A Rape Survivor’s Letter To Her Unborn Daughter

Dear Elyssa Janee,

My sweet girl, I love you so very much. We have ten weeks until we meet and get to look into each other’s eyes. As each week goes by, I think about all that I want to tell you, teach you and shield you from.

 

My Love

Your father and I love you already, more than words can express. I want you to know that your father has taught me so much about real love. He has been dedicated, patient, selfless and compassionate since the day we met 7 1/2 years ago. I’m excited that you get to have him as a dad! You’re a blessed young lady! Your father and I have come to know the love of Christ and learning about how Christ loves us has taught us how to love one another and prepares us to love you unconditionally too. You will never have to wonder if we love you. You will always be loved, encouraged, challenged, praised and disciplined.

My Past

Over ten years ago, a man took advantage of me and I went through a very rough time. BUT GOD! With God’s grace, mercy, strength, comfort and the wisdom and guidance of friends and family, I became a overcomer, survivor, victor, never again to be a victim. I want you to know that you never ever have to be afraid of men, the world or anything. No weapon formed against you will prosper. God’s blood covers you. God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of love, joy and a sound mind.

I will not pass onto you a legacy of hate, unforgiveness, anxiety, bitterness or anger. I let all of those things go many years ago with the strength of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because I knew that one day I wanted to be a healthy and free wife and mother. I wanted to be able to teach my children about the love, protection and peace of walking with Christ. I wanted to have children with a husband that was a protector and not one that would abuse his family verbally, physically or emotionally. By getting free, I broke the cycle or victimization over our family. You belong to God, you are His daughter and He is entrusting you to us.

My Promise

I promise to be the best mother that I can be. I promise to spend time in prayer so that I can have patience with you and receive guidance from God concerning you. I promise to always encourage you to have a close relationship with your earthly father and Heavenly Father. I promise to be open and honest with you, even when it makes me feel uncomfortable because I want you to trust me and know that I will never purposely watch you walk in the wrong direction. I promise to be selfless and take my role as your mother seriously. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve dreamed of one day being blessed with a family and God has granted me that prayer; I do not take this honor lightly. I promise to take care of my body and you, for the next 10 weeks especially, so that you can continue to grow strong and be safe and comfy inside of me. Until we officially meet my lovely little lady, know that I love you and I’m preparing for you. I’m also continuly praying and confessing great things over you.

Thank Heaven For Our Little Girl

Yesterday at my doctor’s appointment, we found out that we were having a little girl. We were excited to know the sex and beginning preparing for our bundle of joy. I could hardly sleep the night before the appointment because three weeks earlier, we attempted to learn the sex but our princess was in the wrong position. We really wanted to know what we were having so we could properly prepare the nursery, pick a name, plan the shower and start gathering the needed items for our little one.

I am excited about having a daughter for many reasons but here are my top two:

1. I am a daddy’s girl 100%. My father was always there to protect me, teach me the word of God, discipline, support, encourage and compliment me. I knew I was his joy because he nicknamed me Joy. My dad has always spoiled me but also taught me good work ethic, how to carry myself as a lady and how to pick a good man to marry. My father has also been a great example to us regarding how a husband treats a wife. To this day, we have an awesome relationship.

I look forward to my husband having that same relationship with our daughter. My husband Eddie is very caring, giving, kind, loving, thoughtful, loyal, dedicated, hard-working and most importantly, he is a man of God, like my father. I can’t wait to watch Eddie love his daughter and show her what it means to be a great father and husband. He will also show our daughter how a real man of God lives his life. Our daughter is already blessed to have him.

2. I look forward to teaching our daughter how to be a virtuous, godly, strong, confident, classy, smart, sweet, thoughtful and successful woman. I can’t wait to teach her how to focus on her relationship with God and her studies and to not get caught up in peer pressure and boys. Our daughter will have goals, dreams and sweet spirit. I know raising children these days is tough BUT with God ALL things are possible!! We are anointed to be parents. God will give us the wisdom, patience and diligence needed to be godly hands on parents. Being parents will be the most fun and challenging thing we will ever have done but we are ready and excited for this new journey!!

If more women had had a father in their lives as young girls, I believe that they would not feel the need to dress half-naked to get attention, sale their bodies for money, have a bunch of babies outside of marriage, date married men, be angry, jealous, unproductive, immature or have low self-esteem. I’m not saying that every girl who does not grow up with a father will be like this but many women are negatively affected by being abandoned by their fathers. Every little girl needs a man who shows them respect, love, guidance, structure and direction. Every little girl deserves to be told that they are special, smart, pretty and loved.

