Happy New Year: My Own 12 Favorite Posts

Happy New Year!!!! I pray that this year is one that you continue to grow, heal, learn to trust God, have God’s peace that surpasses all understanding, and that you have joy for the joy of the Lord is your strength. And that you are healthy, laugh a lot, and live life as well as live meaningfully.

Alrighty then, in celebration of a new year and with much reflection brought upon this time, here are my 12 favorite posts I have written since the start of my WordPress and public writing/author journey.

No specific order here:

1. Walking In Your Own Shoes

I wrote this post in relative to the release of my second book. I explored what it meant to walk in your own shoes. What it meant and what it meant for me. I remembered setting my heels out for a photoshoot for the book cover. The process for this book was fun and a great time of reflection.

2. Go To War

I love this post also. I love when God download or shall I say uploads a word to my spirit for myself as well others. It more so feels like a word for me that I get so excited about and sometimes nervous about sharing with others. Sometimes, if you are like me, confrontation and fighting scares you but there is a spiritual warfare that we as Christians cannot ignore. And God wants to teach us how to fight and how to strengthen our faith while doing so.

3. The devil’s loss

This is my favorite poem. I wrote this for a church service/event. Much prayer and seeking God led me to the book of Job and reflecting upon my own experience. Subsequently, this poem was birthed. Thank You, Jesus!

4. Seized By The Storm

I wrote this post after watching an episode or entire series of Raising Dion with the youngin’. We enjoyed this series. And as usual when I watch some things I found a lesson or two that spoke to my heart. I feel like God uploaded another one to my spirit.

5. The Enemy’s Trick (Lesson’s From The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is my favorite tv show. And I wrote this post after watching one of the episodes (I forgot the season, it may have been 9). Anyways, once again the lightbulb went on and I got another word.

6. Tannika’s Writing Vault: Sunday School Blues

I started a new series last year I believe or the year before: Tannika’s Writing Vault. This post featured a skit I wrote for church that never made it to production or event. Yet, I had so much fun writing it and preparing for it.

7. Guard Your Heart Like An Athlete Guarding A Football

This is another favorite as I visited what it looked like for me as a Christian and subsequently someone else to guard their hearts. As a believer and follower of Christ Jesus, I am to guard my heart and do so intentionally, even when my flesh says otherwise.

8. Let Go and Let God

This is one of my all time favorite posts. I wrote it for another blog titled EmpowerMoments. My time with EmpowerMoments brought a lot out of me as a writer and editor, and I am forever grateful. This post, whew, I knew it had to be another upload to my spirit from God partly because of the transparency and the grace to write it and upload it. And I love how He used a scene from a movie I enjoy watching to express a message to me that was needed.

9. Introducing My New Book

This post is simply that, introducing my latest book, titled Bring It To The Surface: Poetry & Journal. I love my growth as a self published author. And this book, I believe showcases my growth as an author, poet, and writer. I also was so excited to bring forth something a little different than what I had done previously with my poetry books. A Journal for self reflection. A guide to self reflect and begin a journey of healing. One that allows God to bring some things or all of them to the surface but one day/step at a time.

10. Was I Really Free?

I wrote this post because the I Am Free promo photoshoot for my first book or post for it resurfaced and it got me to reflecting on my life and struggles with anxiety and fear at the time. I felt like I either was lying or had fallen backwards since I wasn’t feeling free. So hence, the post “Was I Really Free?” came about.

11. My DIY Project

I desired to change my bathroom for awhile and finally did so. I documented the journey and thought it would be different and fun to post. I had fun painting the bathroom walls, not so much the ceiling. And I enjoyed redecorating the bathroom.

12. Favorite Christmas Movies

I don’t really like being on camera. I am a behind the scenes, shy one. However, I thought I would step out of my comfort zone as I thought of fun videos to do for Christmas, especially since I was in the Christmas spirit. This is what came to mind. I had fun doing the video and definitely watched my most favorite one the next evening.

