With Everything Inside…

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

“With everything inside…” those were the words of a song I wrote Christmas Day, 2017. It was a random expression of how I felt about the Father. My dad’s friend sat at the piano and I just began to sing, “With everything inside, I will offer you my worship…” These words came from a place of freedom, I felt safe and free to sing what I heard in my heart.

The thought came to me… when was the last time I felt free? I mean, really free. The freedom to sing, the freedom to song-write, the freedom to just be different in the midst of a crowd that wants me to be the same. The last time I was truly free was at the beginning of the year when I was writing more and expressing the love I received with the world. Then, like many stories, pain met me and threw me off course. I stopped writing, I stopped singing, I started to withhold my worship. With everything became with some things and then with some things became with nothing. I had nothing to offer, nothing to bring and nothing to say.

Today, I listened to a few voice memos and started to reflect on the songs the Lord gave me. I listened and was immediately transported to those moments of prayer, worship, and authenticity. I was reminded of a piece of myself that was lying dead from pain- my heart’s posture as a worshipper and a songwriter. It’s crazy how good God really is. Like, when I take time to think about His awesomeness, I’m enthralled in this ugly cry place of gratitude. I’m thankful that in love, he reminded me of my identity in him. I’m his writer and that is enough!

So… lovelies, I encourage you to go to the moments where you felt free. Learn from those moments, reflect on those moments and find your time with Him again. Be His first and let everything else come as a result of loving Him more. Always remember that He loves you deeply!

Xoxo,

Simone

Fearless.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I think God is taking me on this incredibly, crazy, uncomfortable yet fulfilling journey.  He is breaking the back of fear out of my life.  My biggest desire has been to live a life that was fearless.  One absent of apprehension, fear, and doubt- to be free to take risks, to embrace chances and to run into the unknown.

Y’all, I did something so brave.  I cut my hair.  I was transitioning to a more natural hair lifestyle for about a year or so now and one day, in a fit of courage and a desire to have something new, I cut all of the perm out of my hair.  Beautiful curls framed my face as I watched all of what I placed my identity into powerless in my hands. To think I thought my beauty was in the way my hair looked.   The overall problem wasn’t this notion of beauty but the fear attached because of people opinion.  The moment I realized that I was hella dope, the fear began to unravel… slowly but surely courage filled my heart and before you knew it there was nothing I could not do.

There is no room in love for fear.  Well-formed love banishes fear.  Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgement- is one not yet fully formed in love.

1 John 4: 17-18 MSG

I gave a presentation in class yesterday. anxiety filled my heart but the presentation had to be done.  I had a choice:  I was either going to step to the occasion or I was going to shrink back in fear.  I chose to take a deep breath, say a little prayer and I went for it:  all things positive came from my act of bravery.  But, the Father wasn’t done challenging my fears.  Last night, we had vocal assessments at my church.  For a period of time, I stopped singing.  I allowed the negative words of someone I admired, trusted and looked to literally mute me.  It was like I missed the mark and therefore was disqualified from revealing that portion of myself.  So… as I sat and waited for my name to be called, again anxiety filled my heart.  I sat and laid on the ground trying to calm my fearful heart.  I began to sing something, anything to drive the fear away.  The words of United Pursuit filled my heart and  I knew that God was with me at that moment,  that He was filling me with His love because in His love there is no need to be afraid.   I sat, I waited, I entered the room, I closed my eyes and I began to sing: aloud, in public, unashamed for the first time.  It was like my voice was waiting to be free, finally free from the oppression of fear  I felt the fear but I did it anyway…

In your strength, I can crush an army; with my God, I can scale any wall.

