Thankful Journal Entry

I don’t know if it is because of the Christmas season and day or because I am having some writing flow this week (been having Writer’s block for a while), but here is another post.

As I lie down in bed and after finishing composing my previous post, I am filled with thoughts of appreciation and gratitude. I thought of an elder who took time to teach me how to drive and pass the driving test. To this day (although unfortunately, I have anxiety and driving anxiety), I still remember the things he taught me as well as his kindness and patience. Mind you, I got my license late in the game. Another person I am grateful for is another elder who I endearingly called my god granny. Her humor, wisdom, kindness, and jazzy spirit was so amazing. I miss both of them, Elder Heath and Sister Dixon.

There are a lot of things that you may still be dealing with, but I challenge you to make a list of things and people you are grateful for. Let’s go! I just named two people. I am also grateful for a new day, a warm house, and family… The list goes on. I am thankful especially for my Jesus!!!!! Without Him, there is no me or no hope.

What or who are you grateful for?

When Love, Raising A Family Together, And Relationship Mattered

It has been so disheartening to watch so many news reports and YouTube videos of so many women of all nationalities being murdered. It is especially scary and disheartening to see the majority of these beautiful ladies are Black women like myself. And even more unsettling is the back to back stories of pregnant Black women murdered and families left wondering why. According to Nature.com article, Homicide Is A Top Cause of Maternal Death In The United States, “researchers found that US women who are pregnant or were pregnant in the past 42 days (the post-partum period) die by homicide at more than twice the rate that they die of bleeding or placental disorders — the leading causes of what are usually classified as pregnancy-related deaths” (Subbaraman 12 November 2021).

We know that this world is experiencing much darkness in these times. We also know that the nucleus of society, family (relationship), is under attack, a severe one for its value, survival, and impact on communities.

So to see women, pregnant women, back to back murdered is shocking, but not so when you remember the enemy hates mankind and our chance for reconciliation with the Father through the blood and sacrifice of The Father’s Son, Jesus. To see us alive, operating in our purpose, and glorifying God are some things the devil scoffs at like the pre-intervention Scrooge at laughter on Christmas day.

When you see or hear another story of a pregnant woman slain, you may also wonder why. You may read comments on a YouTube video of blame, shame, and assumptions. But at the end of the day, we are living in a time where social media and technology have made news of such tragedies more swiftly widespread than ever. And we are living in a time where life isn’t valued as much, and lovers of self are increasing exponentially.

So why can’t there be divine order in many of our homes where men (good, integrous, godly, provider, protector ones) will be the heads of households? Why can’t women, and if I can be frank, why can’t Black women also, be protected? Why can’t men and women value family/marriage, and one that is healthy and thriving? Why can’t bringing a child into this world be one of joy instead of dread? Why can’t wedding day be something anticipated first and prepared for just as lavishly as baby showers? Why can’t both men and women communicate their intentions, goals, and expectations honestly and thoroughly before moving forward to sex, dating, etc.? Why can’t men hold themselves accountable also when it comes to procreating? Why don’t we teach our young adults before they hit that threshold to learn problem solving and understanding consequences and accountability? Why can’t we get back to promoting love over situationships, cheating, and lack of commitment and responsibility?

NONE of us are perfect and none of us have ever made great and right decisions ALL of the time or every time. But, let us be intentional with our relationships. Let us go out into this world having hearts and minds with the intention to bring peace and not division, destruction and harm. Let us heal and grow, and value ourselves and others. Let us learn to see ourselves the way God does to be able to do the above-mentioned. Let us get God back involved in a society that is sick and hurting, needing love and healing.

The song below prompted me to think about how love, raising a family together and relationship mattered. Feel free to listen.

Forever by Jodeci

Film Review

I decided that I would catch a movie today around the same time my preteen was going to be seeing a movie with the program he is in. And this was an opportunity to take myself out. And I could wait for him while the kids were watching their movie. The movie I wanted to see was only playing in the evening time so I had to look for another movie. One particular film caught my eye. It turned out to be a documentary and I admit I seldom watch documentaries. However, this documentary was being produced by the Kendricks Brothers, and they do not disappoint. Remember the Kendrick Brothers brought us War Room.

