Saturday, December 22, 2007

Widen my World

Today was my ideal mailbox experience. Nothing in my mailbox except netflix DVDs and Christmas cards! No bills. I did a little whoop of joy right there standing in front of the mailbox.

Once I got inside the house, I sat down on the couch and absorbed the Christmas cards like sweet sweet wine. Several people are sending pictures this year. It's getting cheaper and easier to do picture cards and I love seeing my friends!

One card from a girlfriend who moved last winter. When I saw the picture of her and her husband and their two little daughters, I cried for joy. The girls are captivating and it was good to see them growing but the thing that delighted me the most was the serene calm confident look on my friend's face. The year before had been difficult for her and it was glorious to see her face because I could tell by her demeanor that she had hit her stride. I knew from the few letters we had exchanged that during the past year, her baby had become a toddler, her toddler had become a preschooler, and her broke medical school fellow husband had become a well paid and celebrated new partner. My dear girlfriend is no longer a broke stressed out mom with a new baby and a toddler. In that moment, I could see all our prayers for her family from the last 3 years had been answered. Life is not perfect for her (or anyone else for that matter) but God honored her years of sacrifice by giving her financial and parenting relief and I rejoiced for her.

One card from some friends we met this year. These friends enjoy words as much as I do, so the greeting they penned on the inside of the card was heartwarming and made me smile through tears. The artwork on the card was breathtaking.

Another card from friends who sent us a fruit basket. Which is so sweet and old-fashioned and nobody does that kind of thing anymore. But she's classy like that. This aint the fruitbaskets from raffles either! These were gourmet pears from Oregon nested in individual foam containers to keep them from bruising. Other goodies like pecans and chocolate-covered cherries made this box a real hit with our family. The sweetest treat was the letter which basically said "We know we don't talk very often but we love you very very much."

Y'all I sat on my sofa and cried. I realized there are so many people that love me...who I also love and I had little to no time to talk to them this year. I'm so grateful for my friends and I want to make more time for them in the new year.

I realized my world is too small. Work>Home>MamaCircuit>HubbyTime with a weekly spiritual pit stop to refuel at Church and an hour of GirlfriendTime.

Nothing wrong with any of those. But my world is too small. Next year my world promises to expand. Some delightful stuff is going to be added to my dance card next year, recurring events including a Girlfriends Scrapbooking Club and a Ladies Worship Dance Guild. I am SO looking forward to widening my world a bit. Pondering how I can better stay in touch with some of these out of town friends AND adding some local FUN stuff, thank God. Cause work will eat my lunch if I let it.

Do you see any opportunities to widen your world in 2008?
What kind of nourishing intentional community can you add to your dance card next year?
Treat yourself.
Once you get our there and engage, your heart will be a blessing to others.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

SOME lingerie you DON'T wear to your kids' soccer games

Christmas is for children. As moms, we do whatever we can to make Christmas quality time memories with our kids...baking cookies (even if slice-and-bake) and cuddling on the sofa reading stories. Not to mention standing in line at the crack of dawn trying to find a Wii or whatever fun toy they have their heart set on. It's a lot of work, but it's a joy.
But if we don't be careful, the whole extra mile Mom thing will run us ragged.
Ladies, you've got to save some space in your mind, in your heart, and in your calendar for some adult husband/wife playtime with your Honey. Few things help me switch gears into adult husband/wife mindset like lingerie. And I'm not talking about the everyday beautiful stuff I wear under my soccer mom outfits either. I'm talking something special.
Not just lingerie, giftwrap. If you know what I mean. ;0

Something sassy, like this Candy Cane Corset from Hips and Curves is what I'm talkin' about. Stepping into the bathroom or dressing room and putting on this little number is the equivalent of Superman stepping into the phone booth. You'll feel the change in your heart when you see yourself in the mirror. Remembering what a gorgeous sexy woman you really are.

If you like your sexy soft and elegant, this long gown is charming elegant and sexy all at the same time. Like you.

If you don't want to spend a lot of dough, Frederick's has sexy elegant sheer lace babydolls for $22. And Georgette babydolls for $20.

Victoria's has got some beautiful stuff this season. Delighted Husband took me shopping there this week and I was dazzled by all the color and style they've got goin' on. This lace trim babydoll is only $26.50.

