Strengthen What Remains Notes: Get Innovative

And now you must be INNOVATIVE.

You must get creative. I looked in my refrigerator. I looked in my pantry. I said, hmm. I have some rice. I have some leftover mixed vegetables. I have some leftover baked chicken. I have some soy sauce. I can stir fry a meal.

Jesus said, I have two fish, and five loaves of bread. I can get creative and innovative. Work a miracle and feed 5,000!

Nehemiah looked around, saw some stones still whole from the fallen wall. He saw some stones, not whole but still big enough to build with. Then he got creative. He got innovative.

He got some HELP. Don’t forget YOUR HELP. Don’t forget some help. Some “help” are the people that remain. “YOUR HELP” is the LORD. All of my HELP comes from the LORD.

Wake up. Take Inventory. Get Innovative and Creative. Don’t forget your help.

Wake up. Take Inventory. Get Innovative and Creative. Don’t forget your help.

Wake up. Take Inventory. Get Innovative and Creative. Don’t forget your help.

~Nikki

Mental Health: What Helps Me

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

One of the major keys to dealing with anxiety and depression is to get ahold of it before it spirals out of control. But exactly how is that done? Also, having a plan for when it does spiral out of control is necessary to expedite your recovery to mental and emotional stability. Therapy, scriptures, and affirmations are three major tools that have helped me. Also, having someone you trust when you can’t talk to your therapist and having a SOURCE, which I call God/Creator/Divine/Source when you have no one to talk to is major. For me, Source is always available but, I know there are things I can do on my own to help myself. And this is encouraged by Source.

I think you should really get to know who you are and how things affect you. The only way to do that is to be totally honest with yourself. I am sensitive as I found most creative people are. It allows us to channel our emotions into what we are creating. I have a tendency to take things more personally, overthink, and overanalyze. I have learned how to back out of those things and become an observer for the most part. I also know that it takes me time to move past things. Over the years it has become easier to move past things. I think that comes with wisdom and not age.

Here are some of the things I do to help me to get ahold of anxiety and depression:

I acknowledge what I am feeling and then I ask myself why I am feeling it. What happened? Who said it? Consider the source from which it came from and are they credible? No one is more credible than God for me. If it’s coming from a person I don’t know, a person that is negative, a person that doesn’t like me, why would I feed into their opinion? Exactly. Unless, deep down inside I feel that way about myself and I am honest if I do! If they say, “You are ugly” and lately I have been ripping myself apart I’m going to feel bad. BUT YOU have the power to change what you feel by changing what you think and speak.

I use affirmations for anxiety and depression. If I feel afraid to sleep, I say to myself over and over, I am safe in my body. I am safe in my home.

I use scripture pertaining to whatever I am feeling or scriptures to contrary. If I feel weak, I say I am strong. If I feel afraid, I say God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love.

I pray.

I say, “Oh. I am feeling some anxiety today. I can fold my clothes. I can do some work as I work through this. I can do some exercise.”

If I have persistent thoughts or episodes, I make an appointment with my therapist (currently searching for a new one).

I talk to a friend I trust.

I cry. Crying is a release.

I pamper myself. I take hot showers. I oil and lotion up. I give myself a pedi/mani or go get one. I soak in a lavender Epsom salt and pink Himalayan salt mix. I schedule a massage session.

I go to my bathroom and read my yearly marching orders or my affirmations to reset my brain.

Now, what about when anxiety is CODE RED or depression is CODE BLUE!

My plan is to shut things down for a day or two this can include social media and putting phone calls on hold.

I call my therapist.

I rely on all the things above.

I immerse myself in Netflix, a blanket, and the couch.

I allow myself to sleep.

I lose myself in a hobby.

BUT the maximum I give myself is TWO DAYS and then I MUST come out of it. Anything longer than that can set me up for darker and deeper holes that are difficult and require help to come out of. I come out of it by pushing, forcing, and dragging myself to get back to a routine. A little at a time. And during this time, I make sure personal hygiene stays on top. If you don’t wash your face, brush your teeth, change clothes, shower, YOU WILL FEEL EVEN MORE LIKE CRAP. People tend to let themselves go in bouts of anxiety and deep dark times of depression.

