DeActivated

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

There is nothing more exhausting than living a life of comparison. Nothing. I didn’t realize how much of a comparison-driven life I was living until I saw how much time I consumed reflecting on the adventures of others through social media. To be connected to so many, yet to feel so alone is a travesty within itself.

I think this is the trap of the enemy to get us into this mindset of comparing our realities to others’ highlight reel. I mean the snare to compare is so stealthy, you’ll think your life is great until a late night scrolling sesh on insta and all of sudden you’re looking through your life with regret. Crazy to think that something that is supposed to unite us can be the very thing that tears us apart. So last night, I deactivated and logged out of my social media accounts, just to take a temporary break. I didn’t realize how much time I spent scrolling until I took away that option. Ladies and gents, I was in the middle of the comparison trap and I had to tackle that head on.

To say we are immune to comparison would be a complete lie, especially since we live in a world that positions us to compare ourselves one to another. We are indoctrinated in a culture that causes us to readily check our lives against the lives of our peers. We measure our successes, failures and even our worth to the words and opinions of others. Loves, sometimes the Father will ask us to disconnect so that we can come face to face to the truth of what He’s spoken about us. He removes the distractions so that we can be real about our desires and our discontentment with life. It’s not until we’re reminded of the truth of what God’s spoken that we can combat the snare to compare.

So, friends I encourage you to take the time that you need. If that means, getting off of social media for a period of time or so, and becoming present with those around you or even deactivating for a while- do what you must to thrive as a son or daughter!

I love you guys and I can’t wait to speak with you all soon!

Xoxo,

Simone

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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

 

Confessions of a Law Student…

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I usually refrain from speaking about this part of my life, well… in part because it is not full of rainbows and sunshine.  Sometimes, well… the majority of the time, it’s filled with the complete opposite.  I think I’ve cried more in the last three years than I have my entire life.  Like, many of you may read this and be like,” Wow sis, you’re super dramatic!”  But if some of you lived a day in my colleagues’ lives, you would lose it.  I mean you would probably think you’re borderline insane.  Studies show that law students/lawyers experience 30% more depression than the average citizen, 45% more anxiety,  and 40% more issues with substance abuse.  But, what we do isn’t all bad:  we argue for clients to gain a just result!  However, sometimes we make arguments and we lose, our clients don’t get what’s just and is robbed by a flawed system.  If I could gather my colleagues together, I believe we would settle on the following confessions.  So please fancy us and enjoy twenty confessions from a law student/lawyer:

  1. I never have time, I make time.  So please don’t waste the time I give you.
  2. If I knew what the case was trying to say, I wouldn’t be struggling to answer this question right now Professor.
  3. If you ask me what I am doing, odds are I’m working.  Like legitly, I work a lot.
  4. Everyone cannot be a lawyer.  If that was true then my three years of suffering, hundreds of debt in student loans, ten weeks of bar prep, $10, 000 of bar prep funds and my sanity means nothing to society.  Never say that it’s easy to be a lawyer and that everyone can be a lawyer.  Those words are disrespectful…
  5. My life is planned, my days are scheduled.  You being mad because I cannot attend your last minute function, doesn’t diminish my to-do list.
  6. Sometimes, I want to escape my life.  Like how dope would it be to go to another country, change my identity and like never come back.
  7. My phone will ring at the most inopportune times.  At dinner, while I’m in the shower when I’m watching a movie.  My phone will ring and it will be about something that really isn’t as important as it seems.
  8. Law & Order, HTGAWM, and The Bar is not real life.  Please stop trying to convince me that you know the law from your knowledge of legal dramas.
  9. Only 33% of the population has the knowledge I have,  this means Law School must be hella hard.
  10. I work for a client.  That person is my priority and sometimes they run all the way out!
  11. No, I cannot give you legal advice for free.
  12. If I have to do my job, my legal secretary’s job and act as my own paralegal, I should receive the pay for all three of those salaries.
  13. I want to work out but I’m so tired.
  14. I’m taught to conceal my weaknesses, to only show my strengths but this hinders me from being vulnerable in my relationships.  Why do you think a majority of us are still single?
  15. I keep people’s secrets for a living, yet it’s rare that someone keeps mine.
  16. A glass of wine every once in a while was great.  But, now Thursday Happy Hours is the only way I’m getting by.
  17. I see sad things all the time.  I think I’ve lost my sense of connection to the world.  A murder is no longer a senseless shameful act but an aggravated crime dependent on mens rea.  If there is no intent to kill or to cause gross bodily harm or injury, or even just a reckless disregard for behavior resulting in the loss of life or harm, that’s not murder- that’s a lesser offense.
  18.  I wouldn’t wish the type of stress I feel on anyone, not even my worst enemy.
  19. It’s easy to say everything is going to be okay, especially when you don’t have one test determining your semester grade.
  20. Every day I wake up and wonder if I am making the biggest mistake of my life. Every. single. day.

