In Year Three, I Should Have Left.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers – 

Why do we stay in awful situations?  This is the question that I woke up pondering.  Why do we stay with emotionally, mentally and physically abusive people? Why do we submit ourselves to toxic unhealthy church environments? Why do we settle into office cultures that break our spirits?  Why do we hold onto friends that don’t have our best interest at heart?  Why do we stay even when God gives us a way out, time and time again?  Why?!?!?!

I think the culture feeds us this lie that if we endure through something even though it is harmful to us then we are strong.  We label strength to the one who succumbs to emotional abuse and like a badge of honor, we celebrate those who submit to dysfunction.  We can see our sis or bro dying on the inside and express how proud we are of them for sticking it out.  How dumb is that?  To be proud of a group of people for accepting poor treatment in their lives.  We admire the woman who suffers before she is loved well.  We celebrate the toxic leaders who berate their staff but then grow into humility.  We applaud the boss who realizes that he’s been a jerk yet refuses to give an apology for the previous bad behavior.  It is in the fabric of our society to stay in things out of the name of “loyalty” and the persevering spirit of “never giving up“.

Well, Friends, loyalty to dysfunction is unhealthy.  Loyalty for loyalty’s sake is not enough for emotional wellness.  Loyalty to bad behavior is not admirable and anything that destroys esteem should not be celebrated.  To be loyal is defined as giving and showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.  To whom or what are we loyal to?  Why?  If we are giving and showing firm and constant support to abusive people, do we believe the abuse will eventually cease?  If we are financially supporting organizations that have no integrity, should we be disappointed when we learn of the misappropriation of funds?  If we are holding down relationships that are not built on truth, should we stick it out in hopes that our partner will become all that we’ve imagined? Nah. Loyalty is not a prison and faithfulness does not give some the right to abuse time, energy and emotional wherewithal.

I was once a believer in blind loyalty.  I was “all in”  and submitted myself to people, places and things that harmed me.  I stayed with a man who emotionally abused me for years.  I made excuses for his bad behavior.  I defended the ways he hurt me.  I always resolved in my heart that he did what he did because I did something wrong.  In my mind, he held no responsibility for his actions towards me.  I excused his lying, I excused his inconsistency,  and I excused his sly comments and his ample way of making me believe that I was never enough.  I turned a blind eye and stayed with him off and on for SEVEN years.  Why the heck would I do that?  Because I was strong?  Because I was brave enough to stay?  No.  I wasn’t strong, I was weak.  I was weak in esteem.  I was weak in self-love.  I was weak.  I wasn’t brave, I was afraid.  I was a coward looking for that which was easy, that which was comfortable and it costs me years.  The bravest thing I did was leave and that my dear should be applauded.  

In year three, I should have left.

Xoxo,

Simone 

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Misplaced Expectations.

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

I’ve been guilty of many things, one being the placement of expectations on those I love without agreed upon conversation. I know what you’re thinking, “Simone, you can’t just be out here expecting things from people who have not verbalized their agreement to fulfill certain roles!” I know. It’s not my intention to placed these expectations on others but if we’re honest deep down on the inside, we expect people to love like we do. Yes, we do! We expect people to be as tolerant as us, to give as much as we do, to be concerned with what we care about, to see the world through our lens. The disappointment comes when we discover that someone is not loving us the way we expected them to, that they are not being as kind as we expected, that they are not as honest as we expected. Our disappointment comes from our own misplaced expectations.

I recently came to a place with someone that I love that left me deeply disappointed. I entered into this friendship with this person, shared my heart with them, even told them things that no one else knew about me. I became aware of a bit of dishonesty from them to me and I was deeply troubled: I WAS ANGRY!!! Man, you could not tell me I wasn’t justified in my response. The problem was, I was really angry with myself. Angry that I placed these expectations of honesty and truth upon someone and their failure of those expectations. If we’re honest, our anger is with ourselves. We’re disappointed that we placed faith and trust in someone that we thought could do no wrong, but they did. Problem is: we’re all human, liable to make mistakes. We are all liable to get it wrong and there is grace for mistakes.

So…if I could offer any advice. Please do not place expectations on people unless there has been a direct conversation stipulating behavior. We cannot expect perfection, but we should not tolerate crap either. Some things can be cleared up by mere communication. So have the conversation… do that person value honesty the way you do? How do they feel about the concept of respect? Do they value you? Why do they want to be in your life? What is the role that they want to place in your life? Do you agree with this role? Express your feelings, desires, stances on relational definitions and let the chips fall where they lay.

