We Can Be Pretty in the Process

life-happens-JPEGLife happens. That’s an undisputed fact. In the midst of the rollercoaster called life which often brings with it Six Flag sized ups and downs, one of few things remain constant and true. We don’t have to look or act like what we’re going through.

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Sickness, Death, Divorce, Family Matters, Work Woes, Financial Stressors, and Spiritual Battles may come bringing with them life-altering and life-changing problems. Often times, there’s not much we can do about them as we go about the process of being done with them. But there’s something we can do. We can put our best face and best foot forward not becoming like the pain, struggle or challenge we are enduring. We can still decide to wake up every morning with thanksgiving to God, a grateful heart and a smile on our face. We can still decide to speak encouragement to ourselves and others. We can still decide to be nice and allow others to be nice to us. We can still decide to do the essentials like comb our hair, brush our teeth, shower, shave and show up wherever we’re going looking like we’re not going through. We can even decide to kick it up a notch and put on our best from head-to-toe as a proverbial one-two punch to the devil and our problems. Yes. Life happens, but we can still be our best even as the rollercoaster goes up and down. Choosing that path won’t always be easy. Choosing that path won’t always make sense. Choosing that path won’t always be understood, but it will keep us poised for God to move and for those watching how we handle life to see His power based on our “pretty”. So no, the “up and down” process of life may not always be pretty, but we can always be pretty in the process.

You can be pretty in the vitamin sea

@AngelaMichele316

 

The Secrets of a Secret Marriage pt. 3

 

The above video of our wedding day was such a beautiful reminder of God’s love for us, our love for each other and the journey of over 19 years (not including knowing each other since 10th grade when we would talk on three-way until his dad made him hang up). When I tell you that NEVER in a million and a half years did I imagine that my forever would include Aquil. I am sure he would say the same, and for similar reasons (that’s a book waiting to be written), but I am so glad God knew we needed each other.

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We had a lot of people ask for the who, what, where, when and how of our secret marriage we held on December 30, 2016, surprising a few of our family and friends who thought they were coming to a holiday party.

In my first blog post The Secrets of a Secret Marriage pt. 1  I shared special nuggets on how our plot to plan a surprise wedding took root and the unusual circumstances which led us there. Check it out here: https://angelamooreblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/the-secrets-of-a-secret-marriage-pt-1

In the second installment The Secrets of a Secret Marriage pt. 2 it was all about the food, fashion and unbelievable frugalness of it all. Check it out here: https://angelamooreblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/the-secrets-of-a-secret-marriage-pt-2/

Now, in the final offering I have to shout out my peeps who so generously shared their gifts to make our moment simply magical. We are so very grateful to be able to hire such gifted friends to join in this journey of what God allowed in our lives. I’m not saying you should book them for your next “whatever”, but that would be a wise thing to do.

First up is the preacher. Yep, for those of you who know my sister/friend Charmel Taylor, some of you might have been shocked to know that this sassy, southern belle who works so very hard helping take care of our country’s veterans, is so generous and supportive, raises an amazing son, cooks like nobody’s business, is uber-insightful about the goings on of this world and is as funny as funny can be is also a licensed and ordained minister. So there was no other choice for us to help make this special day spiritual and, again, special. In true Char fashion she plotted along the way to help me plan the surprise and offered us the most meaningful marriage vow exchange I’d heard in a long time, and she did it in time for the beef short ribs, grilled salmon and pork chops to arrive. She is simply the best!

Can we talk about the pictures??? Oh! My! Goodness! Our pictures were perfect! Birmingham-based Taneisha Tucker Photography is stellar. There are no other words sufficient. Her vision and work are incomparable, offering a high end photography experience with a unique, personable touch. I’m always in awe of her professionalism and ability to capture a moment and make it an undeniable memory. She is simply the best!

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Our videographer WOWd the crowd, and I don’t just say that because he’s also a talented musician. However, Patrick Johnson of Blaq Angel Media is the BUSINESS!!! He’s like the real deal when it comes to taking a single event and making it last forever. He works with such poise and humility, often maneuvering through the space with his keen, creative eye capturing shots, actions, reactions, and sound that mere mortals might miss. He is simply the best!

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I know by now you’ve seen our décor. Yep, it was cute. I know. And I can say that because I didn’t do it. Jasmine Pickett of Jazzi B’s Custom Creations heard my thoughts, took it and ran with it turning a restaurant space into an elegant atmosphere. She thoughtfully created a feel of warmth, luxury and love that captured hearts and eyes as soon as they entered the space. She is simply the best!

