A Word to the Wives

****I’m honored to have guest blogger Kushuna “Kaye” Exford Williams @mediamaven365 on the blog today.
I totally thought “wifeing” was super easy. I mean people post these cute photos on Facebook and Instagram of their date nights, elaborate home cooked  meals, and let’s not forget all the uber-thoughtful gift photos. I had co-workers frequently talking about getting home to their husbands, hanging out with their “married” friends, etc. These things do happen and for the most part they are very true and extremely enjoyable. But “wifeing” is NOT easy, as a matter of fact it has another set of complexities aside from just being a woman. Why didn’t people share this on social media?

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I’ve been married for almost three years and before you say that’s hardly any time served, just finish reading okay. I love being a wife…..most days out of the week any way. I recently just went on a #wiveslivesmatter strike, because my sweet, loving, and handsome husband would not help me with the household chores. It should be noted, that I didn’t ask him for help. I just expected him to read my mind. During my strike, I didn’t cook, wash his laundry, or pick up after him. It should also be noted that my strike quite possibly affected me and my need for cleanliness and organization far more than it affected him. Eventually, I had a conversation with him about helping with the chores and when he is home, he attempts to assist, which I still complain about…pretty sure I’m the only one that does this….

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After my conversation with him God had a conversation with me. The Holy Spirit gently reminded me that I’m called to be my husband’s helper. Husband’s Helper, help him. I’m not his servant. I’m his helper, and that just may consist of consecutive laundry days, several days of cooking, picking up items he leaves out, folding and refolding blankets….that is some of my responsibility – to help. This little reminder made so much sense to me and it gave me a bit of peace as well. We wives are called to help, and that is very spouse specific, you know what your husband needs. WIFEING is hard and CHEERS to the women that do it effortlessly and can still post some social media worthy photos, ha!

@mediamaven365

Don’t Date Right After Divorce

I don’t know how else to say what I’m about to say without just saying it. Do yourself a favor and don’t date someone right after divorce. Yes, I know they may seem nice. I know they may say it’s their former spouse or almost former spouses fault (that’s a WHOLE ‘nother post about NOT dating people who are separated because separated people are still married and with that comes a bunch of guck and stuff you do not want to deal with. I know.) Anywho, I know this newly “free” male or female may seem to have it all together. I know they may appear to be an answered prayer. I know they may be so caring and kind and fun to hang out with. I even know they may be lonely, and you may be too, but I know that they are NOT ready for a new relationship right out of an old one.

A conversation recently with a counterpart who is dating a man with ink still wet on his divorce decree reminded me of the year and a half I spent in a Church of the Highlands Restoration Small Group for men and women who had experienced divorce and separation. Hearing her gush about how nice he was, how mean the ex-wife was, how they’d known each other for just a little while but bonded so beautifully and how she really wanted to be with someone took me back to that chilly, Autumn Sunday where we discussed dating and marriage after divorce  in my small group. It took me back to the moment when the hosts of the small group read the writing on the papers we were discussing and the words about how much time we should take and wait before dating and definitely before marriage rang in my ear like a whistle from an overzealous, courtside referee. I remember shock and awe sitting next to my friend who was going through the same trial. (Hey, girl, hey! Thanks for helping me get through that stage with my lipgloss and high heels on point.) Speaking of lips…I remember “exercising my eyes in the upper part of my head” and sucking my lips like a defeated school girl thinking there was NO WAY IN THE WORLD I was going to wait one year for every two years I was formerly married to get re-married like the wise couple recommended. I had been married nine years so you do the math to see how my mind calculated that to=TOO LONG TO WAIT!

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I’m so glad God saw fit to thwart my fast plans. I felt like I deserved a real, and good marriage. And I did/do. I’d gone through the extended small group. I had personal counseling with an amazing Christian counselor. I’d gone to counseling with my former spouse when I was begging him to reconcile. (yep, you read correctly.) I’d prayed. I didn’t have anybody beat anybody up when all of this was unfolding. I didn’t succumb to pressures attempt at depression. I kept eating and in fact, didn’t lose a single pound through the trying ordeal. I didn’t fall out with God, the church or church people. All of this, and you mean to tell me I STILL wasn’t ready regardless of how many times I tried to prove otherwise? I was a hot mess being made better and simply wasn’t ready to come right back out of the gate trying to stroll down the aisle with the first man who spelled my middle name correctly. Neither is anyone else right out of a covenant union stitched, snatched, weaved, orchestrated and ordained by God regardless of what happened to tear it apart. Healing of this nature takes time…lots of time.

