Brethren

Stumbled upon this verse and I have to admit, I was astounded!

Astounded maybe because of my inadequacies, my flawed inability to stand long enough together with fellow bethren to see their prayers answered. Yet the Lord commands us to ‘stand together UNTIL”.

When was the last time you stood in faith with someone for those things that He answered in your own life?

#purpose

#bethrenhood 🙏🏽❤

Flourish

This was our Word for the month of September 2019. Back then, I had received 3 indoor plants in one month. I began to sense that there was a deeper meaning to the random gifts friends gave me.

I am in no way, shape or form good with plants. One friend said ‘ the more reason why I am gifting you plants’. Talk of being stretched 😂

I struggled with a particular plant a bit and had to run back to the giver. She advised me to CAREFULLY trim the dead parts of the leaf, feed the plants organic home food and watch. The organic home fertiliser comprised of overnight soaked banana peels, egg shells and tea bag.

To my amazement, the plant started to thrive.

Rejoice

This was my latest gift, Rejoice and I loved her!

I felt the law of seeding and harvesting was at work in that season. Seeding, weeding, nurturing and tending to plants requires careful attention as well as commitment. The harvest is bountiful to those who will do the work right?

“Lord strengthen my hands in place of hard labour(parenting). Help me not to shrink back or give up. Allow my entrusted plants (children) to flourish through careful considerations.”

Isn’t it amazing that this plant analogy also translates to our role as parents! Many of us we are not confident in this area. We are not sure what fertiliser to apply, how much moisture and where to place the plant so it can thrive and blossom. All this guesswork and stress levels 🤣🤣.

What I have found to be useful is having that trustworthy and well informed friend. Remember that passionate green fingered friend of mine forever gifting plants? Yes, her! Each time I visit her house she has got this new plant, that other plant and they are ALL blossoming. Interestingly, she tells me that she reads a lot about these plants before she buys them. She is careful to follow instructions around watering, plant feed and placement. She chuckles every time I tell her the plant she gifted me has died..

While google is available to all of us, my understanding, patience and interests are clearly not strong in plants. Despite my desire and keenness to have an instagram inspired green house of a living room, it just isn’t happening!

This could be you! You find the whole positive parenting work a total nightmare. You were not raised like that! Your mama didn’t have to bend backwards for your children. You can’t figure out why your children won’t listen and do just as they are told. You are trying everything you know, it just isn’t cutting it! Most of us DO struggle, generally… however, they are some who find teen brain fascinating, others understands the whole child development theory better that they are able to translate it into practice.

My friend do not shy away from asking. Asking trusted friends to show, guide and lead you. Reach out to others who can help.

The upcoming intentional parenting MomBA, is a 6 weeks online crash course on being the effective parent leader that you want to be. More details following soon. There is tons of information available out there, sometimes too much and too overwhelming. Where does one even start to look and who are trusted and qualified people to help?

Intentional parenting stands as a TRUSTED friend who understands some of the complexities and challenges that come with raising children in diaspora. Our strategies are informed by research evidence as well as personal experiences.

We look forward to seeing you FLOURISH in your journey as a parent.

To find out more, get in touch here, via our contact page.

Remain in bloom 🌷

Fadzai x

Hey Fa,

Saturday musings

There are more messy entries which I shall share, once permission is granted 🤣😎

Loved this hence I am sharing with you🤣. Stumbled upon this journal entry whilst tidying the bedrooms. I have never been called Fadzai before so this a WHOLE new level for my cherub. This entire entry has been revelatory for me today 😍.

Can I let you in onto something? I have struggled with the whole parenting shindig. Intentional Parenting exists in my bid to share all my pitfalls and blind spots so YOU do not have to. Once in a while I come across evidence such as this 👆🏾, that reminds me that I do get some things RIGHT. Giving notebooks and stationery gifts to my children has been powerful over the years.

This is a journal entry in 2020 from one of my precious jewels. The global pandemic was in full swing and emotions were raging all over the place in the Nyirenda household. We had the exhausted parents from working in healthcare and then the young adults overwhelmed and literally STUCK at home. It was a mess.

In a bid to get some control, sanity and maintain a level of mental wellness, phones were confiscated and that’s how we ended up here.

