Welcome to my blog. I want to shine the light of Jesus in everything that I do. I blog about my faith, parenting, marriage and food and I love to chat about these topic the Jesus way! I hope you enjoy reading my blog!
There have been a few times in my life where God has given me a particular promise for a situation or circumstance in my life. Lately, I have been thinking about the promises of God and why he will sometimes give me a promise over a particular situation. There have been many times where I have doubted his promises or where I have somehow led myself to believe that I have somehow made up a promise in my head just because the current situation seemed unchangeable or impossible for anyone to turn around. When God gave the Israelites the promise to take them out of Egypt and bring them into the land he had promised their forefathers, the Israelites did not listen. They were so deeply discouraged with their circumstance that they in some way chose to ignore the truth of what God was speaking into them. Because they chose to ignore the truth due to their circumstance, they continued for a while to live in helplessness.
There have been times were I too chose to ignore God’s truth because of the circumstances surrounding me. Even though I know that God’s words are truth, there are still areas in my life right now where I am still choosing to only believe God when the promise comes to pass. I have been waiting on several promises in the past. Some have been fulfilled while others I am still waiting on. Because I have been waiting for a while for some of these promises to pass, and have been discouraged over time, I have unintentionally chosen to believe once that promise has become visible. It almost feels like the discouragement and disappointment that I have had for so long has taught me that believing in God’s promises may lead to disappointment. As a way to protect myself from further disappointment, it has made sense to only believe when I see.
A promise is meant to bring hope rather than unbelief. When God brings a promise in any given situation, he is doing so to remind me that here is a way out of that particular situation. There is nothing that God absolutely cannot do. This is the lesson I have to learn while I wait on the promise. Whenever I think that something might be impossible for him, I only need to remember what he did for the Israelites. He parted the sea so that they could escape from their enemies. I am so very precious to him that he would do anything it takes to deliver me from anything that could possibly hold me back in life. Because of this truth, I have to run with the freedom he has given me. He has and he will remove anything that stands in my way for his name sake. When I choose to believe his truth about who I am, only then I will take hold of his promises and not doubt his words. When I have the truth solidified in my heart, I will not be discouraged or disheartened.
“Help me to choose to believe you even when my current situation seems impossible to turn around. Help me to choose faith over fear, and help me to know who you are in the light of any adversity I might ever face in life.
“I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant”
Lately I have been doubting God. So far this year it feels as though I have had so many setbacks. One after the other. Eventually, I felt drained, overwhelmed and dispondent. I came to the ultimate conclusion that it might be easier for me if I willed myself into forgetting about God’s promises rather than to keep believing and to keep being disappointed. That’s what happens sometimes in life. Getting knocked back so many times often makes one weary. For me, I somehow decided that believing his promises was turning me into a daydreamer. In a strange way, I believe God wants me to be a dreamer. He wants to me to have the highest expectations of him. To believe he is capable of doing absolutely ANYTHING! You see, during covid, God had laid a few things on my heart. For one he placed it in my heart to start a blog. That was 3 years ago. I have felt lately that firstly, I have hardly done much blogging mainly because life often gets in the way and alot of the time I struggle with my mental health which makes it hard for me to do even the things that I love to do including blogging. Because of this, at times I feel as though this blogging thing may not work because I’m simply not blogging as much as I should and therefore how could I possibly make some kind of living through blogging?? When I look at people who are successful bloggers its easy to think they have it all together, however everyone’s road to success looks different to the next person. For me, perhaps my road to success is through life’s trials and tribulations. My mental health has had what feels like a detrimental effect to all the things that I believe I am called to do in the this world, but God sees it as a way to fulfill my purpose in life. It feels hard to understand at times. I’m still not fully sure how this can be. How can use what feels like a burden in my life to fulfill his purpose for me? Often times it feels as though it gets in the way of everything so I’m not quite sure how it works or what God’s plan is at this point in time. At times however there are moments where it comes close to making sense like right now as I’m finally able to open my computer and type and at other times it makes absolutely no sense. As frustrating as it is, it’s allowing me to lean on God for everything. He supplies enough for each day that comes.
