I’m Not the Smartest Grape in My Bunch and That Suits My Vine Just Fine

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Shhhhh….I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m not the smartest grape in my bunch and that suits my vine just fine.  Yes, I know, you might be shocked, stunned, and discombobulated even (I love the word discombobulated even if it is a bit extreme), to hear me make that declaration, but I boldly make it with crystal clear certainty. I am not the smartest grape in my bunch.

Growing up, my Daddy would often say that he was a “jack of all trades and master of none”. Welp, that pretty much sums me up. There are a lot of things I can do and like to do, but because I can do a lot of things I’ve not focused on taking time to master doing one thing and doing it extra, extra expertly (yet).  So, because of that, I have a blossoming bunch of people who can do what I do better.

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I like fashion, but I’m so glad I have two friends in particular that take their passion for fashion to inspiring new heights. I love to cook, but I have some loved ones that can teach me a thing or two in the kitchen, and they do. I love writing, but there’s an amazing group of blogging Janes who teach me the true wonder of words daily. Do I love helping people? Absolutely, but I have some people who take compassion, sacrifice and plain old making people feel better and be better to an entirely different level. I work hard, but some loved ones leave me in the dust when it comes to work ethic and diligence. I love public speaking and I’m still paying Sallie Mae (student loans), but I come from a line of women who have been able to take their words around the state, country and parts of the world and a few of them are STILL doing it in their 80s. I have faith, yes I do! I believe and try my absolute best to let God’s Word be my first and final answer, but I have some sisters in my circle that keep me in awe and appreciation of their ability to see things God’s way regardless.

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People, do you see where I’m going with this? Don’t become tangled up always having to be the “one” on the vine that outshines. There are definitely strengths we all have that are supposed to sharpen others. However, life has taught me that being the smartest grape in the bunch is bound to squeeze the juice out of you. And that would turn you into a raisin…YIKES!

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@AngelaMMoore316

Where I Thought I’d Be Is Not Where I Am and That’s Alright With Me

 

This blog is in honor of #TBT (Throwback Thursday)

A cleaning journey lead to the discovery of my Senior Class book. Yes, I’m a neatly, organized packrat  who has always kept anything of value with the hopes of it one day making an appearance on my “behind the scenes of the life of this mega-important whoever I was to become” biography. So I super-glued it, hot-glued it and kept it in tact with a large rubber band (that might have come off of a bunch of collard greens my daddy might have been chopping one day in the late 80’s) and I saved it.

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Ha! Taking a glimpse in the life of the teen formally known as Angela Michele (with one “l”) Scott tickled me! This girl was something else.  This 122lb, 5ft 8in, 17 year-old with a metal retainer, dark brown eyes and a precision cut, dark brown, asymmetrical bob (as her book stated) described herself as “nice, happy-go-lucky, easy to get along with and with a smart mouth that would get her in trouble from time-to-time”. Yay and yikes! Not much has changed in that regard.

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Ramsay High School’s Most Poised for the class of 1990 documented her life, favorite foods, fun times with friends, breakups, makeups and eventual breakups (sorry prom date for what I, I mean she, did to your picture, especially after you all went on to be great friends again). Of course Angela Scott had more pictures than the book could neatly contain. She also had a flood of what appears to be cryptic messages (i.e. hidden messages only her friends would have understood, nicknames of people who probably didn’t know they had those nicknames and “secret” stories that clearly should not have been in that book)  that baffled my mind at this juncture in life. Angela Scott also kept random pennies from 1990, report cards, greeting cards, graduation cards, concert tickets, party tickets, fashion and step show tickets, bowling tickets, Harvest Dance tickets, State Fair tickets, a copy of Life Every Voice and Sing and movie tickets, along with a Batman and Do The Right Thing button from her first job at Cobb Midfield Six Theatre. She had a couple of obituaries of friends she’d lost along the way, organized and stapled notes from Candygrams she’d received, and had labels from her hottest fashions including Levi, Generra, Nike and Polo.

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One page in the tattered book especially caught my eye. “Where Will I Be in 10 Years” was the question. Angela had it all mapped out, or so she thought. She would weigh more (definitely and darnit!), be working on a PhD (not so much), would have been married to someone rich and intelligent (I’m tickled and weak even as I type), would be driving a car that cost between $25k-$55k (didn’t happen) and would be a broadcast journalist (whew, at least one thing on the list made it to her life). Well, well, well, let’s just say that by the year 2000, which would have been 10 years from her graduation, none of that happened except the career as a broadcast journalist and she gave that up after a few years to pursue other things.