Psalm 18:29 NLT

What if the Father is inviting all of us into a life of being fearless?  A life truly fulfilled, carefree and full of the joy that comes with being loved well.  It’s always easier to hide, but to hide what’s within out of fear leaves us living limited lives.  So today, I invite all of you to abandon fear, to take the chance and to see the wonder on the other side.  I’m convinced that bravery and brillance coincide within each other.  Every time I’m brave, I experience such brilliance and beauty within the world, I simply forget that I was ever afraid.  Man, what a beautiful feeling!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: http://schragephotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/fearless.jpg

“Home” by United Pursuit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNvDCeRrk1o

One Lyric At a Time…

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

I love to write.  I love to write poems, short stories, and songs… I love to write songs.  I’ve been writing songs since I was a little girl, lyrics would pour out of me like oil.  I have journals filled with songs, napkins with songs lyrics, old tattered legal pad pages of songs.  For a season in my life, the only consistent thing was the lyrics coming to my head, but then one day the words stopped coming.  It was like my creative faucet was jammed and the before you knew it, I gave up writing- I stopped hearing the melodies. Isn’t it crazy to solidify one’s identity on a single season?  That is exactly what I did, because of what I deemed an insufficiency, I no longer identified myself as a songwriter…

We don’t stop being who we are because of what we momentary lack.

God never said “Simone, you are no longer a writer.  Let that go!”  In fact, He encouraged me to write more.  He desired that I wrote beyond my pain, beyond my disbelief in self, beyond my shame and insecurities.  He called me Simone, his daughter, his writer, his creator and his advocate.

I was in my bedroom last night, singing my heart out to the Father when lyrics of hope began to leap off of my lips.  “You silence my fears, You still my heart, you calm the depths of my mind.”  Words of healing filled my room and for once I wasn’t trying to write a song, I was just acting as myself: a songwriter.

When you are who you are, you don’t have to try so hard.

Who are you?  What pieces of your identity have you given up out of frustration?  When God calls you by name:  your name doesn’t change based upon circumstance.  Though you are in the middle of trials, your name and the essence of you remain the same.  When God called Joseph ruler, he was a ruler though he was falsely imprisoned.  When God called Moses deliverer, he was a deliverer though he shied away because of insecurity.  When God called Abraham friend, he was still His friend even after he lied about his wife being his sister.  The names of our heroes remained the same, though life circumstances around them were filled with change.  Lastly, let’s look at David: God’s songwriter and king but for a season of life he was on the run as a fugitive trying to survive.

Circumstances will change, but your name will remain the same.

You are a son or a daughter of God.  That is the bedrock of your identity.  Everything else is an additive to something amazing: you.  So, creator, create.  Writer, write.  Teacher, teach.  Lover, love well.  Be who you are and never disown pieces of self because of hardship!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSzORsuCKEzmsMXFqmJZxSH7w9JRK1KJLWe9xoX1YsG-NY39Rrq5A

So, I Obeyed God…Now What?

Hello old friends, new followers & fellow bloggers-

Have you ever faced a hard decision?  Like, either you’re going to obey Him or you’re going to live life the way that you desire?  Once upon a time, not too long ago, I too was at this crossroad: either to obey Him or to live life for me.

The hardest decisions we must make are not the ones that we don’t feel but the decisions that we feel deeply.

So… as many of you may or may not have known, once upon a time, I was in a relationship with this (in my mind) dope guy.  I mean (in my mind) He was the next best thing since sliced bread.  He was it!  You hear me?  He was “the” perfect age, perfect height, he looked like a Ken doll, he had all the qualities I would have wanted for a guy: kindness, compassion, generosity, and intelligence.  He could do no wrong.  He was the one I was waiting for… or so I thought. I think we all in our minds imagine our lives with certain things:  certain careers, certain houses, certain cars, and even certain people.  It is like we race toward the finish line to make sure that we are set and therefore we settle for things and people that temporarily satisfy.  This is what I did with my relationship, I settled.

On a random Tuesday morning, God wanted to speak about the thing I held dear in my heart.  To tell you the truth, I held this person I loved more dearly than I did Him.  Yep, I was guilty of allowing someone to sit on His throne.  That morning, God came and He shared some truth with me and asked me to let my relationship go.  I had a choice, either I was going to trust my Father and obey or I was going to hold on to something out of the fear that what I was letting go, I would never find again.

