The Bends of Life

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In comparing our lives to a river, I don’t believe it’s a straight narrow river. I believe it is a river that is narrow at some points and wide at other points. I also believe there are many many bends in the river of life. Some very deep ones. So deep you think you are going in a circle only to end up back where you started from.

I have found myself finally at a bend in life. I was going downstream in raging waters. I had no idea there was a bend somewhere downstream. (Not all bends are on the map in this journey. Surprise!). I have felt like giving up. I have laid down in the boat and said forget it. I thought about jumping off the boat during the storms. Then the sun would rise and I would dry out but, still going down. And here we have a bend…

Approaching the bend you think “Yes, I am turning around!” But what you soon realize is this bend is so deep and miles long you just may begin to panic or think you are going in a circle only to end up where you were. Well, honey, you will not. It’s just a very deep bend in life and you will come out with a mighty force. So, just do your best to maintain a positive energy around you by putting positive thoughts in you and ride the bend. Busy yourself with what you will do better, different or new once you are out of the deep bend. No worries…Glorious view are on the turnabout.

-Nikki (In Mindful Coffee Meditation this Morning)

 

How to Get Your Zeal Back Pt 3

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If you read any of the first two blogs about Zeal, you would know that I lost my zeal for church but, not for God or Spiritual things. If you know how to “eat the fish and spit out the bones” you can apply what I am about to tell you to ALMOST anything if you have lost your zeal for it.

Take a break. Taking some time off and retreat to a quiet place or turn you attention to other things. This can give your mind and emotions time to settle. I was throwing everything but the kitchen sink trying to figure out “why” or “what” was wrong. It was very exhausting mentally. Maybe go on a nature walk. Attend your nephew’s baseball games or do some activities with friends or your family. Sometimes you need to get out and in touch with nature and people (other than the people you are normally around). People can inspire you and nature can answer you.

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(I am going to do this next time I am out on a nature walk)

 

2. Prayer and Meditation. Not on the why or what you can do but just simple prayer and meditation on whatever you are lead to pray about or meditate on.

3. Read. If you are a Christian, you may want to reconnect with your Bible and if you are not, you may want to reconnect with the book of your religion or pick up a positive book. This helps you to redirect your energy on your core beliefs or discover some new ones!

4. Do something different. Let’s say I was a baker and I lost my zeal for baking. Perhaps, I would travel to Italy and learn something new about baking Italian desserts. Maybe, I could refresh my skills or take a class at the local university. Perhaps, lending yourself to other charities and volunteering outside of the church would bring back the spark and allow you to reconnect.

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5. Face the truth. Perhaps you have outgrown where you are or this phase of your gift. Maybe it is time to move on to something different. I would think of it as an adventure or a new phase in your life. Some people outgrow their church, outgrow their job, career or business. It just may be time to move on.

Right way road sign
Right way road sign

Growth in the Winter

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Sunday Morning Musing: In the winter you don’t think of anything growing. But, the Flowering Quince is a flower that loses it’s leaves in the fall and shows out with its red blooms and thorny branch in the Winter. It’s a flower that is great for a natural fence. Well, this morning I had to give a long overdue apology to someone of great status in my eyes. I am usually quick to apologize but, in this case I was intimidated because I saw myself as the student and I was worried about how I failed to be consistent. This GROWTH in the WINTER, along with two other lessons I have learned is like the Flowering Quince. It has made me bloom and it’s thorny branches are like my defense. It has made me stronger as a leader, grew me up in the area of responsibility even more therefore preparing me to be a better ME as I walk my destiny out. -Nicole Jackson

The Blueprint

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I am so hyped this morning about the promises of God for my life. I got some disappointing news yesterday evening and I didn’t know how to handle it so I didn’t say anything. I talked to God this morning and we got an understanding. I was reminded of my Marching Orders for this year and I heard a voice say: Keep your eyes on your instructions for this year. Let the winds blow around you. You feel and you hear but, do not look away from those instructions. It’s the map. It’s the blueprint of your destiny. (Yes….hears from God thinks of Jay Z…so me lol)

Have You Seen My Zeal? Pt 2

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You are ultimately responsible for your ZEAL.

