Our Top 10 inspired quotes from Zimbabwean women who inspire us

I continue to marvel at just how much giving my time and effort to this platform has transformed me.  GOD is truly at work through some amazing women in my life. I draw strength from the knowledge that there are so many women I can learn and grow from if I open myself to asking questions on how they encounter their successes.

In the coming weeks, we look forward to bringing to you more inspired testimonials, interviews, musings if you will – from Zimbabwean women that are mastering their own destinies and sharing their lives with others through their professions, works, talents and gifts. QF Features have been some of the most widely read elements of our blog, as readers are able to see themselves in the stories of other unique and tenacious women.

Today i’d like to share in one setting, some of the most beautiful words shared by women we have enjoyed sitting down with. I hope you enjoy these as we enjoyed sitting down and talking through their success stories…

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Check out their full interviews under the QF Features tab on our homepage. There’s plenty of wisdom there!

Quintessentially yours,

QF Yvonne

Don’t talk yourself out of what’s yours!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”- Joshua 1:9

A few days ago I received a “YES” to something I had been believing in GOD for a little while. You see with me, when GOD wants me to take on an assignment, I become engulfed by a sense of urgency – like time is running out and I need to get started right away! As a matter of fact, that’s kinda how Quintessential F was born. An instruction, brainstorming over Skype and emails, and GOD meticulously sending the right people that would be a part of this vision coming to life. The same was the case when I got to researching, putting forward applications and drafting paperwork for this particular task, before sending it all in and letting GOD take control.

A call came in at almost 10pm and I picked it up because it was an international number (I have a no phone calls after 8pm policy unless time difference is involved). As the caller shared the good news and went over the next steps and what documentation I needed to send in in the coming days, I was immediately overcome by total anxiety. I silently started talking myself out of this thing I had been praying for over the past few weeks.

“I don’t have capacity, my schedule is too packed right now…”

“I’m barely scrapping the surface with all i have to do during the day; maybe I should wait till next year…”

“Budget!!!! I really need a vacation and want to go somewhere exotic before the year’s out but how now with the money required to get started with this thing…”

This internal debate loomed until I fell asleep.

As I drove my cubs to school the next morning, I asked GOD to give me a confirmation that would settle my mind.

You see beloved, GOD gives us what we ask for. If we ask for a job, He will give us one. It may not be exactly what we are looking for, but it is what’s needed to take you to that dream job. If you ask GOD for a marriage, He will give you that also. But He won’t do the work for you to keep that marriage happy and thriving. YOU need to put in the work.

As I drove back home, I felt a calm in my spirit as GOD reminded me that the doubt in my mind about whether I could or should pursue this thing, was yet another attempt by the devil to derail me from my ambition. I had asked for this particular thing. In fact I had asked for it for a long time but at different intervals such that anxiety should have been the last set of emotions to pay me a visit upon receipt of the good news. Now was the time to get started!  NOW presented the right ingredients and conditions to challenge myself further, but here came the enemy trying to talk me out of what’s already been given unto me.

This is what the devil, and his cousins fear and anxiety do. They talk you out of your purpose, they talk you out of your faith and they talk you out of your strength.  We ask, GOD grants, but then we resist receiving by convincing ourselves we aren’t ready, or worthy, or capable. Don’t let this be you! Not today and moving forward, not ever!

As a type this, I am excited to having accepted this gift i have been praying for. It took me 24 hours to push through and psyche myself up spiritually and mentally. I am excited to discover more of GOD’s power working in me as I live out my life and work towards my destiny.

If there is something that your spirit has been telling you to do, but you are overcome by doubt, fear and maybe anxiety – look back at the prayers you have been sending to the heavens over the years. The enemy does anything he can to keep you from your blessings. Don’t give him that power. Rather, call on GOD to grant you the strength to see you push through the labour required for your vision to be born.

