The Letter

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

My thoughts are hot of the presses and I’m excited to share with you the raw, the real and the now.  Today was all about cleaning.  I recently moved home to prep for my next, but for the last three weeks or so, I’ve been sleeping with boxes all around me.  Clothes are strewn all over the floor as my anxiety is increasingly heightened by not being able to find what I want to wear.  Tucked in a corner is a plastic bag full of paper: scriptures, prophecies, business cards, song lyrics, and other pages are all gathered in a messy heap ready to be sorted by yours truly.

As I reached my hand into the bag, I pulled out a letter I wrote to God about five years ago.  This letter was one of gratitude, thanking Him for always being with me and for showing me the road ahead.  At the end of the letter, I began to thank God for my ex, the possibility of our children (what we discussed together) and the businesses we would run as we took over the world for good.  I was thanking God for the life I thought He commissioned for me, the life I thought I would live.  Fast forward five years, and I do not have that life.  I am not with that person anymore, I do not have any children and those businesses do not exist.  My life now doesn’t match the hope for my life in that letter.  It’s crazy how things change.  Who knew that 11 mos ago, I would enter into a season of singleness, would forsake all desire for children and would find myself trying to figure out what I was going to do. Once upon a time, I was so sure, now I’m peering into the future like “God is this really for me?  “Can we actually do this?”  Can we actually dream again about this buried desire: the desire to be both wife and mother. Can we return here?  In gentleness, He whispers “Yes.  Yes, we can.”  “We can revisit this place in your heart, my love,  do not be afraid.”

“But How?”  my hearts screams out.  “How can we return to a place I never got to.  I almost got there, I thought I was there but I failed… I never got there.”  In love, He grabs my hand and whispers, “Your only failure would have been to marry someone who was never designed to love you.  To procreate with someone who did not have the capacity to be a father and to enter into a business partnership with someone with no integrity.  Babygirl, you did not fail.  You succeeded!  For you chose your future over your present and you chose what was hard over what was easy.  You said Yes even though the cost was your heart. You, my dear, can return to this place…”

Today, I look at the letter as an obituary of the life I thought I would live.  I mourn the union someone promised, the blueprints for businesses I envisioned and the picture-perfect family described.  I mourn what I thought I needed to be complete, to be whole.  I mourn what I thought I wanted to secure happiness.  I have found that my “Yes” to God has always been the answer.  I’ve found that my ability to walk away from what I prayed for is what makes me brave, my ability to be grateful in the new, in the unknown is what gives me strength and my sweet surrender is what makes me His, and His alone.  I cry as I reflect on the past but I am so hopeful for the future, because anything we give up for Christ including our dreams, He returns it 100 fold in this lifetime and the life to come.  I don’t know why I am sharing my process with you.  I wish I had some neat and tidy ending that describe this perfect healing process but I don’t.  All I have is the truth, and the truth is God is good even when our hearts are broken.  God is good even when plans change.  God is good even when we don’t understand our way.  In every season, in every moment, He is good and that in itself is worthy of a simple ‘Thank you!” 

He’s good, He’s God and because I’m His, I am going to be okay.

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: http://kaizenjournaling.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/large_3584131250.jpg

Phone Calls

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I’m an old soul, born circa ’93 but in my heart, I feel like I’m from an earlier era.  I love phone calls.  Yep, I’m one of those weird people that rather receive a phone call than an email or a text message.  It’s something about hearing the voice of those you love, it’s comforting yet exciting.  It’s a simple way of building connection and intimacy, two things that I hold dear.

I have a friend who is a master of connection.  She is the only one I know that loves phone calls, facetime, and face to face meetings.  It’s like she feels no anxiety as she bares herself to me in conversation.  Every time I’m with her I feel safely loved, heard and just free to be myself!  Over the past eight months, she has taught me about connection: both with God and others.

I realized that I shied away from connection because it allowed people to see me. And I mean see me: in rawness, brokenness and undone.  Yet, it is this baring of oneself that builds intimacy and connection.  If you cannot see me fully, then you cannot know me and you cannot love me.  Now, I find myself putting my phone down in the company of others, preferring face time calls, and wanting to have amazing conversations over a hot cup of coffee.  I prefer connection because to me:  it’s raw, it’s intimate, and it’s real.  Who wants to be in relationships and cannot be real?  Who wants to invest in something that only appears to be close?  That only appears to be solid?  Not me.  I’m good without the facade.  Give me the real, where I can hear in your voice that you’re not good.  The real, where I don’t have to decode your text messages or wonder why you used a certain emoji?  Instead of laughing emojis, I want to hear the ones I love laugh and I want to know that they are laughing from a genuine place.  At the end of the day, we all want something real.  Now, for my friends who are not like me, I’ve mastered my text game: GIFS, emojis, and short paragraphs of text but in my heart, I love a good phone call!

