Lately I’ve found it hard to post much of anything personal other than family pictures on Facebook. Life is moving at a breakneck speed, it seems, and my emotions are all across the board. I would overwhelm a lot of people if I just splatted my heart across Facebook, and honestly I’d probably walk away more hurt by people’s reactions than if I had just kept quiet. Thus, this blog. šŸ™‚ I’m thankful for the Lord’s sweet peace in my heart sustaining me, my husband’s friendship and leadership, and for the many many blessings poured out daily. I know I really have it “easy” in many regards, but that honestly just makes the emotions I feel sometimes seemĀ like they are over the top and “unchristian” to share with others. *gasp* They may judge me! Ā  I know this feeling of being overwhelmed and emotional will pass with time as I’m patientlyĀ attempting to beĀ careful to express and process the different emotions properly. (Well, at least I’m trying!! It will at least lessen them, of that I’m confident.) I’m thankful it’s nowhere near the feelings of depression I have had in the past. I used to bury all my undesirable emotions under a thin layer of “Everything Is Fine”, until it would just explode to the surface and surprise those I love the most with their intensity and ugliness. With much love and grace from my husband that habit has been greatly reduced, and I’m usually quite outspoken with him about the way I feel now. A practice we have that helps with the habit of “stashing trash” is what we call Dirt Slinging sessions. This is when one of us will say “Ok, I know you’re feeling upset or bothered about something. I don’t care if what you feel about me is correct or not, just start spilling it out. I’ve got my armor on, I’m ready. Starting throwing it at me.” And when it’s all said and done, the yucky stuff is all out, repented of, forgiven, and we can move on with life as a solid unified team. Sometimes those sessions are very difficult to get through. The person being “slung at” has to be super careful to not take anything said to heart-we know the enemy would just love to use the dirt he’s been giving us to hide to wound each other and build up offense. Not allowing bitterness or a record of wrongs to build up is a huge deal in marriage or ANY relationship, and we can tell when we’ve been starting to gather a pile and haven’t dealt properly with it. While we are doing fine in our marriage right now, it’s been very difficult to find time to wind down and “breathe” together lately. That makes being open and raw with each other much harder. It’s WORK some days. Hard work that’s totally worth it, but that doesn’t make it a ton easier! šŸ˜‰

I think what has brought a lot of this stuff to the surface of my mind is that Hubby and I have been learning this week about the power of being vulnerable from a small group study. It’s really…. hitting me. Convicting me of being quick to give advice instead of hugs-convicting me of actingĀ raw and open when I’m really just sharing a tad bit of my heart and hiding the rest. Convicting me of saying “I’m fine” when I’m really a big knot of struggle. I’m SO grateful for a few choice people in my life that I can be truly open with. No matter how crazy or depressed or upset I am, they approach me with love and grace, “hear me out”-then give me a gentle kick in the rear, a big hug, or advice- depending on the situation. This is so vital on so many levels! I want to be able to be that for other people as well, and not be quick to think I have the solution or answer to their struggle. But to be willing to enter into their heart struggle and feel it with them. To love them as Jesus would-to enter into it with them but simultaneously care too much to leave them there. To bring them Jesus love and peace, and guide them to His ways of LIFE and JOY!

It’s a challenge to be vulnerable. It’s also a challenge to be someone others feel safe to be vulnerable to.Ā