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

We’ve been nominated! Vote for Quintessential F at the 2016 ZIWA Awards

We got the news through messages of congrats trickling in on whatsapp earlier on this week. Yes, Quintessential F – this heartfelt movement that began through skype calls at our dining room tables in Harare and Lusaka – has received a nod in the Women’s Collective Category at the 2016 Edition of the ZIWA Awards! Also, fellow QF’s Tendayi Ndoro and Colleen Chifamba have also received nominations in separate categories – and we are super excited.

We are truly thankful for all your support since launching 2 years ago. This nomination is yet another validation of our efforts as we pursue an instruction from GOD. Again we say – thank you QFs!

It’s not always easy to share our musings, but what we do now is that nothing gives us more joy than knowing that we are not alone in our quest to self discovery. GOD is great, a master in showcasing our strengths if we allow ourselves to be used of Him. This is exactly what QF is about, and we are thrilled to have grown as we have!

Please show us some love by voting for an inspirational movement by Zimbabwean Women, for Zimbabwean Women – Quintessential F on ziwa.twunhu.com/vote/

We cannot clinch this without your support 🙂

Quintessentially yours,

Ruvimbo and Yvonne

 

My testimony: GOD does equip us for everything.

I Peter 5:10

And after you have suffered a little while, the GOD of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

When I made the decision last year to step back from consultancy and head back into the corporate world, I was physically prepared for the adjustments that being a part of the labor force meant. Funny when you are a mom working from home you get the “so what is it that you do?” question at the PTA meetings, church gathering, coffee meets and such. One of the highlights of last year was that I was greatly encouraged by fellow QFs to step out and step into my new destiny. Really just following their stories and exploits had me challenged to stop making so many excuses.

I knew that in most recent years, indeed I had been planted, schooled, debriefed and equipped – whether I was willing to accept it or not. Living in 4 different countries in the space of 10 years, adopting new roles and adapting to a myriad of life changes will do that to you. Evolving relationships and transforming goals will at times have you second guessing yourself, and second guessing I did.

I second guessed my ability to get up and show up “for work” every single day. I was worried about how my babies would cope without mom being at every school event or them coming home to a nanny and not mom. It took me a long time to realise just how much I craved the whole “going to work” thing because again, when people see you with tonnes of flexi time they think you on a vacation 24/7. So when I took that first step to submitting my first application for jobs in the UAE, I was good and ready. I was done with being in Zim after a 12 month stint on a project and I needed a fresh outlook on life. Modern, empowering, motivating were my words to describe what I was looking for. I felt I was ready to offer my knowledge, experience and skillset to whomever would take me. Boy did I get the shock of my life!?

Two years ago I asked my dad what he thought I would be good at in the “next phase” of my life. He said “international relations or PR” and I thought really? I asked why and he said because it appealed to my personality and administratively he had watched me blossom as running point for a huge real estate project in Zim. I just thought I was getting up and “hustling” because well…I have dreams to one day be a real estate mogul on our beloved continent and that was a perfect opportunity to not only tap into my real estate expertise but actually run a project from scratch. Dad watched me navigate the bureaucracy and change tone and language to get what I needed done done. I value my father’s opinion because it comes unbiased. It can at times be painstakingly honest, but the man never lies and is a brilliant judge of character and nurturer of dreams. So I took his word for it and got to researching what it would take to join the world of PR – from a global perspective – as opposed to the more regional and localized projects I had been running.

I’m etching closer to my 1 year anniversary since joining the PR world as opposed to operating in the marcomms domain from which my career is deeply rooted. Based on my experiences in recent months, I like to consider us to be the Olivia Popes of this world. We make sure our clients are portrayed in the best image possible and fix things. It don’t matter what time of day it is – fix it and if you don’t know how – get someone who knows how. A collision of passion, creativity prowess, administrative capacity, strategy and critical thinking…24/7 save for when you are asleep or fixing your cup of coffee to get your next boost of caffeine – are how best I can experience my personal transition into PR. It’s everything I imagined but so much more.

I got to thinking about how GOD takes every experience we go through to prepare us for the next. I’m reminded of a time that I took to writing anything and everything I felt during my season in Zambia. I not only wrote a lot in that time, but in all honesty, it is then when I actually learned how to write using tones different from a more corporate voice. Sharing through written word prepared me for the countless types of pieces I write for a living today, with the spoken sharing having built my confidence in making presentations. I started out my career in retail, and 10 years later some of my clients are in the retail sector. My love for the tourism industry created many opportunities which I continue to leverage from today!

