What If We Were Honest?

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

*disclaimer: today’s post is about a touchy subject.  Read, enjoy, ponder and engage with these thoughts. *

“What If We Were Honest?” this was the title of a great record by Francesca Battistelli, and these words are one that rings in my heart today.  Honesty.  It sounds nice and all, but I believe that we as a society have found comfort in dishonesty, in the rat race of pretend.  I mean who wants to be honest?  Really honest? Gut-wrenching honest?  No one.  No one wants to admit their failures or to relish in their inadequacies.  No, we as a people rather “fake it till we make it”.  We rather front, making ourselves bigger than what we are: seeking validation for our charade.   But what if, for a moment, we were truly honest?  Honest with ourselves, honest with each other and honest with God.

I believe that honesty is the doorway of freedom.  We will never be free or experience inner healing until we are honest.  There is no greater shackle than the chain of a  secret.  For centuries, especially in the African American community, we held each other hostage to secrets.  Secrets of rape and molestation, secrets of incest, secrets of mental illness, secrets of criminal activity, secrets of children born out of wedlock, secret families and secret affairs.  We’ve caged ourselves in by our secrets, silently triggered by things no one else but our oppressors knows.  Some of our oppressors have gone to the grave, yet we are still carrying the shame as if they are alive- bound by a secret.   To omit part of the truth is to not tell the truth at all.  God is aware of all of these things, memories and secrets we carry in our hearts.  We don’t have to pretend to have it all together, we don’t have to pretend to have all the answers, we don’t have to pretend to be whole but we can share these concerns with our Father so that he can heal us.

The more I confess,  the more I share, the more transparent I live – the freer I am!

What would our world look like if we were honest?

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: https://i0.wp.com/www.fiftyonfifty.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/honesty.jpeg?fit=4032%2C3024&ssl=1

Examine Yourself

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Have you ever had one of those “reality check” moments?  Like, one of those times when you became aware of who you truly were? I think we all have moments like these and they come when we have ignored the voice of God way too long.  I had one of those moments a few hours ago, I realized that I needed to be real with myself and with God.  Sometimes we are not in the situations we face because of the Enemy or the devil, we are in our predicaments because of us.  We placed ourselves in these various circumstances but then look to God and blame Him for our situation.  It’s not God’s fault but ours.  That’s a tough pill to swallow but it is not until we come into truth that we can: be free.  Jesus said,  “For you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. (John 8:32) “  It is the truth that sets us free, not our fantasies, excuses and rejection of what truly is – but truth.  So today, I came face to face with some hard truth about myself and it was that truth that compelled my desire to change.

With today being first Sunday, I know my home church performed communion.  My mom always read 1  Corinthians 11:28a, “But let a man examine himself…” This practice of examining ourselves is this check to determine our standing with God.  Sometimes we can become  so comfortable in our sin that we forget that our standing with God matters.  Christianity is not solely about Heaven, but what is the point to spend so many days in church just to end up in Hell? Why waste our precious time to live halfway committed to God?

We halfway worship,  we halfway praise.  We know all the scriptures, but can’t live them out.  We can speak in some kind of tongue, dance a church down with our coordinated two -step but can’t live and speak holy.  What is the point to do the most, if I’m not going to spend eternity with Him?  I’m at this place in my life,  where church homiletics and routines are no l longer cutting it.  I’m no longer trying to look the part of a Christian, I’m about being a Christian in all its entirety.  If I’m going to look a part, I’m just deceiving myself.

Today  I came to myself, I recognized that my heart and my mind was keeping me from this next place in God.  I needed a new heart, a new mind, a new outlook on life.  The cycle of barely trusting God, believing one day and then complaining tomorrow was going to keep me in stuck in a mediocre relationship with God.  I saw myself as super selfish, super whiny and someone who was more blessed than I realized.  Yes, life is tough but everyone’s life is tough and that’s why we have a God who is more concerned with us than we are sometimes with him.  God is not asking for my complaints, He is seeking my heart to trust him in the midst of where I am.

If we judge ourselves, we don’t have to worry about anyone judging us.