To see this entry today 2.4.22, warms my heart to a certain extent. Many a times the decisions we make as parents can be painful as we are not 💯 sure wether we are doing the right thing. And to be honest, there will never be a time you are 💯 sure

Whatever decision you need to make for your family , your children especially, trust your GUT. Utilise the research evidence you have at hand about that particular decision. Ask God to help you and find out from His word what you need to do. Reach out to other TRUSTED parents in confidence.

“Effective, intentional parenting isn’t a two people band. Don’t let anyone lie to you. BUILD a community around you to help, you need it.”

Fadzai

Back to your decision making; What’s the worst that can happen?

That’s one of the questions I ask myself when I need to make an important decision and work my work back to mitigate that WORST thing that can happen.

Take for instance, confiscating the phone from your teen. What’s the worst that can happen?

-S/he may hate you

-She may get another dodgy phone from someone else.

-S/he may get social media withdrawal symptoms; depressed/ angry/ upset etc

-S/he may struggle to reach you in an emergency etc.

You explore all this and plan effectively.

The key and most important question is;

What am I trying to do in my parenting??

For me, I am raising the future . I want to honour God in my parenting. I want to raise independent, secure citizens. All this informs my parenting style, commitment and VISION.

Note books are good for putting your thoughts on paper. This is a very useful strategy to use especially with teens who sometimes may struggle to express themselves.

Do you use notebooks, do you write letters to your child/ren, partner or yourself?

If you haven’t tried it, give a go and let me know…

For those who practice this, how is this working? Let me know in comments below,…

Remain blessed and anchored 🌱

Every blessing.

Fadzai

Hello August

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.

Be sure to follow here on the blog, facebook or instagram.

Every blessing

Fadzai x

Purpose

Day 5-

A story is told of a woman who poured out a bottle of very expensive perfume on Jesus and went on to wipe his feet with her beautiful hair. Those who were with Jesus, his friends are said to have been flabbergasted, angry and disappointed with both Jesus and this woman. This woman was not meant to be around Jesus, she was a sinner and a woman. At the time men and women didn’t mingle together. Most importantly, they felt she was incredibly thoughtless in wasting the expensive perfume.

-In our journey as wives, mothers, friends, colleagues, some of our actions will not make sense.

-There is a point in our journey that our purpose becomes very clear. Don’t be persuaded otherwise.

Today I pray that when that time comes, it finds you ready to break the barriers and cynicism that life throws at you. I pray that you will not pay attention to nay sayers but do what feels right to you. I pray that you will give yourself fully to that purpose.

🙏🏽♥️

Fortitude

The willingness or ability to go through challenging times with grace. Is it a gift, talent or inborn ability that is sharpened and honed through experience?

I was privileged to have met and worked with some young women who survived the genocide in Rwanda. Their stories of horror, escape, loss and terror can only be heard once. The impact of their experiences on their bio-psychosocial well being was immense. What was amazing about these women was their willingness and ability to share their story. Very compelling. 

I also worked with vulnerable families in parts of London. Stories of parents who were hooked on drugs, unable to parent their adorable children confronted me on most days. It was the case of a mother of 3, youngest was same age as my daughter, who had succumbed to the deadly addiction of heroin that broke my heart and I never went back. Their struggle, took the best out of them. Is it these kind of experiences from a distance that make us hold our own with dignity?

Not privileged to compare or contrast the challenges of life, I look myself in the mirror with admiration. I am a fortiduous woman. Am I comparing myself to the above mentioned women? Not at the least. I have been fortunate, life has been kind and God has been gracious. I have been in the ring and He fought my battles. I’m grateful that I didn’t stay down too long for the referee to whistle a defeat. I could have been that mother, but Mercy spoke into my life and stood on my behalf.

 In my first blog, ‘Transnational parenting’  I explored the issue of postnatal depression. These sort of experiences, you only realise the depth, once you are the other side. Gods grace and love carries us through in those seasons, when we are just a shell being battered to and fro by the sea waves. One becomes a pearl,  a product of admiration and worth through the struggles. What’s amazing is that I was not that aware of His presence and sustainance then. I knew about Him as a God, not friend, helper. That one person I can have a relationship with. He has been gracious on this wonderful journey and I am getting to know Him better.

