Rerouted…

This morning is as cold as a freezer and the air is crisp and gripping. Did I also mention it feels like another Monday, although it is Tuesday. So, I struggle to get out of the bed a bit. However, I awake grateful to God for a new day, read and listene to His Word, worship Him, and talk with Him. A day started with the Lord is a day better yielded to Him.

Upon leaving home, I miss my bus so I decide to catch the bus headed towards the Metra train to make up for lost time. The train tracker schedules for my train to stop at the stop I need to get off at to catch another bus. I have a lengthy commute. Anyways, one stop into our ride we hear that the train will run express all the way to the end stop. Ah man! I can get off at this stop and wait for the next one but it is too cold. So, I stay on and am going to have to ride all the way to the end.

No problem. I will just have to do what I have had to do before, just travel back. I just have to take another train. So, I walk to the Red Line and go downstairs and my train comes. However, this train confuses me with the fact that its route labels state not what it normally says. I get on because although the train states something different, this is where I am literally heading. The Red Line stays on the lower tracks (ground level) but this morning this train is riding on the higher track where you can see the roofs of buildings and blocks of homes and businesses lined up on our Chicago streets. I hate riding high up because of the height but God gets me safely to my destination and drives away my fears with this message.

I feel like I just took the long way around just to get to my destination. I have been rerouted twice but still heading to my destination.

What happens when you are rerouted? You have to take the long way around. Your journey gets interrupted.

Moses and the Israelites were rerouted. They had to take the long way after God led Moses to free them from slavery. In fact, God took them the long way and through the impossible.

The people got impatient. They murmurred and complained. They even wanted to turn back. Oh, I had that feeling this morning.
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” Exodus 13:17

Yet, God took them the long way because had He led them the short distance they would have easily went back. Fear and discomfort makes you run back to comfortable situations even if they were horrible situations. They had to learn to trust God step by step, day by day. They had to learn to depend on God. They had to learn to persevere and develop patience. Prayer and patience go together. Faith and perseverance goes together. You can’t have one without the other and we need all of the above in life and through our faith walk.

So, when you get rerouted, be patient. Maybe God is protecting you from something. Maybe God wants you to develop patience. Maybe God just wants you to trust Him even on a routine day heading to work.

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Little Boy, You Are Needed & Wanted

20180712_092038.jpgSometimes you learn a lot when you have conversations with little humans. I don’t remember what led to this topic, but my 9-year-old nephew and I were having a conversation on a lengthy ride home some time ago. He says to me something like a woman shouldn’t depend on or need a man. I immediately understood what he was trying to communicate; however, it led me to definitely clear up something with him. Although he made me proud that he understood a female, too, should and could go out and make life happen for herself, I wanted to make sure he understood one thing.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 KJV). We are to teach our children and instill in them certain truths and disciplines. But we also have to be careful of what beliefs we are spreading to our children verbally and non-verbally. I wanted to make sure my actions or lifestyle wasn’t screaming to him this very thing: that a man is not needed. I am an unmarried woman who is not dating, who is working hard, maintaining a household, growing in my faith in God, and working on furthering my dreams and goals. I have accomplished so much and have done things that were seemingly contributed to mostly married couples like buying a home.

So, I told him, “yes, we women are to not depend on men. In fact, we (both women and men) are supposed to depend solely on God. We, women are to fulfill our destinies and accomplish our goals” because God created each of us with a purpose also. “But, please understand that men are needed and wanted too.” A man is vital to our world. I know we hear and see lately “the future is female”. I also believe in empowering women and helping women grow, heal, and reach their destinies. Moreover, as a woman, I, too, see and experience the danger and issues we face daily. However, I want little boys, and especially little Black boys, to believe they matter and are needed. God created male and female and He has a destiny for us all individually as well as together. Together, we can fulfill and overcome so much more in a world that has grown so divided.

Preparing Your Child For College

20170623_105218.jpgAs we approach August, many families are getting ready to take road trips with necessities, fears, hopes, excitement, anxiety, goals and dreams to many college campuses. Your child survived and accomplished high school and is now about to step foot on a college campus as well as develop more independence. So, how do you prepare your child for his/her big day? Here are ten ways to prepare your child for his/her move in day at college:

