My Mama Didn’t Graduate on Time

Little things I learn about my mom through the simplest of conversations can be my biggest lessons in life. A random afternoon conversation while I was traveling from one job to the next diverted from talk about the weekend to the statement, “Did I ever tell you I didn’t graduate from college on time?”

“Huh. What?” was my reaction, but I held it in as my sweet, almost 70-year-old earthly inspiration told me the interestingly, funny tale of how a beloved professor her senior year, who had entrusted my Mama to teach her Shorthand Class (Google it) in her absence, and often used her as a representative, gave her a “D” resulting in my Mama’s inability to graduate with the Alabama State University Class of 1968. I listened as my Mama told me how she tried her best to sway the teacher into a better grade. Not only did this professor give her a big, fat D, she and the college leader turned down the smooth talkings of my grandfather as he tried to convince them through subtle name dropping to graduate his oldest daughter. They both succeeded in being unsuccessful.

On the verge of truly feeling sorry for the 20-something year old who must have been devastated and embarrassed to no end by not graduating on time, my flirtation with pity on her was quickly interrupted by her sweet, reassuring voice and the confident phrase, “Oh well! Everything worked together for the good of those who love the Lord! It all worked out for me. Had I graduated on time I wouldn’t have gotten that GREAT government job that ASU selected me to work for in Federal Court that year. At my Daddy’s advice I finished the retake of the course I got a D in. I was assigned to do student teaching in the great Robert E. Lee High School and my teacher, Ms. Dixie Hicks ADORED ME. She got married and recommended me as her replacement… and I got your Daddy. The rest is history!”

And just like that, I was served up a mighty lesson from a seasoned teacher in the classroom and in life.

687f76b32b17784c6b7b92c2058e4013.jpg

  • Oh well!(That pretty much sums up a lot of things which hurt, but will end up helping.)
  • Father knows best.
  • Things don’t always turn out the way we want them to. (They often turn out better.)
  • Sometimes an A, B, or C can’t compete with a new career. (Regardless of a D.) (And by the way, guess who wrote her recommendation for the job…yep, the professor:))
  • The thing you think you fail at will be used to help others. (My Mama went on to teach Shorthand (Google it again) to high school students for decades. Like literally, decades.)
  • Sometimes a Bae or a Boo end up lasting MUCH longer than an A, B, or C, and certainly the sting of an ill-fated D. (My parents are officially 46 years married in June 2016, still hold hands and still go out on diabetes-approved hot dates!) (Ha! Take that D!)

10624691_802044753180093_1082768724055670610_n

@AngelaMMoore316

It’s Not Hard to Find My Heroes

A line from a Public Enemy’s Fight the Power song tiptoed through my mind while at a conference. The in-your-face and oh-so-factual line, “most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps” found its way to my head and decided to hang out for a while.

dciyf4bw4ggvb8cld6k25cg0d_600x596x1.jpg

As I mulled over that music, which temporarily took the place of all things PRINCE, I realized how absolutely true that is.

Y’all, I’m blessed. I’m blessed to know some amazing women whom I call mentors, mother, besties, sisters, mentees, colleagues and friends who are simply nothing short of amazing. This post is simply to say thank you to them for being who they are…my heroes.

