Let Me Upgrade You

#FBF Let Me Upgrade You

Life Gets Better

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

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A conversation amongst friends on the topic of, guess what, women upgrading men made me reflect on my many trysts with “upgradation”. (Yes, I did just make up a word.) Some who’ve walked this journey called life with me reminded me…

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Help… Somebody

Life Gets Better

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Being divorced has caused me to learn, know and re-learn things I’d never thought I would. As I spent time folding several loads of clothes that I alone was responsible for washing (after all I wore them), mopped my floor with a lymphedema swollen hand, decided what I would eat for dinner and cook for dinner tomorrow, balanced my one-income checkbook, surveyed my house for much-needed repairs and the list goes on I thought, “whew, I could use some help”. Then I observed a loved one with the daunting task of rearing children in a less than ideal situation. I recalled a few couples going through marital problems that could destroy years of friendship and true love. I considered the several friend who took on the role of mother for a child or children belonging to someone else and reared them with no prior experience. I remembered friends and family taking care of their elderly…

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Single Mothers, Put on Your Lipgloss, Your High Heels and Keep It Moving!

In February 2010, my 1st husband announced he no longer wanted to be married… to me. With those words, I became:

  • Unmarried
  • Without a job
  • Without a church home (there is no first lady without a husband first)
  • Without health or life insurance
  • Without a cell phone plan
  • Without certainty of where I would live
  • And a reluctant single “mother”

My 1st husband and I never had biological children, but were blessed to be chosen as godparents to some amazing kids. One of them, at the tender age of 13 came up to me with her squeaky, demanding voice and said, “Help me find a job and be my godmama.” Taken aback by both, I said okay, and okay. No one could have known that two years later her mother, who worked for my 1st husband and me at the time would die within months of her diagnosis of cancer.

Rakia, and her siblings found themselves without a mom, but with a loving grandmother who took them in. When Rakia entered college the next year and year one of college away from home wasn’t what we wanted it to be she decided to transfer to The University of Montevallo and live with us. And live with us she did! She was a JOY!!!!!

So without the trials of labor I had the blessing of:

  • Teaching her how to fry chicken
  • Watching the best and worst of reality TV with her
  • Talking about boys
  • Teaching her etiquette
  • Reminding her how NOT to break a curfew
  • And now seeing her at almost 30 being a wife and amazing mother

My first marriage, was semi-decent until that night in my den when my starter husband said, he thought he was like Paul in the Bible and not supposed to be married. What the Hall and Oates did he say?!?!?! How was I supposed to hide my tears (and inner #35211) when a 21-year-old was upstairs in hearing distance hurting almost as badly as I was and when we were just months from her graduating college?

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If I was able to crawl out of bed with bags under my eyes she was watching. If I wanted to strangle him or SNAP she was watching. If I didn’t clean my plate (and I loved food) she was watching. She was watching because that was what she’d always done in days far more favorable.

One day, a couple of months into the REAL “he’s acting like he doesn’t even know me like I’m some stranger who did him dirty” U-G-L-Y side of my divorce things must have gotten the best of me. I don’t know if I looked bad, or said something contrary to my faith, but my mother uttered some profound words. I was getting ready to go to Superior Grill to meet a friend also going through a divorce and my Mama told me and told me to tell her… Put on Your Lipgloss, Your High Heels and Keep It Moving!

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It was as simple as that. I knew she was telling me it was time to get it together, act like it and look like it too. I knew I must have had the devil and his deviletts think they’d won. So she told me to Put on Your Lipgloss, Your High Heels and Keep It Moving! I did.

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Single moms, yes, you’re single…whether UNFORTUNATELY, UNPREDICTEDLY, THROUGH DEATH, DIVORCE OR BY CHOICE. Yes, however you got here might have hurt like heck. Yes, it might seem like he’s doing better than you with his new bae or boo. Yes, it’s not fair. Yes, to all of the things which would be answered YES. But, regardless… Put on Your Lipgloss, Your High Heels and Keep It Moving!

In hindsight I know now that…

  • The lipgloss represented her order that I get my shine back and put my best face forward.
  • The high heels spoke to her command that I rise up, get my pep back and put my best foot forward.

 

  • Keep it Moving was her demand to not look back and put my best faith forward. Point. Blank. Period.

The time for waiting on life to start over is OVER. Life is well on its way to being exactly what it’s meant to be for you, and yours! And your kids are watching and being shaped by your actions and reactions! It’s time to LIVE, look like it and know that Life Gets Better!

So do something for yourself!

  • Get up and take a shower then spray yourself with that fancy perfume you’ve been keeping for a “special day”.
  • Finish a complete meal regardless of how the hurt tries to tell you not to eat.
  • Start saying “yes” when people ask you to do things and come out of isolation.
  • Go to a women’s retreat, a single mother’s conference, or a “can you help me with this pain” program.
  • Go to a movie…and I don’t mean the latest Frozen flick with your kids. Get a sitter, take a half day at work, go to the cheap Tuesday show and sit in the dark with grown people and popcorn.
  • Plan a trip out of town (Groupon and girls trips are the BEST!)
  • Get a massage or a manicure. (Groupon is the BEST!)
  • Join a gym and make your house an at-home “get myself toned, tight and right” spot
  • Write a book. (Somebody needs to have your testimony at the side of their bed at all times to help them make it out of bed.)
  • Learn how to garden, change a tire, or cook a real meal.
  • Sell your Mama’s famous chili recipe, your homemade door signs or get a trade that will make you a better woman…and some money.

And whatever you do, Put on Your Lipgloss, Your High Heels and Keep It Moving…because they’re watching!

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@AngelaMichele316

Don’t Hate the Wait

Life Gets Better

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…

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The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 3

Being single can be HARD! It can also be very helpful in shaping women and men to become better for the next level of life whether marriage is included or not.

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As mentioned in my previous blog post The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 1 and The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 2, in March 2017 I had an opportunity to speak to single women and married couples at the Can You Relate Conference 2017 hosted by Algernon and Taneisha Tucker. It was great for me too as my newlywed husband and I learned so much from the others. I spoke on the ABCs of Singlehood and thought I’d share a the last tidbits of what God and a lot of mistakes in life afforded me to know.

Here’s the rest…which happens to start with Rest.

R-Remember to rest. You can’t want a man to take care of when you don’t take care of yourself.

S-Stay far, far away from the wrong somebodies. (You know exactly who they are. You know exactly what they do or you do that doesn’t need to be done. The date, location, or faces may change, but the foolishness which ALWAYS comes remains the same.)

T-Trust the process and purpose of singlehood. God knows what He’s doing, when He’s done and why it took so long in the first place.

U-Use this time to travel and have FUN! By no means is singlehood a green light to be boring. Be safe, but have fun. Be wise, but live. Be frugal but explore, learn, go and see.

V-View singlehood as a blessing, and treat it as such.

W-Work out. (Yikes!) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in the hands of the one who takes care of her temple. Firm hips, pouty lips and how low you can dip are not guaranteed.

X-eXude eXcellence Yes, I cheated with this letter. Carry yourself in such a way that greatness, love, humility and confidence, kindness, poise, and contentment are what others see.

Y-Yield to wisdom from those who know what you don’t yet know, like the married people, divorced people and single people who are perfectly okay where they are.

Z-Zip your lips to complaining about any and all seasons of your singlehood. Don’t cancel your own blessings by complaining.

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@AngelaMichele316