So why talk about phone calls? Well… maybe because we live in a world where people desperately want to feel connected.  To something, to anything; to someone, to anyone.  There are people all around us who want to know that they are seen, heard, loved and valued.  If we look up from our screens and start looking into the face of those around us, maybe we will build connections based on the raw, based on the real.  It’s harder to forget about those whose voices you hear frequently- that’s why when someone is around you all the time, you find yourself feeling closer to them.  On the flip side, those we only engage with via social media from time to time and even through an occasional text, sometimes we forget about them.  We forget to see how they are doing, beyond the highlight reel, we forget that we were once apart of their lives.  Our friendships lack communication, our relationships lack depth and before you know it, it’s easier to move on breaking covenants because what we had lacked the real- it lacked connection beyond a keyboard.

I encourage you to look up!  To be aware of those around you.  I encourage you to come out of your comfort zone and to connect.  I love phone calls, but it’s because at the end of the day I am okay with vulnerability. Are you okay with being vulnerable?  Are you okay with revealing who you are to have depth in your relationships? It’s okay if you’re not ready yet.  It’s okay if vulnerability frightens you, but I can guarantee that the level of love you desire is only coming through vulnerability.  What you want in your friendships and relationships is only going to come through revealing who you are, baring yourself to your inner circle.  Depth only comes through the raw, it’s only strengthened through the real. Happy connecting!

Xoxo,

Simone 

 

 

Open.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

“Be Open.” That is the instruction ringing in my heart.  All of my fears are contending with the Lord in the form of what-ifs, yet in kindness, He repeats himself once more: “Open your heart. Open your heart to love.”  Tears stream down my cheeks as I realize that I’ve been closed to the idea that someone will actually love me.  Fully.  To tell you the truth, I’ve just fully accepted the idea that He loved me fully.  I just became content with that phenomenon; that in spite of all of my mistakes, weaknesses, and shortcomings, this great God was in fact deeply in love with me.

My heart resisted but the instruction remained the same, “Open your heart. Open your heart to being loved.” “But God” my heart persisted, “What if he hurts me?” The instruction remained the same, “Open your heart.  Open your heart to being loved.”  “But God.” my heart pleaded, “What if this breaks me worse than last time?” The Father remained gentle, in pure kindness- he stated one more time, “Love, the choice is yours. But darling, I’ll ask again – Open your heart.  Open your heart to being loved.”  I sat on my couch and I heard his gentle voice like oil caress my spirit and I had a choice to make.  Either I would open up and take the risk of pain or remain closed and ultimately alone.

At the end of the day to trust in the instruction of God is to ultimately trust in Him.  To trust Him requires the hard thing:  it requires facing our fears, it requires confronting our doubts, it requires trying again at the thing we think we suck at the most.  For me, love.  I have this obvious track record of failed relationships, of apparent heartbreaks.  I have this rap sheet of ugly moments and countless memories of love lost.  I am a woman who has made peace with her regrets yet fear gripped me when I heard his voice.  Fear came to remind me of my past and shame came as a drinking buddy ready to cosign me into self-sabotage.  Yet, here comes Holy Spirit: kind, gentle and full of truth with one simple instruction.  Be Open. Open your heart to being loved. 

So, here I am completely open and vulnerable and just plain scared but willing.  I am willing to be open, I am willing to be loved.

I have no idea where this heart journey is going to take me.  All I know is that I am committed to obeying sweet Holy Spirit’s instruction.  I am committed to being open and to keep my heart open to being loved. I am willing and my heart says “Yes.

Until next time,

Simone 

FIC: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/371447628482-0-1/s-l1000.jpg

 

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

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

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

Seasons Change

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Simone

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

Grace, Poise and Confidence

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Friday!  I don’t have class today and I smile on the inside knowing that there is a God and He loves me dearly.  This week has been such a busy week and I cannot wait to get a free moment to sleep!

DISCLAIMER: I’m talking to the Ladies today!  Guys, you all are awesome but I’m speaking to my sisters, aunts, nieces, friends, and mentees about something missing from our world.  

Anyways…. I wanted to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart.  I am a big proponent of equality and ridding isms in our world, but I am also super concerned with this push to be a bad “B” rather than to be a lady filled with grace, class and poise.  We as women are powerful!  We are extremely powerful when we are filled with class, poise,grace, gentleness and strength.  I think because of the injustices, we have been taught that we have to assert our authority and become aggressive to be recognized which could be nothing further from the truth.  I love to see young women who carry themselves with class, not arrogance but a steady confidence in who they are and their ability.

