Wednesday, April 2, 2014

All for the Sake of Vulnerability

So, how'd being engaged in March go? Good. Not better or best. But good. I did better with comments -though in doing better I realized that some comments are left in auto-pilot with little meat for me to tend to and with those I allowed myself a pass.

I tried to engage more at home with Jason and was proud of my effort. Though, as a wife (and probably later as a mom), I will always strive to be more and better. What's marriage without pursuit and excitement? I'd say naught.

The #SayYesProject Instagram challenge was fun and beautiful and inspiring. But I'm glad it's done. The prompts pushed me to look for things, to be creative, to find differences in my days, but there's a responsibility there that made me nervous I'd forget one. And I did. But that's okay because I'm human.

Faith talk has become a regular weekly segment where I'm letting my doubts be known -something I've struggled giving a voice to until lately. Doubt&Devout has really changed the way I think about God, church, myself, all the things in relation to one another. Kate's pushed me to talk, to think, and you've all worked so lovingly to add such dynamic to the conversations.

Twenty-five came and went in happy, fulfilling festivities. I only took one picture the night of my party. And it was the poor selfie above with birthday cards in hand. That's just how important blogging felt that night. I realized as I sat around our dinner table laughing with friends that I love my life and the people in it. Though in January I wished for more, I don't now. Maybe it's maturity, maybe it's my schedule saying there's no time, maybe it's because I want quality not quantity. Either way I'm satisfied, not hungering and that's freedom.

In the act of engagement came some realization that I lack the ability to be vulnerable. So, that leads us into April. The month that will be vulnerability. As I've been thinking on how to tackle such a large area of prospective growth, I came to the conclusion I could "work" on this for years. But, one step Grasshopper, I can only manage April for now, so I am working on being honest with myself about my emotions and feelings. Not just those surface tears or scowl or smile, but the deep, motivating drives and desires that bubble up as this sadness or that joy.

How about a heaping load of honest evaluation of myself to ensure we're doing this right? I have a mouth that's sweet as cherry pie and venomous as snakes come. Be it grumbling, under my breath frustration or outright ugly gossip, I can be mean. I grow short with Jason and spout off ALL. THE. THNGS. he does that bug me. Irritation with one of the guys at work turns to a full-on grudge just because I can. Get me started on that girl I can't stand and, well, I'll be sure to finish it.

I've come to terms with the fact that words are powerful. Sweet as honey, acidic as vinegar. Not only have I seen the way my words hurt another person, but I've felt that deep sting in my own soul when words are hurled like grenades into the foxholes of my already tender heart.

Harsh words aren't attractive, funny, or fair. Actually, it reflects something deep within myself that feels inferior, envious, and downright mean. And those aren't things I want to nurture or grow in my soul. Because, in reality, I don't want ugly to describe any part of me.

When conversations come to a lull I don't want to lean on the crutch that is gossipy, hurtful, and hate-spreading. I'm more interesting than that. And, maybe, instead of talking poorly of someone else, I can begin talking about some of the wild ideas that are rolling around in my head.

What does this all mean?

It means for the month of April I'm working on being nicer in speech. Less caustic. No grumbles or slander or gossip, but instead, life-giving-ness. I'll talk more about ideas, interests, and fun, less about people and their choices with which I might disagree. Because, if we're honest, encouragement is far more beautiful than judgment.

I'm sharing my feelings of inferiority to you, to friends, to family in hopes that such vulnerability will shake me to the depths of my soul. Opening those windows and doors will allow the sunny, warmth of hope in to remind me how important it all is for my soul.


  1. Oh girl, I am right here with you. Sometimes my mouth and feelings can be as sour as they come. March seemed to be a gloom-ish month for a lot of us bloggers so lets just look at April and Spring as a fresh start :)

  2. Oh you are so sweet. How funny.. I have recently been convicted of the exact same thing. I want people to hear my name and think "Man that girl is just pure love"... not "Oh if you want the brutal truth ask her" or "Go to Shelbi for a sarcastic (albeit funny), mean comment". Anyways I recently realized how cynical and not loving I have become. And I don't want that. No sirree. So know you are not alone sweet Amber! P.S. We are looking at houses for my Grandpa and we were looking at one that I am pretty sure is the area where you live (The village?).. so I told my Mom about you my Pi Phi sister. About Jason, your dad and stupid dementia, your mom and your friendship, taking over your Dad's business.. and now owning a home. This is what my Mom said, "Wow, I am so proud of her. I don't know her, but I am so proud of her." I figured I would tell you that in hopes it maybe brings you some encouragement today!

