Getting Back To Self

Right now, you may be at the part of your journey where you have discovered that you are wanting more or even less. You may have lost your motivation or inspiration. You may be burnt out or overwhelmed. You may be leaking emotionally and much stuff is coming to the surface waiting for your discovery, acknowledgement, and healing. You may be comparing or desperately trying to create a bucket list. Your insecurities may be screaming and your career may be looking at a different you than when you first started, causing you to feel a change is necessary. Whether you are 22 or 42, or even 62, you are coming to the realization that there is more to life but the only one that can fulfill you is God. And the only one who needs you to heal the most is you because you are with you and in your skin 24-7.

I think when you get to this part of the journey, you are really looking for you. Who are you really? And what do you need here on out as you heal, grow and prepare for new seasons in your life. It is time to get back to self. Meet your authentic self. See yourself the way God does. Live life where His voice is first and yours is second.

Getting back to self requires unlearning old things that need to be unlearned. It requires healing, humility, honesty, and patience. It requires also analyzing and sometimes resetting your motives and intentions. It requires self-care, self-love, and setting boundaries. It requires being vulnerable and healing the little person inside from the trauma you have endured since the beginning of your existence. It requires time and work as well as acknowledging all of you, including your flaws and parts that you feel are unlovable. It requires gratitude and making peace with self where necessary. It requires allowing God to help you to navigate through your healing journey.

It requires you to be present and you to be you, the you God knew before you were even in your mother’s womb and the you He desired and destined for you to be.

Feel free to leave your comments below. And if you need prayer, please indicate so and we will pray for you.

Things To Not Say…

Someone may be experiencing a loss, burnout, anxiety, depression, consistent stress. And when someone expresses his/her heart, issue or struggle, offer compassion and a listening ear. (If saved) Let the Holy Spirit lead you from there.

But do not say these things:

Just pray about it.

Stop saying that.

Everyone has anxiety.

Be strong.

These statements can sound dismissive. They can sound insensitive. How do you know the person isn’t praying and that fight to get out of the bed or talking with someone was the answer to their prayers. Yes, sometimes a person saying things out of habit or unloading on another can be frustrating or even overwhelming. When it is too much, you have the right to protect your boundaries and your own mental health. However, don’t leave your compassion to the wayside.

Don’t tell someone “everyone has anxiety or depression right now”. You took the focus off of the person needing someone to listen and put the focus on everyone. It seems dismissive and one can be left feeling that they should have never said anything. Even moreso, one can feel like what he/she feels doesn’t matter or isn’t of concern. “If everyone else is dealing with this why I am complaining. Just deal with it.”

“Be strong.” As if expressing yourself and struggling is a sign of weakness. And one must learn to process everything they feel instead of ignoring it.

In any event, let us show compassion. Not every time someone needs advice but if you must, use wisdom, preferably Godly wisdom. And most importantly, listen. Sometimes, people just want to be heard and some of us are doing the work to overcome. We just need perhaps a hug (upon permission), a prayer or encouragement, patience, or just to be seen and heard.

Introverted Christian

I came across an interesting video along my YouTube feed about four types of introverts. They were the Social Introvert, Restrained Introvert, Anxious Introvert and Thinking Introvert. The Thinking Introvert and perhaps Restrained Introvert sounds like me, however, I think I am mix of all four. Here is a link to the video: https://youtu.be/dNKQYjsxgPU .

I have come to understand (basically accept) that I am shy and introverted. And that is okay. I am uncomfortable speaking in front of others. I have foregone food until after a speaking engagement, avoided mics (I don’t want anyone to see my hand shake), and gotten physically sick prior to having to speak. I get through speaking in front of others by the grace of God, practice and much preparation (and building confidence). There are times I get nervous presenting a workshop to students that I have even worked with multiple times. I used to know how to dance, pick up a dance, or at least manage my two feet when I was younger and around my cousins or by myself. Now, I feel like sometimes I have two left feet, and I won’t dare dance around anyone unless I have a bolt of joy or am around family or in a crowd, or don’t mind feeling awkward.

I also tend to be in my head a lot. I love spending time thinking. On the flip side, I tend to also worry over if I said something right or did something enough. And I too need ample of amount of time to just be alone or just recoup from being overwhelmed or expending much energy. If I could Thanos snap people away when I felt like it or just press pause… 😆.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love people. I love encouraging others and showing up for others. And I do genuinely interact with people, am family-oriented, and have been described as bubbly. In fact, I loved to help plan get-togethers with my friends, family vacation trips, and family nights. But the next day or a day or two out of vacation, I just want to do nothing and relax. I still love planning such things but haven’t planned much as of now, except family nights and maybe an outing or two with my best friend. I also like staying home most times, but I do love nature and love getting out doors to enjoy such.