My mom taught me to carry myself as a lady, she used to always tell me that when I entered into a room- my positive attitude and confident presence would speak for itself.  I did not have to show off my body for attention, I did not have to be the loudest person in the room, I did not have to esteem my own accomplishments and brag about my  abilities.  If I did a great job, those I impacted would speak my praises for themselves.  I used to think that she was just being super old fashioned and I spent time doing the complete opposite.  I came across as one who lacked self-worth, one who was super insecure and one who did not know the finesse of being the woman God created me to be.  This guy I was talking to said he wanted a girl that was just like a guy but with a different sex organ…ummm… I could never be that for him: because even though I was cool in conversation and extremely easy-going I was not a guy and I had no desire to become one.  There is something so amazing about living a life of class, respect and honor as a young woman.  This is not something that should be shunned or looked at as of days of old but something that should be adopted and revisited as a society.

Based upon experience, I’ve enjoyed my interactions with the guys around me by being who I am: a classy, gracious young woman.  It’s like my behavior, pulls out the gentlemen that are inside of them.  I experience more chivalry, more intimate conversations about life, and a supreme level of trust that came from an air of gentleness and security.  Our strength does not come from our aggression but rather from our gentleness.  I think God designed women the way he did to pull out the best in the men/world around them.  He made us powerful vehicles of life and he created within us this art of  cultivation and  beautification.  We make the world beautiful and we make the lives of our significant others beautiful with our words, mannerism and infectious attitudes.  It’s time that we uplift and build the rights of women around the world- by teaching each other that we are worth more than what we have been labeled.  We are not the property of men or society but we belong to a God who created us in grace to exude grace.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is goals where it concerns grace, class and poise!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://www.niamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/First-Lady-Michelle-Obama-Opens-Up-to-Vogue_Nia-Magazine.jpg

Rooftops

Looking out of the window, gazing at the rooftops…

Oh, how I wish I was up there, hands stretched towards the sky.

I can feel the sun beckoning me outside, but I’m trapped within circumstance.

Trapped with responsibility, captured by what appears to be easy.

And I, would love to run away and find myself on a rooftop with you.

Let’s admit it- we always see better then we’re a little higher.

Level one for me has expired,

and I desire something more than what I see.

I want to be free!

Free in deed and not just in words,

serenely taken by the beauty in you.

So, what will I do?

Nothing, I’ll wait…

for my time has not yet come.

©Simone Holloway, 2017.

FIC: https://rutheh.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/nyc-rooftops-night2.jpg

Hanging Out….

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Thursday!  Thurdsdays are wonderful because they mean that we are a few days away from the weekend.  I hope you all are having a great day!  I have a confession to make- I HATE the way my generation enters into relationships!!!! LIKE, I REALLY HATE IT.  Maybe I’m just an old soul, but I am so attracted to the way my parents and grandparents approached dating, marriage and long-term relationships. A term that just irritates the heck out of me is this new form of dating entitled “hanging out”. OMG that phrase used in the romantic context drives me up a wall…

When someone tells me they want to “hang out”: my mind goes platonic/ friendship, casual clothing, chill-mode.  To me, I have no incentive to place any effort into the interaction that I may/may not experience.  SO… when a guy asks for my number and then ask if we can hang out, I’ve already placed them into the friend-zone.  I hang with my friends and I date potential significant others. This notion of I’m going to monopolize your time, require effort to test your potential without placing in effort myself, and expect girlfriend benefits without the label is very damaging to relationships.  Like, back in the day- if a guy wanted to date you or pursue something romantically with you- like, he asked you out on a date.  He planned the date.  He picked you up for the date, maybe opened doors for you and made you very aware of his intentions with you.  Today, the conversations are like- “Let’s hang out, maybe grab a bite- not really sure.” “I’ll call you, maybe- probably text you and we’ll meet up maybe.”  It’s so fickle.  Like: one day you’re digging me, one day you’re not.  One day you want a relationship, one day it’s too much for you and you’re confused.  Like bruh, it’s not that deep!  Let us not continue to waste time.

So, I’m not feeling this hook-up culture  masked under a common phrase “hanging out.” Dinner dates never go out style, chivalry is still a cool thing to have and phone calls are so much better than text messages.  And guess what?  Having standards is awesome too!  Let’s hang with our friends and date those we develop feelings for.

***Side-note:  I think this “hang-out/faux dating/hook up”culture is rooted in this deep-seeded fear of rejection by both men and women and this was like our band-aid to remedy the situation but that’s another blog post for another day… ***

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://68.media.tumblr.com/14b12f2b311c7d597871fc52fb2d650d/tumblr_omlm7zde3m1ujcvduo1_500.gif