Dear Family and Friends!
Today is December 26, 2020. There are 5 days remaining in this banner year. 2020 has proven to be one of the hardest years I have ever experienced in my lifetime when you look at it in the global sense. I have seen SO MUCH LOSS this year. Many people connected to me and including me have experienced setbacks this year that have been seemingly insurmountable. Even in the midst of ALL OF THAT I can truly say that God has been faithful and he has kept me and my family through it all! Even in a pandemic, the hand of God has been so plain in my view this year – my 2020 view – that I cannot do anything but give him glory for all he has done.
That being said, as I continue this letter praising God for great things, if you have suffered losses that you still feel, I mean for this letter to ENCOURAGE you that God is still on the throne. He is making IT ALL work together for YOUR good. The fact that you are reading this means – YOU MADE IT! It also means we SURVIVED 2020 – Covid and all.
The highlight for the BARTON family as a whole was the wedding of my bonus daughter Carmen to our new son-in-love Anthony! We traveled to sunny California – masks and hand sanitizer in tow – and had the best time! The wedding was located at a beautiful mansion in Malibu, and was the perfect backdrop to a perfect day. Carmen was gorgeous and so happy!
Our family was expanded to the Carthan’s and God has blessed this union. Isadore was a proud papa and 2020 and all it had to bring could not stop him from walking his one and only daughter down the aisle with the Pacific Ocean as a scenic view. It was a fabulous weekend and I laughed and cried and danced and had the time of my life. Carmen worked so hard on her custom decorations during the quarantine. She took the time to create a lasting memory not only for her and Anthony but for all of us.
I have not been able to visit any family this year in Tennessee, Kentucky or Kansas City due to Covid, but we have been having family Zoom get togethers. During the latter part of this year we have been able to gather remotely every other Sunday with me and my first cousins, mom, auntie, uncles and more. It has been a great way to STAY TOGETHER. It’s not too late to join the every other Sunday fun! Text me for the info!
This Thanksgiving we saw Carmen and Anthony on their first Thanksgiving as THE CARTHANS because she had a comedy show in St Louis. We had a great meal and I made a few Momma Johnnie/ Uncle Michael recipes and I connected with my sister Kendra who is a culinary master and got some tips as well. It was delicious! Look at that beautiful bird pictured right! At the end of the day, there was much to be thankful for. One other random add to this part of the 2020 story is that I still had basil and rosemary from the GARDEN THAT I PLANTED THIS YEAR! See how I just slid that in. Can you believe your bug averse Dagne…don’t like OUTDOORS at all Dagne…scared of all things creepy crawly Dagne planted and grew a beautiful Garden box on her deck! YES! I had tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers OH MY! It tasted amazing and I was so proud of me! It was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I plan to do one every year now!
What will IsaVeggie Garton grow in 2021??? EEEK Over the past couple of years, I have been working on my LifeCoach Certification. I have been taking classes and reading books and more. This year, however, I decided to get it done by enrolling in the Weekend Intensive program which is the Academy of Creative Coaching’s accelerated 60-hour program for coaches and professionals seeking certification. I finished and it was amazing. I am working on my finishing with 100 hours of coaching and over halfway with those. Vivian (my BFF) and I graduated from a year-long career development program – St Louis Business Initiative Fellows Program –and made lifelong impact to both of us. Covid did not stop us, as we were able to the latter part of the program on Zoom but we made it!
SideNote: don’t get alarmed. I am not going to make this a 4-5 pager this year. I am editing myself. I reread the one from last year and OMG who does that – it was too much. So I just wanted to jump in midway here to tell you that there are only three more paragraphs not pages! OK – moving on….
Meanwhile at New Life – or Virtual New Life as 2020 has birthed – we have kept going in more ways than one. We did not miss a beat. LifeChangers (members of our church) rolled with the punches and helped take our online presence to the next level. Not only that but our entire staff including my girls Anne and Salise stepped up adding Sundays to the schedule so we could make it happen with a smaller group while letting the volunteers remain safe! They learned cameras and switchers and ProPresenter oh my! In other Kingdom news….Isadore and I were blessed to take our pastors out back in January when people could go eat in person outside of the home in public…..remember that? Love them and appreciate all they do! Also in this part of the recap, we said farewell to two of my babies – Pastor Mo and Pastor Travis who have moved to Chicagoland with two career moves God blessed them with this year! Proud of them. If u are not already streaming with us sometimes, then first of all I must not have your number in my phone and secondly you must already have a great church home – either way YAY and join us at www.nlicic.org/live whenever you like! 930amCST Sunday!