  1. Have all of their financial aid for school worked out. I always tell my students the first stop you make when you get on campus is the financial aid office (well if it is open). You want to know if everything is clear, what monies are coming in and going out or how much money you have to pay out of pocket regarding your tuition and fees. Have someone, if you have not, go over your child’s financial aid award letter to make sure you and your child understand it. If you and/or your child are pulling any loans, make sure you have completed the Loan Entrance Counseling (studentloans.gov) as well as understand loans and how they work. You don’t want any financial stress added to his/her first year of college.
  2. Make sure your child actually applied to the school and has gotten accepted. I know this is a no-brainer; however, you be surprised how students say they are going somewhere only to not have applied or read through all of their college mail.
  3. Attend orientation. If orientation is scheduled prior to move-in, please try your best to take advantage of this and go with your child. This is not only a very crucial informational session but a chance to settle any matters prior to move-in. It is also may be a chance to get a tour, get met with a warm welcome and greeted with kick off celebrations just for incoming freshmen and their families.
  4. Have a heart-to-heart, transparent talk about some issues that can arise at school and how to use effective problem solving. Give scenarios and talk about any mistakes you have made in college or during your teen and young adult years. Discuss your expectations, their expectations, their fears, etc.
  5. Teach him/her to not be afraid to ask for help. Also teach him/her how to be resourceful if he/she isn’t. A lot of students do not know how to navigate the campus for help and resources. Students can go to their school’s wellness center for counseling, advisement and dean’s office for issues with classes, their Dorm’s R.A. (Resident Assistant) for roommate issues, the financial aid office to sign up for work study and to inquire about scholarships and financial aid.
  6. Pay the housing fee. And make sure he/she get to know his/her roommate via phone and/or social media. The schools have things set in place for your child to contact and get an overall sense of who his/her roommate may be. Your child also may have the opportunity to suggest/pick his/her roommate if a student he/she knows will be attending same school and wants to roommate with that particular person.
  7. Make a list of items needed to move in, for first year of school. Have important documents pertaining to your child’s school in a special folder and handy. Obtain proper ID and parking passes if apply. Get gift cards preferably if you rather buy necessities at a Walmart near or in the town of your child’s school campus when your child moves in and to have on hand when settled. Some times this is a less of a hassle than having to rent a truck or load lots of luggage in the back.
  8. According to society19.com, you should also review school policy and guidelines with your child. See this site for an example of a college packing list. https://www.society19.com/10-things-to-do-before-college-move-in-day/
  9. Make a list of things you need to do before you all leave. And spend quality time with each other. Your child would want to spend time with friends too so make room for that.  
  10. Pray with and over your child. Cover them with the blood of Jesus. Your child will be miles away from home but God is omnipresent and omniscient. He can be with you and your child at the same time. Trust in Him to never leave nor forsake your child.

Lastly, congratulations to all the 2018 GRADUATES (high school, college, kindergarten, apprenticeship programs)!!!!!!! Celebrate your accomplishments and thank God for giving you the grace to press through. I am so proud of you all. May God guide you, protect you, and may you trust and abide in the One who created us with love and purpose. 

Life and Life More Abundantly

Hey ya’ll! Here is a Late Post for a Throwback Thursday.

Have you received what God has already made available through His Son, Jesus? Are you living or just existing?

October Experience
I am so excited to even type this. Last Monday, stage lights of orange, red, purple and blue took their turns illuminating the musicians and artists as they sang and led us into prayer, praise and worship. It was amazing; I got to check “attend Worship/Christian concert” off of my bucket list that I had written solely in my head. Oh, I also met a new friend who too came alone to the Kim Walker-Smith (w/Chris Quilala and Urban Rescue) concert. She shared with me her testimony about beginning her healing journey after losing her husband a year ago. Her quest to do something new or something she hasn’t done in awhile each month was amazing to hear.
And before the concert, I had just attended a Christian Educators’ retreat that weekend. Although I incurred an injury to my face while attempting to play baseball during free time, I still had an amazing time there too with the worship services and sessions on restorative practices, trauma care, ACES Study, and rights as a Christian in the education field. There were loads of knowledge.
Attending both the retreat and concert gave me the opportunity to not only invest in the kingdom of God and support my siblings in Christ but to also challenge my comfort zone, gain knowledge about restoration, and learn more vulnerability. Moreover, I was blessed with the opportunity to experience God’s love.

After the retreat and concert, I was off with my sisters’ in Christ to experience New York and have a little faithcation full of opportunities to elevate my faith and learn to trust God. It sounds like I have been having a great time, doesn’t it?! Yes I have, but before these awesome experiences, I faced some challenges I didn’t think I would survive. Moreover, I have been dealing with something that can rob you of the experiences and joy I was experiencing this month. Had it not been for God showing me the power of His Word, I don’t think I would have had this testimony.

