Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Discernment & Distraction

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Discernment is the ability to judge a situation well or to judge a situation well for the obtaining of spiritual knowledge or guidance.

I had to make some changes that would affect my ability to pay my bills. I mean it would make paying them more of a challenge. The weeks before the day of the change there were quite a few distractions that made me want to change my mind. And on the day of change, there was a REALLY BIG DISTRACTION.

I felt many things like anxiety, confusion, and jealousy. I second guessed myself a few times. I second guess my “hearing” God (What you may call, self, the Universe, Creator, Divine, etc.). However, I came to recognize this as a test of my faith in myself and of faith in the God I serve. YOU MUST THINK and OBSERVE what is going on when you make decisions to change. Why does negativity seem to surround a change that is good for you? Why does fear arise? Doubt? Where is this coming from? You must not only ask the questions, you must answer the questions HONESTLY. And if you pray and meditate, you must do that, too! You need clarity.

  • In my religion it says God is not the author of confusion. For me, the confusion was coming from within and without.
  • Also, God spoke to my spirit, however you want to explain that, “I would never use negativity to keep you in a situation that is not good for you. I would have been sending obvious signs of positive change and improvement.”
  • I know God to be my provider and protector. There is scripture in my religion that says; “Put your trust in God, not man.” In other words, trust God that cannot fail because sometimes, many times, people and jobs will fail us. We will fail ourselves at times. No matter what is happening, God will provide, protect, and preserve. This is what calms my fear. THINK: There is not only scripture that shows God’s provision, but I have so many examples and proof in my own life of God’s provision, preservation, and protection. Also, of God’s increase and blessings. THINK. REFLECT.
  • Each time I prayed, something negative would happen as a sign of why I had to make the BIG change. I was restless. I was without peace.
  • What about OBEDIENCE? I had to obey what I heard and what I felt. You know what you hear and what you feel. You know that “something”, that gut feeling or wherever your intuition hits you. You must obey it because if you don’t there are consequences and if you do obey it, there are rewards. Those rewards can be blessings, a peace of mind, a promotion, etc.
  • Prayer and meditation, talking with Godly counsel, and even you-tubing some of my favorite spiritual leaders and teachers is what helped me stay clear. And trust me, I am not just a Christian that listens to preachers only. I seek wisdom. Wisdom doesn’t have a religion.

I am here this morning. I slept good. I am taking it day my day. The energy in my home is peaceful. A person may be responsible for the energy they bring in your space, but you are responsible for letting the energy remain.

~Nikki

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Train Wreck Ahead

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It’s okay to back that train up and switch tracks, too. It’s no shame in making a mistake no matter how big or small. The shame is staying on a path with all of the signs of a danger ahead JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO ADMIT YOU WERE WRONG or because you are WORRIED ABOUT WHAT OTHERS WILL THINK. Drop that load and keep going or change directions. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better moving at the proper speed and on the right track.

~Nikki

Day 5: RA/RD Blog: Buddy

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Buddy – Who’s your RD buddy?

I don’t have a pet or object, blanket, etc. that helps me, perse. What I do have is a Rheumatoid Disease group that I am a part of. This group is very interactive and supportive. There are people in it from all over the globe. For it to be so large, it seems tightly knit. It has it shares of woes, but those fires are usually extinguished by the administrators of the group. GREAT ADMINS is what keeps a group GOOD.

I found this group upon the return of RD, when it came out of remission. The Arthritis Foundation and Creaky Joints kept me informed. But, it was the community of Patients Like Me and RD Online group that is more like a buddy. I also go there not only when I am at my lows, but also at my highs and to uplift, support, others. It’s a give and take, an ebb and flow of the group that keeps me going.

~Nikki

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Getting Uncomfortable with God?

Late yesterday evening, I was in a very uncomfortable mood. I thought to myself, “Why am I so uncomfortable?” As soon as I posed the question the answer came as “That’s me.” I understood this immediately to be God. I understood it as God was making me uncomfortable ALL THE MORE about my situation. I’m asking for signs and wonders and I had a feeling I wasn’t going to get many more signs, but the answer is in my FEELINGS. In my GUT.

