Soaked with Mercy.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Tuesday!  What started as a bleak and rainy day turned into a beautiful one filled with sunshine.  Man, God is so good.  It’s the little things that make us reflect on the goodness of the Father.  I’ve been in this beautiful posture of prayer and presence.  My soul is soaking up all of this goodness because one day my schedule won’t allow for all this time.  I’m learning day by day to enjoy the season that I’m in.  Clearly, God desires that I enter into a place of rest because all of my attempts of striving and working have come to nothing.   So, here I am sitting in my sacred place, ready to share with each of you.

As I was prepping for my teen bible study class tonight, I read a familiar passage in a different translation.  Y’all, the Passion Translation gives me so much life!!! I was reading 1 Peter 2:9-10 when a particular line caught my eye.  Verse ten reads,  “For at one time you knew nothing of God’s mercy, because you hadn’t received it yet, but now you are drenched with it.”  I’m a big word person, so I like to read with dictionaries and thesauruses nearby.  I’m this way with any piece of text:  sacred, fiction, non-fiction, etc.  There is something about reading a passage of text with a definition in mind.  It changes the context of comprehension and adds depth to the reading experience.  Anyways, as my inner nerd was having a ball, I decided to look up the word drenched.  Simple word right?  Yes and no.  We all know that to be drenched is to be completely soaked or wet but what does it mean to be completely soaked or wet in mercy?  Better yet, what is mercy?

Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. Mercy is extended when we do not give others what they deserve when we have the power to do so.  For example, a judge not giving a deserved sentence; or better yet a parent not reprimanding a child after they have done wrong.  We are all in need of a little mercy!  According to the verse, at one time we had no knowledge of the compassion or forgiveness of God because we did not receive either compassion or forgiveness.  This tells me that we cannot fully know something that we haven’t embraced.  For example, how can you know (fully know) your friend or loved one if you haven’t fully embraced that person (strengths, weaknesses and other idiosyncrasies)?  We do not know what we do not embrace.  So, if we do not embrace people, places, or circumstances- we have no full knowledge of those things.  This is why it’s so important to be friends with people who embrace you fully because that’s the only way they will know you fully and can love you rightly.  We cannot love well what we do not know.  Alright…moving on.  The passage continues with “but now you are drenched with it.”  So what we didn’t know about before, we are now soaked within it. We are now soaked in mercy!

Earlier today, I had to make an errand which led me to the DMV.  I don’t know about other people but I absolutely hate the DMV.  Like absolutely hate it!  Anyways, the clouds were dark and it was raining a little bit but it wasn’t storming.  As I was leaving the DMV, the bottom fell out from the heavens and buckets of water descended on the earth.  Well, your girl didn’t have an umbrella and my afro already had its daily dose of water and olive oil.  As I ran to the car, I was soaked- wet from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.  There was no mistaking that I was in the pouring rain.  Isn’t that the beauty of God?  To take what we were not privy to and to soak us in compassion and forgiveness.  So much so, that we walk around as evidence of what we received.   Friends, we are soaked in mercy!  May this encourage you that our God is not angry with us, neither is he ashamed of us but he is proud to call us his own.  He is full of compassion and forgiveness for us and he loves us dearly!

May you never become dry! 

Xoxo,

Simone 

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

We can tell a person and say “I forgive you” as many times as we want to but it doesn’t mean a thing until we actually can say that person’s name, go around that person, receive a message from that person and not feel a way.

About four weeks ago I went through a whole situation of just releasing and forgiving people especially an ex of mine. Really quick backstory about us. We were a thing *smacks forehead lol*. We were deeply invested in each other as in talked every day sharing life stories and personal feelings and goals, supporting each other, he’d cry in my lap and I would encourage him. I was deeply invested okay? K. Months went by and I wanted to know if there was any purpose to us spending all of this time together. After so long I’m just not about to keep giving my time and energy to anything that’s not going anywhere. You feel me? So in the midst of me pouring my heart filled with hope and love out and trying to get the answer to what’s happening with us he blurts out, “I’M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU KRISTEN.” He goes on to tell me what he wasn’t going to do for me and all of that. I said, “okay.” I hung up the phone and collected myself. Years go by and I find myself invested in this dope amazing guy and I realize that I’m afraid to tell this guy how I feel and show true emotions with him. I wanted to know what had a grip of me. Why was this so terrifying? Immediately, my mind went back to the day I was telling my ex how I felt while trying to find out the purpose of us. I was afraid that as soon as I would tell this dope amazing guy that I liked him or showed some kind of emotion towards him he would reject me just like my ex did. I needed to let that go and really forgive my ex so I could go freely and not be afraid to love.

