BLOG UPDATE

Dear reader,

I just want to thank you for walking this journey with me. Your support has been a great blessing to me. I will no longer be writing here. But not to worry, we can still connect. I’ve recently started a Podcast and going forward, I’ll be sharing my thoughts there. Please join in on the journey here: https://anchor.fm/mercy3405

I’ve recently shared one episode titled, Nine Principles for Navigating Adulthood, Part 1 and I’ll be doing a 3-part series on it.

picture of the podcast cover

I have a burden

I have a burden. My soul cries for the broken homes. A child from a broken myself, I long to see healing in our homes. I long to see each member of the household carrying out his own allotted task in the home. I long to see warm homes – a place of love, forgiveness, honesty and so much more. A place where we can help each other to heaven.

I long to see fathers who are servant-like like Christ. I long to see fathers who are so aware of their influence, that instead of being feared by their children, their children find comfort and a safe space to seek for counsel. I long for fathers who will acknowledge when feeling discouraged, so they receive strength through prayers of their loved ones. I long for fathers who’ll be fathers for other people too in the community and in church. I long to see fathers who are close to children, who are present in their children’s lives and who feel the burden of guiding their sons. I long to see fathers who love their wives and who continually submit to God.

My heart gets heavy when I think of our brothers who have left the church – including mine. There’s a particular age the brothers get to and leave church. I long to see brothers who are restored – gaining victory in every aspect of their lives including alcohol, fornication, pornography, childhood trauma, homosexuality and so much more. I long to see church supporting their sons so that the cycle of rapists, abusers, murderers will be broken and God’s character will be reflected.

I have a dream to see the girl child completely fulfilled in Christ, with a burning desire to serve their Master, their homes, society and every talent realized. I also pray for healing in their lives.

October Reflections

Highlights

October has been physically draining but beautiful at the same time. My mom turned 55 years old and it was an awesome day :). I was able to put some money aside and give it to her. We also had the Grade 3s Farewell at school which really turned out to be awesome and such a joyful event. I was hoping it’d be such a sweet, joy-filled day and I’m thankful that it exceeded my expectations. Hearing the speeches by my children was so heart-warming, hearing them share what they’ve learnt about God and how grateful they are really made me see God’s hand. I’m also thankful for the growth that continues to take place. Sometimes when you speak to the learners, you wonder if they really understand, but I know that the Holy Spirit is impressing them with truth.

Lessons

The guilt you feel from saying no doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the wrong. It can only be the result of not being used to saying it (as in my case) or because you were led to believe being a people-pleaser is right.

I believe without a doubt we’re easily disposable and for this very reason, we should open a space where others can serve. It’s important to encourage growth of talent in others. When in a position to do so, give young people time to express themselves – especially in the church setting. I believe without a doubt I exist to create that space ♥️.

Investing in yourself whether through keeping healthy, making better financial choices, getting a skill and gaining knowledge makes you a better person and in turn, enables you to be a blessing to others.

Allow consequences to take their course: this enables growth to take place. Sometimes relatives don’t mature because we want to take their responsibility away from them. But this is not good at all. It is debilitating and one reason our society is the way it is.

Setting the right priorities is important. Sometimes we prioritise things that are not so important and end up paying a heavy price. I remember how in Uni I’d spend hours on YouTube instead of studying and I really paid a heavy price.

Wanting a better life is not a sin. Wanting to be financially stable, to travel the world and to dress nicely does not mean you are worldly. I’ve felt the guilt – I’ve felt guilty for wanting a way to make money and desiring a better life; I felt as if it meant I was worldly. But I now know I deserve good things and I need to work towards them.

Don’t forget your WHY – OR MOST IMPORTANTLY HAVE A WHY….Without a why it is not easy to aspire towards something. You have no motivation and I believe without a doubt, when your why is not for the greater good of others, you soon feel empty.

Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts – even if no one agrees. We’ve been socialised to speak / do what we consider “acceptable” or what will make us acceptable to others instead of being true to ourselves. We should never live lives for applause.

Don’t let fear be your greatest influence. This often delays progress. I used to be so scared of making mistakes and failing that I ceased to exist for a while and that robbed me of so much joy and growth.

Don’t limit yourself to one thing: just because you’ve found something you’re good at, doesn’t mean that’s the end of it – you can possess many talents by continuing to being open to try other things. By saying yes you open so many spaces and get to meet amazing people.

Gratitude Notes

I’m thankful for being able to play a part in planning and organizing the Farewell. I asked a dear friend of mine to be a speaker and thankfully, she agreed. I know without a doubt it all came together because of God.

Our speaker for the farewell looking great (and she popped great gems)

I’m grateful that I can discuss my desires with God – He’s such a great adviser. I’m currently praying about another phase of ministry I want to go to and God recently allowed my path to cross with someone who has started the very thing – I’ll update you once its final as it’s mean a shift from this blog.

I’m thankful for the parents that came to the Farewell. Their presence played such a positive role and contributed to the joy of the day.

I’m grateful for the amazing service from the Beach hotel staff. I really recommend their service should you have a function. I also want to take my mom there sometime this year.

There’s so much I can include, but I’ll pause here. Do you care to share what you are thankful for? Also what is one lesson this month has taught you?