This documentary happened to be playing around the same time as the movie my preteen would be watching. I was elated and interested in how the documentary would actually be.

I cried, laughed and expressed my heartfelt “thank You, Jesus” several times all while sitting reclined in my comfortable red seat.

The documentary is called Show Me The Father. It is a documentary from the perspectives and voices of men I wasn’t too familiar with. I was familiar with the Kendrick Brothers and Dr. Tony Evans but not the likes of Deland McCullough and Sherman Smith.

The documentary was about the impact of the fathers on the lives of these men. Some had fathers and even father figures who were either present and pouring into their children as best as they could. Other had fathers and stepfathers not present, abusive, or struggling in some kind of way. Oh and the twist at the end regarding one of the men. Ok, hope I am not spoiling anything.

Nonetheless, what the Kendrick Brothers wanted you to realize is that there is one father that can fill the void of an absent father or a negligent father, and who loves us beyond measure. And that He can also heal the hearts of men looking to change the impact they are making in their children’s lives.

Whether you are a father or mother, the child, young or old, saved or unsaved, please go see this film. Whether your father was present, a protector and a provider or not present like mine, go see this film. And bring your kleenex.

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.

ABBA

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, godfathers, father-figures, spiritual fathers, uncles who bring a father’s presence to a child’s life. May you feel honored and loved on today.

And Happy Father’s Day to the Greatest Father of them all, God, my Abba!

Abba

Pain rises

Like boiling water in a lid covered pot

And I ask myself

Who would love me

If my father would not

Who would see my worth

If he disregarded it from birth

Who would be the first man to love me so

Who would, with love, care, and patience, tend to his seed to help it grow

Who would wipe my tears

And calm all my fears

And give me faith

That the little brown girl in me can too be loved and safe.

That she is worth more than a rare gem

Who can fill the void of a fatherless child

None other than Him

The Great I Am.

My Abba.

My Father.

My Yahweh-Shalom

Nothing like a father’s love.

Yet no one can fill my void.

Only He alone.

–Written by Tannika Moore

Check out this beautiful song by Jonathan and Melissa Helser

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Bring It To The Surface Available Now at Amazon

Tannika’s Writing Vault: Christmas Play

Well, we made it to Christmas Eve y’all!!!! I am so excited to just rest, have a good meal, and reflect with loved ones. And I pray the same for you.

Not too long ago, I started a new series titled Tannika’s Writing Vault. And today’s post will be a part of this series.

This is my new series where I introduce you to some of my past material I’ve written. I have written skits for special events at church and I have also written short stories, some of which I admit are half-done. Did I tell you, I once created my own entertainment magazine in high school! But I won’t be sharing my little paper bootleg magazine. Anyway, welcome to Tannika’s Writing Vault and enjoy!

Please enjoy this skit I wrote for a church holiday program!!!!! And have a merry Christmas!!!!!!

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

What Matters Most

There are 13 days until Christmas and we all can admit that this Christmas will be a bit different. Large gatherings will become small. Some travel will be postponed. To make the most of this holiday, we must connect as best as we can. Some of us will fellowship via Zoom trying our best to spread smiles, love and cheer. Although our holidays are a little different this year, let’s remember what matters most and make the most out of this season. Here is my poem from my Christmas In The Winter poetry book. Need an awesome, encouraging gift for this year’s Christmas stocking, order a copy today. Available now on Amazon.

