Firing My SWAT Team.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hope you all are having a great evening.  Here’s a thought: What would your life look like if you were less guarded?  I used to ask myself this question all the time.  I used to imagine a life of pain, abuse, and emotional wounds. This could not be further from the truth of what an unguarded life held but past experiences fueled with fear, strengthened my beliefs.  My belief system helped me build a wall around my heart.  This wall was so high and so wide that it even affected my relationship with the Lord.  I had a relationship with God that lacked openness, honesty and raw vulnerability.   I reinforced this wall with what I called my SWAT team- a team of my most powerful fears, who helped keep people, places and things out of my heart.  You know that scripture, “Guard your heart…” I took that scripture a step too far and held my heart hostage.  Fear was my guard and pain was the team captain that kept others at bay.

When you live in dysfunction for so long, you begin to think that your way of living is okay.  Poor emotional health will convince you that needs to be needed, the inability to receive love and avoidance of hard conversations is a matter of personality type when in fact it is an issue of health and maturity.  I thought because I was an INFJ and an 8(on the enneagram model) I was excused from addressing my guards.  I thought my previous painful experiences with people excused me from addressing my guards.  I thought my “spirit of discernment” and earthly wisdom excused me from addressing my guards.  As long as I loved a little bit, as long as I made somewhat of a friendship,  and as long as I avoided the pain I thought God was content with me and my guards. I was completely wrong!   The Father was not pleased with my habit of guarding my heart with fear.

I remember sitting in my room, discussing my relationships with the Lord when he asked me to surrender my guards, to fire my team.  He challenged me with this thought “You can not be open yet guarded at the same time, waiting for people to prove to you that they are not who you thought they were.” Of course, He was right!  Living a life of testing people gets old and you find yourself in a life long dance with self-fulfilling prophecies.  We cannot say we trust in people and yet have no faith in them to do what is right.  We cannot say we love people but as soon as we see a “red flag” (really a fear) we head for the hills ready to run.  Our guards keep the “pain” away but it also hinders us from fruitful connection bred in vulnerability. This type of lifestyle leaves us alone.  My life was lived guarded, fearful and it profited nothing for me.  In order to love and receive the love He desired for me to have, I was going to have to fire my SWAT team and to make peace my guard. Lovelies, that evening I decided to fire my SWAT team.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil.4:7 NIV

Peace will be our guard.  When we allow peace to do it’s perfect work, to signal to us if something is right and wrong; it will guard us against things that are meant to harm us.  How many times have we dismissed the wisdom of peace?  We didn’t feel right about something or it didn’t sit well with us yet we overrode our gut for what was presented to us?  Peace is that sense of relief and comfort, it’s the marker that everything is going to be okay.  Even in hard times, peace guards our emotions and it shields us from fear and anxiety.  Instead of building our own walls and hiring our own protection, let’s allow peace to do its perfect work. Tonight, let’s decide that we will allow peace to be our guard.

Friends, listen to Peace and fire your SWAT team.

Xoxo,

Simone 

10 Things To Leave Behind In 2019

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Happy December! We are 28 days away from a new year, from a new decade and I am extremely excited.  At the end of each year, I enter into this reflective mode, pondering what I did and could of done in the past year. This morning, I spent time thinking about how much my life has changed in the past 12 months.  It’s been a crazy year of ebbs and flows, but I feel like I have settled into my true self. This morning, I spent time thinking of things to leave behind in 2019. Here is a list of ten things to leave behind in 2019.

Here we go:

10. EXCUSES. Jim Rohn once said, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” People pursue after what they desire.  If they want to better their health, they adjust their food choices and schedule physical fitness into their lives.  If a person want to better themselves financially, they will budget and make fiscally responsible choices.  If a person wants to better their relationships, they will acknowledge their shortcomings and adjust to have fruitful relationships.  Excuses are a symbol that the person is not serious about what they desire. Let us be a people who pursue after our dreams and goals, and not just people who make excuses.

