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):

A Lenten Challenge

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Ok, I know, Lent is longer than 30 days…but as part of this Lent season, I am doing my very best to give up Soda…for me that means straight up, full sugar, Coca-Cola classic (or, a Dr. Pepper, if Coke isn’t available).

To be honest, for me, a lot of it is the caffeine in it – I don’t do coffee or tea. So, it’s my old reliable.
But, it’s also the comfort. It’s what I turn to when I should be relying on Him, so it’s out.

Only, this year, as opposed to previous years, I hope not to return to reliance on it.

So, I’ve decided (beginning last friday, March 17) to track the next 30 days…because apart from strictly spiritual reasons, we hear so much what Soda does to our bodies – the amount of sugar and the empty calories. I want to know if that’s true.

Changing nothing else in my life, just cutting out soda, what will the difference be in 30 days?

I’ve replaced soda with water (and once a day: Lemon/Peppermint water (or just Lemon, or just Peppermint, or Lime/Peppermint) using my lovely Young Living oils):

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This is an example – love my lemon/peppermint mix. Typically, I use a metal cup. If using citrus continually, don’t use a plastic cup like this, as the citrus will corrode plastic over time (I poured the water from the bottle into my cup).

So, no extra exercise (which, for me pretty much is only whatever happens for work & house keeping, and, recently, downsizing/packing…), no change in diet. Just eliminating soda.

Now, I am not doing this to look better or live a healthier lifestyle, though, I do plan to continue moving that direction once I get this no soda thing down.

It’s one thing to be able to look down and love the body you have (which is where I am); it’s another thing entirely to be treating that body with respect & care (which is what I am working towards).

So, there is no end “goal” for me in this, except to cut out soda. No final weight or measurements, though I have taken starting weight and measurements (which I am not comfortable sharing, but will share the differences at the end).
I simply want to be able to eliminate my reliance on something that threatens God’s place in my life, and be at a healthier place than when I started.

Two caveat’s to this:

  1. Last september, I was diagnosed gluten free…since then, I have already made some changes to diet, namely: no wheat products. However, I still don’t eat the healthiest…I eat a lot of snack foods for meals, eat processed food, and a lot of dairy. So, though gluten is out, it hasn’t changed my weight much – being sick often has left me several pounds lighter over the past several months, but that has leveled off in the past month.
  2. Recently (for the past month or so) I have been drinking Zeal by Zurvita once a day to get my vitamins, as I am unable to take multi-vitamins. I will continue this as I go forward. Once a day, a serving of Zeal, which does give a natural caffeine boost & may skew results slightly:
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Zeal is actually a great addition to my life, since I cannot process most multi-vitamins…I don’t think any skew it may have will be enough to be much difference.

 

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!

 

Why Tiny?

So, I’ve talked before about my dream to live in a tiny house and travel to do youth ministry. 

I have gone through several stages of what/how/when, all the important questions. But, I know a lot of people wonder about the why…

So, why tiny?

Because there is so much, too much

Too much beauty out there not to experience.
Too many attractions not to see.
Too many amazing people and places to visit & meet.
Too much love out there to stay in one place.

Also, too much pain to only stay and help in one spot
Too much brokenness to only touch one area.

Too many dreams in my heart.
Too many thoughts in my head.
Too many experiences I want to have & places I want to explore.

That’s why tiny.

And, I have BIG news on the Tiny House front…coming soon to a new blog dedicated just to that adventure. I can’t wait to share it with you all!

Why I Should Probably Work Part-Time When I’m a Mom Someday…

So, I have a few days of #SingleLife to make up for that I missed during October. So, here goes one:

Today, I was struck by the thought: When I become a mom, I should probably work part-time…

And, I’ll tell you why.

If I work full time:

  • Forget getting breakfast in the morning; my kids won’t even be on time to school, like, ever…I will not be able to get up early enough to get them off to school on time, much less fix them the breakfast they need as growing kiddos. For instance, this morning? I woke up 20 minutes before needing to leave the house, & I ate a previously cooked egg as my breakfast. That’s right. Egg. Singular. So, no, that’s not going to work…
  • Speaking of food, I really do enjoy cooking. I mean, did you see the lovely meal I cooked yesterday? (See it here). But, I can’t be Suzy Homemaker every day when I work 10 hours a day (I know, that’s  more than full time – welcome to the educational, mental health, and medical fields…) So, tonight’s dinner? Left over chili, chips, and chocolate. I can’t feed that to my family every night. I mean, I could, the chili was great, gluten free, & I made it from scratch. But, still, my future family deserves more. I’d like to be able to cook more than once a week for them.
  • Time. I have a tendency to be a work-a-holic who has trouble saying no or putting boundaries on my work time. But, when I work part time – talking like, 30 hours or less, I’m much better at it. I want more time with my family when I get one. I feel it’s best for them, and I know it will be best for me.
  • My creativity & passion severely suffer with a full time job. I face a greater threat of burn out & stress, losing myself in helping others & realize how hard this world has it. Thank God He’s in control and I’m not…now, if only I could tap that creativity & passion, brining back my motivation to write a story to completion.

If I’m a stay at home mom:

  • I’ll. Get. Bored. Now, I’ve worked with kids all my life. Kids of literally all ages. I know that they are entertaining, a handful, a full time job in and of themselves. But, I also know, without adult interaction, I will get bored. My co-workers & I sometimes go into one another’s offices to have conversations once the kiddos head home, simply because we’ve spent all day talking to kiddos. So, I need a grown up outlet.
  • It’s kind of impractical in today’s world for everyone to be a one income household, and I suspect, we will not be a family blessed with that ability. I know my husband will likely need some support from me, financially, even if just to help pay off my student loan debt.
  • I have student loan debt. That’s not my future husband’s responsibility, it’s mine. I followed God’s call, and I bear that weight. If he want’s to help, great, but it’s my responsibility and mine alone.
  • I have student loan debt from getting a degree. One I’ve worked my entire life for. I can’t imagine living a life where that get’s pushed to the side, never used again.

So, the answer seems to me: part time working mom. It’s really the only way for me, I’d guess.

So, now, the prayer begins that I can be that kind of mom when the time comes. Balancing work & life. Bringing Glory to God by the life I live, and honor to my husband in all I do.

Final note: For all you rockin’ moms out there: Keep up the good work! I read your blogs, I see how hard you are all working. Breast feeding moms & formula moms. Working moms & stay at home moms. Home cooking moms & eat out moms. Crunchy, traditional moms & techno, modern moms. Creative arts moms & sports moms. You’re all working really hard for your loved ones, and it’s great! I genuinely can’t wait to be in the mom club one day.