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

 

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