During this time, I stay hydrated. I do allow myself some treats but I also make sure I eat as healthily as possible. Too much sugar or salt will make you feel worse. I add one of those packs of Vitamin C to my water. I sit on the porch. I go for a walk. I do 10 minutes of yoga if I don’t feel like doing 30. I do tai chi because it is slow movement. I may just stretch every two hours.

I hope this helps someone. Recently in Memphis, this week, we went through so many tragedies many of us are feeling things we can’t explain and some of us know exactly what we are feeling.

~Nikki

September’s Energy

Photo by ME

The number 9 is powerful. It represents completion. Not in a finite way but more like the fulfillment of a cycle so that you can prepare to begin the next one. It’s a recognition of life’s ongoing ebb and flow. This month wants you to wrap some things up so you can begin to prepare for what’s next.

9 wants to know what have you learned? It’s about living and learning but, I get the sense you can reflect on the previous months and ask yourself what have I learned this year so far? Where am I on my journey? You need to know so you can prepare to move forward and make the necessary adjustments. It’s almost harvest time. You have sowed seeds all year long whether you know it or not. So, towards the end of this month you will see some harvest.

As you continue to balance work and home life (2022 is a 6 energy), you may feel more compassionate, patient, generous, understanding, and creative and this certainly will help on all fronts. The 6 energy and 9 energies seem to work in harmony if you allow it to. Responsibility and deep healing are still flowing through this year. I think you can expect a deeper understanding of your healing and find a creative way to handle responsibilities.

~Nikki

The Heart Needs More Time

The heart needs time to heal. My heart needs more time. How can it heal when people that are close to you leave this earthly realm too close together? I got the news this morning that a very dear friend of mine had left this earthly realm. It had been several days of waiting.

I woke up at 5 am and I got up to start my day earlier than usual. I meditated. Then I started to work on a project and remembered I had not prayed. I started to pray around 5:45 maybe 6 something and I thought of my friend. I almost said, “Lord, let your will be done” but then I stopped at “Lord, let your…”. I couldn’t say it and I told God why. I told God that I was afraid to say it because God’s will may not be my will or her will. I told God that I don’t know what her will is. I don’t know if she is fighting to stay or fighting to leave. So, I just said to God, “Lord, you know.”

Later, at about 9:45 her cousin called to tell she had passed this morning. And all-day yesterday memories flooded my mind. It was a bit overwhelming. My day was saddened and bumpy. I laughed at many of the memories. Oh, the trouble and situations we got in!

I did work on some projects. I did exercise. I had leftovers, lemon pie, currently binge watching Chicago PD, surfing the web, and I will play a game on the computer later after I finish this post. I know I will need a sedative for the night. Then I thought about my brother that passed away. My god mother that passed away. Another classmate and husband of another dear friend passed away. I said aloud, “When does the heart have time to heal? When things like this are back-to-back and all of trouble in the world? My heart needs time to heal.”

~Nikki

A Spiritual Bath

I was feeling resentful. I was feeling resentful towards God because I have yet to be connected to my twin flame, soul mate, the one for me. It’s been years of waiting and years of false starts. I want you to know before you comment on how I should focus on this or that, that it is PERFECTTLY OKAY for me and anyone else to have these feelings. In fact, it’s normal to feel loneliness, too. We just don’t have to pitch a tent and LIVE in these feelings of resentment and loneliness. But we can feel them for hours, a day or two and after that it’s time to come out of it and turn our attention to something else. It’s time to reflect and go within and get back to living this blessed, amazing life.

In the meantime, while you are in those feelings, I suggest you explore those feelings. What makes me feel this way? What happened? Was it a conversation, a thought, something I overheard or something I was listening to or watching? Was it a wedding? Did someone get engaged?

I mean you feel what you feel and feel your way through it to the other side where peace and understanding awaits you. I was feeling really SALTY towards God. I had questions no doubt God has heard me ask before. I was overlooking my wrongs, my errors, but also pointing out my good. “I mean, what kind of timeline are we on here? I asked. Why do you answer me in all of these other areas except this one? How is it that I can manifest finances and opportunities but I fail to manifest the love of my life? Why are you holding back good? I thought you weren’t one to hold back good things? I hate the way I feel right now! I don’t feel sad. I do feel lonely but, I really feel resentful!”

Breathe.

