Vulnerability

From where I sat tonight, I enjoyed clouds, cooler weather, and a day when I’ve felt more me than I have in days – maybe weeks.

Summer heat gets me down, y’all.

So, here I sit on this cooler day finally enjoying myself – reading & writing, tending to my soul & spirit…contemplating many things, including relationships.

See, that date has become something…so, it means letting someone in…

I am so, so used to single life. In single life, I’m only responsible and accountable to me (to an extent).

I mean, it is my desire to bring my husband good all the days of my life (Proverbs 31:12) – but I’ve already failed, I’m sure. So, I try moving forward – that whoever he is will truly find good when he finds me as his wife (Proverbs 18:22).

But, I digress…

In single life, you don’t have to let anyone in.
You don’t have to be vulnerable and wonder if they can/want to handle it.
There’s always fear in vulnerability.

If you move forward with someone – there’s risk. You let someone into your pain, your mess, your darkness, your weakness, your faults – along with your joy, your celebration, your gifts, your passion.

Entering a relationship requires trust.

For me, a big area of vulnerability is this blog. My heart shared, post after post; and, there are questions that go with that:

  • What if “he” finds it?
  • What if he doesn’t like what he reads?
  • What if it scares him?
  • What if he doesn’t understand the struggle, the doubt, the darkness…?
  • What if I find myself to be too much or not enough?

Honestly, though, this openness & willingness to risk vulnerability is essential to any relationship – whether two weeks old or fifty years old (not that you should spill all day one, there are levels to this…)

We cannot connect with others without it – and, yes, at some point it will lead to conflict, disappointment, and misunderstanding. It’s what you do together to overcome that which will make the difference.

Just as you hope he/she will be that for you, this gives you a beautiful opportunity for you to be open & accepting of him/her in their darkness, weakness, struggle.

In doing this for one another, you find the beauty to overcoming this fear – you find a partner, a war buddy.

And, you discover someone who loves your heart: weakness, faults, and all. You discover someone you love: weakness, faults, and all.

So, do we fear vulnerability? Of course we do.

But, overcoming that fear leads to something we are all hoping to find in this life – and it leads to the kind of relationship & love that glorifies, honors, reveals, & represents God and His love for us.


I listen to a lot of [Christian] Hip-hop, and recently, there is a song that has worked it’s way into my heart. It comes along these lines so well. It deals with this kind of openness and vulnerability, from the perspective of the one being supportive and accepting, and loving. I want to share it with you, as it may be an encouragement to others, too (KB – Lights Go Out (ft. Blanca & Justin Ebach) – Reach Records):

Ah, Back to Ireland.

2013 was the last time I got the opportunity to visit Ireland. I have been twice for ministry opportunities.

Now, I have the opportunity to return this July.
I.Am.So.Excited.

Each time I go there, I fall more & more in love: with the place, the people, and spreading the Love of God across the ocean.

It’s another great opportunity to spread God’s love across the globe. My biggest passions meet in this: ministry, people, travel, and Ireland. 

So, as you found your way to this blog, please pray with me about ways to support: prayer is greatly appreciated. Of course.

But, if God moves your heart to donate (any help at all is so much appreciated), here are some ways you can do that, too:

  • A “gofundme” option is available.
  • I started an Etsy shop: TinyNepheshArts.  If you are looking to purchase some art, including custom orders, I have some pieces available for sale.

Prayer is always appreciated for sure.
Prayer that God would bring in the finances for the entire team.
That we would make connections, make an impact, and become more globally minded in our living.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me: scentfilledsoul@gmail.com.

Thanks in advance for support and blessing.


I also enjoy the opportunity to pray for those who read my blog. So, as you are praying for my next adventure, let me know below what I can be in prayer for for you. Blessings!

 

Church that isn’t “Church”

Today, I visited a new church – in an art studio. Bringing the number of interesting places I’ve attended church services up by yet another. The list includes:

  • Churches
  • Night Club
  • Movie theater
  • Art studio
  • Grand Hotel Ballroom (Disney’s California Grand Hotel)
  • Homes
  • School Gyms
  • 100+ year old school house
  • Cafe’
  • Camp
  • Parks

And I love it!

I love visiting different places and seeing how God is moving and working. I enjoy seeing the needs, seeing things I can pray for & be a part of.

And, honestly, I love seeing how pastors of small church plants keep their hope despite hardships & opposition.

This church I visited today, in the community I grew up in, was small. Welcoming. And, encouraging.

