We Need a Dose of Preparation Faith

Ha! Ha! Did you read that title and instantly think of Preparation H? I did as I typed it out, which is absolutely okay, as the topical ointment is somewhat of a muse for this prose.

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I was searching my local drug store (shout out to CVS) looking for something to treat some unwanted eye accessories (also known as bags) I’ve been dealing with as a result of allergies gone awry. I remembered the myth of using Preparation H to treat puffiness, and contemplated buying a tube of it, but then decided against it since my eye was already under attack from the turn of the season. Anywho, reading the details on that petite, mostly yellow tube started me thinking about faith. Weird? I know right. I started thinking, if Preparation H could be used for generations to shrink things that didn’t belong like puffy eyes, and other mid-region unmentionables I shan’t mention, then Preparation Faith would certainly serve the opposite effect. (My mind tends to see and connect things that even my mind often wonders about.)

I know I may be stretching it a bit here, but stick with me and you’ll catch my drift. Preparation Faith is the kind of faith we must have in order to make things grow, come to pass, or show up. It’s the kind of strong, bold, powerful, figurative ointment in the form of our declarations, our consistent actions, and our allocations that we place on things we are believing to see blossom, following the directions given and waiting with expectation for results bigger than we’ve imagined. Like Preparation H, which offers the opposite effect, utilizing different treatments for different levels of severity, be it in the form of an ointment, wipes, cooling gel, pain relief cream, itch relief, maximum strength, suppositories, totables, and more, the same must be so with our faith. The same ol’ faith won’t fix each situations. We have to know what we’re dealing with, trust the process of the recommended “fixes”, switch it up to something stronger if needed, and keep on applying and reapplying it until what we see what we’ve been waiting to see.

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This month, I hosted a Vision Board Party, to put my faith on paper. I was finally motivated by the faith that’s been moon walking in my mind, and occasionally coming out of my mouth to finally write it down, make it plain (and pretty)  according to Habakkuk 2:2. Now I’m faced with the task of waiting on, and getting ready for it to appear. And unlike Preparation H which specializes in super shrinkage, with my Preparation Faith whatever comes, the BIGGER, the better, baby.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Sometimes I Don’t Want to Be Nice

This #TBT of a blog post from 2013 resurfaced after a recent conversation with some 20-year-olds on the importance of being nice, especially when we don’t want to.

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Sometimes I don’t want to be nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There I said it! But I must be nice. Why? 

  • Because the Bible tells me so.
  • Because my parents told me to.
  • Because I’m old enough at this point to know that it’s the right thing to do (especially when I don’t want to, and regardless of how it’s received.)
  • Because usually the people who I don’t want to be nice to are the ones who need it most.
  • Because I’m bigger than my emotions.
  • Because usually there’s a reason (pride, pain, hurt, frustration) behind every person’s personality that makes them the one that I don’t want to be nice to.
  • Because usually there’s also a reason (pride, pain, hurt, frustration) behind what’s in me that would make me not want to be nice.
  • Because orange is NOT my new black, boo! I can’t afford to spend any time behind any bars…

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Let Me Upgrade You

Most of us know the song, or at least remember the clever video of Beyonce and her uncanny resemblance of then boyfriend, now husband Jay Z dancing, singing, and sashaying to the catchy beat of the 2006 smash hit Upgrade U. The video was cinemagraphically crisp. The horns, the whistles, and the drums of the beat were sick…in the best possible way. But the words were what rang a bell to me. Not to, at all, infringe on any copyright regulations I won’t post the lyrics, no matter how tempting, but will say the gist is that Bey was asking Jay to let her upgrade him. She did that!

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A conversation amongst friends on the topic of, guess what, women upgrading men made me reflect on my many trysts with “upgradation”. (Yes, I did just make up a word.) Some who’ve walked this journey called life with me reminded me of the, shall we say, “impact” I’ve had on the lives of the men I’ve come in contact. From introducing a wiser style of menswear to one person in particular who had a love/hate relationship with suits not at all well-suited, to “being patient with” the young love without enough money to buy a $.35 hot pepper at the Gadsden KFC, to introducing others to cultural, family relational and spiritual insights they’d previously not been privy to, I’ve put in work on the “work with you committee” for some years now.

