I walked out to the front yard Wednesday morning to water my plants. I discovered someone had stolen my nozzle (sprayer). It was my favorite out of all the ones I’d had previously. It was sturdy, quality, and endured all of the times I forgot to put it away during winters. I was highly irritated that someone had taken it but even more disturbed that someone had the audacity to come on my property! I immediately went to the store and found the exact one I had. I was relieved. So, where is the lesson?
People shouldn’t steal. I should have put it away (but I feel I shouldn’t have to because it’s on my property but, I know we all live among thieves. Even in the suburbs which I do not live in.) I believe those are the obvious lessons. The natural lessons. The more spiritual lesson for me (us?) is to take care of the little things that bring you happiness, pleasure like you do the big things that bring you happiness, pleasure. Cherish the small moments that bring you peace. Cherish the lull in conversation with someone you adore, admire, love, and like. Cherish doing nothing with a loved one like sitting on the porch or in the backyard. Think of the last time you had a chat with someone you hadn’t spoken to in a while. How precious was that moment? Pay attention and put away in your heart, in your memory, the small things that light you up.
I certainly didn’t treat the nozzle like it was my favorite. I tossed it near the hose. I left it out year-round. Terrible. My oldest brother told me a few years ago to put away my tools and store them properly and they will last a long time. I didn’t listen. I also had to replace my garden wand because…I left it out all year long. There must be a small crack or the washer shrunk due to the drastic temperature changes. When I turned it on water sprayed everywhere onto me! I was soaked lol! So, put away/take care, literally and figuratively, of the small things/moments you cherish.
What is success to you? Do you get to define success for others? Who defined success for you? I mean really think about where you got YOUR ideas of what success is. Did you get it from your parents? Friends? TV? Social Media? Society? Religion? Yes. I said religion because some of us were taught incorrectly about being wealthy based on the lack of proper explanation of several scriptures. So, I encourage you to take some real time to define success for yourself without comparison to other people.
I recently out of frustration thought “I should be further along than I am.” And then a friend said it too about herself. And an associate said they felt they should be further along. But this is what was given to me when I said it: “By who’s standards? In comparison to who? You? Observing everyone around you and comparing yourself? Maybe by your own nice, little, neatly mapped out plans of your life on a whiteboard or in a notebook? Perhaps in your mind? Further along?”
I thought about this. I honestly was thinking about where others were and my own plans. I couldn’t be further from my plans if I intentionally diverted from them. This is why I wrote the affirmations in the blog yesterday: https://nikkisconfettilife.com/2023/05/24/where-are-you/ . But what was expressed to me about this statement was some of what I wrote in the above paragraph and also what is in the next few paragraphs.
You are where you are supposed to be. You are where you need to be. You are where you are however you think you got here. If hearing you are where you are because you made the choices you made seems too lofty or a dump reasoning, then hear this: “I am where I am because of some choices I made and some choices I did not. I am here because of myself and others whether I consciously or subconsciously (willingly or naively) allowed certain things to take place. I take responsibility for that but I do not take responsibility for the things I could not control. I take responsibility for my healing and I choose to make better decisions and choices.” I wrote all of that because it’s more complex than “You are where you are because of the choices you made.” And people never stop, nor do most care to see that. It requires thought, rationale, comprehension, and compassion and who has time for that today?
Feel the difference in “I should be further along” and “I am right where I need to be for change. I am right where I need to be for growth.” Say it aloud. Feel it. Remove the weight of “I should be further along” and see that feeling as an indicator that you are ready for change or growth. “Oh! I am ready for change. I am ready for a new adventure in life. This is getting boring or old.” You feel much lighter. You are more apt to take action for the right reasons after you FIRST define success for yourself based on YOUR internal dialogue. Not what the world or people say success is.
The heart of a human plans their course but the Lord guides their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Many plans are in one’s heart but the purpose of the Lord will prevail. Proverbs 19:21
Have you defined success for other people? Why? What is success to you?
This is a time for separation and divorce. And I’m not talking about marriages (although that may be the case). I’m talking about anything or anyone that hinders or distracts you from your purpose, dreams, goals, growth or destiny. I’m talking about your own stinking thinking (mindset, thought patterns). I’m talking about ideals and philosophies and even religious programming that keeps you judgmental, sanctimonious, self-righteous and cult like.
