John and Matthew

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My head is full. There are about a million thoughts that I am processing every second. It is so full that I think I might just throw up…or maybe that’s the result of having seconds for dinner tonight. Oddly enough, I cannot find the right words to use to describe the storm that is brewing in my head. Bear with me…

“Until now you have asked for anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” John 16:24

I woke up to that verse a couple of days ago. I was surprised and overjoyed. Surprised because I had been asking God for a very particular thing quite religiously. Happy because I had hope that He wanted to give me what I was asking Him for. So I sat up that morning and started asking God. I asked Him for things that are so personal to me, typing them would seem like shouting them out on a rooftop. You know when you’re in church and everyone is praying out loud and shouting out how awesome God is but when they get to personal things the volume goes down drastically…this was that type of prayer. I received it and I thanked God for it in advance and I got ready for work.

“Ye know not what ye ask” Matthew 20:17-23

Standing next to my kitchen counter, I read that verse and I froze. It’s from TD Jakes sermon…I know this because I read the verse from a photo he shared on Instagram. I froze. If you know anything about the battle between Instagram and data usage you would know that I or anyone cannot afford to freeze while on Instagram. I froze. Having gathered myself I decided to move my post dinner body from the kitchen to my bedroom. I tried not to think about what I had just read but it kept flying across my mind…making me really want to throw up. What does He mean I don’t know what I ask??? Seriously Dad? Seriously? I couldn’t have been more precise if I wanted to. I stated what I needed and the reasons why I needed it. Can I please receive it so that my joy may be made full!?

I’m not angry…not in the least. I’m lost. I’m lost somewhere between Gods will and mine. I’m lost and I don’t know where I got lost. “God will never give you something that will take you away from Him.” My friend said that years ago but it’s like I can almost hear her voice utter those words right now. I didn’t know what I asked would take me away from Him…I actually thought it would bring me closer. I’m lost and the worst part is that my GPS (bible) is right next to me but I don’t know which coordinates to punch in…I don’t know where I am.

Outside the sky is pitch black, perfect for me to write on with some chalk. If it’s the words that come out of my mouth that made You say I don’t know I ask for then let me write it down because sometimes there’s a disconnect between my head and my mouth.

Dear Jesus

I’m not sure what You want from me anymore. I keep giving and giving but it never feels enough. I’m not tired yet, I’ll still give. I’ll give. But I need you to give me too. I need You to search my heart and let me know if what I’m asking for won’t glorify Your name. Everything under the sky belongs to You. I don’t doubt Your ability to give, I don’t. I’m asking with a heart that has no other option. I’m asking with a heart that knows that this can only come from You. I’m asking with a heart that is willing to receive correction if it be that my request is not Your will. I’m asking with a heart that’s lost but knows that You are good enough to come looking for me. Please Lord, hear my prayer. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

#Fashion midi rings

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So every second of everyday, God is turning me into a girly girl. I like pink. In fact I love pink and I can’t take credit for that; it is the work of the blood. So a couple of weeks ago I bought myself midi rings. If you are my friend and you’ve never suggested I get midis…we have to talk. They are the cutest things since Tellitubies 🙂

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#Guest_blogger Nande – I bid you farewell

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What if I tell you to let go of the very thing you think you have to hold? Will you trust me?

This question from one of the songs by Donnie McClurkin keeps ringing in my ear. I’m here trying to make sense of this sudden turn around that is my life. I’m an adjuster, I adjust easily but what’s happening now….why am I not getting used to this change? 

I had to say goodbye to my beloved P.E, my beloved church,my beloved friends,my beloved sisters and brothers, my parents…my people; what I’d come to call home. I was never ready for such a switch in what I’ve grown to know so well. It indeed feels as Kanyi  put it, “I am not finished, not yet.” It feels like I’ve been stripped of the most sacred of gifts. Everyday I wake up and I want to take off to my home,P.E…..yet with the stern knowledge that going back is not an option. Some days I hear the voice of my Pastor echoing the words that brought me to my knees before my  Potter when I finally realised what I’d have to carry; “WORLD CHANGERS CARRY A BURDEN” and I’m consistently reminded why I had to come back to this foreign land called home.

I will admit, my acceptance of my sudden fate had been prolonged possibly due to the fact that I’ve been running away a lot. It could be that deep down I’ve been hoping God will uncall me from my burden. But why would I rather God make stones do the work of my hands which through trial and tribulation, being chiseled and sharpened through fire, God made me the message the lost needs to hear. Lord knows how this is crushing me at my core. The silent sobs my heart cries that no one knows anything of in the midnight.

