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 education. 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 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

2020

I wrote this poem a couple or few months ago but made a few edits recently. This year has been said to be a horrible year, and we are just five months and six days down. This year started off rough for me and has continued on to be a challenge. In fact these past four years or so have been challenging (I use the word challenging because they were still blessings and I have learned so much). However, I remember when this year had just started a lot of people exclaimed that this would be the year of 2020 vision, clarity, the best year, and so forth. One thing for sure it has definitely been a year of clarity. It is like the curtain is being pushed back. But for me personally, this is another year of learning to trust God, another year of healing, and a year where God is drawing me closer to reprioritize and organize so that He can be first and everything else can fall in its right place. And this is the year for me to understand how to overcome and overcome those things that were draining me as well as distracting me, trying to keep me out of my destiny, and from healing and growing. So, this year is an uncomfortable one for me, and I bet it is uncomfortable for many others but this discomfort is needed. Let God open up our eyes and let God sit us down to have those personal and generational talks with each of us. Be willing and lean on Him for grace to receive His truth and His heart.


2020

I see you trying to be still

Trying to keep joy in the midst of chaos and sinking hill

This world is sick

And all signs point to last days

Some of us are so numb that with every new event we are unfazed

The spirit of deception is

Filling the airwaves and skies

Increasing also corruption and lies

People are dying and life ain’t the same

Coronavirus is spreading and taking lives

And it doesn’t care about your money, fame, or name

The foundation of our land

Is crumbling fast

From the seeds sown today as well as the past

Division and Racism

Pride and ego

Corroding the core of our foundation

Nation against nation

Money and fame are our gods

Fear and emotional disarray

Increasing every day

Everybody wants their own way

Envy and lust for power

The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy

he shows up to work every day ready to devour

The fatherless and the widow, not to mention those whose hope is shrinking

And everyone in between

Authenticity of Identity and Empathy has left the scene

Some of our love for others and ourselves are sour

And some of us trying to find our voice and not cower

There is little respect and more destruction of the Black flower

Fighting to survive every hour

Police corruption and racial bias

My skin is a threat

No empathy or sympathy for me

They would say I deserved my death

Senseless violence

And pent up pain in our hearts

Many of our youth are lost

We must save our children

And receive the abundant life

But some of us are afraid to take up our cross and count the cost

Dreams and destinies fill the grave

Anxiety and depression are soaring

We have a lot of Elijahs hiding in the cave

Fear of persecution

Fear of being alone

We are living in times where wrong is right and right is wrong

We are drowning in despair

Reaching for someone to stop and truly care

We are starving for integrity,

Humility, and real love

And needing answers that only God can supply from above

By Tannika Moore

What I Brought To The Table

I came and sat down at the table
Carrying what I had made in my hands
So excited and pleased
I wanted to show Jesus what I had made
But it fell apart as I set it on the table
It was destroyed and I was crushed
I looked at Jesus, who was sitting across from me, with my eyes wide and full of disappointment
Tears began to slide heavily down my cheeks
Jesus got up, came and sat closer to me
And put His hand on mine
He looked me in the eyes and said don’t worry,
We will rebuild it together
I know what it takes to build it right
And to make it last
He sat there with me
Patiently
And with a smile
We talked and laughed
He comforted me and
He let me pour out my heart to Him
And I felt safe
He worked with me
And guided me through
The careful rebuilding of what I brought to the table
It looked different
It looked new
He breathed on it
And it came to life
He spoke to it
And strengthened it with His might
It was my life
And as I surrendered mine and received His
I knew then I was going to be alright.

Tannika Moore

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.

Preparing Your Child For College

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As 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 or pick his/her roommate if a student he/she knows will be attending the same school and wants to roommate with that particular person.
  7. Make a list of items needed to move in, for the 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 and request gift cards if you prefer to 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.