One of the teens in my church’s youth group preached a message called, “Check Yourself.” and I speak that to each of you – check yourself.  Are you who you say you are?  Are you as devout to the gospel as you appear to be?  Looks can be deceiving…. If you’re not where you need to be in God, get there and get there fast because we don’t have time to keep up appearances.  We don’t have time to appear to be whole when we are indeed broken.  We don’t have time to appear to be free when we are truly bound.  We don’t have time to fake our peace living in a state of torment.  We don’t have time …

When we are honest with ourselves, it is then we are made whole. It is truth that sets us free and it is confession that heals us.  I don’t know about y’all but I am ready to live in the fullness of what God created for me to be. I am ready to change.  I am ready…

Until next time,

Simone

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

I Love You

This title is my confession
but based on my profession
it is customary for me to say it again
Now and then
and forever
I speak these words as an anchor
for your heart
as beautiful as a work of art
I grace these three words to you
their impact great, though their letters few
So here I go..knowing this is what my heart wants to do
Darling, I. love. you.
I loved you before you believed
In an us, in a we
I loved you before you loved yourself
When you placed our love on a shelf
I loved you when you was lost in the world
Even then I wanted to be your girl
And all in all my love remained true
I love you despite all we've been through
I love you now
I love you not knowing how
my love will affect those around me
but whatever will be, will be
You see?
Darling, I can't live my life based on others opinions
on what they determine are my sins
I can't decide who to love based on a consensus
because then there would be no us
Maybe I'm biased
but with you I am my boldest
And I can't allow other's brief distrust
to ruin the greatest
love I have ever known
seeds of beautiful change have been sown
And as if that isn't enough
I might just
up the ante on this bet I have on us two
and say for the rest of eternity, I will love you
Yes I will
When all the earth stands still
And the wonder of the seas begins to cease
and the world ponders if there is still peace
I will still love you
in fact my love grew
over the years
as situations bottled our tears
and we had to make an alliance
as tough times came to rob the essence
of our love
like a dove
who waited to be released from it's hiding place
so that it could face
what was to come
we too waited from
the sidelines so that we could
understanding that we should
love each other with everything
regardless of who was asking
I will love you when your spirit decides to go away
knowing that you can no longer stay
in the earth with me
as you pass into eternity
I will still love you
There's nothing else that I'll rather do
Then, now and forever
my love will be your anchor
it will be sturdy and well-fixed
well-mixed
with patience and honesty
designed for you and me
I did, I do, and I will
love you for eternity
© Simone Holloway, 2015

Featured Image Credit:http://www.lovethispic.com/uploaded_images/62097-I-Love-You.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

Random Ramblings of a 21 Year Old Girl

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

I’ve been procrastinating all day about what I wanted to blog about but I decided that instead of planning something, I would just write out of a stream of consciousness,  That’s right, whatever comes up is coming out on this digital page to be shared with each and every one of you. lol.  So I’ve been thinking about a few things that I thought I would share.

Here are a few of my ramblings:

(1) I don’t really understand why people read my writing, really I don’t understand. Like why would anyone choose to hear what I have to say?  I know that sounds self-deprecating and I promise I’m not fishing for some compliments but sometimes I’m like why would I read my blogpost, you know? I  was never the best writer.  I remember being in school and doing awful on my English papers because my grammar was never the best.  I always felt like people never got me as a person, they never understood me or what I was trying to say.  So to see that people are actually reading my thoughts…simply dumbfound me and makes me wonder.

(2) I cry every time I hear Christina Perri’s “Thousand Years”.  Every single time, and I don’t even know why,  It’s like on cue- when I hear the song, the waterworks come.  Crazy, huh? I’m watching “The Voice” and this guy starts singing “Thousand Years” and I almost loose it. lol. Like, full emotional breakdown…I think I need therapy.lol.

I was going to take over the world...

(3) I’m going to the Bahamas in April and I can’t go until I don’t look like a swollen mess in my bathing suit.  When my mom told  the family that we were going to the Bahamas, everyone was like “Yeah…Bahamas..sweet!”, I was like “OMG I have to lose weight to look good in the Bahamas.” Shallow? Maybe, but absolutely true moment!