Shout-Out.png

So I SHOUT OUT…

  • My role models who wake up before I do (and I wake up early) and slumber less than I do (and I love sleep) to make it happen at home, in business, in ministry and look fabulous while doing it.
  • My moms and single moms who do what they have to do to lead, guide, provide, expose, pray, educate, cheer, chauffer, support and sprinkle a little fun in the lives of their family all day, every day.
  • My singles who have decided once and for all that life alone is better than life with someone who needs to be left the heck alone.
  • My sisters who have sealed the deal and officially changed their names to Doctor despite rearing families, dealing with loss of loved ones and overcoming personal tragedy and disappointment.
  • My examples who have taken the body they were given and literally worked their butts off to have the body inside and out they deserved.
  • My grown women at the helm of uninvited or unexpected recreation who buckled on their seat belts, prayed through the court appearances, assured the children, reworked the finances, held their tongues, offered grace and forgiveness, wiped their own tears, accepted their new (which used to be old) last name and lot in life and believed God for His absolute best for their children and them.
  • My sheroes who rose out of gut-wrenching pain and loss so stifling to live to see another day and another and another and another, believing with each day that the next would be better.
  • My seasoned ladies who stop the world to take care of their men, nursing them back to health or take up for their children praying them back to where they need to be…and sometimes doing it at the same time.
  • My loved ones who have lost mothers or mother figures, but have not once ceased to be amazing mothers, mother figures, friends and healing partners for those depending on them while they greatly depend on God.
  • My trailblazers who aren’t afraid to speak up on the job, ask for what they deserve or support those who are mistreated/misunderstood and do it with a professional smile and “handle my business” attitude all the while.
  • My bold beauties who dare to stand on the side of right when it’s not comfortable, when it causes confusion within their social, spiritual or professional circle and when they don’t want to, but know they have to.
  • My determined girls who don’t take no for an answer…whether it be in their families or desire to grow their family, on their jobs, with their health and everything in between.
  • My smart chicas who decide to take a break, get away, shut down, or selah for self.
  • My pom-pom squad who are not afraid to sincerely see another sister shine and flash their own light in that sister’s direction to make sure she shines even brighter.

 

So, while most of my hereos don’t appear on no stamp, I’m glad they’ve decided to stick with me, because I’m shole (as in surely) determined to stick with them. We’re all going somewhere and need each other to get there.

387e55e68ef8d160d93d535981f8c1aa.jpg

@AngelaMMoore316

 

 

Life is Unfair…and It’s Supposed to Be

Life is unfair. There. I said it. It’s life. It’s supposed to be that way so that God’s purpose and design for all the ways He chooses to show Himself strong and MIGHTY can come forth regardless of what’s unfair.

Two almost automatic components to the things in life which are not fair are complaining and blaming. Listen, I’m not casting stone or throwing shade at anyone who still relishes in the blame/complain game. I can tell you a thing or two about both, as I’ve had my fair share of unfair and, if given the human (not spiritual) green light, can lay blame like a skilled woodsman and can complain like nobody’s business. But why? What good does blaming and complaining do? What problem do they solve? I even had to ask, in my biggest, most dramatic fits of blame/complain fancy, who am I really upset with? Was it the man, woman, child, job, decision, lost dream or failed hope which angered, saddened, or defeated me or was I really, deep down inside upset with God for His plans not being my plans, as if He didn’t already tell me it was be so and as if I didn’t know that He knew what He was doing based on ALL He’d already done. He knows what He’s doing and He knows what we must go through in order to appreciate it all the more.

There’s a destructive danger in blaming and complaining that the frustration or hurt we experience during that time often blocks us from seeing. We don’t know the unfortunate seeds our blaming and complaining words sow and sprout when we least expect it. We can see it in our children who take on the same unhealthy mindset. We can see it in our lives when things line up the way God intended them to and we can recognize it because blaming and complaining have jaded our view. We can see it through the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual toll blaming and complaining takes on us (and our loved ones). We can see it in lack of peace in our lives. We can see it in not seeing what we were meant to see or have because we’ve become bitter and not ready to receive. There are so many ways our words, through blaming and complaining, can cause effects we don’t desire or deserve.

