All Walled Up

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I’m back and I have so much to say!  Have you ever wondered why we have walls? I mean, why do we have partitions between rooms, people, experiences?  I know we are taught that walls protect us, they are necessary for privacy and are critical for boundaries.  But, what if our walls are damaging us?  I mean the walls we keep on the inside that keep us from being honest with others. I remember once upon a time, my Pastor  (PT) preached this epic sermon about walls.  He discussed the dangers of living with walls, of being closed off from those given to you.  I left that service inspired to tear down my walls, but I noticed that some of the walls I’ve built were rooted in my own disappointments and unrealistic expectations. Immediately, God began to deal with my walls.

If I’m candid, the walls I’ve built to protect myself from others became this tool to destroy me.  Here are some of the walls, the Lord and I have been tearing down one by one:  (1) Walls of disappointment, (2) Walls of rejection, (3) Walls associated with childhood trauma, (4) Walls of depression/suicidal ideations, (5) Walls of anxiety and fear, (6) Walls of self-hatred and diminishment of self, (7) Walls of guilt from past mistakes and behavior, (8) Walls of doubt, and finally (9) Walls of expectations.  I shared my former walls so that you can have the courage to identify yours. I mean, your healing is your responsibility.  I’m a big believer in honesty/transparency because I desire to grow as a person.  This new found freedom drives me to open the same invitation to each of you.  We do not have to live all walled up.  The same God who created us can protect us and we can trust Him with our happiness.

Our walls keep us from receiving all that the Father has destined for us.  Think about it, how can we believe in our dream if our wall of false belief about self stands in the way?  I remember delaying on what God placed on the inside because His Word had to run into my wall of fear.  It became exhausting to believe in anything, especially God’s Word.  I wonder what our lives would look like if we had the courage to tear down our walls.  I mean we don’t have to do this by ourselves, our Father is able and willing to help.  That’s the beauty of living in this new way, we don’t have to do this alone!  I couldn’t receive until I tore down my wall, I couldn’t love well until I rid myself of my walls, I couldn’t help effectively until my walls were demolished.

Our walls hinder us from loving ourselves and therefore determine how we love others.  

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: https://alifebeyondrubies.files.wordpress.com/2013/03//walls01.jpg

My Pastor’s EPIC sermon about walls (Pursue Series: “Come Outside”): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ilyuf3GCZlQ

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Things We Learn From Movies….

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Have you ever watched a movie, invested in it and then at the end was left disappointed? Literally, my life ten minutes ago.  I checked out a new film, invested two hours and fifteen minutes into the film, but by the time I got to the end I was like “OMG ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?” It was as I was #AvengersInfinityWar’d all over again!  But, Ladies and Gents- that feeling of disappointment matches some of the relationships I chose.  I entered into these relationships:  excited, intrigued and overwhelmed with the hype of who their representative swore to be but by the time I got to the root of the substance that lied within the individual, I was quickly disappointed.  It’s nothing worse than wasting time, especially in people.  How many of us were attracted or intrigued by an individual and when push came to shove, was ultimately disappointed by what we invested into?  This is something, I’ve experienced and I these are the thoughts I would like to share with you.

So…why are we attracted to the shallow and insufficient?  Why do we jump all the way into things without testing the weightiness of it?  I think all of my experiences were rooted in fear.  Fear of being alone.  Fear of not connecting with someone in the same way.  Fear that nothing better will come along.  The crazy thing about fear is that it will have us dancing on the line of desperation, in an effort to control what’s next.  I think that we jump too soon because we’re scared that we’re going to miss out because of time.  Time like sand slips through our fingers and we feel this anxious clock hovering over us telling us who we should be by a certain year. I ran into relationships because of these fears and I was disappointed because I invested in something without counting the costs. I made decisions out of my fears and I was disappointed.  However, the Father promises that if we place our trust in Him, we will never be disappointed.  God choices do not disappoint.  Choices construed out of myself, feelings, and fears are going to disappoint me every single time.

What I love about God is that He doesn’t get mad at us if we choose wrong, but instead He reveals to us what we need so that we can choose right.  He does not disappoint us, we disappoint ourselves!  So… let us move forward and let us make the God-choice where it concerns relationships!  Let us choose what He desires and we won’t find ourselves disappointed.

