October

Those nights or early mornings when you can’t sleep, pray. Have a conversation with God, our Father in the name of Christ Jesus. Seek God, you will find Him. Right there, waiting.

The month of October has been one heck of a month. It started with me gearing up for FAFSA season. I was looking forward to helping as many of our high school students and their parents complete their FAFSAs (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for college during this month, the start of FAFSA season. Then one day of the first week, I was struck by a car and was for about two weeks at home resting from my injuries. I was also granted a work from home and managed through the resting and healing to do a little paper work and correspondence. Although, I was in pain and in shock, I thank Jesus that the accident was not fatal and that I didn’t get any head injuries or fractures. I also thank God for the people who helped me that day at the scene of the accident, the paramedics, and the med team of the ER.

Update: Just recently, my church also lost an integral part of our church, one of the mothers, Sis Thompkins. She had the sweetest smile, hugs, and personality. My heart is heavy because I wasn’t able to make it to her birthday party just last month, and hug her one last time. I pray she knew just how much she was loved and appreciated. She leaves behind a great legacy. The honor from her family while she was here is evidence of just how sweet she was as well as how much she prayed for them and poured into them. I send my sincerest condolences to her family.

While home resting, some nights, I would awaken early in the morning. Now my sleep isn’t always the best but I was awaking now between 1 and 3 or 3-6 am. I remembered from a last instance where I was taught when moments like this occur you must pray. And then a video from a YouTuber and fellow sister in Christ Jesus popped up on my YouTube feed one evening reminding the same thing. Why You’re Waking Up From 3 am-6 am! From Shannon Wells was the video. It was confirmation for the next time I woke up, get to praying, talking with God, spending time in His Word, etc. And surely that next morning I awoke to a sound. I thought it was a mice scurrying but saw the shadow of trees outside blowing in the wind and hoped the sound I heard was from leaves brushing against the side of my roof, reminding me they need to be removed. I rather the leaves than a mice, lbs. And I saw my dog laid out on part of her bed to part of the floor sleeping peacefully. Surely, I thought she would have been up trying to see what the sound was also, unless it was her moving. After looking around in the dark from my bed with my phone’s light, I laid there and immediately began to pray. I didn’t scroll through Instagram or TikTok or any other one of my social mediums, which I end up doing a lot of times even sometimes in the midst of reading my Bible. I will see a verse or message, have to share, share it and then keep scrolling for awhile after on social media. I get distracted.

But I began to pray. This was the opportunity to seek God, listen to Him, and allow Him to minister to me. Or me minister to Him through worship, drawing closer to Him, and abiding in His presence.

I prayed for a little, then read a Bible plan day’s message or two, and proceeded to journal. And then I went back to reading the Word and praying. And I was praying not just for my self but for others. Interceding and crying out to God with His full armor on. I wish I could tell you one of my prayers were answered immediately or something spectacular happened but it didn’t, at least not in the natural or physical. (Update: whew, prayer time and the time in the Word was powerful, I felt it, and I give thanks to the Holy Spirit leading me in prayer.) But if I pleased God by sitting with Him, worshipping Him in Spirit and in truth, then something happened to my spirit and in the spirit realm, and I must believe so. I must have faith. Let His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I had already learned when moments of rest or pause are brought forth that you do just that. And you focus on what it is God wants you to learn. You draw closer to God even if it’s a tiny step at a time. You pray like never before. You empty out and allow God to pour in and fill every crevice of your heart and mind as well as renew your spirit.

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Jesus is our hope. When we hope and have faith in Him, He renews our strength.

Allow God to breathe in you and refresh you. Allow God to help you to redeem the time. Allow God to grant you the wisdom to eradicate distractions, to take every thought captive and to mind your walk and time to focus and live with purpose and according to God’s will.

Got questions talks more about redeeming the time here:  https://www.gotquestions.org/redeeming-the-time.html .

Although I am back to work in person, I still have some discomfort and pain, and am not yet at full recovery. However, I am slowly on the mend. One day at a time.

A Word: Lean not unto your own understanding and trust God with all thine heart. Also Matthew 7: 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Prayer:

Help us to trust You God and to lean not unto our own understanding and to build the foundation of our lives, dreams, and goals, and so much more on the Truth, Life, and Way which is Your Son, Christ Jesus. Build on Your wisdom and Word as well as Your love and in Your presence. Help us to be not just hearers but doers of Your Word, and then we will also be able to stand. Help us to trust You with the rest of this month and November. I pray we remember You are the Comforter and we can rest in You. I pray we remember You are a healer and that by Jesus’stripes we are healed. I pray that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. And I pray we love others as we love ourselves. Thank You we can take one day at a time and You love us beyond measure. In Jesus’ name, amen.

