I Am Too Proud To Beg

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Pre-Christmas Week!  I’m home for the holidays and I can feel the hustle and bustle of excitement in the air.  It’s been a while since we’ve talked, so I thought I would share something with each of you tonight.

As I began to gear up for dinner prep, I began to think about the holidays as a whole.  As many of you know, I ended a long-term relationship this past July.  Before this final break up, I was stuck in this on again- off again whirlwind of a relationship.  I spent seven years devoted to this rescue project, who did not acknowledge my own value to invest the same.  It was a living nightmare.  The sad part of this whole fiasco was every Christmas I would do the absolute most to convince him that I was “it.”  It was as if in my mind the magic of Christmas would cure our toxic relationship.  Slowly but surely, I awakened to myself, and now I am convinced that I deserve better.

Ladies and gents, this is the first Christmas in a long time that I am truly single.  I mean single-single.  I am single in my mind, heart, body, I belong to God and me alone.  Christmas is not my favorite holiday because of whose attached to me (contrary to Hallmark Channel’s popular belief), neither does this holiday bring me joy because of who is sitting at my dinner table.  Christmas is my favorite holiday because its the day God in goodness full of love gave the world a gift that was too good for it:  His Son.  He loved me enough to give me a piece of himself. And if the Creator gave himself so freely, why on earth should I have to beg someone to love me well?  I don’t.  Point, blank, periodt!

Friends, it took me seven years to learn that I deserved better.  Seven long, teary-eyed, exhausting years.  Now that I recognize my worth, I’m not begging anyone else to.  I know that I’m beautiful,  I know that I’m dope, I know that I’m wife material.  I understand that I am God’s gift to humanity, that I’ve been fashioned in gentleness and grace, that my class and elevated thinking is one to die for.  I know who I am.  And this awareness of me has shifted my whole approach to relationships.  Friends, know thyself!  Recognize the goodness that lies within you and refuse to beg anyone else to see what’s inside- especially someone with no vision, no goals, no ambition and a little to no future.

Be too proud of yourself to beg!

Xoxo,

Simone

Steadfast Love

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I’m gearing up for the end of the semester.  I thought that I reached a place above adversity, one where I could not be touched by the cares and concerns of the world.

Friends, in all honesty, I became comfortable.  Adversity has this amazing way of keeping one in conscious awareness of their need for God.  It’s like when I’m in trouble, I am more aware of my need for Him. Sad, but true.  So, I became comfortable and I knew I needed Him but my desperation for His presence began to wane and I continued to live life for me.

I believe that God loves us so much that He shakes up our world to causes us to become aware again.  It’s like, He doesn’t want us to ever come to this place where we think we don’t need Him.  Can you imagine loving someone but treating them as if they weren’t necessary?  I believe we treat the Lord this way.  We love Him but we live life as if He’s not necessary.  Long story short, the floodgates opened and adversity hit like a neverending wave.  I mean… a neverending wave!  From school complications to my automobile to concerns with my mental health to the most recent trial the lost of both my sister’s (my roommate) and I’s jobs.  It was as if lost came just in time for the holidays and we’re in this familiar position of needing him, a position that forces our hand into trust.

I thought I trusted God.  I did.  I thought I understood His love for me, this notion that because He loves me He wouldn’t leave me without.  Yet, my heart became increasingly full of fear and anxiety wrapped me in a bear hug as to say “Welcome Home!” Even in the midst of my perceived weakness, He never changed.  He loved me with a steadfast love.  You know, as I get older I understand more and more that life is full of change.  One day we’re at the top, the next we’re at the bottom.  One day we have it all, one day we have nothing.  One day we believe with all our hearts and the next we are full of fear and doubt.  In all the highs and lows, His love is steadfast – it doesn’t change.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

So, how do I respond to the only consistent thing in my life?  With gratitude.  I respond gratefully for such a love that I don’t deserve.  I respond with a heart to love others with such intention and consistency.  I know that I will make mistakes along the way but the least I could do is try.  Friends, I am loved well by a God that could choose any day not to love me.  Yet, He chooses me every single time. He chooses you and that is simply beautiful.  I pray that you all do not become afraid with the presence of adversity, that you are full of the love of God.  I pray that you all have a deep awareness of God’s goodness and rest in your eternal need for Him.  I pray that you are filled to the brim with love.