“… those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: http://www.patrickbetdavid.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/movies-red.jpg

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

FIC: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/iStock_000006218863Small1-820×380.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

Sin Paranoia

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers – 

Have you ever noticed that sin causes us to be paranoid?  Paranoid that people are going to find out that we failed, that we engaged in something we probably should not have engaged in.  There is a level of a paranoia that comes when we engage in sin/sinful behavior. I do not pretend to have everything together, neither do I pretend to have arrived in my Christian walk- there are all kinds of things I have walked through and have engaged in.  I am so ashamed when I look back on the details of my past but that is why we call it a past, meaning that it has no relevance to where we are right now. I think this is where we get stuck, we get stuck dealing with the details of the old; we allow our past to define us when we are no longer in that place.  Anyways.. when we are doing wrong, I sense a level of paranoia.  That is when I just begin to air all of my dirty laundry and do some confession.  I confess before God and man because confession is so good for the soul and it sets us free.

We can not run from who we are for too long.  After awhile, we are going to have to face who we are and what we are choosing to bring into our lives.  I face things all the time, lately it has been temptations of sinful behavior, pressure to be successful and dealing with individuals I really do not care for.  On top of that warfare, I  am in a new environment living in a new city so the stress and anxiety wrapped in that one fact has tried to consume me heavily.  My archenemy depression has paid me a visit and so this week has been one for the books.  I lost a piece of myself in the shuffle and returned to behaviors I swore I would never go back to out of fear.  I am human and I mess up and I fall but the great thing about Jesus is that He has given me grace.  Grace that goes beyond my own performance and my own intentions – His grace picks me up when I fall and tells me that Simone, I want you- all of you, just the way you are in all of your “jacked-up”ness (not a real word).  I love that God loves me completely, knowing that I would mess up- knowing that I would disappoint Him, that I would not meet his standards sometimes- yet, He still loves me.   That is the beauty of grace! Should grace be taken for granted, absolutely not!  It should be recognized for what it is, a second opportunity for repentance.

So let me encourage someone this evening,  I know you made mistakes – we all have.  Trust me, even that one you deem to be the best saint has made some type of mistake, but take heart- God give forgiveness and compassion to those who confess and make it right with him. The  beauty of this forgiveness is that your sins are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness and you do not have to be bound to them anymore.  You need to forgive yourself.  Trust me, I know it is hard.  Sometimes, I look over my life and all of the mistakes I have made and I know that I have been forgiven but I still hold my mistakes against myself.  I do.  I say, “okay Simone you failed before so work really hard so that you do not fail again.” This is totally opposite of the gospel, which says I need Jesus to walk upright.  I cannot walk upright in myself because this flesh is awful and wants nothing to do with God, I have to rely on God in order to become a better person.  He makes me better.  That is the problem, we have been taught for so long that we have to get ourselves together, but the truth is we do not have the power or strength to perfect ourselves and that is why we need God- He perfects us!  Forgive yourself and move forward.

I go to Forward City Church and our call is, “The past is gone.  The future  awaits. Move forward. ” And I repeat this mantra over you all, “The past is gone.  The future awaits. Move  forward.” Let it go and live.  God is ready, willing and longing to love with forgiveness drenched in mercy and grace.  He already released your mistakes/past, now will you?

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://www.masternewmedia.org/images/little-sisters-sharing-secret-by-Viewimages-dot-com-72482743-415.jpg

 

 

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)

Remembering Who God Is…

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

We all need a day of remembrance, a day when we remember the goodness of the Lord.  August 21, 2015 is my day of remembrance, it all started at midnight when I brought the @tashacobbs album #oneplacelive.  If you don’t have this album, you need to get it ASAP, this album will bless your life!  So I started my praise party at midnight and then started again at 3 am during 3 am prayer.  There is something about a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving towards the Father.  I was sitting in prayer and I could feel the presence of the Lord, wrapping Himself around me as I sung/prayed articles of praise, thanksgiving and gratitude.  Praise helps us remember who God is…. Praise says God is good, He is magnificent, beautiful, trustworthy and consistent.  Praise amplifies these things and when we remember who God is, everything in our lives that is going wrong seems powerless next to the acknowledged power of God.

God is gracious…His graces goes beyond our comprehension and His mercy should be emulated here on the earth.  He is just and honors justice.  He is loving and wants us to love in the same manner that  He loves.  He is a man of War, and He longs to defend and protect us.  He is good….

