I Don’t Want to Pray for Him

“Nawwwww, girl. I don’t want to pray for him.” Those were the honest and eye-opening words a woman recently uttered concerning her ex-husband. A previously pleasant and light conversation with friends quickly shifted to talk about praying for an ex-spouse and the benefits, not just for the ex, but for the child involved, the person on the praying end of the prayer, the financial obligations remaining and the prayed for person’s overall peace of mind and well-being as a human being.


The back and forward banter, mixed with some hilarious one liners and some purposeful testimonies, continued  as we recalled our own experiences with divorce and ultimately getting to the point of sincere and sometimes selfless prayer, which, was NOT/is NOT always an easy journey, at least for me. She explained her pain. We listened then explained God’s plans. She shared her very valid frustrations, mostly financial and time related as it relates to his time with his child. We listened, shared our own frustrations, which can continue years after the ink has dried, and still explained why prayer was the missing link in fixing what our mouths, our anger, our lawyers, and our own devised plots of “get back at ya” can’t do.


Prayer, as simple as it might sound, really does work. What I know is that a working prayer doesn’t always change the situation or the other person. Often it can, but I’d be lying if I said prayer for your ex-spouse will instantly make all things right in your world. What prayer can do is change our perspective, our focus, and our expectations of our ex, and it can up our expectations of God to do what He’s always done, and that’s FAR EXCEED what we think, know or desire any man or woman to do. Prayer will have us looking at and loving our former spouse like a brother or sister in Christ rather than someone who hurt, betrayed or disappointed us. Prayer will shut our mouths and stop our fingers when we want to go off via the world wide web. Prayer will give us peace (and provision) when daycare fees are overdue and we see our ex flossin’ on Facebook in Gucci and Ray Bans. Prayer will allow us to say “pray for your ex, girl” when we know those words would have never, and I mean never, come out of our mouths before. Prayer is our own personal ticket to peace regardless of the actions of others. It gets God’s attention to know that we know who’s really the Man, regardless of the actions of man. Ya dig?



Don’t Mess With My Friends

Dear Meanies/Misguided/Mistakenly Wrongs of the World,

Don’t mess with my friends. There, I said it. From time-to-time I sense when things aren’t right with those I love. From time-to-time, those I love actually just come out and say what’s wrong. As faith-filled as I’d like to think I am, it hurts to hear that those I love hurt. I don’t take it personally, but I do take it to heart. I’m by no means a fighter or anything near it. I wouldn’t retaliate physically, or even verbally no matter how sometimes I wish I could, or how ABSOLUTELY funny the following photo is… (Take a gander…giggle.)


I digress. I’m back…


So, while that “2.5 seconds” quote does not at all apply to me, I will say this, when my loved ones hurt I feel it and I don’t like it. But my fight back is prayer. Listen, Linda or Larry. The worst (or best) thing that can happen to you is for someone to pray for you in the midst of whatever was done or is being done to the one you have hurt whether intentionally or not. Be warned, hurtful people. Prayer works. Talking to you won’t always solve it. Talking about you won’t change it. Acting out, shutting down, turning up or flipping out won’t fix it. But be warned hurters of the world, prayer will put you in a “make your enemies your footstool” position and you’ll find yourself in a place of propping people up who you’d just tried to tear down and you’ll be none the wiser. I’m telling you. You’ll be nice and can’t explain it. You’ll start being a used a resource and can’t understand it. You’ll be proactive, advanced and above-and-beyond in the very areas you were once just the opposite. You will be totally disarmed of the ability to be anything but a blessing, and you may even become healed yourself of whatever hurt caused you to hurt AND nice along the way. Trust me. Prayer works. So just know. I’m praying for you, boo.

So, to my friends who are hurting. Hold your heads up, hunnis. I’ve got you covered. To the people who have hurt them I’m praying for you. To any ones who’ve ever hurt me do know the prayer covering is mutual and there are people sincerely praying for you too. Yep. So think it not strange when things get better and even your own transformed actions seem a bit unbelievable. That’s just the power of some people wise enough to pray.



Praying Simple Prayers

My church, Church of the Highlands, observes 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer starting the first Sunday of each January. This time of the year, and when we do it in August are always a tremendous blessing for me. It’s also a challenge too. I’ll be the first to admit that when taking spiritual gifts assessments, the gift of intercession (prayer) isn’t on the top of my list. I don’t know if it’s on my list at all, as other gifts are what I’ve been given. I’m so okay with that, because I know I know how to talk to my Daddy (God) in my own special way, and I know I know some people who REALLY know how to go the distance for themselves and others like me because intercession is their undeniable, number one gift. What a blessing!

