The Three Hundred.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Happy Monday! I hope you all are having a great day.  Today I wanted to encourage you all to dream, to believe the impossible and to pursue after those things you’ve placed on your dream shelves.  We all have dreams we thought about once upon time but did nothing with, all of us.  I dreamed of traveling around the world, and I have not made it across the pond just yet.  For the longest, I blamed my hectic schedule and the presence of being in law school.  However, now that I’ve graduated there is really no excuse for me to not find my way somewhere new.

Last week, my sisters challenged me to write down three hundred things that I wanted the Lord to do in my life.  Three hundred individual,  unique, and crazy dreams.  I thought about the request and at first I was like how am I going to think of three hundred things?  How sway?  One of my sisters shared with us that the Father spoke to her and was like if you are having trouble thinking of three hundred things it is a matter of faith not a matter of possibilities.  To ask the Lord for something requires faith, and maybe we do not even think to ask because deep down in our hearts we believe that He won’t come through.  It is the Enemy’s goal to have us living beneath our purpose, settling for whatever we’ve been given refusing to ask, to dream and to act on what we’ve dreamed with the Lord.  Writing down our dreams is not only powerful but prophetic- it’s our signal to the Lord that we believe He can do anything!

So, friends I wrote my list of three hundred crazy, impossible dreams.  Today, I realized that there were more dreams to add to my list and I believe that my heart has been freed to dream.  Lovelies, tonight I challenge you to sit with the Lord and build your own list of three hundred things.  Think about and write down three hundred crazy, unique, impossible dreams that you believe the Lord can do.  My list included learning new trades and languages, owning various pieces of property, getting married and having children.  Also, my list included creating scholarship funds for a certain demographic of people and providing for the needs of millions of individuals.  Think about your dreams, ponder them and write them down in faith believing that you in partnership with the Lord can make these dreams come true.

Happy dreaming!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://www.wonderopolis.org/wp-content/uploadss/2014/08/a60a39708a00cd765e09e86874532e84.jpg

Firing My SWAT Team.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hope you all are having a great evening.  Here’s a thought: What would your life look like if you were less guarded?  I used to ask myself this question all the time.  I used to imagine a life of pain, abuse, and emotional wounds. This could not be further from the truth of what an unguarded life held but past experiences fueled with fear, strengthened my beliefs.  My belief system helped me build a wall around my heart.  This wall was so high and so wide that it even affected my relationship with the Lord.  I had a relationship with God that lacked openness, honesty and raw vulnerability.   I reinforced this wall with what I called my SWAT team- a team of my most powerful fears, who helped keep people, places and things out of my heart.  You know that scripture, “Guard your heart…” I took that scripture a step too far and held my heart hostage.  Fear was my guard and pain was the team captain that kept others at bay.

When you live in dysfunction for so long, you begin to think that your way of living is okay.  Poor emotional health will convince you that needs to be needed, the inability to receive love and avoidance of hard conversations is a matter of personality type when in fact it is an issue of health and maturity.  I thought because I was an INFJ and an 8(on the enneagram model) I was excused from addressing my guards.  I thought my previous painful experiences with people excused me from addressing my guards.  I thought my “spirit of discernment” and earthly wisdom excused me from addressing my guards.  As long as I loved a little bit, as long as I made somewhat of a friendship,  and as long as I avoided the pain I thought God was content with me and my guards. I was completely wrong!   The Father was not pleased with my habit of guarding my heart with fear.