May you rest in His faithfulness, may you bask in His love. 

Xoxo,

Simone 

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Purposed Delay

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

So… this weekend has been interesante so far. I walked into my NEW apartment last night to spiders- like legit God-created spiders and I felt a panic attack coming on. I rushed to Walmart with my head scarf still on. Yep, fear took away the shame and I grabbed the one and only bottle of Raid that I could find! I then spent an hr spraying down my apartment but could not sleep a wink. Fast forward… out of paranoia I desired intensely to wash my bedding but then realized that I didn’t have a washer or dryer, so… I pack things up and head to my parentals place which is two hours away for peace of mind. Then I end up stopping by Walmart and once again my plans are derailed and I am delayed in leaving town. Again.

You know what? Maybe delay is not always a bad thing, you know maybe it’s God’s way of orchestrating his will. This delay though annoying in my mind was a perfect vehicle to me seeing an old friend, meeting a new one and getting an opportunity to share some resources to one in need. This weekend is about engaging culture and remembering the one, I believe the Father delayed and derailed my plans to do just that!

All things work together for our good, even the annoying things and inconvenient things. Everything is working for our good!

Until next time,

Simone

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To Be Ourselves

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

If only we knew the power of originality.  If only we knew how much we could impact the world by being the person God has created us to be.  Last night, I had a dream about a group of people willing to be who they were in church: fearless, bold, unrestrained and the results were amazing.  During my dream, I saw people giving their hearts to Christ without having to hear a preached word or an appeal for prayer.  What if I told you that being your true authentic self had the power to save souls, heal broken hearts and  to create freedom?

Think about it… God created us individually with different gifts, talents, personalities and strengths.  No one individual is the same on purpose.  For what one is proficient in and another struggles, community creates a space for teaching and perfecting.  God desires that we live out the life that He has ordained strictly for us.  If  I was created to be a square and I aspire to be a circle, I will live out my life as a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.  It’s not like the round hole is bad, neither is the community of circles evil or something- but I am aspiring to be someone that I was not created to be: a counterfeit version of myself.  This is what we do, when we aspire to dress like someone, talk like someone, work in our craft like someone- we morph into these little counterfeit selves, forfeiting our power of originality.  We are not bettering those around us because we don’t even know who we are.  God designed us to create.  We are to create beauty, love, community, friendship, justice and etc.  Counterfeits do not create, they mimic- only what is original has the power to create and pioneer.

So what’s so powerful about being our authentic God-created selves?  By walking in who God has created to be: we have the power to be solutions to problems,  to be voices of reason in the midst of wrong, and to be the impacts of change we seek for this world.  Being you is powerful, being someone else is not. If I bring this ideal to various locations such as a job, a school, or even a church: imagine what we would witness?  Comparing ourselves one to another would diminish, because we would realize that being ourselves is enough and therefore we don’t have to worry about how others complete tasks.  Insecurities like diseases would eventually eradicate because we would understand that God in his awesome power created us to be original and different, making our different styles of changing the world okay.  Self-esteem issues would cease because as we reflect on our creation we would realize how priceless, rare and special we are since no one has the same DNA as us.   Walking in our God-created selves would liberate the world.

So… yes, being you can be scary.  Yes, being you can make others uncomfortable.  But, who cares?  To be ourselves can also liberate, eradicate and elevate as we better those around us.  We have a responsibility to better the world: our way.  We can’t go around mimicking others game plans and expecting those results.  We need to go to the drawing board and seek the advice of the one who made us to create our own game plan, our own blueprint.  Think of living life as an architect, creating and building in your own signature style.  Or maybe think as a fashion designer yearning for your product to be different as it expresses who you are.  Strive to stand out for pioneers do not blend with those who were not brave enough to lead the way.

