Dawn of a New Day 365. Who ever thought that the 4-letter word I almost hated as a child…would end up being my platform?
Hello! My name is Dawn Charleston-Green, and I am pleased to welcome you to my new blog. The name again is… Dawn (like the morning), Charleston (like the city), and Green (just like the color); and yes, I play off my name all the time, but it wasn’t always that way.
A little history
As a child, I disliked my name. I won’t say that I hated it…but I wasn’t particularly fond of it AT ALL. I knew that it was different…but why was it different? And better yet, why was it so short?
Dawn. D-A-W-N. Four letters. One syllable.
Now, I am not the only Dawn. There are many women with the name. However, most of those women aren’t African American and from Mansfield, LA. A very small (what some would consider country) town, 30 minutes south of Shreveport.
Maybe I would have liked it just a bit if people would have pronounced it correctly. In the most stereotypical southern country accent, the voice would say, “Doan Charles-tan?” Then wait for Doan to emerge. I…cringing in my seat and closing my eyes (rolling them to myself) would say, “Here!” Just to always receive the response, “Are you Doan Charles-tan?” Then, look at me as if I didn’t know who I was. To which my mother would respond, “Yes, her name is Dawn Nikole Charleston. Pronouncing each and every syllable in the most classy, sophisticated way possible.
My mom wanted my name to be different from the other little black girls, who at the time were being endearingly named Tameka, LaShonda, LaTasha, and Keisha. And as popular, and as common, and as overused as those names were in the 1970s, I sure wished I was in that number.
Heck! Even the white girls were being named Heather, Stephanie, Tiffany, and Jennifer.
Mom!!! What were you thinking?!?!?! Dawn!? Really!? Dawn?!?
So…instead…everyone called me Nikole…Nikki for short. I could deal with that. It went with my personality of fun and curious, as I adventured the brier-woods at my grandparents’ house on the Grand Cane/Shreveport Hwy.
Where the DAWN Began
In those woods there was always something new. A new flower, berry, or colorful butterfly. But there were also grasshoppers, frogs, and other creatures that rustled the leaves and trees around me. I should have taken those days as a forecast of what was to come…That some days I would witness all the beauty and pleasantries that life had to offer. Then other days I would face ugliness and things that didn’t feel so good. Yet, those ugly things in life would pale in comparison to those things that catch you off guard…those things you don’t see coming that rustle the leaves of life.
It’s sometimes hard to believe, especially now that most people take me to be a girly-girl, that I was that girl who climbed trees and went digging for earthworms to go fishing. I absorbed everything nature had to offer and I had the acreage around me to feel complete freedom.
As I’ve aged, I still absorb everything around me; but life has a way of muffling the voice you once unapologetically expressed.
My grandmother shared two very distinct things with me as a child that have stuck with me through today. The first was, “Pretty is as pretty does.” I share this often with my daughter. My grandmother told me that it doesn’t matter how pretty you are, if your attitude is ugly…it diminishes your outward beauty. Know anybody like that?
The other golden nugget she shared (that it took me becoming an adult to realize)…is that one day I would understand the meaning of my name and walk into the calling of it. She told me that my name meant light and that my purpose was to bring light to people; especially those at a place of darkness. I had no clue what that meant…in fact, I was a little intimidated by the thought.
So why start a blog?
Because finally, I truly understand… that I am Dawn.
Two of my favorite definitions of dawn are these:
dawn /dôn,dän/ – noun – the beginning of a phenomenon or period of time, especially one considered favorable; verb – to become evident to the mind; be perceived or understood.
Sis, there is a difference between you thinking about something and when something “dawns” on you. Information brings knowledge; but understanding brings wisdom, insight, and revelation that cause you to maneuver through life differently.
There is a lot I have done and learned throughout my 46 years of living. There have been triumphs, trials, and tribulations; but there is a scripture that I hold close to me concerning my responsibility now to others – Luke 22:31
31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
The DAWN is Coming
It has finally DAWN-ed on me that all my life’s lessons (good and bad) have for one, made me a stronger woman; but secondly, have given me a testimony and a purpose to share my truths to help strengthen other women.
Too many times people (especially women) go through things in life and resort to shame, guilt, and secrecy. But there is FREEDOM and HEALING in TRUTH.
Because I am a Christian believer, I believe that lies, deception, guilt, and shame are Satan’s way of keeping us bound, and enforcing generational curses on our lives and in the lives of our children. In fact, that’s apart of his job description. In John 10:10 it says,
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
Satan wants to steal joy, peace, and purpose, Sis. The thing is…he’s already been defeated. So then, he just wants to frustrate us and persuade us into doubting that Jesus is who He is. But the remainder of the verse tells us what Jesus came to do, and says…
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I’m in the line for the abundance, Sis. Now who doesn’t want to LIVE a more abundant life? Notice I didn’t say, who doesn’t want to HAVE a more abundant life? Having and living are two different things. Just because one has…does not mean that one lives. We can “have” all the riches in the world, but to live without true peace and assurance, it means nothing. 2 Corinthians 3:17 tells us, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Liberty is what I desire to have…and liberty is what I desire to bring to others.
The Appearance of Dawn
Another definition of Dawn is –
– The first appearance of light in the sky before sunrise.
Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s always darkest just before dawn”? Well, this Dawn has experienced some darkness. Yet, I have witnessed the SON shine through to bring me a new sunrise, daybreak, a new birth, a new arrival, an emergence, a fresh start, and some new beginnings.
During times that I felt like I was being buried, I learned that I was actually being planted. Or in times where I felt like I was being cut, I learned I was being pruned. These things look and feel the same but serve different purposes. Buried things decay never to come back; but planted things after going through a process in darkness… rise to the surface bringing forth more than they went down with. Cut things are thrown in the fire and destroyed; things that are pruned are done so in order to yield greater production than the previous season.
Sis, I’m rising from the ground from which I was planted; bearing the the scars from my pruning. But this dirt on my face and my scars tell a testimony; and I will tell the truth of their stories, if it means helping another woman emerge into the Dawn of a New Day.
My intention with this blog is to:
- Educate, inspire, and transform
- Evolve over time. Not everything stays the same. Everything grows and has seasons. I expect this blog to do the same.
- Maintain relevancy
I would like to connect to:
- Youth and Young Adults
My hope is to:
- Strengthen others through experiences, faith, reality, and humor
- Empower and encourage by building community and platforms for other faith-filled believers who share in my passion and ministry.
Join me on this journey of LOVE, LIFE, & LEGACY…and the DAWNing of New Days ahead.
Upcoming blogs will include topics on:
- Starting Over/Repurposing Self
- Blended Families
- Raising Teenagers
- Parent Separation Anxiety
- Infertility and Miscarriage
- Raising Godly Children
- Leaving a Legacy
- Family Ministry
What would you like to talk about?
Let me know. Leave me a COMMENT, LIKE, and SUBSCRIBE; so that you don’t miss a thing.