There’s good news in life and with things unfair. God is THERE…

4530343a2b356339e6b2a92daa82e9c5.jpg

@AngelaMMoore316

Sickness Stinks, but Healing is SWEET

I type this blog post from the beautiful Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. This unexpected, perfectly timed, all-expenses paid trip to celebrate the professional success of a loved one has been nothing short of amazing. It truly has been inspiring, eye-opening, refreshing, filled with gratitude and FUN all in one!!!! I’m truly grateful to be here as a guest.
Thankful
The six+ hours to get here from Birmingham, with a running through the Houston airport “layover” which only lasted about 20 minutes and a delicious turkey and fig with cream cheese sandwich on the United flight was memorable to say the least. The high elevation on the flight to Cali was also a reminder that I have Lymphedema, but God is still good.
Any person with Lymphedema knows that we should wear our garments on flights because of the change in air pressure. Well, since I haven’t worn a sleeve or glove in a couple of years, I forgot to put one on pre-flight. As the plane rose, I could feel my arm’s lymphatic fluid doing the same. I panicked! My mind immediately went back to the big, fat hurting (and expensive) arm I’d dealt with for years, thinking that my trip to “the greatest place on earth” would be marred by pain. Well, it wasn’t and it isn’t. I massaged my arm, as I’ve been accustomed to doing since my diagnosis in 2011. I didn’t lay on it while sleeping. I shook my hand when feeling it become full and I MOVED ON! God is good. There were days, not too long ago, where this would not have happened. But God is good! He’s a healer on His on terms, in His own time and in His on way. Now, will I immediately get a soft- tissue massage when I get back home to make sure all which is well stays well with my lymphatic system?. Yes! But will I declare without reservation that by His stripes we are healed? YES!
For all who are going through matters regarding health, be it physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional, whether it’s yours to carry or pertaining to someone for which you care, just know that HEALING is in the house! You must believe that! For God’s children sickness can not show up without healing chasing it down and run it over at its heels.
We have to do our part in the Lord’s plans toward our healing. That means seeing a doctor, seeking therapy and staying with it, taking medications, changing our habits, getting rid of fear, revising our routines, and first and foremost knowing what the Bible says about healing, reading it, praying it, rehearsing it and looking for it. Have faith, my friends and hold to it tightly. Then be prepared to celebrate and share what He’s done as you see healing in action through epic displays. #Matthew813
11013447_931423536908880_3161872313940931008_n
@AngelaMMoore316

Oh, Girl…Your Problem is Showing

Step-Your-Game-Up-Whistling-While-We-Work.jpg

An unexpected visit by a co-worker who doesn’t normally swing into my space revealed that I was off my game. She stopped by in the midst of her busy schedule to ask me if I was okay. I responded with the standard response of, “I’m okay.” She then said, “You don’t look like it. I was watching you and noticed that you weren’t smiling like you normally do. Are you telling me the truth? What’s the matter? ” I then began to recall in one big breath my last several months telling her that I had/still have a lot going on including an ill father, having packed one house while frantically looking for another house, unpacking the new rental home, dealing with some pressing personal/business matters which were weighing on me, battling fatigue because of all I just mentioned and trying to balance it all in the midst of working two jobs. She then responded, as a good sounding board would, “I knew something wasn’t right because you simply weren’t yourself. I’m so sorry. I will be praying and expecting to see the Angela I know back soon.” And just like that she left. She didn’t ask any specifics. She didn’t pity me. She didn’t dig for dirt. She didn’t offer her two cents. She offered prayer and expectation, and a genteel reminder that it was time I stepped up my game.

24b02033b68c360a9fd58809bbe484d3

And just like that I realized that my secret was out. I thought I was handling my business business as usual and clearly wasn’t. Not that I didn’t expect to have problems. I’m actually accustomed to them by now, and the blessings which always follow. But I thought I’d reached a point in my spiritual and natural progression where my problems didn’t show. I was wrong. My problem was showing and I didn’t know it. Sometimes, as good as we think we may be in covering those things we’re working through we are still human and subject to the external display of internal situations. That could be shown through our attitudes, actions, enthusiasm, and responses to things which ordinarily wouldn’t bother us and any other myriad of ways troubles tend to affect even the best of us.

