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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Settling is for Quakers

Lately my “settle game” has been tested. Like a college student on edge with rapid fire final exams, I’ve been being faced with test, after test, after test on whether or not I would settle. From career opportunities I’ve mustered up courage and sense enough to say “no” to, to truly examining my deserved preferences in a mate, owning my pickiness and sticking to it like Elmer’s Glue from the 70’s (not this new-fangled stuff), even to knowing my financial aptitude right now and not budging from that budget, I’ve been serving up slices of “no settle” like nobody’s bees-wax.

Before I proceed let me just say I feel like, of late, I’ve been talking about relationships/boos and baes a lot on my blog. That certainly is not the center of my attention at the time, but the topic just keeps coming up in my circle. So while the frequent posts are not on purpose, they must somehow be. Anywho, I was talking to a relative about why we’re still single. She offered the notion that we’re just too “special” and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re like that limited edition whatever it is which is worth waiting for. The same must be so for our boos because they are certainly taking the long walk home.

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Anywho, again…I was also talking to an associate about another associate, who, by all accounts fits the bill in most of my “must haves”, especially the way he dresses. (Call me shallow. I care not…LOL!) Still, there were things important to me which were not present. So I’ll pass. Let me proudly say that the Angela of old would have overlooked those few, albeit important factors as she fatefully did in the past and settled only temporarily until it drove her NUTS because she knew better in the beginning. Not so now, honey. Not so now.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely know that there are things in life which occur by the gentle (or not so gentle) command of our caring God which cause us to do things which others, self included, might deem as settling. I’m not speaking to those things. If God almighty says it we have to do it. I’m referring to the things which we know without a shadow of a doubt are not for us yet we settle still. That’s not the business. That’s some trouble waiting to hijack your life’s story.

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So I leave you with this as I hopefully graduate soon from Settling 401: The Advance Course. Settling is for Quakers. It’s as simple as that. Just because it worked for them doesn’t mean it works for you.

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@AngelaMMoore316

A Good Man is Like a Good Weave

In honor of my focus on L-O-V-E for today’s #bloglikecrazy post…

Hair and I have been cool like two cubes in an ice tray since my Mama decided I couldn’t get a Jheri Curl as an 8th grader at Homewood Middle School and finally let me get a permanent after one round of Ramsay High School band camp in the 9th. I’ve always enjoyed the accessory of hair. I like the flexibility of it, the versatility of it and the wow factor often generated from it. I love my own hair and I like the mystery of purchased hair.

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In recent years, I’ve enjoyed the variety of looks, styles and personas compliments of weaves and wigs. There’s just such a beautiful transformation which comes from instantly taking on a new look and taking it off or jazzing it up at liberty. I also relish in the shock of people who don’t recognize me because I’ve changed styles in less than 24 hours. However…the real, deal beauty of a hair accessory is not often in what it presents on top, but what it covers underneath.

Weaves or wigs are a lot like a good relationship. They make us look good on the outside while covering what’s underneath. A good wig or weave will know the shocking, mangled, braided, twisted, thinning, dry, dirty, dandruffy, itchy, oily, thick, stinky or cornrowed tresses we carry and cover it until we reach our stylist or solution of choice. Much the same, a good man for his one and only woman can know the brewing mess that’s simmering within and cover as that woman deals with it like the best $159 bundle of Indy Remi or the finest $59.99 Vivica Fox signature hair piece.

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It’s not that what’s being covered is to be permanently covered up with no thought of tending, but there are things in life which take time, special attention, gentle care and repeat conditioning or intense management from only those sent to handle it. Just like a premium piece of affixed hair, ladies, a good, God-sent man, will allow God, he and his woman to take care of those internal things while externally carrying on business as usual, knowing that the world might not be able to handle what they’re dealing with as they’re dealing with it, but he can and is honored to make it a priority to do so. He’s able to allow his woman to help him, as she should, but also relishes in the fact that he has something to offer her which no other can.  He accepts the challenge to do so, balancing work, children, extra-curricular activities, church or whatever else he’s entrusted with knowing that she is his main order of business. And at the end of the day, he’s spiritually aware, sort of like a wig or weave (but minus the spiritual awareness…LOL!), that how she’s presented is a direct reflection of him.