For those who never had an active father in their life

If you’ve never had your father in your life or your children don’t have their father in their lives, you don’t have to worry. The Lord Jesus Christ loves you. He created you and He is ready and waiting to love on you and your children and make you all whole. We all have a Heavenly Father and His love is so great for us that he died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day. He knows are hurt, pain and disappointment. All we have to do is come to Him with open arms, give our lives to Him and watch Him clean us up and make us new!! Ask Jesus to come into your heart today, get hooked up a church home and I guarantee you that your life will never be the same!!

**Question for parents with daughter** What is the best part about raising girls and the most challenging?

5 Months Pregnant & Daydreaming about Life, Love & Sex AFTER Baby

Being pregnant and able to carry a child is beautiful and honorable. My pregnancy continues to go smoothly and in a few days I will be 20 weeks, half way there! Time is moving fast but we are excited and getting prepared. As the days goes by and my belly grows, I continue picturing life as a mother. I imagine several feeds and diaper changes a day, less sleep and having to stay in the house for a few weeks until the baby and I are safe to go out. Also I imagine life without frequent sex with my hubby, less hanging out on late dates and less quiet moments in the house. In no way am I complaining, I am just being realistic about the things in life that will be different. I did not say no sleep, no sex (after the 6 weeks :-), no dates etc, I just said less. We planned this pregnancy and we were overjoyed when God granted us our request. Now its time to prepare for a baby not only physically and financially but mentally and emotionally.

The day I go into labor and deliver our healthy child (we haven’t found out the sex yet) life will never be the same. As I think about it though, life already will never be the same. I think about the baby always, when I get dressed, how I sleep and what I eat.  Here are a few adjustments that I have already had to make gladly for our little bundle of joy:

1. Frequent trips to the restroom.

2. Having to eat small meals every few hours or I will get a headache

3. The way I sleep at night and how much sleep I need.

4. Getting hormone headaches and not being able to take meds often.

5. Watching what I eat and basically changing my diet. No sushi, soft cheeses, hardly any coffee or pop, hardly any seafood or lunch meat, the list goes on about the food but I won’t bore you.

Last night at Word of Faith Southfield, we had a special service split. The men received a message just for them in the chapel and the women received a service just for them in the sanctuary. Our first lady, Min Deborah Butler, opened the floor for question and answer. One of the discussions was really helpful to me and the new season that I am approaching.

The question was from a woman who was newly married and had two young children. She was inquiring about how she could fit more sex into her marriage with two little ones running around all the time. Min Deborah gave her three helpful tips 1) get the children on a schedule so they get used to going to bed at a certain time every night. Train them to understand parents and children time and just parents time. Put them to bed and then you two go in your room, lock the door and get it on quietly. 2) Sex doesn’t only have to take place at night, have sex in the morning before they wake up or other alternate times of the day. 3) Find another couple with young children that you TRUST and take turns watching each other’s children so both couples can have some alone time together.

I found these suggestions helpful because sex is a big part of marriage and by the time the baby comes we will have been married for 3 years. That means 3 years of enjoying each other whenever we wanted (hey were all adults here! lol) As the baby gets older (2-3 months) and we start to adjust to parenthood, we will need to start going out on dates and caring for one another’s needs, just like we do the baby’s needs. Life is busy right now with work, church, family, friends, house work, cooking, taking care of each other etc; now with God’s grace and mercy, we will add a healthy happy little one to the mix. We serve an awesome and faithful God who will give us wisdom, mercy, grace and patience and we have a great support system full of family and friends. I am curious about what life will be like but I am excited, hopeful and confident that we will learn, grow and do just fine!

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

No Wedding No Womb Part 2: Clarity and What We Can Do To Help

Yesterday’s post on the No Wedding No Womb Campaign received a lot of hits. A few ladies posted some insightful thoughts on the campaign as well as what they thought about the message that was being promoted. I admit that I am new to the NWNW movement and can not profess to support something that I have not researched in detail. I changed the title of yesterdays post from “Why I support the NWNW Campaign” to “The NWNW Campaign.”

While the founder of NWNW is not coming from a Christian perspective, I still feel that she is promoting positivity in the black community and trying to raise awareness and help people to have standards when it comes to relationships, sex and parenting. I belive that just because an organization is not Christian based does not mean that Christians can’t receive little nuggets from the message the organization is promoting.

