Do Your Own “Thang”

So much is going on in the world. It seems that even more is going on on social media where opinions about what people are doing, are saying, are not doing or are not saying regarding what’s going on in the world flood timelines and pages at rapid rates.

Here’s my take. Do your own thang! (Yes, I said “thang”.). When it comes to the affairs of the world we are all sent here to do something. Not the same thing, but something. That’s what makes us human, unique and necessary for the greater good. I’m not politically radical, so rarely will you see that from me, but I do have some friends who absolutely are. That’s their “thang”. I am an encourager and am well aware of my role in life. That’s my “thang”. You may be an organizer, a planner, a prayer, a protester, financial contributor, a fire-starter (the one who brings the wrong to light), or a fire-douser (the one who puts out the flames of distress). We all have a “thang” and it’s our job to do it and not be distracted or discouraged by those who don’t do what we do, or do it how we do it.

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The murder of Michael Brown has most recently brought this thought to mind again. Do your own “thang”. Sadly, in this scenario, it feels to me as if the in-fighting seems to be getting as much of our attention as the injustice. If I were a conspiracy theorist I would say it’s a conspiracy, but I’m not. So I won’t. Will everyone march? No. But some will because that’s their “thang”. Will everyone be as outraged at and focused on white-on-black crime? No. But some will because that’s their “thang”. Will everyone see the equal harm of black-on-black crime? No. But some will because that’s their “thang”. Will everyone stay abreast of this latest travesty and so many others before and after it, keeping us up-to-date, up-to-the minute on what’s going on or wrong? No. But some will because that’s their “thang”. Will everyone offer an encouraging word or source of healthy distraction so that we aren’t consumed with those things concerning us? No. But some will because that’s their “thang”. As long as we all care enough to care in our own assigned ways we shouldn’t be consumed with how everyone else is contributing. 

To remix a word from the Isley Brothers…It’s your “thang”. Do what you wanna do. Just be sure to do your own “thang”. The world is watching and waiting for our important pieces to the puzzle.

@AngelaMMoore316

Sure, We Can Hang All Day. But Can You Pray?

The Lord is allowing me to go through a test, one in which I thought I was over and done with, once and for all. Surprise! I’m not! I believe I did pass the initial test the first time I took it, but I believe now I am approaching my graduate level finals. For me, it would have been nice to realize that I was still being schooled on this lesson and being prepped for another degree, so to speak, but I missed that memo. Lol! It appears I’ve been in class all along with a bit more to learn and show on this particular subject. Anywho, I’m being tested and there’s nothing I can do about it but trust the instructions of the Teacher, study the Book, utilize my study group support, pass with flying colors, throw my tassel in the air and break out in a mean cabbage patch dance when I am done. 

With that said, after the weight of my impending exam began pressing down a bit harder recently I did what I normally do. I prayed. I pulled Scripture out of my arsenal. I’m fasting. I recalled past testimonies in this area from loved ones and me. I purposely fix my mind and mouth on pleasant things as not to get distracted, and so on and so on. I also consulted some friends, even on social media) sharing my concerns and my need for prayer without having to share my exact need. Wouldn’t you know it. I’ve been flooded with “gotcha chicks”, “praying” and “we’re in it to win it”. I’ve received funny jokes, powerful songs, right on time scriptures, amazing prophesies, early morning text messages, offers to help, Facebook reminders of what God can do, and the likes.

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Now, while my situation hasn’t yet changed my attitude and spirit surely have. That’s the beauty of, and purpose for true friendship. Sure, we can hang all day. But can you pray? I have been blessed with a multitude of great people with whom I am able to laugh, break bread, enjoy events and activities or simply interact with at any given time, but at the heart of each of them is something equally as spiritual as it is social. We can talk about make up, food, spa packages, vacation trips, how cute we look, our relationship matters, Alabama football, our favorite 80’s boy bands, politics, religion or reality tv, but it’s the fact that if I ask any of them to lift me in prayer, need known or not, they are able and willing with enough bold (crazy) faith behind it to believe, and they know they can ask the same of me. None of them are in a position right now to change my position, but they can pray. No one has asked “what’s going on or going wrong”, but they have prayed. No one has encouraged the 35211 (Google it) to come out, but they have prayed. No one has said it’s impossible, but they have prayed.

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In the midst of my need for a Bible-sized miracle I have to take account of and say thank you for the powerfully simple persons who pray. For that and for them, I am beyond, beyond grateful. As I seek prayer, I pray that we all have people who can pray with and for us and that we are mindful to do the same.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Nobody Cares About Me

Last night I had the opportunity to enjoy a great evening with “Girls of Fall” an event sponsored by Birmingham Magazine and The Reese’s Senior Bowl. It was a fun evening at Birmingham, Alabama’s Hyatt-Wynfrey Hotel, with a focus on all things football and the women who love the game. I was blessed to be able to receive the tickets after an acquaintance posted on Facebook that she had some available. In need of a little fun, especially at the cost of it being free, I quickly jumped on sending a message, offered my heartfelt “thank you” to her when she said she had two for me and whispered a very sincere “thank you Jesus” to Jesus because I knew He knew I needed it.

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The night at the event could not have been better. I was excited about winning a gift certificate to Dreamland Barbecue, about making it home in time to talk to my nieces on the phone and arriving in time to catch the last little bit of Braxton Family Values. Busying myself preparing for the next day, and listening (with a side of watching) at the same time I was stopped in my tracks when in the midst of their growing family tensions and more frequent family arguments Towanda Braxton yelled through my television screen, “nobody cares about me”, just as she shattered wine and water glasses across the table with painfully visible tears streaming down her camera-ready face. That scene was hard to watch, and even harder to wrap my head and heart around. I don’t know what was behind Towanda’s statement, and suspect we’ll gain more insight in the weeks to come, but what I do know is I felt for her when she said it, and I’m sure she’s not the only one who feels or has felt that way.