I hear as I prepare for bed, “Take a spiritual bath. Take a salt bath in the morning before you eat.” After hearing that, I also got the idea I needed to continue my detox and to do some sort of fast for four weeks. My spiritual bath included spiritual information and affirmations via YouTube, 1 cup of lavender Epsom salt, 1 cup of pink Himalayan salt, and a half-squeezed lemon into the water. I lit my oil diffuser and poured lavender vanilla oil in it. I got this mix from Spirit and the intention set for this 20-minute soak was to wash away the remnants of past relationships and to release resentfulness towards the Creator.

Did it work? Well, a spiritual bath is for your spirit and of course it benefits the body. The body and spirit are connected. The body, mind, and spirit are connected. I feel better overall. I don’t feel resentful. I do feel a sense of deep cleansing spiritually and my body feels great because of the salts. I feel I can think clearly. I feel I can hear clearer. Perhaps, with this detox and fast I will get the answer to the biggest question of my life, “Why is this taking so long?”

~Nikki

Sleep Walking Through Life

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

Maybe you don’t realize you are sleepwalking through what could be the BEST and MOST fruitful time in your life???!!!!! It aint over! It aint over! Your work, your life, is incomplete! You are not finished being a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a friend, a spouse, you are not finished!!! You’ve got more life left in you! You’ve got more to give! Wake up!

You can’t stay mad too long. You can’t stay sad too long. You can’t stay nonchalant too long. You’ve got to grow. You’ve got to move on. I know it’s difficult. I know it’s scary. I know it’s not fair but, you must, we must wake up and see what’s going on. We must open our eyes and deal with the reality and tragedies that are going on. God is asking you to care about the church. God is asking you to care about yourself! God is asking you to care about other people!

Believe it or not, God really does care about you. God cares about your success, progress, your hopes and dreams. God cares about your disappointments, heart breaks, and let downs. God cares. And I am mighty glad that he cares, and he is working things out for you! But you’ve got to get back in the game of life! You can’t win sitting on the bench!

~Nikki, from my message last Sunday, Strengthening What Remains

My Reset Weekend

On my way to the Eiffel Tower in 2019

I’m back from my RESET Weekend and I’ve decided to extend it into this week. Overall, I feel great but I’ve really felt some discouragement due to the disappointment in the lack of participation in an organization I’m a part of. I’m having to channel my inner David and ENCOURAGE MYSELF.

I can do all things through Christ that strengthen me.
All of my help comes from above.

Wait (hold on a minute, rest up, do nothing, be patient) for the Lord to renew your strength (by sending you a Word, giving you deep rest, sending solutions & confirmations).

The JOY (what I know) of the Lord is my strength.

I did some deep cleaning in my kitchen/sitting area and my pantry/laundry room on Saturday. I also took a bath in lavender Epsom salt and Pink Himalayan Salt (1 cup each). It draws out the toxins and helps you to relax and unwind.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Thoughts on The Mean Christians of The Collective Church

Most of us saw the clip of a well-known controversial gospel singer saying some unkind things in a bazaar rambling floating around on social media. The court of public opinion was held and boy, were there ever so many opinions and spin off topics. I just want to say in my opinion, she was wrong. It wasn’t a good look for her and just like many organizations those that are associated with an organization get lumped into one person’s pot of mess.

Here’s something I think we need to remember; we are all responsible for our OWN journey in this life whatever your beliefs are. She is not a reflection of ALL Christians no more than if a non-Christian man sleeps around. That man is not a reflection of ALL men. I know we have been conditioned to think the opposite. You can’t even say the majority of a certain group is this, that, or the other unless you have statistics and even that can be up for debate. Just like you and me, ultimately, she is responsible for her own behavior and relationship with the Creator. The way we form opinions of certain groups based on religion, race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and even age is often based on STEREOTYPICAL thinking and misinformation.

Now, there are people saying that she, people like her, is the reason why they don’t go to church. Facts: there are mean Christians in church. They are usually pretty mean on the job and in families. There are mean Christians in church that hold positions and continue to be mean and continue to hold these positions. Who’s responsible for that? Leadership and that particular organization. I have found the person is usually related to someone higher up, a friend, a longtime member, an elder, they were promised that position, and they give big bucks or their family has been at that church a looooooooooong time. All pretty lame excuses for continuous abuse of power and authority.