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I’ve been told by a few that my “please, please, please can’t I have some of these qualities in a husband this time” prayer list is too picky. I politely beg to differ! Yes, I do want at least 83.94% of the things on my list. However, give me a man who can cover, work with, transform and enhance me like I just swiveled around in the chair of Jennifer Rose of JRose Beautique and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a bundle of blessings. (Get it, bundle, as in hair…LOL!)

@AngelaMMoore316

I Still Want to Be Married

Recently in an episode of the hit show Super Soul Sunday on OWN Oprah Winfrey sat down with Shonda Rhimes the topic of marriage surfaced, and has since surfaced a lot on the internet. Both successful women admitted they did not want to be married. I applaud them for that. In today’s society that’s a courageous statement to make and own.

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I have been single and satisfied, single and unhappy, married and in newlywed giddiness, married and miserable, divorced and devastated, and divorced and happy as a lark (as I am)…and I still want to be married.

With everything I’ve been through and everything I’ve put myself through, because there is a difference, I still want to be married, and the right way to the right man. I applaud myself for that. Nothing which has happened like pain, anger, mistakes and mistreatment, settling into Singleness: Part Deux , seeing I could start over while looking cute, keeping my sanity and sharing my joy, and discovering uncovered talents and strengths has changed my heart’s desire. No doubts of being too old, too late in the game, too “other things I shan’t say” or any other concerns sent straight from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks has altered my dreams. Not even having my own schedule and abundant amount of “do what I want-ness”, embracing who I’ve become, or enjoying time with loved ones has changed my mind about marriage. Nothing I believe will happen like an amazingly, rewarding new career with lots of influence, opportunities to help others, travel, rewarding purpose and M-O-N-E-Y has altered that. I just believe that whomever God is making ready for me (and enhancing me for) will be able to roll with it, as I roll with him.

Oprah and Shonda, if I may refer as if I know them, live professionally successful lives and didn’t attribute any catastrophic event as the catalyst for their declaration regarding not wanting to be married. It saddens me to see women and men who let life rob them of their God-given dreams and desires and settle for what is rather than believe and act on what still can be…regardless.

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I still hold to the hope of meeting someone new, going through that awkward stage of phone talking and new fangled courting, praying for clarity (with a lot of questions…that’s just how I am), and being challenged to stretch and grow even more by the mere presence of this new dude in my sphere. I look to the day of not initially knowing if he’s the one, surveying my girlfriends for their thoughts, not knowing why we’ve met, meeting his friends, and spiritually working through the grown-up challenges which come when more than one person is involved. I still hold to the hope of a real and appropriate proposal (that’s another story for another day), sweating my hair out at a reception with our favorite jams blasting, and embracing my new family of “in-loves” (not in-laws) to share memories with which last a lifetime. I still hold to the hope of cooking dinner or enjoying a cooked dinner, while gazing and giggling across the table, watching football (please, Jesus let him like my school), debuting my head scarf which I’ve had since I was a tiny teen at Ramsay High School, working through demanding schedules, traveling, supporting and being supported, growing spiritually and tackling life’s ups and downs together. Then, at the end of the day, I wait for the certainty decades later as we stroll or ride a scooter slowly through Publix hand-in-hand looking for LeSuere Very Young Small Sweet Peas and canned pears to help with our digestive system that it was all worth it. It was absolutely worth it. A slow-stroll, peas and pears? Yep, I still want to be married.

@AngelaMMoore316

Are You My Now or My Later?

