Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The First Year...

My daughter just turned one at the beginning of April and of course I woke up and cried, all because my baby girl is growing up sooo fast. I keep asking my husband, "Does she ever have to grow up?" He replies, "Of course she has to!" I know that it may be a silly question, but it is very sad!

The day after my daughters' birthday she began sleeping in her own crib and her own room. I am soo happy that she began sleeping in her own room because we both sleep better! Even though I miss all of the cuddling time it is time for to gain a little independence. Hehe...

The first year of her life has flown by for me and I just hope that the next 18+ years do not go by as fast. It is such a precious experience to bring another life into this world, to watch them change day by day, and to witness all of their accomplishments.

Enjoy your children ladies!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What’s in a Name?

By Colleen

I’m going to delve a little into my past on this one, and it may be a bit long but stick with me here, I think it may be worth reading.

I often tell people either Jesus is real or I am not. See I am from a family who I suppose meant well but by most people’s standards I was a doomed child. Alcoholic parents, from alcoholic parents, my father quit school in 9th grade and never made a lot of money (even though he was a chef) and my mother left when the 4 kids were entering their teen years. Shortly after my sister died and from there it just goes on and on and on……

Sounds like a really bad Lifetime movie or something doesn’t it? Truthfully, it was worse being one of it’s stars, trust me on this. Our family was not exactly the best in the neighborhood. We moved a lot and my older brother was always in trouble. I started drinking with him by the age of 12 and the world had a lot of names for a kid like me from a family like mine who lived a life like I did. Trash? No good? Worthless?

When I ended up pregnant at 17 and married I am sure it just cemented that opinion in the eyes of the world. A statistic waiting to happen? Teen Mom? Slut? Tramp? You get the picture; harsh yes but lets be real here, there is a reason these things are said, because statistically they do happen to lump together for the most part and I was doing a bang up job of living up to the these expectations.

When my husband moved me to our first duty station in Kansas, I was completely unaware it would be to find my salvation. It was while he was away for the Gulf War I was saved watching the 700 Club in the middle of the night.

It took some time, but eventually I did develop a walk and a relationship with the Lord and it made such a difference. I began through the reading of scriptures to understand I was a NEW creation, no longer those old things.

However, it was not until the late 90’s when a song written by Dennis Jernigan touched my heart and really opened my eyes to what a name means. I went to the Night of Praise in Edmond OK with PWOC and he sang This is My Destiny (I really encourage you to find this if you can) and I actually bought the CD as soon as it was released.

In the song Dennis Jernigan sings the names the Lord speaks over us all through out His word. He calls us warrior, new creation, trophy of His grace, righteous, beloved, tells me he delights in me, and so on. I began to truly understand what was in the things we named upon our children.

Now, because of my past, I have never been harsh in how I spoke over my children or others for that matter but after listening to this song and yes, allowing it to bring healing to a wounded child who still lived in me, I began to truly understand those hard things we as parents speak to our children can bring harm to a childs spirit in so many ways.

It is so important that we not only speak the love of the Lord over our children but also, stop other people from speaking horrible things as well. Do I believe what we speak happens? To a degree yes. Because we plant a seed in a child’s mind that grows and allows them to believe that is what they are. When they hear they are no good, they believe it. When they hear they are difficult, then they act it because they believe they are.

So today I encourage you, speak truth, love and mercy over your children daily. Never allow another parent to speak things which will wound your child either. I am not saying have a brawl but stop it the conversation, walk away, do what it takes. Know their weaknesses and grow them but don’t allow their destiny to be what I thought mine was or what you may have thought yours was because of the careless and hurtful words planted by someone.