Bonus:  You don’t understand and frankly, I hope you never do.

 

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC:http://i2.wp.com/real-law.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/studying.jpg?resize=290%2C174

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

 

She’s Dead.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

I bet many of you are looking at the title of today’s blog and you’re like “What???” But what many of you do not know,  is that a piece of me died today.  Yep, a portion of myself that held me back, that kept me stuck in the rut of my past, that caused me to lose hope/faith in God- that thing/piece died.  That fearful, anxious, timid girl died, and I’m happy that she has been laid to rest.

It’s insane to belong to Christ, yet still live like the world.  Right?  Why buy into this new way if you’re still going to experience the same old troubles and hardships?  Why work to never enter rest?  As I grow in my faith with God, I realized that the way I was living my life was never what he intended.  He did not design me to be stressed, extremely exhausted, malnourished and utterly miserable.  God did not save me so that I could have a miserable life, but this was my life day in and out- miserable.

 I was saved to be filled with joy, to hope in something bigger than myself, to live full out fearless and free from anxiety.

I was a bound daughter, living like an orphan, striving and working in my own strength to make my dreams come true.  Due to this life, I suffered greatly: mentally and in my physical health.  Yet, in grace and mercy, the Father never disowned me but in gentleness and compassion he beckoned me to himself and loved me anyway.  Though I was still the girl who was afraid of living, he still loved me.  Even though I still found myself in the rat race of life, he still loved me.  Even though sometimes I got it wrong: said the wrong thing & did the wrong thing; he still loved me.

It was this love that kept pushing at my fortress of fear,  it kept smashing against its doors, looking to destroy it once and for all.  For His perfect love casts out (banishes) all fear!

When I became a Christian, He promised that I would be a new creature that the old things of life would have no more effect on the new that was to come.  I lived as a ghost of my former self: afraid, anxious, lonely, depressed but my new self is none of those things.  My new self is fearless, full of trust, at rest, loved well, and full of joy.  So today, as I was talking to the Father, he explained that the season I was in was one of the old dying so that the new could come.  So today, I make a declaration in faith that the old person: anxiety-ridden, fearful, striving, lonely, depressed, and overwhelmed is dead.  She died and she no longer exists! I am now fearless, bold, confident, trusting, at rest, in peace, full of joy and optimism, at ease, and never alone for He abides with me.

Goodbye old, may you never resurface again.  Thank you for teaching me about my strength, thank you for showing me that there was more to life than what I was living, thank you for being my past- for my past led me to Jesus who gives me the authority to proclaim my perfected future.  Goodbye, good riddance, may you rest forevermore!

Hello new, may you spring up!  May I perceive you all the time, rest in you, and long for you.  May I never become content with settling with what I’ve already seen when there is so much more to come.  I welcome you, I identify with you, I identify as you: new.  I rest in you, for you are a gift from my Father to me.