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So, as I sat and listened to my associate I thought:

  • I wonder how she’s going to handle navigating through the imminent ex-wife and the children situations…also known as drama.
  • I wonder how she’ll feel on holidays, if she’s alone as the man and his former spouse figure out how to do what’s best for the children (and the children deserve the best.)
  • I wonder what will happen if he decides to go back to his ex-wife.
  • I wonder what would happen if he shuts down communication with her because of the pressures of his new and reduced financial arrangements.
  • I wonder if she’s even asked him if he’s gone to counseling and still going.
  • I wonder how she’ll respond if she gets the side eye from friends or his family members who prefer the former wife.
  • I wonder what’s going to happen the first time he accidentally calls her the ex-wife’s name or makes an unfair comparison of her macaroni and how she folds clothes.

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In all my wondering regarding her I remembered that I used to wonder why God would dislike divorce so much, and have in place all of these “rules” for the extended restoration process. The truth is, divorce stings like a MOTHER…pinching her child in church after he/she smacked on a Jolly Rancher too loudly.  So I wonder no more.  I know that He loves us and has a unique process of healing for His children, especially those who have endured this kind of loss. His timing may not seem fair, but God is doing us a favor. There are some messes He simply doesn’t want us messing with. So, with that I will say again…don’t date someone right after divorce.

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@AngelaMMoore316

 

Ladies, We Can’t Become That Girl

Hearing of a former spouse of a superstar who is now engaged to another superstar share a bit of “shade” regarding her exes engagement brought a point home. Breakups are hard. Ask me how I know. Seeing the one you broke up with or who broke up with you build a new relationship can be harder, especially if it’s public, even in our own little worlds. BUT, Ladies, we can’t be that girl. What girl you ask?

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We can’t become that girl who:

  • Talks about what happened ALL THE TIME.
  • Throws shade directly or indirectly at the ex boo, bae, husband or hunni.
  • Throws shade directly or indirectly at the next boo, bae, wife or hunni of our ex boo, bae, husband or hunni.
  • Loses our identity when we lose a relationship.
  • Gets consumed with the goings-on of a person who is gone.
  • Engages our friends in the tomfoolery that is our newfound passion for being a part-time, unpaid private eye.
  • Compares our ex relationship with his next relationship.
  • Compares our next relationship with our ex relationship.
  • Doesn’t believe that the BEST is still yet to come, regardless.

We can’t become that girl, but we can be a better woman.

Get-Grown

@AngelaMMoore316

Five Steps to Overcoming Crisis in Your Relationships

Originally written in 2003, I was tickled to see this post this morning following the message Pastor Chris preached at Church of the Highlands on Sunday, Marcy 6th.

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Crisis is bound to come whenever two or more people of different backgrounds, experiences and opinions come together. That’s especially so in relationships like marriage, family, social media and social settings and work environments. So how do you overcome crisis?

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Apply the 5 Cs

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Christ-Christ is, and always should be the center of everything you think, say and do. Before you proceed in handling a crisis consult Christ via prayer and His Word to see what He has to say about the matter. Acknowledge the Lord and He will guide you through this time of crisis (Proverbs 3:6)

Communication-Once you’ve sought the Lord, communicate your matters of the heart with those involved. Bottling in your feelings is not a solution. Be sure, though, to communicate lovingly, selflessly, compassionately and spiritually. Make your words as pleasant as a honeycomb. Also, pray to the Lord that He allow you to communicate at the right time. Someone once said that the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. (Proverbs 16:24)

