Dirty Laundry

kelly-rowland-glamour-women-of-the-year-awards-2012-01

Well, well, well, Kelly Rowland has finally admitted what we all have probably experienced or might even be dealing with now, the painstakingly difficult task of being 2nd to a shooting star, and all the internal madness that might come along with being sincerely happy for a person and having hurt feelings at the same time.

In her new single “Dirty Laundry” Kelly sings over a melodiously slow and sultry track about feeling a bit envious of her sister, friend and music mate Beyonce’. She also details being in an unhealthy relationship, hiding behind the mask of make-up and dark shades, being angry with the world and distancing herself from close loved ones. Whew, chile, when I read the lyrics after hearing the song I thought, “Bravo, Kelly, Bravo! If anybody’s going to tell your “beeswax” it might as well be you. And thank you for sliding some of my story in there too!”

In this day and age of transparency being used more than an elevator at the Empire State Building, it’s so refreshing to hear someone tell on herself for a change. So many of us want others to come clean about their actions, but don’t demand the same self-action. Our first focus should be on what’s in our Maytag or Whirlpool of life.

Watching the news while warming up breakfast, the word transparency was used three times in less than one minute talking about a recent political scandal, and demands from one group to another. That’s all well and good, but can we be honest about us before, during and after expecting someone to be honest with us? The spin cycle works multiple ways for a reason.

I know Ms. Kelly is not the only one to have felt “some kinda way” (as the millennial generation says) about having to watch someone she started out with end up further than her, and faster. I have interns that I trained years ago that are far, far more successful in passion and pay than I am. Don’t dare think the thought of “Wow, I am so very happy for him/her!!!!” hasn’t crossed my mind at the exact same time as, “What in the world?!?!? What did I do wrong? or Why not me?”  I know I’m not the only one that has thrown or attended baby showers, weddings, “I got a great new blah, blah, blah” celebrations and the likes of people who I love and care for with all my heart and still felt a concoction of what Frankie Beverly and Maze calls “Joy and Pain” as I dealt with my own Cover Girl covered up crises. (Truth be told, in my younger years, I even isolated myself from some that were happier than I, because I wasn’t mature enough to handle their success in the midst of whatever sorrow (or drama) I had going on. Now that’s some dirty laundry!)  Stinky feelings are human nature, people. They can happen to the best of us. What’s not okay is to stay stinkin’! We have to allow God’s guidance within us to show us those stinky feelings, clean them up appropriately, and use them to help someone else. Now get a whiff of that!

-Angela Moore

Regulators, Sit Down (please)!

chairs_trattoria

Warren G and Nate Dogg had a catchy, little tune in the 90’s called “Regulate”. Right at the top of the intro of the infectious hit Warren demands, “Regulators, Mount Up!” Well, I would like to gingerly and lovingly say, concerning other people’s thoughts regarding singles, “Regulators, Sit Down (please)”..and see a single’s view!

There are a few things about the lives of single people who others often don’t understand, leading them to try to regulate. Some people try to regulate a single person’s pocket, their dreams and their time. I truly don’t think it’s on purpose, but an automatic assumption that, if you are single, and especially if you don’t have children you should be, would be and could be able to do some things without trouble or thought.  That’s not fair, or often feasible.

  • The Single Person’s Pocket: Just because a person is single doesn’t mean they have an abundance of money to share or even survive on. Unlike persons married with two incomes, singles have one pot from which to pull, and one salary to cover the same expenses married couples have. This blog was prompted after I overheard someone say a single man making $40000 a year ought to be able to afford a house. That may or may not be true. He may have child support, student loans, be helping his parents or have other bills. The mortgage for a $130,000 house for someone with good credit could be $800-$900 per month. Take that monthly from what the $40000 man would make, add in utilities, food, gas, and above expenses and that’s simply not enough. Sorry.
  • The Single Person’s Dreams: Will you get married? Why aren’t you married? Will you get married again? Will you move? Why are you moving? Will you get two jobs? Will you get another job? Will you go back to school? Single people simply don’t know the answers to those questions any more than married people do, or did before the answers were made clear. Sorry.
  • The Single Person’s Time: Now, this one is the doozy! Yes, single people are single. Yes, single people may not have children. Yes, single people are mostly responsible just for themselves, but that doesn’t mean they have time, want to devote time or even should devote time to every event, ministry, civic group, save-the-world cause, babysitting venture, family function, organization and situation that arises. Their schedules are their schedules and subject to restrictions and limitations just like everyone else. Sorry.

