Our children and their sexual health

Our children and their sexual health

IMG_7575Webinar 3.10.18

Growing up in Zimbabwe, sex was a taboo and not talked about. The expectation was that one should stay pure and be a virgin till married. Talking to a few moms, highlights that abstinence was never the case. Yes, most women got married to the men that they were sexually active with but they were engaging in the act way before marriage. It was felt that if someone had talked openly about sex, possibly things could have been done  differently. The fact that it was done behind parents’ back, made it a sinful act and that transcended into marriage thereby making marital sex complex in some instances.

This then poses the question’ how best can we prepare our own children to have good sexual health?’

According to the World Health Organisation, sexual health is defined as:

“…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.” (WHO, 2006a)

   “Sexual health encompasses more than the act of having sex”

 

The implications of poor sexual health are recognised as early pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections as well as sexual abuse. What makes sexual health even more complex is ease of accessibility. The online world poses ,many challenges for parents and pornography is rampant (NSPCC).

With that definition we realised that the topic is very broad and needed to be streamlined. We then focussed on how do you talk to your child/ren about sexual health?

We agreed that there is the need to be honest, transparent, graceful and open-minded. We acknowledged that our upbringing, values and beliefs can be a challenge in embracing our children’s experiences especially where sex before marriage is concerned.

 

One of the strategies used in talking about this complex topic is using current affairs. If there is a program on television, use it as a conversation tool to explore the child’s understanding of sexual health. It is our responsibility as parents to talk to our children about this matter.

As parents we should aspire for our children to remain pure until they get married. A good question was asked about’ what do I do if my children admits to being sexually active, how do I handle such a matter when s/he is living in my house and not married.

                              What would Jesus do?

That was the question of the evening for us all to consider as parents/ mothers of faith. Dealing with this disclosure requires being composed and not being shocked as well as offering reassurance. We agreed that extending love, compassion is key to keeping the line of communication open. Acknowledging that there is a good and trusting relationship is a bonus and credit to the mother-child relationship. Whilst we may worry about STI’s, pregnancy, sexual abuse, using that window of trust can be a good opportunity to empower the young person with this risky behaviour. If a mother feels that they can’t breach the topic with the child, it was suggested that finding another person that the young person can talk to is important.

 

Our children want o hear our own personal experiences. Schools and other institutions may well be teaching our children different things to our value system We admitted that whilst it may be uncomfortable,  we should be willing to be honest and vulnerable with our children without jeopardising our relationship and position as parent. Talking to our children about soul ties, early pregnancies, STI’s and the joy of waiting for the right person is key.

A lot of the challenges with face as parents are to do with fear of being judged and shame. We encouraged one another, that our children belong to us and not for the society or community. Prayer remains a foundation and strategy of choice in raising our children. We continue to pray for them and ourselves as we partner with the Lord in bringing them up.

We remain hopeful x

Day 2

Day 2

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Thank you Lord that you are a sun and shield around our children. Help them to understand and appreciate Your help and sustenance. May they know that in You is refuge and strength. We lift up in prayer those children and their families who may be going through very difficulty and challenging times, would You surround them with Your love and embrace. Make a way for them so that they may enjoy life and be a blessing to their generation. Help them  not to be a thorn in the lives of our children.

Thank for helping the school leaders in taking the issue of bullying in schools seriously. We break every lie of bureaucracy and sweeping things under the carpet at the expense of our children. Raise up warriors within the school environment who are really there for the needs of the children.

Strengthen us as parents to do the RIGHT things always by our children and not the easy way out. Teach us to look to You always in every moment and circumstance of our lives. Allow us by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit to parent as you would want us to: courageously with grace, faith, hope and love. Amen

Fear

Fear

Day 8

This week a lot of planning will take place in preparation for our parenting webinar first anniversary celebration end of this month. It’s such an exciting and beautiful milestone. There is an element of being fearful and worried as it’s our first.

Today I pray that you may found joy in what you do, be it at home or outside. I pray that you may find fulfilment and a sense of purpose.

For those in the work environment outside of home we can take inspiration from Daniel. Him and his friends were diligent and they excelled beyond their peers.

We declare that we are builders in His kingdom. Builders of families, communities and nations.

We are putting our hands to the plough this morning going forward and declare that we are effective. We take inspiration from Nehemiah. His assignment in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem was huge and daunting. Nehemiah sought the help and counsel of His God. He prayed and asked for help. Nehemiah also looked for skilled, diligent and committed helpers. I pray that you will find helpers in fulfilling the task ahead.

May the week be great. ♥️🙏🏽

Purpose

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.

🙏🏽♥️

Grace

Grace

Day 3

Today I pray for grace. Grace for us to do what we need to do without feeling the strain and pressure. Over the years, I have come to appreciate and understand that grace is the oil that lubricates and eases the friction.

I remember one particular day, 11th November 2017. I woke up as usual and got myself ready for work. However, something prompted me to look in the mirror just as I was brushing my teeth.

As I lifted my head up to look into that mirror, a gentle voice whispered ‘that’s grace’. I stood and stared. I was starring at the person in the mirror. Indeed grace had located her, just as she was. It must have been a whole minute while I stood there and just intently locked eyes with this graced being.

It was in that very moment, that Gods grace became so apparent. Overwhelming, sustaining and incredible grace. I have always had a sense of His presence, enablement, encouragement and comfort. What I didn’t realise is the depth of His grace.