God never forgets his promises. I may have to keep reminding myself of this. Just as God had to keep reminding Moses of the covenant he had made to his people. Even Moses was doubting God! In some ways knowing this makes me feel a little better. I need to keep walking with God even in the doubts and the fears. Even when it looks like things are taking a turn in a different direction and everything seems a little confusing. I know that when Moses questioned God because things were turning even more sour after he confronted Pharoah to let God’s people go, God in his grace made a point to keep reminding Moses of all the promises he had made to the Israelites. Discouragement is a part of the journey but it helps me to trust in God along the way. I know that as I continue my journey with him, my faith will become a little stronger each time I face a challenge. Perhaps one day I will look back in awe and wonder at how God has worked in my life.
Psalms 107:19-21 – Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them : He rescued them from the grave.
Lately, I have felt I have been struggling with adversity. It often feels like one wave crashing over me again and again with no break in between for me to catch a breath. During times like these, I become distracted by the waves that are crashing over me and I forget that I have God to pull me out of the waves.
The Bible defines adversity as adverse or unfavorable fortune or distress. When I feel distressed, I lack joy and peace and when I am not at peace, I cannot think or hear God clearly. It is as if my mind is in a state of confusion in that distress and I struggle to think straight. During times like this, I become so focussed on that distress and forget to look to God to save me from my troubles.
When I look to God in times of distress, I have the assurance of his safety and his peace. When I am focussed on who God is and what he can do, I no longer have to fear what I cannot see because it is God who goes before me. He sees what I cannot see and he is the one who is guiding and protecting me regardless of what may come my way. I must remember to take hold of the day for it is the Lord’s day and I will rejoice and be glad in it!
“Don’t be afraid”, the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, O Lord, open his eyes so that he may see.”Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all round Elisha.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;Your works are wonderful, I know that full well
I was around 9 or 10 years old when I realised that academically, I wasn’t doing too well compared to my peers and classmates at school. I was falling behind and often struggled to pay attention in class. Throughout my schooling career, there were some teachers who cared and tried their best to help me while others probably thought I was a lost and hopeless case. It was around this time that I started to believe the lie that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t intelligent enough, I was a slow learner and that I could not do maths. Maths was the subject I struggled the most in school. When I started to believe this lie, it filtered into other areas of my life and I started to believe that there wasn’t much that I was good at.
I was an athlete and the lie that I was not good enough began to affect my performance in sports, particularly running. I stopped trying my best when it came to running and other sports because I really believed that I wasn’t good at running. I went from excelling in sports to being mediocre. The truth is that running was an outlet for me. It gave me the freedom to express myself in areas of my life where I wasn’t able to or did not have the opportunity to express myself.
As I grow older, I have to come to realise that I am enough because of what Christ has done on the cross for me. He has shed his blood for my weaknesses, my failures and even my successes in life. I do not need to live up to the standards of the world, I look up and live to who God says I am. I am fully created in his image and my identity lies in him. He makes up for my shortcomings and regards me as qualified in his eyes. When I am qualified, I don’t need to strive or to look elsewhere to know who I a and to know who Christ has created me to be.
FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE
I thank you God that you have created me with purpose and intention
I thank you that I was on your mindbefore I was formed in my mother’s womb
You thought longandhard before you decidedthat I was ready to be brought into this world
I thank you God because you knew what my characteristics and my personality would be,
What my journey in life would look like
I thank you that I am NOT a mistake
That I am your work of art- a Masterpiece you call “WONDERFUL“!
I thank you God because everything that you have created about me is indeed
You moulded and shaped me into what you wanted me to become
I was a mystery to the world
But to you, God I am not a mystery- I am FULLY known
You know my comings and my goings
You know what I need and when I need it
You knew what I was to become – you chose ME!
Every detail of my life has been laid before your eyes
Everything you had planned and prepared for me is not a mystery to you, oh God
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.
Being introduced to God
When I was a child growing up, I attended a Christian school. On Sundays, I regularly attended church with my family. The way in which I was raised has had a large impact on how I raise my children today. I am grateful that my parents raised me in a christian home because this kind of upbringing allowed me to raise my children in a similar environment and to introduce them to a God who knows and loves them unconditionally. Although I was raised in a christian home, I did not come to really know God until I reached my mid-twenties. As I raise my children in this early years and as I nurture them, I am introducing them to a God who will one day remind them of what they have learned in our home. They will know that they have someone they can turn and trust in their moment of need.