With that said, I’m a simple prayer girl. I try to talk to God throughout the day, much like I would talk to a friend. Often it’s sporadically (with the exception of our “Good morning. Thank You, Jesus” chit chat early each day), and often it’s as things happen, right off the cuff whether in the car, at work, or in the shower, and it’s mumbled from my mouth or urgently delivered straight-forward to Him like He’s right there with me (and He is), as situations are unfolding. I cover the biggies in life regarding my loved ones and me and want to become even more disciplined and strategic about that, but I also want to be even more intentional about coming to Him regarding things perceived to be not so big of a deal. God cares about us, which means He cares about it all, big or small. No thing is too simple to pray about and believe God’s best concerning.

Have you ever thought about praying for the following for yourself (or others)?

  • Rejuvenating sleep and set aside time of rest regularly
  • A trusted, committed (inexpensive) babysitter
  • A drama-free day
  • A supportive team player in the greatest area of need
  • An extra measure of peace
  • An opportunity to ride on the passenger side not always having to drive
  • Needed items on BOGO (buy one, get one) at Publix
  • Meaningful talk time with spouse and/or children in the car or at home
  • Things to work or last longer than they’re expected to (think cars, washing machines, air conditioners, hair styles and the like)
  • An unavoidable opportunity to finally say “I’m sorry” or say “I accept your apology”
  • Peace, support and effectiveness for your supervisor
  • Regular opportunities to exercise with no exceptions or excuses
  • A chance to meet a need or surprise someone with something special
  • An easy, breezy bedtime routine with children or babies
  • Quick, easy, delicious, affordable meals for your family each night
  • A friend (as in God sends one)
  • Waking before the alarm sounds
  • Family dinners at the table sans the technology
  • More energy
  • Favor with things you need (or even things you want)
  • Enough time and the wisdom to use it to balance what’s on your plate
  • An automatic smile on your face as your natural response to life




You COLD Busted!

One of my favorite songs from the 80’s was Oran Juice Jones’, “The Rain”. In that melodic tale of love gone astray he belted out an often falsetto-esq tune about catching his unfaithful lover “walking in the rain”. With an infectious beat and a hypnotic hook, as if the song couldn’t get any better, mid-way through it goes into an all-out hip-hop inspired bridge (as in take me to the bridge), with my favorite line being “Now close yo mouth cause you cold busted”. When I tell you the middle school me loved that part! I loved that part, and suppose as indicated by the fact that I’m incorporating it into a blog post today, at 43-year-old the same must be true.


So what does Mr. Juice Jones have to do with my life? Glad you ask. I’m headed in a different direction with this one so hold on tight.

Yesterday, after leaving work and before going back to work I decided to ride by a place representing something for which I was believing God. I’d only seen it online and wanted an up-close, “I have to see it for myself” view just to, well, see it for myself. After surveying what needed to be surveyed I began to head back to my destination of home before returning to work. I was focused on studying the environment I was in, when out of my peripheral view I noticed a car that looked like one of which I was very familiar. I reduced my speed to examine the cautiously moving black Mercedes with tinted windows. I slowed to an almost turtle’s pace. The driver of the other vehicle didn’t see me as they too tended to surveying what needed to be surveyed. And boy, there was some surveying going on. I used power from my right “lymphadema” wrist I didn’t know I had and laid on the horn, probably startling the driver as I now recall. Like a scene from a gansta-style, B-movie, we met window to window, pressed our buttons to roll down those said windows, stared and glared in disbelief then both broke out into a laugh that lasted so long I can’t recall when it actually stopped. And as if it were made just for me, the words from Mr. Juice Jones came to mind and out of my mouth as I said to the driver, “You cold busted!”