Don’t get me wrong. Singles do like to give, grow in their lives and be involved in helping others. The best thing to do regarding expectations of singles is ask and try to understand before assuming.

-Angela Moore

Live Life in Syndication

gordon-gartrell

Malcolm Jamal Warner crossed my mind while driving up 65N this morning at 5am. Not because he was such a cutie as a kid playing “Theo Huxtable” on the Cosby Show in the 80s, not because I just watched one of my favorite episodes this weekend, not because I wondered if he is still dating “Brenda” from 227, but because I wondered how he’s living off of his Cosby money.

The answer to this query escapes me, and I really don’t want to take the time to Google it, but I’d like to believe that he’s faring quite well off of the Cosby Show’s amazing syndication run. In syndication since 1988, and shown as many times a day as a bad, payday loan commercial, the Cosby Show has to be one of the longest and most frequent running television shows in syndicated history. (or at least in my world:) That should mean that the cast’s payoff, whether in resources, respect or royalties for things they did years, and years ago has to be a blessing!

Malcolm-Jamal-Warner

That’s how I want to live my life…in syndication. I want the works that I did, the acts of kindness I performed, the seeds that I sowed years, and years ago to continually pay off for me LONG after I’m grown up and gone on. Not that I expect them to provide exactly as they did during the time they were rendered, and not that I ever plan on stopping in trying to do well, but wouldn’t it be nice if, even in the effort to always progress, we were continually rewarded and awarded as if our good deeds were in syndication? Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived life so well, and in such a memorable way that long after seasons ended we still could expect harvests to reap? Yes, indeed that would nice, about as nice as an actual Gordon Gartrell shirt:)

-Angela Moore

Good Mothers Come From Good Mothers (and Good Others)

As I rose this morning before 5am to get started with my day, it dawned on me. Good mothers deserve the world!  A “little” Mother’s Day Brunch that started out with about a dozen people has now morphed into more than 35. A menu that, at first, was a simple mixture of a few, inexpensive breakfast and lunch items has now transformed into so much that I’m truly concerned about where it all will fit.  Fueled by my sister’s constant chiming in of “we need more”, we’ve remixed menus, sacrificed time and money, brought in loved ones to help host and contribute so that every mother present will feel loved. Why? Because every mother deserves that, and so much more.

I think back over my 41 years of living and how everyday of my life, my mother has always been the epitome of “above and beyond”. A former teacher for more than three decades, who would buy children clothes, get involved in their personal lives to help them, even host parties at our house for them, she carried that same love and sign of sacrifice into the lives of her family even more. Late nights and early mornings, being a doctor, a counselor, a personal chef, a personal banker sharing funds too many to count, a mediator, being the best gift giver, sitting on the floor at age 66 playing games with her grandkids, bringing others in her home and under her wings to show them real love, making everyone feel special, never forgetting to send holiday cards, caring and providing for her elders, loving her husband and serving God are just a few of the things that amaze me about her.

I sometimes get angry with her when I felt like she is doing too much. The bags under her eyes from tears or tiredness, sometimes being mistreated by those she helped and cared for the most, seeing her walk with a limp, or knowing she was going without so she could give would make me want to yell, “just stop it!!!!!” I’m a 70’s baby, and by far no fool, so I never did yell anything out of my mouth, but always wondered why she did so much.

My sister and I were talking last night after spending much of the day cooking, and my phone rang just shy of 10pm. It was my almost 80 year-old Great Aunt from Montgomery calling to see what she “should bring” to the brunch. My polite answer to her was “nothing”. And in that instant, God’s answer to me about why my mother does so much was made clear. She gets it honestly!

