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

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

The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 2

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.

As mentioned in my previous blog post The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 1 , 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 few more tidbits of what God and a lot of mistakes in life afforded me to know.

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Here’s 9-17. Stay tuned for pt. 3 coming soon!

  • I-Improve those qualities you know you need improved whether single or not.
    • If you know your attitude is bad (and you know you know) or you are selfish, or you’re lazy, or you have problems committing singlehood is the season to get those things together…by yourself.
  • J-Join groups to help you grow and stay occupied…a church small group, a book club, a Sassy Singles dinner club, etc.
    • Do something with yourself while single. You can boost your resume, build up your “team” and who knows, bae or boo might be waiting on you in the very group you join.
  • K-Keep the desires of your heart. If marriage is your desire, don’t let anything or anyone take it from you.
    • Do. Not. Stop. Believing. Marriage. Is. Possible. For. You. Point. Blank. Period.
  • L-Learn new hobbies and skills like cooking, how to change a tire, how to refurbish a chair, how to install hardwood, how to cut coupons, how to fly fish or something.
  • M-Make sure your expectations of a mate are being matched by you. Don’t want what you can’t give.
    • If you can’t afford steak don’t be mad because he can only afford hamburger helper. If you don’t have good credit don’t place unfair pressure on a man to have it because you don’t. If you aren’t bringing just as much to the table don’t be mad when you aren’t able to eat. Expectations of a mate should be matched by what we have to offer. A man is not your ATM, TransUnion savior, heart fixer, daddy do over or ticket to come up. Come up on your own time and own dime so you can help him come up even more.
  • N-Never let social media deceive you, make you feel less than, lead you to comparisons or have you become hopeless.
    • Don’t let Facebook, Snapchat and any other mode of media make you think married people are perfect, or that you, somehow because you’re not married are less than or will never have the love you desire…and all the extra good, and not as good stuff which comes along with it.
  • O-Open up your list of “I Want” in a mate to include, at the top, God’s list of “You Need” in a mate.
    • Be rid of those superficial things like how he dresses, what his salary looks like (now), where he’s from, how long he’s had the removable goldfront and all that good, not so good stuff which WILL NOT matter at the end of the day when you look back and laugh at how far God has brought you both because He brought you together.
  • P-Pray for yourself, for the mate you desire, for you all together, for patience, etc.
    • Pray. Pray. Pray…for him, for you, for his friends, for his mind, for his future job, for your patience, for his tolerance of you and all your “quirks”, for your future children, for everything that comes along with marriage. You can do this even before you meet the man.
  • Q-Quit settling.
    • I like to say Settling is for Quakers. Whatever you do while single don’t settle for less than who and what you know you deserve. Know your value and stop slinging discounts like a KMart Blue Light Special.
      • And if you don’t know what you deserve ask somebody who knows better.

To be continued…

@AngelaMichele316

 

The ABC’s of Singlehood Part 1

Recently, I had an opportunity to speak to single women and married couples at the Can You Relate Conference 2017. It was great for me too as my husband and I learned so much from the others. I spoke on the ABCs of Singlehood and thought I’d share a few tidbits of what God and a lot of mistakes in life afforded me to know.

As a newlywed of only three whole months, I realize I’ve been single in every decade of life. From my first high school heartbreak to all of college, to part of my 20s, to my divorce in my 30’s to my early 40s and now, finally I’m married again to my very best friend. With that, came a lot of opportunities, as I now like to call them, to see singlehood differently, realize the error of my (old) ways, work on fixing those things which had hindered me (like my sassy, quick-witted mouth), learn from those around me and get myself together. I, by no means, know all there is to know about singlehood, but let’s just say singlehood and I tangoed enough over time for me to at least figure out 26 nuggets to share with you. The most important of them all is that being single is a blessing, if you allow it to be.

Here’s 1-8. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!

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  • A-Attitude adjustments are a must through each season of singlehood. You won’t always like it, but that doesn’t have to affect who you are or how you see yourself.
    • I would be dishonest, also known as a liar, if I painted being single as peaches and cream with a cherry on top. It’s not. With that said, there is a LOT about it which single people may not like. When those times arise, it’s important to keep attitudes in check as not to further delay the process and progress.
  • B-Be not deceived by the myths of marriage…It’s not always fun. It doesn’t cure whatever was wrong before you said “I Do”. A slothful single woman can easily become a lazy married one.  An angry single woman can easily become a married bitter wife. Marriage is WORK!!!! It’s more than about cuddling, cute selfies and hot sex.
    • Reality shows, social media, other people’s marriage, possibly even one’s own first marriage might have painted a picture of marriage which simply isn’t real, or isn’t real all the time.
  • C-Celebrate the milestones of others who are walking paths you desire to tread…weddings, anniversaries, new babies. (Even throw the celebrations yourself!)
    • Wanna show God you trust Him? Do something for someone else in the very area you’re waiting on Him to do something for you.
  • D-Do things now which will benefit you later…save money, protect your credit, balance your schedule and bank statements, manage your household duties, take care of yourself.
  • E-Enjoy controlling your coming and going, your calendar, the remote, the thermostat and the radio.
    • That really is a blessing!!! (Ask me how I know as I have to watch movies and sports sometimes when I’d rather watch Food Network and HGTV all the time.)
  • F-Forgive any and everyone who needs to be forgiven, including yourself.
    • Do this as often as needed.
  • G-Get out of your head with the “by this age I shoulda” dates and age ranges which aren’t fair or feasible.
    • God does NOT operate on your calendar, schedule, timeframe or deadline. And that’s a GOOD thing! The sooner that’s realized the better life will be.
  • H-Heal from past hurts, self-inflicted and otherwise.
    • You know what’s hurting you. Do something about it now. Get help for it so that you don’t run the risk of hurting that man God is preparing to find you. (If you think God is going to let your pain hurt a husband…well, let’s just say He loves him, and you too much for that…which may explain the delay in delivery of your beau, boo or bae.)