The campaign is not preaching abstinence and is not coming from a biblical perspective but at least NWNW is trying to educate and encourage the black community as well as assist in preventing unplanned pregnancy. The org is also promoting two parent homes and that is something that the black community is severely lacking. I was told by one single mother who follows the founder of NWNW on Twitter, that her message is negative and depressing to single mothers. I am not sure if this is true because I have only read a few articles on the NWNW website. What I do know is that we aren’t helping single parents by putting them down or passing judgement on them. It is only by God’s grace that all of us who have had sex outside of marriage, did not conceive children. All children are a blessing and a gift from God, no matter what circumstance brought them into this world.  Passing judgement, tearing people down or trying to scare teens into not having sex will not work as productive long-lasting preventative measures.

I do not believe that every couple who has a child together should get married but if people were selective in who they date and had a standard to require a wedding ring before giving up the goods, more children would be born into committed two parent homes. We as a people need to have self respect, standards with regards to relationships and concentrate more on our futures and purpose in life than we do our outward appearance, material possessions and whose hooking up with who. AIDS and STDs are real and they affect the black community more than any other population. Sex isn’t worth dying for. It is best to not have sex before marriage  (read 1 Cor 6:18-20) but if you can not wait, you MUST use protection.

 There are many different components that factor into when and why people start having sex and if those issues aren’t addressed, young people will continue to be sexually active, have children outside of marriage and possibly won’t be able to receive the No Wedding No Womb message.

  • What sexual messages teens are exposed to in their home, through the media and while their out with their friends (viewing pornography) will determine how they see themselves and how they value sex.
  • Many young people are surrounded by friends, family and others in their communities that aren’t married and have multiple children. Viewing this can make young people feel like having sex and babies outside of marriage is normal.
  • When young people have been abused sexually, physically or verbally, they can start to look for love in all the wrong places and find themselves pregnant or getting someone pregnant. They weren’t trying to have a baby, but in the midst of being sexually active, a baby was made.

The question becomes, are campaigns like NWNW affective in reaching these young people who have been exposed to so much and may have unhealthy views on sex, pregnancy, parenthood and marriage? The campaign maybe affective for some and not for others. 

Each of us can do the following to promote healthy holy living: single people can spread the news to others that is ok to be single and you can be healthy, happy and content in your singlehood. Single parents can continue to give their children their all and be dedicated examples. Single parents can admit that life with children and no partner is difficult and not ideal, and teach those around them how not to end up being single parents. Those that are married can promote stable, healthy, long lasting godly marriage because many people in our society never get to see that. Everyday each of us are walking billboards. Ask yourself, what are you promoting? Pray for those around you, witness to your family and friends, let them know that God loves them and wants whats best for them. Share your testimony of how God brought you out of difficult situations and made you whole again. This is my purpose in life, to spread the good news of Christ through sharing my testimony and lifestyle with others.

Single Moms, Dating & Protecting Their Children From Child Abuse

After watching Teen Mom on MTV yesterday, I wanted to publish a post regarding the importance of mother’s selecting appropriate men to be around their children. On Teen Mom, a single mother named Amber kicked her baby’s father out of the house, only to allow an ex con with no job, car or money, whom she met a Wal-Mart a few weeks before, to move into her home with her 2-year-old daughter. She allows the man to baby-sit her child, change her diaper and dress her. The child appears uneasy and uninterested in the boyfriend, though Amber tries to get the child to hug and play with him. After the episode I began to ask myself why some young mother’s continue to make such horrible decisions when it comes to dating and who is around their children.

As a social worker, I see countless cases every year where a young mother left her children alone with a boyfriend and the boyfriend repeatedly physically or sexually abused her children. The children eventually report the abuse to a friend, family member or teacher, CPS is called and the children are removed from their home. As mothers, we must make our children our top priority and protect them no matter what.

I googled this topic and found an awesome article explaining why mother’s often times find themselves making bad choices when it comes to men as well as an awesome campaign and resources to prevent child abuse. Please review the excerpts I posted below and click the links to read the articles in full.

Dr. Melva Green, a clinical psychiatrist, said the issue of child abuse by a mother’s companion is striking because it points to other issues. Green reports that it’s not an issue of good mother or bad mother but an issue of mother’s being out of touch. She also adds that it’s not a race issue but more about socio-economics. In some cases moms leaving the home to provide for a child’s physical needs, can’t afford childcare, and because their busy working to make ends meet they are unable to see the potential dangers. Green explained that there is also an emotional burden on the men which doesn’t justify the abuse but might help explain the increase in violence towards children. Some men left to care for the children become upset, “resentment plays itself out, and the child is the victim.”

New York’s Administration for Children Services noticed the trend and decided to take action of their own. Late this summer they kicked off a campaign entitled, “Be Careful Who Cares For Your Child.” The campaign includes radio ads from celebrities such as Darryl McDaniels from RUN DMC. Posters are being posted on New York City subways and throughout communities all across the city.

