Covington author and speaker Jamila Harris knows the reality of balancing a jam-packed life as a wife and mother of four children ranging from 8 years to 6 months old while working from home. She postponed her dream of being a published author until after the birth of her fourth child. In her 2008 publication, "Determining Your Journey," she uses biblical values with personal, uplifting testimonies to show readers how to experience triumph, happiness and fulfillment every day.
Harris is the founder of Healing of a Broken Heart Ministry. Her goal in writing is to cause effective, positive change in people, their families and their communities by motivating and encouraging them to understand that God can and will heal the broken hearted and bind their wounds. Her devotionals and Bible-based curriculum offer words of encouragement and a time of self evaluation.
In April 2008, Harris began writing devotionals and shared them through e-mails with friends. As time passed, she began evaluating her life on a deeper level.
In January, Harris welcomed 54 participants to the "I Made It" conference and book signing. Her husband Jerel, in support of her goals, sang in the assembly and provided camera and technical assistance.
Harris’ second conference and book signing, "Loving Your Marriage," was attended by 36 attendees who gathered in a romantic setting where they were served dinner and encouraged to commit to a more supportive role with their spouse. Participants had the opportunity to renew their vows.
In addition to these activities, Harris is also president of the Georgia division of Texas Black Americans for Life and an active member of the East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers. She holds a Master in Education from Troy University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Central Oklahoma. She taught at Conyers Middle School, Woodlee’s Christian Academy and Johnson’s Learning Center in Atlanta.
Harris’s mother was also an educator and all of her role models worked outside the home. After the birth of her first child, Harris attended a Bible fellowship with other stay-at-home moms. She realized that God was calling her to re-evaluate her worth in the home, rather than concentrating on having a career. Her third publication, "Hidden Secrets of Motherhood," encourages mothers to embrace God as their source and guide in being a mother.
On May 10, Harris will speak at 9 a.m. for the Mother’s Day Breakfast at her home church, White’s Chapel UMC, where she and her husband are youth leaders.
Harris’s eldest daughter, Haniyah, 8, as been reading since the age of four. Inspired by her mother’s work and many trips to the library, Haniyah recently wrote and illustrated her first book as a second grader at South Salem Elementary School. Her publication, "Tanisha’s Departure to School" is based on her personal experience of leaving her friends behind after being assigned to a new school in her area. She wrote the story to help children who make similar adjustments.
"I was really inspired as a mother to publish Haniyah’s book after going to Lynne Rienstra’s ‘You Grow, Girl’ Bible study group," said Harris. "It was there that I was able to see how God made us so much alike. I could truly grasp the concept of the scripture, ‘Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it’ (Proverbs 22:6 NLT). When she gets older she will not feel as if she doesn’t know how to write for God because her foundation about the Father is being deeply rooted in her as a child. I am grateful for ‘You Grow Girl’ because we have connected in more ways than I could have imagined."
When asked to describe her mother, Haniyah ran to a stool in the kitchen and climbed up to reach a special cup in the cabinet. As she read from the words on the outside of the cup, she said, "My mother is beautiful, loving, special, caring, sweet, wonderful, strong, dependable and wise."
Her mom responded by describing her daughter as remarkable, very intelligent, and extremely inspiring.
Harris is available to teach workshops for writers groups, offer presentations for children or school groups, and speaks to groups on a variety of topics related to writing, working from home and finding your purpose in God. Additional topics are available on the web site.
Jamila and Haniyah Harris will be at the Olde Town Fine Arts Festival in Conyers on May 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Harris is taking registrations at www.hbheart.org for her next project, a mother’s retreat and makeover for 25 women. For more information, contact Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.