Soaked with Mercy.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Tuesday!  What started as a bleak and rainy day turned into a beautiful one filled with sunshine.  Man, God is so good.  It’s the little things that make us reflect on the goodness of the Father.  I’ve been in this beautiful posture of prayer and presence.  My soul is soaking up all of this goodness because one day my schedule won’t allow for all this time.  I’m learning day by day to enjoy the season that I’m in.  Clearly, God desires that I enter into a place of rest because all of my attempts of striving and working have come to nothing.   So, here I am sitting in my sacred place, ready to share with each of you.

As I was prepping for my teen bible study class tonight, I read a familiar passage in a different translation.  Y’all, the Passion Translation gives me so much life!!! I was reading 1 Peter 2:9-10 when a particular line caught my eye.  Verse ten reads,  “For at one time you knew nothing of God’s mercy, because you hadn’t received it yet, but now you are drenched with it.”  I’m a big word person, so I like to read with dictionaries and thesauruses nearby.  I’m this way with any piece of text:  sacred, fiction, non-fiction, etc.  There is something about reading a passage of text with a definition in mind.  It changes the context of comprehension and adds depth to the reading experience.  Anyways, as my inner nerd was having a ball, I decided to look up the word drenched.  Simple word right?  Yes and no.  We all know that to be drenched is to be completely soaked or wet but what does it mean to be completely soaked or wet in mercy?  Better yet, what is mercy?

Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. Mercy is extended when we do not give others what they deserve when we have the power to do so.  For example, a judge not giving a deserved sentence; or better yet a parent not reprimanding a child after they have done wrong.  We are all in need of a little mercy!  According to the verse, at one time we had no knowledge of the compassion or forgiveness of God because we did not receive either compassion or forgiveness.  This tells me that we cannot fully know something that we haven’t embraced.  For example, how can you know (fully know) your friend or loved one if you haven’t fully embraced that person (strengths, weaknesses and other idiosyncrasies)?  We do not know what we do not embrace.  So, if we do not embrace people, places, or circumstances- we have no full knowledge of those things.  This is why it’s so important to be friends with people who embrace you fully because that’s the only way they will know you fully and can love you rightly.  We cannot love well what we do not know.  Alright…moving on.  The passage continues with “but now you are drenched with it.”  So what we didn’t know about before, we are now soaked within it. We are now soaked in mercy!

Earlier today, I had to make an errand which led me to the DMV.  I don’t know about other people but I absolutely hate the DMV.  Like absolutely hate it!  Anyways, the clouds were dark and it was raining a little bit but it wasn’t storming.  As I was leaving the DMV, the bottom fell out from the heavens and buckets of water descended on the earth.  Well, your girl didn’t have an umbrella and my afro already had its daily dose of water and olive oil.  As I ran to the car, I was soaked- wet from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.  There was no mistaking that I was in the pouring rain.  Isn’t that the beauty of God?  To take what we were not privy to and to soak us in compassion and forgiveness.  So much so, that we walk around as evidence of what we received.   Friends, we are soaked in mercy!  May this encourage you that our God is not angry with us, neither is he ashamed of us but he is proud to call us his own.  He is full of compassion and forgiveness for us and he loves us dearly!

May you never become dry! 

Xoxo,

Simone 

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Holiday Anxiety

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy pre-holiday season, with Thanksgiving approaching in the next few days, some of you may be feeling the what I describe as “holiday anxiety.”  It’s this dreading feeling that comes when you know you have to be surrounded by family and answer a bunch of aggravating questions.  As a newly single walking embodiment of awesomeness, I hate all of the aggravating questions that come with being seated at the family dinner table.  I don’t know about you all, but I feel like we live in a world where we are always asked to supply answers to questions that we simply don’t have the answer to.  For example, “How long will you be single?”; “When are you going to have some kids?”; “Girl, why you ain’t got a boyfriend?; “Girl, when are you getting married?”  In my heart I want to scream, “I DON’T KNOW, DO I LOOK LIKE GOD?”  but on the outside, I smile gracefully and say, “I don’t know.  I’ll let you know when I find out.”  I’m not going to let them know… I’m going to make all my announcements after the fact on social media.  My family will find out about my life choices when the world finds out. Trifling?  Yeah, I know.