Who was this mysterious person? Glad you asked. It was my Mama, doing what caring, loving, supportive humans do. In the middle of the day with dilated eyes and glasses that would have made Ray Charles look even more fly, she was coming by to “see it for herself”, and pray (even though she didn’t tell me that’s what she was doing). I shared this funny story with my sister who quickly informed me that she had already been by the day before. Wow! Now that’s what I call love, and faith. My Pastor Chris Hodges preached a message on this past Sunday from Church of the Highlands called Better Together. He talked of the importance of not doing life alone and having others in your corner in times of good and bad. That’s what that 2pm Pelham, Alabama exchange with my mother was for me. She didn’t have to be there, and I wouldn’t have known that she was there joining me in this prayer had I not been there to see it for myself. She could have been home, shopping, napping, running errands or doing any other thing a 68-year-old retiree does, but instead she was exercising her faith and joining her daughter in that same exercise to see what God has in store.

(So, I snapped a picture of her near the “Scene of the Faith”. She begged me not to tell anybody I saw here there. Of course I said I would, hence this blog post. I hope today is one of those days she’s not reading by post.)


And that, my friends, is what life is about. We all need and deserve people who are there for us whether we know it or not. I pray that everyone has those kinds of angels on earth whose faith, love, sacrifice, example, encouragement, support, prayers and kind actions toward us continually remind us of the amazingly beautiful and awesomely wonderful promises from God which are sure to come to pass…one way or another. 

May your days be filled with the best possible reasons to say #YouColdBusted


Pray for Yourself, Boo


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.)


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.


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.”



It Will Be Alright

I’m 6:22am in the morning, on a rainy November Sunday as I try my best to stay focused on this blog post to make sure I make it to Church of the Highlands by 8am. The semi-perfectionist part of me says to wait until later to write. The not-always-as-obedient to the voice of the Lord as I ought to be, but want to be as much as possible part of me says write right now. So I am. I’m writing this blog post, hopefully in less than 15 minutes to remind some and inform others that “it will be alright”.

So many I know, this writer included, are going through challenging things. I’m fully aware that “things” are a part of life. I watched them from a child’s-eye view in the lives of others growing up, and honestly, had no idea of the true the struggle and strength of those before me. It wasn’t until I became like those before me and surrounded myself with some dynamic men and women that I recognized the purpose of the struggle and the power of the strength of those I know and hold dear. To them all (this writer included) I say, “it will be alright”.

I have nearly a handful of close, qualified, educated, dedicated and faithful friends who at this present juncture in life are without a job. That’s got to be tough, yet they still smile, serve and sow. I have others who are facing financial battles, which, would appear to have been plucked out of a really bad Lifetime movie. That’s got to be tough, yet they still believe God will provide. Still some, are desperately seeking favored answers to prayers about their marriage, their children, housing circumstances, starting over and care of ailing loved ones. That’s got to be tough, yet they still hold fast to what the Lord says is theirs for the asking. And even others who are fighting for their lives literally, in more ways than one. That, has to be the toughest, and still, they choose to wake up each day with the intent of prayers being answered.


As I type the final words to this post and look forward at the clock on my Charter digital box, which reads 6:47, all I have to say is “it will be alright”. It has to be. God is not going to let His best work go to waste. Some of what we’re enduring now is in line with those of Biblical proportion. Operating in the same faith they had then brings about the same results now. I don’t know how things will work out for better. I don’t know when things will change. I don’t know why things happen. I don’t care who is to blame. All I know, and I know it without a shadow of a doubt, is that “it will be alright” because God says so. And God saying so makes it certain, regardless of ANY situation. Just watch and see.

God's timing



Sure, We Can Hang All Day. But Can You Pray?

The Lord is allowing me to go through a test, one in which I thought I was over and done with, once and for all. Surprise! I’m not! I believe I did pass the initial test the first time I took it, but I believe now I am approaching my graduate level finals. For me, it would have been nice to realize that I was still being schooled on this lesson and being prepped for another degree, so to speak, but I missed that memo. Lol! It appears I’ve been in class all along with a bit more to learn and show on this particular subject. Anywho, I’m being tested and there’s nothing I can do about it but trust the instructions of the Teacher, study the Book, utilize my study group support, pass with flying colors, throw my tassel in the air and break out in a mean cabbage patch dance when I am done. 

With that said, after the weight of my impending exam began pressing down a bit harder recently I did what I normally do. I prayed. I pulled Scripture out of my arsenal. I’m fasting. I recalled past testimonies in this area from loved ones and me. I purposely fix my mind and mouth on pleasant things as not to get distracted, and so on and so on. I also consulted some friends, even on social media) sharing my concerns and my need for prayer without having to share my exact need. Wouldn’t you know it. I’ve been flooded with “gotcha chicks”, “praying” and “we’re in it to win it”. I’ve received funny jokes, powerful songs, right on time scriptures, amazing prophesies, early morning text messages, offers to help, Facebook reminders of what God can do, and the likes.