That week, work had been super busy and our son wasn’t feeling very well that he missed the entire week of school. As moms, we often just carry on, being brave, strong and composed. We do not realise how much strain and stress we are carrying. On this particular day, in that mirror moment, I got to understand that His grace is the buffer to my cortisol levels. Grace is indeed what carries and sustains me. The pressure both at home and work front had not gone unnoticed. The long daily commute did not help either. His grace had enabled me to carry on despite it all.

This grace is available to all who would ask for it. He says my grace is sufficient for you too today. Would you receive that grace?

Prayer: Lord, thank you that your grace is available for me today. You know the things I need to do, the places I need to be and all the stuff that needs done. May I not strive but receive your help without feeling guilty or lazy. Amen. 🙏🏽♥️

Grateful

Grateful

I am alive and well and for that I’m grateful . I give thanks to the Lord for His many blessings towards me. For those who remember I started my gratitude jar on the 15th of February.

Since then, I have realised so many things and achieved so much personally, professionally and socially. Somehow, my jar has more sticky notes but I can honestly tell you, they do not reflect all the things I was meant to have noted. I have become lazy and somewhat forgetful to write them down. Typical, right? It doesn’t please the father, remember the parable of the ten lepers?

This week I am grateful for a Daddies Girl (DG) who is no longer with us but taught and showed us how to live valiantly and gallantly for the Lord. Yesterday, we had the privilege to attend sister Grace’s beautiful send off. What beautiful testimony of how she touched so many lives with her faith, leading many to Christ. Personally, in the few months that I got to really know her, I learnt so much about faith, being forthright and a woman of integrity. I am grateful to God, for that opportunity I had to watch, listen and learn from her.

The Bible says ‘how can they know if the gospel is not preached? It goes on to say .. how beautiful are the feet of those who carry the gospel. Our lives are letters that can be read, what messages are we preaching at work, home and our communities?

Thank you Lord for all that you are to us. Sovereign king, Redeemer and restorer of our lives. ♥️🙏🏽

Motherhood and well being

Motherhood and well being

We were talking motherhood and well being on the webinar this evening.

The ladies acknowledged that life can be busy and hectic but taking time out to recharge is important. We also acknowledged that as diaspora parents, lack of extended family support is a massive challenge.

Some of the comments from the attendees:

” Know that you do not love your family if your do not look after yourself. Who is going to take care of them if you burn out?”

“Don’t give ashes to your family when you have burnt out”

Remember what they tell you on the plane in case of emergency???

“Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you put it on your child”.

Strategies used by some of the moms in enhancing their well being.

‘-Me time’ at the swimming pool as well as reading and listening to biblical podcasts.

-Exercising together as family, thereby being a role model and looking after our health.

-Praying alone and with other ladies. Being willing to be open and vulnerable with other mothers about our challenges.

– Building and maintaining a social network.

– Learn and be prepared for the seasons of life. For example unplanned pregnancies potentially may cause a strain on role transition into motherhood.

– Learning from other moms from all age groups and of different seasons.

– Looking to God for counsel and wisdom.

– Empower the older children to help with younger siblings with activities around the house.

-Getting hubby or significant other to help with childcare whilst I attend to ‘me’.

– A bath soak with candles, oils and a book is always a good easy treat.

-Platforms such this webinar, to come and learn together, building our own online village.

How do you unwind? What strategies have you seen or heard that are helpful? Would love to hear from you. xxx

Seed of Hope 💕💕

Fulfilling purpose, realising your dreams.

Fulfilling purpose, realising your dreams.

Dreams don’t thrive in a vacuum, without being supported, fanned, and bolstered.  And you can’t fertilize your dreams sufficiently all by yourself.  You need loving ambassadors, mentors, sponsors, and supporters who believe in you, and who see the future vision of you before it’s hatched.

These supporters know how to keep you true to your dream even when you’re so afraid that all you want to do is run. To launch your big dream into the world as a healthy baby ready to thrive, you need a “village” to support you.

I have been very hesitant to step out in faith. My past struggles used to stare me in the face, but my village has been nothing but supportive. Yesterday as I stepped into Airport Church for the parenting seminar, I vividly remembered the path the Lord had walked me through all those years that I sat under the ministry of Bishop Annie. In that moment, I felt vulnerable, broken and scared. I felt inadequate and unqualified. I sobbed like baby as I saw the grace and faithfulness of God starring at me in the very place that fear once stood.

The Holy Spirit reminded me there and then that it was the struggle that has brought me to here and now. There is no shame in my struggle but God’s purpose and destiny. I can never stand and claim to be qualified. He, qualifies the called so that His purpose will be fulfilled.

God says to Moses, what is it that you have in your hand? Exodus 4:2 .He poses the same question to each and everyone of us. Those things that you have encountered, seen , heard.. the hurt, pain, joy, laughter, setbacks, people and places . Those are the very essence of you. No one can tell of your struggles the way you can.

“Look to the path you have walked and know that there lies your destiny”

hope 💕

Expectations

Expectations

Very emotive and exciting discussion this evening on the parenting webinar.

We established that God is the one who made us stewards for these children, we can go back to Him for help, counsel and guidance.

For most of us first generation migrant parents, the environment and cultural expectations can be challenging.

Strategies shared to manage expectations:

⁃ Prayer : Dedicate a day/ time to fast and pray for your children.

⁃ Communicate clearly your expectations and reasons for them with your children.

⁃ Be bold and honest with your community/ network about your position as a mother.

⁃ Don’t sacrifice your children for the community.

⁃ Love your children even in moments of failed or unmet expectations.

“Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.”

1 Corinthians 13:7

hope-filled ♥️🙏🏽