Get To The Finish Line & Help Someone Else Get There Too

Okay that is a long title but every word is imperative. 

I remember when I was a little kid (I don’t remember the exact age, I was maybe 8 – 10) and enjoying a day at my grandfather’s job picnic. It was a picnic of food, family, friends, games, and guided horse rides. 

It was one particular game the kids had to partner up and get to the finish line with one of each of our legs in a sack together with our partners. My partner was my cousin. 

The race started and we took off, hopping along the way. However, I lost my footing, stumbled and fell. Instead of stopping, my cousin continued to press to the finish line. Go ahead and laugh. I am laughing right now myself! From what I remember, he dragged me almost to the finish line, but I managed to get it together. I don’t even think I was mad. I was just as determined as he was for us to win and for me not to hold us back. 😂

I said all of that to say it is okay to laugh at yourself. Okay, what I really wanted to say is don’t give up on someone that God has called for you to water the seed (come along and help someone grow based on God’s Word) and be a light in their world, whether it be a family member or someone else God sends into your life. There will be people God removes from your life but the ones He has for you to impact in this season or several, give them words of encouragement, build them up in the Lord, disciple them, let them know they matter, and then hold them accountable. You may have to give them a loving push at times. You may also have to drag that someone along that needs you to believe in him/her and be determined to see any little evidence of a leaf sprouting out, a rose petal budding and lifting its head. Sometimes you need to remind someone that it doesn’t matter if you finish last, as long as you finish with determination and persistence and with a friend called Jesus. 

Next, encourage yourself to get back up after you fall. Expect trials and tribulations to come and know that you are an imperfect creature, but if you have been born again through our savior Jesus Christ then you have a new nature and a whole lot of help to surely get you to the finish line. Don’t give up and do trust God to get you to the end. He is our present help in the time of trouble, our redeemer, and our hope. 

Oh, I think my cousin and I made it to third place but I have to ask my cousin to be sure, and I wasn’t hurt. 

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
Have a blessed day,



Share a time when God gave you the grace to get back up or a story when someone helped you get back up.


Tannika’s Free Writing & Flash Fiction: Flash From The Past 2

Welcome to my new series where I will be free writing and writing flash fiction to have fun, to regain my discipline as a frequent writer, and to stretch and strengthen my writing skills.

This is an old story I originally wrote during college, years ago, for my creative writing class. It is a fictitious, urban story that came from I don’t remember, but it was fun to write. Editing and few changes were made prior to publishing here.

     Jackey and the Stranger at the Bus Stop

Pt 2

“It’s about out dreams,” Jackey said in a calmer tone.”  “And what about your music? You’re like Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde One minute you graduating as an A student and claiming you the next Tupac,” she said raising her voice. “Now you’re running the streets Mr. Street Hustler. You promised your brother you were going to stay out of the streets.

“What my brother got to do with this?” asked Desmond.

Jackey didn’t answer. She stood quietly and watched as Desmond grabbed his black leather jacket from off the table. He looked at Jackey and their eyes met each other.

This time he didn’t smile. His thick eyebrows hovered over his dark deep eyes. Deep lines formed and rested in the center of his forehead. Sadness filled his eyes.

Jackey had always assumed that those rough facial features were just a look he possessed while growing up in their vicious neighborhood. But, these rough-looking features accompanied her to senior prom and stayed after graduation.

In high school, Desmond made A’s and B’s quietly. He turned in his homework assignments but seldom participated in class. Desmond occasionally got in trouble for fighting other boys who tried to test him. They would assume that he was an easy conquest because he was quiet and usually kept to himself. They didn’t expect him to whoop them like his life depended on it.

Desmond was not only quiet, but observant. He would stand around just watching the boys play basketball or the girls gossiping before morning classes.

At Carver High School, Desmond walked through the halls at a slow steady pace. He always had his head phones over his ears with the music’s volume turned up loud. The day of their senior orientation, Jackey spotted Desmond walking back to his class with his head phones on. Jackey was curious about Desmond. She liked him. So she approached him and asked, “what you always listening to.” Not too long after this, they became the cutest couple in their senior class.”

