I’m Back

March 3, 2011

It has been a long time since my last post to this blog. Believe me when I say Life has been happening! I have celebrated the birth of my fifth child Zoe whose name means “Life from God” and have mourned the losses of my sistah friends marriages. I have experienced the fear and the uknown of my baby being born prematurely and rejoiced in the security of knowing that God will never leave me or forsake me. I have struggled internally with the regret and remorse of one who fears they will never recover from past mistakes. I have rested in the hope that God who has begun a good work in me is faithful to complete it. I have been pressed down by the cruelty of family and have been reborn by the grace of God. I have been dissapointed by broken promises in my marriage and encouraged by our willingness to forgive each other and our tenacious refusal to let go of our union. I have swallowed pride and humbled myself and acted as a servant to promote anothers vision. I have demanded my rights and fretted over perceived wrongs. I have watched a daughter still very much my baby make decisions that thrust her into adulthood and simmered in anger and frustration when my advice to her fell on ears that were not listening. I have admired my daughters commitment to that which she believes in and her ability to give pure sacrificial love. I have worried about my childrens seeming lack of spirituality and marvelled at the great love they shower on me. I have cried, prayed, laughed, shouted, whispered, hoped, loved, lost, found and refused to give up and I am back!

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“HE”

December 1, 2009

He was the perfect man, cultured and an artist in his own right.  Fiercely proud of his african ancestry and loyal to maintaining knowledge of the ancestors.  He quoted Langston and Zora like scripture and made music from is heart manifest in the ears of thousands.  He travelled in circles I only heard or read about and visited countries I’d only seen in pictures.  He became a legend in my mind…..but He never let me love him.

He was an honorable son who sat vigil by the side of his dying mother , a son who held his father in high regard and sacrificed to ensure quality of life as the aging man lived on without his wife.  He was the brother of a difficult sister who may have resented his “shine” but he loved her anyway and would risk his gifted hands….hands that made his living to perform a mechanical task she had no man of her own to do……but He never let me love him….

He was the father of children who did not yet recognize the deep love and commitment he poured out on their altar of indifference month after month….year after year…the father who refused to let go or forget that his blood pumped through their veins and their birth certificates held his name…..so he wrote a child support check he could not afford every month and he drove hundred of miles to witness the milestones of their lives and he endured the humiliation of hearing them call another man daddy……but….He never let me love him.

We spent hours talking and looking into the others heart.  He once told me that talking to me was like his soul was eatin ice cream….He was like peanut butter to my jelly…I called him “Mokosi” which means King.  He confided that if he were a King I would be his Chief Advisor………I realized that he did not say Queen…..so I moved on and Loved another because he “Crowned” me.

I promised that I would write about a “Good Man” in installments so here is where I’ll begin..last Installment I shared how many times women sabotage our chances at love because we are looking at only outer qualities and we miss the inner qualities such as kindness….devotion….openness…..well another way we sabotage our chances at love is we accept the role of Comforter, Advisor, Encourager, etc……without being crowned as his Queen.  We stay in situations with men who are unavailable to us….sometimes they are unavailable because they are too emotionally damaged from previous life experiences, sometimes they are unavailable because of the season of their life they are in…ie focused on career accomplishments, focused on adventure and excitement….or maybe they are unavailable because they are immature and have not yet realized that women and children are to be the receivers of their protection and provision and they are still child like in their desire to be a taker only and not a giver…..perhaps they are unavailable because they have a drug and alcohol problem or uncontrolled anger and rage issues….or maybe they simply don’t have you in mind for that role of Queen in their life.  Whatever the reason for his being unavailable to you, it is up to you to believe your eyes and not just your ears….It is up to you to honor your own opinion and estimation of the condition of the relationship….if it is hurting somethingg is wrong….Pain is a powerful agent of  warning and even change. Pain tells us that somethin is wrong, Pain tells us something is out of balance and Pain tells us that attention and care of ourselves is needed.  Without pain a situation can silently kill you…so wether you are a woman or a man if you are experiencing pain because the object of your desire is unavailable to you you have to ask yourself not just is this a “good man” or a “good woman” is this woman or man “good” for me.    Now if you are married and your spouse is unavailable to you I believe there is a process of prayer and working that must be attempted to remedy the situation…never easy to endure but seeking to please God requires we put sincere effort into our marriage…..but to those who are unmarried yet subjecting yourself to heaps of rejection you get to decide when you have had enough and what you really want Read Proverbs 21 and focus on verse 15 …..more to come on the subject of a “Good Man”

Loving you like a mamma,

Angela


A Good Man

November 22, 2009

I recently came across a very sincere post from a young man that gave me pause for thought.  I actually posted it again here for as many ladies as possible to read….I’ll let you read it and then I’ve got lots to say….