Quintessentially yours,

QF Yvonne

When your body checks-out, and REALISM checks-in

“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary”- Isaiah 40:29-31

Fear, anxiety and subsequent sickness is very real people. Never underestimate its ability to completely derail you – if you let it. I work hard to stay on the optimism track – maintaining a positive outlook as best I can with everything I do. In all my doing, I pray that GOD helps me to allow my rather colorful and animated outlook on life leave an imprint in the hearts of people I encounter. But even those that aim to spread the message of good cheer crash and burn sometimes. I have to say though, that the women in my life do an outstanding job of helping me to keep my “slay tap” running. Only GOD knows how grateful I am for them.

A few days ago, I took a second to take stock of what needed to be done in the next couple of weeks. We’ve just recently moved house, the kids are enrolled in a new school and I am trying to adjust to the new driving distances, the new school and work schedules, knocks on the door from home from family members affected by the malaise in Zim – et al. No kidding – I went from cruising at 100kph mentally to a screeching zero! I shared the other day that I unexpectedly fell sick – and that messed me up completely.

Then came the being bedridden on pain meds in a full on comatose state. It’s Eid break here, so I was looking forward to the extra days of regrouping and hopefully getting my body back on track. But my mind was plagued by guilt. I didn’t feel like I had been as productive as I should be notwithstanding how much more is on my plate with the new scheduling. I felt like I was merely glazing through, like someone sitting on a train watching the trees zoom past through the window. I was struggling to reconcile my thoughts – what needed to be done, getting it done EFFICIENTLY and moving onto the next task. My spirits were low. Marry that with the “mommy can you take us to the movies, mommy we don’t like this in our lunch, can we have this instead, mommy, we have Arabic homework” – (still not sure what they expect me to do to help my kid with Arabic homework but I digress)….

24 hours became 48 hours of me slipping down a slope of complete drudgery and anxiety. What is going on? How will I get this done? Oh wait – this and this still isn’t done. I need a vacation…soon. Why can’t I go on vacation anyway…and enjoy fine foods and colorful drinks with my feet in the sand somewhere…and those starchy hotel sheets, yes..those hotel sheets!!! So I parked myself in my bed and wallowed. The I got to breaking my feelings down to hubs who is away on a whole other continent, mom and day, my brothers, my friends – all of which are also on whole other continents! I reached out to whomever I thought would have a word of encouragement for me. And encouraged I was.

Hubs said something really profound. His pragmatism never seizes to amaze. Sometimes it’s what I need to get jerked out of those thoughts of self-pity and disgruntlement. I quote him:

“If you are unwell, and are resting, you are SUPPOSED TO BE UNPRODUCTIVE! Part of your stress is coming from you fighting what your body, mind and spirit are telling you. Listen to your body. That’s why they have hospitals with beds in them – to force people to listen to their bodies and do nothing until they get right”

A dear friend of mine Mutsa – bless her. Her jokes – alongside the daily musings, debates, unadulterated vent sessions, laughs and such my other ex-Chisi sisters Vee, Loz, Chido, Zish, Ziso, Noma, Msipa, Ru, Linda, Sandy and the others who chime in apo na apo – give me life. These women offer me MY DAILY SISTERLY SOULFOOD. Mutsa said as I vented:

“Sometimes you have to just say ‘ok, today I am NOT 100% in doing this so I will be 100% at doing something else – even if the something else means watching TD Jakes and refueling your tank”

I can’t emphasise enough, how much these two statements shaped my mindset and helped me get back on my feet. Throw in doses of Iyanla, TD Jakes, some Joyce Meyer here and there – and I realized that I was doing myself a disservice by trying to be a hero and trying to do everything perfectly. I also learned that it is okay to raise your flag and ask for help. Sometimes all you need are a few words or a little prayer from someone to pick you right back up and bring back your mojo.

The lessons for me over the past few days were strongly aligned to the importance of taking time to stop, unwind and in some cases, do nothing at all. Doing nothing at all for a short time actually means you are restocking your internal cabinetry, refueling your tank, refilling your cup. You cannot give what you do not have. If your strength wanes, how then can you have all that’s needed to tackle your to do lists with vigour or help others when they need your support and input.