Until next time,

Simone

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14 NLT

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Rise Above It

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

Well.. it’s Wednesday, and it seems like today has been one of those weird days when you are exposed to the hearts of individuals.  So, I’m in this class where probably less than 10% of the students look like me or have walked through similar life experiences.  Literally, there is only one other African American female in this class with me. There is only 6 African Americans in my law section and only 20 African  Americans in my graduate class which consists of approximately 209 students. This breakdown is very important because today we discussed a government provision being used (stretched beyond) its initial purpose to create a moral avenue in eliminating discrimination for African Americans to utilize public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants and etc…

For a moment I would like for you to imagine yourself as an African American female (me) sitting in a room of your peers and hearing all of these arguments on how the government abused their power and should have went to the legislature to rid of those discriminatory concerns… I sat and I thought about the same legislature that for a period of time did nothing to rid the lynching of Black Americans, or the same legislature that for a period of time turned a blind eye to Japanese intermittent camps, or the same legislature that for a period of time disregarded the concerns of equality for women’s rights.  Maybe I am being a cynic, a skeptic, or a very pessimistic person and if that’s the case – oh well, but at the end of the day: history has demonstrated to us that if we leave it up to various individuals to make decisions for the minority group, those in the position of minority remain in their position.  It is always the voice of the majority that becomes loudly concerned with the rights of the minority, this pseudo-concern with the “abuse” of power to help those who are on the bottom of the totem pole.

So what can we do?  We can rise above it!  I realized a long time ago that there is a stigma in society betting on my failure, gambling on me becoming a statistic, an example of what’s been seen before.  However, I refuse to allow the notions of this corrupt world to dictate how I should live my life and whether I will succeed or not.

When I decided  I truly wanted to be a lawyer, I knew I would be an oddity: a female in a male -dominated profession, a black girl in a white world.  I prepared myself to be the one that stood out, I prepped for the “black” jokes, the comments on my level of sassiness, and the questions of whether if angry I would beat someone’s behind.  I prepared for the notion that some would perceive me to be an angry black woman, that many would deem themselves more privileged and deserving of their position than I.  I prepped to wear my hair straight for interviews because at the end of the day, an employer is looking for a reason not to hire me and I knew that if I was the only African American in the office I would be judged harshly for the actions of the firm’s  previous attempt at diversity.  I knew all eyes would be on me and I prepped for the smiles and nods and the shocked faces when those who wanted “Simone” from the resume instead got “Simone” a beautiful chocolate girl in real life.  I knew that our society was not as progressive as we prized ourselves to be but I chose to rise above it.  Even now, I am rising above implicit racism- I’m rising above the barriers of society.  I am rising above it and no one nor nothing can stop me from succeeding in who God has created me to be.

Lastly, as a Christian,  I believe that we are to be the bridges between communities, we are to love people as people and not deal with individuals in any type of fashion based upon race or ethnicity.  Additionally, I believe in the gospel of a multi-racial, diverse heaven: that when we go home to be with the Lord there is not going to be any segregation- we will have to worship, live,  and explore our awaited paradise together!  Being that we were all created in the image of God- I believe that I as a black female am just as well crafted and beautiful in the sight of God as my Caucasian brothers and sisters.  SO… I choose to take the high road, I choose to rise above it and become more than I even imagined for myself.

If this post is too much or if this offends you, it’s okay.  The truth is supposed to offend, it’s supposed to convict so that we can produce the change that we desire.  I want you to face your barrier (whatever that barrier may be) and RISE ABOVE IT! In the face of adversity, rise above it!  In the face of danger and oppression, rises above it! In the face of uncertainty, rise above it! In a world paralyzed by fear, rise above it! In a society controlled by hate, rise above it!  My challenge to you all today is to change what you don’t like around you- no longer must we wait for someone to invite us to participate in change: it’s time for us to create the change we seek! Brothers and sisters, let’s rise above it!!!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://interactive.nydailynews.com/2016/01/black-history-month-unsung-heroes-of-civil-rights/img/birmingham-childrens-crusade.jpg

Under Pressure: Skills from a First-Class Procrastinaor

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

So… I was taught never to procrastinate…

However, I work best under pressure.  The higher the stakes, the more I tend to perform because I know that I might not get another shot to get it right.  That’s just me…. Now, do I defy the rules of today- maybe? But hey, if you’re not willing to risk anything how can you gain everything?  Poetry in it’s fullest from.

So I stopped for a brief moment to help y’all reflect on who you truly are.  When you know yourself, you know how your mind, body and soul works and you accommodate for those characteristics.  Let’s stop trying to reinvent the wheel.  Be you.  If you are not a morning person, don’t plan to jog at 6 am each morning.  If you don’t drink, don’t attend bars to look cool and “in.” If you’re not into hard rock and roll, don’t fake your way through a conversation about the Stones.  Be you and own who you are and would like to be.  Some people are planners, I once belonged to that community but as I grow older I long for things to be flexible and freeing.  I’m finding it difficult to follow this strict schedule I have for this academic year.  Like, really hard!  I rather work in an office when necessary, and be out and among my clientele.  Again, that is just me.  I am very acquainted with my own self and I understand what makes me tick.  It is this knowledge that govern my decisions and allows me to pick and choose my associations.