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The path to our lives together was not perfect, but it couldn’t have been written by a greater Author. God deserves all the glory. We are grateful. We are grateful. We are grateful. Signed, #theAteam

@AngelaMichele316

I Don’t Want to Pray for Him

“Nawwwww, girl. I don’t want to pray for him.” Those were the honest and eye-opening words a woman recently uttered concerning her ex-husband. A previously pleasant and light conversation with friends quickly shifted to talk about praying for an ex-spouse and the benefits, not just for the ex, but for the child involved, the person on the praying end of the prayer, the financial obligations remaining and the prayed for person’s overall peace of mind and well-being as a human being.

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The back and forward banter, mixed with some hilarious one liners and some purposeful testimonies, continued  as we recalled our own experiences with divorce and ultimately getting to the point of sincere and sometimes selfless prayer, which, was NOT/is NOT always an easy journey, at least for me. She explained her pain. We listened then explained God’s plans. She shared her very valid frustrations, mostly financial and time related as it relates to his time with his child. We listened, shared our own frustrations, which can continue years after the ink has dried, and still explained why prayer was the missing link in fixing what our mouths, our anger, our lawyers, and our own devised plots of “get back at ya” can’t do.

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Prayer, as simple as it might sound, really does work. What I know is that a working prayer doesn’t always change the situation or the other person. Often it can, but I’d be lying if I said prayer for your ex-spouse will instantly make all things right in your world. What prayer can do is change our perspective, our focus, and our expectations of our ex, and it can up our expectations of God to do what He’s always done, and that’s FAR EXCEED what we think, know or desire any man or woman to do. Prayer will have us looking at and loving our former spouse like a brother or sister in Christ rather than someone who hurt, betrayed or disappointed us. Prayer will shut our mouths and stop our fingers when we want to go off via the world wide web. Prayer will give us peace (and provision) when daycare fees are overdue and we see our ex flossin’ on Facebook in Gucci and Ray Bans. Prayer will allow us to say “pray for your ex, girl” when we know those words would have never, and I mean never, come out of our mouths before. Prayer is our own personal ticket to peace regardless of the actions of others. It gets God’s attention to know that we know who’s really the Man, regardless of the actions of man. Ya dig?

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@AngelaMichele316

I Don’t Want to Be Here

I don’t want to be here. There, I said it. I said it for you and me too. I know you might not be able to publicly say that sometimes you don’t want to be at your job, with your spouse, in your family, around your kids, among your friends, involved in relationships which might have ended but the common ground  like children or court remain, in your current physical condition and especially in your current financial position. I get it. I’ve been there. I am there in a few areas. But we’re here.

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We’re here for a reason, peeps. Why, you might ask. I don’t know for sure, but I do know:

  • We’re still where we are to grow, and GROW UP for where we’re going.
  • We’re still where we are to receive help from those assigned to assist.
  • We’re still where we are to help others, even while we’re still where we are.
  • We’re still where we are until we meet, see, do, get or give exactly what we need to specifically and purposefully turn the page to the next chapter.
  • We’re still where we are to be able to have things to look back and laugh at sooner than we think. (And I’m talking those cheek-stretching, eye-watering, stomach-hurting laughs)
  • We’re still where we are to build up some spiritual fortitude which we will need later on.
  • We’re still where we are so that others who see us can see us when we get to where we’re going and know where we’ve been and be inspired that they can get there too.
  • We’re still where we are to show the world how to feel stuck , trust God, exemplify a positive attitude, still smile…and mean it.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Don’t Hate the Wait

Life can have a way of having us feel like we’re in a perpetual holding pattern at times. Whether it’s desiring a job or a better one, holding out for healing, praying about, wanting or getting over a spouse, seeking a change or a chance for growth, desperate for a financial upgrade, seeking restoration with a loved one or simply desiring an “Oops, I mess up or missed that do-over”, as humans we need what we need and we feel we need it now!

Rest assured, the Bible is filled with scriptures and stories reminding us that what’s perfect for us is being perfected for us. Don’t believe me? Just read.

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That perfect parking space, generous paystub, cool lunch dates and stellar schedule may be making their way to and through a “congratulations you’re hired” email or snail mail soon. That healing, help for the caregivers, reduced medical expenses and funny stories along the way may be one doctor’s appointment, therapy visit or treadmill run away. That new and improved boo, new boo or less boo-hoos may be on the other side of this soon-ending-season. That new/next/now may unfolding right outside the door to our prayer closet. That money (and mindset to manage it) may be making its way to our bank statements and through our bloodlines faster than ever before. That strained relationship may be straightening out and strengthening up in ways our minds can’t fathom just waiting on our schedules to be able to host the recurring reunions and those mistakes we all have made may, right now at this very moment, be being remixed by our Daddy better than Diddy ever did it. We just have to hold on and don’t hate the wait.

