Today is the beginning
Of God’s perfect plan anew
And from here you’ll grow and nurture
All the gifts inside of you
Created for God’s glory
You’ve been blessed from up above
Endowed with grace and beauty
As a symbol of His love
You will walk in paths of honor
And you’ll speak at wisdom’s gate
You’ll be known among the noble
Of all women small and great
You will see through eyes of faith
When the storms of life rage strong
You will stand upon God’s promise
And find peace to carry on
You will listen with your heart
And be swift to hear the good
With a kind and gentle spirit
You’ll treat others as you should
And as your mother, I’m very proud
Of what you will become
Inside my heart you hold a place
Reserved for only one
Table of contents
A Prayer for My Daughter
by William Butler Yeats
Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
My child sleeps on. There is no obstacle
But Gregory’s wood and one bare hill
Whereby the haystack- and roof-leveling wind.
Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;
And for an hour I have walked and prayed
Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.
I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,
And under the arches of the bridge, and scream
In the elms above the flooded stream;
Imagining in excited reverie
That the future years had come,
Dancing to a frenzied drum,
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.
May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger’s eye distraught,
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beauty a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.
Helen being chosen found life flat and dull
And later had much trouble from a fool,
While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray,
Being fatherless could have her way
Yet chose a bandy-legged smith for man.
It’s certain that fine women eat
A crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.
In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty’s very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.
May she become a flourishing hidden tree
That all her thoughts may like the linnet be,
And have no business but dispensing round
Their magnanimities of sound,
Nor but in merriment begin a chase,
Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel
Rooted in one dear perpetual place.
My mind, because the minds that I have loved,
The sort of beauty that I have approved,
Prosper but little, has dried up of late,
Yet knows that to be choked with hate
May well be of all evil chances chief.
If there’s no hatred in a mind
Assault and battery of the wind
Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.
An intellectual hatred is the worst,
So let her think opinions are accursed.
Have I not seen the loveliest woman born
Out of the mouth of Plenty’s horn,
Because of her opinionated mind
Barter that horn and every good
By quiet natures understood
For an old bellows full of angry wind?
Considering that, all hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
And that its own sweet will is Heaven’s will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.
And may her bridegroom bring her to a house
Where all’s accustomed, ceremonious;
For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony’s a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.
“A Prayer for My Daughter” is a reflection of the poet’s love for his daughter. It is also about surviving the turmoil of the contemporary world, where passions have been separated from reason. The setting of the poem is unspecified. The speaker is the poet himself talking to his daughter. The tone is gloomy, precarious, and frightening, as well as didactic.
The poem opens with a description of the speaker praying for his innocent infant daughter, Anne, lying in the middle of a storm “howling, and half hid.” The poet demonstrates his feelings through the use of symbols of weather. The newborn baby girl is sleeping “Under this cradle-hood and coverlid,” implying the innocence and vulnerability of Anne. Though the external world is violent, she is protected from it. The storm is a metaphor for the Irish people’s struggle for their independence, which was an uncertain political situation in Yeats’s day. He further presents the situation of the storm with “roof-leveling wind”, representing turbulence, in the midst of which the poet has “walked and prayed for this young child an hour.” Intense and threatening forces surround her like a “flooded stream.” The poet symbolizes the sea thus: “Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.” Despite his apprehensions for his child in this turbulent world, he is hopeful for her.
The poet continues on to comment on his hopes for her beauty:“May she be granted beauty and yet not.” His vacillation is that beauty in women sometimes brings disasters. For example, some such people have a difficult time choosing the right person as a life partner, and neither they can “find a friend.” The speaker lays emphasis on the need for feminine innocence. The poet advances his argument in the next stanzas by citing examples of beautiful women such as Helen of Troy, whose beauty was said to be the cause of the Trojan War. By the end, the poet wants his daughter to be courteous, as love cannot come unconditionally and freely. She must earn love with good efforts and kind-heartedness, and she cannot win it by merely physical beauty because “Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned.” Summing up his theme, the poet wishes his daughter to possess such qualities that could help her face the future years confidently and independently.