9. INSECURITIES. Everyone has insecurities, points within themselves where they “feel” like they are not enough.  I believe that we should live life ridding ourselves of insecurities.  For when we live insecure, we make decisions fueled by fear and incorrect thought patterns.  This lifestyle hinders us from enjoying the gifts that God give us, whether those are opportunities, people or moments to bask in His love.  Deal with yourself in these last 28 days and strive to get rid of your insecurities.

8. LYING. The habit of lying is rooted in fear, for when we’re afraid of the responses/opinions of others, we lie.Yet, lying does nothing but prolong the revealing of truth.  The truth will always be revealed, it’s just a matter of time.  When we lie, we hurt those we love more than if we would just tell the truth. So,  let us leave the practice of lying behind and determine that we will be people of our word.  Love, trust and faith is all rooted in truth.

7. DISOBEDIENCE. Our disobedience to the Word of the Lord is rooted in our lack of trust.  We do not trust God, and therefore we hear his voice yet we do not obey. To live a life of disobedience is dangerous, in fact the principle of scripture teaches that disobedience shortens life.  There is no longevity of life in disobedience.  If you want to live to see the fruit of all your labor, commit to a lifestyle of obedience to the Lord.  A blessed life is reserved for those that hear and obey!

6. POOR STEWARDSHIP. We own nothing, but we are merely managers of all that God has given us.  Time, wisdom, gifts and talents belong to the Father and we are to steward what he’s given us. Let us steward our time, allotting time correctly to all that he has assigned to our hands: work, family, and purpose.  Let us steward our money well, saving more and spending less.  Let us steward our words,  being mindful of what we say about the gifts the Father has given us.  We hold so much power, but it is our responsibility to be disciplined and to steward well.

5. BUSYNESS/CLOUT CHASING. It’s one thing to be busy fulfilling the plans of the Father and it’s another to be busy seeking affirmation and clout.  Everybody wants to famous, but few want to serve in areas that are not noteworthy.  It’s time to return to fulfilling the plans of the Father with or without recognition.  We are sons and daughters and we are loved regardless of an extensive to-do list. We are loved absent of having a bunch of things to do.  Rest!

4. THE DISMISSAL OF PEOPLE WITHOUT “STATUS. Everyone is valuable.  Everyone is worthy of love.  Everyone is important, regardless of whether or not they have a certain status. It is prideful to not receive wisdom from someone because they are not “well-known” or have millions of followers on social media. We are missing out on key moments of wisdom because we judge the messenger.  The Lord sends answers but if we continue to dismiss them because they are not packaged in a way we expect, then we will not get the clarity we need for our future.  Keep yourself open to wisdom, even if it looks different from what you would expect.

3. THE MISUSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media is not the place to tell people where they can go.  It is not the outlet to throw off because of your emotional wounds.  Social media is not the place to bully people into agreeing with your beliefs.  It is not the place to control a narrative of a one-sided story.  It is not the place to find contentment, it is not the place to further comparison.  Social Media was not designed for any of these things,  it was designed to bring people together, to share information quickly and to further good.  Let us reclaim social media and utilize it for good.

2. IMMATURITY.  It’s time to grow up!  Remaining the same because “that is just who you are.” is no longer sufficient.  Everything healthy in life grows.  It would be ridiculous for me as a 26 year old to be drinking formula from a bottle.  As an adult, my body needs nutrients so I must move to a plant/meat-based diet. Imagine if I tried to still wear the shoes I had when I was three years old, though it was painful and I loved those shoes – I outgrew them and it was time for something new.  It is immature to refuse to grow.

And finally…

1. TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS.  With the rise of a new decade, the Father is not forcing you to remain attached to people who mean you no good.  Neither is He demanding that you stay tied to emotionally toxic relationships. It is not the will of God, that you spend your adult life willingly choosing physically, emotionally and verbally abusive situations.  It is a false characterization of doctrine and the Word of God to justify such behavior under the guise of trials, tribulations and persecution.  The Father loves you and He desires that you are loved well.  Relationships that destroy esteem are not from Him.  Relationships that make you believe that you are less than are not from Him.  Relationships that pimp your gifts and manipulate you are not from Him.  Relationships that control you and make you feel suffocated are not from Him, for love is built in the notion of free will choice.  Do not allow religious communities to punk you out of believing in the beauty of God-ordained relationships.  We were never meant to do life alone, and we have the power of choice to choose amazing people to journey with in this life. 