I chose to let go:  not because I was brave, not even because I knew what was coming, but simply because I trusted God and His choices for my life.

So, I obeyed God… now what?  I obeyed and nothing really changed:  I’m single and I still desire companionship.  I obeyed and nothing really changed:  I’m still not as financially secure as I would prefer.  I obeyed and nothing really changed:  I’m still navigating through life alone and I don’t have anyone I can confide in.  These are just a few examples of our responses to obedience.  Ladies and gents, God never promised immediate change as the reward for obedience, but he did promise that trusting in Him will not cause us to be ashamed/humiliated/embarrassed.  Though it may appear that our act of obedience has done nothing, in retrospect that simple act has changed everything.  My act obedience wasn’t magic, it didn’t shield the pain of my decision, it didn’t make my decision easier but it gave me a peace about my future.

Obedience to the Father is an act of love and trust, not into what he has for you but into who he is and his nature to be good.

So, I obeyed God…now what?

Xoxo,

Simone 

But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 NIV

FIC: https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TBZw5dQ8oN4/WDBeBCCvn1I/AAAAAAAAZ5g/ZrPUHCvFqqobU6U7VDHLsskd9cUqT5IcwCLcB/s1600/Path.jpg

 

A Lover of Love

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hope you all are having a great Saturday.  I love love, but I realized that I don’t love it as much as the one who created me.  God loves love.  Like for reals… God loves love.  So much so, that he desired someone to love deeply and that is why he made us:  man and woman.  He wanted to love and to be loved.  I think that is why we all have this innate desire to be loved because we were made in the image of our Creator.  So, we have a God that has everything, a huge house, streets made of money, angels who serve on the regular and there is still something missing- us.  To fulfill a need, God created mankind to love him, each other and all that he has placed into the Earth.  How beautiful is the understanding that God made us to love us?  He didn’t need any more servants, he had plenty (angels); he didn’t need any more beautiful things, he made so many (stars, flowers, etc.); he didn’t need any more houses, he had a huge one with a shiny throne on the inside; he didn’t need any more money, for his streets were made of gold.  But there was one single need, God needed someone to love.  He needed someone to lavish love upon, to demonstrate love to, he needed someone to love well.  Because of this and this alone, he created you and I.  I was created because God wanted someone to love. 

When we come to the place where we see our Heavenly Father as a lover of love and not a beacon of hatred and terror, it is then that we can appreciate the sacrifice of his Son.  We get so caught up at seeing God as this hard taskmaster, waiting for us to mess up- hating us for what we do that we lose sight of the reason by which we were created.  We were created to love and to be loved by Him.  Do you know why God hates sin?  I mean, really know?  It’s because sin creates separation between us and Him.  When God created Eden and formed man in the garden, scripture speaks of a time where man and God were not separated.  He was our homie, hanging out every waking moment.  I could imagine, man and God fishing together or taking walks on the nature trails, or even sitting up late to count the stars- all TOGETHER. As soon as Adam and Eve ate that dreaded fruit, they were aware of one of the biggest evils known to man: BAD SEPARATION.  Think about it:  all criminal activity results in bad separation. When we steal, we separate the owner from their possession.  When we kill, we separate that person from their loved ones, co-workers, and just the world.  When we engage in adultery and various sexual affairs, we separate a person from a covenant they made with their partner.  All pain stems from some type of bad separation: whether separation from joy, peace, trust or happiness.  GOD NEVER DESIGNED OUR WORLD TO BE FILLED WITH SEPARATION FROM WHAT’S GOOD.  However, this is the mission of sin.  Sin is designed, advertised and encouraged to breed separation from God and good and its biggest hype man is the thief, the accuser, Satan.

I bet you’re like whoah, wasn’t expecting the Sunday School lesson and that may be the case, but I’m sharing all of this so that you all may gain a deeper understanding of the one who designed you, who formed you and called you good.  It is my desire that you may know Him and know Him rightly.