Mama, Grandma Jean, Grandma Scott and Mama Lou

Good mothers come from good mothers, and good others. They simply can’t help it. I can see now how the “do too much” that my mother mastered was an undeniable, transfer from grandmother and my grandmother’s sisters to my mother and mother’s sisters, and from other amazing family members who were good mothers. They all specialized in Above and Beyond 401. I can see now how my mother has also strategically aligned all of her associations with other mothers who will go to the ends of the earth and back for those they love and dare anyone to question their actions or try to negatively influence their reactions. They’re good mothers and simply can’t help it!

So today, I salute mothers everywhere and pay homage to their hustle. I’m not talking hustle in the street sense, but the hustle that doesn’t let them stop until every possible prayer can be prayed, every possible solution considered, every resource used, and every hour of the day spent as it was meant, then will let them emerge as if whatever just happened didn’t have any effect on them at all. Now that’s a good mother!

-Angela Moore

I

I Wish Them Love

tumblr_lihgxt4dXO1qby6rio1_500

With Mother’s Day approaching my heart and mind can not imagine what it’s like to miss my mom, or be a mother missing her child. My mother is a daily constant in my life that I have the privilege to talk to at least three or four times a day, and see about as often weekly.

I am so very grateful to God for her, and any of us blessed to still have someone respond to our call of “Mom, Mama, Mommy or Mother” should also be so. However, I am not blind to the fact that so many men and women I love are without the mothers they love. I’m also not blind to the fact that there are many mothers that are also without the opportunity to hear the names “Mom, Mama, Mommy or Mother” called by the child they birthed and lost far too soon.

A-mother_s-love-for

Thinking of my own mother, who has lost her mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, best friend and other special women in her life, and close family and friends who are without their moms, or have tragically dealt with the devastating sting of losing a child, I am amazed at their ability to still live and love through their pain. I’m well aware of loved ones, men and women, young and old, who mean the world to me and the sadness this time of year often brings. My heart gets heavy, guilt-ridden even, as I think of what they must be living through. I feel helpless in helping them.

I’m sending them all a virtual hug and simply want them all to know that they are loved, thought of, cared about and prayed for. I wish anyone experiencing the loss of a mother or the loss of a child more JOY than their hearts can handle, more PEACE than their souls can stand, more FOND MEMORIES than their minds can fathom and more HOPE than their worlds can welcome. I wish them love on Mother’s Day and everyday.

-Angela Moore

Take the Praise, Woman. Just Take the Praise!

Praise-01-590x279

Proverbs  31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Wow! I love that Scripture. Not just because it comes from one of my favorite books in the Bible, but because the focus is on the Proverbs 31 woman. As Mother’s Day approaches, and I reflect on the AMAZING mother I have and the wonderful women who’ve been great examples of what mothers (and daughters) should be I’d like to take a moment to encourage us all to please take the praise. Now, I’m not talking about being arrogant or boastful, but doing as the Scripture says, fearing the Lord, and allowing your own works to be praised.

Sadly though, praise is something some of us find difficult to receive. Have you ever given compliments to someone and have literally watched as they mustered up the courage to say thank you because they didn’t believe what you said? Have you seen the person, who, at the sound of the compliment immediately gives you a verbal expose on all the things wrong with them? Or the one who breaks out into a childlike giggle when you say whatever deserving words you say?

Women sometimes view compliments with a side of cynicism. We often don’t believe if a person says we’re smart, or beautiful or talented. And some of us simply don’t trust others, or ourselves when it comes to receiving praise.

Hindrances that keep some women from accepting praise:

  • Guilt Has guilt ever kept you from accepting praise from others? How and When? And why would you allow something that God has long forgiven to stop you from receiving the verbal affirmations you deserve…regardless of what you’ve done or what’s been done to you? Don’t allow problems, pain or people (even yourself) to stop you from receiving or returning praise.
  • Not feeling worthy Have feelings of being unworthy of God’s love or the love of others stopped you from receiving praise? Ask yourself if you really, really, really believe that first, God loves you, and secondly, that He has people on earth to verbally and tangibly remind you of how great, wonderful, beautiful, special, amazing and all that good stuff you are because of Him.
  • Poor self-image I love taking pictures. To this day, it amazes me the number of women that don’t like taking pictures, don’t smile or don’t believe that what the camera captures is nothing short of pure beauty. As women, sometimes our minds are our own worse enemy preferring to cause us to see ourselves as less than who we are. So we often take that twisted mentality drill it in ourselves, instill it in our children, and many times reject sincere praise that is ours because we’ve allowed it to become foreign to us. Stop doing that please:)

