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

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…💕💕

Momleader

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

Fadzai 🌸

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 💕

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

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

Mums matter

*First published in April, 2018*

Mums do matter. A cliche’, yes, it may sound just about that, however, this is today’s theme for peri natal mental health awareness week. The week long campaign serves to raise awareness on this not talked about issue of mental health during and after pregnancy.

Mental health in certain communities is difficulty to talk about because of misunderstandings and misconceptions of vulnerabilities in people. How can you be sad/overwhelmed, unhappy or depressed when you are carrying or having Gods blessing? Yes, our children are just that, blessings. Sometimes those blessings come with challenges.

image from @metro

I remember how excited we were on finding out that we were expecting. Unplanned as it was, we were elated. Soon after, the vomitting commenced and it got worse by the day. By the time we got to second trimester, the plastic bag on my daily commute into work had become my friend. I was literally worn out on daily basis, couldn’t stomach much apart from the TM buns, ham and black tea. I looked forward to the weekend lie ins and not getting out of bed at all.

To a certain extend, I was fortunate to be at home in Zimbabwe ‘surrounded’ by family even though they did not know how to help or support me. The challenge with mental health is that even the sufferer does not know when to seek help because most of the time one is able to just smile through it.

So what are some of the symptoms and signs of pre, peri or post natal mental illness? According to charity mind, around one in five women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth. The charity goes on to highlight that there are a varied reasons as why one may suffer mental illness, mainly

For us we had a few risk factors such as moving house, long distance commute as I worked in a different city to the marital home. The quick unplanned transitioning into parenthood, employment pressures as well as general ill- preparedness took a toll during pregnancy. We didn’t attend any pre-marital counselling. The ante natal classes that I attended were privately provided by a local Obs gynae and the conversation centred around labor and nothing more. The post natal care was publicly provided at a local baby clinic. This however, centred around baby weight, feeding and vaccines. We pretty much found ourselves reacting to situations and circumstances instead of being proactive.

When I had our second, the stresses were there as we had moved continents and I was adjusting to being a mature nursing student. Once again the Zimbabwe community of student nurses rallied behind me and supported me through severe morning sickness, tiredness, looking after a pre – schooler and unending assignments. This time I read and learnt a lot from my nursing colleagues as well as during my health visiting placement. I was armed with a lot of information and the experience was much better second time round even though I gave birth during british winter 😁

Whilst motherhood remains stressful, I haven’t felt the overwhelm and low in mood that I felt in my first pregnancy.

So what helps with maternal mental health?

-Talking to someone about your feelings help. Its important to let someone know how tired, exhausted, overwhelmed, struggling or sad you are feeling.

I personally have found exercising, meditation and prayer key to my mental well being. Long walks in the park or woodland allows me to clear my mind on busy days.

You don’t need to self diagnose, if your feelings/ emotions tell you something isn’t right, then talk to someone about it.

As mothers it becomes imperative for us to talk about our mental health with our children so they can learn. The report in the news highlight the worrying increase in children’s mental illness and lack of resources to support this demand.

Faith in action Charity is doing some work with faith communities about supporting members of the congregation who may need support.

Prayer, meditation and mindfulness do help as well. Being able to pray with someone can make a huge difference.

Mind is also a good charity to reach out to.

GP’s can help with referrals to support services. Talking therapies is a good service where you can self refer into depending where you live.

Other Public Health services such as midwifery, health visiting, social care and home start are also very good.

Don’t suffer in silence, here @intentionalmums we offer a listening ear if you are feeling overwhelmed, confused and challenged with motherhood or parenting. Do get in touch here.

Fathers tend to be left in this equation, yet evidence shows that partners can suffer from mental health too during the peri-natal phase.

We also work alongside other organisations such as Migrant Family Support who are able to assist with the issues that may be compounding your mental well being such as immigration issues, domestic abuse, housing etc.

Don’t smile through it. 💕

Links and resources:

1- Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/postnatal-depression-and-perinatal-mental-health/#.XMdbnjBKjIV

2-Maternal Mental Health Alliance https://maternalmentalhealthalliance.org/

3- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/child-and-adolescent-mental-health-services-camhs/