So,  we have this Lover who made us to be loved and here we are loving everything but Him.  I mean we love our jobs more than Him, we love our significant others/spouses more than Him, we even love our pets more than Him.  Though He designed us to be loved and to love Him well, we don’t in fact- many of us aren’t even submitted to Him, yet He loves us anyway.  I remember a time in my life when I loved everything more than I loved Him.  I mean, I sought for things to replace His spot in my life.  Time progressed, people entered my life and people left but yet He was still there seeking to love me.  How beautiful it is to be loved consistently.  His love didn’t waver because of my behavior and I didn’t have to work to earn His love,  He freely gave it time and time again.  His ultimate goal is a relationship that would stand the test of eternity.  He desires that there would be no separation between Him and me.

This is the One whom I live for. An honest guy who loves love, who hates sin because it causes separation and who desires to love and be loved by me.  This is the core of who He is.  Every other quality, trait, and characteristic is like a beautiful bonus: icing on the cake to the solid foundation of who He is.  May you rest in the simplicity of his decision to love you.  He decided to love you before he made you, seeking to demonstrate his love for you throughout each day of your life.  Bad things happenI know and the question comes, if God loves me why did this happen?  This is the question I’ve asked multiple times, but then I came to the understanding that God is not the orchestrator of the bad things in my life.  He’s not out here seeking to make me sad, or to destroy my esteem or to take life from me.  There’s another presence at work, super jealous that God loves me with all of my flaws – so he works overtime to cause me to doubt this love I was given.  The thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy and he is responsible for the evil we see in this world.  “For I have come that you may have life, and life more abundantly.” (Jn. 10:10)  God desires that I live and that I live to the fullness, only someone who loves us can hope so deeply that we live well.

I am loved.  I was created to be loved.  I was created to love God.  I was created to love others well.  This is the core of why I am here, this is who I am. 

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://www.jashow.org/articles/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/garden-large.jpg

This Is Love.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

I hope all is well.  I’ve been swamped with the routine of life.  The top threes: Church, School, and Work, these things seem to consume my time, energy and attention.  The older I become, I realize that life is not about things and places but rather about our love relationships with people.  The way we love a soul lasts for an eternity, whereas position, prestige and the riches of this world will only last a lifetime.

For a substantial portion of my life, I believed the life that  I was not good enough. That me, with nothing added, was not enough for those who loved me.  Since I did not love myself properly, I did not love others properly.  Unless they could offer me something (self-seeking) or add something to me- then I wouldn’t invest or love wholeheartedly.  The day I realized that I was enough: just me and not the “me” with all of the stuff added, was the day that I realized that those around me were valuable and substantial within being themselves (with nothing added).  I was no longer seeking for others to add to me because I was complete and whole in Him.

Love is being whole. For God is love and He is whole all within himself.  If we live life loving Him, He teaches us how to love ourselves and others.  He makes us emotionally stable and mentally sane.  I’ve got it wrong for so many years, but as I wait and place my trust in Him- he proves over and over again that He loves me.  Not for what I do but because of who He is and His relation to me.  I am his and this pure acceptance is love.

You are loved simply because…

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://alwayspushforward.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/godislove.jpg

Creators Unite: 2018 is the Age of the Creative!

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

As 2017 begins to wind down, and this year quickly comes to an end.  I don’t know about each of you but this year (for some) was one void of inspiration and creative flow.  I spoke with some of my other friends who are creatives, and they expressed a great disdain for this year in regards to their creative ability.  Again for some, 2017 was the year of the creative block.  Artists, writers, innovators, struggled to imagine again.  We saw this inward turmoil when we looked to the films released, the music heard and even the articles written about our favorite celebrity icons.  It was as if the creative breath of our nation, left with the new presidency and the hope of good, imaginative thought took a downward turn.  Don’t get me wrong this is not a political blog and the new year is not going to change that, but 2017 for a lack of better words : purely, ardently SUCKED!  It was a taxing year of tension between struggle and progression and society once again found skepticism in the intentions of good spoken by humanity.

