Am I a Creature of Habit or a Glutton for Headaches?

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Walking to a co-workers office recently, I glanced at a calendar and noticed the date said October 14. I knew what the date was as I’d already been at work for quite a while that day and had pressed “send” on many emails with the date prominently featured. I don’t know what hit me, or why, but seeing that October 14 sent me into a mini-meltdown on the inside as I realized that Christmas was just two months and two weeks away.

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Let me declare that I love Christmas and all that it represents. More importantly, I love Jesus, the reason we all celebrate, (or at least the reason we should all commemorate). Anywho, seeing that October 14 made me realize that for the first time in as long as I can remember, I had not been able to start my Christmas shopping early, and definitely had not been able to finish it by now as I had so many years prior. That revelation did something to me.  It stung and scared me at the same time. You see, I’m a creature of habit. I like routine, structure, order, tradition, proactive and advance preparations in as much of my life as I can have it. I live for it, work toward it and thrive in it. It’s part of what defines my personality and that’s just the way it is. Having been thrown unimaginable curve balls since childhood, I’ve come to expect and appreciate the unexpected too, but I love a good ol’ dose of healthy habits. One of my healthy habits was early Christmas shopping, even having taught several classes on how to do it.

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Seeing the date of October 14 triggered an inner “something” in me that signaled some overloads of communications in my brain that I had to quickly recognize and be rid of.  I went into a fits of fiscal woes and wonders that I probably shouldn’t have even entertained in the first place. I’m by no means destitute, or anywhere near it. I’m very blessed and especially grateful. God blesses me tremendously, but changed circumstances and matters out of my control are temporarily causing what comes in to go out to places not previously assigned. So my challenge isn’t with my financial status. I know Who my Source is. I’m actually just waiting on the big ta-dah when God shows me that this season was all an amazing blessing in disguise! My challenge is concern (notice I didn’t say fear) of not being able to give, go, and do like I want to for myself and others. That thought can be a serious headache (and heartache). So on October 14 my mind did a doozie on me! It asked me questions like:

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• Why hadn’t I been able to do any shopping? And what’s next to exit from my routines?

• Was this the future of my finances?

• How had other things so effortlessly replaced my ritual of purposefully and frugally shopping for friends and loved ones so that I wouldn’t be stuck spending big bucks in December?

• Who stole my money (figuratively, not literally)?

• Who could I blame for the financial state I’m in?

• Am I an awful planner?

• Am I struggling and if so, how did I miss the memo?

• Have I not been a good steward?

• Will I ever have more to give more?

• Is this temporary to teach me some lesson I must not have learned years before?

• God, what’s up with my pockets?

As the wouldas, couldas, shoulds, what ifs, why me’s and why comes ran amuck in my mind and tapped dance on my tummy I had to stop and write this post. I had to honestly get out what I was feeling so that it could be replaced with what should be. I know you might be thinking, “Geesh, it’s only Christmas gifts. It’s not that deep.” For me it was that deep, because noticing that date and eventually walking into my “Christmas gift closet” and seeing nothing but a few left over gifts from last year signified a major change in something I took great joy in doing. That signaled a (temporary) new season of learning (again) to manage with less.

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After the whirlwind of thoughts settled I sulked for a bit. (Just being real.) Then decided that this was not my first go-round at the “God Bless Me and Get My Mind, Money and Money Management Right” Rodeo. I’m praying and preparing for creative ideas, cost-saving tips, angels on earth, new insights shared from wise men and women, discounts in stores, good stuff to write about on this journey, favor, free stuff to get and give away, people to bless in the midst of having less, but I will not be deterred by this detour. I simply won’t!  I’ve now buckled up and am cautiously preparing for my ride to redemption deciding that tis the season to establish even newer healthy habits over developing unwanted headaches any day, or holiday of the year.

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@AngelaMMoore316

#ComeUp! #ComeDownForWhat?

(There’s a totally overused phrase that’s popular today in some demographics that says, “Turn Up! Turn Down For What?!?” In the genres which make it popular it expresses the need to be excited, have fun, enjoy life, celebrate and all that jazz and keeping things that way. That, ladies and gentleman is the pretense behind this post.)

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Let me just say taking the high road can be hard. Staying on the high road can be even harder.  I know I’m not the only one who feels as if some people and problems have been hand-crafted to yank me down to the lowly roads of “Don’t take my meekness for weakness/Let me tell you a thing or two/You don’t know who you’re messing with so let me show you”. But they’re not worth it.

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Of late, loved ones and I have been collectively (and almost strategically)challenged with the task of trekking up the high road and doing whatever it takes to set up shop there. This has become especially evident with persons that seem to have been wired (or rewired) to misrepresent, misunderstand, or misinterpret us, our roles in their life, their responsibilities in ours, fact vs fiction and the list goes on. Wisdom, trial, error and eventual reward has taught me that these kinds of “crazy” scenarios are clear indicators that we’re on the right path to somewhere BIG and that it’s important to stay classy to stay there. But again, staying on the high road can be hard.

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I’ll be the first to admit that I have a quick and seasoned wit.  Hunni, I can think of things to say that would shock you. They shock me often when they come to mind (especially because I’ve never been one to curse, so these aren’t a string of fluid “swear words”, but methodically put together put downs that would take out even the strongest of adversaries). Thankfully I’ve tremendously grown and try really, really hard to no longer let those words run amuck. However, sometimes it feels like my mind has a mind of its own. As quickly as I can think of an uplifting or encouraging post, when I’m challenged or a loved one is challenged I can also think of some seriously snappy comebacks and planned speeches to deliver to my nemesis. I have to purposely change my mind when those things try to come to mind. I have to choose to come up from where my mind might be leading my mouth so I’ll whisper in a loud internal shout #ComeUp! #ComeDownForWhat?!?!