What Matters The Most

Is sentimental words on a card

The comfort when times are hard

Every second of a day

Listening added to what you have to say

Peace in the midst of the storm

Uniqueness in the midst of the norm

A meager meal cooked with love

Than hate mixed in with grub

The One who loved us first

The One who can fulfill our thirst

The One who loves us unfailingly

And gave His Only Begotten Son

Abundant laughter and simple fun

Patience and time

Loved ones and memories

Family and fellowship

To be kind

Journeys

And relationship

And what can’t be paid for

What shouldn’t be ignored

What can be nurtured

Little ones and present historical ones are to be protected, honored, and adored

What matters most

Is what’s simple and free

But it’s worth so much

That no economical value can equate

What matters the most is sometimes the looked over and the less than the obvious great

What matters the most

Is what’s in the heart, the mind, and the will of God

Remember to treasure such and abide within

The One for who is the Reason

For This Christmas season

By Tannika Moore

Tannika’s Writing Vault: Sunday School Blues

Thought I start a new series where I introduce you to some of my past material I’ve written. I have written skits for special events at church and I have also written short stories, some of which are half-done. Did I tell you, I once created my own entertainment magazine in high school! But I won’t be sharing my little paper bootleg magazine . Anyway, welcome to Tannika’s Writing Vault and enjoy!

First thing up is a skit I was asked to write that was to be performed for Sunday school promotion. We were studying the book Think Differently at the time so I hope you catch the reference. Ok, here it is and originally written July 2018:

Skit for Church: Sunday School Blues

Scene I:

The alarm clock blasts its sirens of wake up. Both parents sleepily arise at the sound at the same time.

Mom: (Mom glances at the alarm clock only to discover that that is the second alarm,

the one she sets for them to be getting ready to LEAVE for Sunday School. She rushes out of the bed.)

We’re late again!

(Mom goes to son’s room and she calls his name several times. He finally wakes up after a nudge.)

Mom: Get up and lay out your clothes for church.

Son: Oh mom, why we gotta go anyway. (He puts his pillow over his head.)

Mom: Just get ready.

Son: (Doesn’t get up until mom exits the room, then starts looking for clothes.)

(Dad is in the bedroom still and intensely watching news on the ball game via tablet that is to come on later.

Mom goes to the kitchen to prepare food.)

Mom: (In the kitchen starting to cook bacon. She leaves the kitchen and goes to her and her husband’s bedroom to go and prepare for church.)

Mom: (Enters bedroom.) You’re watching the game?

Dad: No, the news on Lebron. Game come on later.

Mom: Can you finish watching the bacon babe? I am about to get ready.

(The husband goes to the kitchen, still watching the news.)

(She starts fixing her hair after picking out her clothes. The smoke detector goes off.

She rushes into the kitchen. The son rushes into the kitchen at the same time as mom)

Mom: I thought you were watching the bacon!

Son: (He is in his pajamas still, carrying his phone, and wearing a smirk on his face.) Ooh Daddy, you gone get it!

Mom: You’re not dressed! And didn’t I tell you no phone on Sundays.

Son: I couldn’t find any clothes. And mom, um, you’re not dressed either.

Mom: Boy, don’t get popped!

Scene II:

The family defeatedly sits down in the kitchen chairs one at a time.

Son: (Gets a text about Sunday School.) Matthew says they had snacks, a Goliath obstacle course, prizes for Sunday School. Man, y’all made me miss Sunday School!

Mom: (Side eyes child.) We made you miss it. Baby bye, Mr. I can’t get out of bed and find my clean clothes.

And why we got to go anyway. (She says mockingly.)

Dad: We had a long week anyway. Surely, God understands.

Mom: Understands that we made it to work every day this week on time but today we decided to throw the whole Sunday away. And how did you let the bacon burn?

Dad: If the pastor preaches like you nag, I rather stay home and just netflix and chill.

Mom: We can’t keep missing Sunday School. I hear they are starting a new series titled Think Differently.

Plus I hear Sister Seeyall is teaching.

Dad: You don’t even like Sister Seeyall (dryly, and still looking at the news) And I do not want to miss that news on Lebron 2-3.

Mom: Who told you that?

Dad: You

Mom: Anyway, what’s more important: Lebron 2-3 or Luke 2-3

Dad: How long it took you to do your hair? (Dad says changing the subject.) What time is it? We can still make it.

Mom: I’m not walking in the doors this late.