The poem is written in a lyric form containing ten stanzas with eight lines in each stanza. The poem follows a regular rhyme scheme, which is AABBCDDC as shown below:
I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour A
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower, A
And-under the arches of the bridge, and scream B
In the elms above the flooded stream; B
Imagining in excited reverie C
That the future years had come, D
Dancing to a frenzied drum, D
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea. C
The meter of this poem alternates between iambic pentameter and trochaic pentameter, as in “I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour / And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower.” The poem is rich in literary devices such as symbolism, personification, paradox, sibilance, assonance, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. The line “murderous innocence of the sea” is an example of paradox. Sibilance is found in the words “sea-wind scream,” while “scream” is also an example of an onomatopoeia. The use of personification can be noted in the lines “future years … dancing”, which implies the transience of life. The poet uses symbols such as “sea wind” and “flooded stream” which denote turbulent forces at work. Alliteration is present in the phrase “be granted beauty.”
Guidance for Usage of Quotes
The poem is concerned with the chaotic modern world. It shows a father consumed with apprehension for his daughter’s future in an uncertain political situation. The father is tense about how he can possibly protect his daughter from the raging storm outside, because she is very beautiful. Therefore, he prays for her as well as gives advice about how to live successfully on earth. Similarly, modern-day fathers can send quotes from this poem to their daughters as a piece of advice for special occasions:
“In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty’s very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.”
On My Knees | Source A Mother’s Prayer
This is a true story about my teenage daughter exploring life. I was very concerned about the choices she was making.
In this writing, you will witness the power of prayer clearly seen in a very specific answer to my urgent prayers for my daughter. Join me as I tell you the marvels and mysteries of a God who is so personal, loving and kind. He targeted my prayer and answered it dead-on. The impact still blows me away. It is hard to wrap my head around his love. Yet, he lavishly poured it all over me with this revelation.
My precious daughter | Source My Baby Girl
I was beside myself with joy when I heard the doctor say, “It’s a Girl!” Rebecca was my second child and my first daughter.
My baby girl had my devotion and was firmly planted in my heart, way before I ever laid eyes on her sweet little face. I knew that this child was a treasure and a trust from God.
I considered my role in her life essential. I understood the power a mother possesses to pass down blessings or pain.
I was one hundred percent committed to being this child’s Mother. I prayed for wisdom to be what she needed.
I still remember being in the hospital with her. Just Rebecca and me. As I lovingly embraced her, I got lost in her beauty. She was perfect in every way. I spent hours staring at her delicate, tiny face. I studied her and carefully memorized every unique curve and dimple.
The video below is a touching song by Sandi Patti called, “You are a Masterpiece.” This song encapsulates my own heart of amazement and wonder as a mother.
I encourage you to take a moment to consider the wonder of holding a tiny new life.
My Little Girl | Source Growing Up
From the start, I realized my little girl possessed a much different personality than my son, Daniel. My sweet boy tore around the house like a reckless tornado. He was my little show-off, filled with giggles and fun.
Rebecca was a quiet and thoughtful child. She possessed a gentle, carefree spirit. As a child, she lived in her own little world with her own little rules.
As she grew into her teen years she was lovable and kind, but she wasn’t easy to read. Outwardly she would concede to whatever I might say with a slight nod of her head. Though she would nod in agreement, I was quite sure she had thoughts of her own, thoughts she concealed.
Rebecca was mysterious and that puzzled me. I only wished I understood what went on in that little head of hers.
As she grew up, she blossomed into a stunning young lady. Her big chocolate brown eyes, framed with thick black lashes, captured many boys. Her long light brown hair kissed blonde by the sun, framed her face beautifully. Her smile, well let’s just say it could stop traffic.
When you have a beautiful daughter, you have a concern. You know she will receive more attention than the average girl. I was concerned about my daughter’s ability to handle the kind of attentiveness she was receiving. She was bewildered when she received some inappropriate attention (actually she got three guys reprimanded for inappropriate advances, two at work and one was a teacher who got fired). I had to teach Rebecca to look away when a man or boy locked eyes with her.
As a teen, she was outgoing. Her warmth and kindness were easily misread by the opposite sex. Today, as a grown woman, she is still very friendly but cautious with her smiles.
In High School, Rebecca started to date and bring boys home.
I was always thankful that my kids knew they could bring their friends to our home and count on a welcoming atmosphere.
Though I was friendly and welcoming to Rebecca’s boyfriends, apprehension began to grow in my heart. She was drawn to the ‘bad boy’ types. I talked to her about her choices and with her typical nod of agreement, the conversation ended.
