Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Discernment & Distraction

e5c1f070a13c72aa99bd5ce987fdbe7b

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

Advertisements

Train Wreck Ahead

64357677_10158566045983266_4059237895699955712_n

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

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: A Castle of Peace

69d34cdbd9555b7f1fb1db8abe8649bd

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

69867494_10158830262088266_1455388881301012480_n

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

Disabled. Doesn’t Work. Still One Phenomenal Woman.

IMG_0846

She said, “You chose a person that is disabled and doesn’t work over me.” As if being disabled and UNABLE to work made me the lesser choice. It didn’t help that he didn’t come to my defense with tenacity, anger, and “pissoffity” (extreme pissed off-ness). But you know what did help? Knowing who I am regardless of my disabilities and the inability to work.

“Life ain’t been no crystal stair”  is something Langston Hughes mother would say to him. I truly understand this poem at the age of 44. I look back over my life and it’s been filled with tacks, splinters, torn up boards, and no carpet. I’ve been reaching landins’, turning corners, and going in places where there is no light. In other words it’s been filled with one challenge after another, heartaches and heartbreaks. It’s been one bad break after the other. It’s been filled with PAIN and TEARS. I’ve been sad and lonely. I have been alone in a room full of people and lonely in a relationship. I’ve had bad things happen to me, #metoo and saw a dream die after a hysterectomy. I’ve been made a fool of and made horrible mistakes. I am sure anxiety and depression was here before I had a diagnoses and to mention some childhood drama and trauma. Teased, talked about, and bruised. Diagnosed at 8 with JRA and it made it’s return in 2010 as Rheumatoid Disease and brought Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and unexplained shortness of breath. Nope. Life ain’t been no crystal stair. And nope, that ain’t all folks.

However, I have raised a beautiful, bright, and intelligent daughter that is now in college. I have written three books. I returned to painting abstract art as a “black woman” and that may seem strange to some of the people in my circle. I have learned how to crochet. I have accepted my role as a spiritual teacher. I have found my authentic self. I keep rising from the ashes. Sometimes I am still standing and sometimes I get the wind knocked out of me, but I am still alive. I still believe in true, real, authentic love even if I never get to have it on this earth because I believe I have had it in another lifetime. I have learn to live fearless even when I am feeling fearful. I have went without so that my daughter could have. I love to give to other people. I love to fight for the underdog. I have traveled with friends and family and there are sunrises and sunsets engraved in my mind forever. It doesn’t really matter what someone says, even if it hurts. Even if it rubs salt in the wounds of dealing with being a different woman than what I use to be. I still know who made me. I still know I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am not less. I am MORE. In fact I am a better woman because of all that I have survived and I look forward to spending the rest of my life thriving (with or without a man but hopefully with the one that matches my level of love and maturity).

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

~Maya Angelou

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: I Don’t Want A Seat At That Table

771eb42442ccc1d9bc05cd41da99560c

I had the displeasure of meeting a person last night and the hostility in the air was so foul we chose to leave rather than to stay and be TOLERATED. I was glad the choice was made because you could choke off the energy in the air. I am really proud of myself and how I am handling the aftermath of the situation. I was prepared because I realize the opposition I am facing being the NEW as the OLD fades to black. I realize it’s a ride to  paradise, but not without turbulence! So, had some helluva turbulence last night. Still headed towards my destination.

One thing I have learned in life is to go where you are CELEBRATED and not where you are tolerated. The quote by Maya Angelou above also popped into my mind. It’s funny when you are experiencing a quote, wisdom, or the truth in real time. I won’t forget how I was made to feel. REJECTED. It’s not the first time and even though it’s a negative feeling I also know that I am ACCEPTED by so many others. Why let the negative ride? I won’t. I came home, poured my water, hugged my friend, and lit the Gardenia scented candle that reminds of my “Big Mama” and my childhood. It reminds me that I am well loved, I am beloved, I am accepted by those that matter.

#44Presidential

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Life Doesn’t Get Any Easier????

64357677_10158566045983266_4059237895699955712_n

There are a couple of quotes that state something like, “Life doesn’t get any easier, you just get stronger or Life doesn’t get any easier, you just get better at handling the things you go through.” I would read these quotes and literally roll my eyes. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the part that says “Life doesn’t get any easier” because I want life to get easier. Don’t we all? Raise your hand if you want life to get harder and remain difficult. I thought so. Can we just get strong enough and learn enough and life gets better? Oh, wait, there is a thought. Life gets easier because we get stronger and we learn to handle the things we go through with accrued wisdom. -Nicole Jackson Yes, quote me on that.

You see, I am at this ebb and flow period of my life. This, nothing is happening, something is happening, but very slowly and we are going from 0 to 100 the next day or moment. I don’t like this phase of things. I imagine this is what being sea sick is like or motion sickness. I just want to get to my destination and BE STILL and ENJOY. I don’t want to ride the ups and downs of these sometimes humongous waves. Heck, I can’t surf or swim! Topsy turvy much? Yes. Much. This type of phase doesn’t work well with my anxiety and depression. What is a girl to do?

A girl is to hold on. For dear life. To her Creator’s unchanging hand. A girl is to cry, get upset, be happy, meditate, have a margarita or go to bed. However, a girl deals with this phase of life is how a girl deals…without judgement from others or herself.

Life gets easier because we get stronger and we learn to handle the things we go through with accrued wisdom. -Nicole Jackson