Rid your life of misplaced expectations.

Xoxo,

Simone

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Rock

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

I can’t remember the last time,  I shared something with you all.  I’ve been consumed with school, church, extra-circulars and have carved out some time to hear from God to speak to you.  So… I was thinking, what good is a home without a solid foundation? 

Really though, if the foundation is cracked underneath the house- how long does that house have before it caves in?  

I would say, not very long.  Foundation is everything!  The one thing, the Lord has been speaking to me about is foundation.  Specifically, the foundation of our faith,  and our churches.  As I was sitting in this study room, mentally prepping for finals- I was reminded of the parable of Jesus about building our houses upon rock vs. building them on sand.  You know the story! Maybe??? We are supposed to build our houses on rock so that when the storm comes and the winds blow, our houses can withstand that storm.  If we however, build our houses upon sand: when the storm comes and winds blow, our houses will cave in and fall to the ground.

So what are our houses?  Our house is our heart.  The innermost sections of ourselves, the center pivotal focus of our spiritual walk with God.  It is in our hearts that we make a majority of our decisions.  Similarly, where our treasures resides, our  heart resides there also. So as a believer, someone who follows/believes in Christ, it is very important that Christ is positioned at the center of our hearts.  It is very important that he resides within us there.

So if our house is our hearts, what’s so important about rock?

Rock is sturdy, steadfast, not easily moved by condition and circumstance.  I’ve never seen a rock adjust because of someone’s feelings or because someone had an opinion about it’s purpose or use. Rocks remain in position regardless of the change happening around it.  Therefore, if our faith in Jesus is built on a rock, it can’t be easily moved by bad news and awful circumstance.  Unmovable faith is not shaken by sickness, disappointment,  or loss.  Unmovable faith is not shaken by the validation or opinions of others, but remains steady during times of change.  Unmovable faith is built on a rock.

So… what about sand?

Sand is unsteady,  not sturdy, inconsistent and easily moved by condition and circumstance.  When we go to the beach, as soon as the tide comes in the sand underneath our feet moves in response to the seawater.  Therefore, if our faith in Jesus is built on sand, it’s fickle and changes based upon our feelings.  If we feel like we love God, then we do.  If we feel like we don’t, then we don’t.  One day He’s friend, next day He’s enemy.  There is no consistency in the time we spend with him.  There is no consistency in our witness and if others were looking to us to point them toward him, they would not find the way.  Faith built on sand, breeds confusion, anger and waste.

Why does this matter?  Things in life are going to happen.  Some good and some terribly bad- it’s apart of the process and if our foundations are cracked or not steady then when these times come we won’t know how to withstand the storm.  Can you imagine being in a home with “sandy” foundation in the middle of a Hurricane?  Think about it, the fact that you are within that home can costs you your life.  Would you not rather be in a sturdy home built on a “rocky”/ solid foundation?  I believe that God is challenging our foundation, and he wants us to truly find out if we’re built on rock or if we’re built on sand.

Since we are the church, when we gather together- in an organized fashion, either we are worshiping on rock or we are worshiping on sand.  Churches built on rock produce fruit, demonstrate maturity and walk in true love.  Churches built on sand live in carnality, produce church hurt and discord, and contain a building of immature stagnant individuals.  Let’s build upon rock, in fact let’s build upon the Rock who is Christ himself.  He is worth building our faith, churches, and simply our lives upon.  Let’s build upon Him!

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.  But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.  When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.

Words of Jesus, Matt 7:24-27 NLT

Until next time,

Simone

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Sojourning Into the Land of “Unfamiliar”

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers – 

It’s been a long time since we’ve spoken and I have missed all of you deeply.  Question of the day: Have you ever found yourself in a position that was frankly awkward? Like, you just did not know how to feel about where your life was positioned at that time. Awkward.  It is this word that best describes where I am in life right now.  I’m not in a comfortable place but I’m not uncomfortable either- I’m somewhere in between.  I’m feeling awkward.  Last time we spoke, I mentioned the demands of law school ( with anxiety that increases like a  pressure cooker). I feel like I’m doing well, but I don’t have any grades that can truly attest to that… awkward.  I joined a new church so I have a church family, but… I don’t really know (deeply know) anyone that I worship with…so awkward.  I live in a new city but I haven’t became acclimated with the environment so I have no idea about great places to eat… awkward, especially since I’ve been living in town since the beginning of August.  I feel connected, yet disconnected.  Accepted, yet rejected.  Fulfilled, yet purposeless.  I feel awkward as I sojourn in this land called Unfamiliar.

