Go Back and Say Thank You

Happy THANKSgiving!

Life Gets Better

Thank-You-Quotes

Often in life, distance, life changes, unexpected or even unfortunate situations can cause us to forget the great impact people might have had on us. As humans, we sometimes take for granted just how much of an influence people we no longer see on a regular basis have been in our lives. From the relatives that taught us values and virtues, to the first childhood friend that loved us unconditionally, to the teacher that nurtured one of our gifts, the ministers that helped save our family or the employer who gave us a chance, we tend to forget just how great a part of our life’s puzzle some actually were.

I was watching a reality show recently, when the star made a point to reference that one of the co-stars had been a friend since high school and had helped him tremendously. They both worked in the same industry. The…

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The Heart Can Have a Mind of Its Own

Life Gets Better

A friend sincerely asked my thoughts on love and how to move on from someone who still has a special place in your heart. My first response was, “That’s a tough one.” Because it is! Sometimes we treat relationships like hopscotch, jumping to and fro.

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There is no clear-cut pattern for moving on from a courting/dating relationship. Scriptures can encourage. Books can comment. Friends can advise. And even actions can mandate, but the heart has been proven a time or two to have a mind of its own.

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So what do you do? I really don’t know. I’ve learned that each situation and association is different and deserving of a custom-made outcome that outshines even the way it began. That’s especially true if you desire for whatever the outcome is to be for God’s glory and your own good. I’ve been the one, too many times to share, to move on to another…

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I Don’t Know Karate, But I’ll Chop What I Need To

A blog post months ago called Doors Fly Open When Walls Fall Down talked about my trek with getting over some issues within myself that have hindered me from being who I know I’m supposed to be.

https://angelamooreblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/doors-fly-open-when-walls-fall-down/

I wrote about karate chopping some serious areas in my life that had greatly held me back especially regarding my professional life and use of my God-given gifts. I began to knock down the walls of:

  • 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.

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As I was knocking down my walls and waiting on the doors to swing wide open, someone asked me just how I did what I did. How did I chop down the walls within, and what truths did I have to believe in order to do it. Whew! That’s a good question and one that causes me to really, really look at the real reasons behind the “chop”. I knew what I did and why it was important for me to do it. I knew that, regardless of what new opportunities would come the big project would be working in and on me. I even knew how I did decided to get over the things within me that were getting me down, but to vocalize with the free world just how I ended up in that little pickle of a problem was a cucumber of a different color.

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There were really only a few overall reason I experienced the four symptoms listed above. (I’m taking a deep breath as I get ready to type the words.) I was disappointed in where God had led my life, was afraid of another major upheaval, questioned my hearing of Him and had allowed doubt to lead to despondency. Pass me a fan and a fainting sofa! That just took a lot out of me!!!!!!!!!!

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To make a long life’s story short, in 1999 I had a great job I loved in Marketing and PR, was making more money than my age at the time (or my age now), became gravely ill in 2002, and worked part-time at a non-profit making a lot of income and impact in 2003. After clearly hearing the voice of God I left there to work in ministry full-time and ended up divorced, out of the job I left the other jobs for and out of the “game” seven years later. I felt like I’d been knocked down to “just out of college with no experience” status. That made me feel like someone had pulled the proverbial rug from under me. It really knocked the wind out of my career sail. My focus wasn’t initially on the reason the wind was knocked out of me or the fact that God was capable of blowing a fresh wind. I was mad, hurt, angry, confused and let down so all I wanted to know was did I not hear God properly to get in the boat in the first place seven years prior. I wanted my highfalutin, move-making, upwardly mobile career in Marketing/Media and that’s just the way it was. I wanted to make a difference doing it the way I’d always done it.

So for three years (since 2010) I’d been stuck in the rut of questions. I love what I do now in the field of social justice, but I did miss what I’d done, especially since my pride was telling me that after giving that up to work for God (isn’t anything we do supposed to be for God anyway?), He should at least give it back to me. (Ha! The nerve of me!) I had, at times gotten discouraged not working in “my field”, as if God can’t use and bless me in multiple fields. I was clinging to the thought of my old career like a baby to the bottle. I’d questioned my ability to hear and heed. I’d thought, well maybe that season of that gift is over forever.  I’d bartered God’s blessings for fear of rejection because after all, I must not be good enough to do what I love to do for more than random assistance for others. I doubted so much about what was once viewed as a blessing, now choosing to classify it as a mistake, a burden, and a tragedy even. I can be a bit dramatic! Pray for me.

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Then these truths hit me, leading to the “chop”

  • Get over it, girl!
  • Better is always an option.
  • It’s never a mistake if you or others are made better.
  • God knows what He is doing, so hearing from Him and being obedient always pays off one way or the other.
  • If it was a blessing when you got there, it should be looked at a blessing when you leave.
  • No one ever told you (that would be me) that what you thought was forever would be.
  • Somebody should have told you (that would be me) that what comes after what wasn’t forever is just as good or better than if you view it that way.
  • Just because you’re not doing what you want to do and being paid from it doesn’t mean you can’t do it and profit.
  • And be content…and keep chopping!

