“I started this blog really to process through the pain,” she recalls. “I literally had gotten tired of waking up every morning crying. That, I needed to channel, to find encouragement for myself, to give myself something to focus on and to share that encouragement with others.”
Marva says it was literally weeks after losing her dad that she unearthed this propensity to pen these faith pieces. She was writing from her own personal experience, but oddly enough, it wasn’t about loss. She wrote about the good and positive from the scriptures and on topics including how to manage time from a Christian perspective.
Now an enthusiastic blogger, Marva was led to align herself with an international community of online bloggers. This propelled her to write even more.
An opportunity to contribute to a new book came up as she became part of the group Entrusted Women, which seeks to equip Christian communicators of colour. The opportunity was shared by Sandra Dalton Smith, one of the women in the group who is an author herself.
The book ‘She Writes for Him: Black Voices of Wisdom’ is scheduled to be released on February 26, 2021, during Black History Month.
“This book is really a compilation; it’s 23 different chapters, 20 authors, all black women,” Marva reveals. “The goal of the publisher is to build that bridge of understanding between people in the body of Christ, with themes varying from leadership, racism, and judgement to career and overcoming. I am humbled that my story, ‘In the Middle of the Storm’, has been included.”
From a faith perspective, the authors wrote each chapter being a devotion in and of itself, with a reflective question, scripture, and a prayer.
“My story is about my family’s experience in Hurricane Irma in 2017 and relating that to the storms we face in life,” Marva reveals. “I feel fortunate that this is included in this book that is sharing these different perspectives of women of colour, because it weaves our story into a bigger picture as well.”
The book is available for purchase on Amazon, and there will be copies for sale locally.
It is Marva Titley Smith’s first book, and she will be happy to autograph your personal copy.
Marva is married to Sylvester Smith. Their 17-year marriage has produced two children, ages 15 and 13.
She was a public officer for 26 years, holding different positions in Public Sector Development and the Premier’s Office, but mainly in planning and architecture. She retired as Chief Planner in the Town & Country Planning Department in 2012, after having made a sterling contribution to sustainable physical development in the Territory.
Marva is proud of her new role as an author. She looks back on her personal and professional life and can clearly see the connection between her formal career and what she now does in her private capacity.
“In my former career, it was designing buildings and spaces and the regulatory side of that as well,” she says. “And now, where my passion really lies is in helping people live their God-designed lives, whatever that might look like, from a Christian perspective”.
She points out that one of the reasons she made the switch was to invest more in her family, as where she was in her career path at the time, her priorities had shifted.
Marva’s private consulting firm, MatrixSpark (www.matrixspark.com), works with public sector entities, non-governmental organizations, and the small and medium-sized business sector to offer training and development, business solutions, and community-led urban development initiatives.
“So that part of it is where I help organizations develop their teams, their staff, their people,” she explains.
Marva brings a wealth of experience to her own firm. She obtained a Master of Science degree in Architecture & Urban Design from Columbia University in 1996 and holds the distinction of being the first local female architect in her native British Virgin Islands.
She is also a Certified Business Continuity Manager, Chartered Manager, and a Fellow of the UK-based Chartered Management Institute. Since 2012, she has been the lead tutor for the Chartered Management Institute’s Management and Leadership Training Programme at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. She is the President of the Overseas Countries and Territories Chapter of the Caribbean Management Consultants (CMC) and a member of the CMC’s Board of Directors.
For individual coaching, there is MarvaSmith.com, offering one-on-one work-life coaching.
“I say I’m a work and life strategist because I straddle that space between life and work, particularly the working, professional woman,” Marva says. “So it’s those two spaces, the Leadership and Management Development and then that sort of one-on-one coaching, as well really from a Christian perspective, because I really like to bring my faith into all that I do.”
As far as her writing is concerned, Marva is looking forward to realizing a dream to author her own book, with her name on the cover.
“I see that God is using even this opportunity to show me what’s possible…people that I know have been encouraging me for some time to write that book…and so maybe 2021 is the year for that,” Marva ends by saying.
She underscores and reiterates the power of community, people supporting people, and thanks her own family for supporting her on this incredible journey.