Ladies and Gents, If you’re like me, I feel your pain and I understand your holiday anxiety.  But more so, I sense the temptation to return to my past due to my own loneliness.  It’s like Lord, you separated me from what I was in before but because of my own desires to be held and to be in a relationship, I feel tempted to return back to that which you’ve set me free from.  I believe that many of you are facing the same temptation, the temptation to return back to your past. This overwhelming temptation to settle for what you’ve been freed from out of convenience and loneliness.  This, I believe is the reason many of us have found ourselves at a crossroads:  Do we return to what the Lord asked us to leave?  Or, do we wait for what He promised?  I had a choice, return back to my ex so I can finally have an “answer” pleasing to men or to wait for what the Lord promised which is better!

Anyways, I can’t tell you all how to live your life.  All I’ll say is do not forfeit your future for the temporary conveniences of today.  So, here I go approaching this awkward time with boldness and depth reminding myself of the truth: I’m happy, I’m content,  and I’m waiting and that my dears will have to be enough.

Xoxo,

Simone 

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Lessons from Lifetime Lovers

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Today is my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary, if that isn’t adorable then  I don’t know what is.  Yep!  25 years ago, today, my parents pledged to love each other forever.  I’ve watched my parent’s marriage over the years and I am so amazed by their level of love, not only for each other but for others.  I am amazed by their capacity to love!  Anyways… as a special homage to them, I thought I would share the lessons I have learned from these lifetime lovers.

#1Love is for a lifetime.  My parents through their love have taught me that love is for a lifetime.  Love is not a feeling for a mere moment, it’s not something that passes with time- but love is a commitment that is established forever. To them, falling out of love is not an option and divorce is never on the table.  My dad told me that when he saw my mother, he knew in that instant that he wanted to spend forever with her.  He knew that what God placed inside of him could only be cultivated out of him by her… PURE SWEETNESS.  It’s amazing that after 25 years, he still remembers the moment that he saw her like yesterday, he was captivated by the essence of who she is.  According to my parents, their love is supposed to lasts forever and though it may not always be easy, they are so willing to work through life together.

#2Love is not about convenience.  My parents believe that love is actually about the opposite, a willingness to inconvenience oneself for the good of another.  This ideal of selfless love is the same love exemplified in Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross.  My parents believe that when you commit to someone, you are no longer living for yourself but you are living to benefit/make better someone else.  It’s crazy how much love has become a selfish ideal, centered around the feelings of oneself. In society, we are taught that love is about oneself and not about those around us… My dad loves my mother and even us his children so much that he will get up in the middle of the night and get us what we need if necessary.  My mom loves my dad and us her children so much that she is so willing to give of herself.  For example, every job my mom has ever worked has been centered around my sister and I’s school schedule.  My mom thought it was really important that she spent that time taking us to and picking us up from school.  She did not desire for my sister and I to become “latch key” kids, so she inconvenienced herself for us.  That is love, the willingness to give up your own desires for the good of someone else.

#3– Love without God is not love.  My parents’ marriage is centered around their own individual relationships with Christ.  Their marriage is built in their view of love and compassion exemplified by Christ.  This, I believe is the secret to the joy in their marriage.  God is the creator of love.  He is love so love absent of Him is not love.  I had to swallow this hard pill, over and over again. From personal experience, I thought I could get love without God but in the end, I was left heartbroken.  The beauty about God’s love is that it is unconditional, it has nothing to do with our own condition or with what we can bring to the table but rather with the essence of who He is.  God loves us forever. As I watched my parents love God individually and together, I realized that His love for them is exemplified in how they love one another.  They love so freely without shame or condemnation. The love with everything inside of them.  They love consistently.  They love so well… and that’s how God loves us, He loves us well.