For mothers she advices, “Read that child. If a child is not able communicate but you see that when you’re about to leave them alone, they are more clingy than usual, more restless, any thing in excess, then they might not be comfortable being left alone with that person.” Green also cautions against a rush to judgment. She says that because mothers are told to trust their instincts and some don’t, it’s easy to blame mothers for their perceived ineptness. Instead she says it’s important to remember that those mothers may have been victimized at some point in their lives thus affecting a cycle. She believes advocating self-care of mothers in which they evaluate their emotional well-being and stress levels will help them take care of themselves, and in turn their children.

http://www.thegrio.com/news/moms-told-beware-who-is-watching-your-kids.php

When choosing a caregiver, parents should select someone who:

  • Has experience caring for babies and young children
  • Is patient and mature enough to care for a fussy, overexcited or crying baby
  • Understands that young children must always be watched
  • Will never shake, hit, yell at, make fun of, or withhold food from a child as punishment
  • Does not abuse alcohol or drugs, or carry a weapon, and will not surround a child with others who may be drinking, using or selling drugs, or carrying weapons.

There are warning signs of a potentially dangerous caregiver include someone who is:

  • Angry or severely impatient when children have tantrums, cry or misbehave
  • Violent and/or controlling with their partners
  • Physically or verbally abusive with children
  • An abuser of alcohol and drugs, including marijuana
  • Using prescription medications that have bad side effects or make them drowsy, or  
  • Not trust worthy for any reason

Resources

  • The Parent Helpline at 800-342-7472 or visit www.preventchildabuseny.org
  • Safe Horizon Domestic Violence Hotline 800-621-HOPE (800-621-4673), TDD (Hearing Impaired) 866-604-5350
  • To Report child abuse and neglect call 800-342-3720 or 311

http://www.nyc.gov/html/acs/html/child_safety/care_giver_campaign.shtml

Fantasia’s Divorce Scandal & Suicide Attempt, Dating Married Men Isn’t Worth It

This post is not to bash or judge Fantasia but to use her as an example for a topic that I have been wanting to address for a while now. Message to single women, dating married men is a horrible idea.

For those of you who may not know, Fantasia Barrino took an overdose of aspirin and a sleep aid on 8/10/10  after reading the court documents naming her as being instrumental in breaking up a North Carolina marriage. Paula Cook, wife of Antwaun Cook  filed these documents along with claiming there is a sex tape for evidence of this infidelity, according to RadarOnline. 

Fantasia and Antwaun were in Barbados in November and they were captured in photos holding hands and embracing, while Antwaun was, and still is a married man.

Fantasia’s overdose was documented as a “suicide attempt” in the police reports. This young lady who has always maintained a respect for religion and family values, may be overwhelmed with the thoughts of things to come in this court case. To read the rest of the examiner.com article, please click the link below.

http://www.examiner.com/x-57780-Hartford-Pop-Culture-Examiner~y2010m8d10-Fantasia-overdose-after-seeing-court-documents-along-with-alleged-sex-tape-evidence

I have a few concerns about this situation:

1. Why was Fantasia dating a married man in the first place.

2. Why was she going places with him in public and being photographed with him like he was her man?

3. How did a “church going” young woman get involved in the music industry and lose all of her morals and values.

4. What about her daughter? What type of example was she being for her?

5. What about her career and reputation? Was messing around with a married man and father of two worth the drama and bad press? She was under such stress that she attempted to take her own life and leave her daughter behind? WOW

6. Now she is listed in the divorce papers and may be sued by the wife. I read an article that quotes Fantasia telling the phone on the phone saying some crazy mess about the husband being her man now and next time the wife gets a man, she should work harder to keep him. The entire situation is sad to me.

As women, we need to love and respect ourselves enough to leave married men alone. If a man is married, he is off limits period. When a single woman gets married, she wants her husband to be faithful to her, so why not show a married woman respect and leave her husband alone? If a man cheats on his wife with you, he WILL cheat on you with another woman. Women the men you date should have a relationship with God, integrity, character, morals and values. You deserve to be more than a quick hook up or a every other weekend fling. Ladies wake up and know your worth and value.

If you are a mother, you really need to watch who you date because your children are watching! You have a responsiblity to be a positive role model and to have appropriate and safe people around your kids. You should not spend more time out looking for men or hanging with your man than you do at home with your kids.  Mothers need to think about their children and how every decision they make in life affects them. Children are much much smarter than we give them credit for; they’re observant and they soak up everything we do like sponges. What are you teaching your children? What are you showing them with your actions on a daily basis? Many parents need to get their priorities in check.