Everyone wants to fit in when the best people in the world choose to stand out.

Until next time,

Simone

Examine Yourself

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Have you ever had one of those “reality check” moments?  Like, one of those times when you became aware of who you truly were? I think we all have moments like these and they come when we have ignored the voice of God way too long.  I had one of those moments a few hours ago, I realized that I needed to be real with myself and with God.  Sometimes we are not in the situations we face because of the Enemy or the devil, we are in our predicaments because of us.  We placed ourselves in these various circumstances but then look to God and blame Him for our situation.  It’s not God’s fault but ours.  That’s a tough pill to swallow but it is not until we come into truth that we can: be free.  Jesus said,  “For you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. (John 8:32) “  It is the truth that sets us free, not our fantasies, excuses and rejection of what truly is – but truth.  So today, I came face to face with some hard truth about myself and it was that truth that compelled my desire to change.

With today being first Sunday, I know my home church performed communion.  My mom always read 1  Corinthians 11:28a, “But let a man examine himself…” This practice of examining ourselves is this check to determine our standing with God.  Sometimes we can become  so comfortable in our sin that we forget that our standing with God matters.  Christianity is not solely about Heaven, but what is the point to spend so many days in church just to end up in Hell? Why waste our precious time to live halfway committed to God?

We halfway worship,  we halfway praise.  We know all the scriptures, but can’t live them out.  We can speak in some kind of tongue, dance a church down with our coordinated two -step but can’t live and speak holy.  What is the point to do the most, if I’m not going to spend eternity with Him?  I’m at this place in my life,  where church homiletics and routines are no l longer cutting it.  I’m no longer trying to look the part of a Christian, I’m about being a Christian in all its entirety.  If I’m going to look a part, I’m just deceiving myself.

Today  I came to myself, I recognized that my heart and my mind was keeping me from this next place in God.  I needed a new heart, a new mind, a new outlook on life.  The cycle of barely trusting God, believing one day and then complaining tomorrow was going to keep me in stuck in a mediocre relationship with God.  I saw myself as super selfish, super whiny and someone who was more blessed than I realized.  Yes, life is tough but everyone’s life is tough and that’s why we have a God who is more concerned with us than we are sometimes with him.  God is not asking for my complaints, He is seeking my heart to trust him in the midst of where I am.

If we judge ourselves, we don’t have to worry about anyone judging us.

One of the teens in my church’s youth group preached a message called, “Check Yourself.” and I speak that to each of you – check yourself.  Are you who you say you are?  Are you as devout to the gospel as you appear to be?  Looks can be deceiving…. If you’re not where you need to be in God, get there and get there fast because we don’t have time to keep up appearances.  We don’t have time to appear to be whole when we are indeed broken.  We don’t have time to appear to be free when we are truly bound.  We don’t have time to fake our peace living in a state of torment.  We don’t have time …

When we are honest with ourselves, it is then we are made whole. It is truth that sets us free and it is confession that heals us.  I don’t know about y’all but I am ready to live in the fullness of what God created for me to be. I am ready to change.  I am ready…

Until next time,

Simone

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Nothing Else Matters

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers –

This is an early blog post from my usual stuff but I have something that is burning on the inside of my heart.  I think it is so easy to get caught up in things that have no power over our lives, things that relatively do not matter.  I’ve heard this before- life is trivial, it’ll eventually come to an end and all that we cared so deeply about will fade away.  Thinking of what was to come used to terrify me especially since I barely had a true grasp on the life I’m living now.  But then something hit me…. The only two things that matter are: (1) Is God real? (2) If so, is He coming back for us someday? 

