Dreaming with your children

Recently I was asked to write something for J-Star Magazine about encouraging your kids to be a destiny walker. It really made me think! And reminded me of a great book I read by Bruce and Darlene Marie Wilkinson called “The Dream Giver for Parents.”
Living in a world that pressurises us to make the most money, wear the fanciest clothes and drive the snazziest cars, it’s safe to say that our children can be influenced by the superficial which in turn could motivate how they choose their future ambitions. With suggestions that it’s actually money that brings happiness and not walking in your destiny, it’s easy to understand why there are so many unhappy people sitting in offices around the world, not living life to its fullest potential and not daring to dive into the big destiny that has been designed for them. This raises the question: 
“Are we encouraging our children to dream with God?”

 
As destiny walking mothers we honour God in our lives by allowing Him to reign in the lives of our children. In the book of Samuel, Hannah dedicated her son back to the Lord. This was a bold and public act of showing that she trusted God’s Big Dream for him and was willing to sacrifice her plans for His. Don’t ever give up on the Dream Makers Big Dream for you and your family – it comes from God’!

Authors Bruce and Darlene Marie Wilkinson’s book, The Dream Giver for Parents, explores the concept of allowing your children to nurture their unique God-given dreams. The Wilkinson’s shared seven principles which enable parents to assist their children in discovering their dreams. They also aim to help parents find out how these dreams fit into “God’s Big Dream” for the world.

Dare
Dare to allow your children to dream of changing the world! By teaching your children that it is possible for impossible things to change, you are allowing them to develop a thinking pattern that could very well result in them bringing about change. Dare yourself to surrender to God’s will. It is not up to you to create a dream for your child but for your child to discover God’s dream for him or her.

Raise
Raise your children with dreams that will bring meaning into their lives! God does things big, and if the dream feels like it’s too big for you, it’s usually the one God’s dreamt for you. When you dream with your children, always keep the Dream Giver’s Big Dream in mind, talking to them about how their dream fits in with God’s.

Explore
Explore all the life-areas that your children are good at or that excite them! Psalm 37:4 says to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. God puts desires in your children’s hearts and as they draw closer to Him, so He will begin to uncover and reveal those desires to them more and more.

Affirm
Affirm your own belief in your children’s dreams by exposing them to all the available information and experiences that will help them define their dreams! Teaching your child the beauty of humility and self-worth and the thin line in-between, holds a value like no other. Passion.

Make Use
Make use of every opportunity to help your children learn from role models – both positive and negative! A simple but important truth is that children learn from what they experience. As a parent you are the first role model for your child and as much as we want them to bear witness to our good experiences and character traits, sometimes life happens and they see the difficult times and negative traits as well.

Encourage
Encourage your child to rely on the Dream Giver as the only guide who will show them how to shape their dreams to fit with God’s Big Dream for the world! As a parent, it is so easy to fall into the unintentional trap of playing God in our children’s lives. It is so important to remember that we are not the architect of our children’s dreams and cannot be everything to them. 

Remind
Remind your children that following a Big Dream requires perseverance, tenacity and creative problem solving! No dream comes true by itself. In John 16:33 the Bible says “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” We need to allow our children to dream but also remind them that faith, hard work and determination are the waters that allow their seed to grow!

