Forgiving: The Gift That Keeps on Giving (REMIX)

Life Gets Better

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I had a vivid dream about finally being able to face someone who greatly disappointed me.  This person was someone others and I held in high regard and, while the person didn’t directly hurt me, the individual didn’t use the opportunity and authority they had to prevent me from being hurt by another, but in fact was a participant in encouraging or not discouraging the “unwise” acts to be done.

Many times as the “unwise” act was playing out, I thought long and hard specifically about what I would say to this person (not the direct hurter, but the indirect one), how I was going to say it, who I was going to let know what I said, what fancy words I would use as I said it and how good it would feel to let this person have it! Let’s just say I’d made up my mind to read this person from…

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I Don’t Miss My Old Life, Just Some of the People In It

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There are two types of questions I often get. One is whether I miss my “old life”. The other is some morphed variation of questions about my “future life” (as if I can see that far ahead).

At first I used to immediately jump to the questions about the future responding confidently and with certainty about how great things will be some day. That “future” conversation deserves its own blog and will one day get it, but this day is not my focus (literally and figuratively).

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For now, I want to declare this fact regarding my past, “I don’t miss my old life, just some of the people in it.” Now, hold up. Wait a minute. Don’t get all up-in-arms thinking that by my “old life” I’m merely referring to the time when I was married, which many might assume, and should not. Definitely don’t think that I’m discounting, dismissing or being less than genteel about those nine years. Not true. In fact, I fully value and appreciate each and every day regardless of the outcome, but the time I was married was just a teeny-tiny sampling of my 42 years here on earth. When I say my “old life” I mean ALL of my life.

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I’ve just decided that where I am right now, in this very moment is the absolute best place for me to be. It’s where God has me. And trust me when I tell you, where He has me is as good as it gets for me until He sees fit for otherwise . The thought of thinking that where I used to be is better than where I am (even if it felt like it at the time or in retrospect) makes me think it’s not the best thought to think. I can’t imagine how God feels when we all look back over our pasts as if that’s the best He has to offer.  He’s too GOOD to be outdone by anything anyone else has done and anything He’s done. He’s always focusing on us appreciating where He has us now, learning from where we’ve been and preparing for where we’re going while still appreciating where He has us now.

The job I have may not pay off in the same way as others in the past, but it’s my job and that makes it the best thing for me with what matters most…right now. The church I attend may not be as small or closely knit as some in my past, and people don’t know me from Ruth or Sarah, but it’s where I’m going and growing and that’s working wonderfully for me. The neighborhood I live in now may not have the same amazing, urban sounds and smells (the good smells like barbecue grills fired up on a hot, summer day) and neighbors who are more like family than friends, but it’s peaceful and where I call home at this moment and that’s alright with me. The friends I have now may not be as many in number or influence like perhaps some in the past, but they’re my friends and that makes them, and me super special.

So I’ll say again, “I don’t miss my old life, just some of the people in it.”  I will say, in utter honesty, that out of all the phases of my life I’ve accepted that it’s some of the relationships with some people no longer here, those that had to leave my circle, or those that I don’t see or interact with as often that I most miss. I do miss the presence of some pretty swell people I’ve come to know and love. I often think of some of them, see their posts on social media, hear of them in their well-doing and yearn for some sort of renewed connection, but then, even still I muster up that “something on the inside” that tells me to be grateful for the friendship, the family bond, the spiritual or social circle or the professional association. And that’s good enough for me. All else from my past served its purpose and that was to get me to the here and now, but in no way convince me that my yesterday was any better than my today.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Flourishing From Failed Relationships

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Failed relationships are something we all have in common. It’s something that hurts, but if we allow it to can help. Often we look at romantic relationships as the only ones where failure affects us. I would like to say that any relationship that was a part of who you are, whether it was a family relationship, a social relationship, a relationship in a spiritual setting or of a career nature, can be of benefit to you whether they flourished on their own or you had to learn to flourish when they didn’t last. The time has come for us to take a good look at our relationships to see what went wrong & why. Be it romantic, church, family, work or social the common denominator in them all was US. When a relationship ends we have to take the leap to go deeper and look at ourselves, in spite of and despite the others involved.

