Poetry, Some Wine, And A Lot Of Self-Love

Hey loves,

I am so excited about this next Q&A with new author, Deandrea Moore. She has always been a great writer and now she is an author. Her new book, I’ll Take Wine With That is available on Amazon right now and a must have. Go grab you a glass of wine or water, and come enjoy this Q&A with me and Deandrea.

Tannika: Hello Deandrea, how are you?

Deandrea: Hello, I’m doing fine, considering everything that’s going on in the world. Although things are crazy right now, I feel that I needed this time. I’ve definitely used it to my advantage.

Tannika: You just recently wrote and published your first book, I’ll Take Wine With That? Can you tell me about the process? What did you learn? What was challenging? And what were the fun parts?

Deandrea: Yes, I just recently published my first book and it was a process that started in September last year. I learned a lot about myself and gained confidence in my writing again, which was probably one of the most challenging parts. Coming up with the idea for the book, the table of contents and the poems themselves were the fun parts. Coming up with the table of contents felt like coming up with a track list for a CD, but I wanted to do that first to catch the vibe of the book I was going for. Although coming up with the poems was fun, it was also challenging. In some of the poems, I had to really allow myself to be vulnerable in my writing, which is a bit difficult for me. I also learned that there are so many different styles to writing and poetry.

Tannika: I find elements of vulnerability, femininity, transparency, courage and self-reflection. But I want to know what is the theme of your poetry book?

Deandrea: The theme of my book would definitely be self-reflection, but broken into different sections. I have a couple poems about love, intimacy, the other side of love, and seasons in life, and making progress.

Tannika: What is the other side of love?

Deandrea: The other side of love is just the parts we don’t want to have to deal with or what happens after love is over. That’s why the different poems in that section are about jealousy, wanting to go back (tempting), and heartbreak.

Tannika: Why did you name your book, I Will Take Wine With That?

Deandrea: I named my book I’ll Take Wine With That because I use to drink wine as a coping method when I was going through things. I started going to counseling and I now use it in a responsible way. I also had a glass during writing several of these poems. I love wine as well.

Tannika: What is your favorite wine? I love the cranberry wine from Cooper’s Hawk.

Deandrea: My favorite wine if I’m going for something cheap and good, would be Oak Leaf’s White Zinfandel. If I’m going for something really sweet, then it would be Stella Rosa Peach or Carlos Rossi’s Sweet Red.

Tannika: You talked about having being depressed and coping? Why is it important to have these discussions about mental health in the Black community?

Deandrea: Yes, I was depressed and using wine to cope. We need to start having these mental health conversations in the black community because we’re not immune to mental health issues. We think that we can handle things on our own or they’ll just go away, but they must be dealt with. When we don’t deal with things we pass them down or we lose lives. Also, when we make sure our minds are healthy, then we can progress.

Tannika: You have beautiful poems and are a great writer! How has writing also helped you?

Deandrea: Writing has helped me to release some feelings I had inside. It has also helped me to gain confidence, not just in writing but in myself. Lastly, writing has helped me to be a little more open and vulnerable with others, but still protective of myself.

Tannika: One of your poems is titled Self-Love Story? What advice would you give young ladies to develop self-love and genuine confidence?

Deandrea: Yes, Self-Love Story is one of my favorite poems because this year is dedicated to that and getting back my self confidence. Advice I would give to young ladies would be to always make sure your cup is the first one you pour into, because if your cup is empty then you’ll find yourself drained trying to pour into others. I would also say to be selfless, but selfish with your time, energy, etc. Also, take time to find yourself and do the things that make you happy. Take time to practice self-care and not just face masks and pedicures, but mental self-care, making sure you’re working to become the best version of yourself. Don’t compromise your happiness for anyone or any relationship.

Tannika: Ok fun question. What is one fun fact your readers may not know about you and one fun thing you have been doing to cope with the quarantine and provide yourself with self-care?

Deandrea: Something my readers may not know about me is that I want to practice makeup on the side. Something fun I’ve been doing during quarantine to cope is learning how to do more hairstyles on myself, give myself pedicures and practice makeup.


For more information on writer and author, Deandrea Moore, and to order I’ll Take Wine With That, visit https://winenwords.com/.