Precious Lessons from the Life of Hannah

Source: pinterest.com

This week I had the absolute privilege of reading on the life Hannah. Hers is not a rare story, yet I never knew the beauty in this woman’s story.

I often thought of her as the barren one, the one taunted and the one betrayed by her husband. I have also seen her as one whose sorrow was turned into laughter. But there’s so much to this woman.

1. I learnt that Hannah was not a complainer. She bore life’s trials with such grace. Although taunted by Peninah, she never retaliated. She did not hate her. We never hear an account of her mistreating Peninah’s children, instead she keeps quiet and bears everything with meekness. This really made me reflect on how I handle trials, and at times, I find myself murmuring. But as I reflect, murmuring has a way of turning trials more burdensome and bitter.

Peninnah, the new wife, was jealous and narrow-minded, and she bore herself with pride and insolence. To Hannah, hope seemed crushed and life a weary burden; yet she met the trial with uncomplaining meekness. – Patriarchs and Prophets, p.569

See Jude 1:14-17 regarding murmuring. Some Israelites also missed Cannan because of this habit.

2. I also learnt that Hannah was a humble woman. This greatly stands out when she goes to pray at the temple and the priest, Eli, assumes that she’s drunk. Instead of her retaliating in anger and accusing him of making a mockery out of her, she speaks humbly:

1:15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.1:16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. 1 Samuel

I love how Hannah was not obsessed to prove her innocence but simply spoke from a sincere place. From this very incident, I’ve also learnt that we should not assume. It’s important to ask questions. Instead of jumping to conclusions, let’s rather take a pause and ask. It saves us so much.

3. I love that Hannah knew who to turn to when she was heartbroken and couldn’t bear it. Feeling overwhelmed, she prayed to God. From experience, there’s no one who can console us like God. Often than not, when heartbroken Satan often try to offer temporary fixes that leave us in a more broken state than we were. But I’ve learnt that, even if we might have few words, or just admit to our pain, God comforts us! Without a doubt, when we call onto God, He will surely comfort.

4. It’s important to make our requests known to God and trust Him to deliver. Hannah was specific about her desire for a male child. It’s important to get to a point where we don’t hide our heart’s desires to God. God will never judge us! I’ve realized that we often feel ashamed of some requests as if indicative that we don’t love God enough – but I’ve realized it’s okay to put every desire on the table! Even if it’s a desire to travel the world, intimacy in a friendship, prosperity in one’s career and so much more. Our requests are not ridiculous.

5. Hannah had faith. After praying and receiving Eli’s blessing, she believed her prayed will come to pass. O for such a faith! 1:18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. 1 Samuel

6. Hannah remembered her vow to God and fulfilled it. This has been such a reminder that the very things I prayed for and made promises for, must be fulfilled. Often we will promise to serve God if he grants XYZ or promise to help others etc. May the very promises we made to God be realized.

7. The very gift she wanted did not keep her away from God! Instead she gave it back to God. The very gifts that God grants us with should be given back to Him and we must allow Him to help us with them. If God has blessed me with the gift of writing, I must allow Him to direct the themes I explore, so that it can have the impact He wants it to have. The gifts should not lessen out zeal for God and make our hearts cold towards Him.

7. We must be faithful in nurturing the gifts we prayed for.

From the earliest dawn of intellect she (Hannah) had taught her son to love and reverence God and to regard himself as the Lord’s.By every familiar object surrounding him she had sought to lead his thoughts up to the Creator. When separated from her child, the faithful mother’s solicitude did not cease. Every day he was the subject of her prayers. Every year she made, with her own hands, a robe of service for him; and as she went up with her husband to worship at Shiloh, she gave the child this reminder of her love.Every fiber of the little garment had been woven with a prayer that he might be pure, noble, and true. She did not ask for her son worldly greatness, but she earnestly pleaded that he might attain that greatness which Heaven values—that he might honor God and bless his fellow men. Patriarchs and Prophets, p.572

For more resources on her life: 1 Samuel 1; Daughters of God and Patriarchs and Prophets

The beginning of a Love Story

(this is the sweetest reflection of us 😂)

Five years ago, on this very day, I got an unexpected call from a brother I had come to know through the mission group I had joined. That morning he called me. I had been in the student res, “squatting” (illegally staying in a res) with a sister from the same mission group. I wasn’t sure why he wanted to see me – that made me nervous. But at the same time, I was relaxed – I figured it was related to the mission group. I had been less active since I was staying quite far and travelling to and fro was draining and expensive. I was certain he’d express his concerns.

Well, he called to let me know that at around 1 p.m he’d like to meet and as the time drew, I got a bit nervous. But I got busy. When he finally came, he found me ironing my clothes. I sat and listened – we shared about our Sabbath experiences. It was a Sunday, so that was fitting. After a while, he asked to pray and asked me to read Isaiah 40:29-31. I smiled inside because I was currently enjoying a scripture song of this very text. Well, there after there was silence. I wondered what was going on. What could be on his mind? I could’ve never imagined what he was about to say next. He asked to be in a courtship with me.