I remember sitting in my room, discussing my relationships with the Lord when he asked me to surrender my guards, to fire my team.  He challenged me with this thought “You can not be open yet guarded at the same time, waiting for people to prove to you that they are not who you thought they were.” Of course, He was right!  Living a life of testing people gets old and you find yourself in a life long dance with self-fulfilling prophecies.  We cannot say we trust in people and yet have no faith in them to do what is right.  We cannot say we love people but as soon as we see a “red flag” (really a fear) we head for the hills ready to run.  Our guards keep the “pain” away but it also hinders us from fruitful connection bred in vulnerability. This type of lifestyle leaves us alone.  My life was lived guarded, fearful and it profited nothing for me.  In order to love and receive the love He desired for me to have, I was going to have to fire my SWAT team and to make peace my guard. Lovelies, that evening I decided to fire my SWAT team.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil.4:7 NIV

Peace will be our guard.  When we allow peace to do it’s perfect work, to signal to us if something is right and wrong; it will guard us against things that are meant to harm us.  How many times have we dismissed the wisdom of peace?  We didn’t feel right about something or it didn’t sit well with us yet we overrode our gut for what was presented to us?  Peace is that sense of relief and comfort, it’s the marker that everything is going to be okay.  Even in hard times, peace guards our emotions and it shields us from fear and anxiety.  Instead of building our own walls and hiring our own protection, let’s allow peace to do its perfect work. Tonight, let’s decide that we will allow peace to be our guard.

Friends, listen to Peace and fire your SWAT team.

Xoxo,

Simone 

Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hope you all are having a fantastic day!  Today is full of wonder, discovery and the beauty of reminiscing on beautiful things.  I have a confession, well a few confessions that I would love to share with each of you.  No worries, I promise not to exhaust you all with all my inner musings.  This is what I would like to call: “Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic.” 

*Drum roll please * 

Confession #1: I love handwritten notes. 

When someone handwrites me a note, my heart soars.  There is something so precious and nostalgic about a handwritten note. The time, effort and words on a simple sheet of paper fills my love tank.  I love words, so when someone takes the time to share their heart with me, I am loved well.

Confession #2: I am an old soul. 

I am only twenty-six years old but on the inside, I feel like I am in my forties.  I feel like my soul has lived a few lives.  I love the gestures our parents and grandparents took to express love.  I remember the days when people used to write letters to express their love for others.  I remember when skywriters still had jobs, the days when walking in the rain was both beautiful and sacred.  I remember those days.  I watched as a generation abandoned what was personal for that which was convenient.  Texting and sending emails became easier than phone calls and God forbid you would receive an actual card in the mail.

Confession #3: I am a sentimental person. 

I keep all of the cards given to me in a box, and sometimes I reread the words written to me.  When I pull these cards from the box, it is like I am reliving an amazing memory- the moment I felt loved by that person.  My heart reads the beautiful words on the card and love enters once again.  I love how a simple gesture creates such a profound emotional connection. 

Confession #4: I have a killer memory.

I remember twirling a phone cord around my finger as I chatted with friends.  I remember collecting CD covers so that I could admire the artists’ work.  I remember always attending an event with a gift in hand.  I remember walking to and from school.  I remember the days when friendship meant everything and loyalty was valued.  I remember when girl code was in full effect and if your girl talked to ole dude, you did not. I remember the days when we were a covenant-keeping generation when we cared about those we loved.  I remember the days when others like me loved a handwritten note.

*Sighs*

I guess today’s article is my way of expressing that our advancements in technology and progression robbed us of quality in the name of convenience.  We are faster in completing things but we lost the essence of being present.  We can get so much work done, yet we have lost the beauty of a well-maintained community.  For friends, to love well takes time.  We cannot microwave healing, we cannot rush love.  Do not get me wrong, I love all that we have achieved as a community of people but I would take a handwritten note over a bland email. I would trade an expensive gift for something handmade, something that took thought, consideration and time.  I would trade a night on the town, for staying in and watching my favorite film with un-buttered popcorn.  I am such a simple girl, that longs for simplicity in life.  Yet, is not this the one thing that we all desire?  Simplicity.  Simple decisions, simple commitments, a simple love. Loves, am I insane for believing that things such as love do not have to be incredibly burdensome and hard?

My final confession:  I believe that love does not have to be burdensome and hard.