Today’s post is about encouraging you beloved, to value yourself, your time and the need to replenish your stores. Your body checking out is never a good sign. It is always a signal to scale back on some activity so you can rebuild your capacity to do more with tomorrow’s set of objectives.

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Yvonne

 

Be still: When doing nothing is all you need

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If you are anything like me – I have days when it’s literally a struggle to get out of bed. Last week’s heat, the school run making a re-entry, juggling the day to day hustles of life and such – all of it – took a toll on me. I was bedridden for a day with a severe migraine and inexplicably high blood pressure, which the doctor attributed to stress. Stress I could accept – possibly…but nah! “Do you have a history of blood pressure issues in your family?” the doc asked. I thought about Mainini Tsitsi who passed away from a brain aneurism triggered by high levels of blood pressure. She was 21 when she died. I thought of my gran who sometimes experiences swollen limbs when hers peaks. “Surely no” I thought to myself. The challenge though was that each doctor visit this year had comes back with some irregularities in my BP – and that was beginning to throw a wrench in my positivity.

I’m in my bed as a type this out, suffering from the equivalent of writer’s block to a writer and lack of inspiration to a creative. My mind is telling me that I cannot let fear of ill health, and my body feeling a certain kind of way – keep me from pushing along – but my body really is tired. I was talking to my girlfriends just yesterday, wherein I asked if they ever feel like checking into a hotel, closing the curtains and sleeping for days on end – waking up to order room service and have a shower. What a relief to hear them all chime in “Yeap! I feel like that now!”

It’s important to take stock of what’s happening to your mind, body and soul, establishing root causes for any feelings that are contrary to what you would rather be experiencing. I woke up with a plan yesterday, but turned around and checked myself in for a massage because I felt I needed the quiet and the de-stressing. I’m soaking myself in some good content to restore all the flowery inspiration that keeps me soldiering on. I understand more than anything, that sometimes when I’ve been doing too much too fast – GOD has a way of making me take time away to refuel. So that’s what today and tomorrow will be about; taking time away to do nothing at all….

The profoundness of Og Mandino’s “17 Rules to live by”

Do not worry about tomorrow

A dear friend of mine unexpectedly lost someone very close to her. Over the past few days, we’ve shared several conversations on the impact of death to families, and just how much we often times take the very essence of living for granted. I’ve also in recent weeks, not only turned a year older, but come to realise the magnitude of responsibilities that come with being an adult. Thinking about it all can create  a tad bit of anxiety to be honest…

Life is a gift, a precious one at that – but how many of us are actually taking time to really smell that morning brew or listen to the sound of birds chirping outside our windows. The difficult thing about growing older, is that it also seems a little like the world expects more from us. Time commands more out of us; people need more from us, goals keep staring at you – often times leaving us sapped.

I read an inspired piece by Og Mandino the other day, that really spoke to me about how we ought to live our lives and thought to share it with y’all…

17 RULES TO LIVE BY From A Better Way to Live BY: OG MANDINO

1. Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play and you will finally be able to move forward toward the life that God intended for you…with grace, strength, courage and confidence.

2. Today, and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do. The victory of success will be half won when you learn the secret of putting out more than is expected in all that you do. Make yourself so valuable in your work that eventually you will become indispensable. Exercise your privilege to go the extra miles, and enjoy all the rewards you receive. You deserve them!

3. Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.

4. Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family. Nurture their love carefully, remembering that your children need models, not critics, and your own progress will hasten when you constantly strive to present your best side to your children. And even if you have failed at all else in the eyes of the world, if you have a loving family, you are a success.

5. Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts. Never fret at any imperfections that you fear may impede your progress. Remind yourself, as often as necessary, that you are a creature of God and have the power to achieve any dream by lifting up your thoughts. You can fly when you decide that you can. Never consider defeat again. Let the vision in your heart be in your life’s blueprint. Smile!

