The Gifts of 50

On March 16, 2022, I’m officially in the Fab50 Club. I’d always wondered what I would be like at 50 and dreaded the thought for years until I had an epiphany around age 40. I was thinking of things I’ve learned along the way at different stages in life and lessons I can hear the little girl, young lady and semi-grown woman speaking back to me. While most of these memories didn’t feel like it at the time, I consider them gifts.

I’m grateful for the gifts of invaluable lessons 50 has sprinkled through my life.

Age 5+ Naptime is a privilege. It’s truly the snooze you can use!

Age 10+ Thank God for the biggest conflicts in your life being who would hold the “Double Dutch” rope and which “Candy Lady” had the best bee-bops. They call you skinny now, but it won’t be that way always. Relish in it, girl. Relish.

Age 15+ You are not grown enough for love. This is especially true since you had to drag a 50-feet phone cord to sneak and talk past 10pm and most of your “romantic” memories involve getting a high school “Candy Gram”, trips to Checkers and Quincy’s, hanging at George Ward, Eastlake and Bessie Estell Park, and lots and lots of tears. Devasting heartache is on the way. But hearts heal. Yours will eventually too. So know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 20+ You should have been studying more. The Citizen Club (your club of choice) is gone and so are your chances at a high GPA. You should have been diving into those books a bit more than scrubbing the ground and oogling over boys in crimson and white.  It’s all good though. God had plans and people in place to get you to where He meant you to be all along. (On another note, GIRL, the ones you didn’t want were the ones you needed. And it’s okay to put on a few more clothes…ijs!) And know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 25+ Make the most out of connections. God granted you wonderful opportunities to meet amazing people from all walks of life. At this age, you’d interviewed stars, worked for an up-and-coming star and rubbed elbows with influential people from all around the country. Never pull the plug on people meant to be prominent in your life. You made some dumb mistakes. No sweat. You’ll use them to your advantage soon. On another note, crying won’t make the wrong ones come back, but it will make you have bags under your eyes, and by the time they try to come back (and they will) it won’t matter. Dry up those tears girl! Know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 30+ Always be on guard and ready to defend your destiny. Whether it’s your health, finances, personal life, or calling, stay ready to (spiritually) rumble and look remarkable while doing it then teach other women how to do the same. Stick to God like Elmer’s glue! Cherish friends and look for the angels on earth each chance you get. You’re gonna need them sooner than you think. Just know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 35+ Change is good, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Look for God in everything, even if it doesn’t make sense. Put your pain to work. It cost you enough, you might as well make it pay restitution. Share what you know. Learn to laugh again. Open your mouth and speak.  Stay positive. Put God and family first. Be grateful. Just know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 40+ Starting over stinks but you’ll come out smelling like the Botanical Gardens. Unexpected blows will be thrown to knock you off your feet, but you are a certified winner. God has stacked your deck with some heavy-hitters in the field of family and friends. Let them love you and help you. The sun is getting ready to shine again. Don’t run from it afraid it will burn you. Instead bask in it and soak it all in. And learn to relax and not take things or yourself so seriously. And know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 45+ Get off the bench and be who you were created to be. Just because you’re scared doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck. You thought God had forgotten about you. Nah. Impossible. You thought it was too late for you. Nope. Not so. Everything isn’t perfect. In fact, nothing is. Many hurdles you’d already jumped will challenge you to a rematch. But just like all the times before over the course of your life, you’re already victorious. It’s just up to you to stay in the game and practice your victory dance. (Which, by the way, you can’t dance anymore. I guess the Lord knew you might use it for evil and not goo…LOL. Bless your two-stepping heart.) And know that EVERYTHING, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING will be alright.

Angela Abdur-Rasheed

PS…Age 50+ Come on in here and behave. Act like we’re best friends and be extra, extra good to me.

Marriage Takes More Than a Ring and a Prayer (Remix)

Marriage (2)

Marriage is one of those amazing things ordained by God, but often messed up by His children. I remember vividly preparing for my first wedding more than a decade ago.

After a less than ideal proposal and courtship, I recall eagerly meeting with florists, vendors, caterers, bridesmaids and the likes. I remember the excitement about the wedding, and not much excitement or focus on the marriage as my busy groom-to-be was foreshadowing his continual busyness, and I was entranced tending to “girl stuff” with our mothers.  I remember a trusted girlfriend asking if I was “sure” this was what I wanted to do. I remember thinking, “things will get better”. I even remember the jilted ex (he wasn’t really jilted, I just like that word), declaring his last-ditch-effort love the day before my nuptials. I’ll admit now that I didn’t know if I was sure. I didn’t know if things would get better, and I could have virtually smacked that ex for pulling a Dewayne Wayne (Google it) so late in the game.