Originally written for and published in JStar Magazine

Music Monday: Desperation Band – Banner

The very first thing that I liked about Desperation Band is their name. Led by Jon Egan, the band was birthed out of the student ministries of New Life church in Colorado Springs. The church hosts an annual student conference called Desperation Conference, with the intent purpose of sculpting a generation to be desperate for God. I love that. I love that the conference focuses on young people and that it challenges them to take, what they call “The Vow” – a vow to live out a devoted life to God and the things of God. The website says: “Desperation calls young people to live in desperate pursuit of God.” With that in mind, New Life Church pastor, David Perkins, approached Egan in 2001 to form the Desperation Band – a band desperate for and deeply in love with the presence of God.
Known best for their songs: “Overcome”, “I Am Free”, “My Saviour Lives”, “Here in Your Presence”, “You Hold It All”, and “Yahweh”, the band released their 3rd album, titled Banner in September 2014. The album was recorded live during the July 2014 Desperation Conference and features 12 original tracks; lead by conference worship leaders Jon Egan, Nico Perez and the amazing Gina Milne.
My first listen to the album gave me the impression that it is through and through a youth worship album. My second listen showed me that it is a layered compilation, representing the various stages of praise and worship and I found a few worship songs that really stirred me up.
It’s obvious that the album was written with students in mind, with song titles such as “Future” and “Fun”. Both are upbeat, spunky, praise songs with the latter being especially interesting. The chorus simply says ‘We’re having fun/Oh oh/We’re having fun/Oh oh!’ I think that this track has the potential to be a hit at youth gatherings. “We’re taking a big risk with this one,” Egan says, “but why not celebrate the kind of love that frees us, gives us joy and allows us to have fun, to ‘dance with every reason to dance, sing with every reason to sing…’”  
Title track, “Banner”, speaks about God being our banner, going before us, strong and mighty and never faltering. The melody is pretty straight forward and easy to learn. The song was written as an anthem and boldly declares God to be the great I am.
“On the throne” was written with Kari Jobe and Jason Ingram, with Jobe joining them on the recording… and, of course, I likey. This is one of my favourites on the album, partly because I love Kari Jobe that much but more because it’s a hard hitting worship song with a chorus that boldly proclaims ‘For the Lord is/He is able/He is faithful/Higher than the mountains that I face!’ The Bridge is also particularly powerful, speaking about God being glorious and sovereign over all. This song is not just for your youth meetings – I can definitely hear the bridge being sung on Sunday mornings as well. It’s one of those kinds of bridges.
I love the theme behind “You make a way”. Egan leads this worship song that speaks about God being our hope and strength. He has shared:” This song has been blowing up at our church and at youth events! I think they have really connected with it because it gives a voice to people believing for miracles!” Another worship song with potent lyrics, which speaks of relying on Him, was “We are Yours.”  The opening lyric says ‘More transformation/less of the same/More of you Jesus leading the way.” There are many more ‘wow’ factors throughout this song, that speak such truths, that you can’t help but find yourself in a place of hope and faith after listening to it!
I really enjoyed “Closer to Your heart”! When I kept gushing on and on about it, my husband laughed at me (in all his musical-geniusness) and said that the song sounds very ‘old school’. But that is what I appreciate about it! The song features Bri Giles and has a really catchy, quirky melody and honest lyrics that simply say ‘All I want is to know You, Jesus/Draw me closer to Your heart.’
Another track that I couldn’t keep quiet about was “No one else.” Wow! Co-lead by  Nico Perez and the fabulous Gina Milne, this track cut me to the core when I heard the chorus: ‘No one else pulls life from the wreckage/No one else lifts me from under the waves/My God You’ve broken my fall/God You’re stronger than it all.’ It’s a bold declaration, sung in a whisper, with the potential to really minister!
Can I end off by lauding Gina Milne again? She leads another worship track, “Multiply” and you can really get the feel of her level of intensity in that one. Her sweet voice really has depth and I thoroughly appreciated the deep lyric on the song, which speaks about giving God every aspect of your life, in order for Him to multiply it for His glory.
Youth worship leaders: this album is for you and was written with your young people in mind. Worshippers: you will enjoy the many worship tracks on this album, whether you are a ‘youth’ or not. The live recording was done with excellence, the musicianship and vocals were beautifully arranged and executed and the song writing is top notch. Great album!
To end, a quote from Jon Egan:  “We’re not interested in being part of the worldwide movement that is modern worship-the albums, the sales, the touring, the photo shoots-because if it starts to pay back more than what it costs you, that’s when it gets dangerous. Worship is supposed to be carried on our backs; it’s supposed to be sweaty, to take some effort. That’s why it’s called a sacrifice of praise. That’s our life message.”

This review was originally written for and published in Gateway News

Professional tips on how to keep your baby entertained

Amidst my supper-cooking and dishes-washing I threw some random kitchen items into a bowl to keep my curlysue busy. I thought I was being extremely clever and one of those cool, hip, blog moms who finds alternate ways to keep their baby entertained.

