One day, as I was on my phone with a trusted mentor, my kids were raising cane all around me and doing everything they could to keep me from having a coherent conversation. I don’t remember what our conversation was up to that point, but I remember the words leaving my mouth, “these little monsters…” I don’t even remember the rest of my sentence that I said in reference to them. But one thing that I do remember is the gentle reprimand from my mentor, “Be careful about throwing around words like that about your kids. What we speak into them is what they will become.” And then I remember feeling a little stunned. These words sunk into me and made me really start thinking about how I speak to my children and about my children.

The more I thought about what my mentor said, the more I realized that it was true. I recalled times that people had said things to me in the past, typically beginning with phrases like, “You are…” or “You always…” or “You never…” I started to consider the impact these statements made in my soul. Some did become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Something deep down in my soul shamefully agreed with these statements. Thus, I began a journey of looking inside my heart and asking God to reveal to me the lies that I had believed about myself, and to help me to put the broken pieces together. As I sat down during nap times with my journal, my Bible, and a pen, the slow and steady flood of tears came day after day. God began to do a work of healing in me. He gloriously destroyed the work of the Enemy in my life. I began to declare over myself what I know is true about me in his Word, not just in my head, but in my heart.

As I began to forgive the people who had spoken these words over me, I realized that this work that God was doing in me was far from over. It was just starting. I looked at my three precious little ones, and I began to pray that God would make me ever aware of the impact of my words to them and about them. I prayed that God would change my heart. I prayed that God would take away my spirit of frustration and feeling depleted. I prayed that I would be able to speak life and blessing into their little lives. I had a clear and glorious vision.

Let me tell you, change is not easy. Motherhood IS depleting. Things hardly ever go as planned, especially with littles. The simplest things can very easily become frustrating. Kids get attitudes. They destroy things. They fight with each other. They never leave you alone. And my desire to suddenly start speaking life-giving blessings over my children did not happen like I wanted it to. I had more to deal with in my heart that God is still doing. But day by day, I am asking God to continue making me into the mother whom he has called me to be. I have begun by praying, “God, what word do you have for me to speak over my children today?” And when I hear something from God, I go to that child and I speak that blessing over them. It could be as simple as, “Haddie, do you know that God wants to be your heavenly Father?” “Annelise, I was praying for you today, and God reminded me that his love for you reaches all the way up to the sky!”

I want my home to be a place of blessing and honor. One of my roles as a homemaker is to set the tone, or to create the culture, of my home. I want my home to be a place where speaking life and blessing and the Word of God into each other is just what we do. I want to one day see my children reaping blessing because of what has been spoken over them—by me.