I am so proud of my hubby – I adore Isadore – for many reasons, but this year he has just been amazing. First of all, he is an essential worker, so there were no work from home days off for him during the shutdown. He had to continue going to work in person at Wash U School of Medicine. In addition to that his district Men’s ministry hosted a nightly prayer call (he was the host EACH NIGHT) for 6 months. He was so entirely faithful to this and God truly blessed as they bathed the pandemic and more in prayer. He could not go to church in person (or anywhere for that matter due to being an essential worker and limiting exposure to Covid) so this was a way God was able to use him for his glory. I could not have been more proud and honored to be his wife.
This last paragraph is going to be all over the place and YET will also make you smile with me – so here we go. I started this newsletter talking about 2020 and the obvious things that made it challenging for each of us. What God revealed to me is that even though we have suffered some losses, we have also had triumphs. In national news BYE-Don! Can we get a K A M A L A! Historic wins happened this year! We exercised our power to vote EVEN IN A PANDEMIC. Super proud of us! I was a bit of pest on social media from September to November but it was worth it. I got an apple watch this time last year. Closing rings MEANT NOTHING TO ME until the June or so when I jumped on it. YouTube dance and exercise videos let me know that a gym membership was not ever needed AT ALL! Who knew? I cooked more this year!
I EVEN BAKED! My famous strawberry cake is pictured and there is even video footage of a taste test on my YouTube Channel (MyChannel) I am active in my sorority again as of this year! I joined the East St Louis Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta! I am excited to be connected again. I have been coaching and consulting clients via zoom this year. I am so proud of my clients. Let’s give it up for Zoom! They just came out of nowhere and became needed like toilet paper around here. Zoom made it possible for me to have a birthday zoom for Isadore with over 30 family members and friends all over the country. Zoom made it possible to connect with family to plan for Carmen’s wedding! Zoom made it possible for us to keep our scholarship program going by doing interviews of the candidates on Zoom1 Zoom made it possible to double my business for ValUAdded Consulting being able to connect remotely much easier for everyone! Zoom made it possible for me to become a certified LifeCoach as I could do the Weekend Intensive without flying to Atlanta. Zoom made it possible for us to facilitate LifeGroups in the Spring and the Fall and have an even greater reach and more impact. Side note – I was able to have one of my best friends from high school – Melissa Murray – in my last lifegroup – that would not have happened except – PANDEMIC! Ok I am back – Zoom made it possible to meet with the staff and have our weekly devotions when we couldn’t do them in person. Zoom Zoom Zoom made it possible for connection to continue and for that I AM GRATEFUL. So the award for best supporting actor in the DRAMA Series that was 2020 – ZOOM! The summary of this story is this. There have been some terrible hits this year, but in the midst – we have had some wins. God is still BIGGER.
I am so glad we had this time together – just to have a laugh or read a newsletter – seems we just got started and before you know it – I kept my promise and will say…so long….EXCEPT FOR THE P.S. BELOW. (SMILE)
Dagne and Isadore
Mobile – 618-593-3311
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PS - For those family and friends in school in 2021 – check out my scholarships on my website! Please apply! CLICK ON RESOURCES ON MY WEBSITE FOR THE APPLICATIONS.
• Gurl That’s U – Little Sis We Got U - $200-350 (For College Freshmen only) – 2 will be awarded
• Gurl That’s U Again – $300-400 (For single mom going back to school – Age 25+)
• Gurl That’s Ur Side Hustle Skills up to $150-250 (For any women wanting to take online courses to learn a new skill for a side hustle)
• Gurl That’s Ur Business – up to $150 (for any woman needing to update a license for your business to get on track or 2 months business credit counseling)
To donate to the scholarship fund, Cash App $CoachDagne or