This gentleman is definitely in the wrong because he had no business cheating on his wife and hurting her and his children. This post is speaking to women and warning them that dating a married man will have the women looking crazy, even though the man is the one whose married. Our society has double standards and that’s just how it is. They were both willing participants but unfortunately its Fantasia’s name that will be dragged through the mud.

Dear Lord,

I pray for my sister Fantasia right now. I ask that you grant her mercy for the decisions that she had made. I pray that you comfort her and her family during this difficult time. I pray that she rededicates her life back to you and commits herself to you completely. I pray that you lead and guide her regarding her purpose in life and your will for her music career. I pray that you give her the strength, wisdom and patience needed to parent her daughter the way you’ve created her too. Remind her Lord that her latter will be greater and this too shall pass. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

Peoplejam.com list 10 reasons why dating single women shouldn’t date married men

1. He won’t commit to a future with you.

2. Cheating on his wife tells you how he deals with any situation he doesn’t like.

3. Hiding is exhausting.

4. He’s got his cake and is eating it, too.

5. Can you love someone who is so disrespectful of his wife?

6. Lose his respect and it’s over.

7. You’re not a home wrecker, just an accomplice.

8. You’re kidding yourself.

9. Beware the guilt boomerang.

10. Time is too precious to waste.

http://www.peoplejam.com/blog/6860/10-reasons-not-date-married-man

**Ladies what are your thoughts on this situation or on women dating married men in general?**

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

Salute To All The Modern Day Homemakers

Shout out to the modern-day homemakers who are holding it down. We may not make all of our dishes from scratch, make our own clothes and then wash them by hand BUT we are modern-day career women, wives and mothers and were doing an awesome job. Keep up the great work ladies (single, married and all the mothers) Be encouraged and know that your efforts are not going unnoticed! You all do all of these things listed below and so much more! I pray joy, peace, energy, wisdom, love and prosperity for each of you!

Shout out to all the moms who:   

*make sure their children eat healthy meals.  

 *take an active role in their children’s education.   

 *who keep their children on a schedule/routine in order to provide them with   structure.    

*play trucks and Barbies with their children even when their tired.     

  *provide their children with opportunities to get exercise.      

  *teach their children about God and keep them involved in children’s church and youth group activities.       

 *who role model for their children how to be godly ladies and gentlemen.        

 *utilize self-care and take time for themselves, hobbies and gifts/talents.      

Shout out to all the wives who: 

  *hold down the majority of the grocery shopping and cooking. 

 *keep their house clean whether they work inside or outside of the home.  

 *serve their husbands with a cheerful heart and good attitude.    

*make time for recreational companionship.     

*respect their husbands and work hard to walk out 1 Peter 3 and Proverbs 31.      

*meet their husbands sexual needs even when their tired or busy because they understand the importance of coming together as husband and wife.     

*love sex and are unashamed and uninhibited in the bedroom.       

*those that take time for themselves and their hobbies and gifts/talents and utilize self-care.

Shout out to all the single women who: 

 *are holy, fashionable and fabulous.   

  *keep steady jobs and are working towards meeting their career goals.  

 *who keep their house clean and organized.        

 *know how to cook or are learning to cook delicious meals.     

*are preparing themselves spiritually, emotionally and financially for their future husband.      

 *are serving at their churches and working hard to be the best at what God has called them to be.      

 *are confident and love themselves regardless as to whether they have a man or not.       

 *celebrate their singleness and know how to have good clean fun!       

 *utilize self-care and take time for themselves, hobbies and gifts/talents.      

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

10 Ways To Protect Your Children From Sexual Abuse

Stats on childhood sexual abuse:

*An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.
*1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
*1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.

Even within the walls of our own homes, children are at risk for sexual abuse:

*30-40% of victims are abused by family members.
*Another 50% are abused outside of the home by someone who they know and trust.
*Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know.
*Therefore only 10% are abused by strangers.
*Over 30% of victims never disclose the abuse to anyone.

http://www.darkness2light.org/knowabout/statistics_2.asp/

As adults and parents, it is our job to protect our children and keep them safe. It is up to us to break our silence about the abuse that we may have suffered as adults and make better choices when it comes to raising our children. It is not strangers that are abusing and raping our children, it’s people we know, such as our family members, neighbors, babysitters and family friends. We must wake up and not ignore the signs that someone may not be suituable to watch our children. We must stop being in such a hurry to find anyone to watch our children so that we can get to work or have some time to hang out with our friends. God blessed us with these children and we must not take them for granted or treat them like they don’t matter. We are going to be accountable to God for how we treat our children.

