Morning Devotion

Thank you to those who joined this morning. The prayers continue Monday- fridays at 6am GMT for 30mins via zoom.

Today, one of our sisters and #momfriend, led us into praying for ourselves as mothers, to be vessels used in our children’s lives.


Like Moses with the children of Israel, God is asking you, what do you have in your hand? Moses felt inadequate, ill- prepared and unqualified for the assignment ahead of him. Sounds familiar?

Often times as parents we can feel out depth, inadequate and challenged by the demands of parenting. God is saying to you mom, dad…

What do you have?

Yes I know you lack the knowledge, language, understanding. What is it that you have? I want to use what you already have!

The patience, love, joy, hope, aspiration, dreams and visions that you have towards your child/ren, let me use that! Give it to me. Allow my spirit to search deep within you and REVEAL some of the hidden capacities that I have put in you.
it’s those hidden things you possess that I want to use for my glory as you impact and empower your children.

Prayer:

Lord reveal to me what’s in my hand and heart so I can be of use to You. Show me the capabilities and capacity you have given me. Open my spiritual eyes to see. Thank you Holy Spirit for equipping and empowering me as a parent. Amen”

Reading

Luke 10:19
Mathew 16:19
2Peter 1:3
Philippians 4:13

You can join the prayers Monday- Fridays at 6am GMT for 30mins via link below. Copy the link to clipboard for ease of access :

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6335913172?pwd=MnNlNGhIK0M3TVRWSVliY1ZIeEVtUT09. Passcode: prayer

Remain blessed, watered and intentional 🌱

Exam

Praying and wishing all the children sitting their exams this month of May all the success they need.

May they remember what they have revised. May they have peace and confidence in their ability. Above all, we pray that they will know that their worth isn’t measured in grades.

We pray for the parents that they will be supportive and encouraging. May parents be realistic in their expectations. We ask that parents affirm and reassure their children. Lord let your peace, love and calmness invade our homes.

We stand against any spirit of anxiety, worry, stress, depression, unrealistic expectations, confusion and restlessness. We push back on territorial and seasonal spirits that rise up in this season causing havoc in family life.

We lift up our schools. May they be places of safety and learning. We ask that you empower the leaders in the schools to be attentive, available, astute and aware of the needs of the children in their schools. Give them the courage to remain open, honesty and transparent to the challenges they face in their schools. When they have done so, please help them to find help and solutions to those needs. Father, help the teachers to know and remember how powerful they are in the lives of the children. As they walk through this exam season, walk with them, with their fears, worries and anxieties. Allow them to realise the fruits of their head work.

Thank you for our tertiary places of education; colleges, universities and apprenticeships. Help and guide these young adults in their decision making and life preparation. Remind each and everyone of them, that you KNOW their future and you want them to do well. Help them to trust you with their future. Quiten the internal battles and societal expectations. This exam period, help them in all the ways they need this month and beyond.

Thank you Lord that you hear and answer us. Amen

October half term ideas

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.

https://www.blenheimpalace.com/

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

Dear parent

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….

They’ll fly…💕💕

Facebook live

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 parents struggling with children, please seek help. Don’t stew at home. There is a lot of help available from local authorities to charities such as Migrant Family Support and Father 2 father

For more in-depth conversation, listen to link below:

Remember you are not alone 💕

Should we pay for good grades?

What children think their parents want for them can play a significant role in shaping the children’s chances of future success and well-being. Parental pressure to excel in school and extracurricular activities can increase kids’ risk of stress, as well as have a negative impact on kids’ well-being and success later in life. This is especially true if parents value grades and achievement over things like empathy, compassion, kindness, and social skills. “VeryWellFamily “

We took a poll on intentional_parenting and the results were as below. The evidence weighs heavily against PAYING in favor of rewarding EFFORT.

If a parent were to say, ‘I will give you this if you achieve all As’, the child is likely to do it for that reward. It also means that subsequently, he will think, well, the only reason to learn is to get the reward. If I am not getting the reward that I want, I am not interested in learning.”

The downside to giving kids rewards is that they put the responsibility for learning on the parent – who needs to come up with more rewards for sustained results and also has to continue to monitor success.

Suggest a celebration, like going to a special restaurant for a meal. This is not a reward but just an acknowledgment and celebration of a goal achieved.

Reward your child verbally. Once your child has achieved a goal, say how the effort and studying paid off and how you’re proud he improved his grades.

Morally it can be tricky giving cash to children for good grades. You never know what someone might agree to do in exchange for the promise of another cash payment.

Daniel Coyle, author of the best-selling book, The Talent Code, points out that praising effort not accomplishment is much more likely to lead to successful outcomes. Not just any effort, but persistent, intensive effort that comes with focusing on overcoming errors by pushing oneself to the edge of one’s knowledge and skills.

There is no guarantee that the money would go to useful things. This may potentilla create more work for the parents who need to monitor how the money is spent

The pros and cons of paying students for good grades depends on the effectiveness of the solution. There will be some kids motivated by this approach to learning, but there will also be others who are turned off by the idea of this “bribe.” That is why many schools use positive reinforcement and non-cash-based rewards like books, pencils, or clothing as a way to enhance motivation.

