I Don’t Want to Come to Your Stinkin’ Party Anyway

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“I don’t want to come to your stinkin’ party anyway!” Those were the words I thought, but never uttered as a young adolescent in the roaring 80’s. One of my middle school’s most popular girls was having a party at Holiday Skate Center, and while we appeared to be friends during school, I was hurt to find out I wasn’t invited to her big bash. So I began the mental fireworks show of popping off questions of what could be wrong and why I wasn’t invited. Was it because I only had one Member’s Only jacket? Was it because my Mama wouldn’t let me get a Jheri Curl and my hair puffed up during P.E.? Was it because deep down inside she really didn’t like me? Why, oh why wasn’t I invited?!?!

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Social rejection, or perceived social rejection (in other words it’s not really rejection, but all in our minds) can be hard. As humans we’re created to interact and desire to be included. Why else would people searching for connection join gangs? Even into adulthood social rejection, (or perceived social rejection) can be just as hard as it is for a child growing up. I’ve had my fair share of giving the secret, side-eye when co-workers didn’t invite me to lunch (knowing I bring my lunch). I’ve wondered when friends went on trips (that I knew I couldn’t afford anyway) why they didn’t invite me so I could at least say “no”. I’ve been “curious” when friends or family have had events and didn’t invite me that I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed, or couldn’t have attended anyway. The painful flipside of that is that I have had close family, and seasoned friends totally stop talking to me for perceiving to be excluded from things I hosted or was invited to…with no questions from them which would have allowed clarity.

Feeling rejection or convincing ourselves we’ve been rejected usually doesn’t start with its most recent scenario. It usually stems from something deeper and carries with it a maniacal array of mindgames. “Do they not like or love me”, “Is there something I’m not doing right?”, “Should I not trust people?”, “Do they like this person or that person more than they do me?”, “Do they not notice me?” or “Are they really fake people who don’t do what they say?” Those feelings are natural emotions that many humans experience at some point in life. We just have to be very careful in letting it live, especially allowing those feelings to change us in a negative way. Experiencing an emotion and being affected by or infected by an emotion and not healing from those emotions are two different things. However, often times we totally withdraw and shutdown (as in “don’t fool with them anymore”), become bitter, think or speak of the others badly, or cause division among other parties to feed our misery, and miss out on the beauty of the relationship in whatever state it’s supposed to be, with or without the ever-elusive invitation.

So what are some reasons we might be excluded?

  • We can’t be involved in everything. My sister says, “Everything ain’t for everybody!”
  • Sometimes people simply can’t afford it. Yes, we may just be one person, but one person and one plate might cost more than you know.
  • There might not be enough room.
  • God might know we didn’t need to be involved anyway.
  • Some times are set aside for one-on-one interaction, ministry, business, or plain ol’ fun for a specific group for a specific reason.
  • Some relationships are simply closer for a cause that has nothing to do with something being wrong with us.
  • They really do like or love us, but simply choose to be with someone else during whatever setting it is that we are not a part of.

Just like the Holiday Skate Center party in the 80’s I’ve learned and accepted that there may be valid reasons why we aren’t involved in everything. My friend’s family could only have so many people at the party and when counting up her family, friends she’d had for years from school, church friends, softball team friends and so on there simply wasn’t room. Whew! Three decades later I feel so much better!

I’ve learned that the reasons we’re not included often have nothing to do with a person’s like or love for us. And if it does have to do with their like or love for us we should have enough of like and love for ourselves to deal with it the right way and love them anyway.

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@AngelaMichele316

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

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Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Well, we are, if you ask our Daddy! God says we’re fearfully and wonderfully made, and made in His image to top it all off! But why is it our minds try to tell us otherwise from time-to-time???