Well, that was until my dollface emptied the contents of the bowl onto the bed and rather played with said bowl. I still take that as a win though, because the bowl kept her occupied for a precious 15 minutes.

Other things she did with the bowl:
– Banged it against whatever object was closest
– Stared at it as if she was figuring out how to take over the world
– Vomited into it

All in all a good time 🙂
I should write a book about this.

xxxL

Feature Friday: Mandy Frank – Mrs PE 2012

On Feature Friday I feature people, products or just random things that I think are pretty cool. My aim is to leave you a little bit more enlightened and inspired! And hey, I’m open to new things, so please hollar at me, if you have any pretty cool FF suggestions. 

Mandy Frank – Mrs Port Elizabeth 2012

My FF guest this week is someone who always inspires me with her compassion and willingness to help others. I met Mandy Frank a few years ago – I’m not sure how – and started following her campaign to be the next Mrs Port Elizabeth in 2012. 
For those who don’t know, Port Elizabeth is our hometown and as Mrs PE, you become an ambassador for the city and those within the city who are in need. What I immediately noticed about Mandy is that she was involved with charity projects BEFORE all the beauty pageant stuff happened. She was the real deal and rightly so deserved to win the title in 2012. The pic above shows off the love between herself and hubby, Sheldon, on the night of the Mrs PE event. They’ve been married for 7 years and have 1 amazingly cute and Jesus-lovin’ little boy, Matteo who in his 7 years of age is not ashamed to give and receive love and tell others how much Jesus loves them. I love her Facebook posts about her life with her guys (some are kinda hilarious!) and the revelation she receives every day. I think she’s pretty cool 🙂 
Let’s see what she has to say:
1. So… who are you?
Thank you sooooo much for thinking of me.  Who am I?  I am just Mandy.  The Middle of 3 children (all girls) of 2 loving parents. A daughter of the King. A blessed wife and doting mom. A ‘what you see is what you get’ kinda girl.  I am very approachable and appreciate the simple things in life.

2. You’re a feature today, because I think you’re pretty cool 🙂 Why do you think you’re cool?
Mmmmm – maybe I’m cool in like a nerdy kind of way? Haha – I’m a really good friend.  I know this, because my friends tell me that all the time.  Then again, I am surrounded by really cool people!! I don’t get upset easily, and the older I get (pushing 30 – #whoop) – the calmer I seem to be.  I am liking me more and more actually. Actually, I love me more and more.

3. What is your favorite thing at the moment?
Biscuits! ! Biscuits, and Pajamas. 

4. If you could change one thing today, what would it be?
Anything? Like anything?  Peace among families. 

5. Learnt how to make anything recently?
What was it? Coconut Ice.  Matteo and I had lots of fun making different colours.

6. Share your favorite tip/trick:
every woman should learn how to swirl ….

7. Imagine we’re your kids 🙂 now imagine you had to share a life lesson with us.
What would it be? You can be anything you want to be. Yes! Anything like ANYTHING.  And you’re never too young to start sharing God’s love.  



xxxL

Call him Bruce

Can I start by saying I really hope I don’t offend anyone 🙂

I’m not a Kardashian follower, neither am I a transgender expert or someone who actually KNOWS Bruce Jenner, but I must say that reading his story yesterday totally broke my heart for him.

Here sits a man, who is so broken and hurt by his own father, that he seemingly lost who he is and mistook it for the need to be the one thing in life he has always been surrounded by – women.

I am not going to pretend to know what is going on deep down inside of him, but one thing I am sure of is that God does not make mistakes. If God gave Bruce Jenner male organs, male DNA and male hormones, then guess what, God had intended for Bruce to be a man.
The fact that he is not interested in being with another man proves this to me.
Surely if you’re actually a woman “on the inside” then your desire would be to be with a man? Maybe there is something deeper going on here…

With that said:
Changing your outward appearance will not fix what is going on, on the inside.
Changing how you look will not satisfy the longing in your heart.
I know that there is always hope in a hopeless world though, so…
Today, I pray that through this whole transformation Bruce Jenner begins to open himself up to God. And I pray that Bruce finds exactly what his soul has been yearning for this whole time!

#thatisall

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