Trouble was brewing and she withdrew keeping her thoughts to herself. I observed the struggle through her eyes and posture. She was not a girl to be prodded so this period was frustrating for me as a Mother.
Though I couldn’t engage Rebecca to talk, I prayed to a God who could read her every thought. I prayed in faith knowing that God knew my daughter inside and out and that He had great plans for her, and those plans were for good.
Source A Mother’s Prayer
Here is where I will tell you about an urgent prayer sent straight from a Mother’s lips to the heart of God.
One evening my husband and I went to a Christian Concert that included a dinner. At dinner, we were seated across from a couple who were friendly and engaging. As we were getting to know each other, I learned that the gentleman was a physician and his wife a nurse.
As we chatted, we learned about their family. At some point, the doctor pointed over to a table where a young man was carving the meat. He was beaming as he said, “That’s my son, he is working here for the summer.” The young man the father bragged about was very handsome. His smile was kind and his eyes full of fun.
The more the couple told us about their son, the more I wished my Rebecca could meet someone like him. As we were listening, I shot up a quick prayer and asked God to send Becca, a young man just like the Doctor’s son.
Growing up is hard to do. To get through the teen years and remain unscathed by the world is almost impossible.
Rebecca was proving to be a very responsible teenager. She was still in high school when she got a job working in a daycare center. Every day after school Becca went to her job. She was very faithful to her responsibilities. As a new driver, we provided her with an old car. But Rebecca purposed in her heart to save her money to buy a car of her own.
It wasn’t long before she saved enough to buy her first car. One day her Dad took her car shopping and when she came home, her face was beaming. She bought a bright red Mazda.
Rebecca’s major, as a Junior in high school, was Culinary Arts. Being a creative soul, she excelled in her class. Her teacher boasted about her culinary skills.
She made many close friends in this class. At the end of her senior year, she was awarded a full scholarship to a culinary arts school. During her senior year, Rebecca applied for a Prep Cook position at a local Country Club; she got hired. She looked adorable in her uniform with her chef’s hat.
Though she was growing up, she still seemed young and vulnerable; there was such an innocence and naivety about her. Can you understand the concern I felt each time she walked out the door to work? I prayed, “Lord protect her. You know the influences are out there.” My daughter’s mysterious pondering ways did not allow me to enter the place where her secret thoughts lay.
Years later I heard the ‘real story,’ and the urgent need for those prayers for protection. One of the guys at work introduced her to Pot. She tells me she was afraid, at first, because of a discussion that she and I had about Pot. I swear I don’t remember the conversation, in fact, I’m laughing as I write because I can’t even imagine saying this, but if you ask her, this conversation did take place.
Rebecca relays it this way, after asking me questions about pot, I told her that pot was very dangerous and that many people are allergic to it. She said I looked at her very somberly explaining that some have even died on their first try. Rebecca says an alarm went off, and then she asked me how a person would know if they were allergic. She said, I just shook my head sadly as I answered, one never knows until they take that first drag.
Rebecca decided to take the risk and try it after a male coworker pressured her. Becca said that this guy assured her it was safe. She said she used pot with caution, promising herself she would be careful not to use too much.
Another story, relayed to me after she grew up, was about a drive home from work one night. The guy who had convinced her that pot was safe, gave her some at work. She explained that night by saying, “Driving home that night, out of the blue, a ginormous red firetruck appeared in front of her.”
She continued, “It was reeling toward me at a breakneck speed. There was this man dressed up like a clown driving the firetruck.” “What in the world!” I exclaimed. “Yes,” she continued, “The truck had its brights on high, and then I saw tons of firefighters hanging off the side. They were urgently motioning me to pull over.”
At this point of the story, I gasp, and she continues. “I whipped over to the side of the road just in time to see a big old truck (not a fire truck) with red flags, on its side, flapping in the wind. That’s when I realized my mind, affected from pot, was playing tricks on me. I was so frightened as I made my way to the nearest gas station. After parking, I ran to the bathroom. Once locked inside I splashed cold water all over my face. I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Becca, you fool, why did you ever touch that stupid weed.'” That was the last time Rebecca used pot. Thank you, God!
When she got home that night, her brother’s critical eyes caught sight of her condition. He came running into the room, “Mom!” he yelled, “Rebecca is drunk!”
