Do You Know What’s Attractive?

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

What’s up family?  Happy Friday!  Ladies and Gents, I’ve been in this really dope space where I’ve returned to the dating market.  Let’s just say that dating in 2019 is interesting, to say the least.  What I’ve learned in my short time back on the market is that we live in a culture that is obsessed with determining attraction.  We present our best selves on dates to be seen as attractive. We speak on relevant subjects to appear to be intellectually attractive. We make sure that we have a dope sense of humor because that would make our personalities more attractive.  So, the men I’m meeting look amazing on paper.  They have the chiseled looks, they are super smart and can even make me laugh but there are communication issues that make them less attractive.

You know, when you’re a boss you need something more than a great resume.  You need something more than a piece of eye candy- something more than something delicious to look at.  There has to be more!  I don’t know about each of you but I’m looking for something deeper.  What are his values?  What are his dreams?  What is his vision for life?  Yeah, the degree is great but what are we doing with that.  Yeah, the nice car is impressive but how do you treat the poor?  Ok, I see you’re the hotshot here at the parties but what is your reputation like in the marketplace?  Do you have a reputation of integrity or is it corrupt because of compromise? There has to be something more.

I’ve met so many representatives.  I’ve met the all-around guy, I’ve met the creative, I’ve met the musician,  and I’ve met the one with the ten-year plan but as I lifted the curtain of what’s been presented to me,  I saw that these dudes had some real issues.  They do not know how to communicate their desires.  They do not know how to let go of their past.  They do not know how to express their insecurities.  These dudes had everything but wholeness.  So, I resolved in my heart that I was going to add emotional maturity to my list.  The thing is, I don’t blame these men for not entering into wholeness.  Their whole lives, men have been groomed to shy away from vulnerability.  They’ve been taught to communicate through physical intimacy instead of verbally expressing what is on their heart.  They have been gender-shamed for expressing feelings and ridiculed for being clear and that is not right.  I blame society, I blame the culture, and I blame the home.

Do you know what’s attractive?  Emotional wholeness.  Emotional wholeness is hella attractive.  The ability to express vulnerability, to boast in weakness and the ability to state clearly what a person will or will not allow is attractive.  Standards are attractive.  Boundaries are attractive.  Clear communication is attractive.  Radical honesty is HELLA attractive and it makes a person extremely sexy.  The ability to be direct, concise and thorough is attractive.  Integrity is attractive.  Faith in God is attractive and the ability to hear and obey the voice of God is attractive. A fun,. down to earth person is so attractive.

Do you know what’s NOT attractive? Our dysfunction is not attractive.  Our inability to communicate is not attractive.  Passive-Aggressiveness is not attractive. Nagging is not attractive.  Being overly critical and nitpicky is not attractive. Being a Debbie Downer is not attractive.  Deception is not attractive and presenting representatives instead of being ourselves is not attractive.

Be yourself.  Be more than a good resume. Loves, be attractive!

Xoxo,

Simone

Phone Calls

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I’m an old soul, born circa ’93 but in my heart, I feel like I’m from an earlier era.  I love phone calls.  Yep, I’m one of those weird people that rather receive a phone call than an email or a text message.  It’s something about hearing the voice of those you love, it’s comforting yet exciting.  It’s a simple way of building connection and intimacy, two things that I hold dear.

I have a friend who is a master of connection.  She is the only one I know that loves phone calls, facetime, and face to face meetings.  It’s like she feels no anxiety as she bares herself to me in conversation.  Every time I’m with her I feel safely loved, heard and just free to be myself!  Over the past eight months, she has taught me about connection: both with God and others.

I realized that I shied away from connection because it allowed people to see me. And I mean see me: in rawness, brokenness and undone.  Yet, it is this baring of oneself that builds intimacy and connection.  If you cannot see me fully, then you cannot know me and you cannot love me.  Now, I find myself putting my phone down in the company of others, preferring face time calls, and wanting to have amazing conversations over a hot cup of coffee.  I prefer connection because to me:  it’s raw, it’s intimate, and it’s real.  Who wants to be in relationships and cannot be real?  Who wants to invest in something that only appears to be close?  That only appears to be solid?  Not me.  I’m good without the facade.  Give me the real, where I can hear in your voice that you’re not good.  The real, where I don’t have to decode your text messages or wonder why you used a certain emoji?  Instead of laughing emojis, I want to hear the ones I love laugh and I want to know that they are laughing from a genuine place.  At the end of the day, we all want something real.  Now, for my friends who are not like me, I’ve mastered my text game: GIFS, emojis, and short paragraphs of text but in my heart, I love a good phone call!