Counseling-The Lord places some people in our lives for the purpose of helping us overcome areas in which He has already delivered them. Seek out those persons. Whether it be a Minister, brother or sister in Christ or someone who has shared similar experiences, there is someone for everyone. When seeking Godly counsel, do know that the counsel will not always be comfortable. It may hurt and you may not want to hear it. Recognize that true Godly counsel does not always validate what you feel or think is true. In issues of relationships, it might cause you to see that the other person is not as much to blame as you would like to believe. Remember the way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15)

Conviction- Allow the Lord to work on your heart to convict you toward His will for the relationship. Should you apologize? Are there some areas in your life that you have to die to? Are there outside influences that may be clouding your judgment? Spiritual conviction is not always pleasant. Just like being arrested for a crime. It’s painful. Prayerfully though, after your “arrest” you’re a better person, not willing to commit the same sins which placed you in the predicament. When you’re convicted by Christ regarding your relationship it may hurt, but it helps. Some parts of you will be challenged, but what the Lord evolves you into will be what God desires for the relationship. It will also equip you with tools to help weather other situations. (Romans 12:2)

Conversion-Conviction leaves room for conversion. A change must come. In order for you to completely weather the crisis in your relationship, someone or something has to change. It may be one of you. It may be both of you. Conversion does not equal guilt. It does not mean a green light for one spouse to criticize or point the finger at the other. It means that one or both persons was willing to allow the Lord to move in the relationship via Christ, Communication, Counseling and Conviction. Conversion means forgiving and forgetting what was and looking for what is to be. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

@AngelaMMoore316

 

 

Why Won’t He Just Leave Me Alone?

If someone would have told me in my teens and 20s I’d be sharing tough lessons learned with others in their teens and 20’s in my ripe old age of 43 I would have laughed and walked away. But as life would have it, that’s the case. A recent conversation with a beautiful sister a decade or so younger presented me with the question, “Why won’t he just leave me alone?”

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Let me just say, (as I feel I say often), God has a sense of humor. I suppose that’s to be expected since He created it. That phrase, “why won’t he just leave me alone?” was one of my go-go questions regarding relationships which I might have known going in wasn’t right, or found out quickly in the mix that it was a mess. In a party of pity and perceived helplessness I would pose this prose to whomever would hear. I probably got on people’s nerves about a couple of “not-to-be-named, thank you for reading my blog, I’m glad we’re friends now” exs. Anywho, my pity party was especially frequented by my girlfriends in similar situations who would back me up with, “I know, girrrrlllll! He need to just go on ’bout his business if he know he ain’t right” and other silly sentiments we shared in our season of development. Thankfully, I had some wise women, too, who would tell me what I needed to hear, even if I didn’t always listen.

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Here’s what I now know and freely offer to others. The same power I placed in others hands I held firmly in my own. I didn’t have to wait on them to leave I could do it myself. Eureka! (Plus, let’s be real, what man (or human) is going to readily walk away from something or someone who is giving him everything he wants even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it?)

The true testament of strength is not what we hold out for others to do. It’s what we do for ourselves.  And a real, strong, grown woman can do it, even when it hurts, even when it crushes the hopes and dreams and concocted wedding plans she had and be okay with it knowing that she deserves the best, AND she can turn around and accept her role in the failed relationship, heal, forgive and move on with a smile on her face and some treasured memories and lessons in her heart. So ladies, (and I’m speaking only to single ladies, not covenant bound married women as that’s a WHOLE ‘nother ballgame), if you know he is not right for you (and you know you know he’s not right) don’t hold off for him to part ways. Bid adieu (that means say goodbye, farewell, holla at ya, peace out, I’m ghost, ta-ta, so long, adios, or sayonara) for you.

@AngelaMMoore316

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I Owe You, Girl

A funny thing happened to my Hotmail account. It flashed back to 2008 and is permanently stuck there on my phone, totally disregarding all other correspondence from then until now. While deleting several dozen emails representing My Life: Phase 1 I found some old pictures from way back in the 90s.

Let me just say, the Lord has a sense of humor. The few pictures which stuck out most were ones of me at some of my career highs and personal lows in My Life: Phase 1. I looked at them with an equal amount of overwhelming proudness from the woman I saw, as if she wasn’t me. I looked at them also as a reminder of who I really am, what I’m made of, from where I’ve come and Who’s in control. (Not to mention I LOVE the spark of sass I saw even through the grainy-ness of those forgotten photos.)

