Firing My SWAT Team.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hope you all are having a great evening.  Here’s a thought: What would your life look like if you were less guarded?  I used to ask myself this question all the time.  I used to imagine a life of pain, abuse, and emotional wounds. This could not be further from the truth of what an unguarded life held but past experiences fueled with fear, strengthened my beliefs.  My belief system helped me build a wall around my heart.  This wall was so high and so wide that it even affected my relationship with the Lord.  I had a relationship with God that lacked openness, honesty and raw vulnerability.   I reinforced this wall with what I called my SWAT team- a team of my most powerful fears, who helped keep people, places and things out of my heart.  You know that scripture, “Guard your heart…” I took that scripture a step too far and held my heart hostage.  Fear was my guard and pain was the team captain that kept others at bay.

When you live in dysfunction for so long, you begin to think that your way of living is okay.  Poor emotional health will convince you that needs to be needed, the inability to receive love and avoidance of hard conversations is a matter of personality type when in fact it is an issue of health and maturity.  I thought because I was an INFJ and an 8(on the enneagram model) I was excused from addressing my guards.  I thought my previous painful experiences with people excused me from addressing my guards.  I thought my “spirit of discernment” and earthly wisdom excused me from addressing my guards.  As long as I loved a little bit, as long as I made somewhat of a friendship,  and as long as I avoided the pain I thought God was content with me and my guards. I was completely wrong!   The Father was not pleased with my habit of guarding my heart with fear.

I remember sitting in my room, discussing my relationships with the Lord when he asked me to surrender my guards, to fire my team.  He challenged me with this thought “You can not be open yet guarded at the same time, waiting for people to prove to you that they are not who you thought they were.” Of course, He was right!  Living a life of testing people gets old and you find yourself in a life long dance with self-fulfilling prophecies.  We cannot say we trust in people and yet have no faith in them to do what is right.  We cannot say we love people but as soon as we see a “red flag” (really a fear) we head for the hills ready to run.  Our guards keep the “pain” away but it also hinders us from fruitful connection bred in vulnerability. This type of lifestyle leaves us alone.  My life was lived guarded, fearful and it profited nothing for me.  In order to love and receive the love He desired for me to have, I was going to have to fire my SWAT team and to make peace my guard. Lovelies, that evening I decided to fire my SWAT team.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil.4:7 NIV

Peace will be our guard.  When we allow peace to do it’s perfect work, to signal to us if something is right and wrong; it will guard us against things that are meant to harm us.  How many times have we dismissed the wisdom of peace?  We didn’t feel right about something or it didn’t sit well with us yet we overrode our gut for what was presented to us?  Peace is that sense of relief and comfort, it’s the marker that everything is going to be okay.  Even in hard times, peace guards our emotions and it shields us from fear and anxiety.  Instead of building our own walls and hiring our own protection, let’s allow peace to do its perfect work. Tonight, let’s decide that we will allow peace to be our guard.

Friends, listen to Peace and fire your SWAT team.

Xoxo,

Simone 

10 Things To Leave Behind In 2019

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Happy December! We are 28 days away from a new year, from a new decade and I am extremely excited.  At the end of each year, I enter into this reflective mode, pondering what I did and could of done in the past year. This morning, I spent time thinking about how much my life has changed in the past 12 months.  It’s been a crazy year of ebbs and flows, but I feel like I have settled into my true self. This morning, I spent time thinking of things to leave behind in 2019. Here is a list of ten things to leave behind in 2019.

Here we go:

10. EXCUSES. Jim Rohn once said, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” People pursue after what they desire.  If they want to better their health, they adjust their food choices and schedule physical fitness into their lives.  If a person want to better themselves financially, they will budget and make fiscally responsible choices.  If a person wants to better their relationships, they will acknowledge their shortcomings and adjust to have fruitful relationships.  Excuses are a symbol that the person is not serious about what they desire. Let us be a people who pursue after our dreams and goals, and not just people who make excuses.

9. INSECURITIES. Everyone has insecurities, points within themselves where they “feel” like they are not enough.  I believe that we should live life ridding ourselves of insecurities.  For when we live insecure, we make decisions fueled by fear and incorrect thought patterns.  This lifestyle hinders us from enjoying the gifts that God give us, whether those are opportunities, people or moments to bask in His love.  Deal with yourself in these last 28 days and strive to get rid of your insecurities.