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@AngelaMMoore316

It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay

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The catchy tune to one of my girl Whitney Houston’s song has been setting up shop in my mind this morning. I’m an early riser, so waking up to the lyrics “It’s not right, but it’s okay. I’m gonna make it anyway” at 4am in the morning signals to me more than just a song.

Ms. Houston sang (and strutted in her video) about an unfaithful lover that supposedly went out to eat with his boys on Friday night, came home around three with a receipt for two. (I just love it!) Her declaration to him, “It’s not right, but it’s okay. I’m gonna make it anyway.” Now, some other sneaky scenarios and wise words by Whitney followed, but this isn’t a “he or she did me wrong” post so I’ll proceed. This post is about any area of life, where we know it’s not right and what we have the power to do about it.

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Sometimes life, or the people, situations and circumstances that come along with it just “ain’t” right. In fact, sometimes it can feel downright unfair. But I’ve learned that whether something is fair or not has never stopped forward motion, if we simply keep moving. Here’s my question, how many times have you dared to make a declaration to those things that troubled you, stood firmly by it, pressed through it and knew without a shadow of a doubt that you’d be okay? Whether with troubling money matters, dealing with parents or children with dire needs, with stress at school, coping with loss, desiring more money, recognition or stability from work, getting over past mistakes, handling health problems, battling spiritual challenges, dealing with family or relational struggles or anything else in between we’ve got to start taking a page out of this song book and know that “It’s not right, but it’s okay.” And we will be too. (Now let that little tune linger in your head as you move ahead.)

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@AngelaMMoore316

I Hope You Get What’s Coming

For all who have been there with me, for me, in front of me (paving the way) and behind me (propelling me forward) this is for you.

Life Gets Better

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!

Personal-Success

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…

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Fear Can Be a Monster

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Fear can be a monster. For real! It  can be like a big, hairy, ugly, stinky, towering monster!

As a child growing up in a loving home with my parents and siblings, I had a brief encounter with the monster known as Fear of the Dark. As a young girl, I just knew that there was a monster behind the brown, wooden doors of my closet and under my cluttered twin bed that only unleashed his frightening powers when the lights went out at night. I’m supposing, in an attempt to scare the monster, irritate my throat and frustrate my parents I would SCREAM like my life depended on it!!!!! Needless to say, my daddy or mama came to the rescue. I got over that fear, and now relish rest in the dark.

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Fast-forward many decades, and here we all are today grown, or growing up, possibly not dealing with fear of the dark, but potentially struggling with fear of the unknown.

My new struggle dwells in the area of knowing good is coming, and trusting the process of change, while stepping on out anyway. Scripture says God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. Therefore, when we do get it, because it didn’t come from our Daddy we can send it right back from whence it came. Scripture also says don’t stop doing good because we’ll reap if we faint not. I believe blessings come from the Lord. But stepping out and stepping up to be blessed can be scary. Why is that?

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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 healing, a new job, marriage, children, restoration, or financial provision. We all want, or should want change for the better. But still, better and the path to get there can be scary. Blessings can have a strange way of making us nervously confident and excitedly cautious at the same time.

There’s something about being a person of faith, making our petitions known to God and announced to man that puts pressure on us, well at least it has on me. Putting a prayer up there, putting our faith out there, trusting it to come to pass, knowing others know what we’re believing for, then having to WAIT on it to actually unfold can be as scary as the time I “accidentally” watched “The Shining” at my Aunt Ann’s and Uncle Ricky’s house in the early 80’s. Scary, I know! 

I’ve learned that the root of my adult “scary” situations is not wanting to disappoint God and taint my testimony (i.e. be embarrassed). I know, that’s whack. Pray for me. I also know Romans 8:28, but who wants to be known as the one who launched out and lost, tried and failed, or thought they heard God say go and He said NO? I certainly don’t.

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A lot of what we go through is God’s loving attempt to grow our faith in Him! In the best Gomer Pyle I can muster up, “surprise, surprise, surprise!!!” All that we experience is about drawing us closer to Him.

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God has guaranteed us all some amazing promises. He never guaranteed it would be easy, predictable, comfortable or even enjoyable at times, but He has given His guarantee and that’s good enough for me! At the end of the day, His name is on the line regarding our lives, and no monster in a closet or monster in our minds can stop it. We just have to trust, pray, remember what He’s already done, partner with those with a testimony in our area of testing, stay the course and most importantly, do like I did as a five-year-old on 19th Street in Birmingham Alabama’s West End…when we’re scared, just tell our Daddy! (I mean Big Daddy, as in God:) He’s got our back, and the proof of His power to back it all up!

 

@AngelaMMoore316

Flourishing From Failed Relationships

Life Gets Better

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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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I Really, Really Like That

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I really, really like that! How many times have you heard those words from a woman walking by who said it about you, but not directly too you? How many times have you thought those words of another woman, but failed to let those words escape from your mind to your mouth?

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Ladies, why is it sometimes so difficult to share our sincere compliments with other women? We are known for our ability to recognize all things esthetically pleasing, yet often can’t muster up the words to share what we’ve witnessed with the one wearing it, sporting it, speaking it, handling it, writing it, creating it or owning it. That “ain’t” cool! Being honest and encouraging another woman in an area you admire takes nothing away from you, but can add so much to her.

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So, I’d like to invite you to join me in embarking on the “I Really, Really Like That” campaign with a mission to tell your fellow female the truth about those things that make her awesome. If you like something, let her know. If you admire her, say so. If you’d like to learn more from her, ask. If you’re amazed by her actions, speak up. If you’re inspired by her life, let it out. Ok? Now ready, set, go!

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@AngelaMMoore316