The Sexiness of Vulnerability

Every now and then, I read something that causes me to think of something in a way that turns my previous personal definition on its head.

To be vulnerable is to demonstrate that you are confident about who you are; that you aren’t afraid of your weaknesses. It shows trust and perpetuates trust. You can’t have true love without vulnerability.

Turn-On # 5: Vulnerability
Vulnerability is not the opposite of confidence, as some men seem to assume. I see your willingness to be vulnerable with me as a huge statement of confidence. And, it makes me want to support you, and take care of you. Not in some mommy/boy way, but in this, “Oh, wow, he trusts me!” way. Not only that, it makes me trust you. If you’re willing to get vulnerable with me, I’m going to be less guarded with you. And you never know what fantastic places that could lead us to.?? Trust that I can support you in the moments where you need to be held, listened to, or even just to vent. Trust that I’ll still be here when you’re through it. And as you trust more, so will I trust you. – What Women Really Want: 10 (Sort Of) Secret Turn-Ons for Men Who Want to Know!

Don’t want to accept this from a post with the word “Turn-ons” in the title?


Listen to C.S. Lewis talk about vulnerability in, The Four Loves:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

PS: The rest of that “Turn-ons” post is pretty good, too! Enjoy.

March Giveaway Winner

Photo: Terry, Shannon, Matthew, Jessicca, and Nathanial.

Hooray! Shannon from Boise, Idaho is the March giveaway winner!

The theme for the March Giveaway was “burdens carried”. Readers were asked to leave a comment about a physical or metaphorical burden that they have either had to carry or was carried for them.

She writes,

Praise God for the burdens he has allowed me to go through and has lifted for me. Every burden or need has always brought me closer to God, and a great way for me to teach my children Gods true love.

Our most current burden was our move. We moved to a new state with no friends, no family and no church. After a lot of prayer we had a very successful move, have made friends, and found a great church. What an awesome way to teach my oldest, who is 11, if we place our worries, concerns, and fears on God he will carry us through.

There has been many burdens in our family the past few years, yet each one has brought us closer to God. My husband and I are closer than ever, and my family is safe and healthy. I wanted to thank you for reminding me to Thank God for the burdens he lifted for me today.

After her oldest began to struggle emotionally over problems at school, she decided to teach her children at home. They are very happy with the decision.

My oldest was becoming physically ill from the stress of public school. He is such a kind boy that he was made fun of and developed such stress over being teased that he would get headaches all the time.

My daughter had a speech problem, the school’s answer was to put her in a speech class. I then found out she was being taught Spanish instead of actually working on her speech. After using a charter school for a year, she was finally tested and we found she has Dyslexia.

Now, she loves to read. Her speech is clear (except when she gets excited), and she is finally understanding why she was struggling.

We have been homeschooling for 4yrs now, and I would never trade the time I have had to show my kids there real potential.

When asked what she and her family are looking forward to this spring, she said,

Being in a new state there are many things we would love to do. Idaho is a great place for families who love to do outdoor things, we hope to do a lot of hiking, fishing, and some gardening.

As teacher, Shannon used the web as a resource. She highly recommends

Carried Away March Giveaway : Five Kawaii Japanese Canvas Totes

“Many hands make light work.” – John Heywood, English playwright and poet

Have you ever used your chin to hold onto a stack of library books? I have… and that’s when I’m just carrying my books!

With plenty of children who love to hear stories read, two of whom are avid readers themselves, trips to the library (on the base, two hours away) would be pretty daunting if I didn’t have my helpers!

Across the street from our house is a grocery store. Next door is a farmers market. How sweet it is to have children who help bring home food that will nourish our family!

More than moving items from Point A to Point B, having children help out in this way is good for their little hearts and souls.

Helping to carry things…

  • teaches them to lend a hand and to help others from an early age
  • gives them a job they can do (one or two books or a loaf of bread may be a light load, but it is important.. and they feel important carrying them!), showing them that they’re not too little to make a difference
  • teaches them how to stick to a task, one that builds character (it’s not always easy to carry things, and the distance isn’t always short!)
  • helps them to be responsible for the items in their care (like their library books) as they have to transport them carefully and not lose their bag
  • Burdens, or things that have to be carried, are also a great Biblical metaphor for teaching our children about entrusting Gods with the things in this life that weigh us down. This burden could be anything from sin, an illness, a difficult relationship situation, to a house that doesn’t sell.