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Now, the 20-something or 30-something-year-old me might have been pouting like a child when her last lollipop from the bank fell to the floor at the thought of working to make men better for other women, or other levels in life. And she did. No, ma’am, not this almost 43-year-old though. I know, accept and welcome that that’s what a girl, woman, friend, or wife is supposed to do. (Men carry this charge too, but this particular post right here isn’t directed toward men.) I’ve learned that any investment we make in the lives of others pays off for both parties whether directly or indirectly, and that’s good enough, especially if the Lord says so. This is true whether it be in a relationship, on a job, at a ministry, or with a group. This applies whether things last or not. We should want to always leave it, them, they or that better, and not desiring anything but God’s best for them. This is so regarding marriage. Why? Because the Bible says so. Don’t believe me? Check out Proverbs 18:22. This is especially so if love or loyalty is involved. Why? Because that’s the right thing to do. Why else? Because if we look closely, and really closely if we have to, we should also be able to see how we’ve been made better, whether it worked out the way we thought, hoped, wanted or not. Talk about an upgrade!

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So as I shimmy in my seat with that sick Bey beat still in my head, giggling at some of the other comments made about the “upgradation” my friends and I participated in I’m grateful that I can clearly look back, and thanks to social media, not have to look too hard to see that the lives of those who shared some part of the lives with me are indeed better. That makes me want to humbly take a bow and pat myself on the back at the same time. (LOL!) I can then whip my Bobbi Boss blunt, bob tresses around in the mirror (and love who looks back at me) knowing that because of the lives of those who shared some part of their life with me I am better. And that, to me is what matters most. Sure, our outcomes might be different, but an upgrade is an upgrade no matter how you spin it. I have amazing wisdom that money couldn’t afford to buy. I have memories the history books (or comedy stages) would NOT believe. I know new places to dine, travel, and shop that I didn’t have to come up with or pay for. (Thanks, guys). I have SUPER friends that wouldn’t have been had it not been for “what’s his name”. I’ve had a life about as rich as a hearty bowl of New Orleans gumbo sold straight off the street. I have gifts and talents, influence and amazing stories to tell because of spending time with people who were a part of my pit stop (not in a negative way) to the ultimate upgrade. And that, my darlings, deserves a song of its own! #singalongwithme #letmeupgradeyou

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@AngelaMichele316

Fashion 101: I Can’t Do it Like I Used To (But I’m Better and On a Budget)

Fashion and shopping…I enjoy them.  At times I’ve found strength, albeit temporary, from them. But I can’t do it like I used to. Way back in the 90s, an era of economic bountifulness, parental dependency and self-inflicted fiscal tomfoolery I was a shopper’s shopper. I knew the women at Casual Corner, who would call me off of my good paying TV job to stop by and see a couple of pieces they thought “would be perfect for me”. In my humble little life, and meager little wallet I could give Olivia Pope and First Lady Michelle Obama a run for their suit money back then. I love fashion. To this day, somewhere nestled away at my parent’s house are a few notebooks I kept my high school days noting everything I wore to school and when (as to not be repeated too often). Why? Because I was honing the future journalist/writer/organizer/historian in me and didn’t even know it. Plus I loved fashion.

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Not to place blame, but rather to trace roots, I must admit that I get my passion for fashion honestly. I get it from my father who is a shoe connoisseur, lining his leather, Italian or Johnston-Murphy shoes up around the wall and being able to buff polish them like nobody’s business, and who can easily outlast me at any outlet mall. I get it from my mother who should be on a first name basis with the likes of Michael Kors, Versace, Juicy and Louis Vuitton. I don’t blame either of them. They’ve worked hard, saved hard and sown even harder from everything God has granted them from my daddy growing up picking cotton, both of them living in the projects and them collectively sacrificing to get out of debt decades ago. Yes, their fashion bug has lived through some of the worst of circumstances, but for some of the best people I know. Salute.