6. Let your actions always speak for you, but be forever on guard against the terrible traps of false pride and conceit that can halt your progress. The next time you are tempted to boast, just place your fist in a full pail of water, and when you remove it, the hole remaining will give you a correct measure of your importance.

7. Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success. Never again. There is a better way.

8. Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busywork. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!

9. Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find “tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats, and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, “If I had my life to live over again…” Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day!

10. Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. 17 RULES TO LIVE BY [Og Mandino] 2

11. Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat of the moment. Banish tension and concern and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.

12. Never neglect the little things. Never skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word of praise or thanks, that delivery of the very best that you can do. It does not matter what others think, it is of prime importance, however, what you think about you. You can never do your best, which should always be your trademark, if you are cutting corners and shirking responsibilities. You are special. Act it. Never neglect the little things.

13. Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a selfstarter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.

14. You will achieve your grand dream, a day at a time, so set goals for each day-not long and difficult projects, but chores that will take you, step by step, toward your rainbow. Write them down, if you must, but limit your list so that you won’t have to drag today’s undone matters into tomorrow. Remember that you cannot build your pyramid in twenty-four hours. Be patient. Never allow your day to become so cluttered that you neglect your most important goal-to do the best you can, enjoy this day and rest satisfied with what you have accomplished.

15. Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the faultfinding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealousy and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.

16. Search for the seed of good in every adversity. Master that principle and you will own a precious shield that will guard you well through all the darkest valleys you must traverse. Stars may be seen from the bottom of a deep well, when they cannot be discerned from the mountaintop. So will you learn things in adversity that you would never have discovered without trouble? There is always a seed of good. Find it and prosper.

17. Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

— From A Better Way to Live by Og Mandino

When Big Brother leaves the playground: The Pastor E Conundrum – QF Chido Mash weighs in…

I have been observing the latest turn of events in the #ThisFlag protest movement with keen interest as well as growing dismay as scores  of Zimbabweans, who only a few weeks ago were lauding Pastor Evan Mawarire as a “hero” and Zimbabwe’s hope for a better tomorrow, are now tearing into him on various social media platforms. He stands accused at best of being a coward who deserted his followers when they needed him most and at worst, of being a political fraud who manipulated the emotions of the people of Zimbabwe as a means of getting asylum in the United States.

In my view, the first accusation is unfair as it fails to take into account the following key observations:

  • Pastor Evan never set out to be the leader of a protest movement. He was just a frustrated citizen who like millions of Zimbabweans, found himself in the unenviable position where he was struggling to provide for his family’s basic needs. That his heartfelt video lament struck a chord within Zimbos the world over and went viral does not automatically transform him into a political leader who is accountable to Zimbabweans at large, no matter how many of us chose to follow him. I think Pastor Evan realised that people were looking up to him and out of his own volition decided to adopt the role of a big brother, speaking for those who might otherwise have been too afraid to speak out.

 

  • Before he became the poster boy for the Zimbabwean protest movement, Pastor Evan was and still is a husband and a father to two young girls. As such, his God-given responsibility is owed first and foremost to his family, and not to the people of Zimbabwe. He has no obligation to put his life at risk and potentially leave a widow and fatherless children just because he dared to speak out against the government (at a time when very few people had the guts to do so). The fact that he has chosen to relocate, whether temporarily or otherwise, to protect his family should not be an issue requiring public consensus nor is it something he should apologise for.

 

  • #ThisFlag is not about one man. It is a rallying cry to all Zimbabweans to rise up and take responsibility for the future we want to see for ourselves and our children. Pastor Evan’s geographical location has nothing to do with the problems we are currently facing in Zimbabwe, nor does it prevent any of us from continuing to speak out against corruption and the other evils plaguing our nation. It doesn’t stop you and I from taking the time to register as voters so that come 2018, we are able to go out in our masses and exercise our democratic right to vote. Your vote DOES count, whether or not you believe it does.