Having pondered what my colleague said, I was grateful for her asking what was wrong, not assuming my situation and definitely not ignoring my warning signs. It made me realize others care, even those I don’t interact with daily. It made me feel relieved to be able to share with someone who was genuine. It made me glad that she noticed so that I could put my emotions on notice that Jesus and I would be handling them from here on out. And it made me glad that someone sincere, and not concerned with how what I was going through might or might not be affecting them noticed so that I could get myself together as to not let my issues interfere with other things or show up with other people. God forbid my “goings on”, even as they’re being worked on, leak out into my treasured relationships with my loved ones or valuable interactions with those I supervise or associate with regularly. That would be a tragedy and I don’t prefer tragedy.

check_yourself_keepsake_box.jpg

@AngelaMichele316

Check Your Bags, Please

Situations and relationships come and go. Unfortunately, what doesn’t always leave when they go is the baggage they bring with them and to us. As women we are often the unknowing recipients of other people’s simmering stuff. That, mixed with our own mess, and carrying it along “for the ride”, stifles the very essence of life. And while I’m there, let me just say that, again, as women, we know when we’re not right. We know when our attitudes, actions, reactions or reasoning are off, and if we’re honest, we can be honest about the who/what/where/when/why behind it. Those subtle or not so subtle insecurities, sarcasms, quick (hot headed) responses, fears, bouts of envy, fits of doubt, lack of trust with anyone, assumptions of the worse in others and so much more could merely be baggage we failed to dispose. Baggage, ours or from others, and ALL it brings with it isn’t a mystery or invisible unless we choose to pretend that it is.

The older I get and the more I see the more I know that leftover baggage can do a lot of damage. It can weigh down, slow down, hold up and hurt! Yes, shame on the other parties for leaving their guck with us. However, shame on us for letting it linger.

th

Like the stellar services of an excellent concierge at a five star hotel or the terminal workers at our favorite airports, we have earned the right to check our baggage leaving it at the door. The ONLY baggage we need to carry into our future is that made by Samsonite, Louis Vuitton, American Tourister or Gucci, sold online or available in stores.
The days of holding on to what holds us up are passe’. That means PAST in case you didn’t know.

@AngelaMMoore316

I Shall Not Be Moved

Whew! Last week was a doozy. On Thursday around 11am knee-deep in boxes, garbage, too much stuff, plans, phone calls, scheduling, rescheduling, unexpected conflict and the likes I was preparing for the move from my old house to my new and I found myself sitting on the steps of my downstairs den about to bawl like a baby. Actually, I think a tear did fall. This was supposed to be a blessed day. I’d prayed for this moving day FOR YEARS, and had overcome the struggles in the weeks prior just to find somewhere to live and a resource to afford it. I’d even celebrated this moment in advance as I prepared to finally be moved. But it did not feel like a blessing as moving day progressed.

Whew-1024x768

On moving day things got off to a great start. I woke earlier than planned. The packing the days prior from some certified angels on earth was stellar. The threat of rain appeared to be only a threat. The Two Men and a Truck movers were moving right along. My very own personal handy man was fulfilling his role as only he could in helping me handle business then out of nowhere the rain came, the progress slowed down, the rain came even harder, the heavy items presented major problems, the rain stopped/tricked me/started again, the clock of payment kept ticking (at an hourly rate I can’t even type) and all I could think of was WHY. Why was this happening to me? Why did I have to go through this years-long process and pay for it big time? Why would it start raining just as they were moving out the things with fabric? Why was I already so tired from recently having to balance more on my plate to be able to afford to move because of circumstances totally out of my control or causing? Why was it taking so doggone long to move all of my stuff causing my ever-ticking tab to skyrocket? Why? Why? Why?