That’s all for today!  Have a good one.

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: https://live.staticflickr.com/7162/6518671005_f6448cd36f_b.jpg

 

 

Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hope you all are having a fantastic day!  Today is full of wonder, discovery and the beauty of reminiscing on beautiful things.  I have a confession, well a few confessions that I would love to share with each of you.  No worries, I promise not to exhaust you all with all my inner musings.  This is what I would like to call: “Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic.” 

*Drum roll please * 

Confession #1: I love handwritten notes. 

When someone handwrites me a note, my heart soars.  There is something so precious and nostalgic about a handwritten note. The time, effort and words on a simple sheet of paper fills my love tank.  I love words, so when someone takes the time to share their heart with me, I am loved well.

Confession #2: I am an old soul. 

I am only twenty-six years old but on the inside, I feel like I am in my forties.  I feel like my soul has lived a few lives.  I love the gestures our parents and grandparents took to express love.  I remember the days when people used to write letters to express their love for others.  I remember when skywriters still had jobs, the days when walking in the rain was both beautiful and sacred.  I remember those days.  I watched as a generation abandoned what was personal for that which was convenient.  Texting and sending emails became easier than phone calls and God forbid you would receive an actual card in the mail.

Confession #3: I am a sentimental person. 

I keep all of the cards given to me in a box, and sometimes I reread the words written to me.  When I pull these cards from the box, it is like I am reliving an amazing memory- the moment I felt loved by that person.  My heart reads the beautiful words on the card and love enters once again.  I love how a simple gesture creates such a profound emotional connection. 

Confession #4: I have a killer memory.

I remember twirling a phone cord around my finger as I chatted with friends.  I remember collecting CD covers so that I could admire the artists’ work.  I remember always attending an event with a gift in hand.  I remember walking to and from school.  I remember the days when friendship meant everything and loyalty was valued.  I remember when girl code was in full effect and if your girl talked to ole dude, you did not. I remember the days when we were a covenant-keeping generation when we cared about those we loved.  I remember the days when others like me loved a handwritten note.

*Sighs*

I guess today’s article is my way of expressing that our advancements in technology and progression robbed us of quality in the name of convenience.  We are faster in completing things but we lost the essence of being present.  We can get so much work done, yet we have lost the beauty of a well-maintained community.  For friends, to love well takes time.  We cannot microwave healing, we cannot rush love.  Do not get me wrong, I love all that we have achieved as a community of people but I would take a handwritten note over a bland email. I would trade an expensive gift for something handmade, something that took thought, consideration and time.  I would trade a night on the town, for staying in and watching my favorite film with un-buttered popcorn.  I am such a simple girl, that longs for simplicity in life.  Yet, is not this the one thing that we all desire?  Simplicity.  Simple decisions, simple commitments, a simple love. Loves, am I insane for believing that things such as love do not have to be incredibly burdensome and hard?

My final confession:  I believe that love does not have to be burdensome and hard.

I just refuse to believe that I must suffer first to be loved well. I refuse to believe that the world is void of good men and women.  I refuse to believe that we are all selfish, self-seeking monsters full of brokenness entering into relationships.  I refuse to believe that true love is dead, that soulmates do not exist, and that we can no longer have a deep meaningful conversation with those we love.  Maybe I am naive, or maybe I am hopeful because I have seen love done well.  I have seen a time of meaningful relationships and I believe that we have the power to return back to a state of being present, intentional, and whole.  I believe that what we have complicated, does not have to be so hard.

I promise it does not have to be so hard.