The second accusation, that Pastor Evan is a fraud who misled citizens for personal gain, is equally flawed. This is because it presupposes that Pastor Evan could accurately predict how the #ThisFlag movement would evolve and eventually play itself out. If this theory is true, it would mean that when he made the initial protest video, he knew that:

(a) the video would go viral and that he would gain a cult following;

(b)  he would be arrested and charged with inciting public violence (i.e. the infamous “button stick”);

(c) an unprecedented number of people, including hundreds of lawyers, would turn up at the courthouse to support him, thus turning him into an overnight sensation and raising his public and international profile even more;

(d) the charges would subsequently be changed to the more serious charge of subverting a constitutionally elected government;

(d) the Zimbabwe Republic Police would bungle up the case  and forget to issue a warned and cautioned statement for the new charges,  resulting in the charges being dismissed;

(e) the dismissal of the case and Pastor E’s growing influence would encourage citizens and incite other protest movements like #Tajamuka and #ThisGown to take further action, thus putting him on the government’s radar;

(f) he would be publicly denounced by the highest office in the land, with further threats of incarceration and worse being levelled against him.

(g) he would be forced to flee with his family to South Africa as a result of the threats against his life and liberty.

Pastor Evan would need to have had prior knowledge of all of the above in order to mastermind his clever scheme to deceive the citizens of Zimbabwe into helping him gain international acclaim as a political activist and thus gain asylum in the USA once his life was under threat. Sounds quite ludicrous when you put it like that, doesn’t it?

Apart from requiring one to suspend belief and assume that Pastor E had such prior omniscient knowledge, this accusation is also completely unsupported by any facts. Correlation does not imply causation. The fact that Pastor E may now be eligible for asylum in the US as a result of this turn of events does not mean that he brought about these events in order to get such asylum. It is a sad day when we can go from hailing someone as a man of integrity and principle for so long as he is saying and doing what most of us wish we could and were too scared to do, and then turn around and accuse the same man of manipulation and deceit just because he has made a personal decision that is not favourable to us.

I know some of you will argue that I am just another blind follower who is seeking to silence any criticism against Pastor Evan. Not true. I have no problem with someone expressing their opinion about a public figure, however negative that critique may be, as long as it does not malign and cast aspersions on the integrity of  a man who most of us only know from afar and without any basis to support such accusations, other than rumour and innuendo.

What many refuse to acknowledge is that the anger they feel is not really at Pastor E’s decision to leave. It is rather the pain of the loss of a big brother, someone who we could hide behind when the bully came into the playground while we stood in the background shouting “Ngaarowhe! (hit him)” from a safe distance. If truth be told, Pastor Evan’s fearless stance emboldened many of us to find a voice to speak up against the corruption and injustice in this nation, a voice which had become croaky from disuse and fear. Yes, we were afraid of the very thing Pastor Evan now stands accused of.  With Pastor E gone, that fear is slowly creeping back, together with the uneasy question: Who will defend us now?

We wanted Pastor E to be willing to risk going to prison, to put his neck on the line while we continued to peep over his shoulder. That time has however come to an end. Big brother has left the playground and we are left to confront the bully by ourselves. So we feel betrayed and exposed. Confronted with the reality that we no longer have a champion on the ground who can take the fallout that is the inevitable consequence of any citizen’s protest movement, we want to lash out at someone, and Pastor E is the nearest target for our rage. That anger is however, misplaced and will ultimately lead us nowhere, except to divide us, thus playing into the hands of those who wish to see this movement come to nothing.

It is time for Zimbabweans to realise that the success of this movement will not depend on whichever personality happens to have sparked it, but on the strength of our unity as we stand up for what we know is right and just. Just as we stood united at the courthouse when Pastor Evan was arrested and subsequently released, we need to stand united in our resolve to see the birth of a better Zimbabwe. We need to be willing to stand on our own two feet and realise that we do not need a designated leader in order to accomplish this. There is a potential leader within each of us and we are capable of effecting national change if we are only willing to step out of our comfort zones and be counted.