Friends, I’ve been blessed to have such an amazing model of love and marriage in my life.  I know that today, the love I’ve witnessed is becoming more and more rare but I believe that this lifetime love is available for everyone.  I used to hate Valentine’s Day, lament about it being Singles’ Awareness Day and just lived a life of bitterness about my status and lack of “love”. However, this year- I am content because I understand that I am loved whether someone is by my side or not.  I am loved by the Creator and that is enough!  I believe that God has a lifetime lover for me and He is preparing us to come into union with one another.  One day I will have a side-by-side of my parents wedding photo with mine and I will remember the days that I felt unloved no more.  Be encouraged! You are loved already and when that amazing person comes into your life, you will forget the moments that you ever felt unloved.  Happy Valentine’s Day and love well!

Until next time,

Simone.

Happy Christmas

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Holidays!  I wish you all an amazing Christmas season, filled with joy and love.  I know that for some of you all, Christmas is a hard time. It’s a time when you’re reminded of loss of family, your status of singleness, and just the fact that you are spending this time alone.  But, be of good cheer!  You have a whole family, here, ready to love you and encourage you throughout this time.

Once upon a time, I used to dread the holidays; but then I realized that I am so blessed. I have an amazing family who loves me for me, wonderful friends and I am living my dream.  So, I would like to encourage each of you to find the blessings in your lives, the little miracles that holds an eternal smile on your faces.  I believe that God works all around us to remind us that we have so much more than what we think.  We have Him, friends, roofs over our heads, clean water and we live (well some of us) in a country that affords us amazing freedoms.  I am truly blessed and even though I may not have a significant other or a spouse, I am not alone because God is with me.  One of my favorite verses to dwell on during the holidays is Matt. 28:20 b, which says “… And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  We are never alone.  May you find comfort in this verse and realize that He is all around you with his arms open wide- ready to love you well.

I believe that Christmas is not about gifts and material things but about loving others well. I believe that Christmas is about spreading joy and sharing the greatest gift of Christ with the world. For it is my belief, that the day this sweet baby boy came to the world- the world was changed forever.  Jesus came to change the world.  He came to bring hope and to bring love to the outsiders.  He came to bring joy to the depressed, to rescue those who were hanging on by a wing and a prayer.  He came for broken people, for those that people gave up on, for those that were deemed to be unlovable.  Jesus came for you and me and it was with compassion and love that he entered into our world ready to give up everything for us.  He loves us well and during this season, may we share his love with others and love well.

Anyways…family, I love each and everyone of you.  Thank you guys for sticking with me over the  years.  Thank you for reading my posts, thank you for your comments, thank you for investing in me as I seek to pour into each and every one of you.  You guys have loved me well over these past few years and for that I am so grateful!  Thank you for being my family during some of the hardest seasons of my life and  I pray that God will pour His  love out on each and every one of you.  You guys have loved me well and I seek  to continue to love each and every one of you. MERRY CHRISTMAS FAMILY!!!! 

Until next time,

Simone

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Living In Purpose 

Maybe it’s the fact that death has a way of making us reflect on where we should be… or maybe it’s the fact that death makes us aware that time is not guaranteed. Either way, I believe that God use lost to wake us up to the conditions around us; to make us aware that we don’t have all the time in the world to play with our purpose.  We don’t have forever to live beneath our potential, nor do we have forever to take our time to get it right. These are the lessons I am learning as I mourn the lost of my “little brother”, 16 and gone.

Do you know the saddest part of this mourning process? It took my baby bro’s death to wake me up to the fact that I can’t keep slacking where it concerns this blog.  I cannot continue to short change my dream and expect amazing-ness  to happen. Living in mediocrity is no longer sufficient, and being complacent is no longer an option. Once upon a time, I used to think I had all the time in the world – now I know that is not true, I’m not guaranteed time and neither are you.

