Download her free e-book, Guiding your child into relationship with Jesus or read more about her friendship journey on her blog. You can also catch her on Facebook.
Maretha Retief is a follower of Jesus, a wife and mommy who lives in Pretoria, South Africa. Being born with a disability, she writes with a purpose to reveal the love of Jesus to the world in spite of our shortcomings. Visit Maretha at www.seasonswithchrist.com.
Laura Beth Martin
Laura Beth is a lover of Jesus, a writer of words, and a pharmacist that makes her home in Southwest Arkansas among the same people who taught her long division and world history. She’s a recovering people pleaser who believes wholeheartedly that God has called her to write and speak about living in the freedom his grace provides. She and her husband have four children. She writes for imperfect hearts and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog at laurabethmartin.com
As a high school English teacher, Jennie always encouraged her students to chase their dreams. After nine years in the classroom, she recently left to chase her own dream of writing. The mom of two writes about enjoying whatever life throws your way, even if (and especially when) it isn’t what you planned. Her own unexpected journey is now her ministry.
When she’s not braving the elements at her son’s sports practices or driving her daughter to gymnastics, she loves to run and to read what the Amazon fairy delivers! She is active in the church she helped launch, and during football season, her blood runs orange for the Clemson Tigers. Visit Jennie at www.jenniegscott.com.
Meet Lori Sammartino, repurposed school teacher turned women’s Life Purpose Coach and firm believer that “all things have the potential to be made anew.” From this fundamental belief springs forth Lori’s mission: to inspire contagious hope in women and girls in search of a fresh start or new beginning,
because where there is hope, miracles blossom.
Since 2007, when Lori founded Bloom Into Being, LLC, she’s been providing individual and group coaching services and offering creative arts workshops and trainings with the purpose of empowering women and girls to discover their own God-given talents and gifts. Prior to that, Lori built her coaching experience in the Pittsburgh public school system where she served as an Education Coach, helping staff improve in their reflective practice as teachers. From that role, a passion was sparked in Lori to see others grow both personally and professionally, and that’s what led her to earn life coaching certification in 2006.
Because Lori enjoys showcasing God’s creative potential to remake, restore, and repurpose human lives for His splendor and glory, she’s ready to encourage and equip you for the exciting journey that lies ahead. Let today be the first day of the rest of your life when you choose to embark upon all that life coaching has to offer. Visit Lori at www.bloomintobeing.com.
As a Certified Life and Business Coach, Female Entrepreneur, Ministry Leader, Dance Choreographer, Manager and Stylist, Vanessa works with women daily to be the BEST they can be through encouragement, accountability, praise, fashion and personal style, goal setting and support. It is her passion to truly inspire women and to help them to achieve greatness in their life and work place. She helps bring the vision for your life and/or business ALIVE again! Not only can it be brought alive again, but it can become FABULOUSLY ALIVE! She is passionate about serving as a success/business life coach for women including busy moms, female entrepreneurs and college students. Visit Vanessa at http://www.vanessakromer.com/.
Jaci serves in full-time ministry with youth and their families and Spanish speakers alongside her husband Ramon, for whom she has been married to for almost 4 years. They have two lovely daughters! Jaci considers herself a full time homemaker, although she has a background in physical therapy. Her passion is for the Bible and encouraging others. She also blogs at Desiring to Be Titus 2, inspired from the challenge found in Titus 2:3-5. Jaci’s life verse is Phil. 3:10. Visit Jaci at www.desiringtobetitus2.com.
First and foremost, Susan considers herself a child of the King, followed by being a wife and mommy to four beautiful children (three girls and a boy). She is also Momma to several teenagers in her youth group that just really need and want someone other than their parents that they could talk to and question about so many things! Her heart for teens stems from that longing she had when she was a teen for someone to answer her questions! She doesn’t want others to be lost because no one was available to answer their questions. Susan lives on a small hobby farm in northern Indiana, where she loves to garden, read, go for long walks, camp, and hang with her friends and family and all of their animals! Visit Suz at http://www.mommasuzs.blogspot.com/.
Elisa is a life-long mentor, professional trainer, speaker, and trained Christian life coach whose purpose is to help women and girls of all ages become all that God has called them to be. She passionately and energetically shares her life experiences to encourage, support and spiritually mentor others through authenticity and transparency, but most of all based on the Word of God. She is the founder of Divine Exchanges, an organization committed to equipping and empowering individuals, families and communities in making a difference in the lives of future generations through Leadership, Mentorship, and Discipleship. As a wife to Brent and a mother to her two lovely daughters, she faithfully embraces her first calling to serve those within her home. Visit Elisa on Twitter at @DivineExchanges and her website (once it debuts) www.divineexchanges.org.
Josie is a mom of two. She can be found at her church nearly every night of the week – whether it be for the kids’ basketball, taking the kids to other various activities, or teaching or taking classes herself. Josie is a part of the women’s leadership team in her church’s care ministry, and she has led and co-led several classes and support-focused groups. She received certification in Biblical counseling from Southwestern Baptist in Fort Worth, Texas in August of 2013.
While Josie loves participating in all areas of women’s ministry, her current focus is as the volunteer coordinator and facilitator of her church’s single moms’ ministry, which she – as a single mom, herself – helped to initiate in the fall of 2011. Josie loves to read, loves to write, and loves to teach. Her heart in ministry is to help the lost and the hurting find the hope and peace that only Jesus can provide, to allow her testimony to be a demonstration of Christ’s healing redemption, and to live her life in a way that reflects the glory of the One she serves. Visit Josie on Facebook and at her blog www.christian-single-mom.blogspot.com.
Mentoring Leader & Contributing Writer
Kalie has a passion for youth ministry and helping teens find their true identity in Jesus and develop a lasting relationship with Him. What began as a God-sized dream to minister to youth in an official capacity, culminated when she was offered the position of assistant chaplain at a Christian boarding high school. Before jumping in youth ministry, Kalie worked as a freelance Christian book editor and a public relations professional. She is also a certified Christian life coach and the author of Grab Your Boarding Pass, a tween devotional.
In addition to spending time with God and nurturing those He puts in her path, Kalie has a variety of interests outside of ministry, including reading, cycling, traveling, playing the piano, woodworking, and gardening. A perfect day for her is spending time with her family or students playing together or engaging in meaningful conversations. Kalie is married to her best friend, and together they have two teenage children.
Stephanie writes for Read Cook Devour where she shares reliable recipes, strategies for purposeful living, and devotional nuggets in Scripture. Stephanie, her husband and two children are living on the west coast of Florida. She is most likely to jump into a conversation about good food or impactful literature. In between housework she takes advantage of her sometimes-clean kitchen, to cook or bake another mess. Stephanie enjoys a glass of wine, but can usually be talked into ice cream instead. Connect with Stephanie at www.readcookdevour.com and on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
The More to Be Team is blessed with many women serving behind-the-scenes. They are each deeply committed to praying for and directing the mission of the ministry. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.