Penina and Chelsea first became acquainted when Chelsea began courting Penina’s brother Zafar. Two years later, when Chelsea and Zafar were married, they officially became sisters.
Chelsea and Zafar moved to New Zealand, where Penina and her husband Matt were living. Within a year, they bought houses next to each other and became next door neighbors. Wanting to closely align their efforts for serving the community together, the two couples formed a teaching team and became active in various core activities.
Soon they were both expecting their first babies, due within four months of each other. It was hard to imagine how life would change with the arrival of a new baby, not only as individuals experiencing the awe-inspiring role of motherhood for the first time, but as friends, family members, and Baha’is.
Having gone through pregnancy together, each was excited to welcome their new baby into the world and to share in the numerous experiences of being new mothers.
At first, support was focused on the practical elements such as breastfeeding, sleeping, how to get things done with a new baby, etc.
They shared many visits and conversations about the things any group of new mothers would talk about, and realized how important it was to have a friend going through the same experience.
Although they both continued to keep the Faith at the center of their life, each took a different path of service. Penina continued to stay active in the local community, serving as a core activity coordinator for the cluster and tutoring various study circles, etc. Chelsea, however, decided to step back from most activities, resigned from any duties she could, and only committed to service she could offer from home.
Therefore it is important to note that each mother has had a unique experience in regards to serving her family and the community while having young children. These decisions were influenced by many factors – including specific goals and talents, family situation, as well as mother and baby temperament. They understand there are many paths for serving the Faith.
As the children grew up and became toddlers, the two began to think more about the spiritual elements of parenting. They brainstormed and tested out various ideas, including hosting a Baha’i children’s class for one and two year olds, celebrating Baha’i Holy Days, teaching their children prayers, working on maintaining discipline in a healthy manner, etc.
Less than two years later, they were both expecting another child, again within four months of each other. Penina’s children would be 22 months apart, Chelsea’s would be 30. Chelsea moved to Australia but the two remained close, emailing each other and discussing issues related to mothering.
Having shared many experiences and developed a common vision about parenting with a Baha’i spirit, in January 2012 they decided to create this website together with the goal of supporting other like-minded mothers and launched it only a month later.
They wholeheartedly believe that “it takes a village to raise a child” and, in today’s world where society has drifted away from this notion, they hope this site will be one avenue for mothers to get some of the spiritual support they need to raise loving and service-oriented children.
After working steadily on the website for a couple years, both Chelsea and Penina decided to step away to have more children and pursue other projects. Though the blog was not updated for a few years, the articles and free resources remained.
During the next few years, Chelsea started her blog Moments A Day which shares ideas for families to build character through activities, recommended resources and more. She also recorded an album of Baha’i prayers and quotations with her husband which you can find on their website, Soulrise Melodies. Penina created beautiful handcrafted baby carriers and other items through her business Island Custom. She also served as the instructor for Kangatraining Wellington North.
As the children grew, both Penina and Chelsea expanded their businesses. They also created a Wilmette Institute course called “Embracing a Spiritual Identity of Motherhood” which you can read about on this page.
For a more personal note about the website and our experience as mothers, read our Note to the Moms. To read more about the history behind our largest resource, Radiant Hearts, go to this page.
Thanks for visiting. We are happy you are now a part of our story!
We hope you will enjoy this space and that you will join us in our noble journey of motherhood. We look forward to hearing your ideas through the comments and encourage you to email us with any questions.
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