I don’t like talking on the phone much and prefer to text. I also love reading or just watching movies. I enjoy my own company much of the time.

As an introvert and a shy person, how does this affect me as a Christian? I don’t know as I am just asking myself this. I do know that God can still get the glory from a shy, introvert like me. And it makes sense how He has given me the gifts of encouragement and mercy. I thank God that although I need time alone and love my own company, I have care and concern for others. I am not treading through life selfishly. However, on the flip side, I am learning to set boundaries. It is not good to be all about just yourself, but you do have to pour into yourself, invest in yourself, take care of yourself, create moments and space for self. Then only can you adequately and without resentment pour into someone else’s cup. God did say to love others as you love yourself. Some of us need to learn to love ourselves.

God has helped me to encourage others through my writing. God has helped me to be able to create memories and moments for others. God has blessed and will bless me continually with purposeful relationships. Just because I am an introvert and am shy, doesn’t mean God can’t still use me. Sometimes, I have to press out of my comfort zone. Sometimes (well maybe most of the time), I have to rest after. But God can and will still use me.

We are to share God’s Word and love through speech and action. Whether you are shy and introverted or not, you can still impact others with the heart and Word of God.

You may be an introvert and Christian also. But know that although these things describe your personality and are some facets to who you are, it is God that truly defines who you are. Your identity lies within Him. And with that, just don’t let these characteristics or traits, whatever they are called, keep you shut off from the world. He sent us to go into the world to spread His Word and love, to finish up where Jesus left off. And yes, do remember to take time to replenish yourself and set boundaries as you challenge your fears as well as develop good relationships and support systems. Nothing wrong with taking care of your self and mind.

How Anxiety Feels

I was briefly reading Psalm 55 before a meeting this morning, and as I came across verses four and five I realized it described how anxiety feels. I am grateful that David was able to share his heart with God and thousands of years later, many us, if not all, can relate.

My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.
Psalms 55:4‭-‬5 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.55.4-5.NLT

Anxiety can be felt in your chest as it pounds to the beat of stress and sorrow. Anxiety can be a lump in the throat making it hard to swallow the fear that does not want to submit and go away. Anxiety can be sweat and chills with tension and rapid eye blinks. Anxiety can be in the trembles of the body and the mind wandering a mile a minute with a plague of worries and thoughts. Anxiety can be in the avoidance of necessary activities in life and still step out on faith in moments while having a desire to run and hide, costing you freedom and joy. Anxiety can be the mind stuck in the past or stuck in the future. Anxiety can feel like death is following and no one can help or understand. Anxiety can feel like a death sentence as well as a life sentence. But God…

There is hope. And we are anxiety fighters. Thanks to God we can take one day at a time and fight through. We can develop courage and joy because the joy of the Lord will be our strength. We can learn about ourselves, how to endure, and learn to see ourselves the way God does. We can heal and grow, and many of us will receive the deliverance from the spirit of fear because God did not give us a spirit of fear, but that of power, love and a sound mind.

But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalms 55:16‭-‬18‭, ‬22 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.55.16-22.NLT

God is our safe place. God can and will sustain us. God cares about us and is concerned about everything that concerns us. God hears our cries and collects our tears. He is the answer to our problems. He loves us greater than anyone ever can. Jesus is a testament to His love for us. God reminds us to not fear. He is with us and He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is a present help in the time of trouble.

Let us ask God where we have not been trusting Him. Let us take a deep breath and rest in the God who loves us beyond measure and wants us to receive the life and life to the full He came to give us. Share with Him, like David, the contents of our hearts. And let us remember how good God has been and worship Him through the good times and bad, the certainties and doubts, and anxiety.

Be encouraged, loves. We are anxiety fighters.

Have you gotten your copy of Bring It To The Surface Poetry & Journal?

Playing Back Your Mental Tape (Bring It To The Surface)

After coming across and watching several videos lately on pretty privilege, colorism, anxiety, and a variety of life topics, I realize how brave many people are to address or express their experiences or views on such. And then I think about my own experiences in life and realize that we all have some things on our mental tape (minds and hearts) to deal with. What views and perspectives did you come to take on about yourself? How did your experiences shape how you see yourself? What patterns, traumas and events in your life fuel the way you approach life, family, work?