FAST FORWARD. Two weeks after releasing and forgiving everyone including my ex I get a Snapchat direct message. It’s my ex. I was like oh yea! In my best Gap Band vibes at the beginning of “Yearning for Your Love” 🎤The time has come for us to stop messin around! Lol. As in time for me to let this man know where HE messed up and let him know that I have forgiven him even though he’s the person that messed up and should be apologizing. I wanted to tell him off so he could feel what I had to feel on the day he blurted those words out to me. Ya know! *inserts awkward smile* Lol so needless to say that isn’t forgiveness. I had to reevaluate my whole heart before opening that message.

Sometimes when you forgive a person it’s about writing that forgiveness for that person in your heart and treating them equally as you treat any other person you may know and have a conversation with. You know what I did? I opened the message and acted as if it was another conversation with any random person I knew and I said nothing rude or sarcastic and got outta there.

This was my way of showing myself that I really did forgive this person and my heart was clear by not being a jerk to this person. If I would’ve came out and said I forgive you to him it wouldn’t have did anything but open a whole situation up for him to extend the convo way far beyond what I was willing to do. You have to understand this guy had been trying to pull a convo out of no convos for a while since we ended so I wasn’t willing to extend this thing just so he could be happy we were talking again and feel like this thing could get back started up. Nah. Lol. What does forgiveness look like for you?

-KSamone

@_KristenReel

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

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Sin Paranoia

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers – 

Have you ever noticed that sin causes us to be paranoid?  Paranoid that people are going to find out that we failed, that we engaged in something we probably should not have engaged in.  There is a level of a paranoia that comes when we engage in sin/sinful behavior. I do not pretend to have everything together, neither do I pretend to have arrived in my Christian walk- there are all kinds of things I have walked through and have engaged in.  I am so ashamed when I look back on the details of my past but that is why we call it a past, meaning that it has no relevance to where we are right now. I think this is where we get stuck, we get stuck dealing with the details of the old; we allow our past to define us when we are no longer in that place.  Anyways.. when we are doing wrong, I sense a level of paranoia.  That is when I just begin to air all of my dirty laundry and do some confession.  I confess before God and man because confession is so good for the soul and it sets us free.

We can not run from who we are for too long.  After awhile, we are going to have to face who we are and what we are choosing to bring into our lives.  I face things all the time, lately it has been temptations of sinful behavior, pressure to be successful and dealing with individuals I really do not care for.  On top of that warfare, I  am in a new environment living in a new city so the stress and anxiety wrapped in that one fact has tried to consume me heavily.  My archenemy depression has paid me a visit and so this week has been one for the books.  I lost a piece of myself in the shuffle and returned to behaviors I swore I would never go back to out of fear.  I am human and I mess up and I fall but the great thing about Jesus is that He has given me grace.  Grace that goes beyond my own performance and my own intentions – His grace picks me up when I fall and tells me that Simone, I want you- all of you, just the way you are in all of your “jacked-up”ness (not a real word).  I love that God loves me completely, knowing that I would mess up- knowing that I would disappoint Him, that I would not meet his standards sometimes- yet, He still loves me.   That is the beauty of grace! Should grace be taken for granted, absolutely not!  It should be recognized for what it is, a second opportunity for repentance.

So let me encourage someone this evening,  I know you made mistakes – we all have.  Trust me, even that one you deem to be the best saint has made some type of mistake, but take heart- God give forgiveness and compassion to those who confess and make it right with him. The  beauty of this forgiveness is that your sins are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness and you do not have to be bound to them anymore.  You need to forgive yourself.  Trust me, I know it is hard.  Sometimes, I look over my life and all of the mistakes I have made and I know that I have been forgiven but I still hold my mistakes against myself.  I do.  I say, “okay Simone you failed before so work really hard so that you do not fail again.” This is totally opposite of the gospel, which says I need Jesus to walk upright.  I cannot walk upright in myself because this flesh is awful and wants nothing to do with God, I have to rely on God in order to become a better person.  He makes me better.  That is the problem, we have been taught for so long that we have to get ourselves together, but the truth is we do not have the power or strength to perfect ourselves and that is why we need God- He perfects us!  Forgive yourself and move forward.