I’m in a place that I have never traveled through before, surrounded by people that I don’t know and who do not know me.  VERY AWKWARD.  But, is it not just like God to lead us into a land called Unfamiliar, down a path that’s never been traveled before.  I think God takes pleasure when we find ourselves in this very place- a place where we depend solely upon Him. Today, I’m reminded of Abraham.  God told him to leave his family’s house and all that he knew to go to a place that would be shown to him.  It wasn’t like God said leave your family and move to Egypt or some other concrete place near the Mediterranean. No, God said leave all that you are familiar with to go to a place that I will eventually show you.  If I was Abraham, I don’t know if I would have been able to leave everything and follow- but that is exactly what Abraham did.  He left all that he was familiar with and He left to go to a place that he had no idea existed.  I feel this story becoming more real to me as I left my familiar place (hometown) to go into a land  where I knew no one and nothing, to experience an adventure that God is only privy to at this time.  I have no idea where I am going, and no idea what awaits me when I get to that God destined place.

If this describes where you are: awkward, a place of being discombobulated, or slightly overwhelmed – take heart! We are exactly where God wants us to be.  We’re in this sweet spot with the Lord, where we understand we desperately need Him.  It is in this place, our faith grows… It is in this place, we experience all of who God is in our lives…  It is in this place that we conqueror fear and become fearless.  We are in a great space.  Our lives may not feel great and sometimes we may want to curl up on the couch and cry, but be of good cheer – we are in the perfect place to witness a move of God.  In an awkward place, the promise of a nation was given and received- God has so many things in store for us as we journey with Him in this unfamiliar place.

Happy Sunday y’all!  I pray God’s blessing over each and every one of you.  Know that I am praying for all of you daily and I look forward to these moments we have together.  I love y’all very much!

Until next time,

Simone.

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Don’t Expose Too Much Too Soon

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

Happy Hump Day! I hope you all are having a great day, let’s get started. I was sitting on my lunch break when I began to think about this principle that I’m starting to take to heart- don’t expose too much too soon.

Have any one you ever had an idea and then you begin to share your dream and like Joseph you was persecuted for your dreams by those close to you. It’s crazy how persecution doesn’t come from those in the world, it comes from those in your house- those close to you because of the possibility that your dreams of supersession could actually take place. Persecution comes not from the outward display of superseding those around you but based upon the possibility that supersession can actually come true.

People aren’t afraid of where you are right now but are scared of where you are going. The bottom line is that darlings, you’re going; to go farther than those who you attend church with. You are going to go farther than your already successful family members. You’re going to go farther than those who have this “powerful” anointing and position that came with it. You’re going to go farther than even them and honey they are TERRIFIED!!!!

So as a piece of wisdom don’t expose too much too soon – keep some things to yourself and reveal it in the right time. Matter of fact, reveal nothing. Let the Lord reveal his awesome wondrous plans in your life when he brings it to pass. The crazy thing is that those who try to hinder your purpose and block your destiny will have to bow eventually. Let’s take a lesson from Joseph’s brethren and learn from their mistakes… Greatness can’t be stopped no matter how much energy goes into bringing it’s demise.

When you go to share even to those you look up to, shhh…say nothing yet and protect what God has given you. I’ve been holding a lot of things in my heart, and God’s getting ready to manifest these things. I’ve kept my mouth shut even from my church family – I’ve kept my mouth shut because I have to protect what is being given to me. I have to protect my promise from the Lord as if my life depends on it and that includes using wisdom in who I share with. So family keep some things to yourself!

Until next time,
Simone

image

Simone Holloway, 2015

Unspoken Sentiments

Emotions ready to leave its hiding place

A mouth not ready to open its lips

and I

uttering my heart’s cry

in silence

await for something to forcefully open the space

between the doors to my soul

as a being seeking to be whole

I wait

wait for those who love me dearly

to see clearly

right through this facade I put up

as if I don’t get hurt

as if I don’t have the ability to feel

what’s right, true and real

around me

I stand in the earth, hoping that someone can truly see

who I desire to be

simply. free.