I’m a bit misty-eyed this morning after an exchange with a college friend who expressed regret for not appreciating an association in his life. After the brief conversation I was reminded, as I reminded him, that there should be no regret. All things happen for a reason, especially in our teens, 20s, 30s or whatever years come before our maturation does (let’s just be real.) I was able to share with him that God doesn’t waste His investment in us. He’s not going to allow any good seeds deposited into His good (flaws and all) children to go bad, even if it takes a while to see the fruit. His goal is life more abundantly and He never fails, even when we feel we have. His goal is to strategically use people, places and things to help get us what we need to get us to where we were meant to be, even if it seems like it’s taking us forever to get there, or even if we feel we’re okay where we are. Plain and simple, He knows what He’s doing especially when we don’t.

I was asked in an interview recently what my biggest regret was. Without hesitation I blurted out “not making the most of my relationships”. For a good little while I lived with the “I wish I would have” notion. I’ve learned to be grateful for who I am and where I am, but my mind would flirt with thoughts like “I wish I would have kept in touch with that person”, “I wish I would have joined that group”, “I wish I wouldn’t have spent so much time with those individuals”,  “I wish I would have taken that job, or never left this job”, “I wish I would have listened to my daddy’s advice about spare tires and football players in college”, “I wish I would have gotten to know him/her”, “I wish I would have followed up on that offer”, “I wish I would have been more sociable” and so on. My I wish list was as long as a premium bundle of Indi Remi found in your finest neighborhood hair shop. But why? What present or future purpose was wishing from the past producing for me? None.

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Life is like a pack of candy, Now and Laters to be exact. I remember growing up enjoying those bite-sized pieces of “tear the silver filling out of your teeth” taffy goodness, and treasuring how long they lasted in chew and in leftover flavor. I guess that’s where the whole notion of eat some now, save some for later derived. Such is so with people. Some people are sent to impart and impact during the here and NOW. Their purpose for our lives is urgent and immediate and felt instantly like that first burst of sweet, fruity flavor once we broke through that thin paper wrapper which often sticks to portions of the taffy treat. Other people, by God’s great design, have an impact so lasting that their goodness is meant to be savored and seen LATER like that wee bit of sticky leftover candy often found stuck to said fillings later on in the day after ones Mama has yelled from the front porch to come home because the street lights are coming on. Both, as in all things in our lives, serve a purpose when needed. It doesn’t matter when, whether now or later. What matters most is that we become who we were created to be all along thanks to the help of the rich and colorful array of sweet people placed in our lives.

@AngelaMMoore316

It’s Okay to Say You’re Not Okay

It’s okay to say you’re not okay. Yep, it’s true. Despite how society or our sanity might encourage us to think otherwise, not being “okay” is a fact of life we all have to face, embrace and express in order to really, truly be “okay”.

How many times has someone asked “how are you” and your response was “I’m great”, I’m good”, “I’m fine”, or “I’m okay” when deep down (possibly not too deep actually) you were anything but?

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Why is it that the need to show strength in times of weakness is a need, when in our times of weakness we most need to show that we’re weak so we can be strengthened? (Repeat that sentence aloud five times. I dare you.) Now, I’m a proponent of faith, hope and positivity. I believe the Bible to be true and that we should speak those things that are not as though they are. I look for the brighter side of life in most things, and try really, really hard to see it in those things not so easily seen. In fact, I’m certain that behind my back a few people call me Polly Positive and other cute alliterative phrases that I appreciate. But I’m human. We’re all human, and by that mere fact alone that means that at times we’re not going to be okay.

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We all need people who can be trusted to hear the words, “I’m not okay.” Before I go any further, this post is not particular to me. While this hasn’t always been my life’s story, at this juncture I absolutely am okay. I’m better than okay. I’m good. My times of me not being “okay” left me with no other choice than to know that God would do a Romans 8:28 on my “not okay” making it and me all good. I’m so grateful to God for the ability to rise above any attempts to attack my “all good”.

Now where was I? Oh yeah…We all need people who can be trusted to hear the words “I’m not okay.” I know I would not have made it to now without the support of those I desperately (I mean desperately) needed back then when I wasn’t okay. We owe it to ourselves to have healthy, loving, and supportive outlets to go to in times where okay seems like a joke, yet we still desire healing as our final destination.