Often times parents have been sexually abused as children because their parents left them with cousins, boyfriends or babysitters that weren’t appropriate. The parents grew up, never disclose the abuse they suffered and they figure they’ve just gotten over it. In turn, those parents make the same mistake that their parent’s made. They leave their children with cousins, boyfriends/girlfriends or babysitters who abuse their children and the viscous cycle continues.  We MUST break generational curse of sexual abuse over our families. We MUST take a stand and say NO MORE!! No more will the family turn a blind eye to the family member who continues to touch the children inappropriately, to the family friend that is always trying to get your children to sit on his lap or to have alone time with them. Everyone CAN’T have access to your children!!! WAKE UP PARENTS, you can’t afford not to be prayed up and following the Holy Spirit when it comes to your children.

If you are a parent who has been abused, seek godly counsel and get restoration. Read the word of God, join a local church that is teaching the word of God and consider joining a support group for childhood sexual abuse survivors. Learn how to cope, heal and be strong once again. Learn the signs of sexual abuse and how to protect your children. Don’t allow just anyone to watch your children. Pray and ask God to guide you regarding who should have access to your children.

My parents didn’t allow my brother and I to spend long periods of time at family or friends houses, especially overnight, and the individuals that they choose to watch us had the same morals, values and house hold rules as them. We weren’t allowed to go over people’s houses that weren’t going to properly supervise us.  My parents encouraged my friends and cousins to come to our house a lot to play. That way my parents could keep an eye on what was going on and they knew that their children were safe. Yes parents, this means you have to sacrifice and babysit other people’s children on the weekends sometimes instead of sending your children away to other people’s houses, but isn’t it worth it to know that your precious angels are safe and not being exposed to pornography and molestation? Everyone knows what happens in the basements at relatives houses or other people’s houses. Older cousin’s like to show younger cousin’s porn, give them drinks, cigarettes and weed. Anyone who doesn’t have the same supervision, morales and values as you should not have access to your children. You work hard to keep your children innocent, why allow other people’s children to come around and take that innocence from them?

10 Ways You Can Protect Your Children From Sexual Abuse

To read the descriptions of each point in detail, please go to the link below:

http://www.minti.com/parenting-advice/4507/10-ways-you-can-protect-your-child-from-sexual-abuse/

1. Follow your gut

2. Choose your child over the approval of your peers

3. Think twice about people who push hard about your boundaries.

4. Take your own history into account.

5. Consider not leaving your children until they can talk.

6. Avoid situations where people you don’t know will be present.

7.  Tell the child in front of the caregiver that this person will not touch or harm them in anyway.

8. Give your child permission to cry, speak, protest when they feel boundaries are being crossed.

9. Have a no one gets in trouble policy.

10. Listen to your children.

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6 Helpful Wife Tips On Sex, Parenting, Communication and More

I started thinking about marriage and a few things I have learned over the last two years and I felt lead to share a few tips with my readers. Whether you are married or desire to be married one day, I think you will find this post helpful.

We all know that marriage is lots of fun and lots of work! Like everything, it has its joys and challenges. As wives, how we handle situations and the attitude we maintain determine the outcome. Here are six helpful wife tips. Read them over and let me know what you think.

1)  With the summer time coming, try to find an outside sport or activity that you and your honey can do together. I know my husband likes to play tennis. We started playing tennis together last year and we had lots of fun. I am NOT a sports gal but I know that my husband likes to be outside and active so I am trying to adapt to being active also. Recreational companionship is vital in marriage. Find something that you both like to do, whether it’s walking on an outside trail, going to the park and jogging, tennis, basketball, golf etc. Doing this will help you all to become closer, spend time together having fun and burning calories. If we don’t do activities with our husbands, we may find that they will start spending more time hanging with the fellas. Time with our friends is very important but there needs to be a balance. Married couples should spend more time together than apart in my opinion.

2)   When your husband is quiet, it probably means that he’s thinking and does not feel like talking. If he’s sitting quietly, ask him if he’s okay and if he would like to talk. If he says nothings wrong but continues to sit in silence, ask him if you can get him anything or if he would just like some time alone. If he isn’t in a talkative mood or if he’s sort of snappy with you, just say a prayer for him and give him some space. I am taking my own advice on this one especially because I don’t like it when my husband is quiet because he’s naturally outgoing and talkative. I have to learn to respect his need to be quiet and let him have his space. I just continue to pray for him and check on him every now and then. This doesn’t happen often so when it does I let him have his moment.

Men have a lot of pressure to deal with on their jobs and regarding taking care of us and their homes. When things aren’t going right in their careers or with the finances, they may sit and think intensely for a while because their trying to find solutions to the problems. Thank God for men who care about the issues of the family and are seeking God on how to resolve them!

