Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Happy In A Time of Trouble?

A few Sundays ago, my dad stood up to preach. He said, “What a time to be alive! It’s a good time to be alive in a time of trouble!” I immediately thought “What????” He went on to preach his message and I pondered this exclamation for the past two weeks. I called him yesterday to make sure I was on the right track as to what I thought he meant by this “being alive in a time of trouble” as a good thing.

He said “It was terrible to Esther to be alive with all that was going on. All the things that were happening to her people. It was until she understood that she indeed was appointed, anointed, for “such a time as this.” In Isaiah 61 it speaks of Jesus, being anointed with an oil of gladness, which is the Holy Spirit. We are anointed to with an oil of gladness for these troubled times. Even in my sickness, I have Parkinson’s, but it’s a good time to be alive. We are equipped to deal with the times, the trouble we are in.”

I was “near” the right track, but after speaking to him, I was on the right track. I get it. I have mild to severe Rheumatoid and Fibro, but it is still a good time to be alive. With all that is going on in the world, I am well equipped for this “such a time as this” moment (or moments as we seem to be having plenty of birth pains in the world) in history. I have the oil of gladness to endure my mission, my part, my role. And you too, are equipped with your faith, to endure, to play a role of your calling or choice, for these times of pandemics and civil unrest. In fact, I think I feel some joy about all of the changes, all of the exposure of broken health care systems, judicial systems, political uprooting, change in minds and hearts. In all of our getting ahead, getting promotions, getting things, getting of monopolies, most people and businesses are trying to get an understanding. “In all your getting, get an understanding.”

As I read Isaiah 61 I quickly realized the parallels of then and now. Amazing…

Oh and Psalms 45:7 You love righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.

~Nikki

Mother’s Day: Fish & Bones

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There is this saying: You have to learn to eat the fish and spit out the bones. It’s a secret to some and obvious to my bloggers, that my relationship with my mother can be described as turbulent. I am not ashamed of this. Many mother and daughter relationships are at it’s best, “complicated” and I speak on behalf of some of those women. Here is the post I posted on Mother’s Day about my mom and photos from my day as a mother.

My mom and I are like oil and water sometimes. Some say it’s because we are alike and some say it’s because we are different. At the end of the day we love each other. I get my strong value for family from my mom. I get my strong work ethic from my mom. I get my cooking skills, my creativity, my fashion sense & need to have a lovely home from my mom. The idea of the finer things in life yet making the most of your lot in life. I am a giver and will try to help everybody and will feed everybody. I get that from My mom. My mom has her own big personality and it gives us many laughs. My mom is the best because she’s going to put family first and she’s going to protect it. She’s going to come through and this is why we come through for her. I love it when I make her laugh and she says “Nicole, You’re so crazy.” That’s us. That’s family. That’s love.

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Physical Limitations, Anxiety, & Will They Understand?

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“Nicole, you need to get out. You need to get with people that like to do the things you like to do. You need to go places you like to go and maybe you will meet people that like to do the things you do.” -Therapist

“Sounds like a plan. I am on it.”- Me

And as I began to search for a group, so began the anxiety. “Nicole, you never come around. Nicole, you hardly ever show up. Nicole, why can’t you go here, there, and everywhere. Nicole, I am tired, too. Nicole, I have done 20 things this week and you have only done 5 and you are exhausted? Why don’t you try ginseng, turmeric, more exercise, go gluten free, try the Keto diet, the Mediterranean diet.” Oh-My-Gosh would you please leave me alone is what I think, but I just nod my head. After all, you are just trying to help I suppose.

I joined a few groups and I started a group in spite of these concerns. I don’t know how it’s going to pan out. I don’t know if they will be like most people and “just don’t get it” or if finally, someone will get it. Either way, I will still be who I am with what I have and on a continuous path to growth. Hopefully, I can make some new friends along the way that enjoy the things I enjoy, too.

~Nikki

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Hello 2019

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My first week of 2019 was peaceful as in a peace of mind. I spent New Year’s Eve at home and my daughter went to a sleep over. I was kind of solemn on New Year’s Eve, but things seem to dissipate some late in the night after fireworks and people shooting their firearms into the air with no care of where it may land. I was able to sleep in a little late and woke up refreshed. Even though, I am facing one huge obstacle (depending on who’s eyes you are looking through, mines or the Creator) this year, I feel that it will be resolved. I am just not certain if the process will be smooth and I think this is where the anxiety lies.

Last night I wrote in my new journal an honest assessment of my anxiety towards the obstacle I face. It’s not that I don’t have faith that God will work it out or has already worked it out. But, it is the processes I have been through in the past to get to the other side of working it out, have usually been rough and turbulent. I have done so much BELIEVING and FAITHING and CRYING my entire life, especially, these last 9 years it’s like I want to brace myself for the worst. In many ways, life has been traumatizing for me. I pray that is not the case. I pray that the “how” it is worked out doesn’t involve turmoil for me. You know, some of us seem to go through more than others I have found it doesn’t ALWAYS have to do with “sin” or “karma” or poor choices. I am not sure it’s because of some “test” because I feel after so long there is no need for a test on addition or subtraction at a certain age. Which leads me to ponder fate and destiny. And the realization that some thing really “just is/are.” You didn’t do anything to deserve it. I think the task is to learn to live without becoming bitter and always looking at the big picture. And in case you can’t see the point or the picture to be at peace with what is.

