Teacher, Mother, Author, Business Owner
By Marguerite Cleveland
Photo by Samantha Elise Tillman
Dawn Morris could aptly be called a renaissance woman. She served her community as a teacher, owns her own business and is an author whose work is inspired by her own faith journey, all while raising five children.
Q. You have been both a teacher and a homeschool mom. Can you give our readers some tips on how to navigate homeschooling?
A. Give yourself grace. Chances are, as a parent, you didn’t have homeschooling “modeled” for you. Homeschooling doesn’t have to look like a classroom. You have an advantage over a teacher because you know and love your child. You’ll know when your child really doesn’t “get” something or when they’re not doing their best. My children were highly motivated to be able to go and play outside, so they typically finished their assignments before lunch. Homeschooling means more time to be a kid—and no homework! You have time to “dive deep” into subjects your child is interested in and have fun learning together! Expect conflict. View it as an opportunity to address character issues in yourself or your child. Both my husband and I would regularly have “state of the union” discussions where we would share concerns or encouragement about how we were relating to each of our children. Being quick to ask forgiveness was a high priority as we raised our five kids. If you are a single parent, I think it is important to have regular conversations with someone you trust. We all need a sounding-board as we navigate parenting—especially when adding a big responsibility like homeschooling during a pandemic.
Q. How does one go from being a teacher to owning a salon?
A. [My daughter] Lindsey was a stylist but stopped doing what she loved because it’s not always a great working environment. … So, when we decided to open a business in the community, we decided the Bishops Cut and Color franchise was a great fit with our values. We believe that stylists and barbers are artists who make us look good! Our store is a positive environment where our staff are all valued as unique individuals. At Bishops University Place, our foundation rests on customer service, taking pride in our craft, and creating a space where everyone is accepted.
Q. You lost your daughter in a horrific motorcycle accident. Many of us are suffering the loss of loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. Can you share with our readers how your faith helped you cope with such a devastating loss?
A. Death is terrible, and even though it’s a reality, it’s unnatural and wrong. I believe that’s why Jesus wept just before raising Lazarus from the dead. The worst thing I’ve ever had to do was to drive to my husband’s work and tell him that our daughter, Lindsey, had been killed. I’ve followed Jesus for 40 years now, through many trials and hardships. He’s always been faithful. All through that dark time of walking through the death of our daughter, God continually provided all of our needs. I have peace because Lindsey loved Jesus. So, I have confidence that she’s not gone, she’s only gone ahead.
Q. Not only are you a business woman owning your own hip fusion barbershop/salon, but you are the author of The One Series, a set of books with fictional characters living in a world based on your interpretation of the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Many think of the Bible as only a spiritual book. As an English minor in college, can you share how the book is also a great work of literature?
A. The Bible is unique as far as religious literature goes. It’s actually made up of 66 books, written by 40 authors over a period of about 1,500 years. It is a book which holds many themes that begin in Genesis and end in Revelation. I used to be an atheist but became a Christian after listening to a pastor teach Revelation verse by verse. The perfectly fulfilled prophecies of the first coming of Jesus Christ convinced me of the accuracy of the Bible as a whole. As a writer, and a minor in English, I was fascinated with the structure of Revelation. Little in the book is actually new information! There are over 800 allusions
and direct quotes from the Old Testament. The book of Revelation puts those prophecies in sequential order. When writing the One series, I used the structure of the book of Revelation as the “spine” of my storyline. As I wrote, I tried to imagine what those prophecies coming to pass in our day would look like. The characters changed and developed as they learned how to cope with incredibly frightening situations and supernatural experiences.
Q. Growing up in the Bible Belt where whole cities just shut down on Sunday mornings so people could go to church, what was it like to move to a more secular area of the country?
A. My husband and I have moved to a new house 17 times in 35 years of marriage—two of those times to other countries which are very secular, so it really wasn’t a shock moving to this area. I was shocked at how many churches there are and how many people are involved in a variety of ministries. There are organizations who care for the homeless, that care for victims of sex trafficking, children who are in Child Protective Services, help people learn new skills. … It’s truly amazed me how the community does try and care in so many ways for other people.