I just refuse to believe that I must suffer first to be loved well. I refuse to believe that the world is void of good men and women.  I refuse to believe that we are all selfish, self-seeking monsters full of brokenness entering into relationships.  I refuse to believe that true love is dead, that soulmates do not exist, and that we can no longer have a deep meaningful conversation with those we love.  Maybe I am naive, or maybe I am hopeful because I have seen love done well.  I have seen a time of meaningful relationships and I believe that we have the power to return back to a state of being present, intentional, and whole.  I believe that what we have complicated, does not have to be so hard.

I promise it does not have to be so hard.

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://artlikewhoa.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/khadijahm_romanticism_natural010.jpg

the switch up.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Inspiration hits me in the most random places and for once Facebook was more than a distraction but a source of encouragement and joy.  I watched as one of my sisters expressed herself unapologetically in boldness, strength, and grace.  She switched up in the game and I was here for all of it!  She was becoming herself and it was beautiful, almost led me into a little tear-fest but I am a G so I reflected and thought about my own experience- my own switch up.

With John Mayer playing in the background, I sat and thought about my journey.  The Simone from July 2018 no longer exists and I am glad!  I was dope or whatever but I was too passive, cared way too much about the opinions of others and allowed people to take advantage of me.   I was living life for others but wasn’t truly living for me.  It was the end of July and I just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship.  I remember having this talk with God about what I deserved as a woman, as a godly woman.  I was the girl that hid behind her career, behind her gifts and preferred the background over the limelight any day.  I was not too confident with my body and I had a host of fears, I mean your girl was afraid of EVERYTHING!  It is crazy looking back at how bound I was…

I remember the Father directing me to start working out with my girl Lex.  She has a fitness brand/training company called LoveLex, where you come to love your now as you’re working on your next.  I started to work out with her and a group of my friends and fell in love with my body.  Things slowly began to change.  I was in my last year of law school and I no longer hid in the classroom, I began to share my opinion more and began to be transparent about my journey.  I started to embrace my favorite word, “NO.” and put up a host of boundaries.  I even had to switch up from this passive person to a more assertive person,  I transformed from a little lamb into a lioness and I began to take myself seriously. The switch-up was in full effect but the world did not become introduced to the “new” me until January 2019.  As soon as the clock struck midnight,   new me became visible to those around me.  It was an immediate change: my confidence level was on ten, I knew my worth and I was a thriving boss chick that was no longer settling for mess.   

As January faded and February began, I became more racially conscience.  I fell in love with my blackness and realized that all of my melanin was hella beautiful.  Your girl started to rock her natural hair, afro and all!  I read about my ancestors, began to honor my black kings and queens and developed a love for my black heroes that paved the way before me.  I pledged to honor Fannie, Angela, and Ella; to use my influence and position of power as an attorney to rid the world of injustice.  Your girl is black black and I love all of it!  Spring came with March and I was this no-nonsense believer who was more interested in acting out scripture than shaming people with it.  I got a hold of grace and I understood the love of God which went farther than perfection.  It was the most liberating experience of my life.  I was no longer living for church politics or for people who did not create me to accept me, I was accepted already.  I attended dances, went to mixers, traveled all over the country for conferences, and went on day trips- I was having the time of my life!   I became free.

April came and then May followed and before you knew it, I  graduated from law school and I embraced my intelligence as a gift from God.  God was doing a work in my heart and I began to heal emotionally.  I rid my life of the past and I was walking towards my future.  I woke up and realized that I was worthy of happiness, worthy of love, worthy of hearing and being told the truth.  I was worth all of the good in the world. Even today, I look in the mirror and do not recognize the person I see.  I transformed into a new person: one who is full of love and courage, one who is free to speak her mind and express herself, one who loves herself enough to wait.  My change has been transformative for my esteem.

