Matthew 18:2-5 "He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I set you apart.
In making a decision for this month’s charity, Anna and I considered many options. We knew we were being led to reach out to a charity in which children are involved, however we weren’t quite sure exactly which direction to go. After a few forks in the road, we were lead to The National Children’s Advocacy Center.
Anna and I are both teachers and mothers. We have very close friends who work for organizations that aide in supporting the well being of children. As teachers, you see things first-hand that you hope to never read about, much less see, in the news.
After a day with 22 third grade students and an afternoon filled with the noise coming from a toddler who is learning her voice and a husband who sings (beautifully, I might add), those 10…sometimes 15 minutes in the shower are the only quiet time I have in my day. I would’t trade my daily noises for anything in this world, but we all know it’s nice to have some quiet time every now and then. It’s in those few minutes that I do a lot of thinking. Thinking about the my life, my past, and my future. It’s also where I do my praying. As we all know, it is sometimes hard to find time during the day to spend in prayer…Just you and God. If your like me, when you get in bed at night, your main objective is to watch your shows, chat with your spouse, and get some much needed shut-eye. So several years ago, I began praying in the shower. My husband will be the first to tell you that I shower too much and too long. Bless his heart, he probably thinks I take a nap in the shower some days. However, some days, I need to have a little chat with God and other days, I need a lot more than that.
A few nights ago, I was in the shower praying over our decision to partner with the NCAC. I began thinking about my childhood. My cushy, perfect, love-filled childhood. That I COMPLETELY took for granted. Did you ever have one of those moments in your childhood when you wished you had different parents? I did. When I was eight years old, I would have given my right arm if Reba McEntire could have been my mom. I idolized her. I knew (and still know) every single word to every single song…. and let me tell you, she has a lot of songs. “Fancy” came on in the car the other day and my 2 year old started dancing….Mommy ‘win’ moment? Yes. Absolutely.
As an adult, I have never really considered the fact that I wanted that as a child. However, when I began thinking about it the other night in the shower, I was brought to tears. It wasn't that I didn't want my mom. I just wanted a 'bonus'. My mother was the epitome of a good mother. She did everything she could to make my sister and me happy. She and my dad worked tirelessly to make sure we had the cushy, perfect, love-filled childhood that we had. They loved with all they had. They wanted to me to be successful. Did that call for the ol’ spanking every once in a while? Yes. Were they perfect? Or course not. Did they try their best? Absolutely. I am so incredibly blessed to have the parents that I did and LEARN from them as well. Ever seen one of those dish towels that says “When I open my mouth, my mother comes out”? Well, yes. Hand raised. And to think...there are children out there who genuinely wish for new parents every single day. That dread going home for school, or dread waking up in the morning.
The fact is that I am in the minority. What about those children, who instead of having parents who help them and build them up, have parents that call them names and push them around. It is so much more prevalent than we realize. Abuse rears its ugly head in many different forms and we have the ability to make a difference. Thankfully, no matter who we are, where we are from, who our parents are, we are ALL
My husband and I are continually amazed at the information that our little sponge soaks up. She knows when we are happy, she knows when we are sad, she knows when we are angry. She hears, sees, and now is starting to remember everything. We are doing all we can do to raise a child who will grow into a young lady that will know her worth. She deserves to know that God loves her and that she is precious in His sight. The mission of Same Cloth this month is to let everyone know that they are precious. Everyone deserves love and acceptance not only through Christ, but also through those that they will encounter in their journey through this life.
Now we have an opportunity to help those who serve these children.
The mission statement of the National Children’s Advocacy Center is simple:
“The NCAC models, promotes, and delivers excellence in child abuse response and prevention through service, education, and leadership.” (http://www.nationalcac.org)
Take a look at the NCAC's Annual Report for the year 2014. These wonderful people, who have some of the toughest jobs on Earth, are giving these neglected and abused children a voice.
God has led us to two verses, which you read at the beginning of this blog, that will guide our devotions and discussions over the next several weeks as we raise money for this worthy cause.
Pray for those who are working for the NCAC. Pray for the children who are in need of their services and pray for the parents who are neglecting their children. We hope you will join us in his journey.
Love & Blessings,