The pastor & his wife, who I see around often, have clearly been called by God, and have bravely answered that call. They have seen some recent hardships, but have not let that dissuade them.

It’s amazing how when we step out into something God calls us to the enemy tries to keep us down. The enemy’s best friend is our comfort, fear, and

When I encounter people like these pastors, at this church, at the small churches in California I have been blessed to be a part of – pastors & ministers who step out in faith, whether with great support or little – I get excited & hope for that kind of bravery myself.

I’ve alluded to that desire to build my Tiny Home & travel doing creative youth ministry.

And, anyone who reads this blog knows that writing is a part of my passion…

But, my need for security often overcomes the bravery that I so wish for and pray to have.

So, I am so thankful God has placed so many of these brave souls in my life, as leaders, teachers, and friends. I am so thankful that, so far, many of them have wanted nothing more for me than to follow where God leads, even if the rest of the world thinks the vision is crazy. I am so thankful for the richness each of them has added to my life, shaping how I live, pray, and worship.

I will take their cue & continue to move forward in the dreams God has placed in my life.

And, if you are in the Oklahoma City area and looking for a welcoming church, I know of several.

The one I visited this morning is Fusion Church of Yukon. The pastors there are so welcoming, so full of life and vision, and really love people in such a unique way. I recommend checking them out if you are new to the area, looking for a smaller & welcoming church, and/or are looking for a church that is kid friendly. They really show a great heart for the kids of their congregation.

During my visit with this church, I met some great people. I had some incredible conversation with the pastors. And, I found a gluten-free, tiny house loving friend. I look forward to visiting again in the future.

I can’t wait to visit more places that God opens up to me, and I can’t wait to pour what I learn from them into what God is doing into my life.

Also, look out for more of my Tiny House journey – it’ll happen, I have faith 🙂

 

#Someday

Last night, I went to a wedding…alone.

I’ve gone to all of the weddings I’ve been to in my adult life alone – I mean, I had a date to one, but he got stuck in traffic, and didn’t get there until the end. I was so nervous for him knowing how much he hated traffic that I didn’t really eat. So, we went to a late dinner after…

So, yeah, every wedding, alone.

And, I love it each time.

There is a sense of “crap, I really am alone” each time they announce the dances for married couples.

But, for the most part, I’m surround by loved ones, celebrating love & beauty, and being able to create memories with the important people in my life.

Honestly, I want that day (maybe not as elaborately as most others), but I want that day to celebrate with my him, to say, “now & forever”.

A stunning example of God’s love for us, that’s what I hope our relationship represents…

But, the only way that will happen is if we are preparing ourselves in advance, covering one another in prayer, and seeking God first in all we do.

I don’t know if I believe in “the one”, but I do believe in praying for “the one I will choose & who chooses me back”. And, I believe in becoming the one he is waiting & praying for, preparing myself, covering him in prayer, and seeking God in all I do.

Now, I know I do that…and I pray he is also doing that. Because, that way, I know our love story will be so beautiful it can only be orchestrated by the Creator of the Universe.

So, until that day, I will continue to muse: #Someday

Gratitude

First off…I’m really doing poorly at following the prompts for the 5 minutes free writes…But, I guess, that’s making me a pretty good rogue…I’ll probably reference today’s prompt later…so, look out for the words “post-it” 🙂

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Tonight, I have been thinking a lot about encouragement & gratitude. I find, if you are thankful, it’s also really easy to be encouraging.

So, I’m writing a few “thank-you”s & encouraging notes for some people I know…and in doing so, I find myself more encouraged, also.

The world holds so much ugly tragedy, sometimes we need to take a few special minutes to dwell on the good things around us, the good done for us, and the good we can do for others.

From this dollar store pack of cards I will get 8 notes: 8 ways to connect to someone, to lift their spirits, to say thank you, to affirm them.

But, it doesn’t have to be a card, you can encourage someone through: a comment on social media, a silly Snapchat picture, a post-it on their desk, a dry-erase message on a board or mirror.

Or, a good, old fashioned, in person complement. Remember those?

As for lifting your own spirits? May I recommend a GTL? What my friend called a “Good Things List”, but I call it “Got to Love”… List out things you’re grateful for…because being thankful is what really encourages us.

That spirit of thanks that will soon be all around us is often so fleeting, but it is one of the best spirits the world can have.

…but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace that passes all understanding, will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:6-8

So, encourage someone today. Write a GTL.

Spread a little love. For others & yourself.