I’m not yearning to get my way anymore but rather yearning to be at peace with this my cup and cross. One day, maybe, someday,I’ll tell of how I left the people who were home to me, how I’d wake up yearning for their smiles and laughs and hugs because above anything, for the first time…I felt I belonged somewhere. But now, now I am stripped of that belonging back to finding my feet again, back to finding my muse, my place of belonging….yet even so, maybe contradictory to everything, I’m discovering me in the midst of the sobs and yearning for what I know I can’t have.

Discovering my tenacity, my anchor, my untapped reservoir of dreams and visions ’cause in the thick almost tangible silence that is my life…I face my inadequacies, my thorns and chaff and even though I find my imperfections I’m amazed how from an ordinary ragged and broken piece of cloth, God saw it fit that He turn this rag into a beautiful gown for nations to behold its beauty.

Though I sob, I’m submitting to His will for His will brings fullness of joy…so yes, I will trust in Him as I begin to let go of the very thing that was…is to me…my place of comfort. I thought I would cling to P.E till death but great are the plans which my heart had planned…It’s the Lord’s will that always prevails. Farewell P.E. Till we meet again my love 🙂

#Foodie Butternut Soup

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As winter is knocking on our doors, my kitchen has slowly but surely started to transform. I am making more soup than I normally would. One soup I’m loving is butternut soup. I was first introduced to this cuisine about two years ago while watching the food channel; watching Nigella to be precise. I then decided to try it out and I’ve never looked back. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

Ingredients
1 (or more) medium butternut squash (cubed)
1 medium potatoes (per
butternut, cubed)
2 large onions (chopped roughly)
garlic (to suit taste)
3 tablespoons cumin
1.5 litres vegetable stock

Directions:
1. Saute onions and garlic and two
(heaped) tablespoons of Cumin in a little oil

2. Add butternut and potatoes and let them sweat for a while, approx
10mins then add stock and simmer until butternut and potatoes are soft

3. Puree until no lumps, or, mash well very well.

4. Add another tablespoon of Cumin and a large dash of milk then Salt and pepper to taste

5. Fresh Coriander to garnish

9am Sun

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It’s 09:57 on a Monday morning and I’m still in bed. Freedom Day. That’s what today is. Today in South Africa we are celebrating 21 years of democracy.

You know how your mind gets super busy in the morning… Like I think of one thing and then another comes up and it links itself to another ‘til I don’t know where I started. That’s me right now. I’m trying to figure out where I started; I’m trying to figure out how I got here…

I’m sitting in an awkward yoga position on my bed (which is now starting to cramp my right leg) facing the window letting whatever sun ray gets to me hit me on the face. I figure that’s enough of a distraction to make me not focus on this hollow space in my heart. It’s been there for a while and I’ve been trying to get it filled with something or someone but I keep getting distracted and I keep letting myself get distracted because somehow I know that figuring out how it got to be so empty and hollow will hurt. I don’t want to hurt. I’ve been hurt a lot in my short life and today I really don’t want to be hurt. Not at 9am.

I used to be a dreamer. I used to dream that I’d be rich in my early 20’s and that I’d live a life filled with adventure and that I wouldn’t need anything but I’d be a giver of everything. And then I grew up and realised that though it doesn’t cost you to dream, disappointment will come knocking at your door once in a while. I don’t like disappointment. I don’t . So for a long time I stopped dreaming and just started living. Until I realised that I had to dream again in order to live with purpose.

There is so much that I want to accomplish but sometimes I just don’t know where to start and sometimes I’m just plain scared. Scared of starting and not finishing. Scared of starting and failing and not getting the courage to continue. Scared of starting and being rejected. I’m scared of being rejected. I’m scared of putting myself out there and not being good enough. I’m scared of exposing myself only to be turned down. I’m scared. Heck I’m petrified!

Last year September I packed my bags and moved out of a city that had become so dear to me. I fought countless battles in that city. Some I lost but some I was victorious in and having won the last battle (by the grace of God), God saw it good for me to move. I didn’t want to go. Moving meant starting over. I didn’t want to start over. Ironically, a few months before I moved I asked God to let me start over. I shared that with a friend of mine. I wanted to move and go somewhere where nobody knows me so I can start over. I wanted to run away from a can of worms that I had opened and couldn’t deal with any longer. I wanted to escape. I forgot about that request. And when the time came for me to move I didn’t want to go.

“Whatever you run away from will always be around to chase after you.”

I can attest to that. Though the last battle was won in Port Elizabeth, not all of them were. And the ones that were not conquered are now sticking their heads out trying to signal their existence.

