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

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

Coming Undone

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Welcome to a new week and a new month!  It’s a time of newness, expression and becoming more in touch with the person God has created for you to be.  So… I went to church yesterday and my Pastor spoke about how creation is waiting for the person God has created to be revealed here on the earth.  As she continued to preach, I cringed a little bit because in that moment I was guilty… guilty of hiding the person God created. I bet a lot of you are like: “What???” “How???”

Well, here we go- it’s confession time!…

Like some of you, I have a plethora of gifts and talents that the world has no idea about.  I can sing, write, make pottery, I play drums, and I can also perform some poetry- but over the past few years, I have allowed fear, opinions of others, insecurities, perfectionism to hinder me from revealing all of who I am to the world.  To tell you the truth, I’ve placed confidence in others and their abilities but somehow forgot to believe in myself.  If that is not honest and transparent, I don’t know what is…  Like many of you, I’ve even convinced myself that what was burning on the inside of me ( a song, or a post) could be done, performed, or perfected by someone better or more skilled than I.  That is ridiculous, right?  It sure is… but these are the lies that many of us believe.  We believe that we are not needed, we believe that once we’re revealed the world won’t like what is presented before them, we believe that we are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough= all lies that the Enemy uses to keep up hidden, dormant and dying.

What if I told you that freedom was not in some type of chant or mantra but simply in the idea of coming undone.  What if I told you that freedom was wedged between honesty and vulnerability?  That freedom was locked in you losing control and just going for it?

Yesterday, I left service with a new mindset and a new attitude, while making a new decision.  I decided that I was going to live my life coming undone, peeling back the layers I’ve used to cover who I am- I was going to reveal the one God created for this earth.  So…. Ladies and Gents, I encourage you to come out of hiding.  The world is waiting for you: your voice, your ideas, your cooking recipes, etc.  The world is waiting for you and only you. You being the one God created is enough and extremely necessary to the world.  Friends, I love each and every one of you and I’m praying fiercely for you- join me in this new season of life and let us become undone!

“For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed.” Romans 8:19 HCSB

Until next time,

Simone

P.S. S/O to my Pastor and the Holy Ghost for WRECKING my entire life with a sermon that encouraged me to get myself together and to move forward undone!!!

FIC: https://thoughtcatalog.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/25539082232_46cea712c1_k.jpg?w=1140&h=656

42

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

42. That’s how many blog posts I wrote for the year of 2016.  Pretty sad, huh?  I think so… but I think the low number of work produced was symbolic of my life in 2016.  2016 was the year that I felt the most burnt out, my self-esteem took a hit and once again, I began to question my value and worth compared to the measures of society.  It was a year of great triumph, but also a year of great loss- 2016 was a doozy.  Yep, so I thank God that we are not only in a new year but in a new month- in a time where dreams are coming alive and passions are being restored.  

Family, I have missed spending time with each of you.  I’ve been unplugged for the last month or so taking time to really reflect on my life, my relationship with God and to reflect on how God feels about me and what He has to say about this season that I am embarking on.   I’ve realized over the years that sometimes in order to hear: you have to silence the noise around you, you have to position your life in a momentum of being distraction free.  My pastor challenged us to stop our social media use for the month of January, and at first I quickly felt as if I was dying.  Ok, so maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but in all seriousness; I began to understand my dependency on the affirmation and validation of others. 

Think about it:  How many times do we post a picture or video that we know others will like? How many times do we take pride in the number of notifications waiting on us? Or get this one, on our birthdays- what’s our favorite parts of the day?  Spending time with family or friends? or checking our Insta or FB for the bday notifications from people we don’t even talk to anymore?  Why do we  value impersonal relationships and yet lack the patience to maintain our connections with those among us? These are the questions that I felt were calling out to me during that season of fasting and prayer and it were questions that challenged the true intentions of my heart.  Do I pray aloud so that others may hear and think I’m super anointed? Or do I pray because I genuinely want to connect with God?  Do I read my word to fulfill some sort of quota or am I truly longing for time with the Lord?  