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Chido Mash

 

 

 

 

Praying isn’t an event; it’s a lifestyle!

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I used to think that living a prayerful life meant waking up at 4 am and praying till the day breaks, or spending hours in the church pews calling out to GOD with all sorts of complicated language. Growing up we were taught that praying is in some ways a ritual, that requires complete shutdown so you can hear get out what you need to say to GOD. I have learned from my mom, and walking with other women of faith – that being prayerful is in fact a lifestyle. It involves speaking to GOD about your wishes, what you need, your feelings, your hurts and struggles, your successes and victories at ANY TIME. There is no protocol required – just respect to your MAKER and an open and truthful heart.

Gone are the days where I wait for complete silence before I utter my “Dear GOD…” I found fulfillment in prayer and freedom in my relationship with GOD when I began to understand that GOD does not expect complication in conversation or a big praying event. HE just wants us to speak, as how we would speak to our dads or our best friends. Speak life into yours by speaking to HIM openly, at any time, without limitations. GOD wants state. He already knows what we really want to say, or are really thinking. There is no way to hide our feelings from HIM. But, the ability to lay down your truth, whether you are stuck in traffic or getting ready to visit the doctor or pick up your kid from school – is what GOD is looking for.

Don’t get me wrong. Quiet time is necessary. It is absolutely essential to make time to tap into the WORD of GOD, to pray in solitude as Jesus did often. You need this time to soak up what GOD is saying to you without the distractions of the TV bellowing in the background or that shirt you’ve been debating about buying taking you away from focusing. But as I said before, praying in itself is a lifestyle. I talk to GOD whenever and wherever. He guides me all through my day and grants me peace when making decisions – even the simple ones like which road to take on my way to work or who to speak to for the help that I need. I know HE is there so never feel lonely. As a matter of fact, this is why i enjoy my evening jogs or  moments alone – because I get to speak life into my own through my chats with GOD.

I implore you today, to take out the formality in much of your prayer life and just come to HIM. GOD has no limits to the number of times you can talk to HIM or make requests. He just wants you to operate with HIM as you would in any of your most trusted relationships.

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Yvonne

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Are you expecting GOD’s miracles under your conditions?

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I’ve spent a lot of time debating on whether or not I was ready to pursue certain endeavors at various intervals in my life. You see, one of the most challenging things about life is that it leans heavily on the precipice of time. Time moves and waits for no one. As we debate others proceed, perhaps having completed their process of weighing out the pros and cons well before you have. Others are just wired to achieve whatever comes to mind, leaving you feeling like you aren’t doing enough. I’ve seen many people thrive, with limited education or experience – just sheer will and resolve to give whatever they desire as best a shot as they can. I have moments when I wish I could be that bold. I have moments where I wish I could be a little more aggressive on certain matters, not delve into so much thinking and processing because well…time…time waits for no one.

I watched a TD Jakes sermon today, wherein he talks about how GOD’s methods and miracles do not come in a way that we expect. In our minds, we have a picture painted of what life will look like when we land that dream job, when we can afford to take lavish bi-annual holidays, when we can attend conferences with industry giants, enroll for another degree, our wedding day, the arrival of our first child, building a house or starting a business. But what I have come to appreciate is the very fact that GOD’s ways are not our ways, neither are His methods ours. We cannot expect GOD’s miracle under our own terms and conditions. Sometimes what He wants for us requires more from us. Sometimes the challenge and struggles are real so we can appreciate GOD’s hand in everything.

Gods-Miracle
God’s miracles do not come in the manner in which we expect them…

Check this out…

A lot of times, what feels like a roundabout way of getting somewhere is really GOD training you for something better, equipping you to handle the breakthrough when it does come or protecting you from something else unseen. He is the author of all things noble and good, and cares for us. GOD will never subject you to something you cannot handle. You can handle the wait, but are you willing to spend the time waiting for all the conditions to become ripe for GOD’s miracle?