    Trusting in Him gives us a soul-deep version of the feeling we get when the very straps of our heavy bags are cutting into our hands and dad comes along and carries it the rest of the way home.

    Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

    Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

    This month’s giveaway is of five kawaii (that means painfully cute in Japanese!) totes so you can carry your things to and from wherever you need to go. There are four smaller totes, a pink bunny, an orange pig, a brown bear and a yellow lion, to encourage your helpers to lend a hand, and a larger tote for you!

    To enter, in the comments of this post, please leave a story about carrying something or something being carried for you. The burden could be a physical one or a metaphorical one. Please mention how carrying this burden, or having it carried for you, shaped who you are today. You must leave a pertinent comment to win!

    My hope is that this giveaway will encourage others to help bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to trust that the Lord is carrying us through.

    1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

    * * *

    Want to improve your chances of winning? Add these skills to your giveaway repertoire to gain up to three bonus entries:

  • Add your blogroll and leave the link to your blog with your comment
  • Write a post about this giveaway and leave the link to your post with your comment
  • Tweet about this giveaway (via @mrsalbrecht) and mention it with your comment
  • Please leave your comment and complete bonus entries by 9PM EST, Friday, March 26, 2010.

    The winner will need to provide their mother’s maiden name, social security number, and a valid US credit card number + three digit secret code. JUST KIDDING! I will, however, need their name and mailing address which will be kept strictly confidential.

    If they’re agreeable, I’d like to interview the winner and feature them in a future post. I would consider including links in the post to the winner’s blog, favorite cause, home business, etc.

    Winning contestants may not enter my subsequent monthly giveaway contests for a year following their win. In other words, if you win in March, 2010, you cannot enter again until March, 2011.

    Best wishes! :)

    Relationships: Hack Apart Your Frames to Unite Your Perspective



    Same picture (flowers in my front yard, taken with my cell phone camera), different frames.

    The dark, sleek frame would work in a modern, minimalist decor. The juxtaposition of the humble flowers, one fading, with the stark, white space matting might give the viewer pause for reflection about the deeper meaning in the picture. It would display nicely on a white, gray or crimson wall.

    The lighter, pastel frame would be better suited for more of a country or shabby chic, softly painted room. The (ahem) “art work” in this setting is more of a background, mood-setting piece. Its composition is not as distinctive and certainly does less to capture attention.

    Sometimes in our arguments, we frame our point in our mind’s eye to be like one of these photograph/frame combinations. Our opponent visualizes the point to be more like the other. Although the photo is the same, the perspective is not.

    When we communicate, how often do we ask questions to better understand how our intended audience defines their terms? How often do we stop to consider the way they are processing knowledge – their profession, their experience, their learning style, their priorities? When we do these things, we get closer to understanding each other. We get closer to objective truth.

    But, we don’t ask.

    Screaming crescendos ensue when we have taken the objective truth and framed it to suit our own interests.

    While it can be tedious work to deconstruct artwork that has been professionally frame by someone with years of experience in their technique, sometimes it’s necessary to do if you want to use the photograph in a new home with an incompatible style.

    Relationship maintenance requires that we go through this tedious assumption frame-removal process from time to time, in order to understand someone’s point, to come to an amicable agreement. ‘Thinking the best of someone’ is a great frame-deconstruction tool.

    When our perspective changes, our response changes.

    When our response changes, our relationship changes.

    Last night, my youngest child was gleefully playing with cups in the sink while the older children were clearing the table. My husband noticed another child pouring water from cups in the sink and scolded him for playing when he ought to be working. I said, “Honey, please consider that you might not understand what’s going on here. I asked him to get the cups from the other room. Some had water in them, and he was emptying the water into the sink.” My husband promptly apologized and thanked him for bringing in the cups.

    I am thankful my husband listened to facts and changed his perspective and with it his response – scolding to thankfulness. He allowed his frame (child has tendency to get distracted into play world when asked to do chores) to be deconstructed, and he was able to get to the objective truth.

    Not every conflict ends this way, but we can be thankful when they do.

    The goals of trust and honesty in a loving relationship dictate that we do not intentionally spin facts to win favor, but humbly present them as they are.

    Trust is built when we can we lay it all out on the table, and sort out information in a united way, asking questions and listening to the answers. Keep the truth in focus, and add a bit of each other’s perspective. Solutions are the result.