Why do I do the things I do? 

It was with this awareness, that I realized that I only posted 42 times last year because I was so concerned about other people. As I watched the readership of this blog drop to an all time low, I hung up my hat and decided to relinquish my passion for writing.  In my mind, if my writing was not popular to others then it was not worthy to be shared. This falsehood crippled me in 2016 and opened the door to inadequacy, insecurity and fear- forces that are not of God. God has not given us the spirit of fear but commands us to walk in confidence and boldness for every aspect of our lives. 

At the end of the day, I’ve come to the realization that I am living for an audience of One and as long as He is pleased with my work then I am fine.  When we come to that understanding in our lives, the opinions and affirmations of others become irrelevant and we can truly live in the manner that Christ has intended for us.  Fearlessness give rise to BIG DREAMS, BIG VISION and BIG PURPOSE and being that I serve a BIG God – I know that He wants me to walk fearless.

So… with that being said: let us walk out this year in boldness, confidence and the assurance that we are amazing in the eyes of God. Darling, do what He has placed into your hands whether you have the validation of others or not!  Happy New Year, welcome to February and may your day be the best day yet!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC:http://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/blackandwhite_vs_color1.jpg

You Are Enough

Hello old friends, new followers and  fellow bloggers-

I wonder how the world would look like if we loved people for who they truly were and not for who we wanted them to be.  Just think, what would our relationships look like  if we chose to accept our significant other in their entirety?  Would we be happy?  Would our relationships last?  I think the number one problem in relationships is the lack of acceptance towards one’s partner.

Many enter into relationships viewing their partner as their latest rescue project, an avenue of change, and not as a human being deserving of unconditional love.  I used to be so guilty of this, entering into relationships with this mission of changing the person I was with to fit my needs/desires.  This mindset misses the mark of why we enter into relationships in the first place.  We choose to journey with someone so that we can learn from them and vice versa.  We enter into relationships so that we can love someone in their entirety and in return we receive the same or a greater level of love. There is nothing worse than being in relationship with someone and not feeling like you  are enough- like you can’t be your true self with that person.

For years, I spent so much time hiding myself  from those I loved.  I was so afraid that I would not be accepted as I am, and in turn I picked up all these “rescue projects” along the way infused with a spirit of judgement.

There is this amazing verse that speaks of giving mercy, for the same measure of mercy given is the same measure of mercy that we’ll receive.  I think that we should do the same in our love, we should love people for who they are.  We should embrace them for who they are and not strive to change people into who we desire for them to be. When we go into our relationships seeking to change that individual, we are telling them that they are not enough for us just the way they are.  Our words or actions communicate that these individuals we swear to love are not: good enough, kind enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and etc.  After awhile our significant others are knocked out of their throne of awesomeness, their empire of confidence and begin to question what makes them special and unique.  This is not the message God wants us to share with the world.  He made each of us different with different talents, gifts, features and etc.  He created us to accept our difference, to wear our awesomeness with pride- to Him, we’re enough!

So… I don’t know who mishandled your heart or who made you feel like you would never be enough, but I just wanted to let you know that YOU ARE ENOUGH FOR GOD.  He loves you for you.  His love is not contingent upon your job, GPA, swag or even your family connections.  He loves you for you.  If God who has a higher standard than us, love you for you- why can’t your significant other do the same?  I spent way too much time compromising myself so that others would like me, so that this guy who is only occupying a small margin of my existence would give me the time of day- but as I grow older: If I cannot be myself then I do not need to enter into relationship with that person.  I rather be true to myself than compromise who I am.  I’ve realized that I am enough and that those who love me must love me for me.  Point blank period!