Can you differentiate between GOD’s quiet whisper in the still of the night and the voices that contend with us all through the day? What about when someone suddenly pops into your life, sharing an insightful truth or “prophesy” you have been looking for for the longest? Do you take time to ask GOD whether it is HIM talking to you in that moment, or whether it’s just another voice creating distraction from where GOD is really taking you?

Before making any decision, trust that it is founded on the right reasons. Make sure you have done your due diligence in praying and asking GOD, yourself and others the right questions. Then trust GOD to give you the signal on when to move ahead. As you lean more and more on Him, you’ll find that the conditions are almost always ripe for your miracle (which will almost always not come in the manner you envision!) because you and GOD are well synchronized.

Beloved, GOD’s work does not depend on you or your terms but does depend your patience and whether or not you listen for the instruction to move forward.  Check your settings and remove any conditions you may have set on GOD to do His work in your life.

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Yvonne

Wait for Baba! Wait for Daddy…ABBA!

“There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand”

Proverbs 19v21

Those are the words I heard when I dropped my daughter off at her playgroup.  There was a young boy aged four, who was running towards the open gate. His father shouted, “Wait for Baba!” to prevent the young boy from going through the gate towards the road.

As he ran past me,  I ran after him to stop him from actually walking on to the road unsupervised, while we waited for his father to come who was a few steps behind me.

Fast forward to several hours later when I was thinking about the statement above, which was not lost on me as it resonated with me because that is exactly what God says to so many of us –  “Wait for Me to align everything first before you hurtle ahead.”

I know that when you are believing God for something and you hear these words, it can be a bit deflating because in our natural state we want things to happen yesterday.  However I have learnt the hard way that it is easier and more fulfilling to wait on God’s perfect timing rather than to run ahead of God and create more problems for yourself.

“He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
 but those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40v29-31

I love this passage of scripture because when I close my eyes I can literally see an image of an eagle soaring in the skies…

Sometimes we try and figure things out or go ahead of God and this always results in disappointment and frustration.  When we are patient and just allow God to be God in our lives, everything comes together in a much more fluid way.

Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.

 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;  and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”  So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.”

 Luke 5v 3-11

While you are waiting for God to manifest Himself in your situation with whatever it is you need, be it wisdom, favour or clarity of instruction, you can do the following:

  • Go deeper in the Word of God – Hebrews 11v1
  • Spend more time Praising and Worshipping God just because He is God and is worthy of our praise and adoration
  • Do something special for someone else – there is so much joy in allowing God to use you to be the answer to someone else’s prayers.

God loves you and I more than we can ever fully comprehend and the truth is we can never hear those words enough.  I know for myself my faith in God took on a different meaning when I had my first baby because I was overwhelmed with how much I loved this little thing.  I could never imagine willingly sacrificing her for the greater good let alone for someone else.  Yet God did that for us.  So when He tells you to wait…wait because hey, He loves you enough to let His child Jesus die for you!

Quintessentially yours

QF Ruvimbo

QFTestimony: Forgiving your spouse after infidelity

I would like to thank the beautiful woman out there who chose to share her testimony on how she is working on forgiving her husband after he cheated on her. Truth is, we hear stories of infidelity all the time, but rarely do people talk about the pains of getting through the emotions of being hurt in such a way.

Beloved, if you are struggling with forgiving your spouse, or anyone for having done you wrong – please find hope in the post below from an anonymous contributor.

She writes…

“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself” – Bishop TD Jakes

forgiveness1

The statement above resonated with me because forgiveness is something I have struggled with for the better part of the last four years.  I have always justified and rationalized it to myself that I had a right to feel the bitterness and resentment I did towards my husband because of what he had done…

That was the biggest load of rubbish I ever allowed the devil to whisper to me.  You see rewind to four years ago after I had been married for about 13 months where while having dinner with my husband; the intercom rang.  He looked at me and said “Are you expecting someone?” to which I replied no.