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I’ll be the first to say there have been times in my life where when looking in the mirror I didn’t like what looked back at me. I never reached the point of not loving who I saw, but liking…well, that’s a song of a completely different tune that I have to push out of my head every now and then. Those things that jiggle, wiggle, drop, flop, and flubber have been a pain in my, well, I won’t even say where, especially when it’s already so noticeable, but even with them something in me says I’m beautiful because my Daddy says so.

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Weight gain hasn’t always been my burden to bear. The funny thing is, for most of my life it’s been just the opposite. I was affectionately called things like “Skinny Minny”, “Too Tall Jones” (my last name was Scott by the way), and the ever-so-popular “Slim”. Oh how I miss the days of actually being able to be called “Slim”:) Anywho, in college, I even went to the Russell Student Health Center (shout out to UA…RTR!) to see a trained physician to tell me how to gain weight. For a year or so I carried around peanuts and other treats in my purse, bookbag or whatever to help me pack on the pounds. (Unfortunately) It worked. (Where was hindsight when I needed it?!?!? Get it? Hindsight? LOL!)

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Fast forward about a decade out of college and I ended up becoming sick with a potentially fatal thyroid disease that could have sent me home to see sweet Jesus. But it didn’t. Thank God! Instead it dropped off about 50 pounds that have been hanging on to me in some form or another since 2002.

All that said, I know both sides of the weight debate, and still I love me. I love every single component of me and embrace where each derived. When I look in the mirror I don’t see the bags under my eyes or the abundant hips that are trademarks of the Walkers. I don’t see the thinning hair trademark of the Johnsons. I don’t see my Scott nose, head and lips. I just focus on the “ME” that God made and loves, and that’s all I choose to see.

-Angela Moore

I Double Dog Dare You to Love (Again)

My first official date was at the ripe old age of 16. I’m on the verge of 41. That’s a long time to play the dating or mating game. I’m also divorced. That means none of my relationships before this point have led to “Happily Ever After”. That means I know the ups and downs of meeting a person and losing a person, by choice or by circumstance. That means I’ve had my less than fair share of tears. That means I’ve been on the “break up, then make up, then breakdown” rollercoaster more times than my tummy could handle. That means I know how it feels to have to pay part of your life’s savings to have someone who you didn’t want to leave you leave you. I know the goings on of meeting one family after the next thinking that finally you would be “home” only to be excused or excuse yourself from their association. I know the anxiety of a first date together and the anxiety of your first day alone. I know. I know. I know.

But what I also know is I would choose not to be stuck in the land of “Woe is me”! I would certainly not be mad at God or the men He just so happen to have created with whom I just so happened to have shared my time. I would not be bitter and start a venomous chapter of the “She Woman Man Hater Club” that would only poison me. I would not let the trek to the right one be tainted just because I had to take the long road to redemption. I would not be clothed in fear of the next failure. I would not chat and chew with my girlfriends about how men are dogs, how I don’t need a man, how I don’t want a man or the likes. I dare you to join me.

Regardless of what has happened to you, when the time is right, I double dog dare you to love (again). Part of that dare includes the fact that loving again may mean you having to love yourself again, taking a leap of faith to love the same person again or stepping out to unchartered territory to love someone new. Regardless of what scenario is yours, proceed with caution, being very prayerful and careful. Move with God’s timetable. Get yourself some help to heal. Be chosen wisely. Prepare yourself in your alone time. Realize any role you might have played in the failed relationships and fix it. Forgive yourself and others. Purge of the past. Look for the good and learn from the lessons that did come out of past relationships and get back in the game of love. 

I Double Dog Dare You! -Angela Moore

Family, Family, Family…

A serene Sunday afternoon preceded by learning how to “fight right” at church and including an impromptu viewing of a “Mary, Mary” marathon and an Unsung on “Midnight Star” about families working together and some falling apart lead to an interesting conversation. The dynamics of family can only be orchestrated by a God who was determined to make us trust in Him, see our own flaws, embrace others as humans and set our sights on the bigger picture. The problem is, sometimes family can put us to the test like a doctorate level dissertation.