If you need further details on how best you can encourage and support your child to get better grades, this article by Verywellfamily has some great suggestions.

Any thoughts or additions? Would love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Fadzai

Identity

This was the topic for our webinar this evening. How important is it for our children to speak the native language, cook native food etc?

It became imperative during the session that before we unpick our children’s identity, how do we as mother identify ourselves??. Examples were given of being a wife, mother, daughter, minister of the Gospel etc. How do we live out all these ‘titles’, does it matter what comes first? all these were questions we pondered.

With our children we agreed that nativism enriches their lives. It’s their heritage. We concluded that as far as identity is concerned it is more than food, drink, colour of your skin or even place of birth.

We acknowledged that our children are global citizens such that being a native of a particular nation would limit their experiences and world.

Having said that, as mothers of faith, our identity and that of our children is found in God. We are first and foremost children of God. He created us and knew us of before the foundation of the world. That is who we are.

Living out our faith and identity day to day, helps to define who we are in the eyes of our children. We are reminded that to as many as recieved Him, He has given them the right to become children of God.

Suggestions were made of reminding our children of their identity in God. Saying words such as ‘you are a mighty man of valour, a women of faith, a man of prayer, a princess etc’ helps to define them. As mothers of faith, we are prophets so we speak the promises of God concerning them.

References were drawn from the previous post on Black Panther and importance of speaking into the lives of our children.

As a mom, how do you identify yourself?

Milestones

What is this about?

The parenting webinar is a community initiative to build each other’s capacity and empower one another on the parenting journey.

This was birthed from the understanding that it takes a village to raise a child. This is a concept that I am very familiar with having been brought up in Zimbabwe. Growing up, I was raised by the community. Fast forward to my own parenting journey, the circumstances have changed. In a bid to find that community, a virtual one was created in February 2017.

I remember as a health visitor deliberating and talking about this with colleagues; the social isolation, the statistics on youth crime, gangs and changing face of society. What also struck me was how ethnic minority families were not accessing children centres for support. On a personal level, as a mom of teens, the need for support and encouragement became compelling.

The more I talked about it to family and friends, the more I realised the need. Ideas started flowing, fear also crept in as well. Fear of the unknown, being judged etc. With encouragement prayer and support from a lot of people here we are today.

As we celebrate this milestone we have covered 30 sessions out of the 52weeks as we initially ran the webinars forty nightly and then took breaks when needed e.g World cup semi- finals. Topics discussed ranged from boundary setting, managing inter-parental conflicts, understanding children’s love language, sleepovers, parenting and social care as well as the role of fathers to name a few. I have also covered some face to face sessions. I believe I have grown tremendously in understanding of self and the world around me. I thought I would share a few things with you.

Lessons learnt :

1️⃣- Start- Just do it! Do it afraid if you have to. Technical hitches do happen, prepare as much as you can and if it happens, do not lose face.

2️⃣- Enjoy- Some days it will be such great fun. Most days it will be hard from finding motivation, people to empower and simply being busy with life. Find joy anyway. Time flies when having fun. Having your vision scribbled somewhere, on a placard, note book or framed helps. It keeps you aligned and focused.

3️⃣- Engage your audience. Depending on the topic, allow people to share, suggest, ask questions. Be open minded about audience and potential client group.

4️⃣-Be on time. Being punctual is critical. Not only does it show that you are professional and serious, it demonstrates respect. Respect for your audience, their time and dedication.

5️⃣- Find people who can critically appraise what you are doing. Having feedback is key on moving forward. Encouragers are great, a critical friend is key and a keeper. Acknowledge them. Appreciate them.

6️⃣- Value- valuing yourself, your effort is also important. Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise.

7️⃣Back up- Yes, save, save your work, drafts and save again, especially in blogging and content preparation for the webinars. I can’t recall the number of times, my content just disappeared. That can make or break you. I learnt to get up and write again.

8️⃣Prayer- Remains the foundation and cornerstone in your building. Communicating about your vision, committing yourself and audience to God offers a place of clarity and understanding.

9️⃣Ask- ask for help and offer help when others need it. Having a support network makes all the difference. We receive what we give. By being present and available to others, it offers opportunity for reciprocity.

🔟 Losses and gains. Many people especially immediate family and friends will not get your vision. After all it’s yours. Don’t be discouraged. Familiarity does that and we are all guilty of that. You will lose familiar faces and gain more new ones. Embrace both.

1️⃣1️⃣ Conviction – Stand for what you believe and express yourself. In this journey, I am learning to speak my mind and mean what I say. I term that growth.

1️⃣2️⃣ Celebrate- celebrate both the big and small achievements. It is said ‘ do not despite the days of small beginnings’ and remember Rome was not built in a day.

Here is to the future. For what it will be, we entrust in Him. What we know is that there is grace and hope.

If you are interested in joining our growing community, you are most welcome. Our Zoom webinars are weekly on a Friday at 8pm UK time. Do get in touch ( whatsapp, messenger, facebook, instagram).

Hopeful ❤