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 @AngelaMMoore316

Fathers Matter

Another Father’s Day weekend is approaching and, as usual, my family and I are scurrying to try to tie up plans to celebrate the special dads in our lives. Not that the scurrying is in a last minute kind of manner, but year-after-year it becomes increasingly more difficult to buy things for the men who have everything or don’t require much, or come up with plans for the people are who simply and truly content with their family being around somewhere within a 500 yard radius as they lounge in a chair with a cold beverage and remote in hand. We ask repeatedly and early what gifts might bring my Daddy joy. The answer is always the same, “Don’t get me anything. I just want my family happy.” He means that as proof of all of the tags in his closet from gifts given long ago. I must also be following the expectation that most women end up with men like their fathers because even my beau gives the standard “drive me crazy” answer of, “You don’t have to get me anything special. I’m happy with whatever.” So this year the Father’s Day theme is an new-fangled fish fry. And by new fangled I mean someone is going to pick it up a whole bunch of all-ready prepared seafood from a restaurant and grocery store and we’re going to celebrate the amazing men in our lives young and older, from near and far with hopes of staying awake long enough to watch the NBA finals, of course, with cold beverages and a remote in one of the fathers hands.

Fathers matter so much. I think they’ve gotten a tremendously bad rap in society because of a few bruised apples. Some may not be present by choice or circumstance. Some might have made mistakes. Some might have had difficulty giving what they’ve never received. Some might have sorely disappointed. Some, may be ideal for the families with which they’ve been blessed, but no father…just like no mother… is perfect. And still, they matter so much. Their voices matter. Their presence matters. Their ability to show us how to overcome and keep going matters. Their hugs and embrace matter. Their prayers and public display of spiritual covering matters. Their life’s stories matter. Their hard work and display of integrity matters. The bass in their voice matters. The sternness in their foreheads matters. Their role of authority matters. Their insight matters. Their experiences matter. Their ability to lead, guide, direct and protect matters. Even their mistakes matter as a clear signal of what not to do or what to do better.

With the Father’s Day “faux” Fish Fry menu in tack I realized this year, probably more than most, I’m just grateful for my Daddy and fathers in general. I truly, truly am. My dad, like most of the men in my life including my brother, my uncles, and my beau have had quite a tough year. My once strong, tall, towering, business-minded, bill-writing, chauffeuring Daddy has been battling unexpected health challenges which literally knocked him off of his feet in February. He still has a road ahead of him for total recovery and healing, but has come so far. Within the blink of an eye, a lot of his primary roles in our lives have shifted or ceased as we all collectively focus on him…for once. Isn’t that the baffling beauty of life?  The man who asks for nothing now requires much. It’s an honor to be able to give it to him…with a cold beverage and remote in his hand.

 

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Yes, that’s a cold drink in his hand:)

 

 

@AngelaMMoore316

Thank You for Leaving

Dear Leavers,

I say this with all sincerity and no sarcasm. Thank you for leaving.

Thank you for doing for me what I obviously couldn’t or wouldn’t do for myself. Thank you for being used as a mighty instrument of God to escort me to my new/now/next. Thank you for helping grow me in areas I didn’t know I was malnourished. Thank you for recognizing that either your role in my life had ended or my role in yours was expired. Thank you for playing a part in making me strong in areas which were weak. Thank you for causing me to upgrade my prayer life and my faith walk. Thank you for showing me places I needed help and in a hurry. Thank you for being a reflection of patterns, poor choices, ignored signs and mistakes which all belonged to no one but me, regardless of what all happened. Thank you for leaving your space at the table for those who belonged and were bringing something with them. Thank you for causing me to elevate my forgiveness, grace and mercy. Thank you for teaching me how to love and let go. Thank you for showing me I could shut my mouth. Thank you for being the catalyst for the amazing associations and for real friendships which soared after ours sufficated. Thank you for clearing the path for others to step up when you decided to step away.

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While your leaving didn’t make a hill of beans of sense, I’m glad it didn’t because if I could have figured it out I would have tried to fix it. While your leaving may have scared the hebedegebees out of me I’m glad it did because I was comforted, strengthed and encouraged in ways which rival the best of Biblical stories. While your leaving might have caused the wind to be knocked slap out of me I’m glad because I was able to experience Jesus’ sweet wind beneath my flailing wings carrying me to heights not before seen. And while tears might have been my initial response to your departure my lingering after affect was/is laughter…that gut-wrenching, eye-squenching, head-hurting, side-splitting, cheek-aching kind of laughter void of a single ounce of tea or any smidgen of shade, and filled with THANK YOU JESUS…thank you leavers.

So in all the languages known to man, or to me…Thank you for leaving. I sincerely wish you all well and appreciate your roles in my journey whether we again cross paths or not.

Signed,

Your Girl Angela

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@AngelaMichele316