I didn’t know how to feel, but then and there, I told him I wasn’t open to the idea. I was sceptical about men after a broken courtship. I just felt cheating was a norm and I was not ready to give my heart again. I had guarded my heart – I had prayed over and over again to God to keep and protect it. He mentioned he had been praying for 6 months. But that wasn’t what led me to think about his proposal. It was what he expressed – a desire to be with someone who was an individual – expressed individuality and a heart for service, and so much more ( pity I can’t remember). But it felt he had gotten hold of my notebook where I started praying for a partner – since a desire had been awakened in me to marry and have a family. There was a lot shared but one thing really stood out for me – he asked me not to box him with other men. He told me he wasn’t perfect,but he was different (and boy was he right – in a good way). For some reason, I believed him.

I told him I’d give him a response two months later. I told my mom. Although it was hard. She wasn’t open to it but allowed me to choose. I was certain I’d turn his proposal down – I felt unworthy ( I laugh now as I think to this – well I felt undeserving). But as I began to reflect about his character, I realized he was a good soul – although I initially felt irritated by him – so sure, so focused, so outspoken regarding God’s work. I mistook these for stubbornness and I vowed to keep my distance from him. A year before, we and the mission group went to a mission trip in Limpopo. As I reflected on this and many other instances, I realized I could give him a chance.

But little did I know about what laid ahead – the challenges, the mistakes from my side. I think all this stemmed from the fact that I didn’t know what love is. I held onto the idea of perfect love, but human love is frail and empty; only Divine love holds us and is perfect. I was in a hurry – I wanted us to be close and unfortunately he went to live in another province, although he’d visit. It wasn’t easy at all. I wanted to be constantly told I was loved – I didn’t know love afforded one the freedom to be who they are to the fullest. I did not know love put the obligation towards God first.

Looking back at that 23 year old, who met the love of her life, I laugh at how naive she was. I’ve learnt to avail myself for my partner, to pray with and for him, to be vulnerable ( although it’s a huge hurdle to cross). But I’ve really grown – I want so much for myself and for my relationship with God. I have more self-awareness, I’m maturing and I’m healing. I’m thankful for the safe place this lovely partner of mine is. I’m thankful that he’s matured, he’s a sound person and never seeks to harm me. It’s been such a learning journey that has made me realize how much I need God. It’s been reminder that Only the Potter can mend me again.

Overall, our story is a testament of God’s grace and mercy towards me. I’d love to do forever with this man. He has me even thinking about motherhood. I’m thinking of so much. Overall, I’m learning to love.

Thank you, B. You are beautifully different. Thank you for guarding my heart. Thank you for never making me wonder if I’m valued. Thanks for preserving my dignity, for your forgiveness, the affection and growth on your side. Here’s to growth and walking side by side to the kingdom. I’d love to cook you nice meals😂, so I’ll put more effort in that department. Thank you for the lovely conversations too ♥️. So many thank yous, they can’t be contained here. I’m proud of the man you are and becoming. You’re resilient – circumstances are not your master. You master them. You’re hard working and so much more. But most of all, you love God.

Gratitude Notes and Reflections

Source: canva.com

I’ve really missed this space – my home outside of my journals. There’s so much on my heart; but I’ll just keep it short.

Thanksgiving:

1. I’m grateful for life – I no longer see life as something to take for granted; but I’ve since realized I exist for a reason and when I get up, I realize it’s a chance to live out that purpose.

2. I’m grateful for work – these past few months have really made me realize that being able to meet your needs is enough. And the fact that God has provided a way makes me realize how much privileged I am.

3. I am grateful for the work I do – it challenges me to the utmost, but it calls me to a higher standard of living and as much as it can be heart wrenching at times, it’s helping me become a better person.

4. I’m grateful for the improvement I see in my kids. Look, a month ago I was a bit nervous. I felt like there wasn’t change, but God has been doing amazing things. Not just mentally but I see growth in other spheres too. I’m so proud.

5. I’m grateful for the parents who are always expressing gratitude. Of course I don’t do it for praise but there’s comfort and strength when parents let you know they see your efforts – more like God’s! I had three parents expressing that they see the change. My soul has been watered. It gets discouraging at times, when the results are not as evident, so these reminders enable me not to be too hard on myself.

Reflections

1. The reality that I’m coming to terms is, people have been through the most. And so this requires me to change my way of viewing them. Look , I can be judgemental (something I’m really praying about); but this past month has really made me realize: I do not know the reasons behind people’s actions so it’s really not my place.

2. Boundaries are oxygen! I didn’t realize I wasn’t able to set these until this year. Let’s just say things got bad but thankfully I was able to resolve the issue. I’ve also learnt that in turn, I must respect other people’s boundaries – even if it hurts or I might think I am helping. This saves me from a lot of heartache and unnecessary drama.

3. Regardless of how unfair a situation might be, do your part faithfully.

4. Address the issue with the party involved, not others.

5. I must never give up on striving to be a better me and I don’t need riches for this. Inward adorning is so important.

6. Taking a break is not a sin.

7. Never sacrifice your health! You will pay.

What are you thankful for? What have you learnt over these months?

Women’s Month Feature: Women Raising Their Voices – Part 3

Who is God to you?