Now, while my situation hasn’t yet changed my attitude and spirit surely have. That’s the beauty of, and purpose for true friendship. Sure, we can hang all day. But can you pray? I have been blessed with a multitude of great people with whom I am able to laugh, break bread, enjoy events and activities or simply interact with at any given time, but at the heart of each of them is something equally as spiritual as it is social. We can talk about make up, food, spa packages, vacation trips, how cute we look, our relationship matters, Alabama football, our favorite 80’s boy bands, politics, religion or reality tv, but it’s the fact that if I ask any of them to lift me in prayer, need known or not, they are able and willing with enough bold (crazy) faith behind it to believe, and they know they can ask the same of me. None of them are in a position right now to change my position, but they can pray. No one has asked “what’s going on or going wrong”, but they have prayed. No one has encouraged the 35211 (Google it) to come out, but they have prayed. No one has said it’s impossible, but they have prayed.

 help from friends

In the midst of my need for a Bible-sized miracle I have to take account of and say thank you for the powerfully simple persons who pray. For that and for them, I am beyond, beyond grateful. As I seek prayer, I pray that we all have people who can pray with and for us and that we are mindful to do the same.



I Won’t Complain

There’s a popular gospel song of old by Rev. Paul Jones called “I Won’t Complain”.

Take a listen…


Growing up I loved the song, and thought that the concept of not complaining was cool, but impossible. If I didn’t like something I complained. If I didn’t like someone or something someone did I complained. If I didn’t like what was prepared for me for dinner from my parent’s hard earned money, I complained (under my breath, not audibly though, because Daddy and Mama didn’t raise “no fool”).

Well, here we are today and I’m pleased to say that I don’t complain nearly as much as I used to. Trials and tribulations have taught me to keep my mouth closed of complaints and be grateful. Still, I have little spurts of complaining that I want to break up with now. So, during my Church of the Highlands annual 21 days of prayer and fasting this month I decided to give up colas and complaining. 

I guess the nature of a sacrifice is that it’s sacrificial. It costs something. With that said, and since deciding to give up sodas I’ve seen more Coke Zero this week than I’ve seen all summer. I even attended a potluck lunch and one of the cool, refreshing beverages being offered was “red” Kool-aid (which I love) spiked with Sprite (which I also love).

And then wouldn’t you know it. This season of life has been dishing me some obstacles with which to deal. I’m okay with that, as I’ve been in what seems like an ongoing relationship with testimony building tests for more than a decade. However, I, at least was able to voice my “concerns” (code word for refined complaints) about what was going on whether to someone who would listen, or simply to myself. But until August 23, and hopefully much, much longer than that I can’t because I won’t complain.


The caution in avoiding complaints has caused me to really evaluate what comes to my mind and out of my mouth. It’s been warm in Birmingham, Alabama this week. Two days in a row when I’ve gotten in my car the temperature read higher than 98. Rather than complaining about how hot it was I had to think strategically about focusing more on the fact that I have a car with air which cools really quickly and even whisper a prayer for those who don’t or work outside like landscapers. Rather than complain about the long trek in to work I chose to look at it as an opportunity to hear my Donnie McClurkin CD for a bit longer. When washing my hair the other day rather than complain about the greys that keep popping up I thought to view it as a fine time to choose a spicy new color to debut once I finally reveal my own tresses to the masses again. Rather than complain about finances or not having all I want I excitedly sent a text message to a friend to let her know that one of our restaurants Jake’s has coupons in the mail and I have two sets.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a habitual whiner, and I really try to see the good in all things. Don’t get me wrong either in thinking that being that ways is easy or comes naturally. It doesn’t come easily or naturally. Fasting from complaining when I know it’s one of those little things that hangs on in what would appear to be a harmless way is why I’ve chosen to fast from it. My prayer is that hopefully the view of gratitude becomes my main focus regardless of what’s going on, whether good, bad or too much to tell. Rev. Paul Jones said it best for me:

I’ve had some good days
I’ve had some hills to climb
I’ve had some weary days
And some sleepless nights
But when I look around
And I think things over
All of my good days
Out-weigh my bad days
I won’t complain