I studied Rebecca and concluded she was exhausted. I asked her in a very firm tone, “Rebecca have you been drinking?” Rebecca answered, “I swear to God mom, I have not been drinking!” Daniel countered her statement by saying, “Mom I know about these things, believe me, Rebecca is drunk!” I told Daniel that Rebecca would not lie to me and that I chose to believe her (Rebecca wasn’t the only one prone to being naive.) In retrospect, she wasn’t lying; She wasn’t drinking, she was stoned!
I was always thankful that Rebecca liked going to Church and Youth Group. There were some great kids in that group. Rebecca enjoyed the Youth Group activities and meetings.
Rebecca’s best friend was a year older than her. Tami was an all around good girl who had a lot of common sense. I believe God brought Tami into Rebecca’s life as a result of a specific prayer. I prayed for a loyal friend for Rebecca. We moved right across the street from her.
Tami and her family greeted us the day we moved in the neighborhood. I learned later that Tami’s mom had also been praying for a loyal friend for her daughter. High school girls can be caddy and Tami had fallen prey to some mean girl schemes.
Tami and Rebecca became instant friends. If they weren’t at our house, they were at Tami’s. I was so thankful for this friendship and knew what a great influence Tami was to my dear vulnerable Rebecca.
Tami did not hesitate to speak her mind if she felt Rebecca was making a wrong choice. It used to crack me up to see the two of them go at it during times like this. On many occasions, Rebecca would finally see the wisdom in her friend’s words.
As Rebecca was experimenting with pot and working with some seedy characters, God was at work. He was about to redirect her life. It was Tami’s first year of college and Rebecca’s senior year of High School. For six year’s these two had been inseparable.
Tami was now qualified to move up to the college-aged youth group but she wanted Rebecca to be with her. Since Tami didn’t want to go to the high school youth group, it was a no-brainer, Tami would ‘sneak’ Rebecca into the college group.
Once Rebecca joined this college-aged group, I began to notice changes in her. After her meetings, she came home bubbling with some great stories about what went on that night.
She began to open up and shared more of her heart with me; I was relieved and happy. One night, after one of her meetings, she told me about the leader of the college group. She said, “He’s real, good-looking and a great teacher but he’s stuck on himself and that’s a BIG turn off.”
Before too long this teacher began to show an interest in Rebecca. But Rebecca wasn’t interested and blew him off. One day he called the house. I can still remember his deep, sophisticated voice asking to talk to my daughter. I asked who was calling and learned it was the leader of her college group.
After Rebecca talked to him, she came bounding down the stairs to inform me that he would be picking her up for the activity that night. I asked her how old he was and learned that he was four years older than her. That explained the deep, masculine voice.
When the young man came to the door, that evening I was struck by his handsome appearance and playful brown eyes. He was very polite, smiled warmly at me and introduced himself.
As we talked, he told me about the plans for the college-aged group that night. He went on to inform me what time he would be dropping Rebecca off. They said goodbye and Rebecca trotted off after him. Though she was excited to go, it was evident that she was NOT impressed with him.
Surprised Mom | Source God Answered Prayer
Rebecca’s college leader stopped by often. I liked him a lot and could tell he had a good upbringing. He was an honest young man. I was so thankful for this influence in Rebecca’s life.
As Rebecca got to know him, she saw the kindness and goodness of his heart. She told him one day that she liked his soft side. He told her that his heart was touched because she had uncovered his outer shell.
The two of them usually sat around and watched television or chatted with me. He liked to cook. Many a day he could be found in our kitchen whipping something scrumptious up for the family.
One day when ‘he was doing his thing’ in the kitchen, I stood next to him watching the magic happen. We were chatting about different things and then I asked him about his family.
As he talked, I learned that his father was a doctor and his mom, a nurse. He explained that his Dad and Mom lived in a city about 90 miles away. I continued to listen as he explained that they were very involved at a Christian retreat center near his house.
I was suddenly jolted by his words. My thoughts screamed, “OH MY GOODNESS .. here, standing right before me, is the answer to my prayer from a year ago.” It was Dillon’s parent’s that we sat across from at the Christian retreat center. Standing in front of me was the very boy I had studied, a year ago, praying that God please send someone like him to my daughter.
I gently grabbed Dillon by the arm. As he turned and looked at me quizzically, I said, “Dillon, I have to something amazing to tell you! You know nothing about what I am about to tell you. Son, I’m sure you believe, as I do, that God hears and God answers prayer.” Dillon listened intently. “You, young man, are a direct answer to my prayer.”