Come on, wherever you are: Remember who God is.  When you remember who He is; there is no room for fear, doubt, unbelief, worry and anxiety.  When you remember who He is, loneliness and rejection cannot dwell in your heart. He is greater than depression, greater than sickness, greater than these limitations placed upon us in this world. He is bigger and greater and more than we can ever imagine.  Remember Him…

Remember who He is… to the point that your situations look small again,  Remember who He is…to the point that when others walk away and leave you, you still have peace.  Remember who He is…to the point where you can praise in the face of adversity.  Remember who He is….

“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” Psalm 77:11 NIV

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://www.unlikelychristian.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Remember-who-God-is.jpg

Addiction

smoke fills my lungs
exhale!
some would say I'm a walking time bomb
just waiting to E-X-P-L-O-D-E
staring at this dark brown strong drink
in one of my favorite short glasses
Oh, what am I doing here?
All alone in the back
take a swig...
exhale!
I look around and everyone seems content

the complete opposite of me
Empty and lifeless
Driven by pleasure
One- night stands...
why not?
What do I have to lose????
He walks in
His cologne, sensuality - he targets me
His brown eyes, finding mine
magnetism on his side, attaching him to me
"Can I buy you another drink?"
Nodding the approval of my destruction
And he being sent from Satan, enabled my addiction
©Simone Holloway, 2015

Tonight’s poem is written from another’s perspective- one who is lifeless and empty: stuck into this addictive mindset, thriving off the high of destruction.  I don’t drink, smoke and I’m still a virgin- but I believe that we all have sabotaging things in our lives that cause our downfall and when we are empty, we succumb to these vices.  In our loneliness we are the most vulnerable and in our lack of hope- we destroy ourselves.  Tonight’s poem was kind of depressing and dark but I hope that you all can understand that those who are without love of any kind are some of the most hopeless people.  This is why I started this blog, I wanted share love to those- who were without so that they can know that someone out in the world truly cares about them.  Lately, I’ve been questioning my blog- because I noticed that viewership decreased drastically.  My voice all of sudden felt worthless and I fell to my own vices, as discontentment and emptiness began to settle into my heart.  The bible talks about casting our cares upon God because He cares about us, instead I held onto my cares- afraid that nothing I did would change my result,  Fear can rob us of some of the most meaningful moments in our lives, it can strip us of happiness and take away our joy.  This fear, loneliness and rejection is the root of many addictions and sabotaging behavior.  In an effort to not allow anyone to hurt us, we hurt ourselves.  Family and friends, if this is you that I described, I walked in your shoes and I am here for you.  If no one else cares about you, I care and I am just a prayer away.  I love you all!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://www.fahadkhan.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/addictionmain.jpg

Triggers

Triggers.  Those things that bring you back to that dark place, you swore you’ll never return.  Triggers. The thing about them is that you can take control over them or your can let them control you.  Life is full of reminders of disappointment, pain, fears and etc.  But what do you do with these things?  Triggers used to take me to a depressive state, setting me up for a lifestyle of sin. Every time I fell into the sin of porn or any other sin, there was a trigger that created the pathway.  That trigger could have been stress, anxiety, worry, depression, or just a plain feeling of being overwhelmed,  Either way, there was a trigger.  I sense a trigger of stress and anxiety trying to rear it’s ugly head tonight- telling me that God didn’t care about my needs nor was He concerned with what I was going through.  I had a choice to fall into the power of those triggers or to overcome them.  Good thing, I had a good friend present who wouldn’t let me leave her car without praying with me  She prayed and eased my mind of those tiny triggers, those things that come to trip us up and make us fall.  So tonight, I ask you- what are your triggers?  Do you have power over them or do they have power over you?

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

“Resist the Devil and he will flee from you…” James 4: 7

Featured Image Credit: http://superslimmerben.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Triggers-597×429.jpg

Get Back On The Horse

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Today is #FreedomFriday, and as many of you know- I truly believe that one can be free in their hearts and their minds.  I believe in walking in true freedom, but I also believe in repentance and forgiveness.  Sometimes in our freedom walk- we’ll miss the mark, we’ll make mistakes but that is not an excuse for us to stay down.  In fact, it should be the motivation that causes us to try again and to give our pursuit of freedom, all that we have.  I made some mistakes today, but I didn’t let the Enemy convince me to stay down, no I got back up and I got back on the horse.  I’m in this Freedom thing until the very end and no matter what happens,  I am pursuing after God in true deliverance.  So today I say- everybody makes mistakes but don’t allow your mistakes to keep you stuck, GET BACK ON THE HORSE.  God is a God of restoration and He will forgive and restore you!

” Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you” Psalm 51:10,12

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: https://craigtowens.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/restoration.jpg