But Why Does She Live Alone?

“But why does she live alone?” That was the question my then four-year-old niece sleepily asked my sister after it dawned on her one evening that I, unlike most she’d come to know in her few years on this earth, live alone. She must have thought of this thought very thoughtfully because she also asked “if I had any family”, and “if it would help if they stayed with me more often”.

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I giggled upon first hearing my sister recount the story of my niece’s sleep-ushered concern about my living arrangements. After thinking about it further, as I often do with most things, I felt a sense of proudness. NEVER in my wildest dreams could you have paid me to believe that I would be alone at this juncture in life. I was born and bred to be a Mrs. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’d gone from living in my parent’s house, to a colorful array of roommates (and boyfriends) in college, to roommates (and boyfriends) after college, to back to my parent’s house, to married, to married with a goddaughter living with us, to divorced with a goddaughter living with me…and into the mix of all of that was a smattering of a few more boyfriends and the aforementioned ex-husband. With that said, again I’ll say that never in my wildest dreams could you have paid me to believe I would be alone at this juncture in life…and never in my wildest, wild dreams could you have paid me to believe I would actually enjoy it. Shocking. I know!

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Prior to my niece’s questions I’d actually begun to relish in the fact that I live alone. I actually really like this life. I’ve been in the season of solo before, but this season feels different. I’ve crossed the bridge of personal maturity to the land of alone, but not lonely, and have grown to appreciate my solitude, the remote control, rising as early as I want to, turning down the thermostat, having girlfriend gatherings, coming and going at will, even deciding when I want to take out the trash or if I want to roll it out to the curb at all. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan to stay in the season forever, and there are surely things about being a spouse that I desire from and with the right man, but while I’m here I’m growing to enjoy this space and my place for as long as I can, until the marvelous surprise that is my future reveals itself.

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@AngelaMichele316

Girl, Somebody Lied to You!

Washing my hands in the restroom at work, gazing in the hazy mirror at my newly cut bangs (from a less than new sew-in) the words, “Girl, somebody lied to you” crossed my mind. I was shocked initially, almost wondering where this inner, loud whisper derived. As women, too many times than not, we have listened to lies from others about ourselves, lives from ourselves regarding others and even from ourselves regarding ourselves. Before you hop on an “all men are dogs” channel that I simply do not and will not ever subscribe to do know that I’m not referring to the “player, cheater or not quite mature enough to handle the responsibilities of a relationship” kind of man we might have knowingly entertained or naively encountered. I’m talking about the bold face lies society, unwise influencers, and our own misguided hopes and dreams might have told us. (BTW…is a bold face lie different from a scared face lie? #ija) I digress.

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I started thinking of a list of a lot of lies we, as incomparably beautiful, God-created, life-giving, purpose-overflowing, love-filled, spiritually gifted women, need to know longer believe about us if we’re going to be the fabulous, fabulous women we were all created to be. I’m not listing lies, as I prefer truth. So below I offer you a sampling of seeing yourself from a different point of view.

  1. A man or marriage won’t make you happy. (Ask a bunch of other married, dating and no longer married women how we know. Happiness is an exclusive right. No help is needed. I promise this one is true so if you were clinging to it like a newborn to its milk machine please let it go.)
  2. Marriage won’t cure your ills. (If struggling with financial mismanagement, loneliness, fornication, low self-esteem or any other issues before marriage, and not taking steps to be healed from it, an “I Do” doesn’t take it away. It just shifts it into another gear.)
  3. You really don’t need makeup. (I “heart” make up. I really, really do, but I know that it is strictly an enhancement to all the goodness, flaws and all, about us which already exist, but it is not a necessity. We’re fine with or without it. Literally, and figuratively.)
  4. Your voice is important. (Often as women we feel our voice, opinion, thoughts, ideas or histories aren’t embraced so they must not be important. They are and must be heard. Ya heard?)
  5. Women can be friends. (Forget the Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday night reality show and social media fighting. Women are social creatures by Godly design. More importantly, we’re communicators, which means we are equipped to get along, stay together, talk it out, establish trust and enjoy the love, support and influence of other women meant to walk this amazing journey called life with us.)
  6. Your hips are hot. (Don’t be fooled. Those areas in which you carry as a testament to your DNA, your life’s struggles, your overcome medical obstacles…childbirth included, or whatever is behind the story of your behind and its less than perfect body buddies is beautiful. As is. No pun intended.)
  7. Being spiritual, smart, sincere and sophisticated is haute. (It is absolutely popular and eternally trending to have a relationship with God and show it, speak properly, use correct spelling and grammar in formal and less than formal writings, be kind, be generous, showcase your knowledge in all types of settings, pursue higher education, be classy, carry poise, and take the lead as lead in areas of which you know you are gifted.)
  8. Your spiritual Father has the first and final say-so. (For those who have bore the pain of the lack of presence from an earthly father or a proper one, do know that your real Daddy is the MAN! He loves you, won’t leave you, is trustworthy, will show up when He promised, won’t forget a birthday, has you on His mind all the time and loves you. Yes, I said He loves you twice just so it can settle in.)
  9. Pouty mouths, duck lips, and frowny faces can’t compete with a smile. (I don’t know who hijacked the smile, but I demand a swift return. Ladies, nothing says “confident, sexy, approachable, mature, friendly, or comfortable in the skin I’m in” like a good, old-fashion smile. Try it. Often. Please.)
  10. Gaining a new job, new house, new body, new man, new car, new degree, and/or new circle of influence is a blessing, but it won’t build you… and guess what, should you lose one, any or all of it, it won’t break you either. (Ask me how I know.)

