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

I saw people’s posts of their decade reviews and their end vs 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.

Raising Relatives

I have always been hesitant in writing a post like this but I am writing it today to give encouragement to parents who are raising or helping to raise their relatives (cousins, nieces, nephews, or siblings). I have the privilege of helping raise my nephew and we have had our ups and downs but I am so grateful for this opportunity. He is my baby!!!! And I am committed to his care and well-being. However, often when I am unsure, unconfident, and need some advice sometimes I rarely find someone to turn to from a caregiver of a relative point of view and little advice on google. Nonetheless, the Holy Spirit reminds me of the One authority–God–on the subject that is full of knowledge on the very people He created and His encouragement and wisdom is supreme, refreshing, and consistent.

Another thing I have noticed is that some people will not understand your unorthodox family. Some will be curious about your little one’s story but I had to learn that your story isn’t meant for everyone’s ears. I remember reading in a bible plan that was about foster parenting/caregiving and so forth that you have to protect the child’s story. And sometimes there are layers to his/her story or it may not be what people want to hear. It may be something complex or not as complex to explain. Whatever it is, it is still none of their business. So, stop explaining to people. And all they need to know is that what is being done is for the child’s best interest.

So, when you feel discouraged or having a setback, God’s love and Word is life-giving and it propels you forward in the unknown and every circumstance. His mercy and grace reminds you that you don’t have to be a perfect parent. His grace and mercy give you the fuel to press in loving and instructing this child into receiving God’s love, seeking God, and discovering their destiny. Moreover, be present and enjoy this season or seasons where you get to watch your little ones blossom from the love of God. Mordecai raised his cousin, Esther, and He even prepared her for a destiny that involved helping save God’s people. So what can we learn from Mordecai?

✴Raise them with authority and confidence of our Savior.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

✴Raise them up in the Lord. Teach them God’s Word and love.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

✴Trust them and their future in the hands of God.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Lastly, dont give up and be encouraged. You are on a God-given assignment.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Are you raising a relative? What encouragement would you give another caregiver?

Little Boy, You Are Needed & Wanted

20180712_092038.jpgSometimes you learn a lot when you have conversations with little humans. I don’t remember what led to this topic, but my 9-year-old nephew and I were having a conversation on a lengthy ride home some time ago. He says to me something like a woman shouldn’t depend on or need a man. I immediately understood what he was trying to communicate; however, it led me to definitely clear up something with him. Although he made me proud that he understood a female, too, should and could go out and make life happen for herself, I wanted to make sure he understood one thing.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 KJV). We are to teach our children and instill in them certain truths and disciplines. But we also have to be careful of what beliefs we are spreading to our children verbally and non-verbally. I wanted to make sure my actions or lifestyle wasn’t screaming to him this very thing: that a man is not needed. I am an unmarried woman who is not dating, who is working hard, maintaining a household, growing in my faith in God, and working on furthering my dreams and goals. I have accomplished so much and have done things that were seemingly contributed to mostly married couples like buying a home.

So, I told him, “yes, we women are to not depend on men. In fact, we (both women and men) are supposed to depend solely on God. We, women are to fulfill our destinies and accomplish our goals” because God created each of us with a purpose also. “But, please understand that men are needed and wanted too.” A man is vital to our world. I know we hear and see lately “the future is female”. I also believe in empowering women and helping women grow, heal, and reach their destinies. Moreover, as a woman, I, too, see and experience the danger and issues we face daily. However, I want little boys, and especially little Black boys, to believe they matter and are needed. God created male and female and He has a destiny for us all individually as well as together. Together, we can fulfill and overcome so much more in a world that has grown so divided.

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.

Nurturer of Life

Through a woman, we enter this world. By a mother’s love (not excluding a father’s love) are we nurtured from the womb to her heart, then her arms and out into the world. Sometimes, we are nurtured straight from her heart to her arms and then to the world. No matter what, there is a revolving door back to her heart and she loves her children unconditionally.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!!! And I am praying sincerely for those moms who have lost children and children who have lost their mothers. May the Comforter continue to comfort you through this time.