So why talk about phone calls? Well… maybe because we live in a world where people desperately want to feel connected.  To something, to anything; to someone, to anyone.  There are people all around us who want to know that they are seen, heard, loved and valued.  If we look up from our screens and start looking into the face of those around us, maybe we will build connections based on the raw, based on the real.  It’s harder to forget about those whose voices you hear frequently- that’s why when someone is around you all the time, you find yourself feeling closer to them.  On the flip side, those we only engage with via social media from time to time and even through an occasional text, sometimes we forget about them.  We forget to see how they are doing, beyond the highlight reel, we forget that we were once apart of their lives.  Our friendships lack communication, our relationships lack depth and before you know it, it’s easier to move on breaking covenants because what we had lacked the real- it lacked connection beyond a keyboard.

I encourage you to look up!  To be aware of those around you.  I encourage you to come out of your comfort zone and to connect.  I love phone calls, but it’s because at the end of the day I am okay with vulnerability. Are you okay with being vulnerable?  Are you okay with revealing who you are to have depth in your relationships? It’s okay if you’re not ready yet.  It’s okay if vulnerability frightens you, but I can guarantee that the level of love you desire is only coming through vulnerability.  What you want in your friendships and relationships is only going to come through revealing who you are, baring yourself to your inner circle.  Depth only comes through the raw, it’s only strengthened through the real. Happy connecting!

Xoxo,

Simone 

 

 

Trust Issues

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers, 

My name is Simone and I have trust issues.  Yep, it’s true – I have a hard time with trust.  I thought this journey of becoming was going to be easy.  I shouted on the promise that year 26 was going to be the year of eradicating my fears.  On January 11th, I thought God was going to eradicate fear out of my life by challenging me to do new and exciting things like traveling or skydiving.  I had no idea that His eradication process would consist of moving back home or admitting to my community one of my issues.  I never imagined this post being apart of the plan, but yet here we are.

Let’s start from the beginning.  I am preacher’s kid, I grew up in church memorizing and reciting scripture.  I’ve probably heard the term “Trust the Lord” more times than I can count.  So much so, that the phrase became a cliche and Proverbs 3:5-6 was just another reminder of my childhood Sunday School class.  I don’t think I’ve ever come into a place of complete trust.  The majority of the years of my fellowship with God have been marred by skepticism.  I would declare trust only to get into circumstances that revealed that I truly didn’t believe that He cared about me deeply.

Whoah.. that moment of transparency was a lot but let’s continue.  So, why my lack of trust?  Fear.  I was afraid to trust again.  I’ve placed my trust in individuals and experienced disappointment, in churches and left broken, in systems that have failed and I think over the years I’ve equated all of the heartbreak with trusting in God.  My lack of trust stemmed from a fear of shame.  Even last night, I had a need. I’ve been praying for the longest and last night was the deadline.  I remember saying to the Lord, “I’m not trying to be out here looking embarrassed.  You got me out here in the middle of nowhere proclaiming that you’re with me and if you don’t come through, I’m going to be so ashamed.  I’m not placing trust in you to end up humiliated.” If I was Him, I would have been so offended.  I mean God has done so many things for me: time and time again and I still didn’t fully trust Him to keep His Word.  I mean let that sink in… homie has proven himself even died on a cross and we’re still at this crossroads of trust.  Yet, in gentleness, he spoke these words to me:

Those that place their trust in me will never be ashamed.  If you trust me, you have no need to be afraid.  I won’t let you down.

I surrendered to his request to trust Him.  The need was not met last night but it was provided for this morning.  He came through, just like He said he would.