Fear
Fear had been rising in me lately like yeast in bread and I had been dealing with it over the years. I thought I had overcome in it but now realize it has been gripping me like never before. I didn’t realize fear can manifest in many ways and in different stages, and build in different areas of your life. God delivered me from depression but now fear was back and in the form of anxiety and panic attacks. It also appeared in the form of people-pleasing, lack of confidence, and lack of trust in God.

The mind wars, emotionally drainage, the worrying, the trying to keep life perfect as well as busyness were other symptoms of fear. Literally, things would trigger my past fears or create new ones. On the outside, I am looking like I am holding it together and all is well and in the inside I am, on some days, waking up crying and feeling hopeless. But I am a believer of Jesus, a joint heir, a sibling of Jesus, and God is my Father and the Holy Spirit dwells in me. So, why am I walking timidly through life and not fully walking in the freedom of Christ Jesus?

John 10:10
This summer I came across the scripture through my daily devotional reading. I had read it numerous times but this time I heard it! John 10:10

Jesus came that we may have life and that we may have it more abundantly. Now life here isn’t just any old life but the life that only Jesus can bring. It is NOT a life which Jesus becomes a genie in the bottle and wealth is hoarded. It is true life that is equipped with eternal treasures that the world cannot provide. When we accepted Jesus as our savior, it came with His life and a covenant between us and Him. It came with unfailing love, grace, joy, and freedom.

So why haven’t I walked in this fact consistently and received fully what GOD gave me through His Son?
Here are some reasons why:

  • I am listening to what others and the thief says. The devil is the father of lies and I keep listening to what he says about me instead of what God says about me.
  • I am not walking in the authority of Jesus.
  • I didn’t realize how valuable I am to God.
  • I had to begin to develop a grateful attitude.
  • I had to begin living my life in pursuit of God.
  • I have to surrender and come to the end of myself. Every area of my life belongs to Jesus.
  • I had to begin to make God my first priority.
  • I had to begin growing in my love walk.
  • I had to start to intentionally invest in God’s kingdom.
  • It is easy to go hibernate or hide under a rock when wounded, drained, or just need thinking and alone time. I had to remember that life is about relationship and discipleship and I can’t always isolate myself.
  • I had to learn to receive and not just give. I had to even learn to receive from God for myself.
  • I had to learn that life is a process, becoming spiritually mature is a process, and my faith walk is a process.

I want to experience as well as walk in the freedom and life Jesus came to give me so that I can fulfill my destiny here on this earth.

Now I am on a mission, to live simply, fruitfully, and purposefully. I want to experience as well as walk in the freedom and life Jesus came to give me so that I can fulfill my destiny here on this earth. That life He was talking about was already provided for and given to me so now it is up to me to claim what became mine through my covenantal relationship with Jesus.

He doesn’t want me or you to be paralyzed in fear, unafraid to seize our destinies, and too comfortable to not step out in faith.

I want to live and let Jesus continue on in His work through me. Life can be tough and life is not perfect. We are not perfect. Life can also be scary from time to time but God did not give me or you a spirit of fear, but that of power, love, and a sound mind. He doesn’t want me or you to be paralyzed in fear, unafraid to seize our destinies, and too comfortable to not step out in faith. He doesn’t want us with neither countenances of despair nor visages of defeat. He want us to realize who we are in Christ Jesus and how valuable we are that He would give His only begotten Son to die for us and give us life and life to the full.

Nurturer of Life

Through a woman, we enter this world. By a mother’s love (not excluding a father’s love) are we nurtured from the womb to her heart, then her arms and out into the world. Sometimes, we are nurtured straight from her heart to her arms and then to the world. No matter what, there is a revolving door back to her heart and she loves her children unconditionally.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!!! And I am praying sincerely for those moms who have lost children and children who have lost their mothers. May the Comforter continue to comfort you through this time.

Enjoy this poem God blessed me to write called Nurturer of Life:

From the rib of a man

And the heart of God

Beckoned by a teary eyed child’s demand

With regalness and crown

From the King

Compatible help meet God found

To embrace the head as one

To help him realize layers of dreams untold

To birth heritage of new and old

She is the mere representation of the Many Breasted One

Giving nurture and care to the world

From man to boy and girl

The nurturer of life in so many ways

Gifted to her from the Ancient of Days

Wrapped in unconditional love

Dipped in Fierceness and Resilience

A carrier of life

And a life preserver

A teacher and a server

If God is the tree, mother is the nest

For you and me

Safety is in her arms

As she guides and prepares us to fly

To fulfill destinies assigned by the Most High

To live life from under His wing

To sing when no one else will sing

From her smile comes hope

From her hair comes wisdom and growth

From her womb comes life and pain

From her heart comes trust and belief

Until it is wounded with grief

But a butterfly will once again emerge

From a heart God has purged

Because she is who she is

She will live to forgive

And accept

And love

With every tear, kiss, and hug

The nurturer of life in so many ways

Glorifies and magnifies the Ancient of Days

And she will continue to carry her children, through however God blessed her to conceive,