So there you go! Although I love many more and I also enjoy my writing tips series and the interviews I did showcasing awesome writers/authors, and much more these are my at least my favorite 12 posts.

Sincerely,

Tannika Nikeya

What Comes Before The Exodus?

Exodus

While reading this morning Exodus chapter three again, a question and a statement came to mind and not in this order. The question was “What came before the Exodus?” And the statement was “you need an encounter with God before your exodus out of whatever it is God wants to deliver you from.” So, what is an exodus? An exodus basically means mass departure or going out. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word itself is derived from the Greek word Exodos which literally means “the road out”. We know that in Exodus three that God commissions Moses to lead His people out of years of oppression and suffering. God saw and heard His people and He said to Moses, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering (Exodus 3:7 NLT). He then goes on to say that I have come down to rescue them. This is where Moses fits in and gets welcomed to join God in His mighty work.

Does God See Our Tears?

Exodus had to remind me that God hears and He sees. Often, many of us saved or unsaved cry out that God does not see all of the suffering in the world or even in our individual lives. He does. He is aware. That is why He sent His Son to bring His Kingdom here on earth and bring salvation and reconciliation. We now have an opportunity to one day no longer suffer and be in agony and turmoil.

Moreover, as I read Exodus three, it dawned on me that some things preceded the exodus of the Israelites. For one, Moses had an encounter with God. And some other things took place also but first let me encourage you that God sees your suffering and He hears your cries.

Circumstances Don’t Have The Last Say

Circumstances in life, especially ones that won’t let up, won’t let you sleep, and keep popping back up, will make you feel like running and throwing in the towel. I have had days where my conversations with God are full of tears,  pleas and cries of wanting to just give up. However, a Bible plan I read left me with the impression that God will either deliver you from it or see you through it. The line in the Bible plan actually read “that sometimes God doesn’t deliver you from the trial. Instead He saves us through it.”

In my struggles with anxiety and fear as well as other circumstances presented in my life, I sometimes think that this would be a lifelong struggle that eventually I would lose. But the devil is a liar. And John 16:33 reminds me that Jesus has already overcome the world, and therefore, He has already overcome the issues that plague it too. We may lose some battles in our human experience but Jesus overcame the war.  I may deal with anxiety for the rest of my life, but I know one thing God is teaching me through all of this, and that is to trust Him one day at a time.

Shoot, the second thing He is teaching me is that He sent me a helper, the third person and He is called the Holy Spirit. He is my Comforter and constant, unparalleled peace in the midst of any storm. Three, I must surrender all to God. I must surrender to His love and lordship. And four, God does want to deliver me. There will be times I will be afraid and anxiety will rear its ugly head to challenge me to run and hide, stand still and give up, or tremble and fight. But the Holy Spirit will help me to get to the point where fear will not control me. And I will take my focus off of fear and anxiety and put it back on Jesus. I will live in the presence of God. The spirit of fear will not choke out my destiny or become my identity. The spirit of fear will not dictate the quality of life I will have or shall I say lack thereof. God did not give me a spirit of fear, but that of power, love and a sound mind. I will receive the life and life to the full Jesus came to give me. I will see myself the way God does. I will experience the joy that comes from God here on earth instead of believing I have to wait to experience it in heaven. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I will be fulfilled by only the One who can fulfill me and that is God.

Life is not and will not always be comfortable. In fact, storms come and go. But I can walk in the freedom and wholeness of God, knowing that in His presence and with His grace, I can live simply, fruitfully and purposefully.

What Comes Before An Exodus?

Now back to what comes before the exodus. 