Nice Phat Kid

We have all heard the saying nice guys finish last. Well were does the
nice phat kid finish? That has been the story of my life. I’ve always been a
big kid, some would even say phat. ( I spell it that way because I’m still
in denial about my weight) At the same time I have always been real
athletic, have you ever been to the park and saw that phat athletic kid on
the basketball courts, well my friends that is me. Being the nice phat kid is
very annoying and depressing at times. Back in high school I had about 6
crushes. It was more like puppy love. So I began to be friends with these
girls and time after time I got the false sense that these girls liked me in the boyfriend kind of way, so like any other man I attempted to take the relationship to next step. To my surprise each time I was hit with the your like my brother line, or my all time favorited your like a big teddy bear.Girls dont want Teddy bears they want the Bad Boy. Mean while my boys were straight assholes to girls and yet they pulled mad girls. As a teenage boy that shit is frustrating, you want a girlfriend you know, you want girls to like you and in my case it just wasn’t happening, why because I was nice and phat.

It wasn’t until recently that I felt comfortable with myself. Growing up I always
 wanted to be the little dude. Even in sports I have always favored with
the short quick guys instead of the guys who are built like me. In
basketball I thought I was a point guard, in football I thought I was a
Wide Receiver. I have always been the big “Nigga” when me and boys go out,
with being that big “Nigga” that meant I was the one who would go to club and not
get any females, or even get a dance, seeing this happen to me time after
time has left me lacking a little on the confidence side. It’s tough when you see your friends get all the girls. It”s  even tougher when you”re  the only one not in a relationship you start to feel like your just ugly and that stings, it actually hurts the heart. You begin to forget the qualities that make you who you are. For a period of time I forgot about my smile(its a great smile by the way). I forgot my sense of humor, I forgot my swag, I lost what made me “Boogs”. All because of what alot of women call attractive or fine. Well you know what I’m not trying to make alot of women think I’m fine, my goal is to make that one Woman think I’m fine. When that day comes that I meet that Woman, she will get everything That this Big Nigga Boogs has to offer.

There are times when I wish I could be that skinny asshole who gets all the Girls but thats just not me, I was raised in an all woman household. So I know the right way to treat a woman, so that’s why I’m nice to women and don’t disrespect them, I guess that makes me a nice guy, In America its taboo to be phat or overweight so with that being said we all know that attractive women are not going to be fucking with phat boys it just not heard of very often. Its not that i have trouble with women it that the type of women that i am attracted too are not trying to fuck with me. I tried to be an asshole and be a jack ass to women but it not me, it not who my mom raised me to be. Being the phat nice kid is who I am and I wouldn’t change it for anybody, my time is coming. Just remember PHAT BOY IS SUPER COOL.  

 I purposely did not edit the curse words or anything that this young man said, because I think it truly shows the hurt and frustration that he is feeling….So often as a woman I am mindful of other womens feelings, but I think sometimes I forget that men have feelings too…..they can be really good at hiding them and even don a fake bravado or the guise of a “jackass” but they are not immune to rejection and heartache.  I think we have created a culture of extreme narcissim where people are constanly valued and devalued for genetic qualities as well as financial accomplishments.  I can remember being that girl in the club, that was so insecure about what her friends might think that I turned down less handsome guys who sincerely offered the fun of a dance.  Time after time I fell in love with the “bad boy” the “ladies man” “the playa” and looked over the friend who listened to my sob stories and brought me soup when I had the flu….or the nice geeky guy who visited me in the hospital when I had my appendectomy…he did n’t care that I did not look fly in my hospital gown, he cared that I was going to be okay.  You see it wasn’t enough that they guy liked me…he had to be fine enough to make my girls envy me…and have enough money to make my family proud of me and……hard enough to make other men intimidated..Now mind you I never verbalized these requirements I don’t even think I was concious of them for many years…but after several failed relationships and over years of raising children alone  I met a man who was not  handsome enough to make my girls envy, he did not have enough money to make my family proud and in this society’s eyes his value is suspect…..  You see I went over the list I had of what I wanted in a man and I realized that in the end I want someone who loves me enough to bring me soup, listen to my sob stories and who will sit with me when I am in the hospital……and I am fighting daily to not let the media, the family or even my own thoughts make me  forget  what I  truly  value and desire in a man….the best gifts don’t always come in the prettiest package…. this is a topic I will be sharing more about so stay in touch.