Is this about growth? Not so much. It is more about unblocking my path. It’s about unblocking my crown chakra, heart chakra, and root chakra (I know I lost some of you with that lol). It’s not about the what, it’s about the who. It’s about not having someone slow me down. It’s about not having my energy (chakras) drained. Why? I am being urged to deepen my spirituality and also, I am on the path to manifest destiny. I know what I need to create and it’s not turmoil. It’s not annoyances. It’s not immaturity, foolishness, and irresponsibility. Oh, how important it is to be connected to the RIGHT people and in the RIGHT relationship!

I am uncomfortable and it’s not just me, it’s God. What do I do? I pray. I take action.

~Nikki

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The Separation of Self, Church, and Relationships

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I don’t know what I would I do if I were  married to a person that was not motivated or disciplined enough to achieve their dreams and goals. What if you wanted a better life and they were okay with just getting by? I would be so miserable in either situation. I have known marriages to break up over one not wanting to advance, while the other one did and I have seen another break up because one was content just getting by. I’ve seen hardworking men and lazy women, hardworking women and lazy men. I’ve also seen Churches command people to say in these marriages and I’ve seen people encourage others to stay in misery. I mean yes, try, try as many times as you can, get counseling, etc. but at what point do you walk away? I guess only YOU can be brave enough to make that decision and that is the way it should be. You should be able to make it without judgement and without guilt. You should have the support of friends, family, and your God. After all, God is like a Father and I wouldn’t think any loving, caring, father would want you to be miserable in any relationship. And just remember, back then and even now in some countries, women had no say in who they would marry. I don’t think that was of God either! I think it was more cultural than anything.

Well, what about those of us that are dating, in a relationship, living with a significant other? If you see they are not motivated or disciplined enough to pursue their dreams and goals how does that make you feel? Are you slowing down to be their 24/7 cheerleader? Are you doing things for them they could do for themselves? Filling out applications and calling to see if someone is hiring? Googling and researching how to start a repair shop? These are things they can DO FOR THEMSELVES. We can get so involved in helping others we neglect our own dreams, goals, and visions.

Listen, I am about to say something to those of you that are NOT  married. You need to continue to go after your dreams with all of your might and heart while you are not married. Especially, if you have a partner that seems to be lethargic. I mean if your fire doesn’t light their fire, if your encouragement is not enough, if your support and help is not enough, it never will be. I’d rather see manifestation before I say I do, than to see it after and the person lives off of my success. I don’t think there is enough love in the world for me to marry someone that wants to struggle, makes crazy decisions about finances, or that is unstable in employment. I guess in the past, I may have been so blind and so in love, I would have. BUT now that I am more mature and have a better understand of myself, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. If it’s a strain NOW it will be a BURDEN later. The same stands for me spiritually. If I am in a spiritual place they are not in, if our souls are not aligned, I must say good-bye. I don’t have the time for them to play catch up at my age (44). I mean to be 3 miles behind is different than being 30 miles behind. Our ideals, hearts, minds, souls, have to line up somewhat, close I would think. Not perfectly, but certainly not miles and miles and ideals apart which leads to and unequally yoked environment. Personalities and temperaments matter! Comprehension levels and upbringing matters. Maturity levels matter! No relationship or marriage is easy or perfect and I get that. But, should I be sad, mad, 5 days out of 7? Should we be pretending to be okay at church, in front of friends,  and on social media?

I don’t know what the other person is going to do if they are not trying to build a stable life, live out there dreams, or grow. I just know that I have chosen to go forth, full steam ahead, making stops and slowing down to help those that are trying to help themselves as far as dreams and goals are concerned. I don’t want to be bound by Church to stay and I don’t want to be bound by a relationship. I have a right to peace and happiness. Contrary to popular belief, God does care about my peace of mind, my happiness, and what I am called to do. I don’t know if I will ever marry, I hope so. I want to. But, I would have to be 100% certain. In the meantime, I will continue to wait on Divine Intervention. 🙂

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: A Castle of Peace

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It’s been my ritual to get up in the mornings before everyone (my daughter or when we are on vacation, friends and family) and to have my time to myself. I enjoy quiet mornings or time to myself when I may do what I am doing now. Blogging and watching CBS Sunday Morning before I go to church.

My mind is on a home of peace. I am quiet by nature. Although, I can get loud and talkative. I like having a good time and I understand that we all have ideas about a good time. I also know myself. I can be easily annoyed and I don’t really like loud noise. I understand as a parent and an aunt, children are loud. There is no question about that. However, even children should learn to tone it down and realize how their noise interferes with others’ peace or ability to hear, sleep, study, exist (lol), etc.