I separated myself from some things and people and it wasn’t personal but it was personal and spiritual. It was necessary and is necessary for my healing and my journey. Spiritual separation where my spirit and emotions aren’t so intertwined. No intimate conversations. Not frequently in each other’s space but cordial. Genuine love and concern. Maybe, there’s a chance for restoration in the future.
Then I divorced some things and some people. Peace. Go your way. May the Lord keep and bless you but, this is a wrap, Beloved. -Nikki
I used to think that when I asked or talked to God about something and God gives me an answer that seems unrelated, way out in left field, God didn’t care about what I was talking about. Since I’ve grown, I have learned that it means these things thus far:
1. I hear you but that’s not the pressing issue right now. We’ll get to that later.
2. I’m telling you this, showing you this, because this is what I want you to focus on.
3. Let me take you forward and then back to what you were talking about and it will all make since soon.
4. This is a piece of the puzzle. Hold that until you find the other piece. Let’s go on an adventure to the answer. Guided footsteps. (Sometimes, I don’t “be” feeling like going though! )
5. That is the answer. Look again.
6. That’s not your business.
7. You wouldn’t understand it right now. Wait until you grow some more.
8. I’ll tell you when you get to the next realm and even then you wouldn’t care as much about it as you do now. So, be at peace with never knowing some things and never understanding some things. (How? Trust God. Accept the peace Jesus willed to us.)
I recall a point and time when one of my brother’s wives wanted to have a holiday at their house. It caused quite a stir. Maybe it’s been her dream to host a holiday. Some people work this out and others don’t. For those that don’t, it can cause family drama. Which leads me to family drama as I decided to not force myself to attend Sunday Service and just meet my family at the restaurant for Mother’s Day Brunch. Of course, I haven’t told anyone this because it’s not really a big deal. Mother’s Day is for all mothers and we can decide what we would like to do that day. I’m not sure if the matriarch can dictate what’s happening for everyone on Mother’s Day or any other day but, it does happen. We allow it. If I ever were a matriarch, I would not try to hog all of the holidays. I don’t think most of them intend to. It just sort of develops that way. But, on Mother’s Day, I would want to see my children and grandchildren but, I would understand if my sons or daughters were being celebrated in by their spouses and children. You can see me the day before or afterwards. I am just easy that way about some things.
I am a mom, too. I thought about what I’d like to do a few days ahead. I’d like to hear a prepared, anointed message and I can hear that online from one of my favorite churches. I’d like to see my family; have a good meal and I can do that by meeting up at brunch. Afterwards, I’d like to relax, have good Epsom salt soak and play my PC game while watching my Sunday night TV line up. I’d like to be stress free and unbothered the rest of the evening. Oh, yeah and napping in between.
I was praying my regular prayer this morning and as usual I go off track. I started hitting God with a barrage of questions. Questions like why do good people have to fight evil all of the time? Why can’t we have a winning season or months years or a decade? And why does it seem like others people progress is quicker than mine’s? Why does my progress seem so slow? Why does love take so long for some of us?
I continue to ask more questions and then I say I know you’re not going to answer me or maybe you will hopefully soon.
I open up the book I’ve been reading in the mornings or most mornings and this is what I see and read:
When you see the world through the eyes of a Christ, you no longer feel yourself to be the victim of anything. There is nothing to fight. There’s nothing to prove, and no one to prove it to. When everyone is whizzing by you it does not disturb your inner peace.
When you hold on to things that have happened, they take up space in your lives. When you keep repeating the sagas and the dramas, they take up precious spiritual, emotional, and physical space in your life. When you wear your scars like Merit badges, or name tags, then you are WEDDED to them. You become available to them because you are available to whatever has your attention. What has your attention, my children? -The Sacred Yes by Reverend Deborah L Johnson
I wish you would learn to let go of things that weren’t intended to be yours. I wish you the ability to wave goodbye to the things that don’t fit into your story, walking away with your head held high and your feet pointed forward, moving slowly but steadily in the direction of the things […]
I’m not sure how to tell you this but, your young adult is now a young adult. They have been off to college doing whatever they wanted to. Going to bed when they get ready, eating what they want, hanging out with friends, and making decisions about their wellbeing, relationships, and life. You, too, have been relieved of some of your duty to parenting them by not making these decisions for them. It seems to me they have done okay as they are returning to you alive and perhaps well. “Well” is up for discussion because going to college produces stress and mental health issues so many parents are unaware of but that’s another topic to explore.