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://artlikewhoa.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/khadijahm_romanticism_natural010.jpg

the switch up.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Inspiration hits me in the most random places and for once Facebook was more than a distraction but a source of encouragement and joy.  I watched as one of my sisters expressed herself unapologetically in boldness, strength, and grace.  She switched up in the game and I was here for all of it!  She was becoming herself and it was beautiful, almost led me into a little tear-fest but I am a G so I reflected and thought about my own experience- my own switch up.

With John Mayer playing in the background, I sat and thought about my journey.  The Simone from July 2018 no longer exists and I am glad!  I was dope or whatever but I was too passive, cared way too much about the opinions of others and allowed people to take advantage of me.   I was living life for others but wasn’t truly living for me.  It was the end of July and I just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship.  I remember having this talk with God about what I deserved as a woman, as a godly woman.  I was the girl that hid behind her career, behind her gifts and preferred the background over the limelight any day.  I was not too confident with my body and I had a host of fears, I mean your girl was afraid of EVERYTHING!  It is crazy looking back at how bound I was…

I remember the Father directing me to start working out with my girl Lex.  She has a fitness brand/training company called LoveLex, where you come to love your now as you’re working on your next.  I started to work out with her and a group of my friends and fell in love with my body.  Things slowly began to change.  I was in my last year of law school and I no longer hid in the classroom, I began to share my opinion more and began to be transparent about my journey.  I started to embrace my favorite word, “NO.” and put up a host of boundaries.  I even had to switch up from this passive person to a more assertive person,  I transformed from a little lamb into a lioness and I began to take myself seriously. The switch-up was in full effect but the world did not become introduced to the “new” me until January 2019.  As soon as the clock struck midnight,   new me became visible to those around me.  It was an immediate change: my confidence level was on ten, I knew my worth and I was a thriving boss chick that was no longer settling for mess.   

As January faded and February began, I became more racially conscience.  I fell in love with my blackness and realized that all of my melanin was hella beautiful.  Your girl started to rock her natural hair, afro and all!  I read about my ancestors, began to honor my black kings and queens and developed a love for my black heroes that paved the way before me.  I pledged to honor Fannie, Angela, and Ella; to use my influence and position of power as an attorney to rid the world of injustice.  Your girl is black black and I love all of it!  Spring came with March and I was this no-nonsense believer who was more interested in acting out scripture than shaming people with it.  I got a hold of grace and I understood the love of God which went farther than perfection.  It was the most liberating experience of my life.  I was no longer living for church politics or for people who did not create me to accept me, I was accepted already.  I attended dances, went to mixers, traveled all over the country for conferences, and went on day trips- I was having the time of my life!   I became free.

April came and then May followed and before you knew it, I  graduated from law school and I embraced my intelligence as a gift from God.  God was doing a work in my heart and I began to heal emotionally.  I rid my life of the past and I was walking towards my future.  I woke up and realized that I was worthy of happiness, worthy of love, worthy of hearing and being told the truth.  I was worth all of the good in the world. Even today, I look in the mirror and do not recognize the person I see.  I transformed into a new person: one who is full of love and courage, one who is free to speak her mind and express herself, one who loves herself enough to wait.  My change has been transformative for my esteem.

I think every woman goes through this process of awakening when you realize that what you’ve settled for is not all that life has to offer.  There is a moment when you love  yourself enough not to accept half-promises and half-truths.  You come to love yourself more than the comfort of someone, more than the opportunities given, more than the limitations others will place upon you.  There is a day in every woman’s life when she falls in love with herself and her understanding of her dopeness changes the trajectory of her life.  I fell in love with me and that’s when my life changed for the better.  My friends tease me and say that I switched up the game, I did but I think we should all have a day where we switch up on those who thought they knew us, thought they could run us, control us, manipulate us or abuse us.  Switch up Queen and slay as you move into freedom!