We live in a world that points no to the above questions.  Think about it- if God is real, how come we have suffering?  If God is true, how come he has not come back for his children yet?  To hold on to one’s faith in the midst of today’s chaotic atmosphere is the true test of victory and many have fallen under the hand of disbelief mixed with fatigue.  I woke up around 4:30 AM pondering these questions.  As I fell to sleep, I believe that in the next few minutes – the Lord began to speak to me.  We get so caught up in questions like, do they like me?  Will I ever succeed?  Will I ever make my parents happy? How will my life pan out?  but at the end of the day- these things mean nothing if God is not real and He is not coming back.   Our hope in our future is that we have a God that understands exactly what is coming and can lead and direct us toward our greatest potential.

Life outside of Him, does not matter.  I closed my eyes and I dreamed an evening in my life; church, fellowship with my bestie but there was a twist – this was the night the Lord decided to come for me (His child) and as I dreamed my spirit ascending to meet Him in the clouds- I was at such peace  because God is real and He is coming back.  Peace overcame me as truth was manifested in my midst and everything else faded to the background.  It’s time we live our lives as if God is real and as if He is coming back, and it is when we approach life with this mindset that we will see true change among us.

The children of God has gotten lazy; too lazy to care about the poor here in our neighborhoods, too lazy to love those who need love the most, too lazy to care about the homeless in our cities- we are too lazy for the revival we profess to desire.  We pray for the harvest, yet we do not want to till the ground and prepare the land for rain.  This has come from not finding our true answer to the questions above: Is God real? and If so, Is He coming back for his children?  When we come to the place where we can truthfully answer these questions- we will see the change/ revival we seek.

I believe that God is real and that He is coming back for me.  One day, when I’m living life as I usually do – He will be in the clouds, waiting to welcome me home.  It is this hope that drowns out all of the bad around me, that makes the fear fade away.  Nothing else matters, because the One who matters the most is with me – guiding me in life to bring me to that fateful day.  It is with this hope that I live this life with abandon and that I give my all to the Lord until my last breath.  Friends, fade in the hope that is in Him and be at peace.

Grace and Peace be unto from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil 1:2)

Until next time,

Simone

 

I’m Getting Married, But I Didn’t Invite You To The Wedding….👀

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

It’s an early day here in Greenville, cold and a little quiet from our seemingly typical 7 day rain storm.  I love mornings like this, because these days always put me in the space to reflect and write about my reflections.  So here we go, welcome to the tangent otherwise known as my life …

It’s wedding season!!! Yay!!! How many of you guys have been involved in one or is being asked to be involved in one? How many of your old college buddies are getting married? And how many of you are that single person that has yet to get “hitched”? Oh lovelies this is me …🙋🏾 

But recently I’ve run into this scenario, the person I was supposedly friends with in college- my “sister”, friend and life long buddy pulled one of these….” I’m engaged!” Me: “yay!!!!” Them: about 6mos to a year later ” I’m married!!!!” Me: *I never attended that wedding 👀👀* (Maybe my invitation got lost in the mail…)

Hmmm….. So we’re the best of friends? Are you sure? It’s okay if we’re not…just wished I realized that we weren’t really friends before I wasted all that time investing in a friendship. This has been my thought process for the past 3 months…

So today I stand on my platform of opportunity to encourage those who have experienced something similar- let me tell you honey. Your friends do life with you. They celebrate you and you celebrate them. If your friends can’t be around during your hard times, nor do they want to share their happiness with you then- THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS!!!!! Stop wasting your time… You are too great to waste your time with awful people. 

Things like that will test your confidence and it’ll come to tear down your self esteem, but I’m here to remind you of your awesomeness. You are awesome and anyone would be so great to do life with you. 

Let’s rid  ourselves  of everyone who doesn’t want to be there for us or vice verse and let me tell you something, when we do that- God sends people our way that love us so much that we forget about those who didn’t. 

Well good morning fam, I hope that encourages you! 

Until next time, 

Mo 🙂 

Poet 

Yeah, I got something to say!

So what?

Yeah, I want to make the most of today! 

So what?

I’m a poet using my words to transform,

as society seeks to conform

with popular opinion.

We celebrate sin,

as we preach a Gospel of living-

suffocating instead of breathing 

the Creator of life. 

We became harlot instead of wife,

an adulteress to the Son.

Whose love shines like the sun,

we seek shade from …

Apathy, compromise and complacency 

and I’m not even done.

So I’ll hush….

Shhh…

©Simone Holloway, 2015

Featured Image Credit: https://josiaheking.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/spoken-word-live-performance/