Whatever your personal style, choose something that makes you feel sexy and confident. Then be the gift! -SW

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Never Underestimate the Healing Power of Massage

Never underestimate the healing power of massage.
Even in the busy holiday season.
Especially then.
It may be erotic. It may be more nurturing and comforting. Either way, get some massage oil and make an appointment with your man for a massage. And ladies, especially you workin' moms like me, don't be afraid to ask for a massage. Don't be afraid you'll look selfish. You won't. He happens to LIKE touching your body after all! Oh and if you're stressed out and tired and achy, you'll be doing your whole family a favor to ask your husband for a massage. The kids will notice, "Mommy dissapears for a while and then Mommy is all relaxed and happy and loosey goosey" You'll be a more cuddly approachable less stressed mom afterwards. And what a great lesson the two of you are teaching them by example. You're teaching them that husbands and wives give each other massages and that being cuddled and touched makes people into nicer people. Good lifelong lessons.
See! You're not being selfish. You're teaching your kids lifelong lessons about marriage.
And your husband will enjoy it.
How do I know?
I just know. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

There's so much love in the world

There's so much love in the world.
Yesterday I sat cuddled into an overstuffed sofa in a living room with 4 of my favorite girlfriends. We had been meeting together for lunch on Wednesdays saving the day for each other and for ourselves, and we were taking a break for Christmas. Knowing we wouldn't see each other for a few weeks we took the time to take inventory. Each woman thought back over the last few months and took inventory of her heart and her life and paid attention to what changes had taken place since we started getting together regularly to pray for and love on each other. We were all beautifully surprized.
I certainly was.
Here is what I learned:
Life is not either/or. It's both/and.
I used to think that people were either one or the other. Either needy and falling apart at the seams or confident and having all your shit together having come thorugh life unscathed. I know it sounds ridiculous and extreme to say it so plainly. But in my heart, that is what I really believed. In order to have something to offer, I had to have it all together and travel through life unscathed. and you and I both know that is not the way I've traveled!
But I've learned a bigger truth.
I've seen firsthand women come as they are and have something beautiful to offer every time. Whether it's a beautiful need expressed in humble honesty. Or a beautiful comfort that is a joy for them to offer.
Paul, that old stinker, figured this out lonnnnng ago.
He put it this way, "We hold this treasure in earthen jars to show that the power is beyond ourselves cause it belongs to God."
What a beautiful relief!
I am a verrrry earthy vessel. (as y'all know)
and I carry within me a verrrrry gorgeous pricey treasure.
It's both/and.
:) SW

Friday, December 7, 2007

Defining Moment

Recently I faced one of those rare moments that are not about "just getting through it" or pass/fail apologize and move on. It was one of those solemn moments where life hangs in the balance and everything important comes into razor sharp focus.

This song was going through my mind at the time.

It was prophetic. And surreal. How many moments in your life have a soundtrack playing in real time?

Alison Krauss' breathy clear haunting voice matched the grave, solemn moment perfectly.

What a dying world
the reasons we strive to exist
Refrain control
or we're bound to learn
the meaning of moments like this

Cause in the peaceful lull
the quiet spell
Seduced by the promise of bliss
We soon forget
nothing's happened yet
we're living for moments like this

So hold me
whisper gently
this is what we live for
how we learn who we are

It defines us
ever reminding us
that life never is
more precious than this

from the dim light
in the greyness
the aim of the soul tends to miss
But then the clouds catch fire
and the oceans pitch
we're made for moments like this

So hold me
whisper gently
that there's nothing to fear
that you'll always be near
to remind me
stand behind me
although life can be rough
we can never give up.

It's in our power
to face the storm
with all it's fury
and madness
The flash of thunder
will be harnessed with
the longing and sadness
The clouds will grey

So hold me
whisper gently
this is what we live for
how we learn who we are
It defines us
ever reminding us
that life never is
more precious than this.

So hold me
whisper gently
that there's nothing to fear
that you'll always be here
to remind me
stand behind me
although life can be rough
we can never give up.

I can't emphasize enough....that in those split second moments in life where everything hangs in the balance and I simply must be strong, there is no time to go process with a friend, get a hug, cry on someone's shoulder. Those times come later. In my pivotal, critical, defining moment, it's only to the God who lives within me that I can say "Hold me, whisper gently that there's nothing to fear and you'll always be near." I better carry within me an orchard, cause one day I'm gonna get hungry.

