Vulnerability is Strength, Not Weakness.

Chances are, you probably know someone who wears their heart on their sleeve.  


Someone who literally spews realness, is constantly candid, and just attracts others who are hurting.  


I consider myself one of these people. In fact,  I don't quite know how to be the opposite. 


Furthermore, I don't quite understand why people aren't more realistic in their portrayal of themselves.  


This isn't drama class. This is life. 


It pains me really, that those of us who do open up and seek to bless others thru our truths are often seen as weak and attention-seeking by our counterparts.


Vulnerability is not weakness, it's strength.  


Remaining closed-in, calloused, and appearing as unshakeable actually just makes you a really good actor. 


You appear really weak. 


I want to encourage all of you to see the strength in your openness and vulnerability to others. There's strength in truth. Strength in the sharing of encouragement. Strength in unfiltered honesty. It's why I began this blog with my sisters. We wanted to cut the b.s. and be as open and honest about our lives as we can. 


For those of you who struggle sharing your hurts, fears, and thoughts with others, I urge you to find the strength in releasing some of that in the coming days. Find a good, amazing friend or family member and just say, "Could you pray for me about...?".(I don't care who you are, everyone has something they need prayer about) It can be that simple. It's a start.  


*And if you have literally no one you can trust, come to me. Seriously, I will bear your burden with you confidentially. Email me, Facebook message me...whatever you choose.  


You are weak when you remain strong. I'm not talking about complaining and being negative all of the time. That's a different conversation, entirely. What I mean is, you must allow God to use these valley times, these mountain times and in-between times, even, to be a blessing to others!! 


If you leave everything to yourself, the only thing you have left is to "do" for others. And while doing is awesome, doing and being is even more awesome. Be real. Be honest.  


Are you in pain? Tell someone. Whether it's physical or emotional, people like to know that "Hey! This person understands me! Or...I went thru the exact same situation and I can help!".  


Are you struggling with something specific? Tell someone you trust. Build your village. Reach out. Don't stay stoic. It doesn't matter how hard you try to stand still, you are not immovable.  


Be raw. You don't have to air all your dirty granny panties to everyone, but you should let them see that "Hey, I do laundry too, because life is messy."  


Sometimes, when I share my deepest struggles with an audience like you, Satan immediately plants doubt in my head. He also throws the word weak at me over and over again. 


But, I refuse to change. I know it's making a difference. I seek to be a blessing thru my trials and sharing them is the only way to keep my strength.  


I am strong. And you are, too. Share your strength. I dare you.  




Craft Day: A Year in the Making

Exactly one year ago today, I took my five little children to Michael's craft store to make good on a promise I made earlier that week.  


I won't rehash all of the details, as I've already blogged about it before, but, to refresh your memory, I didn't make it through the checkout that day.  


Instead, I ended up in the hospital for four days.  


The days that followed were frustrating, at best.  


Check outs? I've learned to HATE them all.  

I've fled the scene a few times in the past 365 days leaving items and bolting to the car for some sort of "pseudo-respite". 


But today, I didn't allow the growing giant of fear and anxiety to keep me in my personal quicksand pit. I had a mission: 


to finish the craft day that never really began. 


As I pulled into the Michael's parking lot today, I barely flinched. I felt confident. I felt the Greater in me cheering me forward.  


The logistics of the trip greatly mirrored the previous one: the way I organized the children in two separate buggies, the clear instructions given to "follow me closely, not to dawdle, and to not pick up a thousand things".  The only difference was they are all one year bigger than before. Oh, how slowly and rapidly time passes.

The very spot where it all fell apart and came back together.

The very spot where it all fell apart and came back together.

We may have only been inside for ten minutes total, and I may not have been mentally calculating to see if our purchases leveled with our budget, but we checked-out this time.  

...aaaaaaannnnndddd, I may have broke down a bit while we were driving away. I wish you could've been inside my head for the past 365 days. You'd understand my emotion. I've left myself with a sort of precarious mine field. But today, for some odd reason, I danced around all of the mines almost with an eerie intuition. 



Craft day was about to commence. One year later.


We even threw in a picnic and a park trip before heading all the way home. For children that no longer take outings with mommy for granted, this was a busy day for us. Although, the amount of busy we used to tackle, before last years Michael's trip, was infinitely more so. 



No matter. What's past is past.  

What matters now is that I keep moving forward, toward Christ and freedom and away from Satan and fear.  


What matters is that I keep talking about my struggles because they may help you or them or someone.



What matters is that I continue to acknowledge the fact that no matter how tough life gets or seems to appear, that the God I serve doesn't ever leave me. He doesn't cease to be good, and He always, always sees me. My frustration. My tears. My exhaustion. My giving up time and struggling forward times.  


I owe it all to Him.

I owe it to my husband, who I never imagined I could love like I do right now.

I owe it to my children. The grace that radiates from those five precious lives is intoxicating.

I owe it to my parents, my siblings, my extended family.

And, of course, the friends that God served up on a silver platter and, in exchange, became family.  


Thank you. Thank you so much.  


And so, we just now swept all of the scraps and crafting excess away and are left with the day I meant to create for my children one year ago. Memories. Love. Laughter. And a mother just a little bit stronger and more brave than yesterday. And that makes everyday worth creating.

Love, A.