What I am getting at is: GOD IS IN THE BUSINESS OF STRATEGIC PLANNING. Anything you and I will ever go through either teaches us life skills that bolster our comprehensive capabilities, build up on attributes that shape our character or draw us closer to discovering our passion and purpose. Trust me when I say this, nothing we ever experience or learn, is in vein. Belief in GOD’s greater plan will help you and I to truly embrace every experience, however exhilarating or challenging it may be.

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So, if you need a reminder of our calculating GOD is, take a journey through your own life and see how people, places and experiences have been instrumental to where you are today! You’ll be happy to note that grace surrounds you, and experiences usher you into new levels of perception and appreciation if you allow them to.

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Yvonne

Perception changes everything

I recently had the opportunity to meet a very inspiring man who is now a paraplegic due to a tragic accident.  In this accident, his son was left unharmed but sadly, he was not as fortunate.

The irony of his story is that it sounds like one of those movies you watch on True Movies.  The gentleman was coming from visiting his brother and he had just been offered a great job in Namibia.  In speaking to him he said the doctors initially told him that he would be right as rain after three months.  Three months turned into 6 months in the High Dependency Unit and a further 12 months in a rehabilitation facility.

Unlike the movies on television his wife left him because she could not deal with his injury and how her life would no longer be the same.  So to add salt to his already devastating injury for all intents and purposes to the bystander  – his life was over…

After all of the above the gentleman above has the most amazing spirit and faith in God that I have met in a long time.  He is employed and in his words, he moved from self-pity to gratitude when he had a spiritual awakening after losing what he thought was his everything.

Yes, he did go through a period where he was depressed and felt hopeless; however he said his turning point was changing his perspective and looking up to God for answers.

The injury above happened early 2013 and as I write he is slowly regaining strength in his upper body and is finally working and is looking forward to Christmas where he will see his two children.

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His story resonated with me not only because I admired his new found faith but it got me thinking about how in life we all go through situations that in our world may seem hopeless. But the old adage is true; the difference between a winner and a loser in life is the decisions we make.  We either decide to see the glass as half full or half empty.

In always looking for a plus when life throws negatives in our path, we are saying that God indeed is on His throne and life will get better!

Jonathan changed the perception of himself from a victim to a victor.  The way in which we see ourselves is important if we want to truly overcome life’s challenges and the distractions that the devil sends our way to try and derail us from fulfilling our God ordained destinies.

“What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.”

Romans 8:31-32

I encourage you to always look for the positives in the situations where it seems as if it is nothing but a hopeless situation; because one thing that will NEVER change is that God loves you!!

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith The Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Quintessentially Yours

QF Ruvimbo

Why we love Oprah’s Top 10 Success tips

If you are anything like me – juggling a lot – you have seasons where you feel like you need to make some changes in your life. So you rein it all in, start looking for inspirational videos, a few chapter here and there, blogs and such; pretty much anything that will have the fire within you raging for more.

Thought to look at how people define success: how to get it or get there coupled with what it means to them. What came through in many convos in the office coffee room,  over skype or whatsapp, is one point that Oprah mentions in the video above – THAT WE ALL WANT THE SAME THINGS!

That is in fact a powerful truth – that we all want the same things despite the variation of methods we take to get there. Thought to share Oprah’s points which i feel carry very simple yet extremely valid lessons. Cheers to learning and evolving!

Quintessentially yours,

QF Yvonne

 

 

 

Who do you BELIEVE you are?

Trish glides into the room with her 4 inch red bottom shoes on, a pencil skirt, crisp silk blouse with costume jewellery that screams “morning world!” She is the main speaker at a much anticipated women’s conference, followed by what seems to be a personal assistant carrying her tablets, briefcase and things. She checks her make-up in a hand held mirror while a sound technician hands her a microphone for a sound check in a few minutes.

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Across town, Tendekayi opens the door to her twin cab and steps out in her timberland boots, clad in jeans, t-shirt and a light jacket with her company’s logo embroidered on her breast pocket. She has recently purchased the tract of land she now stands on and is set to meet with yet another project manager and contractor to discuss what foundation is to be laid here. Self-assured, with her cellphone and architectural plans in hand, she is ready – ready to move onto the second project in as many years.

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You may have read the above and thought “well this is where I am in life right now” or for some it may be: “I would one day want to be that woman” – the woman who seemingly has it all and all of it is together. Today’s woman. Mudzimai waNhasi. I thought to set a backdrop for this series of write ups I’m working on in the hopes that in this very moment as you are reading this, you start to imagine where you would like to be if you aren’t there already and how you intend on getting there. Truth be told even those who are “already there” continue to aspire for more.

