BraveGirl heads to the United Nations!

Written by Steph Redhead  | 
I have some pretty big news I want to share with you all….
I along with my bestie Sally have been selected to be part of a delegation heading to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March 2019 in New York.  (Cue the squeals of excitement!)
It’s a pretty big deal for us!
The Economic and Social Council at the United Nations is the body responsible for initiatives for the advancement of women.  The Commission on the Status of Women is the functional commission that is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women.  Sally and I will be going as part of the delegation from Presbyterian Women of Aotearoa New Zealand which has Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC.
Essentially Sally and I are going because we want to learn about the policies and processes that are working towards development and progress for women internationally. We want to be better informed about what the United Nations are doing for equality and empowerment of women. We are passionate about these issues but we want to know, understand and do more! When we understand better we can move from 'just passionate' into effective response and involvement in solutions - and that is where I want to be and I believe where BraveGirl needs to be too. We are also really looking forward to meeting women from other UN countries whose stories and lives are similar yet completely different to our own.  And you all know how much I LOVE hearing people’s stories!
The exciting news for YOU is that you are coming with us!  
No not literally flying the thousands of miles with us (!) but through the gloriousness of technology, and social media we will be recording, filming and sharing our experiences with you on the BraveGirl platform. Like us I am sure that you want to be challenged, inspired and well informed women! And we want to be able to make the UN accessible to you and give you opportunity to get involved with us in doing something to make a better world for our daughters and future generation BraveGirls!
As with most amazing things there is (always) a catch!  Being part of this delegation means we have to self-fund the trip which just means the excitement of going is also equal to the daunting feelings of figuring out how to get there.  Sally and I both have young families and we work part-time jobs in retail and hospitality so ‘saving up’ isn’t enough of an option for us.  If you feel that supporting us financially in this venture is something you would like to do then please click on the link to the Give-a-little page we have set up.  We would so appreciate any gift to help us in our mission to get BraveGirl to the United Nations!



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Posted by Steph Redhead


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Confessions of a grumpy Mum

Written by Nicky Geldard  | 

When sickness comes knocking during school holidays Mum gets pushed to her limit. Read on as Nicky shares her honest experiences of the school holidays...

I feel like the worst version of myself these holidays. Shouty, growly, irritable mummy has made an appearance and I’m looking forward to packing her bag and sending her away.

The break started with party poppers, roast pork, friends, fun and laughter. We were onto a good thing, the kids were finding their rhythm and we had some enjoyable activities planned. Then there was a sniffle. It turned into a sore throat. Dad hit the deck, or the bed, first. Influenza – the full-blown kind with all its accessories: aches, vomit, sinus blockages, restless nights, etc. Hmmm.

Funnily enough we had just had our flu shots (it’s always a family outing – the kids call them “holes”, much to the doctor’s amusement). Time would tell if the rest of the family was going to succumb. Actually, it didn’t take much time at all. The two little ones (as I call my 5-year-old and 3-year-old), were both feverish by the time the evening rolled around. It was going to be a long night and I was on sole-duty given that Dad was out of action.

Night one: alternate administrations of pamol and ibuprofen, vicks vapor rub, bowls emptied, tissues overflowing the rubbish bin… Morning arrived and that’s when Florence Nightingale waved goodbye and Grumpy Mummy stomped in. I’m a terrible nurse, I just don’t have the stamina to be needed 24-7. If I could have tapped out that morning, I would have.

We limped through the next few days (and nights) with a few visits to the doctor and the after-hours clinic. Someone needed antibiotics, another needed an injection to stop the vomiting, then it was steroids, inhalers, the works. I’m so grateful we live in New Zealand, God bless our medical system, but what I really was after was a prescription for a live-in nurse.

My head cold was nothing to what the others were going through, but a quiet hotel room, all by myself, with clean sheets and no one sneezing on me, was becoming a daily fantasy. I hit a new parenting low when the kids developed a chesty cough on top of all the other symptoms. It was let’s-keep-mummy-up-tag that night. One would go and then the other, back and forth, back and forth. I lost count of how many times I had been in and out of bed when our 3-year-old called out again. Her teddy was too big! What?! I grudgingly replaced the offending smurf (with a baby owl) and stomped back to bed. Then there was another shout. Expletives are not normally my thing, but they were clearly at the front of my mind that night. The owl was missing a wing. What…the…owl?!

Thankfully Daddy was back on board by this stage and prevented any further injury to the owl, but I was done. A few days of looking after everyone had stripped away patience, kindness and sympathy. And truthfully, it wasn’t that bad. Sure, it was intense for a few days, but there are so many people out there who are dealing with significant health issues, long-term situations that they cannot see an end to. As I write, my family is on the mend. Grumpy, yes. Congested, yes. But they will get better.