1Now as Jesus was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth, 2and His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God would be displayed in him.… -John 9:1-3.

~Nikki

 

2018 and The It Is Well Within Me Tour

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My 2018 will not end until March 2019 spiritually speaking. My birthday is my New Year and every year there is something I work on until the next year. This year was about not just things being well within me, like my mental health, physical health or what was going on in my life, etc. But, it was about ME being okay, with who I am, what I want, what I think, how I feel and so on. We can say it was about Nikki becoming not just more, but completely comfortable with her own ideas, her own voice, saying no and not feeling bad about it, pulling back from family drama, false friendships, speaking my truth even it hurt some feelings, and understanding the issues I have, the trauma I have endured will not go away over night. I have to learn to BE WELL with the healing process and to BE WELL WITHIN about it. I can’t hurry up and get it over with, but I can do my part to move it along. I feel like what I don’t want is being filtered out and by the time March rolls around I will be pretty much done with this lesson.

Today I woke up to a low mood. It was last Sunday when I had a really bad bout of depression. Today when I opened my eyes I knew something was wrong and it was hard to get up, start my day. It did not take long to realize I was in another slump, but no where near as bad as last Sunday. Of course I googled the exact feeling that came to my mind: low mood in the morning. And what do you know, morning depression. I found some information from a few credible sites, and then I thought about what was I thinking about last night, all day, all week even. This is something I learned from the psychologist. It may appear as if I wasn’t thinking about anything. And that may be true some times. So, I had to be honest with myself. And I was. And after that, I had to not judge myself harshly the was I have been taught to judge myself, but instead, show myself some compassion. And I did. And I am. Not to mention, I didn’t sleep well last night either. And I haven’t been sleeping well. Some of it is my fault. Some of it is painsomnia.

I will be home tonight for the New Year’s Eve. I don’t want to party with Cardi or anyone lol! I don’t want to go to church either. It’s not my first time being home or being alone as my daughter will be at a sleepover. I am not sad or anything like that. I just want to brighten up a bit, maybe plan out a few things, and get some rest. Hopefully, it will be raining cats and dogs so the ignorant in the city will not shoot guns.

Happy New Year!

~Nikki

Smokey Row Coffee Co. Oskaloosa

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We pull into Oskaloosa, Iowa late night on a drive from Memphis, TN and suddenly I perk up as we cruise down Market Street. What’s that? A coffee house? I will be back in the morning!

We were only in Iowa overnight as I rode with my brother to pick up my nephew from William Penn. We stayed at my second family’s house which is a home away from home. I went to “my” room and once I was underneath “my quilt” I was fast asleep. After getting ready the next morning I headed to this coffee house. It is huge with plenty of room, coffee, and uniqueness. I was overwhelmed and I am sure everyone knew I was a tourist as I snapped pictures of everything. The service was fast and as friendly as one could be on a Saturday morning. The hustle hand yet to bustle but, all of that changed as it neared 9:30 a.m.

Caramel flavored coffee was my choice and what a delicious blend! The caramel was subtle and not overpowering. I like to be able to taste my coffee and flavor at the same time. Each table in the shop is different, nostalgic and coffee related. I thought that was so cute!

And the menu…Breakfast all day, Lunch, Dessert, Kids Menu, Dinner…you name it! It was better than a Starbucks (No shade! I still love you Starbucks). It wasn’t carbon copy and I love the sunlight coming through the huge windows and so many places to go within. A parlor-ish feel for a coffee place is really different. I like different. A book vault? Upstairs? A stage for lets say…a live local band? Yes. All of that and more.

Fancy that. I purchased a mint green mug and a sconce. I eyed a big hunk of tiramisu but, decided next time and by next time I mean fall. I hope to be able to linger a bit longer with laptop in tow and just enough space for lunch and a milkshake. I am sure I can walk those calories off in the square.

~Nikki

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Ms. Goody Two Shoes Garnished with a Bit of Rebel

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First and foremost, I had to find a cute pair of shoes for this blog post. Now, onto the message. In elementary, it was the teacher’s pet. Hey, I couldn’t help that I was quiet and could be trusted with a hall pass. In middle school, high school, on the job and sometimes in personal friendships and relationships, I’ve often been tagged as the “Ms. Goody Two Shoes.” I was never comfortable with the label, or insult. I was conflicted. I mean, were we not all suppose to do the right thing? “Hey, stop calling me that! I’m no saint!” Especially, with this temper. Albeit, well controlled…most times.