8. LYING. The habit of lying is rooted in fear, for when we’re afraid of the responses/opinions of others, we lie.Yet, lying does nothing but prolong the revealing of truth.  The truth will always be revealed, it’s just a matter of time.  When we lie, we hurt those we love more than if we would just tell the truth. So,  let us leave the practice of lying behind and determine that we will be people of our word.  Love, trust and faith is all rooted in truth.

7. DISOBEDIENCE. Our disobedience to the Word of the Lord is rooted in our lack of trust.  We do not trust God, and therefore we hear his voice yet we do not obey. To live a life of disobedience is dangerous, in fact the principle of scripture teaches that disobedience shortens life.  There is no longevity of life in disobedience.  If you want to live to see the fruit of all your labor, commit to a lifestyle of obedience to the Lord.  A blessed life is reserved for those that hear and obey!

6. POOR STEWARDSHIP. We own nothing, but we are merely managers of all that God has given us.  Time, wisdom, gifts and talents belong to the Father and we are to steward what he’s given us. Let us steward our time, allotting time correctly to all that he has assigned to our hands: work, family, and purpose.  Let us steward our money well, saving more and spending less.  Let us steward our words,  being mindful of what we say about the gifts the Father has given us.  We hold so much power, but it is our responsibility to be disciplined and to steward well.

5. BUSYNESS/CLOUT CHASING. It’s one thing to be busy fulfilling the plans of the Father and it’s another to be busy seeking affirmation and clout.  Everybody wants to famous, but few want to serve in areas that are not noteworthy.  It’s time to return to fulfilling the plans of the Father with or without recognition.  We are sons and daughters and we are loved regardless of an extensive to-do list. We are loved absent of having a bunch of things to do.  Rest!

4. THE DISMISSAL OF PEOPLE WITHOUT “STATUS. Everyone is valuable.  Everyone is worthy of love.  Everyone is important, regardless of whether or not they have a certain status. It is prideful to not receive wisdom from someone because they are not “well-known” or have millions of followers on social media. We are missing out on key moments of wisdom because we judge the messenger.  The Lord sends answers but if we continue to dismiss them because they are not packaged in a way we expect, then we will not get the clarity we need for our future.  Keep yourself open to wisdom, even if it looks different from what you would expect.

3. THE MISUSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media is not the place to tell people where they can go.  It is not the outlet to throw off because of your emotional wounds.  Social media is not the place to bully people into agreeing with your beliefs.  It is not the place to control a narrative of a one-sided story.  It is not the place to find contentment, it is not the place to further comparison.  Social Media was not designed for any of these things,  it was designed to bring people together, to share information quickly and to further good.  Let us reclaim social media and utilize it for good.

2. IMMATURITY.  It’s time to grow up!  Remaining the same because “that is just who you are.” is no longer sufficient.  Everything healthy in life grows.  It would be ridiculous for me as a 26 year old to be drinking formula from a bottle.  As an adult, my body needs nutrients so I must move to a plant/meat-based diet. Imagine if I tried to still wear the shoes I had when I was three years old, though it was painful and I loved those shoes – I outgrew them and it was time for something new.  It is immature to refuse to grow.

And finally…

1. TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS.  With the rise of a new decade, the Father is not forcing you to remain attached to people who mean you no good.  Neither is He demanding that you stay tied to emotionally toxic relationships. It is not the will of God, that you spend your adult life willingly choosing physically, emotionally and verbally abusive situations.  It is a false characterization of doctrine and the Word of God to justify such behavior under the guise of trials, tribulations and persecution.  The Father loves you and He desires that you are loved well.  Relationships that destroy esteem are not from Him.  Relationships that make you believe that you are less than are not from Him.  Relationships that pimp your gifts and manipulate you are not from Him.  Relationships that control you and make you feel suffocated are not from Him, for love is built in the notion of free will choice.  Do not allow religious communities to punk you out of believing in the beauty of God-ordained relationships.  We were never meant to do life alone, and we have the power of choice to choose amazing people to journey with in this life. 

That’s all for today!  Have a good one.

Xoxo,

Simone

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