Fashion Designers, medical doctors, stay-at-home moms, entrepreneurs, entertainers and more – let’s be honest – women are out there doing it for themselves nowadays, and you would be amiss to not want to jump onto that train for a ride. Social enterprise networks and professional organizations are pushing the women empowerment agenda, emphasizing how “to educate a woman is to eradicate poverty” and so on. Women empowerment means different things to different women but I wanted to delve into the issue CONFIDENCE and how SELF-BELIEF plays a role in our ability to attain all that we desire.

I’m reading an impressive book by Joyce Meyer, and in it she speaks largely on how we can combat our shortcomings and fears as women to a living a fulfilling life. It’s one thing to dress sharp and bust out the killer Colgate smile. Those of you who have gone through some things also know that it is another thing to be able to bust out that smile from within.

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I speak openly about how once upon a time I was that woman who looked like her stuff was all the way together, but yet grappled with all kinds of insecurities. Today I stand in process, rehabilitated by the WORD OF GOD and what it says about WHO I AM and WHOSE I AM. I greatly value relationships that edify and give me strength.

When I started to revisit where my insecurities came from and share my pains with friends and loved ones; I began to see how much strength we all stand to gain from vulnerability. I made a conscious decision that I had no room to allow pain and self-imposed strife in my life if I wanted to experience all things beautiful. I am in process, and what a journey it is!

Having that house on a hill or that corner office counts for nothing, if you do not walk in the light that GOD wants you to. On the other hand, powering through adversity with the full knowledge of who GOD is and how He created you, gives you endless capacity to keep pushing until you become that woman with a story you tell proudly.

We are all under process with so much yet to experience. The good and the challenging – we will all encounter. But the most important thing that determines how we emerge on the other side of our experiences, lies in what we believe of ourselves.

I hope to delve further into this topic and how we can build confidence in who we are as Zimbabwean women as we work towards what we desire for our lives. Like you, I’m in process – and having to restart oftentimes so I can move onto a better space with higher levels of faith.

What do you believe about yourself? Who do you think you are and what’s stopping you from reaching your full potential?

So here’s my challenge to you with this blog. Let’s unravel this mystery for some, and build on the successes for others. This is what Quintessential F is all about – openly sharing our wins and helping each other through our shortcomings! What do you BELIEVE ABOUT YOU? What mindsets do you have to shift or do away with completely? Press play….

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Yvonne

 

Praise HIM in advance!

I’m a sucker for that song – “Praise Him in advance” by Marvin Sapp. I’ll share the lyrics with you in a hot second; but just want to take a moment to go into why that song takes me places. You and I have probably heard countless sermons on how praise activates GOD to move for our cause. The thing is – GOD has the power to do anything and everything He deems fit for the fulfillment of His will. What we need to understand as believers of the Gospel though, is that the conditions for our blessings have to be right.

Conditions. You cannot clean an infected wound with dirty water. You cannot walk around with shoes that are two sizes small and expect that your feet won’t complain after a while. Similarly, you cannot live holistically without making some changes to your values and belief system. There is some bad that must make an exit to make way for the good – and that is one of the things that praise does.

Praise paves way for the Holy Spirit to flow through you and have its way in you. Praise activates your faith and channels your zeal for the things of GOD. With praise, you begin to hear what GOD is saying to you even when the background is laden with all kinds of chaos or you’re trying to figure your steps through some tricky situations.

Every few months or so, I work at entering a season of shutting down the outside world and all its pressures, and embracing prayerful silence. Such a time came about almost a year ago when GOD told me it was time for me to move away from a degree of self-imposed fear and lack of confidence in a particular area of my life. My dad was the first one to tell me I had to pursue this particular thing. His instruction was so clear. I believed him and my heart witnessed with what he was saying, but my mind kept playing games. Then I got back to Abu Dhabi and hubs reiterated the same thing – that there was nothing stopping me from going after what my heart really desired.

So I spent a good month in systemic worship. I embarked on a spiritual detox of sorts. The conditions had to be right to welcome the new breakthrough that I was so desperate for. You see – we serve a GOD that has no limits. This means the number of breakthroughs He has in store for us are limitless. It’s us who do the limiting – but GOD doesn’t! During this time, my spirit needed a jolt of the Holy Spirit and GOD’s Word. There was no time for what I call rachet-TV or cooking shows and mall trolls. I would make the morning school run, head straight home, pray, praise and worship and tackle my preparation checklist. It was “game on!” I needed a door to be opened.