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Where I thought I’d be is not where I am and that’s alright with me! I’m glad the hopes and dreams I had at 17 didn’t come true or were short lived, because what I gained from what I did actually live will last a lifetime. I am, however, so very grateful for the wisdom I got from Angela Michele Scott, that Fuddrucker burger and Quincy’s yeast roll loving, curfew breaking, school skipping, academically average student who was allergic to Fashion Fair make-up, was called “mush mouth” when she had braces, made lots of mistakes, loved her CG Doves (my high school sorority) and wore dresses even when others didn’t. I’m grateful for the little girl who even had the audacity to dream big, write it down and organize it, even if most of her dreams didn’t come true! I’m grateful that she loved hard, cried even harder, never stopped growing for the better, bounced back from adversity and at the core of it all always cared for others. What I’m most thankful for is that the same gumption to dream that was alive in that 17-year-old child still lives in this 41-year-old woman today. 

@AngelaMMoore316

Forgive Me If I Fold My Arms

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 Quite a while back while pumping gas a service station worker walked up to me and said, “Ma’am, you’re folding your arms like you want to fight.” Fight? Who me?!?!? I’ve never been in a fight in my life, unless you consider a fight for my life. Honestly, at the time, I was thinking about whether it was more important to keep the raging wind from blowing up my at-the-knee skirt or blowing off my wig, mixed with thoughts about how gas went from $3.27 when I left home at 5:30am to $3.39 at 5:30pm. I was thinking of what I was going to cook for dinner, what a long day it had been,  if I was going to unpack my suitcase, what to do about an unexpected debt and how I wish I had someone to fold the clothes from my overflowing clothes basket.

At the time, completely unaware of having a problem with folding my arms, and definitely not aware of how I looked doing it, I’ve come to realize that I do do it more than I know. I recall now, hearing my mother commenting on the folding of my arms. She would often say folding my arms made me seem unapproachable. I can hear her as I type, “unfold your arms and relax your eyebrows”. (Yep, I tend to frown in the brow with no knowledge of the frownage going on.)

Knowing the comment by “Mr. Gas Station” and having a bit of past knowledge about body language I decided to research what arm folding represents. I was shocked! Defensive, closed off, reluctant, and other words were what I found. Yikes! Is that who I am? Is that what I want to portray?

An introvert by nature (and with proof from several tests) I simply don’t thrive or get energy from crowds or interactions. It tends to deplete me. I do it, press through it and truly enjoy interactions with others, but after a full day’s work like the one on the day of my gas station revelation, having dealt with dozens of people, I needed to breathe. Had folded arms become my external signal for my internal need? Working more on recognizing my flaws, I realized that a part of me possibly does want to appear closed off, if only for a moment. (shhhh…don’t tell anyone.) I’m certainly not trying to do it in a negative way, but likely in a manner that indirectly and gently whispers, “Please ma’am, please sir, You have no idea what I’ve dealt with today or will be facing later on. I need just a brief reprieve with some ‘catch my breath for sanity’s sake’ time”. Rather than simply say it, it looks as if I’ve grown to just fold my arms in hopes of people getting the picture. That’s not cool. There’s got to be a better way.

So as I figure this thing out forgive me if I fold my arms. I guess I could just throw my hands up and surrender to the whole situation, but that would require me to instantly unfold my arms and I’m still working on that. Lol!

@AngelaMMoore316

The Word Still Works

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Rest assured.  There is not a trial, an issue, a challenge, a test, a temptation, a situation, a scenario or an unexpected “Oh no! How am I going to make it through this?” or “I need help right now!!!!!!” or “I know he or she didn’t just do or say what they did or said!!!!!” that the Bible doesn’t cover with confidence through Godly authority, wise advice, personable example or proven experiences, offering it to all who will receive it with everlasting support, proof, promises of well-described provisions, back-drop details, a hint at future benefits, play-by-play guidance, spiritual reinforcement and guaranteed answers.

That’s it. That’s my blog for the day. Whatever you’re going through or headed to is covered somehow, somewhere in the Word of God. You may have to do a bit of work to find it (hear and head, read and recall) and a bit of work to activate it (have faith) and a bit of work for it to come to pass (work your faith), but trust and believe… The Word still works!

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@AngelaMMoore316

Prince Charming Isn’t Real, But Cinderella Is

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Ladies,

Boy, oh boy, did Disney deal us a doozy! How many of us have dreamed of, prayed for, waited on, or talked about our “Prince Charming”? Most, if not many, I’m sure. We’ve possibly thought that our lives would be better if we could just find that “perfect” Prince Charming, or our problems would be over if we were married, or at least in a relationship. We might have even invested in the notion that we could be happy if we “just had someone to love us”. Well, not to be the bearer of bad news, but Prince Charming isn’t real.  In fact, Prince Charming isn’t real, but Cinderella is.  You, my sister/friend are Cinderella 2.0. That’s right, there’s some Cinderella in all of us. I’m remembering the story of the beautiful young woman who was dealt tragic circumstances in life but rose above the obstacles and rose to the occasion to be found. Sound like anyone you know? You perhaps? The you you’re growing to be perhaps?

