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

Seasons Change

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Wednesday!  I’m so sorry, I know it’s been a while since we chatted.  I’ve been incredibly busy. Between my job, an increased workload and a lot of new responsibility, life has been slightly overwhelming.  I work for an agency that help people in need.  Did you know that around the holidays, evictions are at an all-time high?  Yep, crazy right?   I talk to people all day who are in crisis situations.  It’s so disheartening, yet it’s fulfilling when our agency is able to provide the help that they need. Friends, I’ve been leaning into grace more and more.  Anyways, today, I wanted to share my thoughts about how quickly seasons change.

Once upon a time, a couple of months ago actually, I was sitting with the Lord complaining about the inactivity of my life.  I remember carrying on about how I wished things would pick up.  As a born-bred city girl, I do not know how to rest. I am a bonafide go-getter who is always looking to what’s next:  the next project, the next adventure, the next creative idea.  I am fascinated with the next and I live future-oriented.  This can be good sometimes in that this mindset keeps me from being bogged down in my past.  However, this trait can be terrible because it causes me to miss out on all the beauty that lies within my present. During those few months, my life was still- I mean really still.  I would describe it as boring.  I complained and complained some more.   I was not satisfied with the sweet stillness of my present.  Ultimately, my season changed.  As soon as I became comfortable with stillness, activity returned back to my life and now I am busier than ever.  I mean EXTREMELY BUSY! I can’t remember the last time I took a nap.  My alarm goes off at 6 in the morning and I don’t see my bed again to about 11pm that evening.  I’m on the go.  Yet, it is now that I yearn for those sweet moments of rest.  Now, I appreciate stillness.

Friends, I think the moral of this share-fest is to find contentment in the here and now.  Enjoy rest, honor rest because rest lasts only a short while.  Honor activity, learn from your busy seasons because you’ll need the vibrancy in life to make you yearn for sweet stillness.  God being so balanced in everything he does, orchestrates our seasons to what we can handle.  He teaches us about ourselves and he reveals his goodness in the process.  Trust Him and find your way with Him. This go-getter appreciates a day off and has found peace in knowing that the work can wait.

May you find balance and come to appreciate each season in your life.

Xoxo,

Simone

P.S.  Since my life is a little hectic, please know that I love each of you.  I will respond to your emails, DMs, and other forms of communication as quickly as I can.  Bear with me and know that I’m praying for you all always.  Much love!

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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

 

One Lyric At a Time…

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

I love to write.  I love to write poems, short stories, and songs… I love to write songs.  I’ve been writing songs since I was a little girl, lyrics would pour out of me like oil.  I have journals filled with songs, napkins with songs lyrics, old tattered legal pad pages of songs.  For a season in my life, the only consistent thing was the lyrics coming to my head, but then one day the words stopped coming.  It was like my creative faucet was jammed and the before you knew it, I gave up writing- I stopped hearing the melodies. Isn’t it crazy to solidify one’s identity on a single season?  That is exactly what I did, because of what I deemed an insufficiency, I no longer identified myself as a songwriter…

We don’t stop being who we are because of what we momentary lack.

God never said “Simone, you are no longer a writer.  Let that go!”  In fact, He encouraged me to write more.  He desired that I wrote beyond my pain, beyond my disbelief in self, beyond my shame and insecurities.  He called me Simone, his daughter, his writer, his creator and his advocate.

I was in my bedroom last night, singing my heart out to the Father when lyrics of hope began to leap off of my lips.  “You silence my fears, You still my heart, you calm the depths of my mind.”  Words of healing filled my room and for once I wasn’t trying to write a song, I was just acting as myself: a songwriter.

When you are who you are, you don’t have to try so hard.

Who are you?  What pieces of your identity have you given up out of frustration?  When God calls you by name:  your name doesn’t change based upon circumstance.  Though you are in the middle of trials, your name and the essence of you remain the same.  When God called Joseph ruler, he was a ruler though he was falsely imprisoned.  When God called Moses deliverer, he was a deliverer though he shied away because of insecurity.  When God called Abraham friend, he was still His friend even after he lied about his wife being his sister.  The names of our heroes remained the same, though life circumstances around them were filled with change.  Lastly, let’s look at David: God’s songwriter and king but for a season of life he was on the run as a fugitive trying to survive.