So, women, I’d like to propose that we engage in a little Popcorn Praise. Purposely seek out people to offer expressions of praise to letting your continual praise “pop-off” in bursts and spurts like hot, movie popcorn. Then, purposely keep yourself in a position to receive the popcorn praise that’s long overdue to you. If you know taking praise has been a problem then practice! Practice saying “thank you”. Practice believing the good in you that others see. Practice praising yourself. Practice your smile. Practice, whatever you have to just get ready to be praised!

-Angela Moore

“My Image is Everything”

imageiseverything_1

My fingers are on fire trying to get this post out. It may be a long one so buckle up:)

A lovely Sunday afternoon set on celebrating the upcoming nuptials of a close relative took an interesting turn when, at the restaurant we were hosting the event, two well-known reality stars took center stage. Outside of the initial shock of them even being present in Birmingham what ensued was even more shocking. I won’t name names, but will adjust them for your reading pleasure. Let’s just say that “Mother Cee” and “Faye, also known as Lucky” from a very popular reality show based out of Georgia were at a local seafood establishment. Uuuummmmm, how shall I say this? Their crew and the two “stars” (Mother Cee in particular), really acted unlady like on a Sunday afternoon in broad open daylight for dozens and dozens to see or hear about!

There was shouting. There was a drink thrown. There was a bottle thrown across the street into ongoing traffic. There were very loud accusations of drug use. There was head-banging on the steering wheel. There was more shouting. There were words used that would make a sailor blush. There was madness that lingered for about 40 minutes. But there was a comment by Mother Cee that really sent a strong message. After all of the above displays she uttered these words, “My image is everything.” Say what now?!?!?

Yowza!!!! After all we witness on a weekly basis on the television and after what I saw first hand, that comment tickled me and struck me as very, very odd. I’m not going to go much more into that. I’ll let you draw your conclusions on your own. What I will say is image is important, and it can be everything when our actions are called into question or when our image leaves a negative lasting impression.

To my knowledge, I don’t know any people who engage in Sunday shouting matches like the one I witnessed, but we all possibly do things or say things that we shouldn’t without knowing who’s watching. It’s important to protect our image and project the good we desire people to see.

We have to watch our attitude. We don’t want to be known as the mean person, bad attitude person, negative person, unforgiving person or emotionally unstable person.

We have to watch our actions.  We have to have enough God-given control to be able to hold ourselves accountable for not committing acts that will have negative effects that last longer than the actual action. It’s not worth it, and unfortunately reputations aren’t always as forgiving as we need them to be.

We have to watch our associations. Who we hang with can help us or hurt us, even through their actions. We have to watch who’s in our circle and know who they are AND how they are even when they aren’t around us. Sadly, guilt by association isn’t just a term.

And for the record, no I did not take pictures or record the melee. Why? Because I was SCARED! Let me tell you. TV does not clearly demonstrate the madness that is “Mother Cee” when she is mad and anybody with half an ounce of common sense knows to do what we did, whisper a prayer and stay out of her wrath and her way.

@AngelaMMoore316

Let Me Show You What I’m Working With

quotes-god_00254107

First off, let me say that the English minor in me knows one should not end a sentence with “with”. With that said, I bet God often says, “Let Me show you what I’m working with.”

A couple of things haven’t gone my way recently. I’m starting to finally buy into the notion that that’s just life, and either way it will be okay. Yet, in the midst of disappointment about my house sale not going through and having to walk away from a job that would have provided me much-needed financial increase I still could hear God say, “Let Me show you what I’m working with.”

Then I thought. God’s actions in our life are often based on our reactions to our life. He’s such the Gentleman that He wants to be able to show off, boast, brag a bit even, about how good He is to us.