why why why

I know my attitude the morning of March 24th toward a few key people wasn’t its best as I grappled with what I was feeling internally. I apologize to them. To make matters worse, as in my attitude, when we finally made it to my new house it appeared that my furniture wouldn’t fit. You can not imagine the frustration overflowing. At that moment, with the amazingly helpful men struggling and sweating to try to accommodate me and all my stuff, moving a heavy California King bed and other items which are paid in full and all I have, and knowing the clock which started at 8:30am and was well into the pm, I was on the verge of officially losing it. I wanted to QUIT IT ALL right there in the midst of the move. But I didn’t. For one, I couldn’t. I was too far in. For two, I couldn’t. That’s just not like me no matter how tempting. So what I did was rally up the troops. I listened to the sound advice, the kind comfort, the touch of love, the tough love, the sage wisdom and the firm facts of faith from those who were privy to what I was experiencing and I heeded their advice, trusted the process, and I let go. I simply blew out a really deep breath and let it go. I relinquished my lists of “what ifs”, “what am I going to do” and “this isn’t fair”. I reflected not on how I ended up in this place in the first place. I didn’t continue to calculate the growing costs in my mind. I just let it go and decided I shall not be moved…but I finally was moved…into a new home and on with my life. Thanks be to God!

1e8f746b970aa2d1e416bc85a91a55d3

@AngelaMichele316

 

 

 

D, Don’t Kill My Vibe!

Have you ever had one of those days which made you feel like the scene in Goodfellas right before Henry, played impeccably by  Ray Liotta, gets hauled off to prison? I did. Yesterday was that day.

goodfellas-quotes-hd-wallpaper-14

After an already taxing last week and start to this week of starting a new job in addition to my existing old job (Go God!) I was rising by 3am each day to make it to one career so I could then head to the new one and do them both well, with a little bit of Monday mentoring of teens from Birmingham’s Woodlawn High School on the side. Add to that the franticness which ensues when one (as in this girl) has to pack a big ol’ house she’s lived in since 2007 and dwindle down clothes, shoes, furniture and other purchased knick knacks to accommodate the three bedroom, corner lot home one (as in this girl) had been praying would come through.

Moving right along through the organized chaos and believing I was handling it quite well with the support of my loving cast of characters I was Heaven-bent on making sure I shared my struggles of the last several years, shared the success of what God was doing, shared my extra furniture and knick knacks with those who needed it and always, always encouraged others along the way to hopefully know that Romans 8:28 is truer than true…then out pops the devil in the form of unwarranted assumptions and implied accusations from an associate. Note, I know exactly who was behind the attempted mid-morning coup to steal my joy and tempt me to respond completely Montgomery mixed with 19th Street West End in the most genteel, southern belle kind of way, of course. It wasn’t this situation or any other human beings. It was the devil…and I hate him. So to him, I paraphrase that Compton master lyricists, Kendrick Lamar and say, “D, don’t kill my vibe!”

dont_kill_my_vibe-final-960x611.jpg

You see, I’ve learned a time or two that the devil will give it his best shot when he knows God is about to reveal His very own best for our lives. In the midst of this madness and feeling compelled to defend my character and integrity (something Nette and Ves (my parents) DID NOT and still DO NOT play about), I had to remember that satan is the great deceiver. It wasn’t this situation. he would like nothing more than to taint, distort, twist and distract so that the blessings right in front of us take the back seat to his tomfoolery. Not today. Not yesterday. Not any day and definitely not here.

I don’t blame man for the little sneak attack he launched yesterday. I’ve not yet encountered the reasons behind the event face-to-face and am sure I will, but it is my prayer that my spirit and my attitude are such to breed peace, harmony and all sights ahead to what’s productively forward. That is my prayer. I’ll admit. I’m shocked and hurt. It would be easy, as in REALLY easy for me to hold a grudge, galvanize my posse’, act immaturely or sling blame around like Mardi Gras beads from a balcony in New Orleans, but I blame satan. he’s the one who’s just jealous that on yesterday evening at 7:15pm after all of that professional rigamarole, and after six years of being in one home (blog post on that coming soon) God did something amazingly miraculous for little ol’ me by blessing me with a new home and a new beginning not because I’m worthy, not because I’m perfect, not even because I deserve it, but because He loves me and I’m His girl.

So, at the end of the day this happened…

And to pull from the musical brilliance which is Diddy…

Hey devil, “Take that! Take that! Take that!”