To be continued…

@AngelaMichele316

 

 

Single Ladies, Get It For Yourself

Single Ladies,

Why in the world would you expect God to give you a man to love you, cherish you, compliment you, help you with your stuff, enjoy time with you, and tell you you’re beautiful when you won’t, or don’t do that for yourself?!?!

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God is a God of order, something which took me a while to realize, particularly while dating. He does things decently and in ORDER. What that means is that He’s not going to bypass you getting it from Him just so you can get it from a man. So go ahead get it for yourself. Tell yourself you love you and mean every single syllable of it. Value your time, your worth and your whole being (even those wiggly and jiggly parts you may not like). Whisper sweet nothings of candid compliments in your own ear. Take your own self out for dinner and a movie. Get your business all the way together from the spiritual, financial, physical, mental, social and emotional points of view. (Pause for the Cause….please don’t feed into the age-old fairytale of a man being your savior. You already have a Savior who knows you and knows what’s best for you. So, just in case this applies, no more waiting around for a man to come in and pay your bills or buy you $30 steak dinner. Pay our own bills. Buy your own steak (or make it yourself). No more waiting around for a man to love you like your father did or love you like your father didn’t. Your Father God loves you WAY more than that, and I dare you to do the same for yourself.) No more thinking a man is going to elevate you in the game. Oh, contraire, homegirl. We actually elevate them. Don’t believe me. Read Proverbs 18:22. So go ahead now and step your game up so you can catapult his.

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Preparation for the future is the best way to make good of the past and make the most out of the present. Wanna be boo’d up, tied down, married off,  lawfully wed, in wedded bliss, or wifeyed? Good! I want you to want too. Listen, I know the Single Sister Struggle can be real. I just got married again less than two months ago and had many years before my first marriage, and many years between my first marriage and my final marriage of wanting to be married. Marriage is WONDERFUL, but it’s also the hardest job in the whole wide world. It’s hard as the dickens! What helps is when the two parties coming together have been getting themselves together under the watchful eye and loving hands of God. So sisters, while you wait you might as well handle you before God hands you to him. Capiche?

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@AngelaMichele316

Singles, You Can Do It…Yourself

Singles (and by singles I mean not married, even if you have a boo or a bae, with the same last name you’ve always had, with the same last name you used to have and now have again, filing single on taxes and checking the box which says Miss, Ms. or Divorced )…

Here’s a little secret. You can do it…yourself. While scrolling through my new best friend Pinterest I came across a clever post. Of course I can’t find it now, but it read, “Stop expecting others to do for you what you won’t even do for yourself.”

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It’s as simple as that. The time for waiting on life to start is over. Newsflash, life is well on its way to being exactly who its meant to be for you! The mindset of, “I’ll do this when I have someone to do it with” is debilitating. The notion that life alone or in the company of friends, pales in comparison to the married life is a myth. I can tell you a thing or two about both. The thought of “I have no one so I can’t do whatever it is I really want to do” is cuckoo. Pardon my harsh language.

In the words of my daddy when I would pout as a teenager about wanting to do what everyone else was doing, “You were born by yourself. You’re going to die by yourself so stop always talking about what other people are doing.” The same is so in the land of singlehood. We can’t wait on others, compare ourselves with others or complain about others. We simply have to do it. So go ahead and do those things you want to, can afford to, have time, and deserve to do.

  • Go to a movie alone or with friends
  • Eat at that five-star restaurant
  • Plan an amazing trip out of town
  • Plan an even more amazing trip out of the country
  • Invest in that rental property
  • Make financial investments
  • Get a massage
  • Join a gym and go at it solo if need be
  • Start a business
  • Write a will (I know that’s grim, but hey, singles have stuff to leave behind too.)
  • Buy a house
  • Paint your house
  • Learn how to garden or repair a car or cook
  • Remodel your bathroom…unless you have zero remodeling skills as I do
  • Or do like I did and buy those close up concert tickets to see Diddy and the crew… #cantstop #wontstop #badboyforlife
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Whatever you do, singles, just make sure to take time to do it for yourself. You deserve it! Of this, I’m sure.

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IMG_1274@AngelaMMoore316

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