As they return home, to your home, their home, they may need some help adjusting and you, too. Brace yourself, they have friends they want to see, places they want to go, and things they want to do that do not involve you. This may make you feel left out and unwanted. This is the moment you may need to remember; those feelings are valid but they are not facts about how your young adult feels about you.
I have learned not to plan out my daughter’s schedule and not to hog all of her time. Keyword, learned. I didn’t think about or take into consideration the things I mentioned above. Also, they may want to lay around the house and that’s okay. College life has been hectic. I usually give my daughter two weeks to just chill and semi-chill. The first week I don’t require anything. The second week she has to begin helping with dishes, cleaning and meals. I don’t tell her when to do her laundry or if she should fold it or not. She’s been doing laundry at school. HER WAY. I don’t tell her to eat. I only ask that we eat dinner together if she doesn’t have plans to be out because that’s been a staple in our family.
She doesn’t have to check with me for permission to make plans with her friends. I only require to know where she is going and that she comes home no later than 2 a.m. Yes. 2 a.m. and she’s usually back before then. She checks in or I check in on her from time to time while she is out. She texts to let me know she is on the way home. This is something we both came to an understanding on. I think it’s important to tell your children, sincerely, why you want to know where they are and who they are with. It’s okay to tell them you care and worry about their safety and it eases your mind to know they are okay. I had to explain I am not coming where you are or I’m not trying to monitor your every move but, if you need me or something happens, I will have a general idea of where you were. What if I didn’t let you know I was going to a particular mall and you haven’t heard from me in 3 hours? Honestly, wouldn’t you call me? Of course, she would. I am pretty sure she goes places in between. We all do it at times.
I ask for us to spend some time together. Well, I had to do this in the beginning and now it’s just expected. I throw out some ideas or events in the city we could attend together or just a movie or binge night. We get our laptops and game (Yes, I do some gaming) or surf social media. We snack and just vibe. She usually outlasts me staying up. Also, I let her know ahead of time what family events are happening and she usually knows which ones are negotiable.
We talk about moods and attitudes. I have them. You have them. They have them. If I don’t want to be bothered, if I have something on my mind, if I am dealing with anxiety or depression, I say so. If I don’t know what I’m feeling, I say that, too. We have learned to ask, “Would you like to talk about it? Do you need me to just listen or give advice? Is there anything I can do for you?” Now, I don’t advise talking about certain things with your young adult. They have their own burdens but using wisdom to let them in on some things is okay. I think it lets them know that you’re human and not just a parent lol. My daughter has actually given some great advice and peptalks.
This summer, I am trying something new. I wanted to set an intention or a tone to the summer. What is it that I want from the summer and what is it I want to give? I asked her to think about the same thing. So often we have different ideas on what we want our summer or vacation or time off to be about (when we have days off not for appointments or illness). Do you want it to be filled with activities? Do you want to have some activities or a few major activities? Do you want to lounge around? Travel extensively or not at all? What’s the tone or mood for this summer? We asked her to get some rest this summer as next semester is her last before graduation. She’s been working on campus and during the summer at home. She plans to work less. I encourage her to enjoy time with her friends and family more this summer.
All of this really takes a mindset change and if you have young children, it is pertinent you develop a deeper relationship with your child other than I am your authority figure, your protector and provider. Get to know your child. Your ever-changing child. Share some life lessons that come not at a time of frustration or in the form of a teaching moment once they have done something wrong. Listen to thier ideas and don’t be so quick to correct, shoot them down, or judge. I told my daughter she could tell me anything. She could call me about anything. If she needed a ride home from a party I would come and get her and her friends without yelling and fussing. I would indeed have a talk the next day. So far, I haven’t had to pick her up from a party but she does call about anything and I have to refrain from judging or seeing her as me. She is not me.