I Lost My Credit and Found More Peace

Peace has always been a friend of mine. I’ve sought it. Chased it down. Pleaded for it and tried my best to hold on to it for dear life, my own of course.

Few things have rattled me, baffled me, frightened me and lodged a full-fledged attack on my peace like the last few years. I won’t go into details, as they are not needed, and wouldn’t change a thing if I did.

I grew up in the 80s and watched my parents make the serious and difficult sacrifice to get out of debt.  So, post, financial makeover, I was reared to protect my credit like I protected my name because credit and my name were synonymous. Through college I never had credit cards. After college, I had “charge cards” to places like Casual Corner and paid it back to maintain A+ credit. When I went to purchase another car in 2013 after my Lexus of 11 years died, I was told I had credit so good I could by a “private jet”.

Beginning in 2013, things out of my control which should have happened didn’t happen for a very long time. I was also stuck in a home above my single woman’s, non-profit net pay, subject to hundreds of viewing people over the six years it was on the market, dealing with banks, realtors, letters, emails, calls and so on. Then, it happened. My credit dropped lower than a frisky 1990s co-ed in the Citizen Club in Tuscaloosa, Alabama when his/her favorite Uncle Luke, 12 Gauge or 69 Boyz song came on in the small, sweatbox by the cornfield. I was DEVASTATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beyond DEVASTATED, I was madder than James Evans when the gangbanger, Mad Dog shot JJ on that riveting episode of Good Times. (Check the nose flare, people.)

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My peace was under attack, and my ability to respond as Christ would was not too far behind it. That, for me, was no way to be. I don’t know when it happened. I really don’t know how it happened, but for the grace of and good sense from God, however, at some point, after I was turned down for a great job due to bad credit, after a credit card limit was reduced by more than $6000, after I finally received a viable offer on my house but quickly realized at this juncture I wouldn’t be able to purchase another house to own for myself, PEACE prevailed. It took over.

I didn’t fret or panic as much. I prayed more. I asked more people to pray. I started “living” again, enjoying the house I was currently in not counting the costs of tomorrow or ignoring the blessings of today or yesterday. I stopped being frustrated by those who didn’t understand the dyer state of things for me because they’d never been in this situation and didn’t know full details but treated me as if they did (God bless them). I stopped focusing on who wasn’t doing what was supposed to be done and TRULY praised the Lord for what He was doing. And by doing, I mean the fact that my last year in my last home God covered the mortgage all by Himself. Yes, the scary letters and phone calls stopped. The threats of foreclosure or deed in lieu stopped. And, with not a dime paid to my gracious banking lender, I lived. He did that! Yep!

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Now granted, I lived knowing each day my credit was dropping lower and lower and knowing that the eventual Short Sale I had to accept would take it lower than an intoxicated passenger in the limbo competition on a Caribbean cruise ship, but I lived through it to meet the most wonderful realtor who took me in figuratively like a young cousin telling me her testimony and working hard for two years to sell my home while also offering to literally allow me to stay with her when it looked like the bad credit was going to prevent me from even being able to rent a house (talk about SCARED out of my mind!) I lived to finally “meet” an amazingly, kind new landlord, who welcomed me to his property with full disclosure of my current credit profile (and we’ve never met face-to-face). I lived through to be able to give away SO MUCH good stuff to people who really needed it from the nine years I enjoyed my previous home. I still have more to give. Any takers? I lived biting my tongue and truly being able to pray God’s best for all involved. I lived to arrive to the most “homey” feeling neighborhood I’ve dwelled in since my days in West End, where I walk in my home that my God, my two jobs (#TitheGoneUp) and I can afford and I feel happy, thankful and full of peace. To God be the Glory!

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As I sit and listen to the serenading birds enjoying the natural lighting beaming through my rental home I still don’t know where my already demolished credit will land after the Expedian report shows my April short sale, but I’m not bothered. I trust that a God who can pay a big money mortgage for more than a year and can restore the credit of so many friends who have shared their testimony and can keep me from acting out of who He created me to be can cover my credit like a Vivica A. Fox snug wig straight out of the net. I trust Him.

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@AngelaMMoore316

The Breakup: I Have So Much To Say

An al.com article about Alabama’s former first lady Dianne Bentley sparked some recent and old feelings about what to do and what to say after the breakup. Thankfully, many of have not experienced the ultimate breakup granted by the lingering pains and/or effects of divorce. Chile, be glad about it. But I would think that most have experienced a breakup one way or the other whether it be with a mate, with a job or from an organization and have been faced with the question of what to say, how much to say and to whom.