Anywho, my first wedding was one I’ll never forget. News of its approach was broadcast on local radio. More than a thousand squeezed in the sanctuary for a seat decked in lilac and silver. I remember sashaying down the aisle smiling as my recorded voice filled the walls with poetic declarations. I recall stirring songs “tearing down the house”. I remember the ministers praying and declaring blessings. I remember the rings and I remember the doves released to the air in a beautiful swirl of white wings flapping. I remember all of that, but still feeling “some kind of way” as the modern day youth say.

I’ve learned in retrospect that by design, marriages are key targets for the enemy to fire his best shot. Afterall, he’s jealous, and can never have what’s been promised to man! That makes it crucial for couples to be centered in Christ, committed to one another, and sure they’re down for the cause, especially when inconvenient. I’ve also come to know that there are subtle caution signs and blaring warning signs prior to the I Do, which can be used to help if heeded to, or can lead to the total opposite if ignored.

Marriage is a beautiful thing. However, it takes more than a ring and a prayer. It takes work from the beginning, in the middle and until the end, regardless of the outcome.

Conceptional chalk drawing - Help needed

Aside from the spiritual mandates, physical connection, and honoring of God’s united purpose marriage takes:

• Two people committed to God first.

• Two people devoted to each other above all else other than God.

• Two people with hopes, dreams and goals that don’t have to match, but certainly have to mesh.

• Two people who love each other even when they don’t like each other’s actions.

• Two people who respect and support each other’s specific role in the marriage. It must be mutual.

 • Two people who respect and support each other’s specific role in life.

• Two people willing to submit to growth and change for the greater good of the union.

• Two people who are aware of, and accept that marriage is really not about the wedding.

• Two people who have an ear to hear and heart to receive from the other.

• Two people willing to let the other “in” even if their natural tendency is to block out and shut down.

Spiritual counseling prior to the marriage (My first husband and I didn’t have this, even though he was a pastor. I guess no one thought it was needed. Yikes!)

• Spiritual counseling and encouragement after the “honeymoon” has ended.

• Spiritual counseling throughout the marriage to prevent trials, and certainly when trouble like unexpected sickness, job woes, financial struggles, generational issues, children or the lack there of have entered the house.

• A strong network of mature, Godly supporters who are open to be totally honest with both parties, and who are not afraid to tell the truth in love for the greater good of the union. (I’m not talking about the “Girl, If I ‘was’ you I would” group, or “Man, you need to” crew, but true God-sent helpers.)

• Individual lives (friends, family, circles of influence and ministry) that support the marriage and don’t suffocate it.

• A healthy, committed way to openly communicate things that are pleasant, and not so pleasant, especially when it’s not so pleasant.

• Scheduled family prayer time.

• Scheduled time to discuss and handle family business

• Scheduled fun time.

• Spontaneous “FUN” time. (If you know what I mean.:)

untitled (2)


Be Encouraged

For the month of November I’ve embarked on a #bloglikecrazy quest with other women bloggers through See Jane Write vowing to make a blog post daily. To make my November even more intentional I mapped out my daily focus based on my two sites Angela Eats the Ham and Life Gets Better, as I tend to be willy-nilly in my thoughts and posts from time-to-time and am working more on focus.

Well, wouldn’t you know it today is supposed to be about Encouragement. This, in light of the tragedy in Paris, social unrest here in America and things in my own life which I really, really, really am ready to get right so I can graduate from this “extended education” life class I’ve been in for a while and move on to what’s next.

Anywho, I’ll just be honest and say I didn’t want to post about Encouragement. I would rather post about a Patti Labelle Pie or Roll Tide football or leggings or something much more trivial to help take my focus off of the world. But isn’t that what encouragement does? It’s sole purpose is to take our focus off of the world, and from my Christian belief, redirect said focus straight up to God. So with few words of my own to offer today I’ll drop this little nuggets off for your perusal. Be encouraged.

14fc44818c0b1faf110a598224c8d99b 53c5d1926c4292da26f8909b839097a9 203ae8580dd15e4c57375a633c899af8 1787b287149d0fd48b0a4cb9c982606e 7537d1899c8dd4e420fc1857899a5cd1 07858bd8a54ab7f099dc00e5f59efd64c1cda19631adbe4a543b685780d0badd d5d8c7cca28891e77da4bc11aeeca524 d93bea283b69301388f9df16bc688924 fc4ee3eb1ed92a0ae99fd50cc56c5402