I don’t have to tell you that gas and groceries are high. Most of you are here in America and you have to eat and go back and forth to work so you have been to the pump and the grocery store. Before any of this took place I’d been concerned about finances. I took a long hard look this year at how I spend my money. I had some major things happen and it feels as if my savings account will never recover. It seems as if I get some savings and then before I can build on it, it crumbles.
It is clear to me this morning the key is I must save more. I must make some huge sacrifices and that sacrifice may be no vacations this year. One vacation is already out the door and another has one foot out and one foot in. I am on the fence about it. I should say I am simply prolonging saying “I’m sorry family. But I will not be able to join you this fall for vacation. I need to save.”
I really want to get away from it all. I need to. So, what’s a girl to do? Perhaps I will get away in my own city. A stay-cation sampling the good life of the Uppercrust in my city or maybe, do a vlog of living high off the hog on a budget. Perhaps, I will prepare for an amazing vacation next year or maybe push my vacation back to December. I don’t know.
Inflation and changing my spending habits has been a challenge. I have discovered that if I am restricted for a long period of time of not getting things I want, I tend to binge spend. Yes. I regret it later. But this time, if I play my cards right, I will be able to pad my savings and purchase things I want for myself and for my home. It’s a new month. It’s a new day. I am really grateful that grace and mercy is available every morning but, I need to stop the tangent splurges and not need grace and mercy in that area so often.
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.
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.
PS These are MY thoughts, opinions, and observations. I present them as so and not hard facts.
Yes you can. Right now is the optimal time for a reset. This is a tidy up time. Pause for the cause. Take a moment to reset your mind. Shut down social media. Mental health day me please. Weekend getaway/stay-cation. Take a break from your projects and focus on you or your space.
Look around. Tidy up or deep clean. Look at you. Spa day? Massage? Pedicure and manicure or a facial needed? Do that. Do it yourself. New hair color. New hair cut. A hair cut or trim. Body scrub. A soak in the tub. Run away. Come back the next day.
Oh! Oh! Check your finances. Reign it in. Do the books. Find the receipts. Take some time to plan your week. Reset some goals. Readjust or cancel some things. Add some things. It’s up to you.
Take the time to reset so you can finish the summer strong.
I mean seriously. How many delays in life can one girl have? I know delays are not denials but, it sure seems like it lately. Maybe I am exaggerating a bit but, I am feeling some frustration about not being able to do EVERYTHING I want to do right now! Yes…whining a bit. However, I know that I must prioritize and sometimes, like this time, sacrifices must be made. Sacrifice never feels good.
So, what can I do to ease the frustration?
I can do what I can and not fret about what I cannot do
I can find free things to do around the city
I can create things to do with family and friends that are cost efficient
I can spend time organizing my home
I have plenty of crochet work to catch up on
I can try new recipes
I can spend in nature or on my porch with a cup of coffee or a cocktail
I have a book to read for a book club
I can start writing my third novel
So, there is much to do. Although, it may not be the other things I want to do, I can still occupy my time and enjoy it. Also, there will come a time, because of the financial sacrifices I am making, I will be able to enjoy the things I want to do, when I want to do them.
There is a time for pruning. There is a time to chop it down. The tree is dead. And once you chop it down, you have to pull up the stump and the roots. Whatever this is that you have been pruning in your life, these thoughts that keep hindering you. The feelings that keep you doubting yourself no longer can be pruned. It’s time for that “thing” in your life to be chopped down and pulled up. You can no longer afford to let it “get to you”.
Chopping down a tree and removing the roots takes a plan, precision, and work. It involves a licensed professional. You don’t have to destroy others around you while you SEEK therapy or read a book to heal. You don’t have to destroy others around you while you remove them or the things they have done to you from your life. When they chop off the branches, cut the tree into pieces, there is a plan, a method, precision that goes into that part of the tree that is being cut so that it doesn’t destroy what is around it.
When a tree is cut down, the scenery changes. Air flows differently. The shade…changes. Sometimes the shade is gone. In increments, your life will change as you cut down the thing that has been holding you back. The scenery changes in your life as you remove the thoughts that continue to grow back and hold you back. And then you have to remove the stump and the roots. The stump is a reminder that the tree was there. You don’t need any reminders. Remove the stump. You don’t need the roots. You have to remove what started it all. You have to overcome the past once and for all. It’s going to take time but, you can overcome it.