God is my Saviour and my Redeemer. He is my Saviour in a sense that He has been able to save me from a lot of harm. I have been through a lot: physically and emotionally that I could have been killed and also I was in the verge of killing myself but God saved me. He has always taken His hand and pulled me out of that pit. And again that’s why He is my Redeemer because He is constantly saving me from myself. Due to the things I went through, my self-esteem was affected, how I looked at myself. I used to be a very pessimistic person that I did not see any good in me but God is that person that allows me to still see good in myself and saves me from a lot of harm and I guess that is why I constantly appreciate the gift of life because my life has been endangered so many times and living in South Africa, being a woman, I can honestly say it has been by His mercy that I’m able to come out of those different situations. God is also my Healer. All those things I went through left me very much damaged such that my relationships with others was affected – how I related to friendships or intimate relationships or my family. I was so damaged that I did not know who I was and who I am supposed to be. It was such a struggle. So that’s who God is to me. He is my completion and my fulfilment in life. Due to all that I went through, I felt empty and I was always looking for friendships and intimate relationships because I felt incomplete because I did not want to concentrate on all that was going on in my life and all the struggles I was facing and the demons I was fighting. So I just never felt complete. I was constantly looking for things to complete me and hiding behind those things. Getting to know, as hard as it was for me, to say that I can be complete in God, He made it possible. I am whole, I am complete. To be in a relationship or to have a friendship now would be by choices but it would not be a need for survival.

How does your relationship with God help you live out your life?

My relationship with God is like the foundation or the moving border that moves with me and keeps me aligned to His will, to stay in check and helps me to remember and keep focus on what I believe to be my purpose. A relationship with God helps me not to give up when things are very tough because God did not promise me an easy path. He told me in His Word that I will face trials and tribulations but I should also count it all joy. So my relationship with God allows me to experience life with a certain level of maturity. To say regardless of what is happening, this is how I can respond to it and this is how I can react to it. Also in terms of interests – things that I am interested in: God guides me with regards to which direction I can take and this how far I can take it. So I think if I did not have that relationship with God, I would be wild, doing all sorts of things because I am a spontaneous and experimental person. So my relationship with God serves a constant reminder that “Cha sisi, this is where it ends, don’t be too much now.” It inspires me to be a better person every single day because that is what we are called for, to be perfect and because of the passage that says “be ye therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) is a daily challenge. I honestly want to be a perfect person. This relationship is a guide to what I can or cannot do, what direction I should take and it also helps me to just manouver around life in terms of relationships: not to catch feelings on the wrong stuff and not to be easily offended. I carry a slogan WWJD , which interprets to, What Would Jesus Do? I am comforted by it. Essentially, my relationship with God is a God and a Guide on how my life should be lived.

How can women be light-bearers / what role can women play?

Women can play the role of parenting. I think we are moving so much away into more masculine roles and I am not saying that there is anything wrong with being a leader, being empowered and everything like that. But I think women are now investing more time into playing roles that are normally filled by men and in turn, they are missing the foundation of it all that makes and grows a child and eventually the youth by being caring, loving and patient. So I think women can be light by embracing their feminine traits. We are kind, affectionate, loving and social people, so I think if we can invest in those traits and making the change around us and not look for a greater platform or to say, “I want to reach this stage” but by being light in our little corners, in our own communities that we have and also invest time in teaching children in the community about love, kindness and respect. And I guess that’s it’s said that women should take care of her children. Women possess something that men do not have, so I think we can make an impact by embracing who we are. We do not embrace ourselves as women and we lack authenticity (original personalities), in the sense that we are constantly competing against each other as women. We often do not know who we are, and how can you bear light if you do not have it in you? And you cannot be the light if you have not taken time to reflect and introspect yourself. So I think women just need to get to know themselves and ignite the light within. Right now women do not know themselves. Right now women think life is about competing, being where men are and breaking boundaries and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this and it becomes erroneous when you leave out your own womanhood that you were naturally gifted with, that is so helpful to the community and society around you. I believe we need to thrive in sisterhood and motherhood and be there for others instead of being selfish, fashion forward people who are after materialistic things. Instead we can be sympathetic, caring beings that God created us to be besides all those other things we are capable of. Just being there for other people – I think that is our biggest role.

Please give us a background about the work you do on Zotha Clothing and the Eatery

When I joined the church I loved the good food but disliked how it was prepared – it did not seem exciting. It was bland (boring). Reflecting on this made me realize that God is not a boring God. Having tasted modesty I saw how good and beautiful it could be, as compared to how it was presented. I then figured there could be something done regarding the food. As I researched on the internet, I came across very interesting vegan dishes and I was moved to start a catering company around vegan food. So what I basically do is: I do not necessarily cater for big events currently but what I do most of the times is teach people how to cook and basically have individual catering and group catering. I have not done catering on a large scale yet. The biggest that I have done is catering for the TOC for almost a year in 2017. But the vision is to cater for larger numbers.

Zotha clothing, my baby, was inspired by 1 Timothy 2:9: In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with brooded hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly arrays.


I really fell in love with Modesty when I read Exodus 28:2: And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.