  • He wants to show that He can answer our prayers, but we have to pray them.
  • He wants to show that He can bless us, but we have to believe.
  • He wants to show that He’s a rewarder, but we have to seek Him.
  • He wants to show that He’s a provider after we’ve asked, sought and knocked.
  • He wants to show that He has our back, even if it’s up against the wall.
  • He wants to show that He’s a healer, when we trust and ask Him to help.
  • He wants to show us what He’s working and is just waiting for us to allow that to happen.

I’m not from Missouri, but I’m certainly in a “show me” state of mind!

-Angela Moore

 

I Dare You to Say Something

There was an infectious song in the 80’s by the famous, family group DeBarge called “I Like It”! The lyrics went a little something like this:

http://maxiocio.net/ytdetail.php?id=VqaKisKIyUo

I like the way you comb your hair
And I like those stylish clothes you wear
It’s just the little things you do
That show how much you really care…

Now, while El and the crew were definitely talking about a romantic interest, how many times have you seen something good or thought something positive concerning another person and didn’t open your mouth?

Come on. I know you’re like me and have seen a woman with a cute pair of shoes, a nice handbag, or well-behaved children and said something to a friend about it, but not to the woman. Men, I know you all have seen another guy with a nice car, a nice jump shot or a great career and instead of offering a genuine compliment you try to compete. Why has it appeared to be easier to say someone thinks they’re “better than” someone else, roll our eyes or secretly covet rather than just compliment?

The things about compliments is that they are free and they seem to have an undeniable boomerang effect. You put it out there and it comes right back around to you! Offering someone a sincere compliment takes nothing away from you. In this day and age where people are Googling the price of other people’s items, robbing people for tennis shoes, spreading rumors on those they deem to have more than them, or simply just staying silent when they see something they like, I’d like to propose that we all step up our word game and truly tell people what we admire and like about them. You never know how your words will change someone’s life for the better. And if nothing more, it will certainly change your’s for the better. So I dare you to say something!!!

-Angela Moore

Can You See Me Now?

Just call me a two-year-old because I almost had a meltdown. Something important to me recently didn’t go the way I wanted it to. I’m not going to delve into all of that, because that’s not my focus, and focusing on the issue certainly won’t fix it.

What I will say, especially following a conversation over lunch with a friend recently, is that immediately as I begin to melt faster than a Blue Bunny Bomb Pop on a hot, Alabama day in August, I turned to one of my cheerleaders. I opened myself up, fears, questions, sadness and all to share with someone who I know cares, so that they could step in to help me through this small (but big at the time) matter. I allowed this person to see me.

How many people in your life have that privilege? How many people can you boldly ask, “Can you see me now?” How many people do you trust yourself enough to trust that you can be the good, “bad and in need of some major prayer” you around and they will still love you, support you, correct you if needed and walk with you? I often think of my favorite TV character, Whitley Gilbert-Wayne from the 90’s sitcom, “A Different World”. One episode in particular was about her waking up before the break of dawn to wash her face, apply make-up, brush her teeth and spritz on her favorite perfume before her newlywed husband rose for the day. She didn’t want her husband, DeWayne Cleophus Wayne to see (or smell for that matter) the real, “just waking up in the morning” her. I laugh each time I see that episode, because that reminds me of me and so many others. Whitley’s issues were superficial, but for us, sometimes support for the superficial and the serious get overlooked in our life because we don’t trust.

tumblr_lai2a0AqOV1qbxgvso1_500

Why in the world do we have friends, family members, romantic interests, etc. if we’re not going to be able to allow them to see us? I’m not saying every relationship should have the same level of divulging. They should not! I’m definitely not saying to not pray about and use wisdom to determine who to open up to about what, but why is being transparent, and trusting our own spirits of discernment, gut instinct, common sense or whatever not enough to open ourselves up to the right, appointed people? And why is it we give people from our past (who might not have been the right people to be transparent with in the first place) SO much power over where we are now?

I know. I know. You’ve been hurt. I have too. But we’re still here, which to me means that what hurt us didn’t kill us! Plus, if someone is not smart enough to value a real relationship with us and does something not in our best interest with whatever we’ve shared, then I’d suggest we readily prepare our hearts and lives for the cheerleaders who are truly on our team and pray for the ones who have proven not to be ’cause our Daddy does NOT like when people mess with or mess over His children. Capiche?!?!

-Angela Moore