Black Wonder

Black Wonder

Appeared on the scene like thunder

She stands bold

Gets the story simply, directly told

Black Wonder

Doesn’t follow anyone’s tail

She not only gets the men’s respect

But the ladies’ look up to her as well

How she does it I never know

To see a Black woman’s trailblazing

power and love, it amazes me so

Black Wonder

Full of knowledge and understanding

Will share

The wisdom she gains and definitely

wears

Black Wonder Passes it down

The soul of a Queen honoring her

crown

Blesses her daughter with gifts of

virtue, dignity and a figure

Teaches her son to pray and not pull

triggers, and to not refer to his friends’

as niggers

Black Wonder fills our midst

Mighty like the Black fist

Always present in church on Sundays

And faithful to the Lord

Battling in prayer like a knight with his

shining sword

Black Wonder raised us with creativity,

sacrifice and strength

Takes no stuff off anyone and is no

one’s fool

At any age, amidst trials and

tribulations, Black Wonder still keeps it

real, phenomenal and cool

She’s an example of God’s taste

And a woman of grace

Dedicated to all the Black Wonders in my life who are great role models and examples of perseverance and courage, especially my mom who helped me to become the woman I am today.

Self-Care: Capturing Memories & Moments

Not too long ago, my therapist gave me an assignment. It was to take time each day to do some thing for fun and for myself. Upon attempting to complete this assignment, I realized and noted in my journal that I couldn’t fully identify what was fun for me. I enjoy cleaning and especially before I can relax. I know, it sounds crazy. I do enjoy writing; however, I struggle with writer’s block here and there and I don’t write daily like I used to unless it is a to do list. I use to have things I enjoyed doing, but now I couldn’t really answer what I like to do for fun. Making a consistent effort to take time to do something I truly enjoy has been a struggle. I also seem to race against time to slow down and just be present. I have found though that in order to continue providing the care for my family and fulfill my work and many other obligations, I have to first care for my relationship with God and then my relationship with myself. And one of the ways I provide that care for myself is to do something I enjoy.

As I turned my attention back to a project I had been working on for some time, I began browsing through photos I had taken to add to it. And it dawned on me that photography was something I enjoy. I am not a pro and I only had one photography class in college when I was an art and design student. Yet, I still enjoy capturing memories and moments. I also love nature and love capturing God’s art and handiwork.

So, I as I browsed through photos and realized my love for photography, I told myself I will continue taking shots of beautiful skies and landscapes and more. It is also a simple way of taking time for myself. Taking time for yourself is crucial. Having a hobby, and not just a hobby but a healthy one, is important also. Moreover, it is imperative to refresh yourself and rest. Rest isn’t just sometimes being still or taking a nap. It is about doing something you love and actually being productive. It is about being present and trusting God to manage the universe He created while you breathe in His ability to take care of you and your family. It is about taking a break to reprioritize.

Some things I have also been doing are now intentional to provide myself some fun and some self-care. I have been walking my dog; I love walking and I enjoy my new best friend. I recently polished my finger nails and toe nails as well as watched one of my favorite shows. I made one of my favorite desserts, a strawberry cheesecake, in which my nephew filmed and interviewed me like we were creating our own cooking show. And we also binge-watched Nailed It. All of these things I am realizing did bring me some joy. I also had to recently make me a priority after feeling so overwhelmed, log off the computer, and be okay with not getting to every thing on my to do list. And I will continue to make time to take photos and write as much as I can. I guess I actually have some things I enjoy. I just had to take time to sit and think about me for a change. Check out some of my photos below!

College Tour

This was priceless and during last year’s Mother’s Day weekend

Love city scenery

I just had to capture this walking trail entrance

This is God’s artwork! Night sky

God is an amazing artist!

Peaceful

Take time to smell the roses.

Having flowers on the table is a must

Hate the weather but love its scenery

Snowfall and Serenity

The beginning stages of my Fall Decor Display.

Love this photo! First day of school. Who would have thought we would end the school year with remote learning?

Sometimes college tours present opportunities for great photos

Is this my good side?

Beautiful! Beautiful landscapes and the Word of God are awesome pairs

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.

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

20170623_105218.jpg

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.