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.

Advertisements

5 Tips To Survive House Hopping On The Holidays

I love spending the holidays with both sides of our families but sometimes house hopping can be  a bit taxing. My husband and I were both raised to value family and we still get together with our family members to celebrate birthdays, promotions, new babies, anniversaries etc. Because we were both raised that way, I would feel horrible if we didn’t try to visit both of our families on the holidays, because I know it would mean so much to everyone to see us. I was thinking about tips that could help us and my readers this holiday season when it comes to house hopping. Here are a few things that I came up with.

 1. Get an early start

If possible, start your visiting in the early afternoon, whether the family you visit is prepared to eat or not. You can sit, fellowship and greet your extended family as they come in and get comfy. You could help finish the meal, take out the trash or set the table before you leave. If their’s time, stop back by this house later in the evening but if not, at least you made it by and showed the family some love.

2. Organize your locations

If you have several stops to make, make sure you organize each location to save time, gas and energy. If you have two houses on the eastside and one of the west, don’t go east, west then back east. Getting an early start and being organized with your house hopping strategy, will help you to enjoy the day and not feel as worn out.

3. Rotate whose mama’s house you eat dinner at and which you eat dessert at each year.

If your families serve their meals around the same time, you should rotate whose’s mama’s house you go to first each year. You want to make both mama’s feel important and try to make your holiday house hopping fair. Mama’s don’t like it when they feel like their children constantly pick their in-laws over them without trying to plan alterative times to visit. Try your best to show both families love; I know sometimes it’s hard. This leads me to my next tip.

4. Pick an alternate day to visit one of your families and have a holiday meal together.

Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter etc don’t have to be celebrated on their actual days. If house hopping is too taxing and several family members have multiple homes to visit, see if they would be willing to get together on another day (right before or shortly after the holiday) so everyone is less rushed. The holidays are more enjoyable when people have the time to sit down, eat and not have to continue to look at the clock.

5. Be grateful that you have family and friends to visit.

Unfortunately, many people are alone and/or hungry on the holidays and have no one to visit them or to go visit. Lets always give God thanks for providing us with loved ones, even if their crazy sometimes. It’s a blessing to have people to miss you when you’re not there and want to have you over as much as possible. Remember this when your trying to figure out a way to make multiple stops in one day, at least you’re loved.

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVNG!!!

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?

4 Reasons Why GLEE Is No Longer For Me

After I watched this week’s episode of Glee, I decided that this week was the final straw. I have been feeling uneasy about the show since the new season started and this week’s scenes helped me to remove the show from my DVR rotation. Glee used to be a fun young adult show about children in high school, enjoying the arts and going through teenage challenges. A few episodes into the new season, I decided to no longer support the show because:

1. Their pushing the homosexual agenda tough and I just don’t agree with that lifestyle at all. I don’t believe that people are born gay, I believe they were created in Christ’s imagine like the bible says. I don’t hate people who are gay, I just don’t support that lifestyle nor do I think showing gay or straight make out scenes repeatedly on a young adult show is appropriate. I would never let my children watch a show like GLEE. Which leads me to my second point.

2. The gay and straight make out scenes on GLEE have gotten completely out of hand!! Two female cheerleaders on top of each other in bed making out!? WTH!!  They constantly have episodes about the gay character Kurt and how everyone in the school hates him besides the GLEE kids. Just because someone does not agree with the gay lifestyle does not make them homophobic and it does not mean that they will participate in hate crimes against gays. I don’t love or hate Kurt’s character, I just don’t support his lifestyle. This week a male football player kissed Kurt on the mouth and is afraid to come out of the closet. The majority of the show was about homosexuality and how hard it is to be an out of the closet gay teen. I know these issues sadly are what a lot of our teens are going through and therefore they talk about it on this show BUT I don’t have to subject myself to the gay agenda, nor the young people around me.

3. GLEE is no longer a clean fun show for teens and families. I feel like they often show the teens in bed heavy petting and dry humping each other. The young man Marty in the wheel chair gave his virginity away to the “school slut,” and later felt major regret; that scene really disappointed me too. The fact that he showed regret was fine BUT WHY did that have to be written into the script in the first place? This isn’t 90210! The teens don’t have to sleep around with one another for the show to get ratings do they? In a day in age where teenage pregnancy, STDs and AIDS are ramped, WHY do we need to promote sexuality and promiscuity on young adult shows?

I know that sex sales but man has it gone to a whole other level. Sex isn’t everything and sex outside of marriage is hurtful, disappointing, lonely, confusing, drama filled and DANGEROUS. Sex outside of marriage is NOT glamorous and steamy, esp for teenagers, like the media tries to trick them into believing. There’s nothing glamorous about a dude taking your virginity, getting you pregnant and leaving you high and drive! I’m just saying this happens everyday.