Leaving an Imprint
When we parent our children in a godly home based on christian values, we leave an imprint. As a family, we have traditions for every season. At Christmas, it is our family tradition to decorate the Christmas tree. At Easter we have an easter egg hunt for the children and every Friday in the last few years, we introduced a traditional family movie night in our living room. The way in which we parent our children much like our family traditions, instills life-long godliness in them. Each time I say a night prayer with one my children, I am teaching them that there is a God who loves, protects and cares for them. When I play worship music in our house, my children see the joy I have within from being able to connect to our heavenly father through music and when we give thanksaround the dinner table, they are learning that God cares about the very small details of our lives. When I teach them to forgive a friend who has hurt them, they are learning that God wants us to forgive those who have hurt us. I have scriptures placed on the walls in my house that I use to remind me of God’s truthwhenever I forget who I am in Christ however it doesn’t always occur to me that I am exposing my children to the wisdom of God. When they walk around the house and see read God’s truth each and everyday, they are being transformed without knowing. They are unknowingly being spiritually fed. Ultimately, my role as a mother is to introduce my children to God and for God to do the rest. Whenever I feel that I am not doing enough to teach the kids about God, he reminds me that he sees my passion and desire to raise Godly children and he honours that.
Why I should introduce my children to God
They will know that there is someone who loves them more than I could ever love them.
They are fully known by the Almighty who has their best interests at heart.
They were created with a purpose in mind and when they are fully aware of this truth, they can walk in God’s truth about who they are and who God has created them to be.
They will know that they are God’s treasured possessions and that they are valued and forgiven.
They will have the mind of Christ Jesus
They will know that they can always trust in a power which is greater than their own power
They will be confident in who they are in Christ
Introducing my children to God from their own perspective
Sharing my struggles
When I share my struggles and how I have managed to overcome many obsticles in my life including my struggle with anxiety and fear, I am introducing my children to a loving father who gave his life to save us.
I have always felt the need to put on a brave face and to make sure that my children do not see me struggle however if I am vulnerable, it shows them that it is acceptable and allowed not to be okay all of the time.
Asking tough questions
I have always shied away from asking tough questions. However, when I ask tough questions, I am in a position to better understand my children’s perspective and why they might feel they way they feel about certain things. Asking tough questions also allows them the opportunity to express themselves.
Assuring my children how much I love them
When I tell my children how much I love them, I am sharing God’s love for them too. When we are assured of God’s love for us, we do not have to look elsewhere for love and acceptance. They can be secure and confident knowing to whom they belong.
Spending time with my children creates a bond between us. The more time I spend with my children, the stronger that bond becomes. The stronger that bond becomes, the more our relationship grows.
When I love my children unconditionally, I am showing them that they do not need to perform to be loved. They do not need to do the right thing in order to be loved. They are loved regardless. By doing so I am demonstrating the same love that Christ has for us. He loves us regardless of whether or not we do what we are supposed to do. He loves us through our struggles and failures and still sees us as his special treasure.
I am patient when I allow my children to make their own mistakes and learn from them. When I allow room for their mistakes, it is an opportunity for them to develop their character and gain wisdom.
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”I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever. The Helper is the Spirit of truth.
What it means to parent the Jesus way
I have dealt with mom guilt for most of my parenting journey. The feeling of guilt is a very heavy burden to carry. Being a mother is a very fulfilling role however, that is not to say that the journey so far has been easy. When my children were very little, I would experience guilty feelings about the smallest things such as going shopping and leaving my kids behind, even if in the trusted hands of their father. I felt I had to have them by my side each and every minute of the day otherwise I wasn’t being a good mother. As parents, God has called us to parent his way. When we parent his way, it results in complete freedom from guilt. He did not create me to carry the heavy load of guilt. My children were brought into the world to give me joy.
Parenting God’s way allows me to make mistakes. When I parent God’s way, the mistakes I make along the way do not damage my children in the long term. Instead my mistakes and failures help me to grow and become an even better parent. God’s grace makes way for my parenting mishaps. Parenting God’sway is about exposing my children to God and his infinite goodness and mercy. This might look a little different to how other parents expose their own kids to Jesus. I use worship music when my kids first wake up in the morning because I firmly believe this sets the tone for the day. We say what we are thankful for around the dinner table and more so when one of the kids has had a tough day so that they remember than even in hard times we can remain thankful for the smallest of things. Practicing the gift of patiencein my parenting is a way in which God would want me to parent. Being patient allows them to make mistakes and gives room for growth and the ability to learn from those mistakes.