Dillon stared at me with pensive eyes as I continued to explain the dinner that took place the previous year. I told him about the night I met his parents and the evident pride they had in their son. I explained how they pointed him out to us and then I shared the prayer I sent up that night.
As Dillon looked down tending, to his stir-fry I could see he was shaken and moved. I continued, “Dillon, I don’t know how your role is in Rebecca’s life will turn out, but I do know God sent you to her. You may have a temporary part to play in her life, but your role is very crucial to her well-being. God sent you here.”
The wheels were turning in Dillon’s mind. Serious contemplation covered his face as he processed my words. I was reeling with emotions and gratitude to my God, who targeted and answered this Mother’s prayer.
After that night, Dillon continued to hang out with the family. We enjoyed his calm yet charismatic presence in our home. There came a day when Dillon and Rebecca’s friendship turned into something more. Eventually, Dillon asked Rebecca to go on a date with him, and, to my delight, Rebeca said Yes!
Dillon became Becca’s confidant and the one with whom she shared her heart. She trusted him with her secrets, questions and with all of her thoughts. He was trustworthy. His influence was invaluable to her growth. He held her accountable for decisions she made, especially at work. What more could a Mother hope?
Surprise ProposalWill You Marry Me? | Source A Love Story
One night Dillon approached my husband and me with a question. He told us he wanted to propose to Rebecca. He asked to marry our girl and he asked for our blessing. We were thrilled and responded by jumping up and covering him with hugs.
Dillon went on to share a very creative plan to propose, which he already had in motion. As soon as Dillon had the green light he began placing calls to all of the important people in their lives. He asked them to meet at an Asian Restaurant nearby at 6 pm and then instructed them to wait for us in the reserved banquet room.
Meanwhile, at home, as the hour approached Dillon casually said, “Hey I’m getting hungry, how about going out to dinner.” My husband and I readily agreed as we ‘discussed’ where we should eat.
Rebecca wasn’t feeling good that day and said, “Why don’t you guys go ahead, I need to take a nap,” and up the stairs, she went. We were stunned, now what? I hurried after her, mind turning with a multitude of words I might use to convince her to join us. It took me awhile to get her to agree to come with us. I kept prodding and proposing different arguments, though she was reluctant she finally consented. Whew, what a scare.
As we walked into the restaurant Dillon suggested seating in the banquet room. Turning to walk to the room, I kept my eyes on Rebecca. She spied some friends sitting at one of the tables. Rebecca pointed and said, “David, look who’s here.” As they were talking to their friends she caught a glimpse of another group of friends. “Oh my goodness,” she whispered, “Look who else is here.”
Saying goodbye to one table of friends she walked to the next. Looking around she was shocked to see table after table filled with friend’s and family. She shook her head thinking, “What are the chances that all of these friends would choose to eat at the same place on the same night?” It was hilarious to watch her expressions change from excitement to confusion and bewilderment.
As we took our seats and the waitress poured our drinks, Dillon got up and pulled a chair to the center of the room. He smiled at Rebecca and asked her, in his commanding teachers voice, “Rebecca, would you please come and sit in this chair?” Rebecca was horrified. She shook her head NO, thinking Dillon must have lost his mind. But Dillon continued to smile reassuringly and asked again and again until she gave in and sauntered over to the chair. She looked mortified!
She looked so beautiful and vulnerable sitting there waiting. Next, he knelt before her and with a heart full of love asked her to be his wife. Her hands went to her mouth as a broad smile broke out underneath them. She managed to cry out “Yes, yes I will marry you!” Tears streamed down her face and the room broke out with applause. It is a day none of us will ever forget.
Today Rebecca and Dillon are married. They are a very strong and capable couple. Rebecca’s creative soul covers and blesses her family, house and everything she touches. Dillon’s strong presence and love for his family is unshakable.
He is Rebecca’s Rock, and to me, he will forever be a type of hero sent by God in answer to my prayer.
They are an example to all who know them, an example of true love and commitment. I pray that their lives will continue to blend and strengthen as they work together complementing each other. I believe with all my heart that they will continue, as they say in fairy tales, to live Happily Ever After.
Questions & Answers
How do I pray for my adult daughter to meet an honest and committed man to share her life with?
Pray, just as I prayed, believing God hears and answers prayer.
© 2010 Susan Ream