The tools I am using to cut down this tree are:
Trust in my Higher Power
Time spent with my Higher Power to enhance my “hearing” of directions and actions
Limited time and conversations with certain people
Letting go of what I cannot control and controlling my own responses
I can’t wait until my scenery changes for good. I can’t wait to feel a new breeze. There is work to do but, this tree in my life has to go. It has to so it can no linger hinder my progression.
“You think you’re better then everyone else!” They said.
“Why do you say that?” I replied.
“Because you just do!” They said.
“You’re still not telling me HOW I am better than you or WHY you think that?” I replied.
This particular person never gave me a clear answer. But, through revelation via Spirit, I figured it out. However there were some that gave me vague answers as this wasn’t the first time I had heard this. Vague answers like, “You’re too quiet. You don’t do anything “wrong”. You are not like us.” So, because I don’t talk loud or I am mostly quiet by nature, I think I am better than them. Because I don’t smoke cigarettes or weed, I think I am better than them. Because I was raised different, not better, just different, I think I am better than them. Because I enjoy the Bible, the Word of God, spirituality, always trying to do right or good, I think I am better than them. Because I mostly stayed out of trouble, I think I am better than them. Because I got good grades, got a little education, I think I am better than them. And the rediculous list continues.
I believe most people don’t think they are better than you and I do think there are some that do! However, you may want to check your REASONING and RATIONALE and RELATIONSHIP with that person to make sure it’s not YOUR OWN INSECURITIES SHOWING UP. You may be just ASSuming a person thinks they are better than you when in fact they are just DIFFERENT by personality or upbringing and life experiences. They may not enjoy being around drunkeness because they grew up in a home where being drunk brought out the worst in a parent. They don’t think they are better than you. They may not be into drugs because of their religion or they hate smoke because it bothers their allergies or they can’t tolerate the smell. Doesn’t mean they think they are better than you. Perhaps you two took different career paths, they needed a degree or certification to be a nurse or teacher. Doesn’t mean they think they are better than you because you drive a truck and enjoy it.
Question your thoughts. Questions your feelings. In families, you have parents telling children that other relatives think “they are better than us because they have a big house and nice car.” Those children grow up thinking those relatives really think they are better than them and it’s really based on their parents’ insecurities and envy. Yes, you may just be jealous. Some children grow up mad at their cousins or half siblings because they had a better living situation or material things than they did. Imagine, you are an adult and still upset that your half brother grew up in a nice home with two parents when that half brother did’t have anything to do ( I want to say sh– t to do with) with what your parents or their parents did with their lives, careers, and incomes.
I grew up in a neighborhood with blue collar workers and white collar workers. I grew up in a neighborhood where two block away there was low income family homes. When we were children I recognized early on that some people had really nice homes that were bigger and better than mine. I also recognized that some of my friends and family were barely getting by. In some homes, no matter the size, there was love and in some no matter the size, type of car, there were some bad situations. I don’t ever remeber being mistreated by friends that had more and those that had less. We just wanted to play. Spending the night was different at everyone’s house. Sometimes breakfast was made by the parent in the house and other times, my friends or cousins would cook breakfast for us. I just wanted to eat and didn’t care if it was served on fine china or chinette paper plates!
I’m done with explaining to people who are bent on misunderstanding me. I am DIFFERENT. They can deal with it because I already have. I already have accepted the fact that I am not like others. We all are unique and that needs to be recognized and appreciated. I never was really loud or wild but, that doesn’t make me think I am better than anyone. I grew up in a two parent home but, I don’t think I am better than others that didn’t have both parents at home. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors of the houses you drive by. I am a single parent. Proudly and unaplogetically. So, with that being said, those of us that are different from you, with different experiences, different educational levels, etc. for the most part aren’t walking around with our noses in the air. Get to know someone and appreciate the differences and embrace the commonalities. And question your own thoughts and feelings.
Timing is everything. It’s about time and the time is right for a BOLD NEW CHAPTER in your life. You’ve been playing safe. You’ve been dabbling but, now it’s time to venture out into the deep! Don’t get scared now and if you do, move beyond, over, under, and around the fear. The deep is where the treasures are. The BOLD moves is the action that creates a reaction called manifestation. A BOLD move is the move that triggers the waves and waves of success.
I don’t know what you are doing this month but, it’s a blank page. It’s a new chapter. WRITE BOLD visions. TAKE BOLD actions.
There is a bold new chapter waiting to be written by me.
I know the plans the Creator has for me. Plans to prosper, to give me hope and a future.