This year alone, I wrote less than the year before.  I lacked inspiration, hope, time and ingenuity and frankly loss my love for the written art form.  The greatest tragedy is for a creator to lose the ability to create again. I bet those with one-hit wonders could identify with that statement, and too long for the day when they can create something new.  That is my heart’s desire to create something new, to be an endless stream of creative thoughts and ideas in my pursuit to demonstrate love to those around me.  The same old- same old, is BORING and  my attention span for what is lackluster has expired.  I want to create, and I want to create something legendary.  Even some of you, my friends, I watched you hit a glass ceiling with creativity as your posts began to be more prolonged and your woes more apparent.  I have great news… I believe that the year coming is the year for the creatives!  It’s going to be a year of renewed vision, more innovative ideas, and just a stream of creative output.  It’s the age of the Creative!

So… was that a diatribe against 2017?  I guess it was… though I am grateful for 2017, for God has been extremely good to me, it has been extremely hard filled with intense pain.  Yet, the pain I’ve experienced, did not kill me.  I’m here, I’m grateful and I’m ready!  I’m ready to hit the ground running, looking to unite as we create together.  Creators Unite!  For it is our time to shape and influence the world, and the works we set now will be admired for generations to come!

Thank you to each of you for believing in me!  I appreciate every comment, read post, shared post and I love each of you for it!

I believe in each of you.  I believe in your work, your writing, your heart’s desire for good and I wish you the best this coming year.  Are you a creator?  If so, this is your time!  

Much love,

Simone 

©Simone Holloway, 2017

Hold My Hand

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Lovelies, sweater weather is upon us and it seems like everyone is rushing to find a suitable beau to bring home for the holidays.  I’m peering through the window of social media, chuckling at the events that are soon to take place.  Tis’ the season when single women and men yearn for companionship as humans should and seek the warmth of a body near them (I’m gonna leave that there…) To tell you the truth, some individuals just want the security of a held hand.  There is something so intimate, careful yet secure about having your hand held by the one you love and the one who loves you.

I was sitting in some unconventional quiet time, just trying to make room for the one I love- the Father, when I ran across this verse: For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13 HCSB) Like a gentle whisper in a storm, these words caressed my soul.  Once again, the Father is reminding us that within Him lies our security- for it is Him that hold us together.   If we think about the Bible or just the nature of life, we find a beautiful story of a Creator whose love for his creation propels him to live eternally pursing a relationship with them.  His love creates, fuels and  signifies his pursuit and in his love is no fear.  When we hold onto His hands of security and we leave our apprehensions behind, peace reigns in our hearts and joy springs forth from our spirits. We find that in his security lies our help!

Friends, the Father desires an intimate, secure relationship with each of us.  I won’t go into this trend of “Jesus being our boyfriend or boo”,etc., lol- but I do believe that we are the bride of Christ which signifies this desire for intimacy.  For where intimacy is found, trust resides, and where trust resides, security can be found. A majority of us desire security but we lack the capability to give trust- and that is just half of the battle.  For trust is fueled through intimacy.  Let’s ask ourselves some hard questions: (1) Why is it so hard for us to trust our Creator? (2) Why do we lack security within? and (3) Is the thing we have chosen to become intimate with capable of satisfying our desires within? We were called to be brides, not side-chicks and that comes from spending time with our Beloved.

He desires to hold our hands and to dissipate our fears. 

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/56/08/40/5608408d569780afce30308db4a84956.jpg

Seasons Change

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

This week has been a long one, better yet this year has been a long one- just looking forward to 2018.  I am the absolute worst at recognizing that things change.  I  can be in something for so long and not realize that the very thing I’m invested in has changed.  I add this to my list of faults, which include being a hoarder of individuals (relationships and friendships) , to my frustrations with the “process” that leaves me bee-lining for the door.  Today, I sat in my car and came to the realization that seasons change.  People change, situations change, opportunities change, and seasons change.