I’ve heard the notion that friends are the families we choose. That may be true, but what do we do about the family we didn’t choose? You know you wouldn’t necessarily be friends with all of your family if you weren’t related, but you are so regardless of what you do or don’t have in common, whether you grew up in the same types of environments, whether you laugh at the same jokes, or think the same way you’re stuck…LOL! So what do we do within ourselves first about family that may be completely different from us, may not understand or relate to us, or may have varied purposes in our lives? What happens to the people who, at the end of the day were a part of our life’s journey for a reason and will always be in one form or the other? We know all the things that can tear us apart as families: death (especially after the life insurance check or funeral), money or the lack thereof, jealousy, sibling rivalry, different personalities, influence of in-laws, growing and going in different directions, not living up to expectations, lack of compassion for the people with blood just like ours, big elephants in the room and plain ol’ not getting along.

But, what can be done to keep us together or bring us back together after a breach, shift in roles or change in season? “Mary, Mary” and “Midnight Star” were not only family, but had million dollar music businesses connected to each other. Watching their relationships unfold or unravel gave me chills. Many of us don’t have money on their level to contend with, but our relationships are just as valuable or else we wouldn’t be connected.  Seeing the struggles of those two mega-groups, and knowing my own family challenges throughout the decades I have to wonder what God truly desires of us in order to be a family. I also wonder what He has in place to help us stay a family regardless of how things looks as long as His purpose is being fulfilled.

So what do we do? I’m the first to say I don’t have all the answers, but I know at the heart of it has to be communication. Yes, it sounds cliché’, but talking things out tends to work things out. Approaching family with open ears and open hearts has to help. Realizing that every family member has important input and knowing that at the end of the day it’s all about teamwork makes it possible for each member to know his/her position and be more comfortable in that role, especially in times of trouble.  “Mary, Mary” is still hanging in there. Thank God! “Midnight Star” went their separate ways, but has found a way to forge ahead. Thank God! Watching the story of both has reminded me that how you handle the business of family can mean the difference between a lasting legacy and a dying dynasty.

-Angela Moore

Help Me Escape My Mouth

How many times has your mouth gotten you in trouble? How many times have you said something only to regret it the moment it left your lips? How many times have you intended to handle a situation one way and your mouth took the runway of speaking for itself. The mouth is so mighty. Our words are such powerful weapons. So many times it causes a burden when it’s meant to bless. I know of what I speak!
But Scripture is clear on the purpose of words and the potential to win the war with words even within yourself. There’s nothing too hard for God, even our mouths.
1 Corinthians 10:13 – But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. (NLT)

He’ll help you escape…EVEN your own mouth!

  • Pray before you speak.
  • Examine the source of your words. Are they God-motivated, self-motivated or enemy-motivated?
  • Examine the intent of your words. Are they meant to build up or put down?
  • Examine the weight of your words. How much impact will my words have?
  • Examine how you would feel if those words were said to you. Or how you felt when they were said to you. (Remember, you can not control other’s actions, but you can control your own reaction.)
  • Examine whether your words should be worded another way.
  • Examine whether your words should be said another way.
  • Examine whether your words should be said at another time.
  • When the opportunity presents itself, run your words by a voice of wisdom who can help you decide what’s God and what’s not.
  • When in doubt, wait it out. (If you are not sure the words of your mouth would be pleasing in His sight, don’t say anything. God will eventually reveal what to say or not say, when to say it and how to say it.)