Xoxo,

Simone

The V-Club.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Friends, I have a confession to make… I am a sucker for a good reality TV series.  Reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures and I get a thrill watching all the drama unfold on my television set.  I think it is the lack of drama in my own life that gives me the space to enjoy others’ petty behavior.  Anyways, I am a huge fan of a reality TV series called Married at First Sight™.  The concept is simple:  two perfect strangers agree to marry at first sight for eight weeks.  At the end of the eight week period,  they can then decide to stay married or to divorce.  First of all, I could NEVER marry a perfect stranger.  Absolutely not! Like, dating in 2019 must suck so bad that people are out here willingly engaging in arranged marriages.  This past season there was a girl named Iris on the show.  She was characterized as smart, beautiful, loving and also a virgin.  She decided to not share herself sexually with anyone other than her spouse-to-be.  To me, Iris was legit.  Home-girl even brought herself the most beautiful white dress to celebrate her virginity.  Well, the man she married…he was not too thrilled about her choice.  In fact, he divorced her because of it. He wanted someone who had as much sexual experience as him and in the end, he walked away from his marriage to Iris.

So… what does this have to do with me?  Quite a bit! For the first time, I saw a public display of one of my fears.  As someone who is also a member of the V-Club, I fear that this gift I want to save for my spouse will be looked upon with shame, it will be the thing that disqualifies me, giving him fuel to walk away.  There is nothing like virgin-shaming.  You know, that awkward silence and weird look people give you when they find out you do not have any experience in that “department”.  I remember guys making sexual advances towards me and when I had to explain why I was not accepting them, I would get the classic response: (1) Lack of Eye Contact;  (2) Hand rubbing the back of the head; and finally (3) The Pivoted Stance.  It was as if the dude could not wait to jet to the nearest door.  All of a sudden, it felt like I had a disease.

Watching Iris leave her marriage heartbroken spoke to every one of my fears.  What if I save myself for marriage and he is disappointed in my lack of experience?  What if sex is a deal-breaker for him?  How would I know if I am doing “it” right?  OMGGGGGG talk about increased anxiety.  My friends are always like girl I wish I was in your position, if I could go back, I would have waited too.  Yeah…that’s so encouraging but they do not understand what it is like to be me.

I read a few articles that discussed the shame virgins sometimes face surrounding their choice, and my friends that shame is real.  We sometimes feel shame for being different; we sometimes feel shame for being sensual and sexually frustrated; we sometimes feel shame for wanting to throw our V-cards away.  We feel all levels of shame sometimes around something that God himself created to be good.  There is this terrible notion that if we let that piece of ourselves go, we failed the mission- we missed the mark.  Yet, this same shame speaks to us and says that if we do not turn into some type of sexual vixen for our husbands in time then we should be ashamed as well.  I have talked to virgins with high sex drives that feel shame; I’ve spoken to those who engage in casual sex and have felt shame.  It seems that no matter your moral compass or beliefs, shame has the capability of robbing us of the joy that comes with pleasure.

Yet, is not shame like that?  You will spend your whole life believing in your pursuit or call and the response of the one you love will make you second guess your covenant.  What you looked upon with pride, you now look upon with regret.  I think that experiences like Iris’ or even mine during my college years have the power to shape us.  We can either stick to our conviction, or to win the love of another we can compromise.

Lifetime™ did a “Where Are They Now?” special with the cast members of the last season of Married at First Sight™.  Iris showed up looking amazing.  She sat next to her now ex-husband, the one she came to love, radiating strength and light.  She boldly proclaimed, “It’s okay because now I am a divorced virgin, an even more rare gem.”  I sat in front of the TV, marveled at her post-break up glow, and chuckled to myself.  She was a rare gem. Yet, even if she was no longer a virgin she would have been a rare gem.  For,   she was someone who stood by her convictions.  She had so much discipline and so much confidence in herself that it seemed like all of the shame regarding her marriage’s demise drifted away.  Iris was okay! Heck, she was better than okay!

