Steadfast Love

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I’m gearing up for the end of the semester.  I thought that I reached a place above adversity, one where I could not be touched by the cares and concerns of the world.

Friends, in all honesty, I became comfortable.  Adversity has this amazing way of keeping one in conscious awareness of their need for God.  It’s like when I’m in trouble, I am more aware of my need for Him. Sad, but true.  So, I became comfortable and I knew I needed Him but my desperation for His presence began to wane and I continued to live life for me.

I believe that God loves us so much that He shakes up our world to causes us to become aware again.  It’s like, He doesn’t want us to ever come to this place where we think we don’t need Him.  Can you imagine loving someone but treating them as if they weren’t necessary?  I believe we treat the Lord this way.  We love Him but we live life as if He’s not necessary.  Long story short, the floodgates opened and adversity hit like a neverending wave.  I mean… a neverending wave!  From school complications to my automobile to concerns with my mental health to the most recent trial the lost of both my sister’s (my roommate) and I’s jobs.  It was as if lost came just in time for the holidays and we’re in this familiar position of needing him, a position that forces our hand into trust.

I thought I trusted God.  I did.  I thought I understood His love for me, this notion that because He loves me He wouldn’t leave me without.  Yet, my heart became increasingly full of fear and anxiety wrapped me in a bear hug as to say “Welcome Home!” Even in the midst of my perceived weakness, He never changed.  He loved me with a steadfast love.  You know, as I get older I understand more and more that life is full of change.  One day we’re at the top, the next we’re at the bottom.  One day we have it all, one day we have nothing.  One day we believe with all our hearts and the next we are full of fear and doubt.  In all the highs and lows, His love is steadfast – it doesn’t change.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

So, how do I respond to the only consistent thing in my life?  With gratitude.  I respond gratefully for such a love that I don’t deserve.  I respond with a heart to love others with such intention and consistency.  I know that I will make mistakes along the way but the least I could do is try.  Friends, I am loved well by a God that could choose any day not to love me.  Yet, He chooses me every single time. He chooses you and that is simply beautiful.  I pray that you all do not become afraid with the presence of adversity, that you are full of the love of God.  I pray that you all have a deep awareness of God’s goodness and rest in your eternal need for Him.  I pray that you are filled to the brim with love.

May you rest in His faithfulness, may you bask in His love. 

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: http://freedomcrossroads.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Adobe-Spark-27-777×437.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

So, I Obeyed God…Now What?

Hello old friends, new followers & fellow bloggers-

Have you ever faced a hard decision?  Like, either you’re going to obey Him or you’re going to live life the way that you desire?  Once upon a time, not too long ago, I too was at this crossroad: either to obey Him or to live life for me.

The hardest decisions we must make are not the ones that we don’t feel but the decisions that we feel deeply.

So… as many of you may or may not have known, once upon a time, I was in a relationship with this (in my mind) dope guy.  I mean (in my mind) He was the next best thing since sliced bread.  He was it!  You hear me?  He was “the” perfect age, perfect height, he looked like a Ken doll, he had all the qualities I would have wanted for a guy: kindness, compassion, generosity, and intelligence.  He could do no wrong.  He was the one I was waiting for… or so I thought. I think we all in our minds imagine our lives with certain things:  certain careers, certain houses, certain cars, and even certain people.  It is like we race toward the finish line to make sure that we are set and therefore we settle for things and people that temporarily satisfy.  This is what I did with my relationship, I settled.

On a random Tuesday morning, God wanted to speak about the thing I held dear in my heart.  To tell you the truth, I held this person I loved more dearly than I did Him.  Yep, I was guilty of allowing someone to sit on His throne.  That morning, God came and He shared some truth with me and asked me to let my relationship go.  I had a choice, either I was going to trust my Father and obey or I was going to hold on to something out of the fear that what I was letting go, I would never find again.

I chose to let go:  not because I was brave, not even because I knew what was coming, but simply because I trusted God and His choices for my life.

So, I obeyed God… now what?  I obeyed and nothing really changed:  I’m single and I still desire companionship.  I obeyed and nothing really changed:  I’m still not as financially secure as I would prefer.  I obeyed and nothing really changed:  I’m still navigating through life alone and I don’t have anyone I can confide in.  These are just a few examples of our responses to obedience.  Ladies and gents, God never promised immediate change as the reward for obedience, but he did promise that trusting in Him will not cause us to be ashamed/humiliated/embarrassed.  Though it may appear that our act of obedience has done nothing, in retrospect that simple act has changed everything.  My act obedience wasn’t magic, it didn’t shield the pain of my decision, it didn’t make my decision easier but it gave me a peace about my future.

Obedience to the Father is an act of love and trust, not into what he has for you but into who he is and his nature to be good.

So, I obeyed God…now what?