Last weekend I was dazzled by the power of God welled and reserved inside of me. There are moments where a preternatural hush comes over your soul and you stand in a dignity and grace that comes from God. The pain is excruciating. Everything in your heart is demanded—and everything in your heart is enough.

It's in our power
to face the storm
with all it's fury
and madness

but the power only comes out when we face the storm and face the fury and madness.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Lamentations 3:22
"It is because of the Lord's great mercy that we are not consumed."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Keep on doin' what you're doin'. It's workin'! It's workin'!

Delighted Husband went to our first Christmas shindig of the season. A fancy affair. And a rare occasion to see Delighted Husband in a suit and tie. Hubba, hubba! Unfair how hot that man can look with such minimal effort.

The evening turned out well, thanks solely to the prayers of my girlfriends. I was not feeling very sensuous yesterday. Not all all. I wanted to go hide in my cave of sinful self-protection and just camp there. Bring an inflatable mattress and stay a while. That's what I wanted to do. Mostly. But a part of me knew what I was doing. Knew my sulky thoughts would only achieve me shooting myself in the foot. So I asked them to pray. Y'all know who you are. ;)
And it worked.
One dear girlfriend sent me this video.
And it was like a light went off inside me. "Feel the rain on your skin. No one else can feel it for you." Y'all it was clear as day. I had this opportunity to shine and enjoy myself doing it. Or I could ruin the whole thing, rob myself of the joy just to pull some childish selfprotecting stunt. I listened to Miss Natasha sing and began to dance in my kitchen. I picked up the phone for the salon and made an appointment. I began the preflight checklist of getting Mega Dolled Up.

Another girlfriend sent me a note that said, "I would never think any less of you! Even the hottest wifey has days where she feels like something other then a sex kitten!
Will pray for you...done deal.
Now, you know your dh loves his hottie wife.
Start this day doing something positive...something you absolutely love. Then think How exciting to have a fun dress up party to go to. Will your hubby be wearing a tux or simply black tie ordeal?
Knock 'em dead, SW"

I was an hour late getting to the salon. An hour late. The Beloved Children pulled a stunt that I could not ignore so I had to stay home and work through it with them. Which drained me emotionally and physically. Anger kills arousal as I've told y'all already. And I was both sad and angry at the choices they had made. I finally got the kids squared away and in a positive groove with the babysitter and I left for the salon. I listened to Unwritten on my mp3 player all the way to the salon. The salon wasn't too busy THANK GOD so they could still work me in even though I was an hour late.

The more the dear salon ladies worked on me, the prettier I looked and the better I felt. I don't know if it's the sense of feeling gorgeous after being waxed and exfoliated and painted and filed....or if it's the nurturing emotion of feeling cared for by my self and the dear salon ladies. Probably both.

So when I got home I still had to do my hair since there was no time for a hair appointment. I was rushing to wash and dry my hair while Delighted Husband stood there looking all gorgeous and antsy to go. I felt like I was in a fire drill or some game show. Having to hurry that much does NOT feel sexy! I felt SO put on the spot. I managed to whip my hair into shape in record time and we scoot out the door. I almost forget my shoes and jewelry.

We finally get out to the car. I haven't even gotten around to makeup. I try to put it on in the car. Delighted Husband swerves to avoid an accident and the makeup bag on my lap slides off my lap and spills onto the floor, lipsticks and stuff everywhere. Delighted Husband pulls over and we grope blindly in the dark trying to identify tiny vials and tubes of makeup. We think we finally got it all, so he takes off again. We are an hour late for his corporate shindig which is bad form and has DH nervous.

We arrive and are greeted warmly by DH's employees and co-workers. They have saved us a seat. We enjoy the meal-they are always so good-and enjoy the conversation. I must have looked really beautiful because I kept getting dirty looks from some of the ladies and smiles from most of the men. Funny thing about cocktail dresses. You show some festive Christmas cleavage and some women tell you look great and some women look at you like they want you to drop dead. Of course DH looked at me like I was a new Ferrari. I began to relax and enjoy myself, enjoy the conversations. By this point I am SO glad I chose to not stay in Camp Sinful Self Protection. And Miss Natasha would be proud because in my own way, I am "feeling the rain on my skin because no one else can feel it for me". I turn flirting with my husband into an Olympic sport. I don't say much, but he can just FEEL me wanting him and loving him and shining my light on him. I'm feeling my glory and directing it all towards my husband.

