Who Asked For Your Opinion?

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Help me out please. When did opinions become so popular? I know we all have them. I know we all believe our own. I even know that opinions often differ, but who gave the green light on using what you think to terrorize others.

The recent event in Boston may be one of the more devastating and far-reaching, but it is just the latest act fueled by someone who decided that what he/she felt, believed, thought or wanted was worth someone else’s pain.

Opinions-run-amuck have been the culprit behind bullying ultimately leading to the suicide of targeted victims, school and community shootings, hate campaigns, and global terrorists attacks. Opinions-on-overload have led this country from the times where the worse you would see was someone’s name on a restroom wall to now people feeling free to launch full-blown, derogatory social media “beefs” (when did the word beef become popular again?). At the root of them all are persons who felt the need to use their opinions to cause social, emotional or bodily harm.

Opinions are a part of life. Based on our experiences we each have formed them. But opinions laced in, or invoking pain, hate, hurt, or violence need to do like a child in time out and sit down somewhere.

-Angela Moore

My Plans Went Out the Window (and Lead to an Amazingly Familiar Door)

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Well, well, well, wouldn’t you know. As if I shouldn’t know better by now, the plans I had for myself concerning work didn’t work out the way I imagined.
My wonderful new job with the overwhelming resource and responsibility increase is no more. After one week of working, I realized my strengths, my limitations, my true passions and my purpose at this point. I had to make the painstakingly tough decision to walk away. Those of you who know me, know that I’m a “stick to the end through thick and thin” kind of person so you can’t imagine how tough this was for me. Please believe I wrestled with the thought of truly needing more money and walking away from a lot of it. I played every scenario of the pride-filled question of “what will people say?” I was scared as can be about my professional future. The company I was with is an absolutely wonderful one, but I had to be honest with myself about what I’m capable of, conditioned for and called to do.

So here I sit embarking on round three with the YWCA once again being able to do what I love to do. And while the pay is NOWHERE near what I would have received, I believe the payoff of time stability, peace of mind, purpose and effectiveness will one day be worth more than I can imagine.

So there you have it. What I thought I got I no longer have, but what I had I’ve gotten again. And for that, I’m grateful!

-Angela Moore

The Little Girl is Now a Lady

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More than 12 years ago a little, squeaky-voiced girl with a ponytail, a pastel ribbon and a love for all things Winnie the Pooh bounced into my life and impacted it more than she’ll ever know. She wanted me to help her find a job. She ended up helping me find so much more.

The next several years would prove difficult for her siblings and her as they lost their beautiful mother, Roxanne. Proving to be the perfect administrator through life and even in her legacy, at the urging of the squeaky-voiced girl, just prior to becoming ill, Roxanne asked my former husband and me to be godparents. We accepted, having no idea what the future had in store.

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With wonderfully loving and overwhelmingly supportive grandparents (beautiful Granny Agnes:), and others who loved her (shout out to DeAndria and Desmond for being amazing siblings), we all played our part to make it through her Sweet 16, two proms, a couple of (bad) boyfriends, high school graduation, curfews (and broken curfews), a couple of cars, interesting clothes choices, college transfers, a messy room, spiritual growth, personal transformation, meeting her lasting love (heyyyyyyyy Patrick:), seeing her graduate college, and her first career job. And now we’re here!

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I’m typing this now to hopefully avoid crying later this week as she walks down the aisle to begin her life as Mrs. Patrick Hassell. No longer the squeaky voiced little girl, Rakia L. Craig is now an amazing, loving, supportive, witty, generous and inspiring squeaky-voiced woman who, on Saturday, April 20th, will become a wife. That makes me happy, so very happy!

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@AngelaMichele316

This is the Start of Something Big

A Friday night trip to the new Region’s Field, home of the Birmingham Barons proved to be a sheer delight. Not a huge baseball fan at all, I was excited to see the new field, but not initially interested in much more. As we made the journey through the metropolitan maze that lead from our parking space to the field, even on the chilly April night, there was a warm glow over the city that was really evident the closer we got to Railroad Park, and definitely by the time we made it to the front of ball field. Contrary to the concerns of others, being there I felt safe. I felt right at home. I felt a part of something bigger than a ball game!