I go to Forward City Church and our call is, “The past is gone.  The future  awaits. Move forward. ” And I repeat this mantra over you all, “The past is gone.  The future awaits. Move  forward.” Let it go and live.  God is ready, willing and longing to love with forgiveness drenched in mercy and grace.  He already released your mistakes/past, now will you?

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://www.masternewmedia.org/images/little-sisters-sharing-secret-by-Viewimages-dot-com-72482743-415.jpg

 

 

Condemnation Eliminator

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers – 

Today is has been a great day, made some mistakes that I’m not too proud of but overall today was great.  Even though today was great as mentioned prior, I found myself consumed with the awful things I had done.  Isn’t it just like the Enemy to keep the past over our heads when forgiveness was already given and received.  Condemnation and shame clouded my thinking and I begin to think of how much I failed in a short period of time.  This is usually the beginning of the downward spiral that results from what I believe are BIG mistakes.   I began to pray as I tugged with these feelings and afterward the Holy Spirit spoke to me in such a sweetness…“Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who walk after the spirit and not after the flesh…(Romans 8:1)” I knew the passage of scripture and hope immediately filled my heart.

Condemnation.  The expression of very strong disapproval; censure.  This is feeling that surrounds us after we do something that is very wrong.   It is as if we can feel the shaking of God’s head, disapproving our very essence.  Some of us have convinced ourselves that God believes He made a mistake in the creation of us, because we mess up- time and time again.   Some of us have convinced ourselves that God wants nothing to do with us after what we’ve done.  Some of us have convinced ourselves that God no longer hears us, we’ve sinned way too many times and our privilege of conversation has been revoked based upon our behavior.  We have have convinced ourselves of things that are NOT true.   All of the statements above are lies that we believe, lies that we have fell for over time.

What if I told you that God was not surprised by your mistakes? Neither was He alarmed when you “failed” in your own definition of the word? What if I told you that  God was willing to not only talk to you but to forgive you and help you get back on track? What if I told  you that God chooses to forget about your mistakes and the only one keeping you hostage to them were you?

When we repent and choose to do what is right, God cleans our slate and create a new chance for us – this my friends is grace.  Grace is our opportunity to get it right this time and it is because of grace that we can live our lives free from shame, guilt and condemnation.  Our mistakes become the avenue to our restoration – creating a platform of God’s love & forgiveness with others.  Without our mistakes, we would not have the experience to share the hope of forgiveness with others.  Sometimes we treat God like we do others, we expect him to have limits to drop us when we do awful things- but God is not like man.  He does not drop us because we mess up from time to time, instead He draws us closer so that His love can change us and  make us into the great women and men He desires for us to be.  Your mistakes are your messages of hope and restoration to others. Share graciously!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC:http://66.media.tumblr.com/3e357d63254984645e76d2fdbc3f1c28/tumblr_ns4bhvtsuq1tjj2sjo1_1280.jpg

 

I Desire To Forget

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers –

Today’s devotional was about forgiveness and I thought I would share my deepest desire with you.  I desire to forgive in such a magnitude that I don’t remember the sins of those that wronged me. Many say forgive but never forget, however I don’t want to remember.  I don’t want to have a memory that attaches someone/some place from my past to a particular feeling.  I want to be able to see that person and harbor no resentment/bitterness in my heart toward them.  I want to be able to see that person and not worry about them hurting me again, because I now lack the knowledge of them hurting me before. I want to be able to step into a building and not react with feelings of insecurity because of the sins that were committed in that place.  I believe that operating in true forgiveness allows me to do just that, without this guilt of “I’m being dumb or naïve.”  I strive to walk in a forgiveness that forgets the wrongs of those that sinned against me.

1 Corinthians 13: 5 says that “Love remembers no wrongs…” it does not harbor past transgressions against no one.  Love does not remember past sins and faults.  This love and forgiveness is demonstrated to us through love of Jesus Christ.  He died for us, loving us in spite of our mistakes and faults and loving us into a personal transformation.  He forgave our faults and He does not harbor them against us any longer. His love is real and His forgiveness is sure.  I being His servant/ambassador/friend, walk even as He has walked and choose to not remember the sins of those that done things to me in the past.  I choose not to remember, no to hold someone to a memory of who they once was….

***NEWSFLASH*** People change!  That’s right, you heard it here first folks!  People change.  Some change for the better, others change for the worse- but all in all change is evident and consistently in effect.  Change is inevitable. So if I hold my brother or sister to a fault that occurred in their past self, against them in the present time- where change may have occurred- I am not being fair.  I am not being just.  Because God is just, He does not hold our past sins to us but acknowledge the possibility of change.