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Now back to Prince Charming. Again I say, he simply doesn’t exist, at least not in the way portrayed. I know. I know. It feels like you felt when you first learned the truth about the portly guy the red suit. But as quiet as it is kept there’s no perfect prince that’s going to ride in with a satin cape and a rose dangling from his mouth and rescue you (and all you’ve been through especially if you haven’t let it go). Prince Charming is not galloping in as a cure-all specimen on a white horse, or in a white Bentley, Benz or Buick LaCrosse sweeping you off your feet to live happily ever after, no problems attached. That just “ain’t” going to happen!

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Flipping the proverbial coin to the positive side, what can and will happen is something more miraculous than a fairytale could ever tell. One day, through the dependence on, redemption through and guidance of the only Man that was/is/will be perfect (Jesus) you’ll be found by a great guy who’s on the way to greater once he connects with you. His mission is to be what you need of him and more importantly, allow you to be what he needs of you.  This business is serious, my sisters. It’s far more serious than a glass and silver slipper. You’ll have issues. He’ll have issues. You’ll both need Jesus and each other to be made better together. And believe me, boo, he’s not coming to you unless God means for you to help him. Don’t believe me? Just check Genesis 2:18. The key is for you to stop waiting around to be rescued and get to work on your own redemption through God. You’ve got to get ready for who’s being made ready for you, boo!

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So this “super dude in the making”, like you, Cinderella, may have some issues stemming from his childhood, his health, his wallet, with his parents, with former relationships, with exes and the list goes on. He might have been dealt some similar blows by life as you, or in areas your mind can’t imagine.  But more times than not, you’ll find yourself in the position of being sent to help him more than you are helped by him. And a real Cinderella knows that’s cool, because God’s got her back, while she gets to participate in enjoying her blessing.

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So, fellow Cindys, step out of the fairytale and step into faith (with works). Go ahead and get yourself ready. Don’t get caught slipping. Get it? Slipping as in Cinderella’s glass slipper?!?!? (I tickle myself sometimes…LOL!) Back to the lecture at hand. Be healed of what’s hurting you (and be real with yourself about what’s hurting you.) Submit to God now so submitting to a husband won’t be foreign. Pray for him now wherever he is as he’s being made ready. Practice patience. Be nice. Learn now to share your time, food, family functions, and the television remote. Learn to budget. Learn to listen. Trying loving people you don’t like (because there will be days you don’t like him), surround yourself with healthy people with healthy relationships, and like Cinderella, learn to keep a clean house:)

@AngelaMichele316

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It’s About Time for a Mentor (or Two or Three)

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I was lamenting the other day about needing a professional/civic mentor. Most of my life I’ve been blessed to have super-wise people in my life helping direct and correct me for whatever professional or social season of my life I was in. Whether it be school teachers like Mrs. Gladys Williams at Edgewood Elementary School, Professors like the amazing Paul Delaney from the University of Alabama, or my marketing maven Marcia Twitty and former hospital president Charlie Faulkner from Baptist, I’ve rarely been without guidance to support the guidance I receive from my parents.

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Entering into the first leg of my professional career, I was blessed to make connections with great people much, much wiser than I in the media, public relations/marketing, and community service.

It wasn’t until I started working in ministry full-time for seven years that I found myself feeling like an island…a far, far away island. That was not a good feeling. Many attempts at reaching out to and securing mentors (outside of the awesome pastor’s wives in my bloodline) were unsuccessful. As life would have it, it turns out that I wouldn’t be in that role long anyway. So that wasn’t much of an issue. But now, at this stage of life, having started anew three years ago, I would like a mentor, or two or three.

I’m a firm believer that if Jesus had a crew I need one too. I have super friends, with great strengths, listening ears, wise advice, strong opinions and lots of life’s experiences that support me. I have wise, loving, caring, honest family members who mean the world to me. But professionally and in my passion for community service I’m lacking and I don’t like it.

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I believe we all need professional people and a civic support walking with us and before us to help us get to where we’re going. The problem is, I’m not sure of how to get to where I want to go, or if where I want to go is a lay-over or last destination. I’ve done so much, do so many different things at work and want to do so much more in life. So I’m going to be peeking around corners and praying for who’s in my circle (or needs to be) to hear who’s supposed to help me. Knowing the value of mentors I want help, and I know I need it. Knowing the beauty of life something in me tells me the time is prime for me to be mentored for the next trek in my amazing journey to getting to where I’m supposed to be.

@AngelaMMoore316

I’ll Beat the Streets to Telling My Story

Life Gets Better

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People have asked before why I “tell my business like I do”. Believe it or not, I’m extremely private, but I’ve grown to the level of developing transparency I have because I’ve also been on the other side of the fence standing by as someone else told my story, and quite honestly, told a few tales (i.e. lies) along with it. It’s nothing like having to hear someone else’s false, tainted or unauthorized remix of your life, as if they lived it and you didn’t. And you know some people pride themselves on “Your Life: The Remix”,  going all “P Diddy” on your bees-knees (that’s business, people:).

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So I decided that I’ll beat the streets to telling my story. Hear say, he say and she say can’t even phase me. Before it can be spoken I’m going to already speak it. Before it can be written I’m going to already write it. Before it…

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