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

 

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12 Days of Love Letter Writing

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Those who know me, know that I LOVE opportunities to share  love and light to the world. Any chance that I can get to bring a smile to a face, makes me extremely happy and fulfilled.  SO… I happened to come across another opportunity and I wanted to share this one with you!

There is a beautiful organization called More Love Letters  and these amazing human beings, spread light and love into the world by collecting love letters for individuals who are either going through a hard time, need a little encouragement or just need to be reminded that they matter and that the world cares.  This Holiday season, they are doing a 12 days of Love Letter Writing Campaign.  Each day, participants receive a story of a letter candidate and have the opportunity to write a letter to that individual.  The letters are bundled and sent to the individual during the holidays.

This year, I am writing love letters and would love for YOU to join me!  I could use YOUR help in spreading light and love to those who need it most.

You know what’s so great about this opportunity??? The cost is roughly NOTHING… all you need is a little stationary, a stamp and a little bit of time; and you’ve got everything you need to make someone’s day!  Isn’t that AMAZING? I think so…  So, come join the fun!

Will you join me? The campaign is running from December 4th to the 15th

Today’s letters are being written to the beautiful IRENE. Check out her story below!

“Irene is the strongest woman I know. After her husband unexpectedly died after the birth of their fifth child, this young nurse did what was necessary–working long hours to support her children on her own, even at the expense of her personal life. I have never heard her complain once about her lot in life.

Irene now has grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She never forgot a birthday, and holidays with her were filled with homemade cookies and cheer. In her later years, she’s been happily living on her own in an independent living apartment. Recently though, she suffered a sacral fracture, sending her to the hospital. We are hopeful she can return to her apartment, however, that may realistically not happen. She’s very sharp mentally, but her always able body is feeling the wear and tear of age.

This setback has understandably dimmed Irene’s ever-bright light. This once positive, loving figure is now feeling the weight of not being able to live on her own. She does not want to spend her remaining time in a hospital bed or in a nursing home, but her optimism is waning.”

Let’s write to Irene and encourage + support her during this difficult season.” 

 

ALL LETTERS CAN BE MAILED TO: Irene’s Bundle c/o Anna B. 451 Acequia Madre, Santa Fe, NM 87505 USA. 

So… grab a pen, paper, turn the Christmas music all the way UP and join me in spreading cheer to those in need this  holiday season!  Let’s strive to love well.

Until next time,

Simone ❤

 

Links with info and all that jazz…

http://www.moreloveletters.com

http://www.moreloveletters.com/12days (campaign website)

http://www.moreloveletters.com/diary/2017/11/29/frequently-asked-questions (FAQs & other concerns)

 

 

#moreloveletters

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

For many the holidays suck!  I think it’s a time when people truly realize the depth of their loneliness.  As a single woman, I am more aware of my singleness around the holidays.  I go home, sit with family and friends and see the stark contrast of my life from those I hold dear.  There are individuals all around the world that feel lonely, depressed and just icky around this holiday season!

About two years ago, I stumbled upon a website called More Love Letters- a movement that advocate for individuals to write love letters to strangers who are in need of a little love and encouragement to make it through life.  Organizations that are super intentional about sharing love and light make me smile, so I thought I would share that resource with each of you.  This holiday season, I am committing to writing love letters- so that I can bring some love to those that feel alone this season.  In fact, I would encourage you all to write some letters of encouragement and leave them at your favorite coffee shops, your go-to bakery and that restuarant you were dying to check out.  Spend a few days spreading love and light to those around you!

If you are interested in becoming more involved, or you would like to join me in writing these letters- check out: http://moreloveletters.squarespace.com ; or you can email me at authenticlove789@gmail.com and join me in this effort.  If you need a letter/ a pick me up of encouragement because life is a little hard right now, let me know and I’ll write you a letter.  You are so valued, cherished, loved and you should know that!

You matter.

Happy Writing!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://s.newsweek.com/sites/www.newsweek.com/files/styles/feature/public/2014/07/22/725fe0205letters01.jpg

 

Merry Christmas!

Hello Authentic Lovers

I hope that you have a fantastic day celebrating the birth of Christ.  I love Christmas songs, but my ultimate favorite tune to sing is ” The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole.  What is your favorite Christmas song? Feel free to share that song with me below!  I pray that this Christmas is the best one yet 🙂

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://www.joniskelis.lt/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/christmas.jpg

Isolation Kills

Hello Authentic Lovers!