So having read 1 Timothy I knew we had to be modest but it looked so dull. However when I came across the passage in Exodus, I learnt that God actually wants us to look beautiful – He says we are to dress for beauty and glory. He starts by saying we are to dress for glory because it’s first about Him and then about beauty. For glory because our clothes need to represent God but they still need to be attractive to those who are looking at us. So as I then decided to venture into a Modesty lifestyle, I struggled to find clothes and I found a tailor. And I realized that other people had the same struggle regarding finding modest clothes, hence I started Zotha Clothing.

Right now I am providing modest clothing to women who are in cooperate, who are in business and have to go to the office and do not have proper clothing to wear – whether it’s tight, revealing or short. So Ijust thought I needed to really provide a platform where people can find clothing that is not only exclusive in a sense that not everybody is going to have it, it’s your own style, but also that it’s modest.

That’s where we are going with Zotha and hopefully by the grace of God we will grow into a fully fledged boutique or store. That is the bigger dream.

What message of hope would you like to give to others?

My dad has always said that “into engapheli iyahlola”. So, I have always grown up with the mindset that no matter what it is that I am going through, even if it is a good thing, iyaphela (it comes to an end). Not that good things end but we will not be happy all the time and vice versa, just because you are having a sad moment, does not mean you will not be happy again. I have learnt ukuthi many things in life are seasonal. There are things that are permanent but there are also things that are seasonal. Even in our relationships, though they may be permanent, there are seasons of happiness and then you can also be angry at each other, though your love may be permanent. Knowing which things are seasonal and which are permanent helps you to manouver in the right path with regards to life problems. For example: as a business woman, that title is permanent, but the struggles that come with being a business woman are seasonal. But I will move past them including the joys. Knowing this, has led me to ask: how do I prepare for the not-so joyful seasons. Having such an understanding has helped me a lot. Due to the fact that I have been sick a lot, robbed, raped, everytime I went through that moment, I’d tell myself it will all pass – I will not always be in the same position, regardless of the situation I am, including death itself. I just want people out there to know whatever it is that is happening in your life, it is not going to happen forever especially the bad things. The bad things are always there to strengthen us. Gold has to go through the furnace for it to be a beautiful jewellery, you have to work out to have a beautiful body, you need to read for you to have information, you need to have sleepless nights for you to pass or have a successful business or all sorts of things. So whatever it is that you are doing, or going through, it is a seasonal experience. So just take it in and use it to your advantage. Everything has an end just like our lives on Earth will eventually end and Christ will come and then there will be no end.

Instagram: Zotha clothing & InPursuit Eatery

Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/7FtaVEP9TforT9oliaOxob?si=DJmwrK8qQ6CAj13emY3BNQ

Women’s Month Feature: Women Raising Their Voices – Part 2

Who is God to you?

Everything, God is everything to me. He is my wisdom, strength, health, love and life companion and all else. He is the reason I am. He is  to me a teacher and counsellor, my first premise of knowledge and source of understanding. All I know, all I do and all I am is inspired by who I know Him to be.

2. How does your relationship with God help you navigate everyday life: being a woman, wife and a mother?

I look at myself as a created being before the roles and relationships I have. This enables me the functional perspective regarding my social roles or identity ( woman, wife and mother). I also look at those I relate within the same light. I was not created to be mother and wife, I could have well chosen not to be, I was created to Glorify God, to reflect His love and rectitude in all my life experiences, this  knowldge of who l am before anything and anyone, and who I belong to, both by creation and redemption translates into or is seen in my femininity, marriage and family life. How I then relate, is informed by who He has created me to become… A reflection of Himself. I hope this makes sense.

Then there is motherhood, the experience has called for the very best of me. It was the hardest journey by far personally. I have seldom been phased by the experiences around me. I watched all that I was die…and I grieved the “old self” and yearned for her. My Sweet Babygirl’s birth was a bittersweet event, little did I know the wonders waiting to unveil.

I thought I knew all there is to know about parenthood, I reared 2 fine boys (baby brother and nephew) from birth, I served in child development contexts, I presented listless seminars on parenthood. I knew all there was to know about practical care of a baby, until I held my own. This has been a rebirth experience, very sanctifying too. Now I can fairly say this is most beautiful part of my life.

3. How do you use your skills to minister to others and make Jesus known to others?

I simply live. I try my best to live according to the light God has revealed to me, this is my ministry to others, to show a practical example as far as I am able to. Whether I teach, cook, counsel, write or anything else, I have Him and His mission first in mind.

4. What has helped you in your Christian walk to remain steady and focused?

Some may consider me stubborn😅, I would like to believe that I am not easily drawn from what I have decided is right to do. I have always been that way. Christ keeps me centred. His truth keeps me grounded.

5. Please share about your work – Mental Health Care Practitioner, Plant Based Nutritionist and Specialist Wellness Practitioner. What each role involves and why these career choices? (Maybe we can tie this with no.3)

I believe the blueprint of my life was given to me young, as early as 5 I knew that I wanted to become a psychologist. This endeavour tried me when I learnt that the methods of the world were not consistent with the will of God. With the false conception that God didn’t want this for me, I did not know that He wanted to enlarge my sphere of influence both in the community of believers and out in the world.  He taught me Mental Health the right way. This is how Nova Mente Wellness was instituted, Nova (New) Mente (Mind). This initiative resonates with His, to transform humanity by the renewing the mind into His Likeness.