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@AngelaMMoore316

Everyone Deserves Friends

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A Friday night tearfest/cheerfest with a group of family and friends to see the “Best Man Holiday”, followed by an early Sunday morning at Church of the Highlands and an intimate brunch afterwards with some special ladies have caused me to realize even more how important friendships are.  Starting my weekend watching the tells of friendship unfold on a movie screen, embracing the ups, downs and eventual ups again of life as depicted by the characters stirred up something within me. Ending the weekend with ladies who sacrificed sleep, time away from family, funding to babysitters, adjusted work schedules, miles to come from out-of-town, and many other challenges just to carve out time to spend time with friends old and new in an effort to enjoy a little food, while giving and receiving a little encouragement stirred up something within me. I realize now, more than ever that everyone deserves friends.

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The thought of human beings who exist on this earth without the true joy of a true friend saddens me. It really saddens me. Everyone deserves friends. Everyone deserves someone to celebrate with them when they’ve received a promotion, a new car, new job or new baby. Everyone deserves someone who will walk them through sickness, death or divorce. Everyone deserves someone who will support them through lost jobs, disappointments, heart breaks, financial challenges and the unexpectedness of life. Everyone deserves someone who will tell them (in love) that their hair is out of place, breath isn’t its freshest, pants are unzipped or food isn’t too tasty. Everyone deserves someone who will say with certainty (whether they believe it or not) that “everything will be alright”. Everyone deserves someone who will talk him/her out of a crazy comment, a crazy haircut, a crazy purchase or an even crazier relationship.

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I’ve realized, as I’ve grown older that friendship is one of those things that reminds me of fashion. It’s often ever-changing and continually revolving.The progression of time, geographical locations, relationship status, pasts hurts, wacky schedules, discord and drama can be catalysts for those changes, but they should not stop our quest for true, meaningful, enriching, uplifting, trusting, funny, reflective, supportive and lasting friendship (even if it has to be resurrected from time-to-time). After all, everyone, and I mean everyone deserves friends.

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@AngelaMMoore316

I Gave Him the Finger

Did the title to this post shock you? Good! I wanted it to to get your attention.

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One thing I’ve dealt with and watched other women who’ve gone through divorce deal with is what to do after you’ve given him the finger, the ring finger that is. The wedding ring is always such as large part of excitement and symbolism for many marriages. It’s the big, bright, sparkly, sentimental outward sign of your inward love and losing the luxury of that sign can be a terrible blow, as superficial as it may sound. Dealing with the broken marriage, financial challenges, family restructuring, friendship changes, the emotional wear and tear and the likes, are sometimes silently joined by an often overlooked (or under-discussed) matter that can cause as much grief and confusion. That’s what happens after giving him the finger wasn’t forever.

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Ladies, if you’re like I was after the stuff hit the ceiling and the divorce dust started simmering you know exactly what I’m talking about. In the early days,  for me, staring down to an empty finger was like an ever-present reminder of my failed marriage. I felt lost when I looked at the semi-permanent change in skintone that resulted from having a fixture on my finger for nine years. I would sometimes panic thinking I’d lost my ring, when actually it wasn’t for me to wear anymore. I had lots of questions that I’m sure many women have faced.

Questions

  • Do you sell the ring?
  • Do you hold on to it in case things change?
  • Do you keep wearing it so you won’t have to worry with what people think?
  • Do you turn it into a necklace or some fabulous earrings?
  • Do you keep wearing it to scare off all the creepy guys who must have a “she’s an emotional wreck” radar?
  • How long do you keep wearing it to scare off all of the creepy guys?
  • Do you save it for one of your children?
  • Do you give it back? (Ummmmm, no!)
  • Do you go all bad Hollywood movie and toss it out of a moving car going 50mph down his new neighborhood street? (NO you shouldn’t! See sign below!!!!)

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Regardless of the state of where you stand with your finger just know that it does get better. That’s all I have to say. It gets better. The tan on the finger can fade. Whether you sell it, keep it or alternate a few cute pieces of jewelry on neighboring fingers you can be content. The memories that were good can outweigh those that weren’t so good. The creepy guys can eventually disappear (God is that good), whether you wear the ring or not. You can grow to the point of not being concerned with what people think. You can get a new man to put a “ring on it” if that’s God’s will.  Your thoughts of reenacting scenes from movies about scorned women can be replaced with beautiful thoughts and dreams about the future. And believe it or not, you can grow to the point of focusing more on your future than your finger!

It-Gets-Better

@AngelaMMoore316

He’s Worth the Weight

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I love #TBT (Throw Back Thursdays). The thought of traveling back down memory lane, but not having to stay there tickles my fancy.

One particular Thursday, a co-worker sent an old picture of me from the early 2000’s when I had red hair, and a much, much fuller face. I thought the hair was extra cute, but the look of the overly puffy face initially frightened, and somewhat embarrassed me. It made me reflect on a few things, with my battle of the bulge being the first to come to mind.