Mean people exist that are not Christians at all. Why do you think Christians are held to a higher standard or the Church is held to a higher standard than the world? Why would they not be? James 3:1-2 states

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

You may be thinking, because you have been taught James is talking about teachers and preachers. Leaders. But in deeper reflection, a Christian is a teacher to the world. The Church as a collective is a leader and teacher in this world. We receive stricter judgement. AND WE ALL STUMBLE IN WORD. And when he says perfect, he means MATURE. Stricter judgement comes with the territory.

In honesty, throughout history the church has been pretty “judgy” about the world and non-Christians. We’ve been heavy on YOU’RE GOING TO BURN IN HELL and light on HOW CAN I HELP YOU personally. I know the church has been a pillar in communities and historically black churches have been a place of refuge for the black community. I know the church feeds, clothes, and houses those in need. As they should if they are financially able to and if not provide resources that can help. I think when you sow seeds of “we are better than you” or “something is wrong with you”, we get some harvest in return. We shouldn’t expect grace and mercy from others and yet we cannot only give it to those in position and authority either. Maybe our slogan should be, “Welcome to church where we are all imperfect people serving a perfect God. Here we learn and grow together so that we may better serve our communities and humanity.”

Now, why can’t people get over CHURCH HURT or find another church? I find it unsettling that we can be so dismissive of people’s feelings. Let your significant other, child, parent, or friend be dismissive of yours and all hell breaks loose. I am really glad Jesus wasn’t. Probably, because he didn’t lump all experiences into one. You don’t know what hurt they experienced, first of all to tell them to GET OVER IT. Secondly, what’s nothing to you may be something to them. Thirdly, you probably don’t have the wisdom to look deeper into the pain and examine where it may be coming from. It could be coming their past. Or how about you examine where they are in their walk in Christ. What level are they on? Fourth, he or she who lacks wisdom, let him ask. Fifth, he or she that leads a congregation or may be responsible for counseling souls need to take some courses in counseling or read numerous books on counseling. Sixth, he or she that leads needs to know when their counseling skills are limited and the person needs professional help.

I think habitually mean Christians need deliverance and counseling. I think habitually mean people in general need the same thing. We are possibly all mean at some point and time throughout our lives. But, to do and say mean or nasty things, to exhibit that behavior without care and regularly, let’s me know there within lies a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.

~Nikki

PS These are MY thoughts, opinions, and observations. I present them as so and not hard facts.

I Was Going to…

Sculpture from Musee du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac in Paris, France. Photo by Nicole Jackson

I was going to write this whole blog post about gospel artist Kim Burrell, the Kim Burrells of the Church (The Mean Girls or the people allowed to do and say whatever and remain in power and position), and the spin off topics that were made. Questions such as should the church be held to a higher standard? And why can’t people with church hurt find another church and/or just get over it?

I am still going to write my opinions, my thoughts, and my observations. But I had to stop, breathe and make sure I wasn’t writing from a place of bitterness. I needed to condense my thoughts and not rant. I needed to organize my thoughts and make them cohesive.

You see, sometimes we fly off the handle. It’s pure emotion and our thoughts are all over the place. WE that are responsible with our words must be more responsible with our words. It wasn’t me that halted my hitting the publish button, it was God. It was Spirit saying, “Don’t do it. Don’t put that out there like that. Don’t do it. Hold off. Hold back. Don’t do it.” So, I trashed it until I could come up with a better way to express my thoughts clearly. That will be Sunday’s post.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. I have unplugged from some social media spaces for the weekend. WordPress is not one of them. I plan to reset and get ready for the rest of the things I am to do by the end of summer.

~Nikki

Affirmations for Courage to Heal Trauma

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

I am couragious

I call forth my strength

I am ready

I move forward in faith

I trust my Higher Power

I trust myself

I believe in my ability to heal

I make choices that represent my healing

I breathe

I speak positive things about myself to myself

I feed my mind healthy information

I cry when I feel the need to because crying helps me to release toxins in my body from negativity

Crying has nothing to with strength

I am okay

I take time to take care of myself during this process of healing

I seek professional help if necessary

I seek books that help my healing

I listen to those who can help my healing

I am patient with myself on this journey

I show compassion towards myself on this journey

I forgive myself

I am forgiven

I am deeply loved by the Creator

God cares about me and is here to help me heal

~Nikki