Enjoy this poem God blessed me to write called Nurturer of Life:

From the rib of a man

And the heart of God

Beckoned by a teary eyed child’s demand

With regalness and crown

From the King

Compatible help meet God found

To embrace the head as one

To help him realize layers of dreams untold

To birth heritage of new and old

She is the mere representation of the Many Breasted One

Giving nurture and care to the world

From man to boy and girl

The nurturer of life in so many ways

Gifted to her from the Ancient of Days

Wrapped in unconditional love

Dipped in Fierceness and Resilience

A carrier of life

And a life preserver

A teacher and a server

If God is the tree, mother is the nest

For you and me

Safety is in her arms

As she guides and prepares us to fly

To fulfill destinies assigned by the Most High

To live life from under His wing

To sing when no one else will sing

From her smile comes hope

From her hair comes wisdom and growth

From her womb comes life and pain

From her heart comes trust and belief

Until it is wounded with grief

But a butterfly will once again emerge

From a heart God has purged

Because she is who she is

She will live to forgive

And accept

And love

With every tear, kiss, and hug

The nurturer of life in so many ways

Glorifies and magnifies the Ancient of Days

And she will continue to carry her children, through however God blessed her to conceive,

By birth, by circumstance, by spirit

Through life

Even when they are too heavy too carry

She will lift them in prayers

And surrender them to Unfailing Love

For she knows Love can love them far greater than she can

Yet, mother is a force to be reckoned with

Blessed with super powers from God

Strong and extraordinare

A mother is the nurture of life in so many ways

Gifted to us by the Ancient of Days

By Tannika Moore

Five Things I learned From My Mama

This Sunday we celebrate our mothers. We thank God for them and honor them for their selflessness, sacrifice, and unconditional love. 

I love my mama and I make sure I express it as much as I can. But before I move forward, I am going to stress that we take the time to pray for children (of all ages) who have lost their mothers as well as for mothers who have lost children. Comfort them Holy Spirit and uplift their spirits during this time, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

In honor of my mom, I want to share five things she has taught me and told me:

  1. You can’t please everyone.😊 Be okay with that. 
  2. Work hard. 💪My mom has worked faithfully for her job for more than 18 years. I have learned and strived for longevity and commitment in my professional and personal life through her example of hard work. 
  3. A man is not going to fall on the couch. 🛋 Sorry ladies, God isn’t going to just plop him right on your couch. Don’t go looking for a guy, trust God, seek God, but get out there and live your life. And God will help him find you!
  4. Treat yourself. ❤Be kind to yourself. Make sure you matter to you.
  5. Trust God! 🙏🏾My mom always reminds me to give it all over to God. Hearing and seeing her testimonies lets me know that she too had to learn and trusting God never fails because He doesn’t fail.

              Happy Mother’s Day Moms!   

                ____________________________

What are some things you learned from your mom? Please share below!

Mother’s Day: A Daughter’s Prayer

mother's day

A Daughter’s Prayer

By Tannika Moore

Lord, I pray for my mother

By first thanking You for her

I acknowledge that You created her for a reason

And it wasn’t just to be my mom

So, I pray

Lord that she seeks

Out her gifts and purpose from You

For You are her creator

 

Lord, I pray that she realizes

That she is fearfully and wonderfully made

And that she was set apart for Your use and Your use alone

I pray Lord

That You will grant her the grace

To reject all negative and deceptive comments, beliefs, and thoughts Satan tries to inject in her mind

I pray Lord that You will bind up

Every critical spirit that tries to pollute her mind and her emotions

Lord, I pray that she will be filled with joy and peace

Peace that surpasses all understanding

I come against fear that she may have for You did not give her the spirit of fear

But that of power, love and a sound mind

 

I pray, Lord, that she will see herself the way You see her

And that she surrenders every area of her life to You

I pray, Lord, that she believes without a doubt

And she prays without ceasing

Give her strength, Lord, to move forward and be what You have

called her to be and do what You have called her to do

Grant her Godly wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Your Word

Help her exude holiness and virtue continually so that her girls

may imitate these attributes that You possess

Help her to trust You and depend upon Your strength

for only with You there is stability and security

 

Give her direction for her children

Help her to be anxious about nothing even when it comes

to her children, but to pray about everything

Lord, help her to forgive and

Love even when it becomes difficult

Build her up and encourage her

And let her learn to encourage herself when others won’t

Let her not lose sight of the visions and dreams You have placed in her heart

Let her have time to devote to You

And let her experience Your presence in her devotion time

Help her to take time also for herself as well as to reflect and laugh

 

Let her identity be wrapped up in You Lord

Let her know that her prayers are not in vain

Her praise has not gone unnoticed and her tears have not gone unseen.

Now Lord, I pray that Your angels encamp round about her;

protect her, guard her heart and her mind

Lord, I pray that she develops the fear of the Lord

within her heart and the joy of the Lord always

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

And thank You for my mother’s love

because of a mother’s unconditional love

I know how you feel about me

From Setting The Captive Free poetry book

Happy Mother’s Day to every woman who has birthed a child in love and hope, who has nurtured a child through love and the Word of God!

For more information on author, Tannika Moore, and her books visit www.stcfpoetrybook.com