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

 

 

Farewell, 44!

One week from today I turn the BIG 4-5. Woohoo!!!! I’m looking forward to it and all that it has in store, especially with 44 being a year to remember in every way possible.

I don’t know about you, but my idea of 45 based on 45-year-olds I saw growing up was nothing like my life now. Call me childishly misinformed, but based on some examples of the women I saw on TV like Florida from Good Times or Mable from What’s Happening, or like some I observed in different places (none of which were related to me by birth I might add) I would always think of some women 45 and older as tired all of the time, out of touch with modern times, wearing wrinkle at the ankle stockings, going to work, going to church, taking care of home and that’s all, possibly with a cigarette dangling at the end of a trembling lip because hopelessness and “this is as good as it will get” had set in. I remember seeing women with worlds which appeared to be entirely defined by their husband or lack thereof, their children, their job, or their role in the church or not so much on them as a woman.

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I know now that not all women were that way. For that, I am grateful. But I wondered, how do others see me, those younger, growing up and coming up behind me. I hope I share and they know enough about my past to see why I’m so life-set (not dead set) on enjoying my present. I hope they know that parts of my life, at least to me, have been tough as the dickens, but so am I. I hope they’ve seen a pep in my step even when my (far too many) medical issues tried to get the best of me. I hope they don’t see me as trying to dress young or not act my age, but know that I’m going to stay as fashionable and fresh as long as my body and budget allow. I hope they know I work really, really hard and take pride in caring for the ones I love, but I also purposefully plan vacations, girlfriend get-togethers, spa trips, naps, and self-centered escapes whenever possible.

When I turned 40 I felt I was grown. Turning 45 has me feeling like I’m for real, for real grown. With the approach of 45 comes an excitement and simultaneous sense of mystery regarding the future. I’m cool with that as long as I remember that I’ll always be a young as I feel, as wise as I ought to be, as strong as I need to be, as involved as I can be and as ALIVE as I should be. So farewell, 44! It’s been real, but it’s time to take life to the next level!

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@angelamichele316

We Won, Sisters

She’s been down and out, yet determined to grow up and come up.

She’s been gossiped about and still struts with a mean stride.

She’s been down to a $1 and made her family and her look like a million.

She’s been hurt and even hurt others with her hurt, but got help so she could help others.

She’s been so many versions of herself that even she had to catch her breath to embrace her true self.

She’s been in a nasty, gut-wrenching battle with rejection and disappointment and fought them off through the grace of God.

She’s let her negative mind almost get the most of her, and pulled herself up out of it into a place of perpetual peace.

She’s lived in the past far too long thinking that was as good as it gets, then decided to finally trust the future for even better.

She’s stared fear in the face and almost waved the flag of defeat, but found the strength to tell fear where to go.

She’s been lied to, lied on, and lied about, but still she chooses to love.

She’s used her mind and mouth to pick her own self apart and been put back together again by the gentle hands of her gracious God.

She’s been friended, defriended, and offended, yet still offers forgiveness and welcomes friendship freely.

She’s been so many unfair and unfortunate things she never would have imagined, yet she is still here and therefore she WON.

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She is me. She is you. We are WINNERS. We won, sisters. We WON!

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@AngelaMichele316

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

 

It’s Not Hard to Find My Heroes

A line from a Public Enemy’s Fight the Power song tiptoed through my mind while at a conference. The in-your-face and oh-so-factual line, “most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps” found its way to my head and decided to hang out for a while.

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As I mulled over that music, which temporarily took the place of all things PRINCE, I realized how absolutely true that is.

Y’all, I’m blessed. I’m blessed to know some amazing women whom I call mentors, mother, besties, sisters, mentees, colleagues and friends who are simply nothing short of amazing. This post is simply to say thank you to them for being who they are…my heroes.

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So I SHOUT OUT…

  • My role models who wake up before I do (and I wake up early) and slumber less than I do (and I love sleep) to make it happen at home, in business, in ministry and look fabulous while doing it.
  • My moms and single moms who do what they have to do to lead, guide, provide, expose, pray, educate, cheer, chauffer, support and sprinkle a little fun in the lives of their family all day, every day.
  • My singles who have decided once and for all that life alone is better than life with someone who needs to be left the heck alone.
  • My sisters who have sealed the deal and officially changed their names to Doctor despite rearing families, dealing with loss of loved ones and overcoming personal tragedy and disappointment.
  • My examples who have taken the body they were given and literally worked their butts off to have the body inside and out they deserved.
  • My grown women at the helm of uninvited or unexpected recreation who buckled on their seat belts, prayed through the court appearances, assured the children, reworked the finances, held their tongues, offered grace and forgiveness, wiped their own tears, accepted their new (which used to be old) last name and lot in life and believed God for His absolute best for their children and them.
  • My sheroes who rose out of gut-wrenching pain and loss so stifling to live to see another day and another and another and another, believing with each day that the next would be better.
  • My seasoned ladies who stop the world to take care of their men, nursing them back to health or take up for their children praying them back to where they need to be…and sometimes doing it at the same time.
  • My loved ones who have lost mothers or mother figures, but have not once ceased to be amazing mothers, mother figures, friends and healing partners for those depending on them while they greatly depend on God.
  • My trailblazers who aren’t afraid to speak up on the job, ask for what they deserve or support those who are mistreated/misunderstood and do it with a professional smile and “handle my business” attitude all the while.
  • My bold beauties who dare to stand on the side of right when it’s not comfortable, when it causes confusion within their social, spiritual or professional circle and when they don’t want to, but know they have to.
  • My determined girls who don’t take no for an answer…whether it be in their families or desire to grow their family, on their jobs, with their health and everything in between.
  • My smart chicas who decide to take a break, get away, shut down, or selah for self.
  • My pom-pom squad who are not afraid to sincerely see another sister shine and flash their own light in that sister’s direction to make sure she shines even brighter.

 

So, while most of my hereos don’t appear on no stamp, I’m glad they’ve decided to stick with me, because I’m shole (as in surely) determined to stick with them. We’re all going somewhere and need each other to get there.

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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