Misplaced Expectations.

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

I’ve been guilty of many things, one being the placement of expectations on those I love without agreed upon conversation. I know what you’re thinking, “Simone, you can’t just be out here expecting things from people who have not verbalized their agreement to fulfill certain roles!” I know. It’s not my intention to placed these expectations on others but if we’re honest deep down on the inside, we expect people to love like we do. Yes, we do! We expect people to be as tolerant as us, to give as much as we do, to be concerned with what we care about, to see the world through our lens. The disappointment comes when we discover that someone is not loving us the way we expected them to, that they are not being as kind as we expected, that they are not as honest as we expected. Our disappointment comes from our own misplaced expectations.

I recently came to a place with someone that I love that left me deeply disappointed. I entered into this friendship with this person, shared my heart with them, even told them things that no one else knew about me. I became aware of a bit of dishonesty from them to me and I was deeply troubled: I WAS ANGRY!!! Man, you could not tell me I wasn’t justified in my response. The problem was, I was really angry with myself. Angry that I placed these expectations of honesty and truth upon someone and their failure of those expectations. If we’re honest, our anger is with ourselves. We’re disappointed that we placed faith and trust in someone that we thought could do no wrong, but they did. Problem is: we’re all human, liable to make mistakes. We are all liable to get it wrong and there is grace for mistakes.

So…if I could offer any advice. Please do not place expectations on people unless there has been a direct conversation stipulating behavior. We cannot expect perfection, but we should not tolerate crap either. Some things can be cleared up by mere communication. So have the conversation… do that person value honesty the way you do? How do they feel about the concept of respect? Do they value you? Why do they want to be in your life? What is the role that they want to place in your life? Do you agree with this role? Express your feelings, desires, stances on relational definitions and let the chips fall where they lay.

Rid your life of misplaced expectations.

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: https://cloud.visura.co/346518.xx_large.jpg

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

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 

FIC: http://www.b2beck.com/images/holiday_anxiety.jpg

I Refuse To Remember

I can’t remember the last time I wrote you.
In prose, poetry, sentences, words, breaths…
I don’t remember becoming this brave,
yet here I am.
Again, I realize that I made the right choice-
life changed the moment I chose me.
I think I’ve found my future’s key.

I can’t remember the last time I spoke to you.
In sound, actions, deeds, man I can finally breathe…
I don’t remember returning to a mind that’s sane,
yet here I am.
Yet again, I realize that I made the best decision-
time stood still the second I walked away.
Man, my heart is no longer a game that can be played.

I can’t remember the last time I…
…thought of you.
…whispered your name.
…wished you were with me.
…wanted life to be the same.
…sung your favorite song.
…stalked your Facebook page.
…ate your favorite meal.
…allowed memories of you to fill me with rage.
…prayed that you would be faithful.
…hung my head low at your mistakes.
…desired to be in your arms.
…got caught up in our on -again off -again breaks.
…chose regret.
…downplayed my life’s purpose.
…diminished my beauty and brilliance.
…allowed you to distract and steal my focus.

I can’t remember.
I won’t remember.
I refuse to remember… what life looked like with you in it.

©Simone Holloway, 2018

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/236x/28/99/04/289904751d13d5c9edbf95cf82da724b–fantasy-photography-shadow-photography.jpg

 

 

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

Goodbye.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s Tuesday, the weather is frightening and today was one of making hard decisions and letting go.  It’s easy to talk about letting go but sometimes God asks for things that we’ve grown quite attached to.  Sometimes we will give these things up, and sometimes it takes a sacrifice of self for us to release that which is super important to us.

Anything you’re not willing to let go of is an idol- PT, 6for2 Prayer

For me, it was a man.  I loved this man so much so, that I couldn’t imagine my life without him being in it.  God was like, “Oh really? Why don’t we find out?” And for the past six years, I lived life without this man being in my life.  I found out that I didn’t need this person in my life for it to be filled with joy, adventure, and fulfillment.  Without him, I was fulfilled because I found myself in Christ.

It’s hard to admit that you’ve been serving and striving for other things than God, who wants to face the truth that their heart hasn’t been totally devoted to their Savior?  Not too many people.

But, I think honesty is the catalyst for freedom.  It is not until we face the music that we become free!

In order to say hello to the new, we must say goodbye to the old.  This can include but not limited to:  who we thought we were, who we thought we would be with, where we thought we would live, what we sought career-wise, and other things we refuse to release control.

We must say goodbye because at every end is a new beginning.

I wish I could tell you that saying goodbye is easy.  Oh man!  I wish I could assure you that goodbyes won’t produce any tears, but that is simply not the case.  In fact, a hard goodbye may cause you to cry for days but I promise that what’s coming is so much better than what’s been.

Give yourself time to feel, cry, worship, do whatever it takes to heal properly. To pretend that you’re not in pain is not holiness neither is it spiritual, it’s simply foolish and a sure way to remain injured.  Feel, acknowledge what you feel, be honest with yourself and heal.  Give yourself the permission to heal!

Your (God’s) way is not just right, your way is better! – PT, 6for2 Prayer

May you find the courage to say goodbye. 

Xoxo,

Simone 🦁

FIC: https://cdn.tinybuddha.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Woman-Waving-Goodbye.png

 

Memories

I remember being prompted to write to you.

To unleash all of my thoughts and to direct them solely to you.

But fear came in, and I determined

that I could not bear such a weight of honesty.

I did not want to face this insecurity,

so I remained silent.

Yet, I could not continue to hide that…

my mind remembers you.

My mind is also convinced that 1+1=2…

that one day there will be

the two of us, freely

engaged in a relationship with one another

and not just simply together.

My mind and not just my heart is shipping us on the daily.

To tell the truth, you’re to blame

because since our first meeting I haven’t been the same

and that’s when fear and doubt came…

and I silently watched you forfeit the love game.

Hmmm… isn’t it crazy that after all the time that’s gone by,

after sleeping under different parts of the skies,

after absent vacations, birthdays and graduations,

after new jobs and new life situations,

after twists, turns, life unexpected promises,

after suicidal attempts and divine God-visits,

after years of addictions and brand new shoes,

after realizing that life was more than being cool..

I still cannot forget about you.

Trust me, I tried.

I stood in the mirror and lied,

said that I didn’t love you anymore.

I went too far in my confession, I even swore-

to those that loved me dearly and to those who witnessed my pain.

I promised I wouldn’t choose you, because I didn’t want you to break me again.

But my mind doesn’t care because I remember:

Indian and Thai food, Lakers, “Lebron, the princess!”, Christmas 2012, Phoenix (Parisian boys), “I’m destiny, you’re looking at it”, bagging contest, CNC galore, food science degrees, brewery dreams, “Sept. 15, Don’t forget!”, fields and fields of broken dreams.  July 10, 2011,> hands clasped at the altar.

I remember and I tried desperately to forget.

For 5+ years, every moment I’ve had in life has found a way to connect to you.

So… I know I’m intelligent, but maybe I’m a fool.

Because even on your worst days- I still want to be with you!

Maybe this is grace personified in me,

maybe this is love, maybe this is being free.

Maybe this is compassion bestowed liberally…

all in all, still remains the question of what to do.

Yes, I’ll admit it.  I never stopped loving you.

©Simone Holloway, 2018

FIC: https://i2.wp.com/indiacurrents.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/memories.jpg?resize=500%2C333&ssl=1

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