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@AngelaMMoore316

Let Me Upgrade You

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 of the, shall we say, “impact” I’ve had on the lives of the men I’ve come in contact. From introducing a wiser style of menswear to one person in particular who had a love/hate relationship with suits not at all well-suited, to “being patient with” the young love without enough money to buy a $.35 hot pepper at the Gadsden KFC, to introducing others to cultural, family relational and spiritual insights they’d previously not been privy to, I’ve put in work on the “work with you committee” for some years now.

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Now, the 20-something or 30-something-year-old me might have been pouting like a child when her last lollipop from the bank fell to the floor at the thought of working to make men better for other women, or other levels in life. And she did. No, ma’am, not this almost 43-year-old though. I know, accept and welcome that that’s what a girl, woman, friend, or wife is supposed to do. (Men carry this charge too, but this particular post right here isn’t directed toward men.) I’ve learned that any investment we make in the lives of others pays off for both parties whether directly or indirectly, and that’s good enough, especially if the Lord says so. This is true whether it be in a relationship, on a job, at a ministry, or with a group. This applies whether things last or not. We should want to always leave it, them, they or that better, and not desiring anything but God’s best for them. This is so regarding marriage. Why? Because the Bible says so. Don’t believe me? Check out Proverbs 18:22. This is especially so if love or loyalty is involved. Why? Because that’s the right thing to do. Why else? Because if we look closely, and really closely if we have to, we should also be able to see how we’ve been made better, whether it worked out the way we thought, hoped, wanted or not. Talk about an upgrade!

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So as I shimmy in my seat with that sick Bey beat still in my head, giggling at some of the other comments made about the “upgradation” my friends and I participated in I’m grateful that I can clearly look back, and thanks to social media, not have to look too hard to see that the lives of those who shared some part of the lives with me are indeed better. That makes me want to humbly take a bow and pat myself on the back at the same time. (LOL!) I can then whip my Bobbi Boss blunt, bob tresses around in the mirror (and love who looks back at me) knowing that because of the lives of those who shared some part of their life with me I am better. And that, to me is what matters most. Sure, our outcomes might be different, but an upgrade is an upgrade no matter how you spin it. I have amazing wisdom that money couldn’t afford to buy. I have memories the history books (or comedy stages) would NOT believe. I know new places to dine, travel, and shop that I didn’t have to come up with or pay for. (Thanks, guys). I have SUPER friends that wouldn’t have been had it not been for “what’s his name”. I’ve had a life about as rich as a hearty bowl of New Orleans gumbo sold straight off the street. I have gifts and talents, influence and amazing stories to tell because of spending time with people who were a part of my pit stop (not in a negative way) to the ultimate upgrade. And that, my darlings, deserves a song of its own! #singalongwithme #letmeupgradeyou

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@AngelaMichele316

Pray for Yourself, Boo

Ladies,

I know we’ve been told a time of two to pray for our men. Those, like me, who don’t yet have our own have too, likely been wisely encouraged to do the same…pray for him wherever he is as our very own Heaven-selected Boaz makes his way to each of our lives. (Check out the book of Ruth in the Bible to read all about good, old Boaz.) Both suggestions of prayer are most appropriate, indeed powerful and right in line with what a good wife or good woman would and should do.  But I was soon to find that a key component was being left out of the prayer circle.

One day while walking through my house I found myself whispering this simple prayer, “Lord, bless my husband wherever he is with whatever he is going through.” And then, out of nowhere I mumbled words I had no intentions of uttering, “And get me ready for him as you’re making him ready for me”. Huh? What? Where did that come from? Aren’t I ready? (I really didn’t want an answer to that.) Anywho, it was as if God said, “Yeah, I hear ya, praying for him, and don’t stop, but pray for yourself too, boo.” (That’s just how we talk. We’re cool like that.)