Well family, I hope this encourages you. Always be reminded that you are enough and you do not have to abdicate your throne for anyone. Sit on your throne and rule like the QUEEN/KING you are.  Much love!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://66.media.tumblr.com/f2feb3194450a36f2e2082b3d053b660/tumblr_noji4jKBNf1tf8ykeo1_500.png

 

LinkedIn Kills Confidence

I hate professional networking sites.  I really do and it’s not because I have some personal vendetta against the lovely folks that encourage broadcasting your job history for others to see, but rather my hatred stems from this overwhelming sense of losing in the world when I compare my LinkedIn profile to someone else.  Have you actually taken the time to measure up your professional accomplishments with another?  It’s pretty exhausting and it really takes all of the energy out of an individual…trust me I should know.  I’ve always felt like I did not accomplish as much as my Furman counterparts, my classmates from my university are running things in the world and I am just now starting to really figure out my life.  Like seriously… I just now have a plan and my former classmates have written books, cured cancer and are probably going to receive a Nobel Peace Prize by time I come up in the world.  Okay so I’m exaggerating a little bit … but still when I compare my life to those around me I’m like why can’t I accomplish big things too, you know?  It’s that evil comparison trap again, waiting to swallow up my confidence and remind me where I do not measure up to those around me.

LinkedIn makes this self confidence process worse with questions such as “Do you have any certifications?” “Have you won any awards?” “Have you made any publications, written any articles, changed the literary face of the world?” “What about a Pulitzer?” “Pulled a Grammy yet???” And I sit in front of my computer screen, thinking to  myself – “Does this blog count???” Oh man… the sigh of defeat when it recommends a connection that you just happen to know and that individual have written three books and just happened to have time to save a child from an orphanage last weekend.  Why me??? I don’t have the accolades that some of my peers have, nor have I started my path when I thought I should have – but I am on my way.  This is the piece of encouragement I whisper to myself, as I realize that I’m not “there” yet  I am on my way.

There – a noun: that place we all seek to make one day, even though we have no idea where that place of contentment/satisfaction is.

I just want to make it “there” and in order to really love where I am and who I am, I am banning LinkedIn from my life for a little while.  Who cares that I am just now going to law school at 23 (leave for school in August – yay!!)? Who cares that I have not published anything super grand yet – who cares??? I am great in my own right.  I have touched many lives with compassion, created a brand for myself with no one’s help but God’s,  and I learned that the value of life is not in the opinions of others but is in what we think of ourselves.

So… I am writing this LinkedIn rant so that we together can overcome the comparison trap; those triggers in our lives that lie to us and tell us that we will never measure up to the goodness of another. It is a stupid trap that comes when another friend is getting married and you realize you are still single; that trap that comes when your peer gets into the graduate school you was denied admission; that trap that comes when even with your accomplishments it is hard to find a job. The comparison trap comes to kill our confidence and tell us all that we are and will never be – that god-awful trap.

I feel a sense of revolution as we seek to love ourselves, encourage ourselves and learn to live confident within our own skin.  I remember placing my blog on LinkedIn with such a sense of pride.  When I started writing and heard all of the wonderful response from each and every one of you – I felt like I saw a glimpse of my special place, I finally made it “there.” Why should I allow the accomplishments of another steal that pure joy away from me?

Every one of us is destined for a different journey, some are destined for fame and fortune others not so much but it does not discount the adventure we all will fulfill .  My journey started later than most in my opinion but it’s uniquely mine.  No one will have a life like mine.  No one will experience my God-created adventure and that is what makes my life special.  God created my journey, He knew every twist and turn in the road and He anticipated this reaction to my LinkedIn profile today- He knew that would spark the inspiration for this post.   God is cool with who I am and He loves me for me and not for everything I have done.  His love is unconditional regardless of whether or not I make it “there.” This is the confidence we can rest in – God loves me regardless of our accomplishments.

So I will leave you with one final thought – If God loves us regardless of our paths, why can’t we love ourselves?

 

Comparison is the death of joy – Mark Twain

 

©Simone Holloway, 2016

FIC:http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZYK8HbJ7q_w/VohSccrBaEI/AAAAAAAAFHQ/PDexSoEWTuE/s1600/7%2BReasons%2BYou%2BNeed%2BTo%2BMake%2B2016%2BYour%2BSelfish%2BYear.jpg

The Spirit Of Expectancy

Hello old friends, new  followers and fellow bloggers- 

It’s been awhile since we have spoken.  Guys I’ve been tremendously busy and equally exhausted, but I thought I would   take a free moment to share something with you guys this morning.