Until then, I’ll carry these unspoken sentiments

with me.

©Simone Holloway. 2015

Featured Image Credit: http://cdn.frontpagemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/silence.jpg

“Unspoken Sentiments” was inspired by the idea of one carrying around a burden of emotions. let downs, etc. without having a place/person they can release the contents of their heart to.  I remember feeling this way- like “if only someone near me truly knew what I was dealing with?”  “If one someone could see?” To feel trapped emotionally is a dangerous place and that’s why on this morning- I want to encourage all of you to be aware of those around you.  Be aware of how they are feeling. Pick up on what they project to be truth versus what actually is the truth.  Be wise in your approach and be gentle in your mannerisms.  I believe that God places us into the lives of individuals so that we can journey through life with them,  and how can we be effective if we are not aware of what’s going on in their lives.  God always reveal to us what is up- but, are we listening?  If you are listening- you’ll be a blessing to those God has placed into your life. Spend some time today- listening…..

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit:

Correcting Love

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

Today was an amazing day.  It was youth Sunday at my church and the theme was “never-ending love”, about the continual love of God.  What I love about the love of God is that it exposes our wrong  in hopes that we get right to move forward.  Love does not delight in wrong, but celebrates doing what is right and living in truth.  This infinite love that is given to all, delights in us recognizing our sin and then making an effort to be free from it.  Can you imagine a father that never addressed his children when they do wrong.  Can you?  We would say that the father mentioned, did not truly love his kids.  How can love someone but say nothing when you see their lives being destroyed? Love says…I love you so much that I’ll tell you the truth because at the end of the day, I want you to be better.  People who sacrifice your purpose to spare you your feelings, do not love you.  People who tell you what you want to hear, instead of what you need – do not love you.  If God chastise those that He love, why wouldn’t those who represent God do the same?

I’m thankful for God’s chastisement, because even though it was painful at times- it got me out of my mess and made me a better person.  Sometimes we can be so stubborn that God has to get our attention some way, and pain does just that- it gets our attention.  I remember growing up and my mom would tell me not to iron clothes by myself,  I was rather small and clumsy and she would warn me that if I iron by myself, there was a possibility that I could get burnt. “Wait on me and I’ll do it for you…” she would say.  One day I remember wanting to be a big girl, I was eight years old and I felt like my mom was treating me like  a baby.  “I can do this by myself..” I said in my heart, as I made my trek to the ironing board.  I plugged the iron in, took my shirt and placed it on the board.  I reach for the iron but because I was too small to carry it, I dropped it and it fell on my wrist, leaving me with a burn scar that I have today.  My mom looked at me, bandaged my wrist and kissed my forehead- but there was an issue that needed to be addressed: my disobedience.  She chastised me and took away one of my favorite treats: ice cream.  I learned that it was better to obey her voice than to disobey- pain came from my disobedience.

“For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

Sometimes God has to do the same with us, He has to remind us what is right and wrong.  He does this through chastisement out of love.  If God didn’t care about you becoming a better person, then you would have something to worry about but because of His love- like a good parent, He’ll go to the end of the world to get you back on course.

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/b1/c5/4f/b1c54fe6e19c9053986d1c721c14a6c4.jpg

A Tale of Two Souls

Hello Authentic Lovers-

In the spirit of unconventionality, I would like to share a spoken word poem with you all by one of my favorite poets: Mrs. Jackie Hill- Perry.  Listen to the words and enjoy!

I pray that these words will cause you to know God in such a significant way.

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: https://wisdomseekers.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/throneofgrace.jpg

Unconventional

Unconventional

Unpredictable

Uncommon

Jesus is all three

His randomness

Still affects me

I read somewhere

That He allowed his disciples to eat on the Sabbath day

He broke the rules

He lived life a different way

He was a rebel

Later on, He decided to heal

A man from a withered hand

Exemplifying love that was so real

He challenged authority

Those in charge were mad

They tried standing against Him

Losing the power that they had

He was against tradition

He was against routine

So why do we box Him in

Knit Him tightly at the seams

Let’s be unconventional

Let’s live outside of the box

Do what’s never been done before

Allow your mind to be shocked

Featured Image Credit: http://maraprose.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/9947351-concept-image-about-unconventional-or-different-thinking.jpg