I have a friend that one night in a rehearsal began singing “You always do what you say you’ll do.”  In a moment of vulnerability, he began to sing that line over and over proclaiming that God could be trusted.  That line came back to me this morning and I began to sing it too.  The fact of the matter is, God is trustworthy.  I can’t say the same for every person, or job opportunity or even my own logic or reasoning, but I can say that about the one who has not switched up on me even when he had every reason to.  I can be a lot.  A lot to deal with, a lot to console, a lot to journey with.  I can be really headstrong, stubborn sometimes, petty on my good days and unforgiving on my bad days. I’m a lover of justice and my pride will convince me that I can be both judge and jury but that’s not my job.  I know me.  So for God to stick with me all these years is a testament of His love.  He loves me beyond me and that amazes me every single time.

Early this morning, I prayed a simple prayer:  “Lord, will you help me?  I want to trust you and those you’ve given me.  Can you please teach me how to trust?”  That was step one.  Now, I’m leaning into him. I’ve chosen to trust Him and share my journey with each of you in spite of the risk.  At the end of the day, He got me and He’s going to make sure I’m good!

Friends, will you let him speak to your fears? To deal with your issues?  I know it uncomfortable and there is this notion of risk involved in healing but what is the alternative?  Living life alone?  Worrying about everything all the time?  Always viewing people and situations through the lens of skepticism?  Dr. Matthew Stevenson III stated that “everything we need to receive is funneled through trust.” Every gift in a person or relationship, every prophecy, every amount of healing comes through trust.  We cannot get what we need if we do not trust.  I think this is why God is dealing with trust within me because He’s promised me some things that will only come if I place trust in Him.  I can’t go to my next outside of trust.  I encourage you to be honest with yourself and ask some hard questions. For example: Do you really trust God?, Do you trust anyone?  If not, what is the fear that’s keeping you from trusting in God’s love for you?  And lastly,  do you want to be able to trust?  All it takes is an honest conversation with God and community and I promise He will help you!

May you find the courage to be honest and the strength to trust in the One who hasn’t switched up on you.

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC :https://cdn-images-1.medium.com//max/1200/1*XfamT0OI3iaB8yS_s40XoQ@2x.jpeg

“Trust Issues” sermon by Dr. Matthew Stevenson III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znoJoFw0f00

 

Oozing With Words

Hello old friend, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

I wish I could say that I’ve always had the right words to say, or that I was always confident to speak my heart, but that is not the case.  I remember times, having so much to say but not knowing exactly how to translate my pain.  I remember moments of feeling incredibly numb, lacking the motivation or the passion to write my truths.  It’s crazy how pain makes us silent.  It robs us the freedom of bold speech and instills within us the fear of being misunderstood or hurt again.  So, to make sure we don’t experience pain again, we become silent.  The last blow to my heart almost took me completely out emotionally.  I remember doubting my words, my actions, my friendships, my family, my ability to be loved and to love.  I remember the pain of betrayal gagging me.  I remember word curses binding me, words such as “you’re not good enough.” “Oh really, you want to sing?”  “Do you really think you can write that?”  words uttered by those close to me: those I served with, those I called my Columbia family, those who were once my home.   I was dropped as a daughter, dropped as a sister, dropped as a friend and it was at no fault of my own.  So here I am, gagged by pain.  What’s even more bizarre is that I served through it.  I served through my pain.  I gave through the pain.  I danced in the midst of pain.  I sang songs of victory while bound.  I was mentally and emotionally at a standstill with God, numb by pain.

Over time, fear became my portion.  I lived in fear because I saw life through the lens of regret.  Regret causes us to doubt everything, to come to a standstill, to live in delayed obedience ( which is simply disobedience), and to become hesitant concerning everything.  Regret turned into unforgiveness, and unforgiveness turned into bitterness except I was bitter against myself for opening up in the first place, for placing expectations upon people that did not have the capacity to carry me, for desiring community that I did not see that this community was more toxic than helpful and bitter for trusting my own instincts.  In my mind, I couldn’t trust myself so I stopped advising, writing, singing, encouraging, and speaking.  I became mute.