I wasn’t ready to prove I was no saint. I just knew I didn’t always do the right the thing. But, I also didn’t go out of my way to do the wrong thing and when I took walks on the wild side I was careful not to get caught most times. I don’t know if it was the way I raised or the way I am or both. What makes some “goody two shoes” may be the way they are raised, they may be born with a moral compass, or the rebel in them is the goody two shoes! Could be all three. It takes courage to go against the crowd and the grain, peer pressure, societal pressure, religious rules. Do what I say…why? We are going right…I’m going left. We are wearing this…I am wearing that. Everyone is doing it…great…I don’t want to do it. Believe this…Let me investigate. Think like us…no, I want to use my own brain. Worship like us…I want to worship like me. Follow the rules…I will unless I deem the rules are unfair and constricting my freedom. Everything should match…I don’t like matchy matchy. Honestly, I enjoy breaking fashion rules and decorating rules. I have to admit, being outcasted was not a good feeling, I never really was willing to give up the label to prove I wasn’t. And by this time I was already being called other names for having red hair…so…you know…it was just one more thing to deal with.

Plus, when I did do things, people could hardly believe it and punishment was less. Teachers were like, “Not my Nicole. It’s okay. Probably, those bad kids influencing her.” And when I was late for class in high school, I was let it in and never had to go to the office. One time I got a lick from the assistant principal and the principal called my parents to apologize! Honestly, my locker really was jammed and that is why I was standing in the hallway late for class. Oh and that time we were told we had to clean the cafeteria for being late for school, my reputation with the assistant principal and our good grades saved us from humiliation. Who did it? Just ask me, I was telling it…most of the time, but I could give a good explanation to save us all. Oh…the life…lol.

I happen to think “goody two shoes” are just rebels with causes. They have their own personal reasons for doing what is right or following the rules. I happen to like quiet storms. I am all for a peaceful protest, but I understand if the peaceful are antagonized by the unpeaceful and need to defend themselves. After you turn all four cheeks..that’s about a goody two shoes with a rebel spirit’s limit.

~Nikki

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Sunday Morning Coffee Musings:The Power of Introspection

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It was when my daughter was born I began the journey to look deeper within myself to find out why I was the way I was at that time. The journey has progressed over the years to why I am the way I am now, how I want to be in the future, to forgiveness of self and others, to ever evolving. And so much more.

I can tell you the first step to introspection is brutal honesty, but gentle forgiveness and a course of actions to remedy the issue if there need be one. I’ve gotten my instructions from logic, books, observations of others and ultimately God who sent all the aforementioned things via the vehicle of wisdom. Brutal honesty with yourself is a practice that is  necessary if you want to get to the heart of the matter and I am not just talking about honesty about yourself, but honesty about others and the situations that have occurred in your life.

I started by addressing the things people said about me often that I refuted vehemently.

“You are wishy washy, very indecisive”

“You never smile. You’re always frowning. I thought you were mean.”

“You’re too clingy.”

“You are so sensitive.”

These are just a few. It took years to get through the layers of those those four things alone. It was the saying; “If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, looks like a duck it must be a duck” and “If everyone is saying the same thing to you over and over it must be true.” All four of those things I shared were true and are still true at times. I worked on being more decisive. I had to get to the underlying cause of that. It was work and it was years and I realized it was rooted in childhood and my nature. I smile so much now and I love it. I also know why all of those years I didn’t smile much. I didn’t know I had a reason to smile. I was bullied as a child and my frown was my defense! It kept many people out as I grew older. What was a fence for protection became a wall for isolation in many ways.

Being too clingy..ahhh yes, that really hurt. That was really hard work. Too many bad relationship made me want to hold on to anyone that crossed my path. It hurt to lose. It hurt to let go. I didn’t like pain. Who does? I had to learn several lessons from that:

If you hold on too tight you squeeze the life out of relationship. If you hold on to who’s hurting you, you hurt you! Trust is necessary and if it’s broken, then you have the option to leave or mend. It’s true, a person will do what they want to do because you can’t be around them 24/7 to ensure they won’t and why would you want to be? Who wants a relationship like that? Trust is essential to a successful relationship. (So much work in that area including becoming self confident and building self esteem).

You are too/so sensitive. I am. I tried for years to change that, but I realized being sensitive is how God created me. I govern my sensitivity by asking myself can I let that go? Am I taking that too personal? But I don’t question every single thing I feel. I feel deeply. I am who I am. Some people are just too rude and too mean and they want you not to be offended by it. Life.

Introspection is a lifelong  journey. The one thing I love about this journey is rarely do I have time to judge others, but I do have time to decide if I want them in my company. I find you are more understanding of others actions/ways. You recognize yourself in others or things you know they need to work out. You can deal with them or not. You can only heal yourself and aide in the healing of others. I am more whole and a healed person than I was at 25. I thank my God for that.

~Nikki

A “Country Glamour”Christmas

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The finished product of Country Glamours

I think it’s safe to to say I like the Holidays. Every year I come up with some theme and this year it was “Country Glamour.” It’s a mixture of country living (think barns, lumberjack, farm, deers, owls, etc) meets bling, pearls, sparkle, and diamonds.Basically, the governor’s daughter marries a cowboy! Barn fires and hoedowns for everyone! Spike the apple cider someone.

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~Nikki