I realized that my aversion to change came from my desire for security.  In my mind, the steadiness of my relationships equate the level of security in my life. But this concept, is a false expectation placed upon mankind. Ultimately, our security can only be placed in God. People are fallible, they will fail us.  They will disappoint us, we cannot expect people to rock with us forever.  Some might say this is a very negative concept, or one shared by a pessimist- but I refuse to engage in this false hope that those around me are incapable of hurting me, in fact it is the people that are closest to you that hurt you the most.  I believe that once we remove the security we have placed in others, and we place it in God- it relieves us of the expectations that we’ve placed on these individuals to demonstrate stability in our lives.  Security in God makes us stable and stability within ourselves create our ability to withstand change.

Friends, I implore you to find security within the Father- for He is the only one that is stable and consistent.  He never changes!  This is the best news possible, because if you’re like me and you’ve dealt with the flakiest of them all- or perhaps you are the flaky person, it’s a relief to know that regardless of what happens, He won’t change.  On good days and bad days, He is still the same!  On the days we feel like superheroes and even in moments when we feel like villains, He is still the same!  Always and forever, He will be good.  Let these truths encourage your soul, and may you find that He is your rock (steadfast and consistent).

I love each and every one you.  I hope you all have a great evening!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://cdn3-www.webecoist.momtastic.com/assets/uploads/2008/11/seasons-montage.png

Revived Belief

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

I’ve been bursting with experiences that I’ve been dying to share with each of you.  I think creativity and inspiration has this amazing way of being fueled by life and for the past week or so I’ve increased my pursuit for the presence of God.  I can sit here and pretend that I was not in a low place, that I had everything together and that my faith in the promises of God concerning me was rock solid- but ladies and gents, that would be a lie!  In fact, my belief in what God said about me wavered and my trust in the one who held my future faltered.  You see, my biggest fear was that what I was believing God for concerning myself was never going to come true and once again I would be disappointed and left without security.  Friends, I had no trouble believing in the God of miracles for others or even each of you- but I had a hard time believing in myself.  For years, I believed the lie that I was inadequate, that I wasn’t good enough that I was a mistake, that my uniqueness/difference was a curse rather than a blessing.  It was out of this pain, that propelled me to believe so strongly in others – to push them towards their differences and to champion behind their tailored greatness.  Pain pushed me to love more yet I felt emptiness on the inside…

It’s usually the ones who love the most that have experienced such harsh heartbreak.  It’s usually the most accepting individuals that experienced the most rejection.  It’s usually the depressed  that seek to bring others joy and I lacking belief in myself- championed and believed in others.  Even those good works could not bring me fulfillment and after while the seeds of awesomeness that God planted on the inside became neglected and poorly maintained.  It is the grace of God that pushes Him to challenges us to produce a return on the investment he has given us.  It’s like the Father loves us so much that he refuses to let that seed he planted within us to die from our own hands.  Friends, the tables turned and the Father began to point the light on me and where I was in this faith walk with Him.  He began to challenge me! He flashed the light on my hypocrisy- how could I sing of his goodness and not believe he was good?  How could I testify of his power and not believe his power is applicable in my life?  How could I speak of his impartiality, yet believe that he was being partial in my circumstance?  God came for my hypocrisy- he challenged my faux faith.  In the end to not believe in myself,  is to not believe at all!  The same God that love my family and friends, love me. The same God that cares about those I attend school with, cares about me.  The same God listening to the prayers of my mentors, hears me when I pray.  He is just as concerned, bothered,  and alert concerning me as everyone else in the universe.  He loves us all!

It was time that I began to believe- for without faith, it is impossible to please God because we must first believe that He exists that he would reward those that seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).  We have to believe that he will make good on his promise.  Over a stretch of time, God has revived my belief in him and most importantly in myself.

May you find your belief again!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://naumankhan.com/wp-content/uploads/181105-Believe-In-Yourself.jpg

©Simone Holloway, 2017