More than just words
by Jennifer Cohron
Jan 30, 2011 | 2755 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jennifer Cohron
Jennifer Cohron
I'm thinking about taking back my maiden name.

Zac and I aren't having marital problems. Williams is just so much easier for people to say and spell.

I have been called Mrs. Cochran more times than I can count in the past two years. I'm not sure if some people see a "c" where it doesn't exist or add a couple of letters to make themselves feel better.

In any case, I'm glad Zac and I didn't name our firstborn son Johnnie.

Last week, I was known as Jennifer Cohorn in several newspapers throughout the state when the Associated Press picked up one of my articles.

The story was copied word for word, but the byline was butchered. I guess the AP editors assumed that I had misspelled my own name.

Frankly, I question their choice of material, but if I'm the best they can do I would rather not be known as a Cohorn.

If any Cohorns are reading this, I'm sure you are perfectly lovely people. My husband just happens to be a Cohron.

For the record, that is pronounced like moron with a "c."

I have been asked by several people why I didn't hyphenate my last name or not change it at all like many famous women.

I read somewhere that Hillary Rodham Clinton was fit to be tied when the new stationery she ordered after getting married came back bearing the initials "HC" instead of "HRC."

I consider myself to be a liberated, open-minded female. However, I don't think I have to hyphenate my name in order to prove that I did not lose my former self when I became Zac's wife.

Our marriage is based on more than semantics.

Do I love his last name? No. But I love him, which is why I became Jennifer Cohron in the first place.

Maybe that's why I got upset when the AP got my name wrong.

My last name is a representation of the man I married. I took it willingly as a sign that I am completely committed to him and our life together.

Words are powerful things.

They can mend a relationship or destroy it, cheer up a friend or slander an enemy. They can be forgiven but never forgotten.

Even our cherished freedom of speech has it limits. If I yelled "Fire!" in a crowded room as a prank and even one person died in the dash to the door, my First Amendment rights would not be enough to save me from legal consequences.

Our words matter, and we all need to remember that.

A friend told me recently that she and her daughter are making an effort to not call themselves fat.

My friend's daughter was 9 when she went on her first diet.

No one told her that she was fat. She just overhead the women in her life criticizing their bodies, and she developed negative thoughts about her own.

Now she doesn't want the young girls in her dance classes to have an unhealthy self-image because of a comment she made offhandedly about herself.

Thoughts frequently pop in my head and fly out my mouth before I can stop them. It's a bad habit that I've been trying to break for a long time.

I used to keep an index card on my desk with Ephesians 4:29 written on it -- "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Talk about conviction.

It seems that for the past month I've been writing about things I want to do better this year.

I am officially adding self-censorship to the list.

Wyatt is already starting to babble. Pretty soon he will be repeating everything that Zac and I say.

Little pitchers have big ears, and I want my son's to be filled with only the best.