What a scary thought to have. The thought of maybe I am living below my purpose, maybe just maybe my life is not adding up, is the scariest of them all. I don’t know about you but when I examine my own life that is a tough pill to swallow. Yes, I’m going to law  school in the fall and yes, I graduated from undergrad with no kids but am I truly living out purpose every single day or am I just getting by? When you realize that death is no respect of persons, that death cares nothing about your life plan and that death is inevitable it changes your mindset and propel you to live in/on purpose. Live giving your  all and allow yourself to walk in your divine destiny.

You are here for such a time as this, purposed to touch the earth- find your purpose and live it out. Leave complacency and take advantage of the time you’ve been given. Pray for me guys and you’ll be hearing from me soon.

Until next time,

Simone

Vacations, Birthdays and Gratitude

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

God is good!  That is my simple declaration for the day regardless of what it looks like, regardless of what it feels like- God is good.  I just got home from Orlando and it was wonderful!  I love vacations, birthdays, anniversaries; really any need for celebrations.  I love to celebrate.  I think that life has a way of sucking the life out of us, it has a way of taking our joy and stealing our peace.  Life has this dark, depressing way of ruining our dreams and reminding us of all of our failures.  This is why I love celebrations, because it’s God’s way of causing us to reflect on life with complete gratitude.  Yes, life may not be the best- but we are alive and therefore, God is good.  Yes, the struggle is real- but regardless, God is good.  Celebrations have a way of filling our hearts with gratitude.

My family and I vacationed in Orlando for my mother’s birthday. It was nice seeing my mom relax for a change.  Sometimes, ministry stresses us out and we need a little more grace to make it from day to day- just a little bit more.  I think my mom needed a little bit more grace and just a few days to get away from all of the responsibility that has been placed on her shoulders- so we went on vacation.  My mom was so carefree; I watched as she laughed more, smiled more, and just had an awesome time. Her happiness made me happy and I began to reflect on the goodness of God towards His people.

I think God has a way of slowing down time; a simple way for us to see the world around us.  He has a way of showing us that glimmer of light in the midst of darkness.  He shows us the light so that we may have hope, hope that everything though it may appear dark and dim will be alright.  He is light.  He is hope.  He is good.

So today, Happy Monday and please reflect on the goodness of God.  I know life is tough.  I know life can take you for a whirl.  I know life has this tendency to try your faith, but have hope in God.  Look for the light in the midst of the darkness and understand that there is always hope because He is good.  Today, be filled with gratitude and love for our Creator!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

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The Beauty of Our Friendship

Relationships like ours are rare
Living in moments, ready to share
What God has made for you and me
You see?
We are the product of God’s handiwork
With all our weird qualities, all of our quirks
Designed for each other
In a beauty that glows like amber
Our friendship is priceless
To others we don’t make sense
But that’s what beauty is all about
It’s taking an unfamiliar route
In pursuit of love and happiness
Trudging through the dark times and mess
It’s being present even through the tears
Working through each other’s fears
It’s loving with all that’s within
Checking each other’s sin
That’s the beauty of our friendship
It has survived through hardship
And it will continue to survive
It will continue to thrive
And as we take on the world
I quickly understand that I am a blessed girl
To have you in my life
To your future husband, you’ll make a great wife
In life, we’re in our prime
So cheers, here’s to better times.
©Simone Holloway, 2015

This poem was written for my best friend in the whole world, besides Jesus…Ms. Erica Gray aka “E”.  Today is our friendaversary! We have been friends for 7 years and she has stuck by me through the good times and the bad times.  I can count my friends on my hand and out of all of the them, she has remained loyal, patient and has just been my ride–or-die chick.  She is awesome.  She’s more than my friend, she’s my sister and if she ever needed anything- I would be right there. So I encourage you to celebrate your friendships and to love those around you.  If you have an “Erica” in your life, you are one blessed person- acknowledge their importance every chance that you get.  Great friends are a gift from God and should be cherished!  I love you guys and happy celebrating!!!!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”Proverbs 18:24