Why I should parent God’s way
He is a patient and loving God who gives wisdom to all who ask. When I am worried about my children, he calms my fears and gently reminds me that he is always in control. Parenting God’s way allows him to guide and lead me in my parenting. When I lack confidence, he assures me that I am doing a better job than I think. Sometimes God gently whispers something my children might need from me. One Friday morning while making my coffee, God gently nudged me to tell my kids how very proud of them I was, that they were doing such a brilliant job at school and how well they were working. It just so happened that on that Friday, that the school was giving out their weekly awards to all the children. My kids didn’t get an award that day BUT, I know that they did not feel too disappointed at not receiving anything because they knew that their hard work had not go unnoticed. When I parent in his way, he gives me the grace and strength I need when parenting feels tough. When all seems to go wrong in my eyes and I don’t feel I am winning at being a mother, his grace allows me to move forward from my mistakes.
Being intentional in parenting God’s way
1.Asking God for wisdom
When I ask God for his opinion when it comes to parenting it removes the pressure to do or say the right thing. It might be as simple as asking God what my children need from me each day. Do they need me to shower them with compliments? Do they need a simple hug or do they simply just need to be left alone? As kids start to enter theirteenage years it becomes a little more difficult to read their body language. Sometimes they do not want me to hug or cuddle them because to them I am treating them like babies however there may be times where they might really need that hug if they have had a particularly difficult day at school.
2.Giving myself Grace
I don’t always get things right, I may be distracted or busy at any moment and not recognise what my children need, I may shout and get angry when we don’t leave the house on time to get to school. At times I also lack patience. I have days where I simply don’t feel like parenting especially when I feel burnt out and exhausted. When this happens however I need to give myself grace in those situations.
3. Not making comparisons when it comes to parenting
I have the habit of comparing my parenting to others. This only makes me feel less competent as a parent. We all have different styles of parenting. My husband and myself have a balanced but relaxed style of parenting. If my children were out of control then perhaps this would not be the correct way to parent, however they are well behaved and respectful children and this means I don’t need to be particularly strict apart from exeptional circumstances.
4. Asking for help
Since leaving my home country nearly 10 years ago, I have struggled to ask for help when it comes to parenting. I remember when my daughter was a baby, I was desperate for advice on parenting, what to feed her etc as I didn’t always know what to do as a new mother. When I moved to a foreign country, my support system was no longer available and I had to manage on my own relying on my instincts. However, my children are not far from teenage years and I am finding myself looking for parenting advice from those with older children. Parenting God’s way means asking for advice from friends and family. It means asking friends to pray during difficult situations that make parenting a tough journey.
5. Sharing my concerns with my husband
At times when I find parenting tough, I fail do a good job of letting my husband know how I feel. I try to manage difficult situations on my own. Parenting God’s way means I have to be honest with my husband about how I’m feeling and how I feel in a tough situations. If I am open and honest, it takes the load off my shoulders because I have a partner to share this parenting journeywith me and I do not need to attempt to manage it all on my own.
6. Finding fullfillment In other areas of my life
As my children become older, I find myself having more time on my hands. I have started new hobbies and I am developing new interests such as joining a running club, swimming and decorating various rooms in the house. I am beginning to embrace thisnew phase of parenthood. Being intentional in my parenting is about pouring my love and efforts into other areas of my life, more specifically, my marriage as well as my business. By doing so, I am not over-investing in my children and I am ultimately allowing them to grow and develop in the way that God has intended them to grow and mature.
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Motherhood is one of the greatest sources of fulfilment in this world. For me, motherhood means trusting God with my children even though it has been a process for me to get to a place where I feel I can completely allow myself to let go and trust him. God knows what my children need more than I do. Once I got to that truth, it helped me get to a place where I was able to place my trust in him especially during times when my children would have to pass through emotional difficulties.