People were friendly, waving and being courteous letting others make their way through the rock-laden pathways. At the play area within the field, children of all races and ages were playing together as if there were no cares in the world. Long lines for those waiting on their hot-out-of-the-oil French fries proved to be the perfect avenue for evening pleasantries as we all ooohhhed and aaahhhed at the beauty of the venue. My loved one and I laughed as we spotted older people swaying in their seats to the sweet, instrumental sounds of Trinidad James blasting over the speakers. (Google him. On second thought, don’t Google him:) We stayed through the cold to enjoy the spectacular fireworks show and took in every ounce of the overall electric buzz that permeated the area as the Barons went on to victory.

As a child growing up in Birmingham’s West End, I remember spending time eating hot dogs and sitting on my Daddy’s lap to get the perfect view of the game at Rickwood Field, the early home of the Barons. I also remember when the team relocated to Hoover. I’d definitely attended some of the Barons’ games in Hoover prior to this latest move. I’ve been to corporate events there and was even able to go on the team’s final game last summer. The field in Hoover was a great home to the team during its time.

With all that said, I’m glad the Barons are back in Birmingham. I’m glad the city is getting a boost to its entertainment options and economic impact that just so happens to be a great fit no matter your age, race, salary or culture. I’m also glad that we, as a city, are being afforded yet another opportunity to heal from our past and make visible progress together. I understand that baseball is simply baseball, but anything that has the potential to merge the masses together like this new field is doing so far is A-okay with me.

Whether you’re a true, “baseball statistic knowing” fan like the people who sat behind us, or simply there for the fun (and the food) like I was, I’m encouraged that this is the start of something big for Birmingham that can bring about more memories for generations to come.

-Angela Moore

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Surviving the Shift of Separation

The pain of separation comes from many different forms. Some of us have felt the sting of divorce. While others have battled the blows of losing a job or a loved one. Still, some have experienced the pinch of growing up without a father or mother. Regardless of the source of the separation, the suffering is often the same.
Having dealt with separation on a public platform there are a few lessons I’ve learned, some through trial and others through repeated error that I believe are crucial to surviving separation. Like an earthquake, the effects of being separated from anything dear to you can shake you to your core and shift you from the center of all you know to be true, if you let it. The good news is you don’t have to let it!
Will it hurt? Yes! Will we be angry? Yes! Will we be confused? Yes! Will we overcome? YES!!!!

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Here are a few things I’ve learned about separation and how to survive the shift.

  • Know that “Shift” Happens – The first step in surviving the shift of separation is to realize you are not alone. Someone has already been through what we’re going through. It’s life. The shift happens! We’re not the first and you won’t be the last. Find comfort in that.
  • Pray It Before You Say It – Oftentimes in separation we have a tendency to let our mouths run our minds. We say things about the other parties involved that may be false or may be true, but shouldn’t be shared with our children, our family members, our former co-workers and even our best of friends. A quick litmus test for what we’re considering saying is to pray aloud what we’re about to say and see how it sounds if we were talking to sweet Jesus Himself.
  • Take a Break – If an accident damaged our car we would have to take time to get it repaired. If we broke an arm we would have to take time to let it heal. The same is so in times of separation. When we’ve been wiped out by an unexpected death, a divorce, a firing or a broken relationship, taking a break to regroup and recoup doesn’t make us weak, it makes us wise.
  • Guard Your Gifts – When loved ones are directly or indirectly affected by our separation we have to make sure they stay well even as we get well. Prayer, communication and support are key. This is especially true when children are involved. Seek ways to love, nurture and strengthen all that are a part of the separation throughout the process.
  • Focus on the Blessings, Not the Blame – All relationships have a reason. Even after they’ve ended our responsibility is to celebrate the good of the association not relish the reasons for its demise. Don’t place blame! If we look long and hard enough we are bound to find something to celebrate, even in the midst of our sufferings.
  • Do It with Dignity – When in doubt, take the dignified way out. Separation can bring out the madman in us all. The high road is the best route to healing. Sometimes we may have to back down, sit down, or shut up in order to keep our respect. It’s our dignity and our dignity deserves to be preserved.
  • Slow Your Roll – Don’t be so fast to go forward. Like a slow-simmering crock pot, sometimes we need to take our time in order to make the best out of a situation, especially during a time of separation. We have to be very careful and prayerful about when and how we move forward following separation. Seeking and heeding the advice of those wiser will help us along the way.
  • Live and Love Again – One of the best ways to survive the shift of separation is to make the choice to live and love again. Yes, separation can make us feel like the life has been sucked out of us, but as long as we’re still living we should still live and love each day to the fullest. Following separation we have to make the choice daily to live and love, even in the place of our pain.

