To love at all is to be vulnerable.

January 23, 2014

Four of Us
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“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. To love is to be vulnerable.”  C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Marriage and motherhood is not for the faint of heart.
It pulls, it stretches, it bends, and sometimes you feel it can break you.
It requires love and lots of it. Not the touch-y feel-y kind. The selfless unconditional kind.
I experience so many moments of joy in my week, but it comes with equal parts of trial.

There is still so much for me to learn in this life, but here is what I know to be true…
I have felt the aching pain of heartbreak….but it lead me to a deeper and stronger marriage.
I know the confusing pain of feeling betrayed by someone I admired…..but it taught me that we are all human with human flaws.
I have experienced the sting of putting time and energy into a friendship that does not reciprocate….but in the process I found the truest friends.
At times I feel completely inept, alone, and exhausted in motherhood, yet never have I felt more alive.
My heart is full.

I nod my hat to you Lewis. Your words ring true.
The commercials tell us to take more time for ourselves. The movies speak messages of self preservation. If you aren’t happy, than leave. If you don’t get something out of this, than why are you there? Don’t give if there is no promise of benefit in return.
But you Lewis have it right. Anyone who has loved wholeheartedly would agree.

As much as my heart has been squeezed, tried, broken, and patched in motherhood, friendships, and relationships, I would still choose vulnerability. Always. The true, squeeze your heart, unshakeable love is only experienced when you have given your heart away.
The closest I can relate to this is after I have had each of my children. Your body is pushed to the point of breaking, and you are physically and emotionally drained out, but as soon as you see the face of your child your heart is gone. You love them to the point where you would give your life over if the doctor said it would sustain theirs. Your heart is actually replaced with a larger bleeding one that will bleed out of love for your child till the day they die and forever after.

I am so grateful to have experienced this kind of love in my lifetime, both in marriage and in motherhood.
Our life is too short for cautious love. There are few chances at deep rooted happiness and too few days in our life for self preservation.
So thank you Lewis, for reminding me what it means to truly live. I will hold your quote dear when my naturally selfish heart wants to stray from the clear and narrow path to happiness:)

*This post is part of The Portrait Project and 52 Week Project. 
My coat c/o Sheinside, Scarf: F21, Max’s coat Thred Up, Gabriel’s sweater c/o Gap, Veronica’s Jacket and Hat: Old Navy


Leave a Comment

  • yes, to all of this! Marriage and motherhood and love are not easy, but they are worth it.

    Anna, I’ve always liked your blog, but I’m really loving the new direction you’re taking it this year. Thanks for being a little more vulnerable to your readers! 🙂

  • Anna this is beautiful! Thank you for putting it in such wonderful words. We all need little reminders and inspiration to motivate us and this is just perfect!

  • SO very true, Anna. What a beautiful post!

  • Beautifully written Anna. Speaks so true to my heart. The C.S. Lewis sure knows how to describe love like none other.

  • beautiful anna.

  • Wow Anna! Absolutely beautiful post. I just left adoration, and was praying about all of the fears, anxieties, and worries I have revolving my children and loved ones. Sometimes I am just paralyzed by the fear of losing my loved ones, or losing their souls! I finally have found some peace, this post was definitely God speaking to me! Thank you Anna!

  • Truly beautiful and touch words, Anna.
    It’s very true, marriage and motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes I do feel like running away like a crazy woman (in pajamas, untidy hair and all). But now I’ll always carry your words with me, to help keep me sane. 🙂

  • Beautiful insight, Anna!! Motherhood and marriage have both shown me my greatest weaknesses…what a gift this new vision is, although a humbling one! – “…for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

  • yes. yes. yes.

    and a round of applause with a big fat high five for this writing. i fully support this endeavor.

  • Laurie King

    Hello! !!! I came across this article, today, and I LOVED it!!!! It made me smile….because as You said: “… is short….” and You should EMBRACE IT as it comes!!!! It truly made my day to read this!!!! Thank You!!!! I CAN’T WAIT to read more!!!!:-)

  • Absolutely beautiful!

  • Anna, I don’t even know what to say. This C.S. Lewis quote is beautiful, and your words of reflection likewise. I am not a wife or a mother, but my heart aches to be both someday. I can still relate in many ways to your words though. I am vulnerable, and I’d take vulnerability over a hardened heart any day.

    It’s too bad we live so far apart. I feel like we were just beginning to really get to know one another before your family moved and I think we would have been great friends. I am grateful to still have the opportunity to stay in touch with you after all these years. You have always been such a beautiful woman inside and out and I love reading your posts! Thank you!

  • Posts like these always make me smile, Anna! These photos are absolutely precious too. Just you and your kiddos. What wonderful memories!

  • Beautiful, beautiful, Anna! Thank you for grounding me this morning!

  • breathtaking words, anna! this is literally just what i needed to hear today. i agree with every single word. thanks for inspiring!

  • This is so true. Love conquers all. An open heart despite its vulnerability is the greatest thing to have. Great post!

  • The giving is tiring but at the end of our life path is the most what matters.. How you will be remembered.. to get a pray for what you was.. The giving of love and care is most tiring fee gift but most precious gift one can ever give… So our hearts will go on…beat for the those we love..

    Best wishes, Alex

  • This is so beautiful doll and so inspiring. Big big hugs! xo

  • so true and so beautiful! stunning photos too!
    just found your blog and love it!
    new follower 😉

  • my first visit to your blog and what a beautiful first post to read. so moving and honest. thank you.

  • Beautiful words! I’m not yet a mother but marriage has definitely proven to me that it’s not for the faint of heart, yet it’s such a wonderful and humbling blessing. Giving your heart to someone is to make yourself vulnerable, to trust them not to break it and to forgive them when they do. Thanks for the inspirational words, Anna!

  • amen. amen. amen. i love you!

  • Anna,
    this post is so beautiful and so unbelievably true. I have never felt this more than I have in the past few months. That little babe is everything to me and I just hope that there are more of those little babes in our future because they truly are the very best there is.


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