Until next time,

Simone (new and improved🦁)

FIC: https://image.shutterstock.com/image-photo/tombstone-graves-ancient-church-graveyard-260nw-508109173.jpg

Scriptural Citation: 1 John 4:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Isaiah 43:18-19

Also, a link to what the word casts out is in Greek and what that means, it’ll provide better understanding and context to the scripture referenced.  (1Jn 4:18)

https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/ekballo.html

21

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

Happy Thursday! It’s a wonderful day filled with reflection and revelation for what’s next.  Here are a few updates before we dive on in:  1) I’m a rising 3L – this law school journey is almost over and it’s time to go out with a BANG! 2) Out of faith, I find myself letting go of things that I once found security: job, friendships, etc. 3) I learned all about the plan of God being demonstrated within seasons of pain: trust me, I understand and we’ll discuss soon!  But for today… *drum roll please*  I would like to share with all my heart concerning inspiration and the lies that tell us that we lack some.

21.  Twenty-one represents the number of journals that are in my possession.  Some are big, some small, some are fancy and some plain but all of them are filled with dreams, ideas, visions, and hopes for the future.  Some of the journals are filled, others not so much but they are full of life and creativity breathed upon by the Father.  One journal holds a manuscript, one is reserved strictly for songs and both bring me so much joy as I ponder on His goodness.  For the past three or so years, I fell for the lie that I had nothing to say or that I lacked inspiration both utterly untrue.  The fact that I’ve found something to write about every day for the past six years or so counteracts these beliefs.

The fact of the matter is, the more I move forward the more I recognize the lies I’ve believed for so long. As I embrace this recognition, freedom comes to remind me of who God says I am and all he has destined for me to do. I am equipped to do what he has ordained because within him lies all I need for my assignment. In the words of my pastor, ” I’m a sure thing because he is sure!” If I could encourage you with anything, believe what the Father says about you and move toward all that He’s promised for His life!

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC : https://is4-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Purple128/v4/8a/0e/27/8a0e2749-7b89-d23a-54bd-985a3057ae85/AppIcon-1x_U007emarketing-85-220-1.png/246x0w.jpg

Where Do We Find Meaning?

Dear old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers

Happy Monday!  I hope you all are doing well and that you’re not deflating under the  Monday Blues.

Anyways, I believe that we live in a world where people crave for something meaningful.  We desire for our lives, relationships, careers to hold meaning and to reflect some type of value within our society.  Think about it, would you choose your job if that position held no meaning within society: whether that is power, prestige, honor, etc.  What about your perfect guy or girl?  Do the characteristics they possess hold any weight within our value system? Even think of the homes we reside in, are the aesthetics one of “esteem” held within our society fixated on beauty and volume.  What if for a moment, we found meaning in just being the person we were created to be?  Marrying the spouse duly suited for our life and love goals?  Living in the home that we perceive to be best for us?  Working the career that we are passionate about and that changes a majority of lives?

Isn’t that meaningful?

Society teaches us that meaning is in our possession, accomplishments, and assets.  God, however, teaches us that meaning is within Him and as we find ourselves within who He is, we automatically hold meaning, value, and worth within society.  This value and meaning hold regardless of our looks, career, education, home aesthetics, and relationships.  Our lives are meaningful because we are meaningful, just as we are.

Until next time,

Simone

📷 FIC : https://tvo.org/archive-programs/maps-of-meaning

 

Was It Worth It?

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Good evening.  Tonight’s post was hard to write, for it forced me to face another level of vulnerability within myself.  Transparency makes me slightly uncomfortable but I’ve resolved that to live the life the Father has created for me, I must be transparent.  I don’t know if it’s been noticeable, but I have been pretty silent on this platform.  The fact of the matter was the passion I had for this blog 4 years have diminished greatly.  It was no fault of WordPress or even of you all, my blog family, ultimately it dwindled to the absence of passion for life.  Have you ever been in something for so long, you didn’t realize that you no longer found joy in it?  That was the place I found myself in, stuck in this grind for success that I hit a brick wall of pros and cons to why I should continue in this race.