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So ask these simple questions…

  • Is the problem really all them or could some of it actually be us?
  • What did we do right?
  • What did we do wrong?
  • What should we learn?
  • Who should we let go?
The above are all questions that any person desiring to profit from the pain of a failed relationship should ask, and ask often. When things fail, we have to stop placing blame. We have to stop hiding behind cynical remarks and inappropriate feelings expressed prematurely or immaturely. The best way to flourish from a failed relationship is to thank God for the experience, look to learn from what happened, and share what we’ve learned with those in need of knowing in a healthy and appropriate way. Once He’s shown us what lessons are to be learned we have to learn them, let go of the harmful effects of the experience and use it as fuel for our next journey.
Focusing on the journey ahead is the best way to prevent the spread of the negative effects of a failed relationship. We have to keep our eyes on what counts and who counts, and use what counts to pay off for us.
Carrying negativity from our failed relationships is like a nasty, vile virus spreading to all with whom we come in contact. We never know who we’re infecting when we open our mouths with negativity. If we had a cold we’d have to COVER OUR MOUTH. The same is so with relationships that didn’t go the way we wanted. Unless we’re opening our mouths to share the goodness of the association and what we’ve learned from it we should pretend like we have a cold, cover our mouths and flourish from our failed relationships.
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-AngelaMMoore316

Can You Stand the Rain?

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In my mind I’m waving my hands in the air, and waving them like I just don’t care as I hum the tune to “Can You Stand the Rain?” by my all-time fav boy band New Edition. Today is a rainy Alabama day that greeted me at 3:30am with the sound of torrential showers beating over my roof, the heavy thump of thunder and bolts of lightning dancing in the sky. This morning made me think of this blog post previously published in 2013 and, of course, New Edition.

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Let me just say this. Rain has gotten a bad rap. In the summer of 2013, particularly in my home state of Alabama, we had a lot of rain. A whole lotta rain!!!! Yes, rain caused a few plans to change. Yes, rain can be so very unexpected. Yes, rain messes up hair like nobody’s business (even if your present hair of choice can be swapped out or put on a shelf). Yes, rain is hard to see in and even harder to drive in. Yes, rain (and its companions thunder and lightning) can be a little scary, but we need the rain. I found that to be especially true this summer of 2014 when rainy days were hit and miss in our area causing lakes to dwindle down, grass to wilt and crops to grow to less than stellar stature.

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The inner child in me who had many a play day ruined by rain is rebelling as I say this, but rain is not so bad. Rain provides the perfect backdrop to rest. Rain is the ideal setting to slow down. Rain, responsible for ruined plans, allows creativity and often special memories that wouldn’t ordinarily be. Rain is at the center of replenishing some of our favorite playgrounds…beaches and lakes. Rain is the old-school version of a modern-day splash pad. Rain is responsible for illuminating the sky with rainbows. Rain allows things to grow. Rain cleanses. Rain is a free carwash. Rain washes away that which shouldn’t be, and at the same time can usher in those things which should. Rain provides much need refreshment and nourishment. Rain is a guaranteed sign of harvest, abundance and reaping to come. I’m grateful today for the rain!

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When asked, “Can You Stand the Rain”, my favorite guys, New Edition were speaking of the rain of relationships. That can be pretty interesting, needed and nice at the same time too. But the rains of life can provide just as much refreshing as those of relationships. So, channeling my inner Ronnie DeVoe (my fav of my favorite group), I’ll ask “can you stand the rain?” Are you really ready to receive a pouring down of blessings or reap the bounty from enduring the storms? Having had my fair share of financial, emotional and physical times of “drought” in my far and not too distant past, at this age and stage in my life, I’d say I certainly can!!!! Again, today, I’m grateful for the rain.

@AngelaMMoore316

Help… Somebody

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Being divorced has caused me to learn, know and re-learn things I’d never thought I would. As I spent time folding several loads of clothes that I alone was responsible for washing (after all I wore them), mopped my floor with a lymphedema swollen hand, decided what I would eat for dinner and cook for dinner tomorrow, balanced my one-income checkbook, surveyed my house for much-needed repairs and the list goes on I thought, “whew, I could use some help”. Then I observed a loved one with the daunting task of rearing children in a less than ideal situation. I recalled a few couples going through marital problems that could destroy years of friendship and true love. I considered the several friend who took on the role of mother for a child or children belonging to someone else and reared them with no prior experience. I remembered friends and family taking care of their elderly, ailing parents with limited support and strength. I’ve listened to friends and associations talk about the painful effects of child abuse, sudden death of loved ones and other tragedies. I thought of a senior citizen, widow facing life-altering decisions, and I thought, “whew, we ALL could use some help”.

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Help is one of those tricky subjects that can either build a great bridge, or, if allowed bring about some tremendous barriers. I’ve seen communities come to the rescue of others during times of tragedy. I have been the recipient of help in times when I needed it and have been a participant offering help to others when they had need. I’ve seen people overcome tremendous obstacles because they made the choice to open their hearts and minds to seek and receive help. Those are blessings.