When dating or living with your mate (yeah I said that and yes I am Christian and what others do is really not my business), you want to be sure  you can tolerate your mate’s annoyances. You need to know if you can deal with their personality, their quirks and their habits. Do you know why? Because these are the things that disturb your peace and cause you to be annoyed.

We often take annoyances lightly as if they can’t affect the relationship. But, it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. These little things often come up in conversation and arguments. A messy mate, a mate that doesn’t help with household chores, a mate that is loud and obnoxious at the wrong time, a mate that only thinks about herself, a mate that nit picks and on and on. Some of these things are not small things like are you and your mate on the same level spiritually? What about drama? What about a mate that is childish? After you take off the rose colored glasses, what do you really see?

We don’t hear much these days the saying “A man’s home is his castle.” There are women with castles, estates, mansions, homes, condos, and town homes and apartments. You don’t rule alone if you have a mate or children. I am use to a house of peace. I have lived with and raised a daughter. Do I conform to a house of noise? What if it’s not in my nature? What if I am noise sensitive? I am. I also suffer with anxiety and depression. I think this has an impact on things as well. Your mental state is affected by a lack of peace in your life, home, job, relationships, which all of these things make up life! My mate learns to pipe down and I learn to tolerate a reasonable amount of noise or we can’t coexist. And if we can’t coexist, we can’t be together. There would be conflict daily. Sometimes, it’s a reality that needs to be faced, but some people hold on because they are afraid to be by themselves. I use to be like that. However, these days I like a castle with peace and occasional parties and noise is okay with me.

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Time Well Spent

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My mom is the primary caregiver for my father. He has Parkinson’s Disease which is a result of being in contact with Agent Orange when he was in Vietnam. He also has other illnesses and diseases that have developed after Parkinson’s. Imagine you retire and you develop a disease that DRASTICALLY changes your outward appearance and your mental and emotional well being.

My dad has always been this strong guy with muscles. I remember him lifting weights and hanging from his biceps. I remember the big round weights that go on the weight bench. I remember the children in the neighborhood racing against him and they would lose. So, if it’s hard for me to see all of that, his mobility, his muscles, his strength disappear, it must be incredibly hard for him to deal with. He’s stubborn, but I think by now he realizes he needs help or assistance. Yet, he fights to keep most of his independence because he doesn’t like anyone doing anything for them. Especially, if they make it known they really mind doing it for him or that it’s a problem. I get that and the stubbornness from him. My dad has always had a sharp mind. He still has it. He is like a walking history buff and Bible. He is still pastoring and this is his last year as his health has really declined. Last week when he was in the hospital for rehab, we talked about poetry and just when I thought I knew it all about poetry he throws out poets I never heard of. He recites some lines. This is my dad.

This week my mom was out of town on church business and I was “hired” to take care of my dad. Even though my mom is the primary caregiver, all six of us children are there to do our jobs. We all chip in. Some more than others because some work full time and others have illnesses of their own (like me). We seem to take on our roles and fill in when needed of roles of the others. It just worked out that way. I took care of Dad this week and I got to see him in a different way. I got to see the struggles in a different way. I heard the yelling as he napped. It was something about war. I got to see the depression that he sometimes denies. I got to experience the moodiness and irritability that we rarely see. But, I also got to see the determination to wash his own clothes, put his dishes away, wash up, and put his clothes without my assistance a few days. I saw the sweat pouring down his face and the tiredness that followed those simple tasks.

My favorite part of the experience was getting him out of the house to sit on the porch as he likes to do and we listened to a famous sermon on YouTube by Reverend C.L. Franklin (Aretha Franklin’s father). He was unsure he could get out of the house or go anywhere with his new fancy walker (which he calls the Cadillac). I had to encourage him and he made it to the barber shop with his new walker.

Even though it was really hard work taking care of him all week from 7 am to 7 pm it was time well spent. The pain and exhaustion that I felt daily, the pain meds I had to take, the willing myself to get up, the swelling and the joint inflammation, the mental battle,  reminded me of why I had such a hard time working my last full time job.  By the time you recover, it’s time to work again and creates an endless cycle that worsens your health. However, all that I experience this week was worth the quality time spent with my dad. Care giving is a job. It’s a job for the one doing it all the time and the ones who do their parts regularly and the ones that have to fit it in. However, it’s rewarding knowing that you helping someone you love and it has it’s moments that will someday become memories.

~Nikki