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The article noted so eloquentely how Mrs. Bentley has been just that, eloquent, in this whole sordid process being publicly played out in the press and the privacy of our own homes, memes and phones. What an example of class, poise and trust in God! I needed her as a fresh and real reminder right now to stay the course of silence. For those of you who know me you must know that I love to talk. It’s what I do. So to have a virtual muzzle on my mouth regarding things which are personal, painful, and sometimes public whether I want them to be or not, and not be able to truly and fully speak on it from my point of view offering unshared truths has truly been a lesson learned with some repeated classes. Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe in the power of wise counsel and know that to carry the weight of any breakup on my back alone would be more detrimental than I could bare. So there are those who know what the real deal is because I can trust them to handle it, stay hushed up, not rile me up into a state of tomfoolery and not hinder the plans God obviously has in place with no need of a running mouth ruining it. However, I recognize through trial and error that:

  • Everyone can’t handle my story of what happened before, during and after the breakup. That means it would be foolish of me to share with the world why what happened has affected my current living options and way of life, or why it took six years for my house to sell, or why I didn’t make the move to divorce first, or whether I knew divorce was coming or not, or why I didn’t allude to others of any problems prior to the divorce, or why I didn’t go back when my former spouse felt he wanted me to, or why I am still friends with some people from our former shared circle, or why some from our former shared circle are no longer friends with me (there is a difference in those two things I just said), or what the divorce decree really said, or what really happened with what was decreed and supposed to be done, or why I won’t entertain or engage negative comments regarding my past or my former spouse, or why my response is usually “Just pray”, and so on and so on and so on.  You may hear it but not from me.
  • Everyone shouldn’t know my story until it’s sealed and wrapped in a pretty little God-blessed bow. I realize that some simply can’t handle the truth. I can barely handle it and it happens to me.  I feel the same as I hear of the hurts which happen to those I love, immediately wanting to “fix it” sometimes not through the best of means and especially because it’s not my bees-wax. To share it out of angst or “I’ll get even”, or prematurely without God’s ultimate desires of healing, restoration (according to His design not our definition) and progress taking place would do His plans, even through a breakup, a total disservice. I need God TOO MUCH to do Him a disservice any more than I already have in my 44 years of life.
  • People are going to believe what they want or need to believe. I see now that some people have to condition themselves to see, believe or accept what they feel they need to in order to keep them in the place of comfort or convenience for where they feel they need to be (and for what reasons). That’s cool. However, to take the position of defense in honor of those things I know to be true because I lived it, and try to explain, vindicate, mitigate or simply be messy does nothing but create more mess. Breakups are a mess with no help needed.

So, whether through divorce, the end of a dating relationship, separation from a job/church/organization or any breach of association, SILENCE, that difficult, unfair, trying, yet necessary stance is the way to go. It really does serve its purpose when it’s allowed to, uninterrupted. #silence

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@AngelaMMoore316

Check Your Bags, Please

Situations and relationships come and go. Unfortunately, what doesn’t always leave when they go is the baggage they bring with them and to us. As women we are often the unknowing recipients of other people’s simmering stuff. That, mixed with our own mess, and carrying it along “for the ride”, stifles the very essence of life. And while I’m there, let me just say that, again, as women, we know when we’re not right. We know when our attitudes, actions, reactions or reasoning are off, and if we’re honest, we can be honest about the who/what/where/when/why behind it. Those subtle or not so subtle insecurities, sarcasms, quick (hot headed) responses, fears, bouts of envy, fits of doubt, lack of trust with anyone, assumptions of the worse in others and so much more could merely be baggage we failed to dispose. Baggage, ours or from others, and ALL it brings with it isn’t a mystery or invisible unless we choose to pretend that it is.

The older I get and the more I see the more I know that leftover baggage can do a lot of damage. It can weigh down, slow down, hold up and hurt! Yes, shame on the other parties for leaving their guck with us. However, shame on us for letting it linger.

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Like the stellar services of an excellent concierge at a five star hotel or the terminal workers at our favorite airports, we have earned the right to check our baggage leaving it at the door. The ONLY baggage we need to carry into our future is that made by Samsonite, Louis Vuitton, American Tourister or Gucci, sold online or available in stores.
The days of holding on to what holds us up are passe’. That means PAST in case you didn’t know.

@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

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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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