I think every woman goes through this process of awakening when you realize that what you’ve settled for is not all that life has to offer.  There is a moment when you love  yourself enough not to accept half-promises and half-truths.  You come to love yourself more than the comfort of someone, more than the opportunities given, more than the limitations others will place upon you.  There is a day in every woman’s life when she falls in love with herself and her understanding of her dopeness changes the trajectory of her life.  I fell in love with me and that’s when my life changed for the better.  My friends tease me and say that I switched up the game, I did but I think we should all have a day where we switch up on those who thought they knew us, thought they could run us, control us, manipulate us or abuse us.  Switch up Queen and slay as you move into freedom!

Xoxo,

Simone

The V-Club.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Friends, I have a confession to make… I am a sucker for a good reality TV series.  Reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures and I get a thrill watching all the drama unfold on my television set.  I think it is the lack of drama in my own life that gives me the space to enjoy others’ petty behavior.  Anyways, I am a huge fan of a reality TV series called Married at First Sight™.  The concept is simple:  two perfect strangers agree to marry at first sight for eight weeks.  At the end of the eight week period,  they can then decide to stay married or to divorce.  First of all, I could NEVER marry a perfect stranger.  Absolutely not! Like, dating in 2019 must suck so bad that people are out here willingly engaging in arranged marriages.  This past season there was a girl named Iris on the show.  She was characterized as smart, beautiful, loving and also a virgin.  She decided to not share herself sexually with anyone other than her spouse-to-be.  To me, Iris was legit.  Home-girl even brought herself the most beautiful white dress to celebrate her virginity.  Well, the man she married…he was not too thrilled about her choice.  In fact, he divorced her because of it. He wanted someone who had as much sexual experience as him and in the end, he walked away from his marriage to Iris.

So… what does this have to do with me?  Quite a bit! For the first time, I saw a public display of one of my fears.  As someone who is also a member of the V-Club, I fear that this gift I want to save for my spouse will be looked upon with shame, it will be the thing that disqualifies me, giving him fuel to walk away.  There is nothing like virgin-shaming.  You know, that awkward silence and weird look people give you when they find out you do not have any experience in that “department”.  I remember guys making sexual advances towards me and when I had to explain why I was not accepting them, I would get the classic response: (1) Lack of Eye Contact;  (2) Hand rubbing the back of the head; and finally (3) The Pivoted Stance.  It was as if the dude could not wait to jet to the nearest door.  All of a sudden, it felt like I had a disease.

Watching Iris leave her marriage heartbroken spoke to every one of my fears.  What if I save myself for marriage and he is disappointed in my lack of experience?  What if sex is a deal-breaker for him?  How would I know if I am doing “it” right?  OMGGGGGG talk about increased anxiety.  My friends are always like girl I wish I was in your position, if I could go back, I would have waited too.  Yeah…that’s so encouraging but they do not understand what it is like to be me.

I read a few articles that discussed the shame virgins sometimes face surrounding their choice, and my friends that shame is real.  We sometimes feel shame for being different; we sometimes feel shame for being sensual and sexually frustrated; we sometimes feel shame for wanting to throw our V-cards away.  We feel all levels of shame sometimes around something that God himself created to be good.  There is this terrible notion that if we let that piece of ourselves go, we failed the mission- we missed the mark.  Yet, this same shame speaks to us and says that if we do not turn into some type of sexual vixen for our husbands in time then we should be ashamed as well.  I have talked to virgins with high sex drives that feel shame; I’ve spoken to those who engage in casual sex and have felt shame.  It seems that no matter your moral compass or beliefs, shame has the capability of robbing us of the joy that comes with pleasure.

Yet, is not shame like that?  You will spend your whole life believing in your pursuit or call and the response of the one you love will make you second guess your covenant.  What you looked upon with pride, you now look upon with regret.  I think that experiences like Iris’ or even mine during my college years have the power to shape us.  We can either stick to our conviction, or to win the love of another we can compromise.