Sometimes people comment on how nicely I dress (I’m in no way bragging, so please don’t think otherwise). I say “thank you” appreciative of the compliment, and often share where I scored my latest find. Some look at me like I’m Pinocchio when I divulge that most of my clothes are old, hand-me-overs (from my sister) or come from Ross Dress for Less, Wal-Mart, JC Penney’s and Belk. I rarely pay over $20 for anything. I place things in the back of my closet and pull them out years later. I wear items given to me by others and add my own spin. I do what I have to do because I can.

Take a look at what under $30, some savvy closet shifting, a bit of regifting, a dose of gratefulness and a dollop of self-esteem can do.

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$1.97 from JC Penney… Let that marinate in your mind for a minute.

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One of my high-end pieces… Ross’s “yellow label” Calvin Kline dress for $29. (I cringed at the register paying this much for this dress.)

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It’s Fashion’s finest frock for just $11.

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This little 2005 Newport News catalogue purchase gets to come out of the closet every now and then. I call it “Vintage”.

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Purchased from an “urban” boutique (a mall store in Atlanta) for the low price of $13.99.

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Ross Dress for Less at its $14.99 best.

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Wal-Mart all day, every day! (I have a blue and black one too.) #GeorgeRocks

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H&M for only $19. (I took a “dress” and made it a shirt.)

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$17.99 from Ross Dress for Less

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$19 semi-formal wear from Ross Dress for Less

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$14 from Ross Dress for Less (sultry wig not included)

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$16 Easter Dress from Ross Dress for Less (the $38 crutch cost more than the entire ensemble)

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One of my two most expensive purchases in 2015… A $49 gown from Belk. (The tag said $200)

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Straight from the YWCA’s My Sister’s Closet resale boutique for only $9.

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A fab deal from a little shop in the ATL for only $30-something dollars.

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Hat and Fringed sweater from the $.99 Store in Alabaster and Homewood. Sweater $14. Hat $2. Saving my hair from an initial downpour at the Magic City Classic=Priceless.

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My second most expensive purchase of 2015… A $400 hand-beaded gown from Belk for only $49.

When it comes to fashion and shopping, as mentioned, I can’t do it like I used to. I’d like to think I do it better and on a budget! I’m so grateful for the times I’ve been in allowing me to value me far more than the value of a dress, some stilettos or a handbag. I’m so grateful for the ability to whip up a Target/Ross/My Sister’s Closet ensemble and rock it like it came from Nordstrom, the real one, not Rack. I’m so grateful for the little girl at Ramsay High School who cared enough to try to carry herself like her best, always trying to put her best foot and face forward regardless of what she was facing and having to gumption to write it down for the world’s (not really the world, but indulge me) remembrance. I’m so grateful for a spirit that stays in me that says where I am is not my final stopping point and the only one who can stop me from getting there is me not being ready, head-to-heart-to-toe.

What won’t be happening is me looking like what I don’t have and missing out on what I could have. I dare you to take that stance. It’s fun and fruitful. Trust me I know!

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@AngelaMMoore316

The Heat Will Help You

God has been granting me these amazing and amazingly funny little lessons lately that’s getting my attention and sharpening my focus in a major way. That reminded me of an “incident” about two or three years ago that certainly solidified my notion that He’s speaking to me and will get my attention however He can, always kind enough to add a bit of humor or a needed life lesson in for extra measure.


As I often do, I wasted food on my lap one morning a few years ago at work. To let you in on a little secret, it was a deliciously, greasy piece of brown sugar-enriched, protein-laden meat (HAM, that is) that found its way to one of my favorite purple dress I’ve had for years. The succulent slice brought along with it enough oily substance to moisturize a small child. I was devastated. I’m talking near tears that would have further ruined my Maybeline mascara.
I wiped the huge spot with a soaked paper towel, but the stain and water would not go away with the average brown restroom paper towel. Not only was this a fiasco, but it just so happen to have happened on a day I had to conduct a three hour training. The risk taker in me decided I would simply head home and hopefully make it back in time to prepare for, and present the training. So I jumped in my car with a huge, wet stain on my dress and decided to drive all the way from downtown Birmingham, Alabama to the outer skirts of Alabaster to change dresses and be back by 9am. (I see now that wasn’t the wisest thing to think I could do. For those of you who don’t know, that’s about a 45 minute drive one way on the best early morning drive time kind of day.) 