So how do I understand my reaction in light of my faith? After all, doesn’t one’s true self come to light in the face of adversity? And what about the evidence of Christ in my life, that should be displayed by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Oh, ouch. I know my prayers became a whole lot more simple than usual, “Give me patience,” “Heal him, please,” “Help me not to shout,” “Help her breathe,” and again, “Give me patience.” I’m grateful God hears me, even when I’m mad, frustrated and at the end of my tether. And I’m grateful He hears me, even when I’m not being a very good reflection of Him.

After all, don’t we love our kids in spite of their faults, failures and willful wrong-doing? Hang, we even love them when they get us up, repeatedly, throughout the night. Matthew 7:11 says, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” In other words, God loves us more than we will ever know. It’s a love that is even greater than what a parent has for their child, and because of His great love for us, He wants to bless us. Part of His blessing involves listening. He tunes in when we’re upset and He forgives us when we get things wrong.

So here are my words of courage to myself this week (and to anyone else who may need them): “Pray short prayers, be grateful, this will end. Have a cuppa, see a friend, lock yourself in the bathroom for five minutes and take some deep breaths. You are heard, you are forgiven, you get a second chance.”

The bags are packed, I’ll send Grumpy on her way now.

Posted by Nicky Geldard


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Borrowing Strength

Written by Everyone  | 

This is the blog post WE WROTE TOGETHER!

Everybody goes through hard times whether it’s a day, a week, or a life season. So we all understand the feelings and the depths of the low times, but we are also all able to offer encouragement to each other and cheer each other on from that place of understand -  and this is the post that does just that!
This week I struggled and was feeling quite dragged down by life, my tank was empty but I still wanted to show up for you and for this community. 
So I posted a Facebook live video and asked for your help to write this post for anyone feeling like life is kicking their butt right now - and you showed up for me and for our community and we are all now a little stronger and more encouraged to keep going. How cool is that?!
So if you are like me and in need of a pep-talk from your community, encouragement from a friend then read on because this blog post is for you, from us with love and courage…..
Keep showing up... you don't know what is on the other side of you being present in this moment. Who you are and what you have in your hands in enough. Don't get lost in the big picture, one step in front of the other my friend… - Jo

It does not get much more BRAVE than a woman choosing to fill her own tank when she is overwhelmed by a world that requires way too much of her at times. You are awesome. Enjoy some Vitamin D! - Tana

Take a deep breath know you're in the presence of God! - Diane

Good self care in this season is essential. But we often need some encouragement to see and do it the first few times before we start clicking into it. Have a great time doing something different. - Sue

Make a decision to stop and breathe. Ladies, we work hard, we love hard and we often sleep little. Stop and enjoy a moment, no guilt only joy. - Beth

Slow down, stop doing anything you don’t absolutely have to. Use a slow cooker, get a cleaner, plan a day to do nothing. Run John 16:33 through your head over and over. Lots of love #beenthere - Elizabeth
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. Acknowledge Him in ALL thy ways and He shall direct thy paths.” KJV - Janny

I love being part of a team - building each other up and sharing the load. Knowing other people are on the journey with me keeps me going! - Emma

Young busy Mums often get over there heads suddenly — be thankful for the good health you share & for an understanding husband not everyone has one & remember the best is yet to be ...... and you don’t have to be Wonder Woman every day - June

I'm here for you, always! - Steph

In His presence is light, love and calm. He has you in the palm of his hand - Mary

I know I'm not A BraveGirl, but women, just remember: You are somebody's reason to smile! - Nathan

Take another deep breath. - Ruth

Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or flat etc I play worship music, then I sing it and I pray (doesn’t have to be much prayer) and I keep soaking in the words and singing them and praising God. I trust God to fill my tank (often in these times God says something loving/encouraging to me)...He always fills my tank! You got this! God’s got this! Much love and blessings! Xx - Aimee

Advice from another slightly overwhelmed mama of three- We have to keep being real with each other and keep showing up each the grace of God that is usually enough to get us through the season of overwhelm xx - Marina

Breathe! You can do this. Take the time to replenish. - Karyn

"When I'm overwhelmed, when I'm lost at sea, still You're there right beside me. When I can't see clear, all around is fear, still You're holding me." Our God is Emmanuel, God with us in the overwhelm, holding us, walking through it with us, covering us, loving us in it all. As we continute to face Him, He provides the hope, the ideas, the strength and grit, and at times the humour to keep going. - Esther

Strive for Peace within yourself with God at the centre. For God is our strength and our perfect peace, we can give everything/anything up to him and take a step back knowing he's got this! - Jessica

God is good. You are good. Life is good. You are doing ok girl - you’ve got this! - Steph

Posted by Everyone


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