Lifetime™ did a “Where Are They Now?” special with the cast members of the last season of Married at First Sight™.  Iris showed up looking amazing.  She sat next to her now ex-husband, the one she came to love, radiating strength and light.  She boldly proclaimed, “It’s okay because now I am a divorced virgin, an even more rare gem.”  I sat in front of the TV, marveled at her post-break up glow, and chuckled to myself.  She was a rare gem. Yet, even if she was no longer a virgin she would have been a rare gem.  For,   she was someone who stood by her convictions.  She had so much discipline and so much confidence in herself that it seemed like all of the shame regarding her marriage’s demise drifted away.  Iris was okay! Heck, she was better than okay!

Well friends, why the sex talk?  First, I figured we are all mature adults able to have a candid conversation about something the world idolizes.  Second, I wanted to share my story to let my fellow V-club members know that there are more people like you out there.  It is rare, but we do exist.  Third, I believe that we must stop allowing shame to rob us of connection and pleasure with God and others.  Shame does not keep us out of the lifestyle of sin, oftentimes it has the adverse effect- it coaches us right into it.  We must share our stories free of shame and be able to stand by our convictions without thinking something is wrong with us.  There is freedom and acceptance in making choices for your journey.  Lastly, since when is sex not a topic of conversation for the believer?  If it was created by God to give glory to God, why do we shy away from discussing its pros and cons absent of godly covenant? In our efforts to keep ourselves out of sexual immorality, we have demonized something given to us as a gift to enrich intimacy.  The church, its people and everyone in between should be able to speak freely about all things pertaining to sex, sexuality and sexual health. So, let us open ourselves up to candid conversation to discover the power of truth and honesty.  Shying away from relevant conversation does not make us wise, but rather extremely foolish.

Well loves, that is it for today!  Stay safe out there.

Xoxo,

Simone

 

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 

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a6/df/8a/a6df8adc5f8f7df585160f4ae19c5366.jpg

Heal first.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s Monday which means if you’re highly motivated like me, you’ve planned the rest of your week.  I started the day thinking of my daily affirmations, and then it was time to get up and dressed for the day.  As I met each appointment, I barely had time to eat because there was so much to do.  I had a thought about my to-do list and I realized that if I wasn’t whole, then all of my accomplishments would be in vain. First things first, heal. 

We live in a world that hates the process.  If we can get what we want quickly or easily, we’ll bypass what is good for what is mediocre because of our own laziness. How beautiful would it be to enjoy our accomplishments from a place of wholeness? I think it’s one thing to go for the gold and it’s another to hold on to what we’ve gained.  Wholeness gives us the capacity to hold onto what we have accomplished. Before we aspire to be known or to leave our mark the world, let’s become whole.

Have you ever met a person of influence who was full of emotional wounds? They have everything:  the dream job, the dream house, and dream car but are so broken on the inside.  These individuals have so many people around them yet still feel alone.  These individuals have all of the accolades yet are bound by substances such as drugs and alcohol.  Have you ever met someone who was one scandal away from losing everything they have worked hard for?  I have met so many intelligent, creative and beautiful broken people who have lost so much because they were not whole. I don’t believe it is the heart of God that we live in perpetual brokenness.  We should live with our hearts broken towards him in a continual state of humility but we do not have to live in emotional turmoil.  Jesus still heals and he desires that we enjoy the wholeness he so readily provides.

If I can encourage you to aspire to be anything, be whole.  Take time this week to prioritize healing, for things will fade but your soul will last forever.  Let’s face our dysfunction with courage knowing that we are allowed to be works in progress refined through the power of Jesus and therapy. It’s okay to be a hot mess but it is not okay to stay there.  The grace of God empowers us to become the best versions of ourselves and Jesus has given us the grace to heal.

If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, feel free to email me at authenticlove789@gmail.com.  I’m here for you guys, I’m praying for y’all, and I believe that you were created to live emotionally healed.  Have a great week!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://www.ucg.org/files/styles/full_grid9/public/image/article/2019/04/03/healing-broken-trust-in-marriage-part3-commitment-personal-healing.jpg

Do You Know What’s Attractive?