He went to the gate and after about 10 minutes of talking to two women I was instructed to stay indoors.  So I remember thinking:  “God what is going on????”

Anyway I went to our bedroom and started channel hopping and as I started praying;  I knew something was wrong and it had to do with my husband.  Fast forward to about three hours later, he came and said:

”I need to know that you love me, please tell me you love me?” 

My heart sank and I knew that my worst nightmare had come true… I said nothing and asked him NOT TO TOUCH ME…

To cut a very long and complicated story short, my husband – the love of my life had cheated on me with another woman in the year prior to getting married while I was completing my Masters in America.

I was horrified; disgusted; angry all at once.  Angry at myself for ever trusting him because not only had he cheated but said the woman had a child to prove it.  Unbeknownst to me, my husband had gone for paternity tests and yes it was true that the child was his…

I had always made a vow to myself that should I ever find myself in that situation,  I would pack my bags and leave. Mmm easier said than done.

When this happened I was 3 months pregnant with our first child; and I made a decision then that I could not allow myself to feel and deal with the raging emotions because I could lose the child I was carrying.  So yes, I shelved the rage and the hatred.  I did however go on to cry myself to sleep every night after that for a long time. As I cried out to God, I asked him to just get me through the pregnancy without passing on the negative feelings and emotions I felt about my husband towards my unborn child.

I had never felt so completely betrayed, broken and lonely in my life; because I was too embarrassed to tell my family or my friends about what was really going on.  So I suffered in silence.  I hated my husband with so much venom that I never knew was possible…

Through all of this I had no desire or interest in communicating with my husband. After the initial conversations where I conveyed how I felt and how he had humiliated me, I was still stuck in limbo because a part of me still loved him but EVERYTHING had changed. I didn’t look at him the same way. In fact, he disgusted me and I wanted to do anything and everything possible to hurt him so he could feel if only a snippet of what I felt.

Things came to a head when I broke down before God and told him I was tired of carrying the weight of hatred and anger that I felt towards my husband.

It was then when I made the decision to forgive him – not for him but for myself. I realized that the only person I was harming in carrying the hatred was myself.

Forgiveness is not a feeling but a conscious decision where you can only do it with God’s help. The truth is sometimes you have to say over and over:  I choose to forgive….

You know true healing comes when you are honest with God about your feelings. For years I struggled because I just buried how hurt I really felt and as a result I was constantly angry and sad because I hadn’t allowed God to heal my broken heart.

I have shared this not to air my dirty laundry but to encourage someone who is hurting and struggling to let go of how you have been treated.   God loves me and HE loves you and there is nothing more painful than seeing someone go through things and think they are alone.

I am still a work in progress and find just meditating on how much God loves me helps when I have moments where I feel like…God after everything I did for that man and this was the thanks I got.

I have made a decision to not let the devil steal my present and my future by constantly dwelling on what he did because the fact is it’s done – I can’t change it but Lord knows I know that God is continuing to give me beauty for ashes…

My marriage is still very much in ‘rehab’ J I was ready to walk away but for some unknown reason God has not given me the peace and release to walk away.  It has only been very recently that I have begun praying for my husband and the marriage itself.

I had wanted the end of this post to be different where I would be sharing how my husband and I are so much in love but I felt like God wanted  me to be real and that it was okay to let people know that God is still working on me and the marriage.

Forgiving my husband was an important part of my healing process but the most important person I am now working on is myself – forgiving myself.  I say this because I was stuck in a quandary where I was obedient to God and stayed in the marriage, but on the one hand was angry at myself for staying with someone who had cheated on me.  As I prayed and processed my feelings one thing that God said to me was: ‘ You are Enough’.  This was liberating because at one stage I felt like I was not woman enough and should have done more to ensure this nightmare would never have happened.

I want to encourage anyone struggling to forgive to just go ahead and do it…God loves you and your life will be so much better for it.

Quintessentially Yours,

Anonymous