Should we do the same? Are we being truly just? Or are we living life constantly being unfair?

Today, I encourage you to forgive.  I encourage you to let things go and to choose to not remember.

Why harbor bad memories?  Why hold sadness in your heart? To learn a lesson?  The lesson has been learned and applied, so isn’t it time to find happiness again?  Isn’t it time for reconciliation? Isn’t it time to be free to have happy memories again?  Isn’t it time to forget completely?  Isn’t it?

The choice is yours on how you live your life.  Whether you are happy or living in sadness- the choice is yours.  I choose to be happy.  I choose to love like Christ loves.  I choose to completely forgive.  I choose to forget!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://thevillagechurch.net/mediafiles/uploaded/b/0e2360063_1375834511_blog-forgiving-despite-forgetting.jpg

I Haven’t Changed My Mind

I know you want me to forget your name
and to look at you through lens of regret
but my love remains the same
and I've released you from your past debt

I know you want me to be filled with anger
to treat you mean and cruel
I don't know if you noticed but I am as steady as an anchor
concerning love, I have thrown out those stupid rules

I know you wish that you could spend a lifetime
working for your forgiveness from me
but darling, I haven't changed my mind
I still love you freely....
©Simone Holloway, 2015

Featured Image Credit: https://fearlessheartministries.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/gods-love.jpg

Get Back On The Horse

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Today is #FreedomFriday, and as many of you know- I truly believe that one can be free in their hearts and their minds.  I believe in walking in true freedom, but I also believe in repentance and forgiveness.  Sometimes in our freedom walk- we’ll miss the mark, we’ll make mistakes but that is not an excuse for us to stay down.  In fact, it should be the motivation that causes us to try again and to give our pursuit of freedom, all that we have.  I made some mistakes today, but I didn’t let the Enemy convince me to stay down, no I got back up and I got back on the horse.  I’m in this Freedom thing until the very end and no matter what happens,  I am pursuing after God in true deliverance.  So today I say- everybody makes mistakes but don’t allow your mistakes to keep you stuck, GET BACK ON THE HORSE.  God is a God of restoration and He will forgive and restore you!

” Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you” Psalm 51:10,12

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: https://craigtowens.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/restoration.jpg

Inner Battle

I’m in a battle

over my heart

over the state of my mind

over my life

violence and strife

breed contempt

as demons of my past 

come and appear

be gone, I say

but they stay

tempting me to return

to my life prior

perverse and self-pleasing

condemning and full of shame

but there’s hope

in a name

the name of Jesus

He sees me

trying to contain

my next breath

before I’m enslaved again

His arms reach out

and He forgives my sin

Swords and weaponry

is His gift to me

to maintain resistance

to stay on

His side of the fence

I’m in a battle

straddling the present and eternity

this inner battle

could be the death of me

(c) Simone Holloway, 2014

Featured Image Credit: http://crossfitlittleton.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/29/files/2014/06/battle.jpg

What If?

“he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.” 

Hello Authentic Lovers

Psalm 103 has always been one of my favorite Psalms.  “Bless the Lord O my soul..”, David’s command to bless God because of His everlasting mercy and kindness, compels my heart to worship every single time.  I was thinking this morning about verse 10 (quoted above in the NIV translation), what if God’s treatment of us was dependant upon our level of sin?  Like what if he was like you messed up and therefore your life is going to be awful…

 What if there was no mercy or forgiveness?  Where we would be?  What would our lives look like?

I thought about these questions as I pondered my own extension of mercy to others.  I know (honesty time) I am quick to treat others based on the way that they have wronged me, but I am always asking for forgiveness and mercy when I wrong others…sounds kind of weird, right? Yep!  My mom always says “The same measure of mercy that you give others will be given to you…” I didn’t truly understand what she was saying until I found myself needing mercy extended towards me.  You see…I’m not perfect and I have done things that I am not proud of, but God has always forgiven me-He always gave me mercy.  So.. shouldn’t I extend that same mercy to others? Shouldn’t I give others a second chance, the same way God has given me a second chance. 

The Word of God has a way of checking our hearts and causing us to question the way that we live.  So today, I question my tendency to write people off and I make an effort to give mercy.  Sometimes mercy will not be received, sometimes it’ll be taken advantage of but all-in-all it will be given– as it has been given to me.

Whatever measure of mercy that you give out will be given back unto you, so give freely.  I hope you all are having a great day and I pray that today you will be filled with gratitude at the mercy of God. Let’s talk soon!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Mercy-of-God6.jpg