4. The suggestive songs and dance routines continue to get more and more adult. The show takes place in a high school but it feels more like a college show. I know friends who no longer feel comfortable with their younger siblings (12-15) watching the show due to the heavy sexualized scenes and dance routines. I’m not saying the show has to be boring, or promote holiness, God forbid right? (yes I’m being sarcastic) I’m just saying there’s many types of music to sing and creative routines to do without having to constantly grind on each other and rub your bodies. It’s not cute GLEE!!!!

I erased the series recording of this show and a few others off my DVR last night. I’m learning to have boldness and obedience and no longer support things that grieve my spirit and that I know blatantly go against the word of God. If there is a gay character that’s appropriate on a show, that’s ok but when the shows push the gay agenda, repeatedly show gay and straight sex scenes and things get more wild by the episode, those shows will no longer have my support.

Pregnant & Lovin It: Week 12 Mom & Baby Update

Good morning world! I am 12 weeks and a few days pregnant. With this being my first pregnancy, there is so many new things to learn and adjust too but my husband and I are loving every moment. I have been extremely blessed to have a very smooth 1st trimester. No morning sickness, extreme fatigue or pain. I haven’t had to miss one day of work because of the pregnancy so far. All of my doctor’s appointments have gone perfect also. We were able to hear the baby’s heart beat earlier this month and that was very exciting! 2nd trimester begins at week 14. In 6 weeks we get out 2nd ultrasound to determine the sex. I will be 18 weeks by then.

I am honestly still in a small state of shock that I am pregnant. I have wanted to have an awesome husband, a career, own a home and raise a family since I was a little girl and now all my dreams are coming through. We give ALL glory and honor to God. We know that it is only because of our Lord that we are blessed, healthy, happy and at peace. 10 years ago I NEVER could have seen my life going this way. Life with Christ is the only way to go. He makes all things new and He is so faithful!!

The pregnancy symptoms that I have been experiencing are: frequent trips to the rest room, lower back pain at times, hungry all the time and breast tenderness. I have a little baby bump now too. All the pregnancy websites say that between now and a few weeks, ladies grow a lot in the waist area. I purchased my 1st belly band to help me fit my pants more comfortably; I love it!! I try not to complain about any symptoms that I experience because I am so grateful to God to be able to carry a baby and prepare to raise a child up in the ways of the Lord with my husband. Eddie is so excited. He grocery shops, cooks and helps out around the house. He makes sure that I’m comfortable and eating healthy.  We read baby books and websites together and day-dream and pray about our future family. He took great care of me before pregnancy so now I’m being spoiled even more! I love it! Our parents, siblings, extended family, friends, church members and coworkers are extra excited, supportive and helpful as well. This is such an awesome time in our lives. I am glad that I am not sick and can enjoy each day. Thank you Jesus!

Easy Baby Life Website gives details on the baby’s development this week. Checkout some of the interesting info below.

The biggest thing for your little one this week is the developing reflexes. Fingers will open and close, toes will curl, even facial expressions will change. Your baby can both scratch his nose and suck his thumb!

If you move a specific way your baby will respond by moving as well, even if you can’t quite feel it yet. Muscles start responding to the stimulus development for a more natural movement for your baby.

The brain starts making hormones as well as the rapid development of the nerve cells while the kidneys start producing urine.

Actually, week 12 is the start of a critical development phase for your baby’s brain. Between week 12 and week 18 and later between week 24 and 36, brain development is particularly rapid and sensitive.

The placenta is functioning effectively and blood flows from the umbilical cord.

Muscles within the intestines also begin to practice contractions known as peristalsis in order to digest food later on.

The eyes of your new baby have moved from the sides of the head to the front where they belong, and the ears are where they belong as well.Just over 2 inches long, your little one is about the size of a and weighs close to half an ounce.

Sistas Positively Affecting Sistas

Many women in the African American community are struggling. Struggling to know their purpose, their value/worth, to understand what real love is,  to be accepted and live productive lives. Many AA women have made celebrities and the women in the videos their role models and this much change. I went to visit a 22-year-old single mom with four kids. She had a few female friends over and all the ladies had their hair done, gold around their necks and designer clothes on. The family lives in poverty. I am not saying that people with low-income can not have nice things, but often times AA women spend more money on hair, nails, jewelry, clothes, shoes and make up than anything else. This must change. Our value should never be in how cute we look or what possessions we have. Our value isn’t in how great our bodies look or how many men are following us around. Our value is who are we in Christ; that we are healthy mind, body and soul, that we’re happy, determined and successful. We are more than just baby makers or women with big butts. We are creative,  smart, worthy of love and healthy relationships. We are strong, survivors, teachers, lawyers, doctors, social workers, stay at home mothers, business owners, ministers of the gospel etc.

