Teaching the Value of Life to my Baby
By Anastasia Roberts
Life is such a beautiful anomaly. Three months ago I was blessed and honored to give birth to a little baby girl named Analee. She took my world and flipped it into a disarray…in the best way possible. After giving birth to Analee, I began to think a little more critically about the precious gift we call life.
For me, at one end of a spectrum life is a beautiful new born child and the other end an individual encountering death and contemplating afterlife. There are also all of the complexities, examinations, and enjoyment life has to offer in between. Along with engaging in the excitement of a new life, recently I have felt the sadness from the modern day strange fruit embedded in our nation of violent death.
The past few weeks, we have dealt with life ending through violence, anger, hate. These deaths make me question how life escapes us suddenly and why? Again, I began to evaluate life and this time I think about how I want to teach my daughter the value of a person’s life. This is somewhat of a cathartic process for me and hopefully will benefit my daughter in the long run.
As a Christian, I believe we have life in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (NIV, 2013). In my eyes, alone, being created from God, I choose to value life. Having the unique breath of life makes an individual worthy of love, care, compassion, justice, and freedom to live with others. Being made in God’s image, I believe we can live courageous lives. (Side note: Specifically, I am talking about human life.)
I would like for my daughter to have courage to believe all things are possible and that her value is beyond material possessions. Her value has no market price. She is a richness that is intrinsically found. Maybe my daughter will not have to see death as we have seen it recently in the news, but as a form of love in her life. She will love and refuse the enticing shallow means of living. She will actively live with all the people around her and deny and die to all inadequate means of viewing herself and others.
She will see humanity as a beautiful creation. She will love the skin she is in and the skin of others. How she values her life and that of another will affect the kind of neighbor she is, the community she will be involved in, and the type of advocate she will be. My daughter will know how to have an ABUNDANT LIFE. We are gifted as humanity to have a world filled with diverse groups of people. These diverse groups are in Waco, Texas, also. I believe I can start this journey with my daughter Waco by showing her different people and areas in Waco.
Go to the other side of town and enjoy! I want to surround her with different people groups, the rich and poor, and loved and unloved. I want to surround her with life. We decided the first church she would visit would be Church Under the Bridge. We wanted her to be surrounded by different types of people. I have also taken her to the Farmer’s Market, Downtown Waco, Cameron Park, Carver Park Baptist Church, Antioch, HEB, WALMART, community meetings at the Dewey, many more places, our neighbor’s house, and introduced her to the mail man.
Analee has precious jewels in her life like her father, Roy (her best male advocate), and all of our wonderful friends and family that pour endlessly into her life through wisdom and love. I think introducing her to all those who are around her and engaging with them, will allow her to feel safe and help her value others. I hope, we together, can teach our younger generation how to value and love each other in Waco, Texas. I believe it is our responsibility to love our children enough to target them and help them see the capacity they contain in valuing themselves and others. Waco has a wealth of people and places that help build up our younger generation and teach them how to embrace each other. Let us live Waco!
Anastasia Roberts is a native Houstonian that has lived in Waco since 2003. She is married with a newborn daughter. She works with Communities In Schools at La Vega High school.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.