-Angela Moore

I Hope You Get What’s Coming

Keep going. Hustle. Grind. Do it. Get it. Make it Happen. Move Something. Move On. Move Away. Move Forward. Handle Yo’ Business. Change. Shift. Ask. Adopt. Adjust. Adapt. Pray. Faith. Forge Ahead. Fast. Be About It. Believe. Breathe. Give. Help. Be Helped. Be Humbled. Be Patient. Create. Generate. Initiate. Innovate. Grow. Study. Submit. Stretch. Selah. Learn. Labor. Launch. Dream. Develop. Pursue Passions. Find Purpose. Push. Produce. Prepare. Pray (I said it again.). Emerge. Evolve. Involve. Read. Revamp. Recharge. Rest. Research. Network. Contact. Call. Email. Fax. Post. Apply. Re-apply. Redo. Remix. Revise. Reach Out. Nurture. Hone. Master. Press On. Be You. Do You. Dream (I said it again.) and Don’t Quit are ALL ahead of SUCCESS in the dictionary and in life!

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Don’t ever think that your sacrifice or struggle have gone unseen, your prayers have been to no avail, your purpose has been abducted and your pain won’t produce royally and royalties. At the end of the day when you’ve done all you can do I hope you get ALL the best blessings that are meant for you. I hope you get what’s coming!!!! You deserve it!

@AngelaMMoore316

I Salute You, My “40+” Friends!

I remember being a young girl thinking that 40 was the literal equivalent of “as old as it gets”. It seemed to me growing up, that some women over the age of 40 lacked a certain knack for poise, confidence, fashion and flair and an overall zest for life that I knew even then I didn’t want to lose. I would see some of them at church in their “less-than-cute”, matronly clothes walking with their heads hung low, in my neighborhood with hair-dos that were definite “hair-don’ts” and in the local “Piggly Wiggly” with one-piece cotton frocks (muumuus) and rollers in their hair. What in the world?!?!? I would see them slink away in the shadow of others being afraid to stand, speak or be seen. I reckoned in my young mind that something had to happen to some women at the age of 40 and beyond to make women who were once foxy turn frumpy. I did NOT want to forsake my foxy at 40!

Well, here I am, a full-fledge 40 year old, about to round the corner to 41 on March 16 and I looked to facebook at my “40+” friends, those who have crossed the 4th decade of life, have long since passed it or are soon on their way. I see them and they are absolutely fabulous, each in their own way. I think about ALL they’ve been through…single parenthood, divorce, deaths of loved ones, major illnesses, delayed education, financial challenges, loss of jobs, unfulfilled expectations and the list goes on. Then I take a look at their pictures and posts and MARVEL in the fact that they have the God-given audacity to still be fierce, and fashionable, and feisty, and confident, and hopeful, and beautiful, and spunky, and giving, and loving and caring and SMILING in the midst of all of that!

I feel fabulous at 40, and I know it’s due to Who keeps me and due in part to the company I keep. We may not talk every day, and quite honestly, some of us may not verbally talk at all (facebook rocks:) , but I know they’re a part of my journey, no matter at what point they came along for the ride called my life.

So I salute you, my “40+ friends” for never giving up, for pressing through the mess, for shining in the midst of darkness, for reinventing yourself for the sake of your seed, for sparkling through sadness, for waking up each morning putting on your best, even if you were feeling your worst. I salute you for daring to love again and even walking down the aisle again when the first time brought you so much pain. I salute you for having to bury a spouse and/or child and still choosing to rise each morning with an undeniable faith in God in your heart. I salute you for the uncontrollable laughter, the kind words and wisdom, the shared secrets and support. I salute you for not writing off the human race because of the wrong that’s been done to you. I salute you for the way some loved and cared for their parents even until the end of their lives, then purposed to keep living as a testament to their mother’s or father’s legacy. I salute you for loving yourself regardless of how much or how little of you there is to love. I salute you for holding your head high as you wear your high heels or still look fly in fashionable flats, for not being afraid to be happy and healthy and for the positive direction, correction and connections you’ve given me.

I salute you, my “40+” friends! Don’t be fooled, boo! 40 is not the new 20. 40 is the new 40 because it’s packed full of all you’ve been though now working for YOU! To my “40+” friends I’d say, “Our best days are here and it’s only going to get BETTER!!!”

-Angela Moore

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