Then GOD said: “Go out and buy a suit and blouse and pray over it.” Sounds crazy, but faith driven women reading this know exactly what I’m talking about. That moment when you receive an instruction that feels a tad random – that is your test of faith. Do not discount this as something is getting ready to happen.

So I did. GOD was very clear. I went out and go my suit. I needed to get ready for that call, that email, that message that would welcome me into the next phase of my life’s breakthroughs. I remember taking the suit out of the shopping back, laying it on the bed and making declarations over it. By that time Deitrick Haddon’s “He’s Able” was an anthem in my house; a war cry, a battle melody if you will.

Less than 2 weeks later, the call I was waiting for came. It was only one call, but it came loaded; loaded with opportunity. The Word of GOD had been made manifest. Indeed my gifting had paved a new way for me. Praise had prepared me for my new breakthrough and the breakthrough came in a little under two months.

I don’t know what you are believing in GOD for today – but GOD is Able. Whether you are crying out to Jesus for a baby in the natural sense, or a metaphorical baby; an idea, business plan and more to come to pass; GOD is Able. Your responsibility lies in ensuring that you create a conducive atmosphere for praise to flow and your spirit to hold its peace while you wait for your breakthrough!

With this; come on and praise Him in advance….

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Yvonne

“Praise Him In Advance” – Marvin Sapp

I’ve had my share of ups and downs, times when there was no one around,
God came and spoke these words to me, praise will confuse the enemy. 

I started singing, I started clapping, I started dancing, people were laughing,
they knew my problems, they knew my pain, but I knew God would take them away.

I have my share of ups and downs, times when there was no one around,
God came and spoke these words to me, praise will confuse the enemy. 

I started singing, I started clapping, I started dancing, people were laughing,
they knew my problems, they knew my pain, but I knew God would take them away.

That’s why I praise him with my hands, that’s why I praise him with a dance,
He’s given me a second chance, come on lets praise him in advance.

That’s why I praise him with a song, when things are right and when they’re wrong,
He’s given me a second chance, come on lets praise Him in advance.

Praise Him
Praise Him
Praise Him
Praise Him
Praise Him
Praise Him
Praise Him in advance.

The Jacob Challenges – Don’t leave without your blessing

I had to reblog this brilliant piece from resident QF Tendayi Ndoro on here (thank you Sis Tendi for letting us poach your messages!) because I believe we can all relate to what she is saying.  If you have ever encountered a gruelling test of faith, this message is for you…

Tendayi writes…

I was having a chat with a dear Professor in Linguistics aunt of mine who has just attained a very prestigious leadership award in the United States yesterday, and as we recalled the extreme challenges that seemed unrelated in a totally different area that she had experienced beforehand, I commented that that was the testing by fire before coming out as gold. As I replayed the type of month that I had experienced she mentioned a phrase that really caught my attention and said “It is time for the Jacob challenges and it looks like the gospel is right on target.”

I don’t know if you like me have had a month or week or a season where you start off so sure where you are going, God has promised you so much, you are on track with your own actions that you have to take and what you want to do and the minute you step in, ready to go, you are met with a huge challenge. Not the usual jump over the hurdle stuff that you are used to tackling but something with a twist that requires advice from good council and carefully applying yourself to the issues. And as soon as that is done, you have something else that shakes up everything that you have been walking towards and believing for a significant number of years; a great shift in the twinkle of an eye in a way that leaves you having to recalibrate your settings and remap your route again.

Such seasons are often met with literally anything and everything that can be challenging or that could go wrong to a point that it actually starts to get your attention as you inquire, “hold on a minute, what is really going on here?” I am always a firm believer that every breakthrough is first met with its great challenges and the need to apply increased force or pressure (in the form of determination, resolve, increased prayer and worship) in certain matters hence the term BREAKthrough. Such times are definitely not the times to back down and quit although some of the battles you face can certainly make you weary and cause you to want to go that way.

We see this pattern in almost everything about life. The attainment of a prestigious degree course is always met with rigorous testing at the end of it, the birth of a new child is met with excruciating labour pains before they are born and hence anytime there is a change in STATUS that is about to take place, you must expect to experience the JACOB CHALLENGES.