I thought about how certain things have been on my mental tape. Some have stopped playing. Some are rewinded back. Some are being scratched out and recorded over. But there are many things on it. And I suppose there are many things on yours. I was once asked when I was young if I was adopted or found somewhere (I am not adopted; I am my mother’s daughter). At the time, out of my mom and sister, I was the only one who was of a medium brown complexion. I don’t remember all of what I felt. But I do remember that it stuck with me and when I went home, I told my mom. And I remember a family member having my other family members laughing at me saying basically I smelled (I don’t think I did; I hope I didn’t lol, but I was a kid). I cried that night. And I forgot that when I told an adult the next day what happened that night, there was complete silence. Another time, in high school, I remember boarding a school bus to head to our homecoming game and one of my classmates came to sit by me.

Another classmate who came to sit across from him asked him why was he sitting next to me. I remained quiet but that too stuck with me. I was determined to have a good time at the game and show school spirit that I decided not to dwell on it. Fast forward to an adult, there was a smear campaign against me at work I had to endure that I thought I would never get through. I cried on a regular and was so hurt. There is heartbreak I had to endure from my first serious relationship. I remember he broke up with me over the phone. I remembered feeling like can he hurry it up. Just get it over with. I was angry and hurt. As soon as we ended the call, I remember looking out the window of the rear end of the bus. I was so glad I had chose the seat at the very back because I silently cried my heart out. Tears streamed down my face.

There are countless childhood and adulthood memories that as I typed were popping up in my mind. However, I am grateful for the healing journey that I am on and most likely will continue throughout my life. And that is okay. Growth and healing is and should be constant. I am also grateful that I don’t dwell on these things nor bear unforgiveness towards those who have played a part in these events that have left hurt or trauma in my heart.

Thanks to the Holy Spirit, the grace to do the healing homework and commitment to stay on the journey, I have learned some of the triggers to my anxiety. I have learned more about my flaws and why I may respond the way I do. I have learned some of my self-perceptions. I have felt not worthy and sometimes not pretty enough. I have felt like I have to give more, do more and be more to be enough (not all the time but I have noticed that this is how I generally feel). But God. Renewing my mind is crucial. Saturating in the Word of God is imperative. Learning to see myself in the eyes of God and love myself with His love can help me not only process what is on my mental tape but also add new things to it that will remind me I am enough. I am loved.

Moreover, this is not a woe is me message. I do have self esteem and confidence (this is growing). I do have happy moments and memories in my childhood and adulthood. I do have those who have affirmed me and supported me. But like any human, I have had and have still trauma and pain, disappointments and heartbreaks that I too have to heal and grow from. And in order to heal, you have to be able to allow some things to come to the surface. You can’t keep pain, old patterns, and feelings bottled up and hidden. Allow God to bring them to the surface. Safely explore these to see what is holding up the strongholds and generational curses in your life as well as feelings of not feeling like you are enough, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness in your heart and mind.

Have these conversations with God first, yourself, with a therapist and someone you can trust. Let the healing journey begin.

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Bring It To The Surface Poetry & Journal available now at Amazon.

Bring It To The Surface Bible Reading Plan

We lose a lot of things along the way in our journeys of life like confidence and hope, and sometimes ourselves. Some of us are fighting to regain our health mentally or physically. Some of us are carrying loads of pain and hiding behind masks, no pun intended. But God! He wants us to heal. He wants us to grow. He wants us to be free. I am so excited to bring to you this Bible Reading Plan titled after my latest book, Bring It To The Surface. So, grab your bible and I pray you allow God to bring some things to the surface so that your healing and recovery can start today. And for those already on your healing journeys, I pray this encourages you to not abandon the process and to seek and trust God one day at a time. It is a five day reading plan and its purpose is to guide you towards seeking God for your healing and recovery. So, welcome and enjoy, and let’s draw near to God who loves us beyond measure.

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Available now on Amazon!

Bring It To The Surface

Are You Experiencing Anxiety (10 Tips To Help You Cope)

Did you know that 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety? And 25 percent of children suffer from an anxiety disorder (Anxiety and Depression Association of America).

Anxiety can be so limiting, frustrating, scary, and overwhelming. I have dealt with it for years, not initially recognizing what it was and how much it has affected my life. Yet, I serve a mighty God despite what anxiety may say. This may be a process and it may be day by day, step by step, but I will overcome. As I grow and heal as well as learn to trust God, I am also learning to cope with anxiety.

And this year has brought on more stress. So, I am sure more people are feeling anxious. People who have suffered from anxiety prior to the pandemic, you may be even more anxious. So, how do we cope with anxiety?