Xoxo,

Simone 

But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 NIV

FIC: https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TBZw5dQ8oN4/WDBeBCCvn1I/AAAAAAAAZ5g/ZrPUHCvFqqobU6U7VDHLsskd9cUqT5IcwCLcB/s1600/Path.jpg

 

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

Hold My Hand

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Lovelies, sweater weather is upon us and it seems like everyone is rushing to find a suitable beau to bring home for the holidays.  I’m peering through the window of social media, chuckling at the events that are soon to take place.  Tis’ the season when single women and men yearn for companionship as humans should and seek the warmth of a body near them (I’m gonna leave that there…) To tell you the truth, some individuals just want the security of a held hand.  There is something so intimate, careful yet secure about having your hand held by the one you love and the one who loves you.

I was sitting in some unconventional quiet time, just trying to make room for the one I love- the Father, when I ran across this verse: For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13 HCSB) Like a gentle whisper in a storm, these words caressed my soul.  Once again, the Father is reminding us that within Him lies our security- for it is Him that hold us together.   If we think about the Bible or just the nature of life, we find a beautiful story of a Creator whose love for his creation propels him to live eternally pursing a relationship with them.  His love creates, fuels and  signifies his pursuit and in his love is no fear.  When we hold onto His hands of security and we leave our apprehensions behind, peace reigns in our hearts and joy springs forth from our spirits. We find that in his security lies our help!

Friends, the Father desires an intimate, secure relationship with each of us.  I won’t go into this trend of “Jesus being our boyfriend or boo”,etc., lol- but I do believe that we are the bride of Christ which signifies this desire for intimacy.  For where intimacy is found, trust resides, and where trust resides, security can be found. A majority of us desire security but we lack the capability to give trust- and that is just half of the battle.  For trust is fueled through intimacy.  Let’s ask ourselves some hard questions: (1) Why is it so hard for us to trust our Creator? (2) Why do we lack security within? and (3) Is the thing we have chosen to become intimate with capable of satisfying our desires within? We were called to be brides, not side-chicks and that comes from spending time with our Beloved.

He desires to hold our hands and to dissipate our fears. 

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/56/08/40/5608408d569780afce30308db4a84956.jpg

IT WILL HAPPEN!!!!

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Have you ever heard the voice of God so clearly, it stopped you in your tracks?  I mean one of those moments when God speaks so profoundly to your spirit, you don’t know whether to cry, dance, jump up and down- just shook? Well… friends, I had one of those moments today.  It was so loud like a blaring microphone, yet so small and still.  It was in this moment that I heard these three words: “It will happen.”  I don’t know about you guys, but the Enemy has been busying speaking lies to me concerning the promises of God.  He’s spent the last few years casting doubt like seed into my heart based on this waiting period I’ve been in, as well as other factors of fault on my part (sin), telling me that God is not going to do what He promised.  He’s even told me that I’ve messed up my chances of receiving what God had for me based upon my past, but he is a liar… the promises of God over my life and yours will happen!

The Father wanted me to encourage someone today and let them know that whatever he has spoken, promised or shown via dream/vision- he is faithful to make that thing happen.  Time has no power over the promises of God.  Circumstance has no power over the promises of God.  People have no power over the promises of God.  Since God is not a liar and He is always good even when we are not good- He keeps his Word!  I’m reminded of the story of Noah who for 120 years, preached that it would rain to the magnitude of a flood on the earth.  For 120 years, he preached the same sermon and people around him thought he was crazy; they made fun of him, counted him out to look like a religious fool, but Noah, believed that he heard the voice of God and kept preparing for rain.  It took a long time, but after awhile raindrops began to descend on the earth and those that mocked Noah were banging on the door of the ark begging to be saved.  The Father encourages you to know that those who counted you out, those that told you that your dream would never happen, that things would never change- those will be the same individuals that will witness God’s word come to pass in your life.

I know it’s been a long time and doubt has crept in but I come to speak truth and clarity to your situation- everything that God has spoken concerning you will happen.  Period.  Be encouraged, hope and joy is here!

“For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth  and making it germinate and sprout,  and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://www.thesisterswine.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Dollarphotoclub_87215424-e1443659647392-450×300.jpg

To Be Ourselves

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

If only we knew the power of originality.  If only we knew how much we could impact the world by being the person God has created us to be.  Last night, I had a dream about a group of people willing to be who they were in church: fearless, bold, unrestrained and the results were amazing.  During my dream, I saw people giving their hearts to Christ without having to hear a preached word or an appeal for prayer.  What if I told you that being your true authentic self had the power to save souls, heal broken hearts and  to create freedom?

Think about it… God created us individually with different gifts, talents, personalities and strengths.  No one individual is the same on purpose.  For what one is proficient in and another struggles, community creates a space for teaching and perfecting.  God desires that we live out the life that He has ordained strictly for us.  If  I was created to be a square and I aspire to be a circle, I will live out my life as a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.  It’s not like the round hole is bad, neither is the community of circles evil or something- but I am aspiring to be someone that I was not created to be: a counterfeit version of myself.  This is what we do, when we aspire to dress like someone, talk like someone, work in our craft like someone- we morph into these little counterfeit selves, forfeiting our power of originality.  We are not bettering those around us because we don’t even know who we are.  God designed us to create.  We are to create beauty, love, community, friendship, justice and etc.  Counterfeits do not create, they mimic- only what is original has the power to create and pioneer.