Our experiences in life may want to define us at times.  It is up to us how we deal with that.  People around us or those who know us and our story may want to define us that way. Ultimately, the decision lies with you. The woman with the issue of blood in the Bible is one such character. She was associated/ identified with her problem. I guess when she was healed, people had to refer to her as the woman who was healed of the issue blood.


Fortitude takes many forms. I could never have anticipated or imagined the pain of losing a sibling or loved one. It’s crippling! I was confused and literally dying too. The shock, pain and reality of that loss was incomprehensible. Death is painful to everyone but I guess it gets so complicated when you are abroad. The long flight home, being in transit, jet lag, the mourners and the  funeral itself. How do you eat the reheated airline food when your heart is sorrowful and heavy? 

When you arrive you succumb to the heat, noises, decision making,  the crying and ofcourse the peering eyes. They will always be those who want to see what you are wearing and what you brought. I had not even taken a shower! Let alone travelled 15hours, passing through the equator in transit for that matter. Nearly missed the flight due to road works and traffic. How does one deal with all that in one go?

My sister was bright, colourful and vivacious. She loved and understood my family and they got her too. Being single, she could afford the time to be with them whenever we visited home. They loved that, and I did too. The laughter they shared. She cared. She was a dreamer and goal getter. At most, she was a mother to my children  that I am not; patient, laid back and a child at heart.

Then there is the other small but equally demanding stuff of fitting into a different society and culture. That, requires courage right there. I know a friend who couldn’t do ‘the London thing’ and had to go back home. She tells me she could not be happier; got a beautiful home in the westen suburbs, lovely job and her children are doing really well in a good private school. 
It takes fortitude and a whole lot more to settle in diaspora. It is a far cry  from the glitz and glamour most people imagine it to be. It’s grafting in gruelling long hours. I’m reminded of the days I worked on the farm. That was my first job. Boy did I not cry my eyes out on the onion line.

I recall making a long distance call after  first day at work to my mother and bowling on the phone booth. If you recall, these were public phones and there two other people waiting to use the phone.  I cried for the entire duration of my £5 worth of calling scratch card. Bless my poor mother, she kept saying to me:

‘Taura neni otherwise card rinopera”, meaning please talk to me before the phone credit finishes. 

Indeed, the phone credit finished and I went home, straight to bed. In the morning I woke up and went to work. What was equally painful was hearing my then 1year old son babbling in the background.

For me fortitude is an idea and a choice. I choose to be courageous for those who couldn’t. Whilst doing nursing degree I met some middle aged African nurses who had come under the adaption nurses program. These women were dynamic and highly skilled nurses who held positions of authority and high office in their home country. The cultural shift and expectation had left them as a mere pair of helping hands on the wards. Their despair and frustration was not hidden from their faces. It was ‘them’ who silently taught me to be fortidous. It is for them and many others that we stand and are courageous. 

Above all, it is for those coming after us. Those who have a privilege of watching us closely, that we demonstrate courage in the face of fear. It is for our sons and daughters. 

📌The issues of death, loss and bereavement can be crippling especially when you are abroad where you have to get on with it. The reality of expenses incurred to attend the funeral and the funeral itself can be soul destroying. It’s important to seek help, from family and friends if there are physically and emotionally there. In U.K. that’s quite rare, your GP can refer you on for counselling, talking therapies or to charities that deal with bearevement and loss.

📌The same can be said of issues at work. Talking to someone about the challenges you are facing is good. This may not solve all your problems but it gives you thinking space. Hearing your own thoughts through voice can be liberating and empowering. Many a times, for those who are Christians, we leave everything in prayer. Prayer is great but it needs to be followed by action which is faith. Finding an independent counselling service is better.  Your union is a great source for advice and guidance, you are paying them, make use of their services.
In U.K. migrant family support offer great services around the issues discussed. They can be contacted in their website signposted below:

Life is for living. Live it to the full in good health, mind, body and spirit.

Finally, be courageous and confident, for the Lord your God is with you always (Joshua 1, summarised).

Courageous hope ❤
 

Home