I didn’t plan on writing today, especially as we near the holidays and some of you all will be surrounded by family- making you too busy to read.  I understand the hustle and bustle of the season, trust me I do…but as I was sitting reading my Word for the day, I felt led to share these thoughts with you.

For those without family or friends, the holidays can suck!  Some of you may find yourselves all alone during this season and from experience I can tell you that isolation breeds depression.  I struggled with depression for 14 years…battling the sane demon that would drag me down through isolation.  Being alone is not a bad thing but living a lifestyle where you are secluded from others can be bad.  We as mankind, were created for community to reflect the community of God.  The bible says that the council of God (Trinity) said, Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness…” So If we were created in the image of God then we were created to live in community, we were never created to live alone.  

So the Enemy knowing that we thrive best in the community of others will lie to us and tell us that we can fix ourselves in isolation.  This isolation includes but is not limited to: disconnecting from family, cutting ties with social groups, not having friends, not having a church community, allowing unforgiveness and bitterness to keep us from speaking to others, and then lying to ourselves with the phrase “I don’t need anyone, I can live life with just me…”  Yes, you can live alone but you cannot thrive alone.  Life without growth is stagnation and if its sitting still, then its dying.

I read this verse and I thought about how Jesus being God Himself, still thrived in the midst of His connection with the Father and Holy Spirit.  “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine won will, but the will of the Father which sent me” ( John 5:30) Just like Christ needs His community to thrive and to make a difference, we need our community to thrive- we need each other to grow.

Don’t isolate yourself this holiday season.  Don’t just survive- choose to thrive!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/314/1/2/isolation_2_by_jessica_art-d6tte4q.jpg

Love Gives

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3:16 MSG) 

Hello Authentic Lovers

Christmas is the most celebrated holiday, aside from Halloween- there is something special about the spirit of the Holidays.  It is as if people are nicer around Christmastime.  I don’t know if its the carols of good cheer, or the emphasis on tasty desserts or if its just the idea that someone is going to do something nice for you for a day; all I know is that Christmas can bring the best and worst out of individuals.  I love Christmas, it is my favorite holiday aside from my birthday.  I love singing the songs, decorating the tree, baking cookies and just the sheer joy that comes around the holidays…but like others I can get caught up in things that don’t matter around the holidays: money and things.  We have all been guilty of being caught up in material things around the holidays, desiring the next big thing and forgetting an attitude of gratitude.

But…does this make giving gifts bad?  I say: absolutely not!  The first demonstration of true love, came in the form of a gift- the gift of the Son of God.  This is why I believe that gift giving is most appropriate for this holiday.  Over 2000 years ago, God gave us something so dear to His heart- He gave us His son (only son).  Can you imagine giving someone your child?  Your only child?  I can imagine the Father’s heart being bittersweet; sad knowing that He would be separated from His child for a season, but after remembering the purpose being filled with joy.  Jesus was given to us so that we can have real life, life that is never ending or limited by the trials of this world.

In the next three days, your hands will be filled with gifts of the newest technology, clothes and accessories, and possibly a pair of socks but the greatest gift you will have the chance to receive is the Jesus Christ, the son of God.  God himself has given you His Son, nothing else compares to that.

I know that some of you aren’t believers or profess any salvation/relationship with God but I just want to let you know that the epitome of love was a gift, the gift of Jesus Christ.  Anyone can have this gift and when you accept Him – you’ll live, truly live.  If you would like to accept Jesus, all you have to do is talk to Him and tell Him that you want Him to live in your heart forever and He will.  Anyone can belong to the family of God.  After you invite Him into your heart, find a group of people you can journey with ( we were never created to live this life alone- we were created for community) and take time to learn more about Him.  Sometimes we can open a Bible and it seems dense, so I encourage you to read in a version that you can understand.  Jesus has a friend that He gives you with Himself called the Holy Spirit, receive Him too because He is going to help you experience this life in a deeper way.  Every year we acknowledge the gift of Jesus, but this year let’s open Him up and experience our lives with Him.  

Always remember: love gives….

Until next time and Happy Holidays,

❤ Mo

Featured Image Credit: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OrSICuIZpc8/TZBbkcZIt_I/AAAAAAAAAU4/aqhKnMtXwOU/s1600/Love-Gives.jpg

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Hello Authentic Lovers!