3) A lot of my friends are pregnant with their first babies now. One wise piece of advice that I received from a mother of two from our church was this: make sure you include your husband in the parenting, disciplining and bonding time with the children. What she was telling me was sometimes as mother’s we become so particular with how we want the children to be feed or bathed for example that we fuss at our husbands when they don’t do it correctly and this may disagree them from continuing to try. As long as the child is not being neglected or hurt, let your husband have his time with the children to bath, feed, read or dress them without you hovering over them.

My parents taught me growing up that husbands and wives should always remain a team when it comes to discipline. They were a great example for my brother and I regarding marriage, parenting and discipline. Here is what they taught me. We were all raised differently, we have different views on the correct way to discipline children. It is up to the parents to meet, away from the children, to discuss the children’s behaviors and what discipline is appropriate for the particular action. Never argue in front of the children about what their punishment should be and never go behind the other parent’s back and change the punishment. Always show a united front when it comes to the children and don’t let them divide you two. When the children are older and long gone, it will only be you two alone in the house again and you don’t want to hate each other by that point.

My parents are celebrating their 30th marriage anniversary this year. They’ve had an empty nest for a little over two years now and they are loving it! They’ve expanded their bedroom and redesigned other rooms in the house. They’re honeymooners again and I love to see them happy! They weren’t at each other’s throats constantly during the child rearing years and now they can reap the benefits of their labor!

4)  If you are overwhelmed, tired and need your husband to help out more more around the house, pray about the right time and words to share this with him. You may want to cook him a nice meal and at dinner tell him what areas you need his help in. We never get through to our husbands by nagging or yelling at them. If you can speak to him when he’s relaxed and not busy, that would be a great time to let him know what you need. Say something like this “baby I so appreciate everything you do for me and our family. I know you have a lot going on but you still take the time do to things like take out the trash and keep gas in the car. Lately I’ve been feelings a little overwhelmed with the house work and cooking everyday. I wanted to talk to you about ways you can help me a few times a month with certain things so that I can get a little more rest. You let me know what things you would be good at or have the time to do.” If you say this with a good attitude and open heart to receive his answer, hopefully he will respond correctly. If this does not work, just keep praying. God is faithful. He will soften his heart and open his eyes eventually. Keeping loving and respecting him in the mean time.

5) I am subscribed to a blog entitled Daily Generous Wife Tips. The author Lori sent this post out on 6/2/2010 and I found it to be very helpful. Here is the point that she spoke on that day. The post was titled “Receive with Grace.” Guys have a fascination for body parts (it’s the visual thing). It’s not meant to be a slight. It’s really just about how they are wired. That doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate all of you or that they only want you for sex, it’s just when they are being sexual they will notice and want to touch body parts. I encourage y’all to understand that when your husband grabs for you, it’s just an expression of his sexuality and not a personal slight. Your husband just loves to touch what appeals to him. In a very real sense, if you reject his touch, you are rejecting him. If you receive with grace his little touches here and there you are accepting him and setting the stage for a more full expression of love at a later time. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) Be generous! Lori http://www.the-generous-wife.com/

I could totally relate to this post because my husband often reaches to touch me in some way everyday. He loves my body and loves to be near me. This is a great thing in theory but sometimes I honestly don’t feel like being touched. Sometimes he says playfully, “baby don’t reject me,” with his handsome smile. He told me that he just loves to be near me and he’s trying to be affectionate with me. I learned to smile and feel honored when he reaches to touch me instead of pulling away of looking annoyed. I don’t want him touching or desiring anyone else and I want to meet his heads. When I go to lay my head on his chest or cuddle with him at night, he never pulls away from me. He meets my needs and I meet his. That is what marriage is about.

6. Never get to busy to pray! Often times we as women spend more time taking care of others then we do ourselves. Many of us are working full-time, serving at our churches, taking care of our husbands, children, family, friends, the house and the dog. No matter what we have going on in our outside lives, we MUST set aside quiet time to pray, seek God, rest in his peaceful presence and get wisdom and instruction from Him. He keeps us energized, not the coffee/tea that we drink each morning!! Seeking God’s face and His word keeps us from going off on our husbands when they start to frustrate us. We are all human but God is asking us to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh. We must continue to seek Him daily to make sure we stay in the spirit. When you mess up and step into the flesh, make sure you repent, turn in the opposite direction and keep going.