So what happened to Jacob then? In Genesis 32 we see him sending his possessions, wives and children ahead of him to meat ESAU and remaining in the camp where he had to wrestle all night with a “MAN”. Jacob prevailed over the battle and the man injured Jacob’s hip that he limped from then onward. But he would still not let him go until he had blessed him. He was asked for his name and when he said Jacob, the “MAN” who was God almighty himself, changed Jacob’s name to Israel, the father of the nation of Israel we see today. This was because he had wrestled with man and with God and prevailed!

So if this is you today, I want you to note a few things about such times when you are contending for your Blessing:
1- It is a place you have to walk alone, no-one else can come into that battle with you although they can encourage and pray for you but this is one you will need to fight yourself with your faith, your work, your focus on what it is that you want regardless of what you see and your experiences of what God has taken you through so far.
2- This battle will change the way you walk forever! Some of the things that you are going through are status shifting things, you will never be the same again. This is a great change and you will not be recognised in the way you had been before.
3- It is just an “all night battle” and although it may seem long whilst you are in the thick of it, Joy is coming in the morning, give it your best shot and do not give up, you were born for this next phase that is coming your way. Keep pressing in.
4- Do not allow God to leave without you receiving your BLESSING! It is easy to go through these storms and come out just wounded and bruised with nothing else to show for the journey we have gone through. Be determined that whatever you entered into that battle for you come out with it! If it is your degree, come out with it, if it is a happy marriage, come out with it, if it is your ministry, come out with it, If it is a cure for your sickness, come out with your healing.

I am encouraging someone out there today
IT IS JACOB CHALLENGES TIME- Do not leave that place without your Blessing!

To read more of Tendayi’s GOD-inspired messages, visit her website on www.tendayindoro.com

“My exodus” – QF Edith Utete shares…

Resident QF Edith shares on her quest to finding hope from the BOOK of LIFE. She writes….

MY EXODUS

Lately I have been struggling to sleep, to smile, to carry out major (and small) tasks; even to eat all due to an overwhelming sense of helplessness and failure. Reaching out to my sisters has not been very fruitful due to the fact that they are also engrossed in their own sufferings and struggles. I then came to a point where I grudgingly faced the fact that I needed to go back to the basics. As a Christian woman going back to the basics means going back to the source of my faith, my Bible. This is the only thing that has been a source of inspiration, history and purpose for generations of women before me.

I have committed to read the Bible from a different perspective and will share with you some of the interesting things that I have started to pick up.

  1. Living the Script

When I read the Bible I realise more and more that I am part of an awe inspiring script filled with wonders and lives that have shaped history in various amazing ways. We are called by God to be SIGNIFICANT players in His drama. We have been called to greatness, each and every one of us, all we need to do is to take up our roles and fulfil our divine destinies. Have you ever witnessed how an actor prepares for a big role? They rely heavily on their script, they live, eat and breathe their lines. Some actors will even lose or gain a lot of weight just so that they can perfectly fit into their role. As Christian women we have significant roles to play in our families, churches, communities, professions yet we refuse or neglect to put in the work that is required of us.

Living the script and finding your place in God’s story requires that you familiarise yourself with the text. You need to fully immerse yourself in the Bible in order to know your part. We have to read the Bible deeply and widely and become skilled at interpreting and practicing what we read.

We need to find our joy, comfort and purpose in the scripture.

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  1. The Exodus

Once you have grasped the script and what God requires of you the next step is to live your part! When in doubt, ask yourself, “Is this an appropriate and fitting way to live out the story of Jesus today?” Remember that you are God’s artwork – created to do good works all the days of your life. When in doubt? Refer to the Bible.

In today’s world it is easy to get caught up in trying to fit in and find a place in the confusion but we need to focus on living our lives in the way that God desires for us. We have to move away from the fears and the doubts that hold us captive. We have to move to the land that the Lord has promised us – no matter what.

One way of obeying God is to stop listening to the negative voices in our heads that tell us we are not good enough, we have to move away from the people and things that hold us captive. We have to make our exodus out of depression, anger, regret, despair.

Reading about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is loaded with seasons that I have gone through. I have felt the fear, excitement, hope, despair, joy, disappointment, failure, regret, courage that they too must have felt in their journey, but after all is said and done when I hold on to the cloak of Christ I come out feeling the kind of peace that surpasses all understanding. I now accept that my role may be limited to showing others the way out of their situation, it may even be to just obey and get off my behind and move from point A to point B. Maybe I am the one who has to lead the march in breaking down strongholds. I also accept that I may even have more roles than one therefore I will find my way in scripture and prayer.