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So I am. I’m praying about spiritual, financial and personal things I won’t post at this particular juncture regarding myself. However, having been divorced for over five years and likely in need of a fine-tuning regarding the ways of a good, Godly man I’m also praying about some seemingly shallow things like learning to share again, not in the sense of my heart, my secrets or my deepest thoughts. I’m down with that, and welcome it like the return of a long-lost love. I’m praying that, like a toddler, I learn to share my stuff like the remote on my reality TV nights, the thermostat level, my holidays and my Honey Crisp Apples. I’m praying that I gain more balance with my schedule, never, ever, ever going back to the place of neglecting precious time with God, family or friends, but learning to carefully master my calendar after years of footloose and fancy free living. I’m praying that my little, quirky idocyncrasies don’t do damage (I can be real “particular”). I’m praying I become ready to have to cook if he prefers home-cooked meals or maybe even force myself to become accustomed to someone who prefers to shower me with prepared meals all the time (A girl can wish. Can’t she?). I’m praying that I’m still grateful to God if he’s not a morning person, doesn’t like SEC football, doesn’t like old school gospel on Pandora to start the day, or doesn’t enjoy Conecuh Sausage, Steve Harvey Bacon or Church of the Highlands. (I gasp at the mere thought.) I want to be ready. I want to be the best me that I’ve ever been when he comes and I know that won’t happen then if it doesn’t start happening now.

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There’s so much more I could write about what I’m praying about, but I shan’t. I shall pray. I would just like to say that I’m grateful for that gentle Voice which I know wants me to talk to Him more about all things no matter how big or bigger.  I’ve been with me everyday of my life, I know I’m a “well-loved” (some have called it spoiled) piece of God’s handiwork. Notice I didn’t say “piece of work”…LOL! After all the H-E-Double Hockey Stick I’ve been through and put myself through, God forbid anything in me messes up what’s for me. That, my dears, shall not happen. So to Angela I repeat, “pray for yourself, boo.”

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@AngelaMMoore316

Grown Girls Can Accept the Responsibility…. and Wear It Like a Winter Wrap

“Here’s the thing,” she said. “You make the same mistake over and over again until you learn your lesson. We girls sometimes do the thing where we pick the same person over and over again – they look and seem different, but deep down, they’re the same. And that’s on us.”

Those were the words actress Cameron Diaz told a reporter in a recent article in Cosmopolitan Magazine detailing her thoughts on mistakes in relationships. I heard them on a talk show while recuperating from a stubborn little virus and immediately thought, “Wow! She’s bold, and she’s absolutely right!”

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Ladies, I used to be a clever crafter of a “done me wrong” song, and I could string it and sing it with, to, for or about the best of them. But at some point I had to look back on the kinds of men I decided to allow in my life, really examine where I was in life and listen to those who could see what I chose not to, to see that a large part of the problem was me. Just as Ms. Diaz said, the men all looked STARKLY different (and I prided myself on that, hunni), but there were strong similarities in all of the ones I loved (or greatly/partially liked) the most who hurt me the worst that I chose to ignore, and there were strong similarities in ME when I dated all of the ones I loved (or greatly/partially liked) the most who hurt me the worst that I chose to ignore.

Never one to spill too much tea (as in juicy gossip), and certainly not my own until after it’s been tidied all up I will offer this. I don’t condone the mistreatment of human beings in any way, shape form or fashion. I don’t believe lies, cheating, trust-threatening acts or any unfortunate things which can happen when you open your heart with another is deserved. So if I don’t believe others deserve it the same is so for myself. I will, however, say that since I started dating back in 1987 (Yikes!) I have made unwise choices like dating men who were emotionally scarred and I knew it, rebounding far too fast and I knew I should have pressed pause, dating guys who had more baggage than the Gucci Store in Phipps Plaza and I knew it, entering into “relationships” the wrong way and/or at the wrong time and I knew it, dating guys who were “extremely friendly” with other women and I knew it, dating men who didn’t have the same foundation or goals for the future as I and I knew it, or dating men I knew I truly didn’t like or love and I knew it.

None of that is fun to type or pretty to read, but it’s the truth, my truth. Like Ms. Diaz, I consider them all lessons well learned…and earned. I own it and the wisdom it grants me. You better believe I know better and I know better starts with me. I’ve come to realize that grown girls can accept the responsibility…. and wear it like a winter wrap. So I am.