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

What’s up family?  Happy Friday!  Ladies and Gents, I’ve been in this really dope space where I’ve returned to the dating market.  Let’s just say that dating in 2019 is interesting, to say the least.  What I’ve learned in my short time back on the market is that we live in a culture that is obsessed with determining attraction.  We present our best selves on dates to be seen as attractive. We speak on relevant subjects to appear to be intellectually attractive. We make sure that we have a dope sense of humor because that would make our personalities more attractive.  So, the men I’m meeting look amazing on paper.  They have the chiseled looks, they are super smart and can even make me laugh but there are communication issues that make them less attractive.

You know, when you’re a boss you need something more than a great resume.  You need something more than a piece of eye candy- something more than something delicious to look at.  There has to be more!  I don’t know about each of you but I’m looking for something deeper.  What are his values?  What are his dreams?  What is his vision for life?  Yeah, the degree is great but what are we doing with that.  Yeah, the nice car is impressive but how do you treat the poor?  Ok, I see you’re the hotshot here at the parties but what is your reputation like in the marketplace?  Do you have a reputation of integrity or is it corrupt because of compromise? There has to be something more.

I’ve met so many representatives.  I’ve met the all-around guy, I’ve met the creative, I’ve met the musician,  and I’ve met the one with the ten-year plan but as I lifted the curtain of what’s been presented to me,  I saw that these dudes had some real issues.  They do not know how to communicate their desires.  They do not know how to let go of their past.  They do not know how to express their insecurities.  These dudes had everything but wholeness.  So, I resolved in my heart that I was going to add emotional maturity to my list.  The thing is, I don’t blame these men for not entering into wholeness.  Their whole lives, men have been groomed to shy away from vulnerability.  They’ve been taught to communicate through physical intimacy instead of verbally expressing what is on their heart.  They have been gender-shamed for expressing feelings and ridiculed for being clear and that is not right.  I blame society, I blame the culture, and I blame the home.

Do you know what’s attractive?  Emotional wholeness.  Emotional wholeness is hella attractive.  The ability to express vulnerability, to boast in weakness and the ability to state clearly what a person will or will not allow is attractive.  Standards are attractive.  Boundaries are attractive.  Clear communication is attractive.  Radical honesty is HELLA attractive and it makes a person extremely sexy.  The ability to be direct, concise and thorough is attractive.  Integrity is attractive.  Faith in God is attractive and the ability to hear and obey the voice of God is attractive. A fun,. down to earth person is so attractive.

Do you know what’s NOT attractive? Our dysfunction is not attractive.  Our inability to communicate is not attractive.  Passive-Aggressiveness is not attractive. Nagging is not attractive.  Being overly critical and nitpicky is not attractive. Being a Debbie Downer is not attractive.  Deception is not attractive and presenting representatives instead of being ourselves is not attractive.

Be yourself.  Be more than a good resume. Loves, be attractive!

Xoxo,

Simone

In Year Three, I Should Have Left.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers – 

Why do we stay in awful situations?  This is the question that I woke up pondering.  Why do we stay with emotionally, mentally and physically abusive people? Why do we submit ourselves to toxic unhealthy church environments? Why do we settle into office cultures that break our spirits?  Why do we hold onto friends that don’t have our best interest at heart?  Why do we stay even when God gives us a way out, time and time again?  Why?!?!?!

I think the culture feeds us this lie that if we endure through something even though it is harmful to us then we are strong.  We label strength to the one who succumbs to emotional abuse and like a badge of honor, we celebrate those who submit to dysfunction.  We can see our sis or bro dying on the inside and express how proud we are of them for sticking it out.  How dumb is that?  To be proud of a group of people for accepting poor treatment in their lives.  We admire the woman who suffers before she is loved well.  We celebrate the toxic leaders who berate their staff but then grow into humility.  We applaud the boss who realizes that he’s been a jerk yet refuses to give an apology for the previous bad behavior.  It is in the fabric of our society to stay in things out of the name of “loyalty” and the persevering spirit of “never giving up“.