“You Still Don’t Have a Man”

November 8, 2009

It was a sunny day and a gentle breeze was blowing.  My friend Val and I were riding to the store talking and laughing, catching up on one another’s latest news.  I was enjoying the afternoon, having made a conscious decision to relax and rejuvenate.  Val suggested we go to the store to get ingredients for her world famous brownie and cookie recipe(I can’t tell you what they are called or anything about them because she might have to kill me..lol) anyway trust me when I say we were about to splurge.  Our light banter continued as I followed Val down the well stocked shelves of her neighborhood market, suddenly from the corner of my eye I caught sight of the cutest baby girl I had seen in a long time.  I turned in the baby’s direction feeling strangely drawn closer to her.  There was something vaguely familiar about her heart shaped face and big brown eyes.  “Val look at that precious baby!” I cooed at her as we moved closer to her basket.  I had become aware that the child bore a striking resemblance to the youngest of my three children.  As we approached the shopping cart that held the adorable little girl I noticed the woman leaning over the frozen goods freezer her hand firmly grasping the side of the cart.  As the woman straightened and turned to speak to the child I suddenly lost the use of my lips as I froze with the shock of recognition.  It was unequivocably, yes definitely the woman married to my ex-husband.  Val says it was only a few seconds …to me ..it seemed an eon before I regained my composure and with a smile on my face greeted her.  I graciously introduced his wife and his child to my friend and we moved forward purposefully in pursuit of our craved for items.  The checkout line moved slowly and the waiting gave me plenty of  opportunity  to replay the scenes of his infidelity; the phone calls and hangups I received on our home phone, the mornings he came home late from his graveyard shift, his move into her home shortly after he left ours…the memories were all there and they were wrapped in a layer of anger and bitterness as if to make sure the memories would always remain fresh and intact.   My thoughts were interrupted by the need to pay attention as we made our way back to the car and as we finally pulled out of the lot all the emotions I had been controlling gushed out.  “Val, I feel like such a loser,  she must laugh at me and pity me, she probably thinks poor Angela, still don’t have a man”  Val looked at me, eyes wide with surprise and with her usual candor and forthright attitude said “What are you talking about?”  ” I thought you exhibited a lot of grace and class!”  “Great” I retorted with tears streaming down my face “at least I have class but I still don’t have my man” …Today as I drove down the freeway stereo blasting one of my favorite artists I was suddenly touched by a divine moment of clarity.  The artist was singing a dramatic romantic ballad written to her husband about his encouraging love.  I was listening to those words truly enjoying and basking in the light of the love she professed for her mate.  She proclaimed he loved her from her head to her toes..”You go sistah!” I shouted “Amen brotha, love that woman!” I exclaimed.  Surprised at my unbridled joy and celebration of a love that was not mine, I began to search my mind for those packages that had been so tightly sealed for years.  Ah! indeed those memories were still there but somehow something had broken through the wrappings of anger and bitterness and had seeped all over the contents of those boxes..yes there it was ….forgiveness……and love.  How did that happen I mused.  It had been 2 yrs since that day in the grocery store and I still did not have a serious relationship, but what I did have was the ability to give and receive love and a belief that maybe someday……..It has been 8 yrs since I originally wrote these words and I have been allowing God to do the continuous work in my heart that only he can. He does not remove the memories but he definitely removes their ability to hurt me  or hinder me in living a purposeful life.  In some books or blogs you might be given a formula of how I did this or that and God brought me the perfect relationship as a result of this formula…I can’t tell you that, what I can tell you is the belief that a man in my life is the ultimate criteria of worth and success has been rigorously exorcised  from my soul.   The belief that the one with the most stuff and the most fans is the winner is daily being washed away by the living word of God.   So much of our value as women is connected to who we date, or marry, what we own, how we look and we even have “christian self help ” (this phrase is an oxymoron because the whole point of being a christian is that I realize I can’t perfect myself)books telling us how to get more, be more do more.  I want to speak to your heart right now Ladies and I want to say ‘don’t buy in to this lie” you are capable of being whole, full and purposeful without being the perfect size, or having the perfect man and home.  Now understand I was a christian believing that I was a loser because I measured myself by the worlds standard of winning and I still struggle with the temptation to do that.  Here is the truth all these standards of beauty, success and proof of accomplishment are simply “baggage” ! …..Let it go ….Let  it go…Let  it go…and you will find the blessing of God in little things, the beauty of God in those who are broken and the triumph of God in those who are free to go where he sends them, love who he sends them and grow where he plants them.