  • God heard and saw. He sees your suffering. He feels your pain. He acknowledges what you’re feeling. Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. Exodus 3:7 NLT
  • God remembers His covenant and promises. “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ Exodus 3:16‭-‬17 NLT
  • You have an encounter with God. One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father —the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:1‭-‬6 NLT
  • God invites you to join Him in His mission. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:9‭-‬10 NLT
  • You get His instructions and encouragement. Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “ I Am Who I Am . Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations. “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord , the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord , our God.’ “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed. Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.” Exodus 3:7‭, ‬10‭-‬22 NLT

Lastly, I would like to say that God is right there with you in your healing journey. He is our Shepherd and we have all we need because He cares for us and He will always provide for us. He never lies and never fails. Before our exodus, we must also come to let our flesh die daily. This means that with God’s grace and prayer, to humble ourselves before God and surrender to Him as well as keep renewing our minds with His word to transform our hearts. We must take time to spend time with God and make sure we keep our prayer altars lit. Let Him guide us and prepare us for each day as well as our deliverance, however that deliverance looks like to God. God is an amazing God and He loves us so!

Tannika Nikeya 🙏🏾

Use This Time Wisely

Many of us are enduring reopening phases as well as quarantine during this pandemic. It hasn’t been easy but for the most part, we have made adjustments to how we do things from our careers to home life. Nonetheless, this pandemic has served much stress, loss, anxiety, uncertainty and hardships. Yet, many are still holding on despite the turmoil from Covid-19 and even the many issues, like racism and gun violence, that are now on the forefront of our current society that people are waiting and fighting for to finally be addressed.

As in one hand chaos and turmoil increase in the world and in another hand the world slows down. We are left to understand that we can’t approach life as we have been. We may have to make some adjustments that are deep within and that will prepare us for the next season. We may have to reevaluate how we were living before this time. Rediscover some goals and dreams. Realize that God can use this time for our good and He can help us use this time wisely.

Were you burned out prior to the quarantine? Were you in need of some quality time with your family? Did you have a business or foundation that has been on your heart to start? How about following through with writing or face timing a person God has laid on your heart to reach out to remind them God cares? Did you want to finally get healthy mentally and physically? Did you need to learn a second language? Did you need to let go of some things and some relationships? Did you need to get your bank account healthy? Did you need to finally deal with some pain and trauma? Did you need to strengthen your prayer life and faith walk? How about learning patience and trusting God?

Prior to the quarantine, shutdown, Pandemic, I was burned out. Overwhelmed and anxiety through the roof. I had some things I needed to deal with, boundaries to set, and goals to accomplish. One of those goals was to build my trust in God. And I also desired to have more quality time with God in prayer, His Word and presence. Other goals were simply to cook more, be more present with my family, write more, work on and eventually release my book. I also wanted to practice more self-care. I needed more self-care.

Using my time wisely and accomplishing these goals haven’t been easy and I am far from perfectly disciplined, if there is such a thing. However, by the grace of God, I have come to grow in these areas and accomplish some of my goals. I give glory to God because He not only knows what I need and what those around me need, but He works all things together for my good.

I have been cooking more, making sweets and dishes such as cheesecakes, brownies, shrimp and chicken alfredo and more.

I love food and I love cooking and sharing my cooking moments and meals with family have been great.

I finished my book; praise God, and I am enjoying again taking photos of nature. I have also been tackling fear and anxiety by being vulnerable with God, prayer, His Word and grace.

Additionally, I’m learning to rest, spiritually, in the Lord and naturally to replenish and refuel. Walking with family, movie nights, and having pool time or errand runs have helped me to be present with family. I also sought a bit of therapy and started back journaling. God told me a while ago to reprioritize and organize my life. I wish I had started this mission before all of this but it is not too late.

God first and foremost and then everyone and everything else shall fall in their proper place. Learning to trust God and set boundaries will also help me to get some order in my life. Letting the Holy Spirit lead me and doing things with purpose and simplicity in mind will also help. Lastly, I aim to continue with strengthening my faith walk and love walk.

To conclude, I don’t know your goals or what God is calling you to do. I don’t know what you need to heal from, what things you need to part ways from and who you need to turn you attention back to. But I do know that you still have time today right now to choose to use your time wisely and set the stage for God to lead the way in your life. To choose to go deeper in the things of God and dwell in His presence like never before.