Zeal- (noun) great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.

When I asked God who’s fault was it that I had lost my zeal for church, I wasn’t looking to blame anyone. I was looking for an understanding of why? I was looking to see if I did something wrong or was it the church. If it was me then I felt I could correct the problem but, if it was the church, depending on my level of comfort and past experiences with trying to correct “church” I would rather not. The answer I got was ultimately I am responsible for my Zeal. I was relieved to hear that.

Whether it is worship, work, dreams or callings, your ZEAL is your fuel to the cause or objective. It is your resource to “getting” it done and doing it with joy and energy. So think of it as your job to protect your fuel. If fuel is left in the open the air will dry it out. If it is subjected to other elements such as water then your fuel can become diluted and of no real use to your vehicle. Well, spiritually speaking, your zeal is subject to the elements around you and you must protect it. Life is the element. The downs, the trials, the tribulations, the lack of time dedicated to the spiritual things in your own home can dry up your zeal.  Contemplate your surroundings and environment and see if you have left the door open for your zeal to dry out.

 

Drowning PT 2: How To Drown

helping hand giving to drowning man in sea
helping hand giving to drowning man in sea

HOW TO DROWN IN YOUR SITUATION:
1. Do absolutely nothing
2. Say nothing. Don’t ask for help but, expect everyone to know you need help
3. Refuse help (Do you need help? No. I got it.)
4. Refuse instructions
5. Get out and jump back in. (For free: If you open up the door to what you got rid of it will be 7 times stronger and 7 times harder for you to get rid of, you might not ever get rid of it and it’s like a dog returning to its vomit (getting it out of their system) and then turning around and eating it AGAIN
6. Fight the help

How to drown was written to make us aware that we are drowning. Sometimes we don’t know we are sinking lower and lower in our situations. You need help. No man or woman is an island. Sometimes you can not do it alone. No matter how strong you are.

Working with the Enemy

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How to work with the enemy: At work or in life
1. Put on the whole armor of God Ephesians 6:11 so that I (you) can stand against the tricks, games, gossip, lying, foolery of the wicked. Never go to war naked.
2. Speak: Every lying tongue that rises up against Nicole (insert your name) shall be defeated
3. Know: Greater is the God in me than those who are against me in the world. So why worry about it. God takes care of our lightweight.
4. Control: Like a city without walls is a person who has no control over their spirit- Proverbs 25:28 Keep control over your emotions because when people know you are a hothead or emotional they love to push that button. Don’t give them the victory by giving them a show. Remove the button, yourself (hmm it’s break time) or mute them.
5. Let them know with intelligence you are well aware of their schemes and plots and plan to sift you like wheat and since no weapon formed against you can prosper..it won’t work. MAKE SURE you give your A game at work. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
6. Smile. Sip coffee. Or Tea. Or Coke.

Marching Orders for a NEW ME

 

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I don’t know if you make New Year’s Resolutions or goal’s or if you call them other things. I don’t know your religion or beliefs but, some of us go to church and we get the mandate for a new year via a Pastor or Priest. However you decide to embrace the NEW YOU this year I wish you all the best.

As you may see from my blog, I am who I am and I make no apologies but, I may make some accommodations depending on how the Spirit or Universe moves me. So, I had three dreams early New Year’s Day and in those dreams I found instructions for my NEW YEAR. I believe there is a:

1.Spiritual call made in church for a NEW YEAR. I adhere to the instructions in my church.

2. I believe there is a global call  made by the Divine and the clues are from the previous year. I think globally I hear one word. REFORM. A reform on every level. Just think about the major things that have been a constant thread in 2015 and challenge globally. You can think global warming or security issues everywhere. I feel this year will begin a task of reformation. Even in the way we think about each other.