I went to Charlotte a few nights ago, a young woman began to pray for me and encouraged me to forgive myself.  She said these words: “You have not been treated well as a daughter and God knows that it was not of any fault of your own.  He wants to heal that heart pain where it concerns sonship.”  I broke down in tears because for the first time in a long time, she saw my pain.  She spoke to my pain and all the words I wanted to utter began to ooze out to the Lord.  Her intentional prayers destroyed the gag of pain and released me to a place of tears and healing.  I’m oozing with words because pain no longer binds me.  I am free to express my heart and I’m healed to share the story of my pain with each of you!

Friends, I don’t know where each of you is in life.  Some of you may be like me:  serving through pain, some may be experiencing pain now and some of you may be alright and that is great! For those who were feeling like me, I want to remind you that God sees you.  He knows all about your pain.  He knows what they did.  He knows what you experienced.  He invites you to forgive, to open yourself to his healing voice and he invites you to freedom from heart pain.  He wants you to ooze with words of life, no longer gagged by painful experiences.  I pray that he speaks to you and that you will be healed!

Xoxo,

Simone

“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul” Proverbs 16:24

FIC: https://2pobaduekzw9jt9a-zippykid.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/honey.jpg

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

Illumination

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Good morning!

It is a quiet morning here in the Upstate and to tell you the truth, it should be, being that it is nearly two in the morning. LOL 🙂

I thought I would share something super profound with you- that the Light of the world comes to illuminate the darkness that is within us.  I find myself, sometimes hiding from the light- afraid that it is going to expose those things that are messy and would make  me vulnerable.  I told a friend that I am like a wild animal that likes to lick her wounds in isolation – trying my hardest to prevent anyone from having the power to hurt me.  This defense mechanism, has caused such pain in my life and it needed to be dealt with.  I could feel the Light wanting to illuminate the darkness within my heart but I ran, busied myself with frivolous things and did not heal properly.

Why lick one’s wounds when a perfect surgeon can mend broken hearts?

When we do not address things, and we dismiss what the Light is showing us- we find ourselves in a constant strain between our past and our future.  We know where we want to go but we sense this hindrance on how to get there.  Like a glass ceiling of sorts, a weight that is too much for us to bear.  Jesus is the Light of the World, and His truth illuminates our wrongs not to call us out- or to make us feel bad but so that we may address these things and heal. Healing comes through our confession of what is and that confession is built in the illumination of darkness through the truth.  We need His light, so that we can break cycles that keep us from progressing forward.  WE NEED HIS LIGHT.

So this morning, I encourage you to embrace the process of vulnerability.  I encourage you to deal with some things that haunt your future based in the reality of your past.  I encourage you to shed light on the situation and make things right within your heart.  We are robbed of our peace because of things we refuse to deal with.  We are robbed of our joy because of our refusal to heal.  May today be the day that the Light, Jesus, comes into your heart and expose those hurts and pains to bring about healing within you.  May you be overwhelmed by the power of his illumination.

Until next time,

Simone

 

©Simone Holloway, 2016

An Amazing Feeling

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

Today has been a day marked with anticipation and wonder, a day filled with excitement and beauty.  Last night I was really down in the dumps, I mean really down- EXTREMELY down. I was so down that I felt weak, vulnerable, fragile.  I’m so happy that I serve a God that loves me in my weakness and who still carries me in my brokenness.  When I realized that His strength was made perfect in my weakness, tears filled my eyes and my heart was overwhelmed with this AMAZING 🙂 🙂 feeling,  It was like something I could not describe, a peace like no other and a happiness that could not be shaken by my present circumstances.  God has my back; He knows  exactly how I’m feeling and He knows how to love me even in this place of vulnerability.

For so long, I depended on people- people’s words, actions, encouragement, validation, praise but as I grow in my love  relationship with God, I realize that people don’t matter and their influence means nothing.  All that matters is God and HIs influence on me.  I know that He loves me and that His love makes me complete and whole.  He makes everything better!  After I wrote you all last night, it was like a burden was lifted off of my shoulder because for one the first times in my life, I was completely honest about how I felt- and it was this truth that made me free.  I feel good, I look good and I know that I am in the best place I could possibly be in life- in a weak place so that in my weakness- He can be STRONG!

Until next time, 

Mo

P.S. His love fills me up like an ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie ❤ ❤