So what’s so powerful about being our authentic God-created selves?  By walking in who God has created to be: we have the power to be solutions to problems,  to be voices of reason in the midst of wrong, and to be the impacts of change we seek for this world.  Being you is powerful, being someone else is not. If I bring this ideal to various locations such as a job, a school, or even a church: imagine what we would witness?  Comparing ourselves one to another would diminish, because we would realize that being ourselves is enough and therefore we don’t have to worry about how others complete tasks.  Insecurities like diseases would eventually eradicate because we would understand that God in his awesome power created us to be original and different, making our different styles of changing the world okay.  Self-esteem issues would cease because as we reflect on our creation we would realize how priceless, rare and special we are since no one has the same DNA as us.   Walking in our God-created selves would liberate the world.

So… yes, being you can be scary.  Yes, being you can make others uncomfortable.  But, who cares?  To be ourselves can also liberate, eradicate and elevate as we better those around us.  We have a responsibility to better the world: our way.  We can’t go around mimicking others game plans and expecting those results.  We need to go to the drawing board and seek the advice of the one who made us to create our own game plan, our own blueprint.  Think of living life as an architect, creating and building in your own signature style.  Or maybe think as a fashion designer yearning for your product to be different as it expresses who you are.  Strive to stand out for pioneers do not blend with those who were not brave enough to lead the way.

Until next time,

Simone

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14 NLT

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The Aftermath of Creativity

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

I don’t know about you all but sometimes I just erupt into this ball of creative energy.  It’s like everywhere I turn, my desire to create increases and my concentration upon the task at hand decreases.  It’s very rare that you meet someone who is full of creativity and logic at the same time.  I was talking to my brother about myself and I said, “You know bro, I’m full of contradictions- housing both boldness and insecurity. I’m a walking oxymoron.”  I think those who hold creative mindsets, ideas and etc are walking oxymorons- mixed with things that don’t make sense but just happen to work! 

But what about after I’ve hit the high of creation, well I quickly become super sleepy for a few days.  It’s like my body can only handle the creative process for 24 hours and then I am drained longing to recoup so that I can do it all over again.  I believe that is why the Father longs to teach me rest because even he at the height of his creative power- he created man and was so as I could imagine it drained of himself and decided to rest. He took that seventh day to rest! He placed everything he could into the creative process and then recouped to begin the process all of again. 

Wow, that’s encouraging! God placed all of himself into the creation of us that is was imperative that he rested. So what is the aftermath of creativity, I would argue that it is the necessity for rest!  Creativity fuels the necessity to rest and when we operate and create but don’t rest we burn ourselves out before we can relish in the work of our hands.  So, I encourage you all to create, accept the contradiction that you are and embrace the ability to rest- for God being love and judgment, fire and cloud, peace yet a man of war teaches us that contradictions are not only good but difference should be celebrated. Create yet rest! 

Until next time, 

Simone 

Fic : http://drwillsparks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/creativity.jpg

Survival of the Fittest- Law Student Edition

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

It’s so good to be back, happy summer 2k17!  I survived.  Yeppers, I truly survived the fire and the flood and the hardship of a first year law student.  It’s crazy to think about the essence of survival, fighting against all odds and making it out on the other side.  To say that this year taught me a lot about myself, is an understatement!  This school year was one of trial and tribulation, stretching and growth… I can truly say that I have grown as an individual.

There is something so fulfilling about survival…about making it through something that you envisioned taking you out.  How rewarding is it to overcome??? To conquer what was designed to conquer you? In this moment I am reminded of the words of Jesus,  “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) When I read these words all I see is: no matter what, you’ll survive!  To think that I can overcome anything is not only encouraging but empowering!  Defeat does not live in the land of the Overcomer.

So today, I seek to encourage each of you to rise out of the valley of defeat and to choose to overcome.  Don’t give up, don’t throw in the towel- survive and overcome that thing that seeks to overcome you!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://vaccamma.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cliff-bow-lmb.jpg

 

Belief in spite of Sight

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

There is something so rebellious about believing God’s word over what’s being presented in front of you. You know the scripture, ” we all by faith and not by sight”? I think this phrase become more real when faith and what you see are saying two different things. There’s nothing more contradictory than a promise of sucesss in the face of failure. Or how about this one: a promise of wealth in a season of not having two pennies to rub together. That’s the genius of God to demonstrate the impossible in spite of our limited possibilities. 

I’ve experienced disappointment that could have literally took me out- like out of my mind, out of this life, out of this world but my hope is not in what I see, my hope is in the One who gave me sight. I believe He is bigger and I believe His word is true and just when I don’t think I can take enough, He stands by my side and says you can endure- you can conquer! He’s my strength, He’s my anchor and it is in Him that I have placed my trust! 

So today I encourage you to believe, yeah what you see around you don’t match the hope of God’s word but believe anyway! God’s going to come through, He always do. Believe in the impossible and know that there’s a dope God ready to bring what you consider impossible to pass! 

Until next time,

Simone  

FIC:http://media.salemwebnetwork.com/cms/CW/faith/11350-fog-mist-walking-journey-path.400w.tn.jpg