Health is the heart of life and I am passionate about the liberation and power that comes with healthful living. Physical, Mental and Spiritual health. All my work endeavours involve teaching, counselling and the empowerment of humanity to thrive on all three aspects of health as God has intended it to be. Christ came to deliver captives and set people free from the bondage of sin, He left this work in our (my) hands I believe, as His child , I am to perpuate His will and intentions to others through Health.

6. What encouragement would you like to share with other women?

To become the best version of who God has called them to be and never to dim their lights to appease anyone. They belong to God first and only, they should never forget how amazing and strong they are. Their role in life is a Holy one, humanity is the fruit of their work, that is how much power God has given us. Every Pastor, Doctor, lawyer, teacher, stateman was founded in the bowels of a woman, nursed by her pips and learnt on her lap. Only with God can we triumph in this high and holy calling

7. Please share your website for further inquiries.

www.novamentewellness.co.za 
Wethinknova.com (interactive website)

Women’s Month Feature : Women Raising Their Voices – Part 1

My name is Sindi Felicia Matha Born in Lusikisi, former Transkei part of Eastern Cape, and was raised in King Williams Town. I was raised in a Christian home (Adventist to be specific), by parents who love God. I have 2 lovely siblings, Nwabisa & Siyabulela, a handsome nephew (Luphawu) and beautiful niece (Linathi).
I’m an aspiring writer; I believe I have a lot to say about God and His goodness through my experiences. I love God (cannot believe that I would be using such a word towards a person, but hey I said it).
I like reading, nature, music and singing and I love children and avocadoes. ☺.

Who is God to you?


To me, God is a friend and a Father.

He has not always been that though, He was God, that distant, respectful, powerful male figure and so even the way I related to Him, was that distant and awkward. And you know, I can confidently say that I didn’t know God… though I had been baptised for 5 years. There was no relationship.

But as I grow, and especially after I lost my dad in 2015, God became a Father to me. Even better so, He became a Father who is also a friend.
Now for me, a Father and friend is too powerful for me. Let me elaborate what I mean.
A father: you trust to protect, guide and provide for you as their child. However, in our set up (earthly set up, especially with fathers), as much as you trust your father to protect and provide, you cannot trust them with your deepest secrets and shortfalls. Because of our brokenness which is as a result of sin, our relations to fathers are broken too, there are limitations to what one can tell or talk about with their father…
Now come to a friend-friend relation. With friends, we comfortably talk about anything and everything, the weirdest things (like how you have messed up and when we were young we would even share our crushes… I know that’s extreme☺, but it drives the point). With friends we are able to be “crazy” without having to worry about saying the right thing and being perfect.
And so having God as a combination of those 2 is priceless☺. Being able to say “God I made that same mistake again and you’re right, I’m not strong enough to overcome this and that…please help me” is incredible.
I think that has altered how I view and relate to God. I stopped relating to him as an impersonal force to be feared, but started to view Him as a loving Father and friend, whose greatest desire is to carry our burdens and ease our pain and also share our joys. ☺
And one quote that I like from the book Desire of ages, that encourages a genuine relationship with God, says “Every sincere prayer is heard in heaven, it may not be fluently expressed (Which means it does not have to be perfect and articulated in such a way that it loses sincerity) But if the heart is in it, it will ascend to the Throne where Christ ministers and He will present it to the Father without one awkward, stammering word…” Implying that in the prayer itself there might be some things that in and of themselves are awkward, But Jesus will not feel any awkwardness about them to God the Father, because they are the utterances of his dear children.

In Jesus, I found a fulfilling and extra ordinary friendship that gave me hope in the face of a devastating pain.
You know when God said He is I am, in Exodus 3:14, to Moses, He meant that He is everything we need and He can be personified to fit any present need. If we need a friend, He is that friend, if we need a parent, He is the parent, if we lack any person in our lives, He becomes that person and more. And so we lose so much when we do not allow Him to express His “I am” quality.
I also believe that God is able to easily speak to us back, when we are transparent & honest with Him. He is able to reveal a lot to us about us, those ugly traits that we have, that temper and those cherished sins.
And I would like to encourage everyone to pray for a relationship with God. He could be so many things to many people, because without a relationship, with God, one can only do so much for so long. And actually, we need Him abiding in our hearts for us to continue and finish the Christian race.

How has your relationship with God enabled you to navigate some of the difficult moments in your life? Is there one instance you’d like to share?

God has been seeking to save me, to teach me to entirely trust Him with all my heart.
There was a serious event that took place in my life back in 2014(one day I will be able to share that experience in depth), those who know me will know, but it was through that experience that for the first time I got to know God, and His goodness.
For the first time in my life of being a Christian, I began to know God and to trust Him and I would like to think that is when my walk with God gradually began.

Fast forward to a year later, I lost my dad, Oh man; I loved that man, a godly man, who tried his ultimate best to lead us to Christ.
And surprisingly at that time, we were beginning to be close to each other, siya sivana, (also I think age drew us closer to each other), and so his death breaks me, kakhulu.