3.Then I believe there is a personal mandate. You have MARCHING ORDERS (military term for instructions basically) given directly to you by God/Divine/Universe/Spirit or created by you.

My marching orders in short were:

1.Don’t give up completely on love but, put it to the side while you focus all your energy on your dreams.

2. It is now time to use the jewels located in depths of your soul. I (God for me), hid them there for such a time as this. Put on the characteristics of navy blue and emerald green. These colors represent your instructions for your purpose.

3. I will show you how to look like a million bucks for the rest of your life. Even into old age you will not age. Taking care of your body more so with food than an exercise craze. (God knows my personal health challenges).

Thanks for reading and I hope you have your MARCHING ORDERS. Salute!

 

Have You Seen My Zeal?

Glorious Beam of Light through Clouds
Beautiful beams of light bursting through the clouds in the sky like glorious rays of hope.

Confession: When you have been born and raised in the church, brace yourself, you get tired of church. Sometimes when you are a regular attendee of church you can get weary or just plain tired. Right there is where most people will begin a rant about God and be not weary in well doing. I said church. Not God. Not well-doing. There is a difference. As an adult child of a pastor, I still get tired or bored with the routine of church, the politics of church and I get weary of the outsiders and former insiders looking in from the outside judging the church not knowing how to separate the church from people and the Divine.

The first time this happened to me I didn’t know what it was. I could hardly put it into words but, my actions had no problem expressing how I felt. I stopped going to church. For six months I did nothing much except got a Word from a pastor on T.V., read or visited my home church from time to time. I didn’t know what I had lost. The church was excellent in Word and knowledge but, I could not get past the red tape of leadership and I could not use my gifts. In hindsight I could see that as being the problem mostly for me…not for them so much. The Word at that church changed me from a hearer to a person who could apply the wisdom of the Bible to my life. It gave me insight and understanding I can use for the rest of my life. I am a better person and woman because of it. I think it was just time for me to leave. I had gotten what I came for and I gave what was required.

After six months I found another church home. It has been about three or four years…my zeal has wavered again. It wasn’t until last week I found out it was called “zeal”. It came to me on a Sunday morning sitting in my den looking out the window. I asked over and over what is wrong with me? I can’t feel anything. The word ZEAL popped in my mind. You have lost your Zeal again. Well, who’s fault is that? And the same voice said “Ultimately, yours. You are responsible for your zeal.”. I will start the next blog next week on why you are responsible for your zeal. Note: There are many reasons we will explore about why you lose your zeal and what you can do to get it back and keep it! By the way, you can also lose a zeal for anything and I hope this series will help someone.

God, take care of my Lightweight

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It’s too early in the morning for the day to start off on the wrong foot. It’s a great day because you are alive and well. However, you may have woke up late. Maybe you can’t find your other shoe. Perhaps, you are out off cream for your coffee after you have made your coffee. You forgot your presentation. Everyone is cutting you off in traffic and driving like they are under the influence of being late. The worker was rude. The parking attendant had an attitude. You say hello and people keep walking as if you are invisible. You can’t find your keys.

I left my phone at home and I couldn’t get back into my gate. I waited for about 30 minutes and no one came to the gate. I knew I would be late for an appointment.Finally, a woman pulls up and when she opens the gate she speeds past me and almost hits my car. (She’s a neighbor I have let in the gate several times). It’s just one of those mornings but, it doesn’t have to be one of those days. I felt my temper rising, my mood changing and I silently said to my Higher Power: “God, handle my lightweight”.

I know we think we are here to serve God but, God is also here to help us in our weak moments. These little foxes that are trying to spoil your vine (your day) may be plentiful. You can’t address every small thing that appears to be big when they are happening back to back. Your lightweight issues can pile up and you need not go on a rampage. You need not respond as a raging lion to an ant of a problem. Just ask God or your Source to handle your lightweight. Angels will be dispersed.