Well friends, why the sex talk?  First, I figured we are all mature adults able to have a candid conversation about something the world idolizes.  Second, I wanted to share my story to let my fellow V-club members know that there are more people like you out there.  It is rare, but we do exist.  Third, I believe that we must stop allowing shame to rob us of connection and pleasure with God and others.  Shame does not keep us out of the lifestyle of sin, oftentimes it has the adverse effect- it coaches us right into it.  We must share our stories free of shame and be able to stand by our convictions without thinking something is wrong with us.  There is freedom and acceptance in making choices for your journey.  Lastly, since when is sex not a topic of conversation for the believer?  If it was created by God to give glory to God, why do we shy away from discussing its pros and cons absent of godly covenant? In our efforts to keep ourselves out of sexual immorality, we have demonized something given to us as a gift to enrich intimacy.  The church, its people and everyone in between should be able to speak freely about all things pertaining to sex, sexuality and sexual health. So, let us open ourselves up to candid conversation to discover the power of truth and honesty.  Shying away from relevant conversation does not make us wise, but rather extremely foolish.

Well loves, that is it for today!  Stay safe out there.

Xoxo,

Simone

 

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

In Love With The Idea.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

I hope you all are having a great evening!  It’s been a great day for me and I am super pumped about sharing my thoughts with you.  Those who know me, know that I love films.  I love all films but I have a special place in my heart for black cinema, especially films that celebrate black love.  I’m the girl that has seen Brown Sugar way too many times.  I’m the girl that understands Darius’ pain in Love Jones; that wanted to fight for my man like Monica in Love & Basketball; and who knows how secrets can potentially kill friendships like in The Best Man.  Movies such as Just Wright taught me how looking for my preference can get me in so much trouble and Beyond the Lights encouraged me to believe that my person would indeed “see me.”  Unfortunately, life is not like the movies and sometimes there is no happy ending.  Sometimes we find true love and then sometimes we find ourselves in love with the idea of love.

I love love.  Yep, I love all things that pertain to love.  I love connection, friendships, familial and romantic relationships.  I love the way love makes us feel and how brave we are when we’re loved well.  I love hearing how people connected and about the exact moment, they knew their soul found its home in each other.  I love love.  Yet, it is this rose-colored ideal that caused me to confuse infatuation with love.  I would confuse my butterflies in the relationship to equate to falling in love when we all know that is not the case.  Love is more than desire, it’s more than that “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars” type of stuff.  Love is sacrifice and commitment; it’s hella messy and full of risk.  Love is safety and vulnerability; the ability to just be with your partner.  That my dear is love.

Once upon a time, I was in love or so I thought.  I loved this young man and even considered marrying him.  I thought about taking his last name, and I thought about him being the father of my children.  In my heart, I convinced myself that I loved him.  And I did, in part. I loved the idea of him.  I loved the idea of him being my forever partner, the idea that I would no longer wake up alone.  I loved the idea that we would conquer the world together, that I would finally have a teammate.  The idea of loving him was so wonderful that I convinced myself that I loved him.  Since I was committed to my love of this idea when he lied or cheated- I forgave and took him back because I loved him.  He didn’t love me well, but I “loved”  him.  I remember realizing this as I prepped for a wedding and then I knew:  “homegirl, loving an idea will never make you love him fully.”   You can love an idea for eternity but that does not mean that this idea is great for you or your future.  Life is nothing like the movies, we cannot manipulate our situations to give us this picturesque ending.  Sometimes, things don’t work; sometimes, things do. You can’t force the fit, either it works or it doesn’t.

So I have a couple of questions for you:  Do you love them?  Or, do you love the idea of them? If you truly love someone, you will love them for who they are and not for who you would like for them to be.  Love says I’m down for the ride regardless of your brokenness, issues, strengths, and weaknesses.  Love says the real you is accepted with me.  Love says truth is more important than comfort.  Love protects, never gives up, and covers a multitude of faults.  Love is more than a feeling, it’s a choice.  A free-will choice.

So, do you love them or are you in love with the idea of who they should be?

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://cdn.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/comment/2014/12/03/14457559557_1f3cd6643e_o_1.jpg?itok=cK8gQjUl

Heal first.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s Monday which means if you’re highly motivated like me, you’ve planned the rest of your week.  I started the day thinking of my daily affirmations, and then it was time to get up and dressed for the day.  As I met each appointment, I barely had time to eat because there was so much to do.  I had a thought about my to-do list and I realized that if I wasn’t whole, then all of my accomplishments would be in vain. First things first, heal. 