And for some years I was hopeless and my life came to a standstill if not reverse.
The pain really altered my behaviour, towards people in general and towards God himself.
It took me years to be able to trust Him again because I was angry at Him. I felt that the timing of the death was so imperfect (not that there would have been a perfect time).
And I would cry.
And this one day, I just broke down and told God all that was in my heart.

But God was not done with me and He would not let me go down, just like that. And so He brought people into my life that reminded me that God never forsakes His children, that He is even drawn closer to us at our weakest points.
And so we had chats with God, fights (mostly from my side) and slowly but surely got to some understanding.

That is when He revealed to me how I have been relating to Him and I did not trust Him, that I was dependent to do things on my own. He revealed to me, that I am a control-freak, proud, self-reliant and all those things that are not great learn about oneself.
He revealed also that he patiently bore with me, until I came to acknowledge my weaknesses and brokenness to Him. That He knows me better than I even know myself (Refer Psalm 139, my recent favourite) and therefore who better can make a good friend than Him?
I still struggle with strong will and stubbornness and so many other things and therefore cannot claim perfection, let alone even goodness but I can surely confirm that things are not the same. And they are better now with Jesus Christ.
He is indeed a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

How does your relationship with God help you navigate the workplace without compromising God’s principles and what are some of the principles you consider important for young professionals who desire to represent Christ?

Firstly, I am grateful to God for my job, for the circumstances that He put in place for me to get it, for the very fact that I deal with different people, varying in race, religion, gender, position that I get to learn from.

When I first came into my job, l was not only clueless about the job, but also the environment and so it was not easy to adjust and given the fact that I take ages to adjust, generally. And so I felt like I’ve been thrown into a desert, all alone.
I had a rather “weird” life, that made everyone at work wonder where I had fallen from (some did say I was an alien, jokingly obviously). 1. I attend church on a Saturday, 2. Don’t eat meat, 3. People speak about what they watched the previous night and I know nothing, 4. I was not in a relationship at the time etc., and so you can just imagine how odd that would make one look.

And I remember this one day we were in a Colleague’s farewell party and someone says, “today we are not going anywhere without knowing Sindy’s vice or we are creating one for her.
It’s either you take a puff, or drink, etc…” But none of that happened.

But later on in the coming days, I really felt that I cannot relate to anyone and I started to think that maybe, maybe I am really acting perfect, I must have a vice (as though I did not have) and I thought, maybe I should just let everything go, let this whole Christianity thing go. And I would be so angry and cry (I cry) to God and to my Mother (God bless her).

But God through the prayers of my mother, sister and nephew strengthened me to go on. Oh my mother and sister! God bless them for me. They would pray for me, call me even during lunch, just check how things are going and let me know that they are praying.

Earlier on I mentioned that I have a rather “weird” life that tended to draw so much attention towards me and I think also there God used that very same weirdness as a tool to remind me to be faithful to Him and those around me, especially in a Supply chain position. Those who know SC, will understand the temptations that come together with the field in terms of bribery and fraudulence.

God says He will never leave nor forsake us.
And so He does this by placing people in our paths (Some temporarily, some permanently) to support and encourage us.
He did exactly that for me, and brought someone significant into my path by the name of Linda Matshoba (with her family), who was a Packaging engineer, working under Supply chain.
She wouldn’t even know how she (and her family) impacted my life at work, but just their presence made all the difference.

One special gratitude I have is that all this happened while God was right beside me, (not having recognised Him sometimes). He strengthened me to continue, make peace with some things.

To those who are still going to start working and especially those who profess Christianity, I would like to urge them to let God guide them in all they do. Sometimes, it’s not the actual job that leads one to compromise, but maybe the treatment they get, but in all that, we must pray for endurance and kindness towards those who ill-treat us. (I know that is impossible in our power, but possible through Christ in us.)
Those we especially experience challenges with must be the very reason we pray for them.
Another thing that I have learnt is that, those challenges and difficulties we experience at work, God uses to reveal to us the deceitfulness of our own hearts and waits for us to humbly come to him for transformation of heart.
I mean, one can never know how dishonest they are until put in a position that will expose his/her dishonesty or honesty. One can never know how impatient they are until put in a position where one has to wait for long. (And patience is not the waiting but what one does while waiting).

I will say this, things at work are not all pleasant (just like in any aspect of life) But with God by your side, they become much better.
If you are granted that bitter experience, Christ’s aim is that you come off better and sweeter.
Even those experiences Satan brings thinking evil against us: God means for our good and that at the end many might be saved.

What message of hope would you like to share for women living in these last days and facing some atrocities like Gender-based violence, femicide etc.?

Oh man, this is such a sensitive subject that makes me cringe every time I have to discus. And for some time I had decided to just avoid it because of the unanswered questions that it leaves one with.
We live in evil days, in a world where a mother fears giving birth to a girl child petrified of the injustice the child will experience simply because they are girls. In a world where one cannot walk comfortably without the thought of being abused crossing their mind. It’s a shame and disgrace.

And my heart sympathises and goes to all the families and ladies who have been victims of such evils.
I am against the harm caused to our ladies and I wish also that our ladies, our little girls would be taught what real love is and what it is not.
I sit trying to think, what has gone wrong? I can never have an exhaustive answer to this question or maybe none exists singularly.