The most powerful thing you can have in this season of time is a spirit of expectancy- a confidence that God is going to show up.  The Spirit of Expectancy is so powerful because it has proven to yield results.  When you come into the presence of God, expecting him to move in your situation- He usually moves in your situation.  God responds to faith, and having a spirit of expectation is evidence of faith.  My mom used to tell me all the time, “Simone…you’ll have what you expect.”  And I have found this saying to be true.  When I started my day out expecting happiness and joy, my day was filled with happiness and joy; but when I started my days expecting the worst-the worst usually came.  What are you expecting?  Are you expecting God to show up and out concerning your situation? Or are you expecting what you are facing to get worse?

Expect, anticipate, and hope in the Lord because He’s going to come through and when He comes, He is coming quickly.

Until next time,

Mo  🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://www.bigisthenewsmall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/expect-great-things.jpeg

I’m No Longer Waiting…

I think it's funny 

how long it took me to come to this place.

It took me a long time 

to erase the possibility of living life for you. 

To come to decision in my heart 

that said I'm no longer waiting....

anticipating....

self-hating....

or allowing what's going on to exasperate me. 

Or rob me of my peace

my joy 

or my happiness.

To tell you the truth, I'm a hot mess

to think that I've been truly living

breathing in this God-given air with gratitude 

while my attitude turned bitter because you weren't near

or here

with me.  

But tonight, I decided to be free 

from the plagues of living life with you on my mind 

irritated that time is not on our side. 
 
I'm no longer waiting on you to be alive. 

I decided that whether you came or not

I was going to give life my best shot 

and enjoy what was around me 

I was going to simply be 

content in the skin I was given 

Livin' in my complete purpose, divine destiny 

no longer allowing your absence to hinder me 

I was going to love like never before 

I was going to let my boldness roar 

for itself 

becoming self-confident without needing your help. 

And whether we met here or on the other side- 

I was no longer waiting on you to be alive. 

So when we meet, I might be in this country or not 

I might own a small boat or a yacht.

I might have long hair or continue to rock my short do 

I might be single or I might have a boo.

I could even have a tattoo 

because at the end of the day, I am no longer living for you.  

I am living for me.

I am living to be free.

Living to live again- 

I am living as God's best friend.

So instead of making you the center of my world,

I no longer strive to be your girl-
 
I strive to be myself and smile more

I'm tired of living life like a bore

In my pursuit after God, I will continue to strive

Because I am no longer waiting on you, to be alive. 


©Simone Holloway, 2015

Featured Image Credit: https://colourintodarkness.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/1-the-feeling-of-being-alive.jpg

Bold And Confident

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

There is something beautiful about someone being confident in their own skin.  There is beauty in confidence, and as someone who grew up with so many insecurities- I always sought to get to that place, where I felt completely confident within my own skin.  I can proudly say that I have come to that place- a place of boldness and confidence.  It’s funny how people react differently to boldness and confidence.  Sometimes personal growth is applauded but other times, it’s frowned upon and labeled as arrogance and conceit.  Being confident does not make me an arrogant person, and just because I know what I want in life does not make me aggressive.  I think women especially gets this bad rap for loving themselves and living a life void of insecurity- but I rather live in confidence than insecurity.  I rather be content than to be empty always searching for something or someone to fill a void within me.  I am bold and confident and my life lines up to the will of God because His children are supposed to be bold as lions…simply fearless.

I’ve lived almost a quarter of my life in fear and insecurity and I refuse to live another day in that mindset- I choose to be bold and confident! 

AND….I don’t care who don’t like my new attitude!  It’s my life and I’m not apologizing for living in the perfect will of God.  

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e5/2f/28/e52f28e321342beace4de7f99dc9ca6c.jpg