Circumstances will change, but your name will remain the same.

You are a son or a daughter of God.  That is the bedrock of your identity.  Everything else is an additive to something amazing: you.  So, creator, create.  Writer, write.  Teacher, teach.  Lover, love well.  Be who you are and never disown pieces of self because of hardship!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSzORsuCKEzmsMXFqmJZxSH7w9JRK1KJLWe9xoX1YsG-NY39Rrq5A

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

 

New Garments

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s a rarity that I post twice but when things change in your life, it deems time fit for another post.  After the post earlier (Shades Down and Lights Off),  I sat on my bed and just began to think.  I thought about God, my life, my past, my present, my hopes, and desires.  To calm the anxious thoughts in my mind, I searched for the 8AM sermon at All Nations Worship Assembly.  Instead of a traditional sermon, Apostle Stevenson got up and began to pray against the spirits of death, suicide, and anxiety.  Man oh man, that prayer wrecked me.  He had no idea that a young girl in SC would listen to something he imparted into Chicago earlier that morning.  I sat, cried, worshipped and kneeled and in that moment I felt the beautiful presence of God. In my lowest of lows, His love came to the rescue once again.  I removed my clothes of sadness and mourning and changed into garments of joy.  My peace returned to me and I decided to go to church again: this time in new garments!

How great is our God, that when we think it’s all over He shows up?  When we turn to Him and express our need for Him, he comes to our rescue- so faithful and so kind, is he.  There’s a lyric in this song called “Reckless Love” that says “There’s no wall you won’t kick down/ Lie you won’t tear down/ Coming after me”  And today, He kicked down some self-made walls and he tore down the lies I  was being enticed to believe.  Loves, I want to affirm you today.  You are NOT a lost cause.  You are NOT hopeless.  You are NOT going to remain in the same situation overwhelmed by the same things.  God STILL loves you.  He STILL chooses you.  He STILL desires you and though your mind may say otherwise, HE thinks of you the SAME.  Today, in my darkest moment the Father showed up in grace, mercy and reckless love.  You are not alone, for the Creator of all good things comes to you- ready in hand with whatever you need.

Thank you for the prayers,  thanks for being my online family and thanks for giving me the freedom to live a transparent life.  I love you all very much!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mZaIKqL7HIM/TyooZ_7sj-I/AAAAAAAAAbI/oBUqO-zywVY/s1600/jacobscoat.jpg

here we go again.

here we go again. 

these are the words that come to mind, 

as I sit, read, analyze, listen, doze off and repeat 

going through this cycle called life...

yet I've escaped the Ferris wheel. 

my inward carnival is out of business, 

and the havoc of the Topsy-turvy, up and down- has stopped. 

maybe it's because I'm finally healthy.

whole in my mind, emotions - no longer run by my previous slave master: feelings. 

i  feel and therefore I am not. 

i see and therefore I can accomplish. 

i believe and therefore I can have- it all. 

for I've found consistency in You. 

here we go again, 

yet here we are to something new. 

same law school, new perspective.

same agenda, new energy.

same people, new heart. 

this is what freedom feels like. 

this is what it means to be alive... 

©Simone Holloway, 2018
FIC: http://images.mentalfloss.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/8a11317r-565×376.jpg

Creators Unite: 2018 is the Age of the Creative!

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

As 2017 begins to wind down, and this year quickly comes to an end.  I don’t know about each of you but this year (for some) was one void of inspiration and creative flow.  I spoke with some of my other friends who are creatives, and they expressed a great disdain for this year in regards to their creative ability.  Again for some, 2017 was the year of the creative block.  Artists, writers, innovators, struggled to imagine again.  We saw this inward turmoil when we looked to the films released, the music heard and even the articles written about our favorite celebrity icons.  It was as if the creative breath of our nation, left with the new presidency and the hope of good, imaginative thought took a downward turn.  Don’t get me wrong this is not a political blog and the new year is not going to change that, but 2017 for a lack of better words : purely, ardently SUCKED!  It was a taxing year of tension between struggle and progression and society once again found skepticism in the intentions of good spoken by humanity.

