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

The Heart Epiphany Part 5

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Self-love is about being HONEST with yourself about yourself, and about others. You may have to admit that you are selfish, petty to the 10th power, maybe you do let people walk all over you, maybe you do think you are better than others, maybe you are lonely, maybe you do have insecurities. MAYBE they don’t love you or respect you. Maybe it is just about sex. Maybe you never wanted to be a physical therapist, nurse, warehouse worker and you really wanted to open a bakery. You may have to admit that you were wrong and that you hurt someone. The truth will set you free but only if you tell the truth to yourself and others. It is hard work.

~Nikki, from the Heart Epiphany Lecture March 2020

 

The Heart Epiphany Part 3

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I want to talk to you about the DIRTY, GRITTY, PUT ON YOUR STEEL TOE BOOTS SIDE OF SELF LOVE. SURPRISE! SELF LOVE IS HARD WORK AND HEART WORK. It’s a mind heart body soul spirit connection.

Are you sure you want to REALLY, REALLY love yourself because if you do, you are going to have to REALLY, REALLY WORK.

Self-love requires CHANGE and CHANGE is HARD WORK. It’s easier to stay the same and say “What? This is just the way I am.” If the way you are is not a reflection of love or self-love is it really the way you are or just the way you have grown accustom to being and responding?… You might have to change circles. You may lose a few friends. And though you are loyal, it means nothing if you are loyal to people who don’t respect or value you or use you. If they are using your mind, they are using you. If they are using your heart and emotions, they are using you. If they are using your body, they are using you. Change is hard work. Self-love requires change.

~Nikki

“You’re not stuck. You’re just committed to certain patterns of behavior because they helped you in the past. Now those patterns have become more harmful than helpful. The reason why you can’t move forward is because you keep applying an old formula to a new level in your life. Change the formula to get a new result.” – Emily Maroutian

My Personal Thought Reflections During this Pandemic

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My thought REFLECTION during this pandemic: 1.What does God, the Universe want from me? What is God or it saying to me? 2. What does God want from Christians? Pastors? Leaders? 3. What does God/Universe want from each country, continent, government, the world? What is God, the Universe saying?
REthink, REbuild, REflect, REpent, REvise, REplace 2020 Number 4 energy (Also working the 2 energy, 20 energy)

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Off the Grid

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I’ve been wanting to get away from here, the city, alone, or at some retreat long before the world was hit with this pandemic. I didn’t want a vacation, but a restoration. Peace and quiet. When all of this is over, I am not going to drag my feet. I am going to find a place to go, to restore, to transform. I feel like I have been gathering supplies for the past five years. I have been shifting and changing. I feel as if I have been living a double life at times. One foot in tradition and the other foot in spirituality.

I am ready to fully devote my time to spirituality, the deeper things of the Creator. Here I am free, and a matriarch of the family keeps pulling on my robe. I am irritated by it. So, I have decided to finish out April and be done with it. I am also, serving a notice to a blog I managed in the past. I don’t want to do that anymore and I will not have time for it.

One of the things 2020 has done for me is forced me to open my eyes and ears. And in this stillness I move, breathe, and have my being.

~Nikki

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Freedom Tough Love Talk

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I love being a free spirit. God made me that way. Every free spirit has their own path, do’s and won’t do’s, guides, handbooks. I’m like John the Baptist. I like the wilderness of life. I don’t particularly care for being trapped in four walls. But you know…I go. I got some David in me. Elijah and Elisha me. Elisha was working for his family in the family business. Elijah walks by and Elisha burns the oxen, use the equipment to feed the people, kiss his parents good bye and gives up his land. It’s a Prince Harry moment. Outta here! I don’t care if we’ve been doing it this way for centuries. I don’t want to do it this way! I don’t want to stand in the same spot, be on a board, do it the traditional denominational way. I can do both somewhere. I thought whom the Son set free was free indeed? I’m free. I’m free indeed. I’m saved whether you think so or not. I’ll buy meat from the folks that aren’t saved. I’ll sit with those you call sinners. I’ll chill at the shop with the Buddha statues and talk about life and give hope to the people doing my nails. I’ll talk to the bartender about ginger ale drinks and listen to him talk about his father with cancer. I’ll tell him that I’ll pray for him. He’ll tell me about growing up Catholic with an abusive father. I’m that broken vessel. I’m the voice in the wilderness. I’m that vagabond. Let me loose. Never mind, I’ve got the sword and permission from on High. Don’t judge me…judge yourself.
#sheOnOne

You’ve Been Played. Or Have You?

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This year I got played. Fooled. Bamboozled. Played. As smart as I am, as careful as I am, it happened. I think the worse thing you can do when it comes to matters of the heart is lie to a person. But let’s face it, it happens to the best of us. I sit back and I reflect on how things unfolded. I looked at my role: Trying to give chances where I should have CUT ALL TIES. Ignoring my own intuition, gut, Holy Spirit. But, to my credit, I took my Loss, turned it into a Lesson by finally CUTTING ALL TIES and bounced back. After all, you haven’t learned anything if you remain in a situation with all of the evidence and facts. I’d question YOU (and what it is in you that makes you think you deserve that type of treatment) at that point and not the behavior of the perpetrator.

So, I was thinking about the thought “Nicole, you got played” and how attached to that statement, true or false, are feelings of shame, stupidity, and inadequacies. The WHY ME and WHOA IS ME sagas. After all, I was familiar with those thoughts and feelings. It’s a stagnant lake of negativity that has a stench of reality and self pity. Just when I was about to dive in, Spirit kicked in. “No. They played themselves.” Oh? How so?

Think about it. What did I lose? Several months out of my life. Wasted time. Yes, that’s pretty bad in my mind because I cannot STAND to have my time wasted. Why did I try, why did I hope, why did I believe? I did it because I believed in love. I took a chance and a gamble and I lost time in the form of months. What’s my karma for that? Nothing bad or negative. I sowed hope, love, faith, trust, forgiveness and while I didn’t reap it in that relationship, surely I can reap it in another or blessings. (I mean that is a blessing to get the love you give).

How did they play themselves? What did they lose? They lost the opportunity to love, to trust, to build, to grow, to be blessed. Hell, they lost me. They lost a gem. But, I was never theirs and they were never mine. They can miss what they could have had, but I can’t miss what I never had. It wasn’t real anyway. What’s the karma for playing with a person’s heart? I can’t answer that specifically because that’s none of my business. That’s between them, God, and the Universe.

So, my loves, you haven’t been played, so to speak. The other party has played themselves. You’ve got a whole lot of goodness coming your way. Believe it.

~Nikki

I like goodness. 🙂 The majesty of it all!

Hello November! Harvesting Good

Let’s do this November! Bring all the good seed harvest I’ve sown this year. I need every bit of it to make up for the time wasted. But was it really time wasted? Ok it was BUT I learned. I paid for those invaluable lessons. IT’S ALL FOR MY GOOD (My growth because when you love God, have a REAL relationship with God, you are open to learning & growing) because I love God.

I feel like things are settling back into peace and back to work for me. It’s back to my creative grind, growth, and doing all of the wonderful things that I was born to do. Peace is a priority in my life and has been for the last 14 years. As you know, it has to be maintained. It has to be protected by any means necessary.

I went to the doctor this morning and my blood sugar level was good and I’ve lost some weight. My doctor was pleased. I love this getting back to normal. Back into the grove of my little big life. Focused on my family and gifts. Determined to build wealth and see the manifestation of my gifts and talents. And still waiting for the love that is true and adds to the peace I need. Not take away from it. I hope your November is filled with JOY.

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~Nikki

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

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