I no longer feel the pressure to recite a thousand verses and to impress fellow Christians with my knowledge of every word in the Bible. Thankfully, I have now moved to a place of comfort where the Bible ceases to be a text book that I must memorise, but rather, I see it as a motivational tool in my move from the bad to the good.

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  1. Commitment

Nothing in life really lasts if not done with some commitment.  The first step in the Christian walk is to commit to following Jesus no matter what may come our way. By acknowledging that Jesus is the rightful ruler of the world, committing to following Him and joining with God’s people we place ourselves on the right path to life eternal.

Remember that God has led you to where you are, commit to stay – no matter what!

One lesson that I have learnt from Joyce Meyer in her book NEVER GIVE UP! In Chapter 8 on “The Keys to Success,” is;

“God wants to take you to a new level of commitment. He wants you, like the eagle to be fiercely commited to His purposes for your life and to dedicate yourself to Him.”

Remember that God’s plans for your life can only become a reality if you are truly committed.

  1. Do not Give Up!

When life has knocked you down more times than you can remember, it is easy to lose hope and feel defeated. You can lose confidence in areas where you once considered yourself to be capable, even an expert. Being someone’s anchor, friend or even mummy can sometimes feel overwhelming and become such a burdensome task.

We can face rejection after rejection, disappointment after disappointment and we just feel like throwing in the towel and totally walking away from EVERYTHING!

But Please! Do Not Give Up!

Lessons to be learnt from St Paul;

  • Fight the good fight
  • Finish the race
  • Firmly keep the faith.

Some of us have a long way to go, some of us are almost there but we need each other more than ever. Let us be constantly and consistently strengthened by our faith through the word of God.

Remember that to truly honour God we have to stop being self serving. We have a mission to spread the gospel and bring as many souls to Christ as possible. We are duty bound to step out of our comfort zones where fear and selfish gain abound. Let us step together day by day into everything that we have been promised by our Father.

I hope we will hear and answer to our Lord’s call to the promised land.

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Edith

 

Your dreams aren’t dead: The rebirth of your vision board

In the last couple of days I’ve had the opportunity to catch up with two of my close friends who are going through some things. One is at a place in her life where she feels she needs to reinvent herself. From entrepreneurship challenges to calling it quits on a relationship she carried high hopes for – she said she felt her world had come to a screeching emergency stop this year – except the stop was in many ways befuddling and without concrete explanation. It was all a hodge-podge of things she couldn’t control and wished that she could which is why the acceptance of the new status quo was increasingly difficult. “How did i get here?”she asked. I said the one thing that I always say because it has shaped the very essence of how i get through life – SEASONS AND TIMES. The other relocated to another country on account of her husband’s job. Having held onto her career and support system as a strong part of her identity, she was now struggling to cope in this new environment and couldn’t understand who she was without the career and social life she left behind in her native country.

We make plans, we put pen to paper, we hustle and grind and invest all that we know how to, yet the answers and intended results don’t seem to come. For a time i lived in that space where my life had become so overtaken by new roles and life itself that i masterfully became a zombie. “Uninspired routine”plagued me and i knew i wanted something more. It didn’t help to sit down over coffee with friends who seemed to be so on top of the world that their fierce exploits made me feel like quite the bum! But then my faith kicked in after many vicious punches at prayer meetings. The words kept making their dramatic entry into the room from different messengers – “Yvonne, you keep holding back. GOD is saying its time to step out and step into your dreams.”How though when i wasn’t even sure i could describe the lull i was in. It was time for a vision board – a mental manifestation of what i wanted to see happening that would swing me into ACTION!

Fast forward to 3 or so years later and i now know what was happening then. I had to start believing again that there was more to me and what I desired for myself. It wasn’t wrong to set aside my personal goals and ambitions on account of the season I was in. What was wrong was to take them so far out of my mind that I soon came to forget what it is I wanted in the first place. What was wrong was to allow myself to think that what I wanted wasn’t achievable because it didn’t actually matter. What was wrong was to make excuses by accepting all the “no’s”and “not now’s” as meaning “it will never happen.”

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It was only when i dared dream again that my mind wrapped itself around possibilities. It was only when i started to remember why I carried certain desires in the first place that I began to pick myself up and out of the rut, rebuild my confidence and carry on. It is only when I said “GOD yes please”that I began to see the doors and potential for new beginnings for what it was. So this note…albeit long over due…is for every woman who is out there staring at what is still to come in 2016 was and wondering what will be of her future. You and I are still breathing so we still have a chance at this – so let’s go!!

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Yvonne

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