Well, Friends, loyalty to dysfunction is unhealthy.  Loyalty for loyalty’s sake is not enough for emotional wellness.  Loyalty to bad behavior is not admirable and anything that destroys esteem should not be celebrated.  To be loyal is defined as giving and showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.  To whom or what are we loyal to?  Why?  If we are giving and showing firm and constant support to abusive people, do we believe the abuse will eventually cease?  If we are financially supporting organizations that have no integrity, should we be disappointed when we learn of the misappropriation of funds?  If we are holding down relationships that are not built on truth, should we stick it out in hopes that our partner will become all that we’ve imagined? Nah. Loyalty is not a prison and faithfulness does not give some the right to abuse time, energy and emotional wherewithal.

I was once a believer in blind loyalty.  I was “all in”  and submitted myself to people, places and things that harmed me.  I stayed with a man who emotionally abused me for years.  I made excuses for his bad behavior.  I defended the ways he hurt me.  I always resolved in my heart that he did what he did because I did something wrong.  In my mind, he held no responsibility for his actions towards me.  I excused his lying, I excused his inconsistency,  and I excused his sly comments and his ample way of making me believe that I was never enough.  I turned a blind eye and stayed with him off and on for SEVEN years.  Why the heck would I do that?  Because I was strong?  Because I was brave enough to stay?  No.  I wasn’t strong, I was weak.  I was weak in esteem.  I was weak in self-love.  I was weak.  I wasn’t brave, I was afraid.  I was a coward looking for that which was easy, that which was comfortable and it costs me years.  The bravest thing I did was leave and that my dear should be applauded.  

In year three, I should have left.

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/uAu4lwLio2E/maxresdefault.jpg

The Holding Cell

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hate waiting.  We all have that one family member whose super accommodating and it seems like they can wait for anything. I  mean they can wait for food, in traffic for their exit, and for other things outside of their control.  These people have the best attitudes and seem to be full of patience.  I am not one of those people, not even close.  If my food is taking too long at a restaurant, I’m like what’s up?  I hate waiting in traffic. I hate waiting in long lines.  I hate waiting for the light to change.  I don’t like to wait.  Once I create a schedule, I want it to run smoothly free of delay.  Man, I wish God felt the same way about waiting as I do, but he doesn’t.  In fact, He encourages that we have periods of waiting- moments where we sit and wait for the promise

I was sitting here thinking about my life and  I feel like I’m in a holding cell.  It’s like I’m in this season of transition, waiting for someone of a higher authority to determine what’s next.  I have to wait for God to move.  The crazy thing about the holding cell, it forces me to trust that God is making the best decisions for my life- that He knows what He is doing.  Sadly, friends, I’ve jumped the gun so many times and moved ahead of Him.  This moving ahead of Holy Spirit left me in so much trouble, cleaning up a mess that could have been avoided with a bit of patience.  I’ve played clean up because of my inability to wait.  But, here I am again in a transitional state of my life and I have no choice but to wait and trust.  What do you do when you have no other choice but to wait? I took the wrong approach and complained about my wait.  I complained about what God was doing because I couldn’t see all of the details.  Yet, God being so full of mercy did not get angry with me but left me in the holding cell to wait things out.

God so full of mercy and compassion is making me wait.  He rather I sit still and wait than to push ahead of him and mess everything up.  There is beauty in the wait!  When we wait, we get to sit with God and prepare for the next.  In the wait, we learn the beauty of rest! In the wait, we understand that good things take time.  Waiting is for our benefit, waiting is for our maturity, and the wait helps us grow!  I’m in a season of waiting and I’m learning that out of his steadfast love for me, He’s placed me here.  I’m waiting and that is okay.

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:  Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord.  Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.  Yes, keep on waiting – for he will never disappoint you! Psalms 27:14 TPT

Xoxo,

Simone