Everything I loved to do became a chore.  Reading became a burden as  I read 100s of pages for class, writing became a nightmare as I realized that my style didn’t add up to academia, singing became an obligation and reminder of imperfection, even serving the Father seemed like a weight that was too heavy to bear.  I lost myself in the day to day routine of trying to become something so that I can finally act on what I felt called to do.  Frankly, I got to the crossroads of my purpose and hated what I witnessed.  Then regret began to sink in: regrets for orchestrating my whole life toward a certain career, regrets for choosing a lifestyle void of an intimate relationship to abstain from distraction, regrets for choosing to do what’s honorable when wronged, regrets for making certain vows to the Lord, regrets for obeying what He has asked of me,  just a whole lot of regret for what seemed to be wasted time…

The concept of waste is a real one for me, for I have invested countless things and it seems like there was no return.  I wonder if there is anyone like me:  you’ve sacrificed time, energy, money into things and people and it seems like there was no return.  What a waste, right? Wrong.  Tonight I had to come to the reality that all that I’ve done was not in vain, that my pursuit of the hard thing over what was convenient and comfortable was indeed worth it! The Father has seen every stride towards purpose and to him, all my sacrifices were sufficient.

I believe that the moment we see our lives as a giant garden, filled with seeds of actions sown to better those around us – we’ll keep planting even in the hard times.  Seeds appear to be dead before they bloom, and what we sow now will reap us a harvest later.  All that we’ve experienced will reap a harvest in the season to come!  I am reminded of Jesus’ action of dying on the cross, his sacrifice is reaping the harvest of salvation even today.   Friends, if I can encourage you with anything- your hard work, your choice of what’s right, your pursuit of the Father, and your continuous love for people is worth every second.  In spite of what circumstances want to convince you of, may you be persuaded that a harvest is coming- a harvest of “success”, continual joy and fulfillment, and everything you need to change your world. May you be reminded that your good deeds are not in vain and may you continue in this race to the finished line.

My passion for life has been renewed, for the Giver of Life lifts me up and encourages me to remain in my pursuit. He reminds me of His faithfulness and nudges me with His goodness.  He speaks words of wisdom and comfort to combat my troubled heart, caressing away every fear.  In Him lies all joy and his truth reminds me that I am equipped to do all He’s placed in my hands.

Friends, I’ve battled so many relational issues in the past months, and I would love to share my thoughts with you.  I don’t know about each of you, but it seems like this painful place was designed to grow me in my pursuit of the Father- to teach me what to do and what not to do.  Seasons like these are not only critical but absolutely necessary to evolve.  It is the winter that seeds are sown, surviving the harsh weather in preparation for spring.  Life has been a giant winter season: dark, cold and slightly discouraging but spring is coming and because of that there is hope.

I look forward to sharing many things with each of you in the near distant future!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://www.thespruce.com/how-deeply-should-seeds-be-planted-2539711

📷 Credit: Roger Spooner/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Once Again

It's silent around me. 

I can't hear a peep-

for my brain no longer recognizes the sound of a broken heart. 

It's crazy how time has not healed anything, 

I'm still standing in 2011 longing - 

for what seems to be the impossible. 

I hold my breath and look over the edge, 

and I begin to count my fears. . . 

For I am afraid. 

Yes! I am utterly afraid- 

that 7 years worth of prayers will greet me at my front door, 

seeking perfection. 

I'm not perfect but I find myself concerned with a standard, 

that never measures up.  

An unspoken question: am I good enough? 

What if he is greatly disappointed?

But, what if he's extremely pleased?

But, how would I ever know if I never jump?

I stand on love's cliff and the wind beckons me to the sky. 

Either I will sink or swim- but first I must fly! 

Lo, it's time to take a chance- once again.

3. . . 2. . . 1

©Simone Holloway, 2017

 

FIC:  http://www.nstperfume.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/crater-lake.jpg