We live in a world that hates the process.  If we can get what we want quickly or easily, we’ll bypass what is good for what is mediocre because of our own laziness. How beautiful would it be to enjoy our accomplishments from a place of wholeness? I think it’s one thing to go for the gold and it’s another to hold on to what we’ve gained.  Wholeness gives us the capacity to hold onto what we have accomplished. Before we aspire to be known or to leave our mark the world, let’s become whole.

Have you ever met a person of influence who was full of emotional wounds? They have everything:  the dream job, the dream house, and dream car but are so broken on the inside.  These individuals have so many people around them yet still feel alone.  These individuals have all of the accolades yet are bound by substances such as drugs and alcohol.  Have you ever met someone who was one scandal away from losing everything they have worked hard for?  I have met so many intelligent, creative and beautiful broken people who have lost so much because they were not whole. I don’t believe it is the heart of God that we live in perpetual brokenness.  We should live with our hearts broken towards him in a continual state of humility but we do not have to live in emotional turmoil.  Jesus still heals and he desires that we enjoy the wholeness he so readily provides.

If I can encourage you to aspire to be anything, be whole.  Take time this week to prioritize healing, for things will fade but your soul will last forever.  Let’s face our dysfunction with courage knowing that we are allowed to be works in progress refined through the power of Jesus and therapy. It’s okay to be a hot mess but it is not okay to stay there.  The grace of God empowers us to become the best versions of ourselves and Jesus has given us the grace to heal.

If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, feel free to email me at authenticlove789@gmail.com.  I’m here for you guys, I’m praying for y’all, and I believe that you were created to live emotionally healed.  Have a great week!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://www.ucg.org/files/styles/full_grid9/public/image/article/2019/04/03/healing-broken-trust-in-marriage-part3-commitment-personal-healing.jpg

The Holding Cell

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hate waiting.  We all have that one family member whose super accommodating and it seems like they can wait for anything. I  mean they can wait for food, in traffic for their exit, and for other things outside of their control.  These people have the best attitudes and seem to be full of patience.  I am not one of those people, not even close.  If my food is taking too long at a restaurant, I’m like what’s up?  I hate waiting in traffic. I hate waiting in long lines.  I hate waiting for the light to change.  I don’t like to wait.  Once I create a schedule, I want it to run smoothly free of delay.  Man, I wish God felt the same way about waiting as I do, but he doesn’t.  In fact, He encourages that we have periods of waiting- moments where we sit and wait for the promise

I was sitting here thinking about my life and  I feel like I’m in a holding cell.  It’s like I’m in this season of transition, waiting for someone of a higher authority to determine what’s next.  I have to wait for God to move.  The crazy thing about the holding cell, it forces me to trust that God is making the best decisions for my life- that He knows what He is doing.  Sadly, friends, I’ve jumped the gun so many times and moved ahead of Him.  This moving ahead of Holy Spirit left me in so much trouble, cleaning up a mess that could have been avoided with a bit of patience.  I’ve played clean up because of my inability to wait.  But, here I am again in a transitional state of my life and I have no choice but to wait and trust.  What do you do when you have no other choice but to wait? I took the wrong approach and complained about my wait.  I complained about what God was doing because I couldn’t see all of the details.  Yet, God being so full of mercy did not get angry with me but left me in the holding cell to wait things out.

God so full of mercy and compassion is making me wait.  He rather I sit still and wait than to push ahead of him and mess everything up.  There is beauty in the wait!  When we wait, we get to sit with God and prepare for the next.  In the wait, we learn the beauty of rest! In the wait, we understand that good things take time.  Waiting is for our benefit, waiting is for our maturity, and the wait helps us grow!  I’m in a season of waiting and I’m learning that out of his steadfast love for me, He’s placed me here.  I’m waiting and that is okay.

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:  Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord.  Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.  Yes, keep on waiting – for he will never disappoint you! Psalms 27:14 TPT

Xoxo,

Simone

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