There was a boy. There’s always a boy. Handsome young man full of zeal and potential. There’s something about potential that makes me go weak in the knees. I buckle at the sight of potential (help me Lord). We never dated, never even tried to even though there was something there. His nature was very broad; very loving yet stern, very childish yet manly, full of intent yet soft. Reading him was never easy. But in my heart I knew that there was something there. I couldn’t put my finger on it but there was something there. But because there was no way we could date, I never made it obvious that his presence made my stomach have a million knots.

I never made it obvious that his mere existence gave me hope. And because I knew the type of woman he goes for, I made it my mission to disqualify myself. I made it a point to look in another direction when he would come running my way. I made it a point to not allow myself to be disappointed. Sadly that is one of the battles that I am yet to conquer because as much as he didn’t exist 100% in my space, he had shares to my mind and my heart. So while running away from him physically was successful, mentally and in my heart he is running towards me and I don’t always have the strength to take my eyes off him and look in another direction.

My dreams have changed. I’m no longer focused on just being a billionaire. Things changed. Things happened and made my dreams change. Now I dream about freedom. I dream of the day when I will look back and think “Thank God for grace and mercy.” I now dream about listening to other girls speak and my heart smiling because I not only know what they’re talking about, but I also know that it can be conquered. I dream of the words “I used to”. I dream of a flourishing heart, a prospering mind and the purest of spaces behind closed doors. I dream. And that’s a good thing; that I’m dreaming again. 

Mapping through The Plan

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What do you want to achieve?

I had to ask myself that question before I started writing this. I had to know what I wanted to achieve by writing this so I wouldn’t go off track. I had to make a mental mind map of where I would start and where I would end off. I had to because I don’t normally write about this; in fact this is my first time writing about it. My thoughts therefore had to be gathered. My mind had to be focused. My heart had to be open and preferably on my sleeve.

The picture above has been lingering in my phone for the past four weeks…there’s a story there, it just took me a while to get the words to tell it.

I am without a prince. And while this is my own choice, it is a decision that I have to remind myself of every day. I’m turning 23 in about 5 weeks and I should be getting married soon…well according to The Plan. The Plan. You know The Plan…the one you made when you were 10 or 13 or 16 years old…that plan. I made my plan when I was 14. The plan was to study journalism (I graduated with Business Management and Economics last Friday), become either a club DJ (though it was short lived, I thank God for taking me out of clubbing) or a radio DJ of which I am neither; I am an Auditor. I was then supposed to meet someone and get married at the age of 25 (which was later reduced to 24 then reduced to sooner rather than later) and become, and I quote, “An indispensible part of someone’s life.” Poetic.

The Plan has not unfolded the way I thought it would. I was never shaken by the school and career path change; it has always been as a means and not an end. However, I am starting to feel the pressure of being one with someone. Oddly enough, I find it very strange how we can plan such. I mean it’s not like when the opportunity presents itself, I’ll go down on one knee and ask this fairy-tale of a man to marry me. I may be 23 but I’m old school. I have to wait. If only I had written that down as part of the plan…

“The biggest block to our surrender is not our appetites and our wayward desires but our addiction to running our own lives.” Gary Thomas

Waiting wasn’t such a struggle when I was in varsity. It was easier to surrender then. It was easier because I knew that marriage was not going to happen until I finished my degree. It was an easy surrender. It was a logical surrender. But it was a surrender that had an expiry date. I now have to surrender everyday. I have to remind myself that my life is in the Lords hands and that His word promises that if I delight myself in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart. I now have to align my sight with God’s vision. It’s difficult. Sometimes I am tempted to get off the wagon and start dating and sometimes I just want to flirt.

Can I be real? Sometimes the struggle to stay single until marriage isn’t about wanting a partner; sometimes it’s about wanting to feel wanted and attractive and important to someone. It pains me to say this but sometimes knowing God loves me isn’t enough. And this is not because Gods love is not enough, it’s more than enough, but it’s because there are areas in my life that I haven’t let God be God in. That’s where I am. I am opening up every door and every window in my heart for God to enter and fill me with His complete and unending love. Everyday presents a chance for me to weigh my options…would I rather a man told me he loves me or God? God stays winning.

That is the reason behind staying single until marriage. I believe there is a level of intimacy I have to reach with God before I reach it with anyone else. So The Plan in this case may or may not come to pass but I am filled with faith and hope that even as I write this, my prince is being prepared for me just as I am being prepared for him.

Photo credit: Daniel Faro