To choose to receive the life and life to the full Jesus came to give us as well as receive God’s unfailing love. To choose to live simply, fruitfully and purposefully. Prepare now and pray more. Rest while you can. Ask God to teach you to trust Him and rebuild your life on the foundation of His Son. Seasons will change. Prepare for the next season. Learn from this one and do all that you are supposed to do in this one.


Put Your Shoes On Honey,

Our journey awaits,

Tannika

Let It Surface

I am so excited about completing my new book. I didn’t know it would lead to the theme it has now, but God has me on a healing journey and the title change was so imperative. This healing journey has been one that has been lengthy, uncomfortable, challenging, yet imperative, enlightening, and such a blessing. I have discovered, thanks to the Holy Spirit and His grace to not abandon the process as well as so many things about myself. I have learned some triggers to my anxiety and where certain fears began. I am also learning to trust God and receive His unfailing love. I am learning to see myself the way God does. Moreover, prayer, learning to be transparent with God as well with others, facing my fears (one at a time), the Word of God, therapy, learning to be more present with myself, others and God are some things that have been crucial to this journey. (Note: I am still a work in progress.) Writing is another component of this journey and it has served as an outlet to express myself, learn, and cope. I have realized that my writing also serves as a tool to encourage others. My book, Bring It To The Surface, is not only full of poetic inspiration and encouragement but a journal to help you too to start your journey of healing and provide a space for self-reflection.

If you are feeling empty or lost, hurt or hopeless, stripped or depleted, know God who began a good work in you shall continue to perform it until the day of Christ Jesus. Know that He will also never leave you, nor forsake you. Whatever it is the enemy has killed, stolen, and destroyed in your life, God can revive, recover, and restore. And in order to heal and receive the abundant life Jesus came to give us, we have to allow God to bring some things to the surface. We can trust God who first loved us and gave His only begotten Son in order for you and me to have an eternal love and life. So, let the healing begin. Confess it, express it and then address it. God can handle your pain and God can provide the answers you need. I am so excited for this book to reach your hands and heart, and I pray you allow God to bring some things to the surface.


Available on Amazon now!!!!!!

Introducing My New Book!

Hey Loves,

I am so excited to introduce to you my new book!!!! I have finally finished it and it is now available in the Kindle Store. The paperback version has been updated and is now available on Amazon. So, please get your copy or your ebook version now. This is my fourth poetry book and this one is different from my others. Watch the video and found out how!

Bring It To The Surface

Watch “Bring It To The Surface” on YouTube

Hey loves, please watch, share, and like my new video/recording of my new poem Bring It To The Surface.

Tannika❤

Click on the link below⬇

Bring It To The Surface

The Enemy’s Trick (Lesson From Walking Dead)

Picture from AMC

I love The Walking Dead tv show. I just recently began watching season 10 which first aired October 6, 2019. I love seeing Rick’s people evolve, persevere, and overcome challenge after challenge. And I can always find a lesson or two in an episode. In episode eight, we see how Ziddiq’s PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that isn’t mentioned but one can conclude that is what he is dealing with including survivor’s guilt) has heightened. Finally, Ziddiq (played by Avi Nash) shares with someone the pain from seeing those he loved murdered right before his eyes. We also find out that there is a traitor in Alexandria. I felt something was off about this person but dismissed it. However, later in the episode and as they flashback to the traitor’s story, my suspicions turned out to be right. He was actually an imposter. When his true identity is discovered, what he tells Rosita made me immediately think of one of the enemy’s tricks. The imposter at Alexandria tells Rosita (played by Christian Serratos) that they are not as strong as they think they are. She expresses her growing fear to Gabriel (played by Seth Gilliam) and is starting to believe what the imposter says. And that is one trick our enemy uses to weaken and disarm us. He wants to bind us with fear and doubt. Fear and doubt are crippling, accusing, and draining. However, we do not have to walk around with fear. As believers, we must remember that God did not give us a spirit of fear but that of power, love, and a sound mind. We do not have to let doubt weaken our faith’s muscle. He who is in us is greater than he that is in the world and we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us. The enemy will use trials and tribulations, lies, doubts and fear to cause us to shrink back and lose confidence, feel alone, doubt or forget God’s providential care, unfailing love, and almighty power. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV). The enemy will also send imposters our way like enemies posing as friends as well as distracting and toxic baes and boos when we least expect it. But let us be alert and guard ourselves with the truth and power of God. Jesus guarded Himself in His time of weakness and wilderness during his 40 days and nights of fasting. He guarded Himself with the truth of God’s Word and by remaining confident in His Father.