As we approach the bar, an elderly bartender gives me the highest praise I've ever gotten from a man I'm not married to. He says, "Miss girl, keep on doin' what ya doin'. It's workin! It's workin!"

We blush all the way to the car.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rhythm of Life

It's give and take
the dance of life
endless rhythm
pulsing all around us
through us
the song you dance
and not

I wept two times today.
Both times sincerely and deeply.
First, I wept this morning
in my neighbor's kitchen.
She invited me over
for coffee
and surprized me
with a breathtaking angel sculpture
earthy and living
in her rough-hewn wooden beauty.
The note read
"I pray for you
and your family
every day.
I am so thankful
for your friendship.
I love you."

Blindsided by her unexpected gift
I wept
as I received
her tenderness.
Wondrous surprise
thinking yourself
finding yourself
with deep true affection.
Is there anything like it in all the world?
An infusion of life force.
She gave out her love energy
and I took it into my heart
received it fully
embraced her energy
embraced her.

I wept again this afternoon.
For another girlfriend
as she shared
of the cold and lonely
she and her husband
are frozen in, stuck in
like cold sticky mud
engulfing a wagon wheel
leaving love stranded.

I wept for her
not that I willed it
or tried to
but I let the tears come
as they wanted.
this flood of sympathy
and urgent desire
that God would anoint my tears
use them
to wash away the mud
holding her and her man captive
make them
freed up
to love one another again.

I wept because holding it back
would be painful.
I wept and prayed
until God let me know
I was done.

buoyed up
by the peace
that only comes
from letting the life force inside you
come out
toward the one you're giving your love to
I felt my heart
exquisitely alive
with calm self-possession.
As though
I could feel
the heartbeats
within me
like a far off drum:

This is the rhythm of life.
The wordless tune
that love sings
in our heart
in our blood.

I thought of my husband
grateful for him
all the sticky mud
God washed off us
freed us from.

I realized the rhythm of life
is Eros
pulsing life force
of the heart

I saw the metaphor
how intercourse
embodies this rhythm.
and I wanted him.
Inside me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Erotic Mystic: Musings on God and Sex...Part 2

"To the extent that a man and woman have settled for a dull genital relationship, they have settled for a marriage that is a very inadequate reflection of God's love for mankind."
—Andrew Greeley, Sexual Intimacy Love and Play

What happens well or doesn't happen well or maybe doesn't happen between the marital sheets means far more than whether or not we had a good time. Way more. The dynamics of the bedroom (or the kitchen or game room) have great implications on the rest of our lives. When sex is good, the lighthearted dynamics spill over into every other area of our lives. When sex is bad, or doesn't happen for an extended drought, the dreary impoverished dynamics spill over into every other area of our lives.

I've known this by experience for quite some time. But Andrew takes it further, making the bold claim that the timbre tone and quality of married sex is a reflection of God's love for mankind. The wordless spirit atmosphere of a home where generous satisfying sex dwells says essentially, "God is a good generous God and there is plenty of love in this world and goodness happens on a regular basis."

In other words, it's not all about us. The life we live screams either doom or hope to those who are watching and listening to our nonverbal dialogs with our spouse.

Andrew Greeley goes on to say:
"It is to be presumed that most married couples do not view the art of sexual intercourse as a reflection of Yahweh's fidelity, after all, it occurs in the privacy of their bedroom with the door closed and the lights dim. How could they possibly believe that improving their skills at bringing each other pleasure reflects God's implacable commitment to his people?

They don't think of these things, in all likelihood, because nobody has ever suggested to them that the quality of their love —of which sexual intercourse is of course at the very center—is the most effective way they have of revealing God's love to the rest of the world. To the extent that [a husband and wife] are committed to improving the surprise and pleasure, the excitement, the challenge of what goes on between the sheets, then they are reflecting God's commitment to his people."

Good sex takes time, loving dedication, focused adoring attention, faithfulness, passion and steadfast commitment to learn your partner's body by heart. All of these are characteristics of the God who invented sex. Imagine that! Art is a window into the heart of the artist. And the character traits of good sex tell us volumes about the heart of the good God that created sex. -SW

Friday, November 23, 2007

Those new LED Christmas lights kick ass!