FullSizeRender

@AngelaMMoore316

Dear February…What Just Happened?!?!?

Hallelujah, March has made it! It’s not unusual for me to be excited about the month that brings about my birthday, the birthdays of some special loved ones and friends, Spring, Spring Break and this year the celebration of Easter, the Resurrection of Christ.

goodbye-february-hello-march-3.jpg

But this March has been stuck in my mind like my favorite American Bandstand song from the 80’s after the month of February tried to whip me like I stole something and lied. Whew! From the death of multiple loved ones to the extended hospitalization of my dad, to fatigue (and a hint of fear), to financial finagling at my finest (I’m really proud of how I did what I did in February), to loved ones facing devastating disappointment, to house and career opportunities disguised as challenges and so on, February 2016 came out swinging like a frightened child in a swarm of bees. And it fought till the very end.

thIA6KDFGZ.jpg

But guess what. So did I. And so did my loved ones who personally faced far greater obstacles than I did and still live to see another beautiful day marking another hope-filled month, even mustering up a smile when they can. We made it through to the here and now, and the beautiful blessing that will be March. We made it and that’s all that matters! Come to think of it, you made it too. Yippee!!!!

So with that I say, “Welcome March”. We’ve been waiting on you. Bring on your season of celebration of life (mine to be exact), promise of new beginnings marked by Spring, sign of respite as evident of Spring Break and GUARANTEE of resurrection as always noted through Easter. Not to put all of my eggs in one proverbial basket, but please March, be good to us all. After all, we’re coming out of February and need all the reprieve we can receive. Thank you. Amen.

hello_march

@AngelaMMoore316

Look Right Back at It

Sometimes we just have to look back at it. What is “it”?  “It” is probably not what we might immediately think, but definitely what we should be thinking about.

This week has been a whirlwind for me. A family emergency, unusually tiring work hours, advancement opportunities, schedule rearranging “out the wazoo”, financial finagling and all that good stuff has made this week one for the record books for sure. While the deets  on this week have been far too much to type, they are definitely not too much to handle. How do I know? Because I looked right back at it.

Look-Right-Back-at-It.jpg

Again, what is “it”? It is anything we’re facing which we’ve already faced and defeated in one way or another. So try as they may, the devil, my fatigue, my impatience, and even my own desperate pleas can not stop me for remembering that what I’m facing I’ve already fought…and won. That’s the beauty of life and the blessing of the Bible. 2 Corinthians 2:11 reminds us (in my updated, interpreted terms) that the devil has no new tricks. his card has already been called, his punch line already spoiled and his plans already put to rest. There’s literally nothing new that he can do. So with that said, I look back at “it”.

I’ll be the first to admit that “looking back” has some bad representation. There are all kinds of things wrong with the kinds of looking back that some of us do. (And I’m not even including the kind popular on posts through social media.) It is totally unproductive to look back in anger, fear, remorse, pride, unforgiveness, self-doubt or anything remotely related to those unfortunate feelings. But when I tell you that to be able to wade through tears, forge ahead through utter tiredness, press past doubt or blame and look back to see  all that God has already done in the areas we need Him to do even more is a blessing.

So this week ends, not with me focused on what I need. I’m focused on what I’ve already seen. I’ve seen God bring back loved ones from the brink of death so I know He can heal my daddy. I’ve seen him refresh me like I’ve been on an island retreat on days when I had just a couple hours of sleep so I know peace, rest and revival are for the taking. I’ve seen him give me two jobs when I didn’t even have one so I know He can give me more. I’ve seen Him clear my schedule and still handle my business so I know the whirlwind will cease. I’ve seen him send income exactly when it was needed (not a moment too late or too soon) so I know my investments in His Kingdom are being made ready to bear a return for me. I’ve seen Him do EVERY SINGLE THING I need Him to do so I’ll let Him do it. My job? Yep, you guessed it…Look Right Back at It!

3b63a460ac0d2e0d50b09a5d4d4e9380

@AngelaMMoore316