Read Hebrews 12:1-2   and reflect on what weights or “baggage” you may ask God to help you strip away


Biggun “She’s a big one”

October 30, 2009

When did I learn that being small was an important thing for a girl to be?  It seems like I’ve somehow always known but …I know that isn’t true.  Staring at a picture of myself at age 6 I contemplated when “largeness” entered my life.  At 6 eyes flashing, sassy, hands on my hips cute as I wanna be daddy’s girl, I was still considered an average sized child.  It seems to me things started to change around my tenth year; the taunts on the playground, my mother’s exasperation as I tried on clothes when shopping…all mounting evidence that I was now “LARGE” .  Why did it matter anyway?  Wasn’t I still clever and cute?  As I grew older and yes, larger the taunting became more unbearable..”Fat Jelly”  “Fat mamma” on and on it went.  I don’t think the connection between my eating habits and size genuinely sunk in to my psyche until the age of 13.  That was the year i first heard..”you have such a cute face but…”  In retrospect I have no real memory of ever approving of my body.  I heard others judgement and with them I agreed.  My faults were many according to the television, magazines and the schoolyard bullies..lets see….my thighs were too big, shoulders too broad, way too tall for a girl ..and well really what could God have possibly been thinking when he gave me those broad shoulders?  Didn’t he know that only men are supposed to have broad shoulders?  Girls are supposed to be small. “That Girl” was small, “Bat girl” was small, all the girls on “Petticoat junction were small…and there were all these rules for “Big Girls” like…   1.) Big girls should never sit on the arm or edge of furniture  2.) Big girls never ever wear sleeveless tops and maybe the most important rule of all 3.) Big girls should never wear bright colors..after all it is important for a “Big girl” not to draw any undue attention to herself.  Now as a child I wasn’t quite sure who created these rules, but my mother firmly enforced them.  As an adult after years of trying every diet and excercise fad from HCG injections to Phen Phen I recognize that both men and women are constantly being bombarded with the message that they are not sufficient and they must do or become something other than themselves to achieve the elusive state of “happy” that we all long for..  As a young girl my inner being felt like a gentle fragile princess, but no one seemed to see me that way and they definitely did not treat me that way.  Instead they called me “Biggun” which is short for she is a big one!  That name brought many a giggle from children to adults, friends and family.  They honestly felt it was harmless good natured humor, but it affected me deeply. It made me feel vulnerable, and ashamed.  It distorted my internal vision causing me to see less of my potential and to doubt my own worth. A few years ago I was given a picture of my maternal grandmother.  I spent hours staring intently at the shape of her face the curves of her body the texture of her hair.  I caught glimpses of myself in her and I tried to recall the rare stories about her I’d listened to as a very small child.  Her name was Mabel and she too was a large lady.  Tall in staure with broad shoulders.  I am told she was very gentle and fragile in her demeanor.  I never knew her but I hear she was a big hearted hard loving woman.  In coming to know Jesus one of the greatest revelations he has given me is how much he values me.  The value he places on me has everything to do with the investment he has placed in me and nothing to do with my physical appearance, intellect or possessions.  What a relief to know that there is nothing more I need to do, achieve or become to be happy.  I’ll exchange that elusive dream, for self acceptance, not because I am too perfect to reject, but because he uses others rejection to free me from needing their approval and I embrace the peace that passes all understanding as I stay my mind on Jesus and his love for me.  These days when I think of my Grandmother I imagine her standing in heaven next to my Lord encouraging me forward in this race we call life..I can almost hear them cheering me on and I hear her say “Large and lovely that is my girl!” …and just maybe this body is a loving reminder that she came before me living, loving and creating.  As proof to the world that she was here I’ll be her legacy  a big hearted, hard loving woman living, loving and creating.  As proof to the world that Christ is here I’ll be his legacy a woman freed from the bondage of becoming perfect to resting in the love of the one who is perfect. 