Within the last year or so several people have asked (wayyyyyyyy too much for my liking) how did I lose “all that weight”. My first natural reaction was often, “Now weight a minute! I must have been really big, especially since I’ve only dropped a few pounds.” My second semi-spiritual reaction was often, “Wow, I was much bigger, but if only I had time to explain why.” My third spiritual reaction was, “Thank God I’m alive!!!!” (As a side note, I’m working on the whole spiritual reaction first part of life that helps life be so much better, but I’m a work in progress in some areas more than others).

After I got over my own emotions, looking at that picture with the red hair and puffy face reminded me of just how far the Lord had brought me physically over the last 10-13 years. I realized that, at the time I didn’t realize how much what I’d gone through altered my appearance physically (in other words, I still thought I was cute). I also realized that many people might not have known what all I’ve endured. Behind that smile in 2002 on the photograph my co-worker showed me was a woman who didn’t know that she was very, very ill with a life-threatening thyroid condition. One year later, and the 50 extra pounds it presented was a woman who was taking more than 16 pills a day, many with the sweet side effect of weight gain, just to rebound from a near fatal Thyroid Storm. Shortly after that period of life, between 2005 and 2009 that same woman would again have at least three other health matters to deal with that would cause her to again take more “help you heal, but make you bigger while getting better” medicine. In 2011, a diagnosis of lymphedema was made better by, you guessed it, treatments that caused weight gain. In 2012 a bout with asthmatic bronchitis and five days in the hospital were treated with steroids strong to drop off 10 pounds in one week. Are you catching my drift? But I’m ALIVE and WELL!!!!! 2013 is the first year in 10 years that I have not had to add another health testimony to my WWE-sized blessings belt.

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More of me compliments of Graves Disease and Thyroid Storm. (I was fighting for my life.)

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More of me compliments of failed infertility treatments.

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More of me compliments of a fall that damaged my hip and back for three years.

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Who knows what gave me these blossoming cheeks. It’s likely just left over from years of overcoming challenges.

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More of me thanks to treatment for lymphedema

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More of me thanks to treatment for asthmatic bronchitis.

As much as the process over the last ten years had frustrated the stew out of me I now know that no one but a loving God could do what He’s done to allow me to be here today to tell about what He’s done for me, not just on the outside, but on the inside too. Through every single health challenge something life-changing and good came about. He gave me insight, influence, wisdom, memories, support, visions, rest, rewards, restoration and an eternally positive perspective that many can not comprehend. Every single pound paid off as it relates to God proving Himself to be the best thing since Cinnabon (which I often craved during my medicine-induced eating days) And that, my friends, makes Him worth the weight.

@AngelaMMoore316

Taking My Time in the Dark

I’m an early riser. That means that usually on mornings when I’m headed into work the only other breathing creatures up on the road with me are a few other human “early birds”, some deer, foxes, turtles, armadillos or possums. Believe me, cruising down the road and being surprised by a family of deer on a dark day stroll, or a massive turtle coasting gingerly down a semi-rock/dirt/paved road is no fun. Because I live in a subdivision in the midst of rural Shelby, County that also means that lights are few and far between until you reach the “big city” portion of Alabaster. I often rely on my bright lights to help guide me through, and a lot of stopping and slowing to make sure I make it.

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Because of all of the above factors, I have to be extra careful when driving in the dark.  Acknowledging the need to go slowly has become second-nature on my early morning or late night travels because, for one, I’m grateful for the 2001 Lexus that had been especially good to me for more than a decade, and the newer model truck that has stepped in to fill its transporting shoes. Because I’m also grateful for my life and the lives of other creepy-crawly things or human beings on the road with me, I try my best to take my time while driving the dark, but in life, going slowing during darker days can sometimes be so very hard to do.

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Driving in the dark is much like navigating through the darker seasons of life. Sickness, death, divorce, job loss, relationships transitions, and other scenarios can often place us in a state of figurative darkness. I’ve experienced each and every one of the above, and to be honest, my natural inclination after being blindsided by them was to hop back up from what caught be off guard, dust myself off and hit the ground running again…and FAST. That, my friends is not always the best method. It’s important to take our time during these times, not try to rush the process. The natural tendency would be to want to speed through whatever we’re going through to get to the other side of the proverbial “road”, but that can often cause more harm than good. Why? Just like the unexpected deer, foxes, turtles, armadillos or possums, in our times of darkness, we never know what is else lurking ahead or alongside of us that can hinder us, or even more hurt us. Sometimes, we do have an occassional collision that only yielding to rest and regrouping can handle. Taking our time, and depending on the Bright Light named Jesus(check out John 8:12) is the only way to make it safely through the dark days.

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Like my morning commute, sometimes it seems as if I’m not going as fast as I should be and that’s okay. Like my morning commute, it often seems like there’s always something else trying to slow me down and that’s okay. Like my morning commute, sometimes it appears that others are passing me and that’s (beginning to be) okay. But like my morning commute, I’m accepting that knowing when to pump the breaks and trust the path I’m on is the way to go. I’m accepting that, at whatever rate of speed God deems best, regardless of how many times I have to stop, yield or pause, He knows that that is the best way to get me to where I’m bound to go, arriving safely, soundly and to stay .

@AngelaMMoore316