10 Ways To Cope With Anxiety (These are not in a specific order)

1. When you are anxious, don’t fight what you are physically feeling, don’t try to pause the pain, or suppress your emotions. Often times when I was anxious or having an anxiety attack, I would try and fight it with the intent to hurry and make it go away. But it would only make me feel worse. You are trying to fight your anxiety attack from rising when your body is already in fight or flight mode. Sounds crazy don’t it but I would do just that. After finding such tip on another google search and practicing it, I found not fighting it helped me to calm down much more effectively and quicker than it would have fighting it. Sometimes, we try to avoid what we feel. Feel it. Then take a deep breath and release it.

2. Rest. Don’t just take naps. But for people who are constantly busy and rarely take naps, every now and then we need to incorporate nap time. Get some sleep. I realized my lack of sleep or lack of quality of sleep also triggers my anxiety. Even lack of healthy eating and lack of eating adequate meals can trigger anxiety. Ok so back to rest. Pause to pray and play. Enjoy the moment. Embrace the present. Catch up on self-care, family time, organizing and even doing some things God has laid on your heart to do that you have wanted to do for awhile. Rest means pausing to be productive and present.

3. Practice deep breathing. I am still learning how to properly do this but it helps to tell your body to calm down by releasing adequate oxygen in your body through your blood and a calm order to your brain. And it is helping. It lets me tell my body “ok, I feel you.” “Im paying attention. We are going to be okay.”

4. Watch something funny and laugh daily. Mass consumption of reading and watching videos of what’s going on right now can be unhealthy. I was reading something recently about a new rare symptom or so in kids getting Covid and I could feel my eyesight get blurry and head start to hurt. It was overwhelming. Fear is increasing in the land. God did not give us a spirit of fear but that of power, love and a sound mind. So, remember that and laugh away. Laughter has been a good distraction and great medicine.

5. Pray and read the Word of God. His Word is alive and active. God’s promises and Word still stand. He is God Almighty and the prayers of the righteous availeth much. Keep praying. Keep reading His Word. I will read His Word and God will pinpoint something to pray regarding a situation. Let us involve God in every area of our lives. He cannot fail. He will not fail.

6. Take one day at a time. Don’t worry about tomorrow. You are not there yet. Focus on today. Don’t rush the process. And trust God one day at a time. Be patient. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with others. Be patient with God after all He is patient with us.

7. Practice self-care and add it to your calendar if you have to. You’d be surprise how some people with anxiety are consumed with worry and meeting the needs of others that they tend to neglect their own care. And sometimes it isn’t the physical care they neglect, but the mental and emotional care.

8. Get therapy and seek God. It is okay to get therapy. Talking with someone who is neutral, is not directly involved in your pain and personal business, and is trained in guiding you towards self-awareness, identifying the trauma and guiding you to solutions as well as identifying choices you have to heal and move forward is a great resource and support. Moreover, seek God, for His wisdom is not of this world. He created you and first loved you so He has, and knows, and wants what is best for you. He has the solutions you need. And He wants you to be free from the spirit of fear.

9. Do your healing homework. What triggers your anxiety? Why are you worried? Upon prayer and the Holy Spirit’s counsel, I found that a particular workplace was one of my anxiety triggers. I was then able to pray concerning such and delve deeper as to why I would feel anxious there and begin the work to have a better experience in that environment. Things changed and you know what, the change started in me first. I had to learn to see the people in this environment the way God did. I had to, well am still learning to, learn to see myself the way God sees me also.

10. Learn effective coping techniques. What are some things you can do to manage your stress and anxiety? What are some things you like to do to relax or have fun? Are they healthy and effective? Like listening to some good old music. I know someone told me they have been listening to Stevie Wonder. I listen to 90’s music and sometimes just worship music. Sometimes, I watch funny things like a comedy sketch. Laughter is good medicine as I mentioned before. I love taking walks. I journal sometimes. I also take time to acknowledge how I feel. Being transparent with myself and others helps me as well as others. Moreover, I am learning to be more transparent with God. Not that He doesn’t know, but sharing the matters of your heart with God is refreshing and empowering. Reading books. Cooking. Sharing a meal with family and friends. Helping someone else helps take your mind off of you for a short while and blessing someone else blesses you. I also have recently started praying in tongues more in the morning. I wake up a lot of mornings with anxiety so praying in tongues and worshiping God has been a great help. It takes my mind off of me and puts it back on God.


What are other ways one can cope with anxiety?


Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or expert on anxiety. These are merely tips from research and from my own experience and are not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose medical conditions.

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