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

Motherhood and me: Goal setting

Webinar 12.12.2019

smart goals for mums

On the webinar we started by acknowledging the need to have ambitious goals when it comes to our #parenting role.

Why set a goal?

• Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation.

•By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your effort.

•By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in your achievements.

It is important for us as parents to think about ‘what kind of a parent do I want to be?’. The key to answering that question is in visualising what you are trying to achieve. How do I want my role/ position as mother to look like 5, 10, 20 years and beyond?

An example was drawn of having a goal of being a ‘praying mom’, ‘kind mom’, ‘playful mom’. How does one achieve that goal? It became clear that one will need to read books on prayer, praying mothers, prayer for your children etc. One may want to think about other moms who exude those traits. Who do I know personally or virtually as a kind mom, praying mom? etc. What is it about their life that I can learn from and apply now or later in my own parenting journey?

You will also need to make a further investment in an accountability partner/ buddy/ mentor/. This is a person who then hold you accountable to your goals, aspirations and all the things that you are trying to achieve. It is important to find the right person who is able to support you with your goal (s) and the bigger vision of the parent or the mother that you are trying to be. It needs to be someone you can be open and transparent.

While a friend or family member may be the first person who comes to mind, how good are they at holding you accountable? How ready are they to listen and support you with your ambitious goal without feeling a tinge of jealousy or doubts about your capabilities?

Other areas to consider when setting goals are:

•Career – What level do you want to reach in your career, or what do you want to achieve? How is my career going to support my parenting role?

•Financial – How much do you want to earn, by what stage? How is this related to your parenting goals!

•Education – Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to have in order to achieve that parenting goal?

Family – How are you going to be a good parent? What things do you need to do in order to achieve those goals?

•Spiritual- What is my spiritual life like and what how can I get it to better?

I emphasised the importance of including our spouses/ partners in this goal setting. Some things may be pertinent to motherhood, overall we hope the goals will encompass the role of fathers.

Today’s session was an opportunity to start to think about those goals and who is going to support you achieve them. I encourage you to take time, do some soul searching, revisit those little girls aspirations about the kind of mother we wanted to be. Use pen and paper to write those aspirations down. Pray over them. Discuss them with your spouse or partner. Those with able children, you can choose to include and consult them in your goal setting too. You may be surprised on how your children view your mothering style, vision /values.

It is our prayer that you find the time, energy and resources to do this. We hope you will find the exercise useful and worthwhile. When we meet next time in January 2020, we are offering an opportunity to write those goals down clearly and beautifully during our #visionboard workshop. We will be extending an invitation to our Intentional Parenting Members Club where we share our goals/ visions in a safe space and hold one another accountable.

Look out for updates on instagram stories (intentional_parenting) , facebook and whatsapp

I’m on Instagram as intentional_parenting. Install the app to follow my photos and videos. https://www.instagram.com/invites/contact/?i=jdbmpt64mjl&utm_content=3bmfqzz

Summer

What story do you want to write this summer. Is it one of having such great laugh and wonderful memories. The social media is already filled with summer dread. While it is ok to have a ‘dig’ at this, we also can choose to have a great summer.

“Whilst our challenges as a diaspora community may be greater than many other mommas, we can do something about it”.

The discussion on the parenting webinar this evening was about being solution focussed. As mothers, we acknowledged that lack of extended family support, cost of living, work commitment, residence status and lack of planning can cause a lot of stress during the 6 weeks summer break.

It was agreed that summer holiday is about resting and enjoying the children. The enjoying bit can be tricky when we are stepping on each other’s toes. Careful planning becomes the bedrock to our intentional loving, graceful-packed and impactful summer break. Keeping things in perspective is also key. Waking up and reminding ourselves and each other of what we are trying to achieve is important.

“Summer 2018 is going to be an awesome !!!”

Does that sounds like an epic goal? Why don’t you go ahead and have something like this, something that reflects your family unit, values and beliefs. You can get the children to be involved and breakdown the goals into daily, weekly activities of keeping EPICSOME. Hang your goals somewhere where you all can see and remind each other.

Here is a skeletal draft that I have just done to give you some ideas on how you can structure your week plans:

For me and the teens, being considerate of each other is key.  This translate to being mindful of what we are doing as a family and if someone needs/ wants to be somewhere or doing something different, to communicate effectively and timely.

When I complete my summer schedule, chore allocation is a priority so we know who is cooking the much needed lunch dinner, loading the washing machine etc. We have to remain functional without too much nagging. I function better with some structure and it helps me with accountability as well.

Summer holidays are about recharging, renewal and resting. Depending on the age groups of your children, again being deliberate about networking and meeting other moms is good as well. Well planned play dates, can easily give you a well-earned break, time to yourself.

Being on a budget is fundamental. Workout, have an idea of how much you are spending during this long school break. Involving the children in this financial planning can help to ease expectations as they know how much is in the holiday pot. Picnics are easy, affordable yet to memorable. Again depending on the age groups, picnic can be in the garden, at a National Trust https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ home is even greater. The manor houses and immaculate gardens add that awesome feel of summer.

On a large-scale we talked about organisations, communities, charity organisations that are already doing a lot of work with the youth and young people. Organisations such as Africa Youth Arise, http://africanyoutharise.org/ they do a lot of amazing workshops and retreats for 11-25yr olds. The lighthouse summer daily camp is very popular and for mothers of faith, it is a great resource to have hand.

How about asking our local churches to plan activities for the children during the summer break. Yes it does require lots of planning, DBS etc but how much are our children worth? We agreed that we need to invest in our children’s lives.

We hope you have a great summer. We hope you realise that you have in you the power, ability and resources to make it great, however you chose it.

Would love to hear your summer story planning. Thanks for stopping by x

The day before the new job

I am pretty excited about tomorrow. The day has arrived sooner! Change can be unsettling, however once you have done your research there is not much to be fearful. The timing could not never be so right. I am in the zone spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I am hoping that walking to the train and at work will add to the physical health benefits.

As a mom, I hope my children will be fine as dad takes the reins on the home front. Time will tell.

My prospective colleague Amy* has been amazing so far, she has kept in touch once a week for the last 4 weeks. Invited me last week to ‘pop over’ for lunch until I gave her my geographical location.  Today, she wanted to finalise details of where to meet how to access the workplace with ease, etc.

“Be attentive to your phone and I will do the same, so she said”.

This woman has been very encouraging, helpful and enthusiastic. I cannot wait to meet her. Her tone and pitch has been nothing but welcoming. Will soon find out if she is a health visitor by background 😆

On a serious note, I have decided to get myself a uniform of navy slacks, white t shirts and pumps. I chose comfort over all. There is so much I will need to grasp as soon as possible; policies, procedures and politics. Clothing need not to be one of them. 

The work bag is ready with a pack of almonds for snacking, deodorant, vaseline, gum, notebook and a book to read.

I have tons of enthusiasm. I am bold and courageous. If not now, when?❤

Things to do the night before

– set out comfortable outfit. Older ones the better as you know the fitting and comfort. Make sure the outfit sets the tone for who you are.

– Establish where you are meant to report. Ideally this should be done a week in advance or in plenty of time.

-Check travel arrangements, parking etc. Pack the work bag and have it handy.

– Be prepared to meet the team/ colleagues and introduce yourself. Ask and answer questions. Be clear and above all be You.

– Sleep well, at least 7-8hours. 

-Remember why you took the offer.

Hope ❤