The “cutest couple” both loved music. Jackey enjoyed dancing and singing. She danced with their high school pom pom team. Desmond wanted to be a rapper. He rapped, imitated beats with his mouth, and wrote tirelessly in the bedroom of his brother’s apartment. He kept much of what he wrote and rapped to himself, also to Jackey as well as his brother.

Desmond’s older and only brother, Dawayne, encouraged Jackey and Desmond both to pursue their dreams. It was Dawayne who bought a keyboard, computer, and microphone for his little brother. “Y’all sound good. You guys can be a rapping and singing duo,” Dawayne would say while bobbing his head to the songs they created.

Desmond lived with Dawayne during his last two years of high school. Desmond left their mother’s home because of the man she had married. He was controlling and abusive to Desmond and his mother. Dawayne was twenty-five at the time, a high school dropout, and had spent a few years in jail for robbery. He was making progress when he took Desmond in. Dawayne was repairing cars by day and working on his GED by night.

Desmond respected Dawayne. He was the only one, besides Jackey, who supported him. He had encouraged Desmond through school so Desmond was devastated when he found out his brother had died in a car crash. It happened a month after Desmond and Jackey collected their diplomas. Desmond just sat quietly on his bed looking out the window after his mother had called him and gave him the news. That was four years ago.

Desmond had planned to go to college but worked a part-time restaurant job to keep the apartment. He dropped the job for his current ways of making money–selling drugs and with some success.

Jackey applied and got accepted to Illinois Institute of Art (IIA) to study voice and dance, IIA was her dream college. Although Jackey was majoring in music, she worked as a hairstylist at the salon of her best friend’s aunt.

Most days she would leave the shop at 10:30 and on those nights she would walk outside to the bus stop to wait for Desmond to give her a ride. Sandra, another hairstylist, and Brian, one of the barbers stayed late too and helped Jackey clean and lock up.

To Be Continued…

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!

Insecurity Starter

The other day I was feeling myself. Someone gave me a pair of jeans they no longer could fit and I rocked them with one of my new lace blazers. I have been wearing my hair in crocheted twists and I had on my new purple lip color. So, I felt confident and pretty. It was a big deal to me because I recently had been testifying how God brought me through another up and down year last year, one in which I lost my confidence and had cried many mornings.

As I was walking down the street to work, a male passenger of a passing car yells out the window “you got some big lips”. Why? Don’t know. Was it he actually saying, hey, you got big lips but they’re nice? Don’t know? All I know is I kept thinking about what he said.

I even checked my lips in my phone’s camera. Then I had to remind myself “my lips ain’t big and even if they were.” I have beautiful full lips. Some may think they are not full enough and others may think they are big. Who cares! God made them just the way they are and they are the perfect size to complement my teeth, creating an awesome smile. I love my smile.

I almost let what he said ruin my morning. I almost accepted that negativity that was thrown my way. So, if someone says something negative to you or criticizes you, reject it and remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Walk humbly with your head up.

And if you think to criticize someone, STOP! Don’t help add to someone’s insecurities and don’t be the reason behind the beginning of someone’s insecurities.

Gentle Reminders

As I prayed this morning, I asked God to help me to acknowledge Him in all my ways. My mind then flashed to last night of me reciting “as I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep”. That traditional prayer often rehearsed by parent and child kneeling came to my mind last night and just before I could try to recall why it was stuck in my head this particular day, my nephew turns his bear on that someone got him. It recited that very prayer, and I remembered that he has been playing it lately more frequently. 

This morning I recognized that God gives you gentle reminders daily to just stop and acknowledge Him, not because He wants to go on an ego trip. He wants to remind us in all our busyness as well as all our daily responsibilities and activities that He is still here and still invested in us. He wants to fellowship with us and adorn us with His love always. But sometimes, we forget God, we ignore God, and we don’t spend quality time with Him. 

I encourage you to acknowledge Him now. Greet Him with a big hug of praise.

So, I thank You Father for waking me up this morning and for loving me with an unfailing love. Thank You for looking after me while I slept and for being so merciful. Thank You for You just being You, such an awesome God I serve. And thank You for Your gentle reminders of Your presence and to just stop and breathe it in. 