Can I say ass at Christmas? (laughing) Not very ladylike, but oh well. Seriously, folks, those LED lights pack a real wallop. They are bright! And cheap enough to leave on all the time. Woo-Hoo!
Christmas makes me giddy. Can you tell? -SW

Thankful for Laughter

After driving and driving, Delighted Husband, Dear Children and I had the most fun Thanksgiving Day we've ever had. What really defined this year's Thanksgiving was laughter. Everyone in the extended family seemed really to give in to the laughter. We goofed off and giggled and joked and teased and carried on until one of the Dear Grandmas shushed us collectively as our guffaws were in danger of waking one of the Dear Grandbabies. So we bit our lips and giggled and chortled in a muffled tone.

Sure there was the Obligatory Family Member With Their Knickers in a Twist, but we didn't let 'em stop the rest of us from having a good time. In fact, OFMWTKINAT disappeared some time between dinner and dessert. I'm not sure if they snuck off to one of the guestrooms to take a nap or what. But the marvelous thing was no one engaged in vocal disagreement with OFMWTKINAT, we just let him do his thing and we did ours. Love that!

The food was really stellar.
Each of the ladies prepared their specialty and wow was it good. And speaking of food, let me tell you a really kewl side effect of having dealt with my food issues this year. Thanks to the principles of OA, all the food I eat is no longer seasoned with guilt. If I'm eating sober, I'm eating guilt-free. Period. I didn't realize this was my first guilt-free Thanksgiving until one of my extended family members lifted a forkful of turkey and dressing and said to me, "oh this is sinful!". They were complementing the food and beating themselves up at the same time. And that's when it hit me. I don't do that anymore. This is my first guilt-free Thanksgiving Feast. And my eyes got shiny with tears of gratitude as I stood there in the Dear Grandma's kitchen. -SW

Friday, November 16, 2007

Erotic Mystic: Musings on God and Sex

I was fascinated by this quote by artist Tom Cubbage:

"You have an Irish Catholic background. How did you resolve the conflict between that upbringing and your shooting nudes?
I finally figured out that if it (portraying nudes) was good enough for the Sistine Chapel, then it wasn't going to hurt me to do it. In Oklahoma here, we’re very much in the Bible Belt, and you don’t have camera clubs doing figure art... It's some of the best art there is, so if you want to do it, you just need to forget about what people say.
On my website, I have an article about the time I was working with a model who was in the middle of an emotional crisis. At first I thought, "This isn’t going to work." But we kept talking and, while we were, I just kept shooting. I came away with… beautiful and haunting pictures… in which you could touch the pain.
When I look back on that experience, it’s hard to say there’s anything wrong with doing figure art… It (the experience) had so much spirituality and God presence in it. There are a lot of people who go to church on Sunday because they know that's what they're supposed to do, and I don’t think they ever have an encounter with a living God. Yet there are photographers who have this experience whenever they shoot nudes. I don’t know how you can explain it to those who haven’t experienced this, but if you’ve been there and it's happened, then you know it."

Why do I think the human body could contain so much God presence in it?
Because women are created by the Master Artist. and if your heart is in the right place, you can notice and applaud the artist's handiwork and praise the artist not the art. That's easier for me to say because I am straight as an arrow so I can look at a female nude and experience artistic joy not sexual attraction. But there's something there. There's that glimpse of Eden when you see a glimpse of Original Created Glory. Back when we were all naked and unashamed because there was no sin in the world and therefore nothing icky or shameful about nudity.

I say this having endured years of sexual abuse from boys who were influenced and driven by porn. I know what porn can do (victimless crime pshaw!) but this ain't porn. Not all artistic representations of the human body are porn. And there's a beauty lost that's reclaimed by this kind of art. And I am exceedingly grateful.

Beauty reclaimed is one of my favorite things on earth. -SW

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Orgasmic Diet

I keep getting emails asking me about The Orgasmic Diet. ;)
I'm sure I'll have more to say about it as the weeks go on, but I will say a few practical things in answer to the most frequently asked questions.

How do you tell if the fish oil capsules are high-quality?
Okay as to how to tell if its high quality or not, look at the label. For every 1 gram of fat, there should be a combined total of over 500 mg of EFA and DHA. In other words if its not more than half EFA and DHA, then its full of unrefined junk and will make you burp.