@AngelaMMoore316

  

But I’m Not His Type

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Sometimes I wonder if I say too much in my blog posts. This time is one of them, but here I go…

Recently, a loved one recommended that she thought I would be a good fit to be matched romantically with a man of a certain stature. My first response was a school-girl giggle, and a shake of the shoulders reminiscent of Tamar Braxton. My second, and shocking internal response was the silent utterance of the words “But I’m not his type.” Mind you, I’ve never met this man and had no idea at that time why that thought came to mind, but sure as Christmas always comes on December 25 that thought came.

This morning in the shower I had a talk with myself asking why I thought I wasn’t his type. Again, I’ve never met him before. Would I ever want my nieces to grow up to think they aren’t a man’s type? Would I ever want my amazing teens at Woodlawn High to think they aren’t a boy’s type? No. There are some things in my health and physical life that I want to be better. That’s just the bottom line. Some of it is my fault , and I will be the absolute first to say that. Pray for me. Some of it happened at no fault of my own (check my testimony), and I believe I have been lingering in a little state of “I can’t believe that happened to me and I’m still not sure I’m pleased about what it left behind” and had somehow gotten stuck after my healing, but not being brave enough and dedicated enough to move to the point of “let’s get this show in shape and back on the road”. So, there I was, in the shower dissecting myself, thinking about why I thought I wouldn’t be someone’s type and simultaneously waiting for some swift word from God to get me back on track. And sure enough, it came, just like Christmas always comes on December 25.

Here’s what I now know. There is a difference in disliking who we are and wanting to improve how we are. Simple and plain. I believe that like me, many have double-dutched back and forward with the temptation of actually looking at who we are and not liking what looks back. I believe at times, we’ve contemplated listening to the wicked whispers which dare us to tear ourselves down with words (spoken and unspoken) that destroy the very essence of who we are. That’s the wrong way of being and seeing. Simple and plain. I now, decide to see what is as it is, embrace it, and work to enhance it, but I should never dislike something that houses all of the best of God’s presence in me.

Am I “his” type? Who knows. I’ll let you know if I ever have a chance to find out. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to work on Angela from the inside out knowing that, while I’m absolutely not perfect there are parts of me which are pretty darn spectacular (to know acclaim of my own), and the other parts will either become better or just continue to be ME.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Singles, Know That You Are Enough

Life Gets Better

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It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m sure a single or two is thinking…”Darn it…another year with the same last name, or no one sporting my name!” I feel ya!

One of the biggest lies the single life tries to sell so many is that we are incomplete alone. Through Christ Jesus we are all whole, whether single, divorce, widowed, just dating, courting or otherwise. The ability to know that we are enough in whatever stage of singlehood we may find ourselves is truly a blessing if we allow it.
Have you ever thought about what it must be like to be single and full of all the joy life intends you to have? Have you ever thought about how good it would feel to still have aspirations for life to transform, if marriage is your heart’s desire, but be absolutely focused on and content with where God has you right now?

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If we don’t know that we…

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Who Do You Love?

Ladies,

Nearly 45 years on this earth, with more than 30 years of it devoted to loving men, and mostly the wrong ones, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that looks are great, but they can fade. Money is important, but not of most importance. Swag, sex and smooth words are wonderful, but can wane in one moment. Clothes, cars, and popularity are popular, but can change like the seasons. It’s all about who you love.

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Love a man who loves and likes you, and a man who you like and love. Love a man who you still love even when you don’t like his actions. Give your heart to the one that will help you as you help him. Delight in the man who is not perfect, but is perfect for you. Choose the man who consistently works on his weaknesses, helps you with yours and celebrates your strengths while sharing his at the same time. Love the man who is open to learn and able to teach. Be with the one whose spiritual fortitude shines even if the physical or financial waiver. Love the man not afraid to work and make things work for the sake of his family. Trust your heart to the one whose history propels your destiny. Choose the one who prays for, and has LOTS OF patience with you. Love a man who’s shown he can come back from personal setbacks and not step back from personal responsibilitie­s. Be with the one who makes you smile, makes you feel special, makes you feel safe, makes you crack up with laughter from things only the two of you can appreciate. Love the man who steps up to change tires, diapers, atmospheres and generations (for the better). Love the man who isn’t afraid of saying “sorry”. Love a man who ushers in forgiveness even when you don’t want to. Love the man who knows the worst about you and still sees and calls forth the best (even in times when you can’t do it for yourself.) Love the man who is willing to cook or dance in the kitchen or paint your toenails or oil your scalp (even the part hiding under the weave.) Mostly, and more importantly, love the man who, through his faults, flaws and all sincerely seeks to please God through his love for you.

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@AngelaMichele316