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I’ve grown to know that it takes more courage to say “ouch” than to pretend that we’re not in pain. So if that’s you, and you know that you know that you’re not (yet) okay, say so. There are people who’ve been where you are. There are people with listening ears, and leanable shoulders. There are people who love and care for you. There are people who believe in the power of prayer with proof as an accompanier. There are people who can make you laugh if nothing more than to provide a brief reprieve from pain. There are people who can help cook, clean, keep the kids, pull you out bed, let some light in figuratively and literally if needed, lend a few dollars, review a resume, put in a call, offer some wisdom, take you to church, pray for that stubborn spouse, cover that child, sit in the hospital, direct you in love and redirect you with purpose, dry your tears, silence your screams, share their testimony, share their mistakes, or simply offer an escape for you as you work your way to better than okay. But you have to say so so they can do so. Okay? Okay.

@AngelaMichele316

Being a Wife Didn’t Ruin Your Life

I had a great night’s sleep after Charter decided to go out leaving me TV-less and wireless. That means I rose this morning earlier than normal with a thought on my mind for divorced women. Let me interrupt that thought by adding another thought. I hate the devil, and I’m pretty sure I’m not on his “favorite girl” list. I peeped his game in my own life a few years ago, and would like to call him out today.

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Back to the message at hand.

Dear, sweet, beautiful, valuable, worthy, trusted, overcoming divorced woman...Being a wife didn’t ruin your life and the divorce didn’t either. In my Master P voice, ‘ya heard’? That’s right. Being a wife didn’t ruin your life. Don’t buy into the BS (Backwards System) of thinking that your life has been ruined because you honored the holy matrimony of marriage, trusted your spouse, stayed when you could have (Biblically) left him before he left you, believed God, honored God’s words and way (even, and especially when you didn’t want to) or did anything pleasing in the sight of God regarding your now concluded union. Okay? Okay. (And let me say, this absolutely goes for husbands too, who might have had their worlds turned upside down by unforeseen and/or unwanted divorce. Wife and life just rhyme.)

The enemy wants you to believe one thing, versus that which is certified TRUE. So I’m about to spoil his tricks…

  • You didn’t get stuck with the kids. You are simply the one primarily trusted to rear them at this time. What an honor!
  • You are not trapped where you are. You are just under reconstruction with plans for an epic come up and come back.
  • You didn’t leave and lose your career to help your ex-husband. You were professionally, temporarily rerouted to ingnite gifts and passions you didn’t know you had for where you are going. And you’re going somewhere big!
  • You didn’t get the short end of the stick.  What you will get is the ability to use that “short” for something so much greater in the long run.
  • Your finances and credit aren’t ruined because of the actions of others. You are simply perfectly poised for a post worthy miracle.
  • Your love life isn’t over. You are merely under repair for the perfect spouse for you in God’s time and through the beauty of the amazing story he is unfolding.
  • Your children don’t have to suffer. Yes, their lives will be filled with lessons possibly learned earlier than desired, but the ability to love, be loved, have a healthy relationship with both parents, heal (spirit, soul and body), enjoy life and not follow in the footsteps of divorce is theirs.
  • You are not alone. Your marriage might have ended, but there is a God-ordained village around you waiting to support, love, encourage and care for you when you need it most and from some of the most unexpected faces/places. Look for them and let them in.
  • You will not always hurt. You can and will heal if you allow healing to do what healing does…and that’s heal you.

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There you have it. Again I say, being a wife didn’t ruin your life and the divorce didn’t either. They just added an extra layer of purpose and power. So if you’ve ever thought that divorce did you in, thinking yourself “dumb, stupid, stuck, trapped, forgotten, or naïve” for believing, trusting, loving and trying your very last best for what you promised God you would try your best for, tell the devil where he can go. Oh wait. he’s already there. No need. Just carry on living and trusting God for greater.

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@AngelaMMoore316