Seeing her vulnerable, uncontrolled display of disappointment, hurt, anger, pain, rejection and the likes made me think of a post I wrote a while ago called The Incredible Invisible Woman. It also made me think of the times life, or the people I’ve allowed in it have allowed the devil to convince me that nobody cares about me. Even more, it made me think of the persons, who, in desperation, or an attempt at what they perceive is self-preservation take this stance choosing to isolate themselves from others, viewing life through the stained glasses of cynicism, operating in lack of trust of all things human, and God-forbid choosing to take their own lives or the life of another.

Again, I don’t know what sparked Towanda’s outburst. What I do know is that many of us at one point or another has felt that way. What I do know is that there are SO MANY people who do love, care, notice, appreciate, admire, and need us. Yes, there is Jesus. Absolutely! And because He cares like nobody else can, He always makes sure there are others here on earth to remind us through a simple hug, a sincere text message, an unwavering presence, a supportive suggestion, an offer to help, an invitation to lunch, a listening ear, a sturdy shoulder to lean or cry on or even free tickets to a fabulous, football-based event.  What I do know is that the lie the devil tries to tell some of us is that we are an outcast, left out on the cold, over looked, mistreated, unloved, unwanted or unimportant is just that, a lie. No matter the age, race, stage in life, birthplace, birth order, bank account, occupation, area code,societal success, disability, or anything else we all have people who care. Get it? Got it? Good.

Health care Professional

@AngelaMMoore316

I Need a Man

Life Gets Better

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I need a man!!! Now wait a minute. Before you think I’m talking about what you think I’m talking about hear what I’m really talking about:)

One morning, while getting ready for work at 4:30am I watched local news. Being a former newsie I understand clearly that the “if it bleeds it leads” culture still exists in media, meaning that bad news often beats good news for the top slots. Knowing how media works still doesn’t make it easy to wake up to the site of the mug shots of SO many men who have murdered, robbed, burned (down houses), smoked, shot, sold or stolen. It certainly doesn’t make it easier to see the faces and hear the stories of young men like Michael Brown who have been murdered, or legends like Robin Williams who have taken their own lives.

So I declare, “I Need a Man”!  I need a man to understand some…

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Your Purpose is Greater Than Your Pain

Help! It’s a word some won’t say, but most should scream if it’s going to move them forward in life, and keep them alive, not just surviving, but thriving. I’ve never understood human nature, including my own, that would reject support it needs to be better. Sometimes our minds, poor mindsets, generational issues, societal boundaries, sickness or plain ol’ pride will literally talk our mouths out of opening up and asking for assistance. Cultural stigma regarding mental illness, addiction, personal and spiritual challenges, marital woes and the likes have plagued our community and will continue to do so if we stay silent about those things which are destroying us. I’ve learned in life that I’d much rather someone talk about me for getting help and getting better than talk about me for still hurting.

Conceptional chalk drawing - Help needed

I think the famous song from the Color Purple was written for me, “God is Trying to Tell You Something”.  Like a baby needs a bottle and like a teacher needs a pay raise, there are times in life where I have been expressly reminded that I needed help. In the last decade “help” and I have gone hand-in-hand. Over the years, I’ve been through a year and a half of gut-wrenching divorce counseling, a year of costly physical therapy for an arm with lymphedema, two years of painful physical therapy for a leg and back injury, and that’s just the specific help I want to tell you about. I’ve had to humble myself to ask people to drive me around, give me money, braid my hair, help me up the stairs, carry my purse, give me a job, give me money (I know I’ve already said that), hear my inner fears, let me cry on their shoulders, pray for me, let me vent, keep my secrets, keep me from acting less than lady like, and so on and so on and so on. I needed help! I’m so glad I got it.

I remember growing up. My parents were in, let’s just say, a financial pickle that was not pretty. They decided to seek a financial advisor, let her “up in their business” (as some in our community would say), trust her expertise and follow her tough-love advice to the letter in order to come out of debt. It was tough, but at the guidance of the advisor and through discipline they did it and were debt free. I remember growing up and my father taking Carl Budding lunchmeat sandwiches for lunch which only costs $1 for a pack of two, and driving an old, banana yellow Granada so that my mother and he could take care of their family and be a blessing to their extended family. They needed help for the sake of their peace of mind and financial legacy and they got it. I’m so glad they did.

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I also remember growing up and experiencing the murder of my first love at the age of 17. We were no longer “going together” and had had a less than pleasant association in the months leading up to his death, but on the night he was murdered in 1989 we’d had a fabulous time with a group of friends at the local movie theater I happened to work for. We were all supposed to reconnect later that night. Our intent was to focus on our foundation of a friendship that somehow had been lost in the midst of teenage angst, immaturity and time. While traveling to meet them, a car literally ran a dear friend and me off the road. We were traumatized and decided to go back to my house. The next morning I woke to the news that my first love was dead. I was devastated, beyond devastation as I reflect back some 20+ years later. Thankfully, I was never suicidal, but the weight of grief felt stifling. I couldn’t eat. I didn’t want to function. I felt dizzy often and remember vividly sliding down the door of my house each day I returned home from school as I was saturated in tears of disbelief. One of the first things my mother did after all my spiritual support was in place was to take me straight to a psychologist. Why? I needed help. I’m so glad I got it and am able to use his death as an example of taking whatever steps necessary to preserve the life of those who remain.

The moral to this story is: The difference in where we are and where we can be is found in the help we have. No matter what we’re experiencing we all have LIFE to live and a purpose on earth that’s greater than our pain. God loves us enough to never leave or forsake us. There are always others waiting to join us on the journey to help and healing.

@AngelaMMoore316