About Shanel

Bonjour Divas,

I’m Shanel Coutourier, nope I’m not from New Orleans, but originally from Chicago. I moved to Washington, DC to study journalism at Howard University. While obtaining my bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, I needed to do an internship. As fate would have it, I missed the opportunity to intern with my 1st choice (WPGC FM) and ended up with an internship at Heaven 1580AM, a Christian radio station affiliate of WPGC (CBS radio). I wasn’t a Christian and knew nothing about gospel music. After graduation, I became the producer of the four-hour afternoon radio program “The Afternoon Traffic Jam”. Then later went on to host my own show “Gospel Grooves”, a prerecorded show that featured gospel music programming airing overnights five times a week.

I believe that God has a sense of humor and used the gospel music to open my heart up to the Lord. In 2001, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and was baptized at a local church. That was the beginning of my journey from a life of drama and chaos to a life full of peace and joy. When I came out of the baptism water, I wholeheartedly believed that I was the “new creature” they talked about:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new
– 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

As I began my walk with the Lord, I began to embrace the truth of being a child of The King.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God
– John 1: 12 -13 (NIV)

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if we are his children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ– Romans 8:16 -17a (NIV)

What is the daughter of a king called? A princess, of course. Most days I didn’t feel like a princess, but more like a caterpillar stuck between who I was and who I was to become. Quite frankly I started to learn that my actions and mindset was not of someone who belonged to a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Through His word, Christian community, and some mature godly women (I call the Grand Divas), my life began to transform. As I struggled with this new life, I clung to this scripture:

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are Your Works, and That my soul knows very well – Psalm 139-14

Slowly I began to walk into my destiny as an heir to the King and becoming whole in Him. I made Jesus the number one man in my life. Ironically in 2006, I met my husband, Daryl Coutourier (You can learn more about our story at www.DarylandShanel.com).We got married in 2008, got a dog (a mixed Bichon named Prince) in 2009, bought our first home in 2010, and had David in 2011. This is when I realized that my life was full! But was I fulfilled? I was surrounded by dirty clothes, dirty dishes, and dirty diapers. I was the cook, cleaner, and chauffeur. I was even crazy enough to work full-time, get my project management professional (PMP) certification, and finish my master’s degree. The word “overwhelmed” was an understatement!

My life didn’t feel royal or glamourous. In college, I naively got a tattoo that says “#1 Diva” because I felt like I’d be a diva the rest of my life! Again, God has a wonderful sense of humor and I’m learning that he doesn’t waste anything in order to teach me more about his grace, goodness, mercy, redemption, and loving-kindness. Some days I didn’t feel like a princess or diva, but the more I studied the infamous Proverbs 31 woman, I realized that she was faithful, fearless, and fabulous! She was a Domestic Diva! Then I noticed that my life was embodied in verse 27:

She watched over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness – Proverbs 31:27 (NIV)

Yeap! That’s me! I’m constantly putting things in motion to make our “Home of Peace” run more efficiently! It takes a lot of work, but it’s worthwhile! There are treasures stored up in heaven for those that are believers and there is something amazing about living an abundant life on this side of eternity too. I’ve been blessed to live “The Zoe” that is talked about in John 10:10. (Zoe means “life” in Greek)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly – John 10:10 (NKJV)

My life is flawed, funny, and fabulous!! I strive to set the atmosphere in my home that is conducive for the Holy Spirit to usher in love, joy, and peace. At the end of my life, I want the words “Loved & Blessed” to be etched on my headstone because I lived a life that was poured out from the abundance Jesus lavishly poured into me.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate – Proverbs 31: 28-31 (NIV)