@AngelaMichele316

Doors Fly Open When Walls Fall Down

I had an interesting business meeting today that could possibly place me in position to return to doing something I love, and be compensated at least part-time for the time being. The meeting was scheduled and rescheduled a few times because of various reasons, but truth be told, any meeting (and many meetings) should have been held long before today. So what was the hold up? M-E

Today, I was reminded of this little quote I wrote as I pondered my future, “doors fly open when walls fall down.” You see, I could easily blame a man, the man, or anybody else for me not moving on those things that concern me, bring me joy, are part of my gifted purpose and my destiny. But at the end of the day (it’s actually 5:23pm as I type so I guess this blog is most fitting), I am responsible for waking up and making my dreams come true.

So today, I began to knock down the walls of the:

  • Personal procrastinationitisThat’s the ailment that tells you to jump at helping others handle their business and shy away (because of fear of failure) from your own. 
  • Can I really be compensated condition-That’s the disease that robs you of your pocket of plenty convincing you that you’re value is worth words only, and not what’s in other’s wallets.
  • I’ve been out of the game too long syndrome-That’s the little bug that gets planted in your confidence computer and convinces you that because you haven’t done something long or for a certain amount of time you’re not capable of doing it well now.
  • Ain’t nobody got time for that trait-Not to be confused with “personal procrastinationitis” this is the sickness that doesn’t care if you’re afraid, but says you’re literally too busy to take time to do what you’re supposed to do for you as if people haven’t been full-time and freelancing for years.

So there you have it. My four walls (for now) that have officially been served a karate chop! Go ahead and pull out your fancy garb, roll out the red carpet and join me because I expect to be strutting through some major doors any minute now.

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-Angela Moore

Examine Your Expectation

ImageSometimes we make decisions about people based on unrealistic, unfair or unfounded expectations.

It’s best we do our relationships and ourselves a favor by making certain our expectation matches a person’s Presentation, Association and Situation.

1. Don’t expect what we haven’t seen or received in or from them before.

2. Don’t expect what is outside the boundaries of the nature of our relationship, or in manner we have not rendered to them .

3. Don’t expect without knowing what is transpiring with the other party.

The Quack Is (NOT) Officially Back…Yet

Somebody help me please. I’m quacking up over here. I’ve revised the post below two years prior with eager anticipation of doing the same this year once the ducks sent their yearly signal.

It’s the middle of April 2014 and my friendly water fowl have STILL not yet serenaded me with my morning medley of quack-tastic tunes. Here’s the thing though. I see them on the lake. I’ve seen them crossing the street. I’ve seen them soaring through the air, but I haven’t heard a peep (or quack) out of them. I know they’re there, but I simply haven’t experienced them as I had before.

Even as I hold out hope for my symphony of duck sounds, this year, my ducks and duckettes are teaching me a tough, but valuable lesson I thought I’d already learned. Just because things aren’t the way they have been doesn’t mean they aren’t they way they should be…and that should be enough cause for celebration. So I shall, celebrate until they decide to provide the party music!

(Read on…)

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April 5, 2013 at 11:43 am

The post below was originally written two years ago. Until 6am this morning, I was secretly, very concerned about having lost the quack as the ducks that have serenaded me for the last six years hadn’t been as melodious this year. Outside of the sounds of the occasional birds my yearly, lakefront concert was virtually non-existent. I’d come to depend on their water symphony as a sign of good things ahead. I would peek out of my windows to make sure the ducks were still in the backyard. They were. But the quacking, splashing and everything else I expected from them as a reminder of a new literal and figurative season just wasn’t there. Until today! The quack is officially back, and that means I’m ready to fly!