(4) My next date needs to be at an actual restaurant.  You know, the places where you have to sit down and look at a menu?  A place where its customary to leave a tip?  Like…an actual restaurant!  Don’t get me wrong, I love the spontaneous picnics and home-cooked meals, and trust me I love coffee dates and festivals- but I would actually like to sit down and enjoy a meal that neither one of us made together.  I’m just saying!  A dinner date is long overdue 🙂

restuarant

and finally because I could go on all night…

(5) So I was watching Dancing with the Stars and decided to tweet as I was watching…man, folks can be mean where it involves their favorite TV programming.  I was trying to be nice but honest and thought I was mean, but after looking at some of these comments- I had not even scratched the surface. I think it’s so funny how easy it is to hide behind one’s social media and forget the the people we talk about has feelings too.  Celebrities have feelings too, so let’s be kind on our social media.

So those are my ramblings for the night…I’m pretty exhausted and we’ll talk soon. If you have any random thoughts you would like to share with me, please comment below!  

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Picture #1 :http://ruralrookie.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/shinythings.jpg

Picture #2: http://simmermagazine.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/bluenile.jpg?w=960

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Let’s Be Honest!

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers –

Today I thought we would conquer something that we all have dealt with: Honesty.  That’s right the old H- word, Ho-nes-ty.  Honesty is something that all of us talk about, but sometimes do not practice.  Today, I want to talk about our honesty with God.

How many of us pray?  Prayer by definition is talking to God, so if we whisper a few words to him at any time, we are by definition praying.  How many of us mean what we are praying?  This means that every word that comes out of our mouths, every single word, is sincere/genuine.  How of us say things that we think others want to hear? Do we do the same thing with God? Well, do you?

I’ve come to realize that many people have a hard time saying what’s on their mind to God. Either the individual is afraid to be honest or they are ashamed of what they are going to say.  We have made honesty to be something we use when we get perfect, when we have it all together.

The gospel is not for the perfect, it’s not for those who have everything all together- but it’s for the jacked-up, the lost, the abandoned, the ones who have all kind of scary thoughts in their heads; the Gospel is for them.  How can we become free from where we are if we never talk to God about it?  How can we?  I have learned that God desires that we are completely honest.  

Sometimes we don’t have sunny days and sometimes we are not grateful and would rather complain, but that’s life and we can talk to God about these things.   God is not looking for a relationship where people tell Him what they think He wants to hear, but rather the truth.  He wants to hear the truth about how you are feeling in that moment so that He can make everything better.

Girls, why when we are annoyed and our significant other ask us if anything is wrong, we say no? We say:” Nothing is wrong.”, when clearly something is eating us up.  Why do we do that?  We should be able to be honest with our significant other because we know they love us, and therefore can be trusted with our feelings.  It’s the same thing with God, we can talk to Him about how we are feeling because He can be trusted.  When I have bad days, I go to God and I let Him know I had a bad day.  I even take this process  a step further and tell Him why my day was a rough one.  He already knows what happened in my day, so why not be honest with Him,  I find that my conversations with God and with others are more meaningful when I am completely honest.  Let’s be honest! 

Until next time,

Mo ❤

Photo Credit: http://johnrhodesday.com/

 

Be Careful Little Mouths What You Say

Not too long ago, I had a friend that was notorious for saying things he did not mean. Notorious for it! He would schedule things with me and wouldn’t show up. He would tell me he had my back and wouldn’t be there for me when I needed him the most. He would tell me that he cared about me but his actions proved something else. His words said one thing but his actions spoke of a different tale, a tale of dishonesty, fakeness, and plain insincerity.

It was through these experiences that I learned about the power of words.  They have power to build you up or tear you down especially when they are disingenuous. I built a wall because of his actions. A wall  that I have been  trying to tear down for the past 3 years, one I’m trying to tear down even today.\
This is how I feel. If you have nothing nice to say: SHUTUP! If you have no intentions of following through with what you say: SHUTUP! If you don’t mean the words that come out of your mouth: SHUTUP!  I rather you say nothing than destroy someone with your misleading, negative, destroying words. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death is in the power of our tongue… This means that there’s power in our words. I would rather see you live life in silence than to destroy someone with what you say or do.  Sometimes our actions are the loudest things speaking in our lives.

Girls don’t play a bunch of games with guys by telling them you’re into things that you’re not. Guys don’t tell girls that you’re going to call them and then don’t, follow through with your commitments. I rather a man never tell me he’s going to call than to be expecting a phone call that I’m never going to receive.  Be honest, be real! Be careful little mouths what you say.
Mo