    When we are afraid, it is easy to slant and hide facts. When we cannot trust, we let our perspective get in the way of the truth. Habitually assigning motives and holding our perspective more valuable than the object says a lot about a relationship. Screaming crescendos, quiet bitterness, or both, are the result.

    There is no fear in love.


    Frames courtesy of Simply upload a photo and then choose the wall color, matting and frame. Enjoy!

    What Do You Do When a Bible Verse Hurts Instead of Helps?


    After I posted this, I caught something as I watched again — I said that we aren’t justified through faith. That’s not quite what I meant. To clarify, before someone else catches it:

    Galatians 3:7-9 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

    Ephesians 2:7-9 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    My point was that faith by itself is meaningless. It’s what we have faith in that justifies us.

    Have you ever gone through a hard time, read the Bible, and then felt more condemned than encouraged?

    Here, I offer some thoughts on what to do in this situation based on the temptation of Christ as recorded in Matthew 4 .

    I’m interested in hearing your thoughts and feedback.

    Do you think this interpretation is correct? What do you do when scripture hurts?

    An Object Lesson from the Rear View Mirror

    Last night, my brave husband decided to teach me to drive a *standard transmission using his nice shiny black Mazda 3.

    (Honestly, I much prefer a motorcycle. The gear-shifting pattern is more intuitive to me.)

    While I didn’t cause any traffic accidents, I did have a few moments where I felt like I wasn’t sure what to do next – how to choose the correct gear from neutral when coasting around a corner, for example.

    I also stalled at a green light. Behind me was a silver car whose driver was communicating their lack of patience by revving the engine. I started the car and made a second attempt. As I was getting ready to take off, I noticed in the rear view that car was trying to go around me – and there wasn’t much room for this. It made me nervous. I pulled my foot off the clutch too fast and stalled the car again.

    My husband calmly reached up and turned the rear view mirror so that I couldn’t see the car behind me. I was able to start the car and take off. Once we got going, he straightened the mirror.

    As I was crossing through the intersection, the driver behind me decided that I was too slow in the takeoff and he gunned his engine and zoomed around me before the nose of my car passed under the light. Given that there was on-coming traffic and I would have been stuck in the middle if someone would have hit him as they blindly came over the crest of the hill, it was a little frightening.

    This morning, as I was thinking about this incident – which happened in the span of a minute or less! – it underscored for me how difficult it is to focus on the task at hand when we are concerned about people who are watching. Fear of man is quite a stumbling block!

    Colossians 3:23-24
    Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

    Proverbs 29:24-26
    He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
    He hears the oath but tells nothing.
    The fear of man brings a snare,
    But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.
    Many seek the ruler’s favor,
    But justice for man comes from the LORD.

    Galatians 1:10
    For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

    *The first time I attempted to drive a standard transmission was my Dad’s boxy white Chevy Blazer, complete with custom Navy blue pinstripes, he purchased from my uncle.

    On the FIRST day he officially owned the Blazer, which, prior to this moment, had never missed an oil change, tune-up or wax job, my dad asked me to “start the car for him” – something I had always done with our Suburban.

    The shiny Blazer was parked in first gear. While I was told to “press down on the clutch” when I switched on the ignition, I didn’t realize that I practically had to STAND on it in order to get it to fully engage.

    The truck bucked violently and repeatedly crashed into our cinder-block apartment. Dad came running outside, sort of shaking his fists and flailing his arms at the same time, while he screamed bewildered nonsense.

    The second time I attempted, my dad was actually IN the car with me, and we took the now-damaged Blazer out on some Indiana back roads. Ahead of me, lighted cross arms went down to block a frequently-used railroad track. Dad had me drive around them.

    I recall the exchange went something like,

    Me: “I can’t stop in time!”
    Dad: “Weave through the cross arms!”
    Me: “What if I stall on the tracks?”
    Dad: “Then the train will hit us and we’ll die!”

    Obviously, we’re both still alive on this crazy planet.

    Since then, my friend Elly once allowed me to spin her car around in a K-Mart parking lot, but other than that, sans the Eliminator, my uncoordinated self has stuck to automatic transmissions.

    Random Resources

    Mechanical Stuff:

    How Stuff Works: Manual Transmission
    How Motorcycles Work

    Mental Stuff:

    When People Are Big and God is Small