What are some reminders of God’s presence or unctions for you to just stop and acknowledge God?

Writing Tip Jar: Be Concise

Writing Tip Jar is a series to help encourage other writers and inspiring authors along their journeys. Happy Friday, and pull out your notebook or click on your cellular notepad! It is time to write.

My flaw as a writer is that I sometimes overwrite. I, too, had to learn to write concisely as well as learn to show and tell and not just say.

Here is a tip from Shrunk & White. I kept my little Shrunk & White book from college because it is an awesome resource for writers. Thanks to my former professor, Dr. Aghahowa, for introducing her students to this resource.

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”–Shrunk & White: The Elements of Style

Do you write concisely or do you tend to overwrite? What strategies and tools do you use to write concisely?

Tannika’s Free Writing & Flash Fiction: Flash from Past

Welcome to my new series where I will be free writing and writing flash fiction to have fun, to regain my discipline as a frequent writer, and to stretch and strengthen my writing skills.

This is an old story I originally wrote during college, years ago, for my creative writing class. It is a fictitious, urban story that came from I don’t remember, but it was fun to write. Editing and few changes were made prior to publishing here.

     Jackey and the Stranger at the Bus Stop

Pt 1

Jackey walked up behind the young man sitting at the glass kitchen table. Her long and thin brown legs stretched from the blue jean skirt she wore with a black shirt. The shirt read STAR in rhinestones.

She was quiet and not that that was her nature. But Jackey had a lot on her mind. He had the nerve to ask me to braid his hair, she thought. Still, Jackey neatly parted his hair one row at a time.

Although Desmond had become more of a stranger these days, he was still the love of her life. He was her best friend since high school and they always had each other’s backs. Jackey separated the row of thick, soft hair into three group strands. She overlapped the grouped strands forming Desmond’s first cornrow.

“Ah want that same style as Snoop,” Desmond said in a deep voice that carried its own bass.

“And I want that money that Snoop’s hairstylist makes,” said Jackey. But since I ain’t Snoop’s hairstylist and you ain’t any big time rapper Dez, we just gone have to work with what we got. I don’t have time to do any special styles anyway,” Jackey went on saying. “I have to leave for class in thirty minutes.”

Desmond let out a sigh and playfully jerked his head away from her hands. “Stoppp,” cried Jackey with an attitude. Although Desmond was playing, Jackey was agitated. He didn’t apologize for not making it to her dance contest the night before. All he said was, “something came up and I had to meet up with my peoples, Sean and Chris.”

“I ain’t gone braid your hair again,” said Jackey reaching for the hair that slipped out of her hands. Desmond bent his head back. His brown eyes met hers and he smiled a smile that softened his rough features. Jackey shook her head at the face that bore a long scar from his cheek to his chin. It was the scar that came a year ago from a guy who slashed his face with a box cutter. He was attempting to steal small bags of white, powdery substance from Desmond.

Jackey continued braiding Desmond’s hair. Out of the blue, an old song by Tupac began to play. Desmond flipped open his cell phone and interrupted “me against the world.” Jackey got quiet and continued braiding. “Man it’s in,” said Chris, the voice on the other end.

Desmond was quiet.

“When you coming. You know deez other fools can’t count,” Chris said as if he was speaking through a Walkie Talkie.

“Man you’re crazy,” Desmond said with a slight chuckle. “I’ll be there in an hour.”

Desmond hung up.

“You’re still selling drugs Dez?” asked Jackey who had been listening to the short conversation above his head. She let go of the cornrow she was braiding and looked down at his face. She expected him to look back up at her again to see her face of disapproval.

“You’re selling drugs and hanging with those dumb fools.”

“Man, I ain ‘t got time for this,” Desmond said getting up from the black cushioned chair he was sitting in.

“And why didn’t you come to my dance contest at my school? I don’t even see you unless you want your hair braided or you want some,” Jackey said angrily in one breath.

“It ain’t like you spending time with me,” said a composed Desmond. It’s all about you and your “I got dance practice. I got classes. I have to go to the shop. My friends and I going out,” Desmond said mimicking Jackey.

To be continued…