Dad: Oh, you don’t want to be fashionably late?

Mom: (Rolls eyes. Looks to son.) Go get ready to eat.

Son: I ain’t eating that burnt bacon.

Mom: Get you some cereal. And say your prayers.

Son: Please, God, help my family to get up on time, help Dad not burn the bacon, help Mom be already ready when she get up, help me to not miss snacks, games, and prizes, I mean Sunday school. And help Dad read Luke 2-3 and not just Lebron 2-3 so mom won’t nag like the preacher. Amen.

(The parents look at the son at the same time, side eyeish.)

Written by Tannika Moore


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Facing Truth

Recently, I found a couple of my family members and I having a discussion (and argument) about hurt that we have and are experiencing with one another. Letting someone know that their actions and attitudes are causing pain can be difficult as well as hearing that your actions and attitudes are hurting someone can be uncomfortable. Hearing how someone feels or hearing truth can be unsettling, discouraging, and maybe even embarrassing if we are honest. It can even make you mad and respond back with more hurt. That is why healing is so imperative. When we face truth, God wants us to be able to respond from a place of love and eagerness for allowing God into every area of our lives, including the painful ones. Sometimes we put up barriers and shut down. Oh, I know that all too well. I would also shut down even when someone offended me or if I disappointed them in some way. Conflict was difficult for me. But thank God for His constant teachings, His grace, and therapy even with Him. I still have a ways to go but He has brought me a long way.

This morning, as I read one of my Bible plans and it discussed repentance, I began to also repent for the times I wasn’t totally honest with people in fear of how they would respond. I subsequently thought about the woman at the well and how she could have responded to Jesus during their dialogue. Jesus was frank with her although He preceded in love. He drew her in by validating her existence and showing her respect despite her reputation and although Jews didn’t deal with Samaritans like that. And he continued with addressing something she had to face. She had been married several times and her latest boo wasn’t even her husband.

Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “ I Am the Messiah!” Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him. Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
John 4:1‭-‬42 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/jhn.4.1-42.NLT

Notice though that she already knew the state she was in. Hence she traveled to the well at such an uncomfortable time so she can avoid others who looked down on her (dummies.com/religion/christianity/the-bible/spiritual-rebirth-the-samaritan-woman-at-the-well/). And she clearly states that she is not married. She also knows the “messiah (Christ Jesus) is coming and will proclaim all things to us.” However, what intrigues me when I read this story is how Jesus was so frank with her and how she did not run away from Him in despair or offense. She received the truth about the sin in her life and her thirst for a savior. She was so excited about such revelation, Him knowing what was going on with her. She was also excited about the fact that He can meet the need of eternal salvation and fulfillment, whether she fully understood it or not. She ran boldly in to the village and told others about Jesus. This resulted in many of the people believing that Jesus is the Savior.

Much of healing is discovering truth, truth about what’s going on inside of you and your heart. As God exposes some things for you to face, repent from, and heal from, don’t run from God in despair or offense. God wants you to heal. God wants to have a relationship with you. God wants you to know He loves you and He is here to fulfill you. And God will give you the grace and strength to endure this part of the healing process. Don’t avoid the pain, the emotions, the truth, the forgiveness, the repentance, and the Savior when He comes waiting for you at the well. Let us face the Truth–Jesus.

Father,

Help us to allow You to bring those things to the surface in our lives that You want us to face and we have been so afraid to deal with. It is uncomfortable and disheartening at times but give us grace to hear the truth and face it. More importantly, let us receive the Truth, the Life and the Way which is Your Son, Jesus. And help us to see ourselves and others the way You do. Your grace is sufficient and the joy of the Lord is our strength. Renew our minds and let us begin to heal. But first we must seek ye first Your kingdom and righteousness and we will have all we need including the things we need to heal and grow. Comfort us too and envelop us with Your unfailing love. Help us to give You all of our failures, fear, disappointments, traumas, and heartbreaks. You love us beyond measure and You care for us with Your omnipotence and mercy. In Jesus’s name, amen.