Eye Spy: What We Learn About Relationships From Our Parents

Last night, my husband and I attended a 1 year Anniversary Celebration for a group called Truth Parties. Truth Parties are a group of singles that meet once a month to discuss different topics surrounding healthy relationships. Mrs. Nneka Owens, the founder of the group, is my supervisor for my counseling licence. Nneka is a licensed counselor, an awesome woman, wife, mother and Christian who lives according to the word of God. The celebration included dinner, comedy, poetry reading and dancing. The special guest was Horace H.B. Sanders, a Christian comedian who was seriously hilarious!!

Nneka said something at the party last night that stuck with me. She encouraged the parents in the room to make sure they were demonstrating healthy relationships in front of their children. She reminded them that their children are watching and what they see will affect them as they grow up. Nneka asked the crowd what they remember seeing in their homes regarding their parents interaction as children. She had a friend of her’s read a poem that she wrote about relationships and how people are affected by the negative and positive messages that they see and hear growing up. In the poem, Nneka talked about messages people receive about unforgiveness, divorce, low self esteem, rejection etc. The end of the poem spoke of the truth that the women in the poem later embraced after learning to see herself how God sees her, after she received her healing from the past and made a conscious decision to do better and live better for her children. It was a powerful message.

Now I ask the same questions to you. What messages did your parents teach or show you growing up? Were they positive or negative? Maybe you observed a lot of arguing, domestic violence or grew up with an angry struggling single parent. Maybe you grew up in a two parent home but they were distant and rarely appeared to be happy together. Maybe your mom told you “Don’t trust men. They only want one thing and if they get you pregnant, they will leave you all alone,” or your dad told you “women just want your money. Never give your heart to a woman, just play the field.”  Whatever those negative messages may have been, you have to FIGHT to renew your mind and DETERMINE in your heart that you will not accept those thoughts and live in that mindset anymore.

My dad is the best dad in the world but his father was far from that to him and their family. My grandpa was not an active parent. He went to work each day, helped pay the bills and to my knowledge, that was pretty much it. He cheated on my grandma, he didn’t go to any of my dad’s sports events, he wasn’t loving, affectionate or encouraging must of the time. He was a nice man and he loved his family but maybe he was only doing what his father taught him about what it means to be a man, father and husband.

We must break the generational curses in each and every one of our families!! As a social worker, I see many families where the grandmother was a single mother, high school drop out with 8 kids. She did not teach her children about healthy relationships or the importance of getting an education, therefore her children dropped out of HS and had babies outside of marriage too. One of her children would become my client and have the same issues going on in her family. It would be up to that parent to make sure her children have a better life. She would need to make sure the children got up every day and off to school, she would need to teach her children about sex and the importance of respecting their bodies. If we don’t teach our children these things, who will????

My parents got saved when they were 19 years old and they decided that they were going to live according to the word of God and abandon ideologies of their past. They both made up in their minds that they would be better parents and better spouses than what they had seen. I say that to say this, we can no longer live in the excuses of “I’m like this because of what my parents did.” When you know better, you must do better. I’m truly sorry that some of us did not get the love, nurturing, affection, support, encouragement etc that we deserved BUT this is a new day and if God woke up you, He has given you all that you need to be successful!

If you are struggling with your past experiences regarding your parents, relationships, self esteem etc, you need to seek godly counsel to get restored, renewed and recharged. Make it a point to do that soon, don’t wait. Read your word, talk to a minister at your church, get with other saints and seek their support. Find out what the word of God says about you. You don’t have to be another statistic. If you are a parent, remember your children are watching the verbal and nonverbal messages you are giving them about relationships, life, men, women, parenting, religion, work ethic, etc.

As yourself, what would you like to have seen growing up regarding healthy relationships and then make sure you give that to your children or future children.

Here is a little more information on Truth Parties. Truth Parties are designed to bring  men and women together to discuss relationships in a candid and respectful manner.  The goal is to heighten awareness and promote longevity in relationships, while also exposing negative thought patterns, through purposeful communication. Truth Parties are not about men vs. women; it’s not about male or female bashing.  Truth Parties encourages individuals to assess where they stand in their relationships, and decide if they need to define or re-define their position.  Truth Parties are intense, educational, fun and sometimes entertaining!

Truth Calender:
May 21, 2010 – What would you do if…..? Part 2 Role Plays/Discussion

June 25, 2010 – Summer Kickoff – Grilling on the Patio (discussion to be determined)

July/August – Break

September – Back to the Truth

Location:
The Fairlane Club
5000 Fairlane Woods Dr.
Dearborn, MI 48126
off hubbard/across from fairlane mall

http://nnekaowens.net/TruthPartiesforRelationships.en.html

Nneka J. Owens, LPC NCC
313-999-9888
2312 Monroe
Dearborn, MI 48124

info@nnekaowens.net