Thursday, October 4, 2012

In honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

There’s something I wanted to tell you but don’t know where to start
I wish my words could save you from deceptions of the heart
I guess the first thing I would say is, always recognize your worth
If I’ve never said before, you’re too precious to accept any hurt
Make no mistake, your heart will break, sometimes he’ll let you down
But make sure his desire is to ease your pain when he causes you to frown
And if he ever hits you, I mean the very first time he lifts his hand
You turn around and leave right then, because he is not a man
I’m so sorry I never showed you, by the way I lived my life,
what it truly means to be a valued, loved and cared for wife
You never should have witnessed the beatings I would take
If I could do it over, oh the many changes I would make!
Trust me, never, ever feel that you must stay there for the kids
just think of how terrible it was for us every time I did
Think of how you wished that we had struggled all alone
Than to live in fear, no sum was worth the terror inside our home
Baby girl, please know that I loved you more than I can ever say
And I would do anything to have never failed you in this way
HE had the problem I realize now and I need for you to know
You played no part in my bad choice, be at peace, move on and grow
I pray you never fall victim to fear, my dearest
keep your head up and be brave
My last prayer is that you’ve heard my words
an echo from the grave….
By Danee Riggs

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I don't need a month to be aware of it. I am reminded every day that I am a survivor and when I look at my beautiful little girl I am reminded that I must do everything in my power to make her aware. I hope to raise her with awareness of the warning signs, raise her to love herself and her Heavenly Father, and most importantly that she can always come to me no matter how bad the situation. I hope I can instill in her an unbreakable confidence in her self worth.  I don't have all the answers on how I'm going to implement my plan to raise a confident and yet grounded girl but I will try my best.  
I've seen the commercials for a few years on Dove's movement for self-esteem. I've admired their efforts since day one of the campaign but now having a little girl... I'm even a bigger fan. They have the right concept. There is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls' confidence as they grow older. It's a shame because we are all created in His image and He is beauty; He is amazing. Every girl, every woman, is beautiful. 

1. having beauty;  having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
2. excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.

I tell Aria every night as I put her in her bed that she is beautiful, she's smart, and that I love her.  She is beautiful and will always be beautiful.  God never uses one’s outward physical appearance to determine beauty. When the prophet Samuel examined Jesse’s sons in search of the next king of Israel, he was impressed with Eliab’s appearance. God told Samuel: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”. Nothing in a person’s outward appearance impresses God. God looks upon the inner beauty, the beauty of one’s heart. 

 This is what true beauty looks like..

A look from your child that says you are their everything.
Being silly!
Heart of a Grandparent.
Showing your disability who's boss.

Friendship based on unconditional love and support.

A Mother's fight for equality for her little girl.
The laughter of a child.

Our society has a very distorted and  shallow idea of beauty. And if you don't see it as being a "big" problem, tell that to the teen girl who got plastic surgery to fix her ears, nose and chin. She was teased about her physical appearance since she was 7. 7!!! Kids shouldn't be concerning themselves with such petty things.... and where do you think these kids learn their behavior from? Parents. Every time you giggle about someone's "big belly" at the local Wal-Mart, you are setting an example for how your children are to behave. Or if you yourself are the bully and pick on your kids outward appearance or odd behavior... they see that and absorb it in to use at a later time. 

And those bullies? Most turn into abusers...

54% of students said witnessing physical abuse at home can lead to violence in school. It's a viscous cycle. Domestic violence in the home can create bullies in the school that then can create more domestic violence in the home later on in life. 

We need to raise awareness. We need to prepare our children for not only their personal future but society's future.