I’m Tannika Nikeya,

And I’m out, but still here (Thank You, Jesus!)…

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Thankful Journal Entry

I don’t know if it is because of the Christmas season and day or because I am having some writing flow this week (been having Writer’s block for a while), but here is another post.

As I lie down in bed and after finishing composing my previous post, I am filled with thoughts of appreciation and gratitude. I thought of an elder who took time to teach me how to drive and pass the driving test. To this day (although unfortunately, I have anxiety and driving anxiety), I still remember the things he taught me as well as his kindness and patience. Mind you, I got my license late in the game. Another person I am grateful for is another elder who I endearingly called my god granny. Her humor, wisdom, kindness, and jazzy spirit was so amazing. I miss both of them, Elder Heath and Sister Dixon.

There are a lot of things that you may still be dealing with, but I challenge you to make a list of things and people you are grateful for. Let’s go! I just named two people. I am also grateful for a new day, a warm house, and family… The list goes on. I am thankful especially for my Jesus!!!!! Without Him, there is no me or no hope.

What or who are you grateful for?

As I Look Back Over The Decade…I Got A Testimony

I saw people’s posts of their decade reviews and their end versus their beginning of the decade comparisons. This prompted me to review my decade and as I also looked at my 2019 vision board, I realized that God has been good. He is always good but sometimes the Holy Spirit need to give you a reminder. I saw some things on my vision board have been and are steadily being accomplished. And all glory goes to God!

I am also reminded some battles are not to be conquered in one fight but over a period of time so we can learn to depend on God. So some things may have seeped over into 2020 but be encouraged. I am speaking to myself too.

This decade, I became a homeowner and a parent/caregiver to a relative. I also started my online t-shirt business (on hiatus now and I am in prayer about it) and wrote and published three books within this decade. I was able to learn and grow professionally and spiritually. I healed from heartbreak and realized some of my deal breakers. I made it through betrayal and learned what true forgiveness looks like.

Instead of hiding it, I became more transparent in my struggles with anxiety and fear, especially with those I love. I also got my driver’s license in this decade and got acknowledged at work for my contributions. I saw my students grow and step out of their comfort zones. I bore fruit even during difficult seasons and impacted others in ways I could not have done without God. I also battled debt and high property taxes and saw God provide.

I learned I needed better self-care, I needed to set boundaries, and I needed to learn that I can’t earn God’s love. My family and I overcame some things I thought my family and I would not survive. I also learned that it is crucial to see things from God’s perspective. I journaled in my note pad like crazy. I did self-assessments prompted from bible plans and self-reflection. I blogged. I led a women’s group and bible study and we learned about waiting with God and learning to trust Him. I maintained a gratitude journal.

I travelled to New York with friends for the first time. I had a ball and it was such a faithcation. I went to a Christian concert at the House of Blues by myself and had a ball. I went to a Christian Education Retreat twice. I learned some awesome things. I learned about trauma care and self-love. I went to Atlanta for the first time and for a college tour, thanks to my job. Last year, my family and I found a cool, inexpensive place to travel to that is peaceful and a train ride away from home, thanks to not having at the time the money to go on vacation. I saw my family grow and get closer. I got such an awesome birthday gift in 2018; my youngest niece was born on my birthday.

I completed a Mental Health First Aid training for those who work with youth and realized also my mental health is important. I realized some of your battles people won’t understand and some blessings and successes people won’t cheer with you. The latter one broke my heart. I did the thing that rattles my nerves and spoke at a few events. I took deep breaths. I had anxiety attacks. I prayed. I cried. I prayed some more. I exercised here and there, valued my love for walking, and realized the importance of stretching every day. I worked on building my confidence. I started wearing a little concealer and foundation (something I thought I would never wear) and embraced my thick eyebrows. I learned how to do my own crochet hair styles. However, I still don’t know how to crochet a scarf. I gave up. I will try again this year. I learned that I enjoyed preparing Bible study lessons because I love God’s Word and preparing a lesson helps me to break it down for myself also. I learned that I can’t do everything or be everything, and that is okay. I learned that sometimes you have to encourage yourself.

I prayed for God to teach me full surrender. I talked with Him about being afraid and not feeling like I could make it some days. I have a ways to go but I am not where I started. And although I ended 2019 still feeling anxious, I survived. I thank God for being my Father, my friend, my provider, my coach, and my protector. I also thank Him for being patient with me and loving me through every season, imperfection, fear, and triumph. May I lean into God evermore in 2020 and this new decade not for what God can give me or do, but for who He is. I am nothing without Him and can’t do anything without Him. I am more than a conqueror. I am grateful.