(My discussion will be narrowed down to relationships today, other aspects will be addressed some time)
Most of us, because of our brokenness and the brokenness of our own parents, have not learnt what true love means. And therefore cannot differentiate abuse from love, ill-treatment from love, and disrespect from love. I know it sounds absurd that we would not be able to differentiate love from such, but reality is, we are not able to.
Our ideas of love are shaped by what the world, especially through media, calls love. In his book, 5 love languages, Garry Chapman says, referring to the differing meanings that we have of love. “We also use the word love to explain behaviour. I did it because I love her” that explanation is given for all kinds of actions. “A man is involved in an adulterous relationship and he calls it love. The preacher calls it fornication and therefore sin…The parent indulges all the child’s wishes, calling it love. The family therapist would call it irresponsible parenting.” May I also add: a lady will be beaten up because another man looked and smiles at her, she will call it jealousy and love while the law calls it violence. And lady will be ridiculed and scorned, they call it love and being playful, the psychologist will call it abuse, emotional abuse. How about Love is blind? (that one kills me, dead). I could go on and on… There are so many “creepy” ideas of love we have adopted that tend to catch up with us later on in life. And it’s so unfortunate that the longer we cherish these false ideas, hold on to them, the longer we will have problems.
The above is not meant to blame anyone (not the ladies or the parents) and most assuredly neither to embrace nor to encourage the abuses that our girls experience in the hands of those who are supposed to be the leaders.
And so one will ask, if we have so skewed ideas of love, then Sindy what is true love?
I do not have a definite answer to that, but one thing I will say, I know how true love looks like. It looks like a selfless man hanging on the cross for my sins, knowing that there is chance that I will not respond back to that love, but continuing either way. Love looks like a prince leaving his princely position and coming on earth only to be a servant so that he can save me from ruining myself. True Love looks like a father giving up his only child to die for me knowing very well that I will be the one who will kill him.
Such love comes only from the man Himself, Jesus Christ. We are not able to practise or express it without his aid. He alone is the standard of true love, because He is Love.
The Bible also, has a very beautiful illustration of what love is and is not. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

And if that will not suffice, The book of Matthew 26-28 (and other Gospel books) has a wonderful story of the Love of God as revealed in the sacrifice that He made for us on the cross.
Gary Chapman confirms the very standard of the biblical definition of love by saying, also in the book 5 love languages “the object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love.” Exactly what heaven has done and is still is doing for us.

I, myself have learnt the above through experience. And have learnt that when we have a close relationship with Jesus He teaches us, practically, that which is real from that which is artificial.
And so I feel and see a need for our young boys and girls to be taught the real and true meaning of love, both the young men and ladies equally. Girls to be taught that someone who loves cannot beat up an adult in the name of love. Boys to be taught that one cannot raise their voices or hands upon a woman and still claim to love. That a NO means NO! etc. And that some of the relational evils are not physical but emotional and they are still evils.
And the most unfortunate thing about love is that it cannot be book-taught, it is expressed.
We can make a difference in the small circles we are in. We need not reach the world all at once, but love expressed to one young lady, one young man can change the world!
My prayer is that God be with the young men and women, protect them while still ignorant and innocent and lead them to Him in their maturity. Also that God May comfort the families that have gone through any painful experience in the name of Love.
And that God may protect us through the trying time of Covid-19. Be with the bereaved families.


MUCH LOVE

Hello August {Short Reflection}

The start of a new day, new week or a new month offers us some time to pause and reflect. It gives us opportunity to right the wrongs through God’s grace, to press on and work on our aspirations and work towards a better future. At the end of each week and month, I like to reflect on where I am going as an individual ; how I am doing in the different facets of my life and most importantly, it’s an opportunity to remember God’s goodness over my life 😊. So, I’ll reflect on the questions below.

I’m thankful for so much, but I’ll name only a few things: I’m thankful for today – thankful to be ushered into my favourite month – I was baptized on the 11th and August happens to be Women’s Month in South Africa. For me, this will be a time to reflect on how God has led me since accepting Him as my Saviour and a time for revival. I’ve also decided to read Daughters of God by Ellen White to see whether I’m on the right path and acquaint myself of present duty. I’ll be sharing few snippets of the book to encourage myself and other women.

I’m thankful for my family , especially my mom. This woman is amazing. She’s my support system especially through the hard times. She continues to encourage me to dream and aspire to be more. I’m thankful for the partnership that exists between us as well. She brings so much sunshine in my life and helps me take care of my hair (constantly ‘threatening’ me when I consider cutting my hair 😂).

I’m thankful for the Word of God,which revives, gives direction, renews faith, hope and so much more.

God came through for me in so many ways, even today! But I’ll also mention just a few:

God has blessed me with an opportunity to tutor 3 kids from my school and it’s been a wonderful experience – seeing the children grasp the concepts, playing together, having time to reflect about God’s Word and getting to know them individually has been amazing.

A sister and a friend came through when I asked her to join a project that will be taking place in a week’s time. I know you will be equally blessed.

God answered a prayer I had been praying about regarding my career. I was at crossroads concerning the direction I should take and thankfully I received counsel from an unbiased person. She really opened my eyes.

What are you thankful for today? How has God come through for you?