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To the high heels everyday, blue suit and fierce, precision, layered red hair wearing go-getter, who would get up at 3:30am drive to one part-time job clear across town from her Highway 280 apartment, then burn rubber in her champagne gold Nissan Maxima to her head her full-time news gig at 9am, work until the news demanded no more, and still make time to take time for herself, her friends, a bustling social life, lots of community service, active work in the church and of course, time for family I say, “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

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To the naïve, young woman full of hopes and dreams and love and expectations at her engagement party beaming on the stairwell with thoughts of what God desires for her and of her, excitedly posing at the exact place which would ultimately end up being her place of employment after the elaborate engagement party hosted for the wonderful wedding which led to a short-lived marriage ending in divorce (and the desperate need for employment in My Life: Phase 2) I say “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

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To the woman who endured the PAINFUL, experimental, super long steroid shots in the eye covered by an itchy, irritating as the dickens patch to keep her eye from popping out, taking 17 pills a day, who gained 50 pounds in one month after a fight with Graves Disease and Thyroid Storm tried to send her home to sweet Jesus, but couldn’t (BOOM!), yet still monitors and deals with it to this day I say, “thank you for reminding me of what’s in me.” I owe you, girl.

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Here’s what I know. Nothing happens without reason. Today, for some reason, as I sat in delightful solitude at home enjoying my peace and quiet God wanted me to take a look back knowing it was what I needed to help propel me forward. I know he knew that not only could I handle those TONS of emails and pictures representing My Life: Phase 1 without a smidgen of anger, sadness or regret, but that I would view them with lots of smiles and giggles. And, because I know He knows His daughter, I know He knew I needed to be reminded, even through a grainy old photo, of how fly I looked nestled up on that television production board like a boss, so that I could prepare to be one in whatever new and blog-worthy ways He desires in My Life: Phase 2. So to those three versions of me in My Life: Phase 1, I say I owe you, girl. Your struggle, sass and sense of survival was not in vain. I hope to make you proud.

@AngelaMMoore316

 

What Is Your Super Power? by Kushuna Williams

***This inspiring post is by guest blogger Kushuna Williams, as featured in the feature picture with me sporting her big smile and even bigger heart.***
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It’s no secret that my life did a total 180 degree turn when I was laid off from a company that I had been employed with for 7 years. When I first got laid off, I was full of “this is God’s will” or “the plans that God has for me are great” and “God has something better”…. well these words began to drift slowly away from my vocabulary as I continued to be laid off. It became increasingly difficult to chant them with confidence, especially when the one year mark came up and I still have not found a job in my field. I can remember the confidence I had in my education, work experience and well written resume, but these things have not been instrumental in helping me to become employed in my desired field with a salary that is more than just minimum wage.

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I’m no stranger to the disappointments that life just tosses at you. I’ve had family issues, less than enough finances, more than enough bills, car accidents, health woes, friends that turned into enemies and enemies that turned into guardian angels. I think back on ALL those life lessons and often wondered why those things didn’t have the emotional impact that being laid off has had on me. Some of those things were actually more difficult especially the year I was involved in two car accidents where I totaled two vehicles. The difference: GRATITUDE. I somehow made gratitude my attitude of choice. My ability to be resilient and effervescent during those tough times came from a sincere attitude of thankfulness. I was able to be content in midst of every situation because I chose to be grateful. Gratitude was my superpower, and some where between January 2015 and lately I have forgotten my super power. I spent a lot of time being bitter, complaining, crying, wondering why me or when will it be me…God owes me NOTHING. I made up in my mind that something HAD to change, my negative emotions were making me sick, literally. God reminded me of my super power; that gratitude for what you already have will make you reevaluate what you think you need. I WANT a job in my field, a bigger home, my savings account to look like it did before I lost my job, and to be pregnant. What I HAVE is a job that is stable, a loving/praying husband that is content with our current living space, an opportunity to learn how to be wife before I become a mom and a God that has promised and proven to perfect everything that concerns me. Gratitude is my super power, it might not necessarily be your super power, but it couldn’t hurt sprinkling it everywhere!
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