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On this particular day it was freezing, cold outside. When I hopped in the car I turned the heat up to the highest level, traveled down 4th Avenue North, made it to I-65 South just before the 4th Avenue South Exit and realized that while I was driving I couldn’t see the big water mark on my dress. (Do you see where this is going?)
Not only did the dress dry, but the oily stain was gone and instead of being away for well over an hour I was back in about 11 1/2 minutes. All I had to do was ride out. Now my mind cues the lyrics and beat to a popular old-school hip hop song by DJ Trans and the Shake Something Crew (Don’t Google them)…”It’s time to ride out“…. #RideOnOut

The moral of this story: The heat in your life will help you if you just ride it out.
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@AngelaMMoore316

Divorce 101: The Name Change

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Life has a funny way of being recycled when least expected for those who need it most. A friend, who is going through the early stages of divorce inboxed me on a social media site to ask a simple question…”Did you go back to your maiden name?” I thought about it, flashing back five years this month to the start of my journey through divorce and the choice I chose to keep my married name. I explained to her that I kept my name because, after nine years of marriage, I was deeply rooted in the community, career and in social circles. No where near the status of Tina Turner, but certainly understanding her argument, I had planted some firm roots publicly with the name Angela Moore, plus I was a regularly featured writer for a weekly paper and had been so for many years under that name. What I didn’t say, was that whether or not to change my name was on the bottom of my to-do list as I literally immersed myself in a mean round of “Get Out of Bed and Go on with Your Life”, and another reason for my choice not to change was because I prayerfully plan to marry again and prefer to one day make the transition to my final husband’s name once and for all. (Smile!)

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Every marriage is different. The same is certainly so for each divorce. I have known many who have taken a different stance than I, or taken the same stance, but for varying reasons. Some have opted to immediately return to their maiden names. That’s absolutely okay. Some have held on to their married name then returned to their genealogical roots later in life. That’s absolutely okay too. Others have held to their married name to stay connected to children, business or others ties that still kept the once husband and wife unit bound.  That too, is an okay thing to do.

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Pressing send on the inbox reply to my friend reminded me of a conversation I’d (thankfully) forgotten. About a year or so after my divorce process was final, when my ex-husband had a temporary change of heart, that didn’t line up with my heart (or God’s plans) a spouse of a friend insisted that I change my name back to my maiden name. This person was relentless in his dissertation for me to “give that man his name back”. Thankfully I was much more mature than I knew and didn’t return the conversational favor with a “while you’re so concerned with what my last should be where were you when I lost ALL income, lost my church family/job that I’d worked for for nine years, lost health insurance, lost life insurance, spent my entire savings to allow a man to leave me, and everything else that came along when he left?” Instead, I stated my point smiled like the sweet southern belle I am, loved him as a friend still and kept one side-eye open (I’m being real). 

People, there is so much that a woman goes through when divorcing or being divorced.  I remembered that again when I read the message in my inbox. The embarrassment, the fear, the public humiliation, the private shame, the unanswered questions, the not knowing the literal ways of day-to-day things many take for granted, the starting over, the starting over after starting over, the kids, the house, the bank account, the losing of in-laws, the separation friends, the internal and external blame, the loss of housing, the schedule adjustments, the household chores, the struggling, fixing and finagling, and the inability to function without the freedom of not having to do so. A person’s last name should be the last thing on anyone’s mind, especially if you have the pleasure of snuggling up to your boo or bae each night.

The key to determining what to do regarding a name change is between two people…God and His daughter. It’s up to the party most directly affected by the dissolution of her marriage to follow her convictions and what she feels the Lord is saying is in her best personal, spiritual, financial and family-based interest. More importantly, when it comes to divorce, the focus on true healing and restoration trumps a name change or same name any day.

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@AngelaMMoore316