  3. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvApril 2, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    Oh yes, the cruel words the gossip that turns into a social activity over cocktails with girlfriends, what are we achieving by it all? Yes, it's good to vent, yes misery loves company, but who wants to be the complainer, the miserable grump? Those are the qualities that I despise the most in others. I try to follow the quote, "be the person you'd like to meet". "Try" being the key word. I look forward to hearing about your month ahead!

  4. I totally understand, friend. I am always wanting to be one of those woman who are meek, gentle, and the only words that come out of my mouth are gentle, meaningful ones. Unfortunitely that isn't the case, and I'm in a constant battle with my mouth. Im so thankful that the Lord is patient with us.

  5. I need to join you on this. I need to talk about others in ways that lift them up, even if they aren't around to hear it. Being mean behind someone's back seems so high school. (I love the word slander for this) ..

    PS - LOVE the new design :)

  6. Being vulnerable is pretty difficult for me as well, but I think you'll find that it will benefit you more than hurt you. :) Good luck.

  7. I started my journey to be more vulnerable about a year and a half ago and oh boy I'm realizing that it really is JOURNEY. There are moments that make me seek the comfort of a mask and then there are times when I feel completely ready to expose my heart. It hasn't been easy because I think being vulnerable opens you up to feel greater pain...but then again, it allows you to feel greater joy. It's so bitter sweet.

  8. I read this post, I really did. And I really loved it. But can we just talk about that beautiful shirt for a moment and how I might be contemplating a cross-country drive just to steal/borrow it from you?

  9. …before i think…. that is the BANE of my existence. like, where do i buy the part of my brain that says SLOW DOWN AND DON'T BE A COMPLETE BITCH? seems like a joke, but really I get SO FAR ahead of myself and then look like a complete crazy. yes.

    um, yes. if there's no time to sit and think of a thoughtful response to my writing, why should i try and glean something to say back? thanks for "hey i like your post." but ain't no body got time for that.

  10. Cocktails are THE WORST at making me my worst. Like, oh I garnered a good giggle Martini says TAKE IT FURTHER. So, this month I'm not going to, I'll hear Martini and be like, sorry but that kind of funny isn't REALLY that funny. Now let's talk about nail polish.

    And I adore that quote. Hello, no one wants to befriend that angry, bitter, mean-spirited girl regardless of how pretty or funny you might seem to be.

  11. I'm the 22nd! Nine days between you are me! :) It was so nice to walk away from the evening and realize I had nothing but the warmth in my heart, calories in my belly, and dishwasher full of dishes. Documenting EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT. has become so "necessary" and yet, it's not!

  12. In ways that lift them up. YES. So yes. I remember overhearing someone saying the nicest things about me at a sorority event and just being FLOORED. Because who talks nice about someone behind their back these days? I want to be known as the girl who lifts others up. Yes.

    And thank you! I'd been working on it for a few months and decided Happy Birthday to me it's time! :)

  13. Yes. Benefit>hurt. I keep telling myself that and writing it random places at work and stuff so that I can be reminded what my end goal is in doing this. Easy? No. But nothing about being B.R.A.V.E. is I guess. :)

  14. Um, OBVIOUSLY I would have sent it your way. OBVIOUSLY. And the best part: it didn't rub my armpits raw.

  15. Isn't it funny how it can feel so achieved and then so NOT? I'm wondering if at the end of the year of being B.R.A.V.E. I will feel accomplished or like I've just barely begun… And, I realize that in both ways I will be excited for what's next and how best to tackle it! :)

    I can't wait to see if this month feels more joyful, or more scary, or just MORE in all ways emotional.

  16. Gentle is never a word that's been spoken about me. NEVER. Maybe spitfire, maybe wild-spirit, maybe dry and sarcastic, but never gentle. And, honestly, sometimes that's shameful and guilty in my heart. Like why can I not be gentle? How much more precious would I be if I was gentle? And yet, He made me this way. Knitted me together with a wild soul and passionate heart. So, embrace, hone, and embrace.

  17. Sour. Such a good word for it. Sometimes mine fall towards the more caustic side of things, but not encouraging or life-giving nonetheless. :)

    Sorry March was gloomy, it was a month of over-doing ALL THINGS because of birthday celebrations galore… April shall be a reset of sorts, bringing myself back to the center instead of swinging from edge to edge! ;)

  18. I am with you! I react poorly when someone makes me feel inferior to them -- but it's not their intent to make me feel inferior, and they don't get joy out of it; it's my insecurities that make me feel inferior.


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