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February 19, 2011 at 7:38am

The neighborhood ducks woke me with an unwanted morning medley today at 5 am!!!!!! I was mad at first as I’d decided that today would be the day I slept late…at least until 6 am:) I couldn’t sleep because they insisted on quacking and gliding and splashing and playing. I will admit that a bit of duck hate and an instant taste for roasted duck with an orange reduction sauce on a bed of creole rice creeped up in me as I mouthed “why are they so happy?!?”( Forgive me. It was early!)

Instead of letting my waterfowl envy fester I decided to try to find out what was going on. So I did a bit of sleepy-eyed research and before the break of dawn it dawned on me that these ducks had a reason to celebrate!!!! According to the Alabama Waterfowl Hunting Guide duck season ended on January 30. Oh QUACK!!! And then I found that duck mating season begins in March. Oh QUACK times two or three or five or six!!! So that means the ducks had made it through the season set aside to murder them and were poised for the season set aside to multiply them!!!! Quack! Quack! Quack!

So now when I hear them quacking and splashing I’ll know what it means. The call of the duck will be my new signal to thank God for protecting me from what could have been and preparing me for what will be. My parents named me Angela, but today I’ll go by the name Daisy (as in Donald Duck’s boo) because when I tell you I’m so quacking grateful and so quacking excited. I’m literally quacking up on the inside. I’m All Quacked Up!!!!

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Signed,

Daisy “AKA…Watch Me Fly” Duck

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I’m Not Afraid to Say I’m Scared

As I took down the final Alabama Championship paintings from the wall at my current job I realized blessings can be scary. I’m not at all ungrateful for an opportunity to embark on a new career path, and touch and be touched by the lives of new people I meet. But blessings can be scary. Why is that?

It’s not like we don’t pray for, plan for, believe for, wait on and work toward the things we desire whether they be a new job, marriage, children, a new house or car. But still, blessings can be scary. There’s something about an answered prayer that makes it REAL and makes you want to do right by it.

So that’s where I am today. I’m nervously confident and excitedly cautious. I want to do well next week and in all the days to come with my new job. I want to serve my purpose. I want to grow. I want to profit. I want to make those who’ve helped with this opportunity proud. I want to make sure I’ve made the right decision. I want to connect with the right people. I want to leave where I’m leaving better than when I arrived and set the stage for the same in my new adventure.

All-in-all I’d say those sentiments are usually the motivating factor for any success we desire in life. And if your life is anything like mine being a little scared has NEVER STOPPED success.
-Angela Moore

I know those are lofty goals that only my loving God can help come to pass. In the meantime, I’m fastening my seatbelt and getting ready to enjoy the ride!

-Angela Moore

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The Road to Better Can Be Bumpy

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Baby….if someone would have told me being grown and getting better was going to be like this I would have clung to my locker and my life as a carefree child and teen at Homewood Middle School and the Ramsay (Alternative) High School.
Today is my last day in the office at the YWCA. It’s been an amazing experience that has blessed me, stretched me and seasoned me beyond measure. On Monday, I’ll begin as Community Rep for STX Healthcare and I’m grateful. As excited as I am about the job, I’m more excited about the fact that I’m finally excited about the journey.
In 2003, I stepped away from a very lucrative and fulfilling career in Marketing and Public Relations to enter into the world of full-time ministry and non-profit work. Knowing I was doing something of God that was good for others and me I gleefully made that leap. I loved it, learned from it, lost because of it, was sick, was sick some more, was unemployed, was nurtured, helped nurture, was prayed for, cried, questioned, was scared, discovered and rediscovered supportive family and friends, drew to God, had a total life makeover, honed my voice, started writing, stopped writing and started writing again, and was restored through it all.
I realize that the job I start on Monday is more than a job. It’s proof of the promise that better is always ahead regardless of how bumpy the road to get there. So you might as well ride it on out!

-Angela Moore