Reflect on Psalm 139 and how much God loves you.

Loving you like only a mamma can,

Angela


Prayer Requests

October 27, 2009

I believe in the power of prayer in Jesus Name. I would like to lift your need up before Father,God. Leave me a post making your request known and be sure and let me know when God answers.


Someone Special

October 22, 2009

Have you ever had a friend or maybe like me it was a favorite cousin that seemed aheadof their time? I mean there was something about them that was just a little bit out of the ordinary…something special. While watching a performance by the remarkable vocalist and musician Rachelle Ferrell I found myself reminiscing about an extrordinary woman I had the pleasure of knowing for too short a time, my cousin Deborah Jean. I remember going to the corner store with my cousin and watching in amazement as she purchased cigars for her enjoyment. The year was 1976 and my cousin Debbie was all of seventeen years old. Debbie was without argument “supah dupah fly”! Her hairstyle denoted bravado, she wore a short  “blondish” red afro and big silver hoop earrings, while most of our friends were doing all they could to get that Farrah Fawcett feathered flip worked out. On this day she rocked a gold silk form fitting very feminine blouse over jeans and platforms and her look was set off with a playfully loosened mens silk tie around the collar. She was comfortable with putting a “ya digg” at the end of her emphatic sentences and not only did she speak the latest slang, she was known to be the one to make it popular. In my 12 year old mind Debbie was my very own “Cleopatra Jones” and “Coffee”. Her laid back confidence is what todays generation would call “swagger”. My cousin was incredibly artistic and her clothing and hair would often be her canvas, she once confided in me that she nourished a dream of designing clothes and living abroad. This same bohemian could morph into a construction working boot and hip belt wearing “Bad motha, shut yo mouth” when an opportunity to work in a non traditional occupation arose as a result of a teen parenting program in which she participated.  Debbie told great stories that made you feel like you were there and you were special because she was making you a part of her adventure (I mean she took the time to talk to a goofy kid). She was the girl who all the boys in high school wanted to be their girl or their best friend. Debbie never made it to Europe, in fact I think she spent all of her life in one town in one State.  Her life seems filled with lots of contradictions like myself and so many other young women who are often torn between pursuing our  passion and longing to be the object of someone’s passion, chasing one’s own dream or trying to encourage a beloved man to have one of his own; between believing in her inner voice that said “you are better and bigger than this place, this situation” and the voice from the one that hurts you saying ” you make me want better please don’t leave me.” Debbie did not have the accolades or even some of the material things that the world uses to affirm success, but BOY did she shine in this little girls eyes! Debbie, you protected me and let it be known that I was your little cousin. Your life taught me to explore and create and to never let others (even loved ones) opinions regarding my life and my choices define my opinion of my “self” I was shy, chubby and awkward and you gave me the valuable gift of being cool by association. In a kid’s economy that was worth a million dollars in social capital! You are DOPE! and Kind! and even though you may not have lived abroad and created that amazing clothing line; you live in my Soul and you helped to design “my swagger”(for you old folks I’ll say persona) and I wear it everyday. Your left us so soon, but you left us so full!

Now loved ones your turn to tell me about that special someone who showed you how to march to your own drum. I look forward to hearing from you.

wanting you to feel loved like only mamma can,

Angela