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Correcting Love

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

Today was an amazing day.  It was youth Sunday at my church and the theme was “never-ending love”, about the continual love of God.  What I love about the love of God is that it exposes our wrong  in hopes that we get right to move forward.  Love does not delight in wrong, but celebrates doing what is right and living in truth.  This infinite love that is given to all, delights in us recognizing our sin and then making an effort to be free from it.  Can you imagine a father that never addressed his children when they do wrong.  Can you?  We would say that the father mentioned, did not truly love his kids.  How can love someone but say nothing when you see their lives being destroyed? Love says…I love you so much that I’ll tell you the truth because at the end of the day, I want you to be better.  People who sacrifice your purpose to spare you your feelings, do not love you.  People who tell you what you want to hear, instead of what you need – do not love you.  If God chastise those that He love, why wouldn’t those who represent God do the same?

I’m thankful for God’s chastisement, because even though it was painful at times- it got me out of my mess and made me a better person.  Sometimes we can be so stubborn that God has to get our attention some way, and pain does just that- it gets our attention.  I remember growing up and my mom would tell me not to iron clothes by myself,  I was rather small and clumsy and she would warn me that if I iron by myself, there was a possibility that I could get burnt. “Wait on me and I’ll do it for you…” she would say.  One day I remember wanting to be a big girl, I was eight years old and I felt like my mom was treating me like  a baby.  “I can do this by myself..” I said in my heart, as I made my trek to the ironing board.  I plugged the iron in, took my shirt and placed it on the board.  I reach for the iron but because I was too small to carry it, I dropped it and it fell on my wrist, leaving me with a burn scar that I have today.  My mom looked at me, bandaged my wrist and kissed my forehead- but there was an issue that needed to be addressed: my disobedience.  She chastised me and took away one of my favorite treats: ice cream.  I learned that it was better to obey her voice than to disobey- pain came from my disobedience.

“For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

Sometimes God has to do the same with us, He has to remind us what is right and wrong.  He does this through chastisement out of love.  If God didn’t care about you becoming a better person, then you would have something to worry about but because of His love- like a good parent, He’ll go to the end of the world to get you back on course.

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

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Without Hesitation

Hello Authentic Lovers

How are you guys doing?  I’m doing well. Tired but well.  It’s cold and rainy on my side of town, making me want to go home and sleep even more.

So today I thought we would talk about hesitations. I know, it’s so exciting…hesitations 😉 A hesitation is “the action of pausing or hesitating before saying or doing something.” A synonym would be to doubt, or be filled with uncertainty.

I always marvel at the way we live our lives.  I always wondered why it is so much easier to doubt, and to be filled with unbelief then it is to live full of faith, regardless of what is pushed our way.  We never struggle to think negatively, or to think with doubt…but rather, we struggle with thinking positively and walking in faith.  The bad always seem easier than living in the pathway of good.

I know that I have lived a life full of hesitation, one where I pause to think about what’s to come and then talk myself out of doing something.  It’s like for a moment, I am fearless and I will attempt anything; but then I come to myself and I start to think about why I shouldn’t do something spontaneous…maybe even fun.  I’ve gotten better over the years, as I stopped people pleasing but hesitation is real and it comes to rob you of the joy in that moment.

Today, I challenge you to live without hesitation.   Without hesitation live in the moment (present) and enjoy what’s around you.  If you want to dance but you’re not a good dancer- dance anyway.   If you want to hum a tune but you don’t think you can sing, sing/hum anyway.  Stop worrying about how you’ll look and what others think.  Don’t even allow yourself to talk you out of happiness- be happy and live fearless.  Without hesitation love freely!

We’ll be walking this journey of fearlessness together, and to be honest: I am so excited! 

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

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