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.