Motherhood has taught me to let go of the many expectations I had for my children. One of my expectations as a mother was that my children would be raised in a similar way that I was raised. I was brought up in a township in South Africa, I had good parents and a good upbringing. Despite my hope for my kids having a similar upbringing to my own, God had to remind me that there are some factors that exist that ultimately would mean that my children would in fact have a very different upbringing to my own. Firstly, they have been brought up in England which is culturally very different to the township that I grew up in between 1984 and 1998. Secondly, they are being raised by two parents who are from two very different backgrounds and cultures. My husband was brought up in a small coastal village in the North of England. At times when I have had conversations with my husband, I know that he too would have loved for his children to be brought up in the same village. We both have such fond memories of our upbringing and so it would be natural to have the same dreams for our children. I was raised in a typical African household where adults were adults and children were children. When I look at my kids, I fully acknowledge the stark differences between own my upbringing and their own. They are not as naive as I was at their age, they freely speak their minds and they well aware of what is going on in the world.
The reality is that I am still trying to figure out what motherhood really means. I believe the learning will stop as long as I am still alive. As my children grow older, I am purposely attempting to be a little more relaxed in my parenting to allow them to express themselves as individuals. I am beginning to learn how not to parent out of fear.
My Fears about motherhood
I used to be afraid that my children would not be self sufficient when they became adults. This stems from my own fears as a young adult where I struggled to become self sufficient. More often times than not, I made the mistake of comparing myself to my peers. Some of my peers had cars by the age of 23 and yet there I was struggling to simply hold down a job. I have learned to lean on God in this area and trust that his promises are yes and amen!
I was bullied as a child and I was never able to stand up for myself. From these childhood scars, I had an inherent fear that my children would not be able to stand up for themselves. However, the truth is that my children have been brought up in different circumstances and have been raised in a different environment to the one in which I was brought up. This does not mean they will never been bullied but it does mean that when they do need to stand up for themselves, they have the tools that they need to look after themselves. They are confident, strong-willed and secure. Something I lacked as I was growing up.
I grew up in a home were my parents were overly protective of myself and my siblings for their own personal reasons. This may be true to a large extent, however my unhealthy fear led me to believe that because the world was not a safe place, I needed to shield my children from the world because if I didn’t protect them then something bad would happen to them. As I have begun the process of letting go and let God take over, I have started to experience an inner peace in me. One where I am more relaxed as a mother and where I have no longer stress out about the small things.
What Jesus says about my Fears…
I am fully equipped for my role as a mother
I believe that God matches children with their parents in terms of personality, make-up and character. I know that my personality and my fun character draws my children towards me.
“I praise you for I am wonderfully and fearfully made” . God has created me the way he has for a purpose and a reason. I believe my calling to be a mother has a lot to do with my character and my personality.
I do not need to work extra hard to ensure my children honour and love me. I am enough as I am.
I do not need to compare my parenting to others
My parenting is unique to my own children and my parenting matches their personalities. My parenting style matches my own personality. I have a gentle personality and therefore my parenting style is gentle but firm when needed.
I am doing an amazing job as a mother
I need to let go of the self-doubt and the guilt that surrounds me and learn take hold of God’s promises and his faithfulness.
It is the LORD who goes before you.He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
He sees my passion for motherhood and he honours it
God honours my love for being a mother and the effort that I put into what he has called me to do. He see me as strong and capable, brave and courageous, wise and fearless as a mother.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.“
How I grow in confidence as a Mother…
Mistakes are necessary
Without mistakes there can be no room for growth. My mistakes do not define me. Neither will my parenting mistakes define my children but they will help me to grow.
I am enough
I am enough as I am. I cannot give what I simply do not have and that is OKAY!
It’s ok to have a bad day
I am allowed to have days where I do not feel like parenting. This doesn’t make me a bad mother.
I must run my own race
I cannot model my parenting based on parenting books or someone else’s style of parenting.
I do not need to make small things into bigger things.
Stop doubting myself
Self doubt reduces my confidence in parenting and stifles my growth.
“God is within her, she will not fall.”
I can be thankful that God had given me the opportunity to be a mother.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Remembering that God is always working in me
God works in me helping me to parent and to be the best mother I can be to my children. I can trust that he has and will always have me in the palm of his hands throughout my journey as a mother.