This year alone, I wrote less than the year before.  I lacked inspiration, hope, time and ingenuity and frankly loss my love for the written art form.  The greatest tragedy is for a creator to lose the ability to create again. I bet those with one-hit wonders could identify with that statement, and too long for the day when they can create something new.  That is my heart’s desire to create something new, to be an endless stream of creative thoughts and ideas in my pursuit to demonstrate love to those around me.  The same old- same old, is BORING and  my attention span for what is lackluster has expired.  I want to create, and I want to create something legendary.  Even some of you, my friends, I watched you hit a glass ceiling with creativity as your posts began to be more prolonged and your woes more apparent.  I have great news… I believe that the year coming is the year for the creatives!  It’s going to be a year of renewed vision, more innovative ideas, and just a stream of creative output.  It’s the age of the Creative!

So… was that a diatribe against 2017?  I guess it was… though I am grateful for 2017, for God has been extremely good to me, it has been extremely hard filled with intense pain.  Yet, the pain I’ve experienced, did not kill me.  I’m here, I’m grateful and I’m ready!  I’m ready to hit the ground running, looking to unite as we create together.  Creators Unite!  For it is our time to shape and influence the world, and the works we set now will be admired for generations to come!

Thank you to each of you for believing in me!  I appreciate every comment, read post, shared post and I love each of you for it!

I believe in each of you.  I believe in your work, your writing, your heart’s desire for good and I wish you the best this coming year.  Are you a creator?  If so, this is your time!  

Much love,

Simone 

©Simone Holloway, 2017

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

Revived Belief

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

I’ve been bursting with experiences that I’ve been dying to share with each of you.  I think creativity and inspiration has this amazing way of being fueled by life and for the past week or so I’ve increased my pursuit for the presence of God.  I can sit here and pretend that I was not in a low place, that I had everything together and that my faith in the promises of God concerning me was rock solid- but ladies and gents, that would be a lie!  In fact, my belief in what God said about me wavered and my trust in the one who held my future faltered.  You see, my biggest fear was that what I was believing God for concerning myself was never going to come true and once again I would be disappointed and left without security.  Friends, I had no trouble believing in the God of miracles for others or even each of you- but I had a hard time believing in myself.  For years, I believed the lie that I was inadequate, that I wasn’t good enough that I was a mistake, that my uniqueness/difference was a curse rather than a blessing.  It was out of this pain, that propelled me to believe so strongly in others – to push them towards their differences and to champion behind their tailored greatness.  Pain pushed me to love more yet I felt emptiness on the inside…

It’s usually the ones who love the most that have experienced such harsh heartbreak.  It’s usually the most accepting individuals that experienced the most rejection.  It’s usually the depressed  that seek to bring others joy and I lacking belief in myself- championed and believed in others.  Even those good works could not bring me fulfillment and after while the seeds of awesomeness that God planted on the inside became neglected and poorly maintained.  It is the grace of God that pushes Him to challenges us to produce a return on the investment he has given us.  It’s like the Father loves us so much that he refuses to let that seed he planted within us to die from our own hands.  Friends, the tables turned and the Father began to point the light on me and where I was in this faith walk with Him.  He began to challenge me! He flashed the light on my hypocrisy- how could I sing of his goodness and not believe he was good?  How could I testify of his power and not believe his power is applicable in my life?  How could I speak of his impartiality, yet believe that he was being partial in my circumstance?  God came for my hypocrisy- he challenged my faux faith.  In the end to not believe in myself,  is to not believe at all!  The same God that love my family and friends, love me. The same God that cares about those I attend school with, cares about me.  The same God listening to the prayers of my mentors, hears me when I pray.  He is just as concerned, bothered,  and alert concerning me as everyone else in the universe.  He loves us all!

It was time that I began to believe- for without faith, it is impossible to please God because we must first believe that He exists that he would reward those that seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).  We have to believe that he will make good on his promise.  Over a stretch of time, God has revived my belief in him and most importantly in myself.

May you find your belief again!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://naumankhan.com/wp-content/uploads/181105-Believe-In-Yourself.jpg

©Simone Holloway, 2017