On the flip side of the proverbial coin, I’ve seen people decide that where they are is as far as they will or want to go and opt out of the option to allow others to help them. I’ve seen some choose not to share what needs were present preventing help in the nick of time. I’ve witnessed people not open their hearts or hands to extend help when it’s been asked. I’ve also had people become quite angry with, and even stop speaking to me because they “felt” I didn’t provide them the help they expected of me (regardless of what was going on in my life, or the years of help I might have rendered in the past). Cases like those are definitely unfortunate barriers.

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I sincerely pray that regardless of where you are in life that God give you ample and adequate help in whatever areas you most need it, and opportunities to offer help. I hope you are open spirit, soul and body to receive help, not just for yourself, but for the sake of all who are affected and influenced by what you are going through and how you handle it.

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#AngelaMMoore316

You Better Re-Read Your Resume

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You, yeah, you….This is not the first time you’ve been where you are so get back up and get going!

Yes, things may be wild and crazy now, but you’ve been down this road before have the T-shirts, pictures, and posters to prove that you made it.

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So gone ‘head (as some of my southern sisters say) and re-read your resume. Look at it and look at it good! You’ve already passed this test…yes, that test, the one you’re in right now!

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Before you had your first job you didn’t have a job. Before you had your first spouse you didn’t have a spouse. Before you had a bank account you didn’t have money in it. Before you did whatever you did you’d never done it before. But YOU DID IT and you can do it again. Even better, God fixed it once and He can fix it, remix it, remake it or restore it again. When life gets crazy you better re-read your resume and recognize just how good things have turned out and how great they can be!

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#AngelaMMoore316

Hey, Lil Dude

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I had the amazing privilege to speak to some students at a Birmingham, Alabama high school recently. My topic was Motivation. While I had everything set and was sure I’d be able to motivate them with my stories of wisdom mixed with a bit of wit, it was I who was motivated by them. Now, as with all teens, whether you were born in 2000 or 1950, there were those who, how shall I say this, will need more love, attention, direction and correction to become who they are supposed to be, but there were some, that I saw on that day in that high school that amazed me. And most of my amazement stemmed from the young men.

As a woman, I’ll be the first to admit that my life’s work has been primarily in the advancement of women and girls, but several of the male students I was able to spend time with at Holy Family Cristo Rey High School preparing to participate in the school’s Corporate Internship Program were a sight to behold. What first struck me as noteworthy was how, on a hot, 90 degree, Birmingham summer day they were dressed professionally and at school to better themselves. Suits, ties, blazers, blouses, trousers and “church shoes” as some may call them were the order of the day for the girls and boys. They greeted me, and others with handshakes, smiles and eye contact as best a 14 or 15-year-old could offer.

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When the training started my amazement was elevated as hands were raised, questions answered, suggestions made, an occassional funny joke tossed around, ears attuned and respect rendered primarily from the young men. Engaged and participatory is not how some segments of society paint them. Appropriately humourous and helpful is not often what we think of when we hear of African-American young males. Openly sharing and receiving feedback is not the definition we tend to believe regarding them. Providing “crowd control” is not usually the image we receive, but I’m telling you, not all, but enough of those young, black males proved society wrong on that day. I remember one young man telling another student, “Hey, Lil dude. Listen to her, she’s talking!” “Lil dude” decided to listen.

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Not that some of the girls weren’t super stellar. They were! But I want to thank the standout young men for motivating me. My sincere prayer is that the right people surround them with guidance for the rest of their lives that will get them to where they are supposed to be. I hope they all keep asking questions that flow through their minds like what’s appropriate on the internet, how do you stay motivated to stay in school after the death of a loved one, or have I heard of their favorite rap artist. I hope they remain open to growth and change and the desire to do whatever they have to do to be their best. I hope that the funny ones are able to channel their comedy into whatever their dreams may be and that they are never afraid of being a positive, powerful presence. I hope that the clearly shy ones, who still managed to have their say continue to speak up on their passions about sports, technology, drawing, God, and loving their mothers.  I hope that the compassionate ones continue to look out and around to make sure others are okay. I hope they all realize that being “cool” is really about being who they are uniquely designed to be, so if that means doing what those who don’t understand aren’t doing and getting where those who don’t understand will never go that’s “cool”. I hope they continue to appreciate life and realize the leaders they undeniably are, using that to advance in life and enhance living for others. I hope they decide that the snazzy way they’re dressing this summer is the way they want to dress from now on and others follow suit (get it, suit???…lol!) I hope they realize just how important they are to mankind, and that they grow to be the kind of man who changes the world for the better.

-Angela Moore