To my Christian sistas, the next time you see that same prostitute that passes by your job everyday, the young girl in your neighborhood that dresses too fast, a single mother on your job that you know is struggling to raise her six children all alone, your aunt who struggles with drug addiction, your girl who fell away from church or your sister who just dropped out of school, pray and follow the Holy Spirit as to how to love on that woman. Give her a smile, some encouraging words, a hug, tell her Jesus loves her, you love her, it will be ok, ask if you can pray with her, invite her to church, treat her to lunch and just be a listening ear, whatever Holy Spirit tells you to do.

Christians are the salt of the earth. The bible says the world will know we are Christians by our love. We must love on those around us. We must let our light shine. We must live a sold out for Christ lifestyle so that the women around us can know that they too can have peace, joy, a great life in Christ. I give  God ALL the glory that my life is a positive example to others. I am blessed to be a 29-year-old black woman who loves the Lord, has a husband who loves the Lord, we serve at our church together, we have a happy marriage, we were blessed to plan our pregnancy, we own a home in the suburbs, I have two college degrees and we both have careers that we love. Ask me if ten years ago I would have thought I would be this blessed, no! God is good and when I completely surrender my life to Him, He restored me and continues to mold me into the woman who He has called me to be. I want my life to encourage others. To let them know that if God did it for me, He will do that and more for them.

Ladies today’s message is to walk in love, be led as to how the Holy Ghost wants you to mentor and reach out to those around you and to let your lifestyle be a witness of God’s goodness and faithfulness to others. The world needs us. We can’t afford to be half stepping, fake, worthless Christians. Our families need us, our coworkers, neighbors and those that we come into contact with daily on Facebook and Twitter. People all over need hope and we know the one who has all that they need, JESUS!!!

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

YES GOD CAN: My Testimony List

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. 
 
Last Sunday, 8/8/10 at Word of Faith, Pastor Butler preached an encouraging message reminding us that yes God can do EVERYTHING that we need Him to do. Pastor encouraged us to make a victory list of things that God has done for us in the past and use that to encourage ourselves during the tough times. God has already done so much for all of us and He’s changing and rearranging things right now on our behalf!! No matter what it looks like right now, know that God is in control. He sees your circumstance, He sees your diligence and He hasn’t forgotten you or the seeds that you’ve sown over the years.
 
In case you need reminding, YES GOD CAN:
 
*Restore your family
*Heal your body
*Save your children
*Bring promotion on your job
*Cancel your debt
*Move your mountains
*Save your marriage
*Bless you with a spouse and/or a child
*Give you God ideas to bless the world and increase your finances 
*Give you peace, joy and comfort
*Get your family members off drugs
*Increase your business/ministry
*Help you sale or buy your house
*Bless you with a job
  
Those are examples of what my God can do because with Him ALL things are possible!! Here is a brief testimony/victory list of my own. God gets ALL the glory! He’s been too good to me and I don’t deserve His love, mercy or grace but I thank God for it!!
 
1. When I was in college making bad choices, my God protected me and had mercy on me. When I came running back to him at the age of 20, He was right there to love on me and make me whole again!
  
2. My God helped me pass my Statistics class. The class was the most challenging of all my undergraduate classes but I exercised my faith, studied a lot by myself and with a study group. I needed the case to graduate and I was overjoyed when I found out that I had passed and would graduate on time!
 
3. 2003 was a year of many miracles!
 

A) That was the year that I started counseling and got restored from the sexual assault that I survived in 2000. I began to get stronger and stronger in God. I learned to trust in God, forgive those who had wronged me, walk in God’s joy, peace and wisdom. I began developing an intimate relationship with Him and I was no longer walking in fear or shame.

B) I graduated from Oakland University with my bachelors in Psychology.
 
C) I met my husband and many other young people at Word Of Faith. My husband and the other brothers in the Lord showed me what it meant to be treated like a sister and not a piece of meat. I made many friends that year and having Christian friends really helped me to grow in God.
  
4) God restored my brother. My brother Joel came back to Michigan a few years ago and started working, going to church, being hard working and responsible. He got married, had my beautiful niece and continues to be an awesome husband, man of God, father, son and brother to all of us.
 
5) God blessed me in 2008 to graduate with my Master’s in Counseling, we purchased our 1st home and I was blessed to marry to the man of my dreams, the man God ordained just for me. All of this happened within a few weeks of one another. God is faithful!!
 
6) Less than two months after getting my Master’s degree, I was promoted to supervisor in my department at my job.
 
7) God continues to heal and restore our families mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. God is faithful and He continues to do miracles and show himself faithful. If he did it once, He will continue to do it again and again and again!!

1 Cor 1:9 God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mark 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony