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Half term is here and if you are like me, you just want to create some great memories with your family.
Below I share some ideas on activities and things to do for different age groups. Since we are in a global pandemic, I have chosen outdoor activities to allow for social distancing. So wrap up warm and lets have some fun.
Here is my favourite family places/ adventures to hang out. We have created some amazing memories in these places, so take your pick.
1- Family day out in Oxfordshire
Thinking of spending time in the famous county, home of the famous Oxford University? Oxfordshire has so much to offer for families of all age groups.
-Visiting the popular and world renowned Blenheim Palace in beautiful and serene rural Woodstock, Oxfordshire is a must.
This beautiful and majestic National Trust palace, home to Winston Churchill has so much to offer from the well manicured gardens to the yummy scones for afternoon tea. It’s breathtaking during the winter months and Christmas lights. When you visit,be sure to activate your card so you get the next 11months free. Not sure if they still do it, you get photographed for the annul pass, think University ID 🥰
Things to do :
-Bushcraft activities, they have family fire baking on the list and it sounds amazing!!
-The grounds for walks, cafe and shop are open as well.
When you have had enough of the walking, hopefully enjoyed the fire baked bread and picked up some beautiful stationery in the shop, head over to our favourite family resting place:
🛌- Heythrop Park and Resort which is only 8 miles from Bleinheim palace. Heythrop has amazing annual October half term activities and family deals such as Dinner, bed and breakfast for a family of four @ £149 midweek and £169 weekends. Thats a steal. In that deal your child can watch a movie and have an activity to do as well. Check out their family rooms and you will see what I am talking about. Definitely, a favourite with my two when they were younger.
Again they have beautiful gardens for that morning walk before you head out the following day.
For more details, check out their website https://www.heythroppark.co.uk/whats_on/families/seasonal-offers/
2-Odds Farm, High Wycombe, Bucks
Pumpkin season is here and this farm provides perfect opportunties to have fun as a family. There is plenty of activities to do at odds farm e.g riding on a tractor, feeding the animals. You need to pre book your visit so they can manage crowds #covidcompliance.
Be sure to bring your camera so you can capture these precious moments. If you are an #instamama, you may want to join the trendy pump patch tradition.
Why not try the American pumpkin pie recipe to celebrate different cultures and traditions. Pumpkin pie
From here you can choose to chill at the famous Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, Bucks. Dahl is the author of Charlie chocolate factory, remember Willy Wonka? What about Matilda and Ms Trunchball? We are talking getting lost in a book here.
Those are our favourite local picks. My family resides in Bucks so these areas are easily accessible. For more information, look out for the photos and ideas on my instagram page Intentional Parenting
Saw this on facebook and had to share. While it’s advise to people with young children, it’s a reminder to us all of how quick time flies and that one day our little babies too will be all grown up.
When you first have children they talk about the challenges of parenting….the struggles of a baby waking in the night,
the toddler who won’t stay in their bed, the cost of childcare, injuries from sports…
Having to take off work to pick them up from school when they don’t feel well, helping them with homework, a messy house, the never ending laundry, the cost to buy school clothes, packing their lunches….
You watch their eyes light up on Christmas morning….and try to soak in the magic of those moments.
You coach them in sports, rushing to practices and ballgames…and tote them all over the country to let them play the game they love…no matter how exhausting or expensive it becomes.
Life is just so busy that you rarely even stop to think what the end of those days look like.
In fact, it’s not really even something you can wrap your mind around.
You go into it thinking that 18-20 years sounds like a long time….
Then suddenly hours turn into days…days into months…and months into years.
That little person that used to crawl up next to you in bed and cuddle up to watch cartoons…suddenly becomes this young adult who hugs you in the hallway as they come and go.
And the chaos and laughter that used to echo throughout your home….gets filled with silence and solitude.
You’ve learned how to parent a child who needs you to care for and protect them….but have no clue how the whole “letting go” thing is supposed to work.
So you hold on as tight as you can…wondering how time passed so quickly…feeling guilty that you missed something….
Because even though you had 20 years…..it just somehow doesn’t seem like it was enough.
You ask yourself so many questions…
Did you teach them the right lessons?
Did you read them enough books as a child?
Spend enough time playing with them?
How many school parties did you have to miss?
Do they really know how much you love them?
What could I have done better as a parent?
…..When it’s time for them to go, it all hits you like a ton of bricks.
And all you can do is pray….hope….and trust that God will protect them as they start to make their way into the world alone.
Parenting is by far the most amazing experience of your life….that at times leaves you exhilarated….while others leave you heartbroken.
But one thing is certain…..it’s never enough time…💕
So for all the parents with young children…whose days are spent trying to figure out how to make it through the madness…
Exhausted day in and day out…
Soak. It. All. In.
Because one day….all those crazy days full of cartoons, snuggles, sleep overs, Christmas morning magic, ballgames, practices and late night dinners…
All come to an end.
And you’re left hoping that you did enough right, so that when they spread their wings….
A variety of work-themed prayers to use in church services.
— Read on www.theologyofwork.org/work-in-worship/prayer-material-for-services
August is always such a beautiful month for me . In my native country of Zimbabwe, August is spring time. It represents the budding and springing you of new things. I get excited!
Growing up, August was always school holidays. It meant visiting my maternal grandmother in the country side, being spoilt on farm produce and then attending the annual Harare Agricultural Show. It was such a highlight across the country as farmers show cased their produce. There were games, rides , food, music, fireworks you name it.,
August is also our wedding anniversary month. It’s such a time filled with celebrations and love.
As I have gotten older and matured in my spiritual walk, I tend to seek Gods word for this new month and for my birthday. I take time to pray, read the word and fast ahead of my birthday. I have to admit that the past 6years it has been phenomenal. On most occasions, my cousin sister has joined or invited me to a fast ahead of my birthday. Having someone to journey with and hold you accountable makes such a difference.
I have seen situations shift in such a phenomenal way. I have also been given clear directions through scriptures or words from two other women that God tends to use in my life. I am grateful for their lives and obedience to God.
As such this year is no different. If anything, we have never needed Gods direction like we do in this unprecedented year of 2020.
Below is my prayer for August. Why don’t you join me in making those declarations;
“Lord I thank You for this new month. Thank You for going ahead of me and levelling every high ground. Thank You for silencing every voice of confusion and giving me clarity of purpose and mind. I declare that August is blessed and I am blessed with the riches of Your presence. My household and friends are blessed. I declare that no weapon fashioned or formed against me will prosper and every word spoken in judgement I will refute, I will not be silent. I declare that I am called for such a time as this. I am operating from a place of alignment. My heart and mind are in the right place in You. I hear and I obey. The Holy Spirit is my friend and confidant, constantly reminding me of Your heart and intentions concerning my life. I am empowered and strengthened. I serve from a place of authority and understanding. My helpers are available and I see them with the eyes of the Spirit. I am attentive to Your gentle whispers and nudging. I am a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. My light shines bright enabling others to see and not stumble in darkness. I radiate Your beauty and light. Amen”
Go ahead and enjoy Gods goodness. Be sure to keep Him at the centre of all your decision making and thought process. Be diligent in spending time in prayer, meditation and His word. If you are fasting, saturate your mind with Gods presence through music, reading and meditation.
Don’t forget to write down the things that God lays on your heart. Carry a notebook or use your smartphone notes to capture these. Be expectant. Expect God to say something through the word, music, friends etc .
When you are at home, it’s a good idea to fill your home with gospel or worship music. I personally enjoy premier radio or UCB 2. Alternatively, you can stream youtube videos of messages that encourage, uplift and most importantly TEACH.
I will be sharing my own journey in this month.
Message to my webinar attendees 24.4.2020
Hope this finds you well. This morning we prayed that God will help us to strengthen the family altar. I truly believe God has called us into a powerful season as mothers in Zion.In this season, God desires for family foundations to be strengthened better than ever. Connecting with our children and partners like never before. That vision will require an unwavering commitment and understanding that with God’s help we can do all things. I pray that you find time to truly connect/ know and understand your child/ren. To be committed to praying and speaking Gods promises concerning them.
In the mad rush of previous life, we were robbed of those opportunities. May God help us all. Simple things such as eating together at the dinner table with no phones, are powerful. Be committed to conversations at the dinner table. Start with simple questions such as ‘how has been your day? what did you like and what didn’t you like. Share what you personally enjoyed during the day, what were your struggles and how are you are finding solutions to those challenges.
Whilst it’s tempting to let the children do their own things especially if they are older or even adults, this is a perfect opportunity to effect their lives. Reach out in love. It may be uncomfortable at the start if you are not used to this, believe me, it’s worth the try and sticking it out.
This is also a great time to uproot those teachings in our schools and society. For months some of us were worried about the primary school curriculum. Here we are and it’s our opportunity to plant the truth into the hearts and minds of our children. Remember no topic is out of bounds. Talk about friendships, relationships, sex, faith etc. Our children desire to hear our honest opinions on these matters because we are their parents and they look up to us. Yes, I know sometimes it may look as if they don’t, listen, they do.
How about looking back to the family photos albums that have been piling up for years? It’s also a great opportunity to connect. If there are baby photos, share your pregnant journey. If possible, try not to focus on the glossy bits only, share the struggle and upheavals because life is like that.
Talk about your vision of a family. What do you hope to accomplish as a family.? What values are important to you as a family. For example, mine as a mother family, love and service. I am always encouraging and explaining to my two that family life is important and that value is demonstrated through actions. Things such as the regular video calls to my parents, WhatsApp chats with my siblings and phone calls to the sisters in my life. Relationships are important and we invest time and efforts. My children are fortunate to see some of the impact some of you have in my life.
May Gods love surround you always. May His peace reign supreme in your homes.
With love and blessings
Thank you very much to all those who joined us at 3pm GMT. We were talking the challenges of parenting and Below is a short summary of some of the take-aways from the session.
✨Remember in our parenting journey, connection with our children is key. Be available mentally, emotionally and physically.
✨Prioritise your children. Let your diary and commitments reflect that. Remember with children love is spelt TIME.
✨It’s ok and totally acceptable as an african parent to apologise to your children when you get things wrong.
🌟Faith community leaders, please have a heart for families. Do not hide under political correctness. Remember ‘what would Jesus do?’ and do just that. Consider the single parent homes with the heart of our Lord Jesus.
We explored in depth the issue of supporting single parent homes and providing mentorship for vulnerable young men. There were issues around married men/pastors and leaders being fearful of supporting a single mother. I concluded that if were don’t, someone else will and many a times these are bad guys that we don’t want near our children/ community. If we look at the county lines model; the drug dealer simply befriends and entice our children with gifts and promise of a bright future. We can adopt the same model. If youth pastors/ leaders took the same interest in our children, understand what they like, their fears, vulnerability, I believe we will SOME of them over.
We encouraged faith communities to have properly, well structured programs with safeguarding processes in place to offer mentorship programs.
Jesus was very controversial in most of his relationships, driven by compassion and love for the marginalised as well as vulnerable. Remember the Samaritan woman at well? She had a thing with men yet Jesus risked all that.
For more in-depth conversation, listen to link below:
Remember you are not alone 💕
We are all experiencing this pandemic from different angles. Some are mothers yet others are single, newly married, widowed, co-parenting or grandmothers. The majority of us are healthcare professionals who are truly at the fore front of this war ,#mothersonthefrontline, we applaud you and continue to lift you up in prayer.
We acknowledged that there are so many stresses with Covid 19;
1️⃣-people are getting a lot of contradictory information about the virus and the measures needed to combat it.
2️⃣- life changed nearly overnight with no time to prepare for it.
3️⃣-Some are now trying to work from home while caring for children.
4️⃣-Others have been laid off and may be worried about how they will pay their bills.
5️⃣Many others are stuck at home with abusive partners or neglectful parents
It is important to keep a balanced view, protect your physical, mental and spiritual being. Try and exercise, cook healthy meals, take supplements and sleep a minimum of 7hours so your body can recover and repair.
For mental wellness, feed your mind the right diet by reading the word, playing worship music in the house, keeping in touch with friends and praying.
Whilst we may be women of Faith, we shouldn’t dismiss our feelings and emotions. It is not a sign of weakness to feel overwhelmed, confused or fed up. Our feelings do not define us, they are merely emotions. Be kind to yourself. Acknowledge that you are going through a challenging time.
Dear future me
We incorporated the writing to my future self segment into the webinar. We each wrote a letter to ourselves talking about our current emotions, challenges as well as worries. The exercise then gave us an opportunity to look into the future and anticipate the things that we would love to be able to do in the #newnorm.
What do you see in your new norm? What are the exciting things that you are anticipating? You may not be feeling that energised particularly if you are going through a difficulty time. I hope that season doesn’t linger too long. 💕
If you feel up to and want to join in, why don’t you go ahead and write a letter to yourself…
“So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths; even if the seas roar and rage, and the hills are shaken by the violence. There is a river that brings joy to the city of God, to the sacred house of the Most High.”
Psalms 46:2-4 GNB
Keep well and remain safe
Resources available for individuals or families during this difficult time:
Mental support : http://www.servicesix.co.uk/
NHS Staff ; https://people.nhs.uk/help/