As you may know…it’s really cold outside. EXTREMELY COLD.  I, being born a New Yorker and all, should be immune to cold weather or so I thought. I’ve lived in SC now for eight years and have become accustomed to a slight chill but nothing too extreme, but times are changing as it is becoming colder.   During this months of icy bliss, I find myself more and more in the house trying to get cozy.  Today, I am going to share with you my top five cozy must-haves, basically my winter survival kit.  If we share some of these must-haves in common, feel free to comment and let me know!  Ok….Let’s go.

#5- My favorite down comforter.  We all need that one comforter that is twice the size of our bodies and causes us to be surrounded from head to toe in warmth.  I have a comforter at home that is absolutely wonderful. It is beige with wine & green diagonal stripes on it..it is one of my favorite cozy must -haves. It’s nothing like the bedding on Parachute Home, but it’ll make a close second.  If anyone wants to make me happy this Christmas….I like comforters 😉

In less than two minutes, when I get in from work...I look like this girl.
In less than two minutes, when I get in from work…I look like this girl.

#4My Ultimate Movie Collection.  During cold days…I don’t feel like moving from my couch.  I basically live on my couch between the end of November and mid-February. Living on my couch, makes my life easier.  The TV, kitchen and bathroom are all in the vicinity of my lovely abode, making the need to move even more unnecessary.  If I am going to be lazy and hibernate during the winter months, I might as well go all out!  lol.  I might as well plan my life around my couch, right? 😉  Anyways…I have some ultimate favorite movies that I love to watch during my cozy day madness.  These movies include but are not limited to: A Cinderella Story, A Walk to Remember, The Hunger Games, 13 going on 30, One Night With the King, and basically anything else on Charter Demand.  

Yep...life just got real...
Yep…life just got real…

#3– A nice cup of tea. I love hot tea, probably more than the average 21 year old love coffee.  I love drinking tea, I love buying a new tin of tea and I love going to places that specialize in “tea” related things.  I love tea. So, on a cold day…I like to make a cup of blueberry and acai herbal tea, pouring this delicious delight into my favorite mug.   I have three tea mugs:  An hampton inn mug, a valentine’s day xoxo mug and my graduate mug( gift from my mom when I graduated from college).  I love these mugs and I love getting more for more tea days.

Yum...chamomile and mint, a perfect combo!
Yum…chamomile and mint, a perfect combo!

#2- A good book.  When it’s cold outside, I usually curl up with a good book and sip tea as I read.  I am currently reading: Crossroads by William P.Young and its pretty good.  I love Karen Kingsbury novels and probably own all of them.  I also like Terri Blackstock mystery novels. Reading allows me to escape the boundaries of reality for just a moment, feeding my imagination all of the wonderful possibilities of what could be in the midst of how life really is. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, especially on a cold day.

Ooooo...I just love books!
Ooooo…I just love books!

AND FINALLY……*drum roll please*

#1: My Cozy Day Music Playlist: I love music and have music that reflects every weather pattern, mood, holiday that I could ever describe.  I have playlists on Spotify that are designed to reflect the day that I am having, therefore a cozy day playlist.  When I am having a cozy day; I like soft, mellow, folksy type of music that causes my mind and body to relax.  What do you like to listen to during a cozy day?

Spotify-logo-300x300Well, that’s it for my top five cozy-day must haves.  If you’re looking for a comfy comforter for your cold days, I would suggest checking out Parachutehome.com.  This company is based out of California (design wise) but all of the products are made in Venice, Italy( cool…right?).  Their products are made of Egyptian cotton and dyed naturally: making them environmentally conscious.  I love this company because of their great product standards and their appreciation for the environment.  If you are still looking for great Christmas gifts or you would like a new comforter for more cozy days, check out http://www.parachutehome.com/collections/bedding.  Enjoy your cozy days and have a Happy Holidays!

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gxTpPwcvFsw/US7LJqedZII/AAAAAAAAFjo/KxT3bUlrimw/s1600/Bridge+snow.jpg

Image 1: https://loveandfat.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/down-comforter-woman-wrapped-upcc-300×240.jpg?w=370

Image 2: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_maeghyQCHV1r7769mo1_500.png

Image 3: http://s9.favim.com/orig/131027/hipster-hot-drink-indie-tea-Favim.com-1018830.jpg

Image 4: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/literature/21l-003-1-reading-fiction-dysfunctional-families-spring-2007/21l-003-1s07.jpg

Image 5: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Spotify-logo-300×300.jpg