So, let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus for He is the author and finisher of our faith. God is omnipotent and omniscient. He will protect us and guard our lives from the lies and imposters of the enemy. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31‭-‬39 NIV)

Changing Lanes and Choices

Two guys, both on their way to court to go before the judge for various reasons, are involved in a fender bender. One, Doyle (Samuel L. Jackson), wants to exchange information and follow proper protocol. But, the other guy, Gavin (Ben Affleck), is in such a hurry to get to court. He, Gavin, is a lawyer representing a case but not in an honest way. The other man, Doyle, is headed to court to fight to stay in his sons’ lives. Gavin is in such a hurry that he does not oblige Doyle. So, Gavin takes off leaving Doyle on the highway stranded. Subsequently, Doyle arrives late for court and things do not go in his favor.

From there, things spiral out of control, and both parties take revenge as one man fights for his children and the other fights to get back a crucial file for his case. Both men are having the worst day of their lives, yet are full of pride that is bringing out the worst in both of them. This movie is like an emotional roller coaster.

I learned, however, three things from this movie. The first thing I learned is that we must slow down. Rushing can hinder us from thinking and responding carefully. It also can hinder our ability to listen to understand. Had the lawyer who although needed to be in court slowed down to follow the proper protocol the events might have been slightly different. Plus some car accidents happen because some one is in a rush. The second thing I learned is that we must not hinder someone from trying to do the right thing. The lawyer wants to give the father a check and call it a day. For some people that check would suffice but the father wants to follow the proper protocol following a car accident. He wants to do what he knows is right. The third thing I learned is that revenge and lies lead to one bad choice after the other. The lawyer keeps making one bad choice after the other, telling one lie after the other until he is in so deep. The father keeps making choices to seek revenge and it is making his situation even worse. One could argue it is the lawyer’s fault; however, at the end of the day we all are responsible for the choices we make.

So, without telling how the end goes if you have not seen the movie, these two men have some decisions to make. Or will this spiral so far out of control that both men will lose completely? Changing Lanes (2002) is a good movie and it makes one think about how he/she will respond. You can check this movie out on Amazon Prime.

Signing out,

Tannika

Winter Season

Even with the grandeur of a beautiful landscape, winter can be daunting

Cold weather and possible blizzards are haunting

We await this season where things seem to halt in growth or decline in activity

Due to the strains of the weather and much passivity

Winter breaks and days off

Are alluring

Especially when life has you worn out

The mind and body needs curing

But all seasons are a part of our lives

They come and they go

Winter can be dreary

When the cool winds blow

It requires much wait and a little more press

Don’t forget the Sun seems to not shine its best

But during this season God can still bless

And although winter ushers in either fast or slow

There are lessons to learn

Knowledge to know

Opportunities to grow

And some moments to yield to

And to be still through

And know that He is God

The Great I Am

Faithful and true

To the bush and the ram

He is able to lead me and you

Winter seasons don’t have to bring blisters

Or give you frostbite

If you, through even the cloudiest of days,

Fix your sight

Upon Jesus Christ

Don’t get caught up in the decorations and traditions

And miss the moment to listen

Don’t procrastinate in preparing for the cold

And don’t abandon the process

As things disappear

Only to make things crystal clear

And make room for growth

God made the spring and the winter

Appreciate them both

For after wintery transitions and seasons to abound

New flowers and fruit will break free from the ground

New life and new lessons and all for the glory of a wise God

and a reigning King

Trust Him through the winter

And welcome the joy, hope, endurance, perseverance and character it brings

Tannika Moore

Get your copy today!

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.