By birth, by circumstance, by spirit

Through life

Even when they are too heavy too carry

She will lift them in prayers

And surrender them to Unfailing Love

For she knows Love can love them far greater than she can

Yet, mother is a force to be reckoned with

Blessed with super powers from God

Strong and extraordinare

A mother is the nurture of life in so many ways

Gifted to us by the Ancient of Days

By Tannika Moore

The devil’s Loss

The devil wants me to believe

God’s purpose for me will never be achieved

So he whispers in my ear

he tells me things my flesh wants to hear

his plan is to destroy me

he is at work day in and day out

he walks around and maliciously about

When I was born, he immediately placed a bet

he told Jesus, “I bet I ruin her yet.”

“While she’s young, I’ll make her forget

Why she needed You in the first place.

Her world is perfect and her dreams are ripe;

Jesus, when You’re ready, let me tamper with her life.

I’ll mess it all up, send my demons disguised her way.

She will duck and dodge and forget to pray

And how about her teens?

Let me give her depression

Send her confusion

Fill her with anger

Break her heart and disappoint her too

As she moves one step forward, I’ll push her back two.

I bet You Jesus, she’ll curse Your name

Then run to me and give me Your fame

You protect her too much

and You gave her too many gifts

What will she do then, if she had so much to miss?”

Then the Lord, my God said, “you just wait devil

Stop your ranting

Shut your mouth; you didn’t win with Job

And you won’t win now.

I know my Father’s children, Their weaknesses and strengths

They are not like you

And this one here will remain true.

This faithful soldier of mine I trust her so

More than you will ever know.

I see her faith in Me and attentiveness to My Word

In addition to the prayers I’ve heard

you can take from her But I’ll give

you can try to kill her But I’ll let her live.”

The devil wants to destroy me And take my life

But the devil has already lost the fight

It is God’s strength, grace and mercy

That sustains me

When I am weak

In God’s love, I will suffer no defeat.

Dreams

Last night I had a dream that felt and seemed as if I was still awake. An evil spirit came towards me and simultaneously the face of a person flashed in my mind. I felt like also the spirit was the jezebel spirit. It frightened me. I awoke and prayed against any attacks.

I was able to go back to sleep and when I woke up again I graciously thanked God for the second dream I had. This one wasn’t from the enemy but from God. In my dream, I was floating in space. I felt like I was past the realm where Earth, Mars, and Venus dwelt. However, there were no planets in sight to be seen.

Instead blackness with billions of stars and their light were all around me. I am afraid of heights and initially for a second I felt that fear. However, I began to feel like I was okay and I sung a beautiful song to God and about God. For the life of me, I can’t recall it but it was words I had not heard or written before. I was at peace and thrilled to be in this space (no pun intended). I felt like I was being drawn closer to God.

Then my dream ended with me singing another worship song, this one familiar and I was still floating in space, being drawn closer to God.

Psalm 100:2-4 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.

This season of my life has been once again stressful to the point I have cried out to God “I am tired.” One thing after the other. Even this weekend, due to certain circumstances, my emotions have been flaring like those flare up lights and I realize that much more prayer with strategies, fasting, and Godly wisdom is needed. The world needs us believers as well as our own spirits need us to be on our A game because there are angry, hurting people out here. There are children who need us. There are evil spirits out here that don’t take breaks. There are believers who went out to help save people but are out here drowning in the sea from our own issues. The devil is working overtime trying to distract us, overwhelm us, make us too busy, and steal our impacts and our joy. Some of us are just as distraught and frustrated as someone who is unsaved. So what needs to be done.

Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

Get back up and surrender to God. Surrender to God. Love God and obey God, and receive His love back. Receive His love back. God sees our pain and knows we need help. Time to be drawn closer to God.

Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Time to be drawn closer to God. Draw us closer, God. Purify our hearts and renew our minds. When we are ready to give up, like I have been. Remind us, Lord, You are still there. And You will never leave us, nor forsake us. Let us not get weary in well doing.

Coloring Therapy for me!