What is the dosage?
As to the dosage, there's a great big chart in the book that goes by body weight. Marrena went to a lot of time and trouble to write her book so I don't feel right about publishing her dosage chart. You can get the book for 30% off on Amazon.

What kind of fish oil do you take?
I don't mind telling you this since I spent some time shopping around and finding the high-quality fish oil in the right proportion for the lowest price. I take Mega Fish Oil EPA-DHA and Neuromins DHA, both from Vitamin Shoppe. I really like this combo because I can take the EPA during the day to keep my mind sharp during the number-crunching workday and I can take the DHA with dinner to prime my body for (ahem) responsiveness later in the evening. (blush)

Anything else?
Why yes, thank you for asking! LOL Eating a protein and vegetable diet combined with fish oil can be a lot for your body to digest. I find I digest and assimilate nutrients better when I take an enzyme supplement with meals.

There's more to The Orgasmic Diet than food and fish oil—as I said, Marrena did a great job writing this book—but I think this is enough for now to address the emails I've been getting. -SW

Embracing Life then Carrying it With You

There's more to my life then going from one sensuous experience to the next. There's this cool God thing that happens when the sensuous and the gratitude mix and somehow I take in the big picture of Love. Art tells us about the heart of the Artist. Gifts tell us about the heart of the Giver. And the Giver and Artist of Love is God. When we experience Beauty, it changes us, in a transformative good way. And (here's the cool part!) we carry that Beauty inside us. We carry that conversational friendship with The Great Artist with us. So, in a profound human moving way, we are never alone.

Li-Young Lee says it best:
"Oh, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard,
to eat not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days,
to hold the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Forever and For Always

I've always loved this song and seeing the video was sooo beautiful. The greyhaired couple who embrace on the beach and in their hearts they are still the same kids who fell in love. That's precious!

Interesting sidenote, since I've had my awakening I am no longer "offended" by Shania's obvious vibrant and alive sexuality. Preawakening, I would have said something like "that's such a sweet love song why does she have to go and ruin it by adding all the sexy body language?" Now I just smile knowingly and say "you go girl".

It seems to me....that having a vibrant and alive sexuality that is aimed at each other is one of the ways you get to be a greyhaired couple who still embrace on the beach. -SW

Utube video

I've got this great post I want to include a utube video in the article.
Does anybody know how to do this?
I'd be grateful for some how-to.

Friday, November 9, 2007

From Survivor to Thriver: : Experiencing Heart-Stopping, Joy-Filled Sex that Makes You Want to Shout Hallelujah

Lately my prayer time has been mostly thanking God for the amazing joy and completeness I’ve been experiencing in my marriage bed. I have been thanking God not only for this fantastic outcome he’s given me, but also remembering and praising him for all the restoration he’s done in my heart and body that has brought me to this point. While many women struggle with their sexuality, being sexually abused as a child and adolescent made my struggle especially hard. I read many articles that discussed sexual abuse. They began with denial, described the counseling process, and ended with the survivor forgiving the perpetrator. But I always wondered what happens next? When does the survivor become a thriver? What does Biblically restored sexuality look like? Is true wholeness really possible? Can you really be both healed and hot?

I am not a professional counselor. That is neither my calling nor my professional training. Like the woman at the well, I have been loved by Jesus and transformed by the way he saw me. I echo the cry of the blind man Jesus healed who said, “All I can tell you is that once I was blind but now I can see.” I once was broken and fragmented and encased in shame. Now I am alive and whole and infinitely grateful that God made me a woman. I am not perfect, but I am whole and satisfied. I have walked the path of sexual recovery for fifteen years. This is my story.

To use a construction metaphor, before God could rebuild my heart and body, he had to tear down all the toxic ruins that were there before. The earlier part of my journey was dissecting and removing the bad sex that had so harmed my girlhood and adolescence and young adulthood. The latest part of my journey is all about learning and discovering the What and How and Why of good healthy sex. I like this part so much better. It’s so much more fun to build than to tear down. And the subject matter of healthy sex is as lovely as the subject matter of abusive sex is gross and nauseating. Who wouldn’t rather work in a gourmet kitchen than a municipal sewer? BUT I know that God and I would have never gotten to this bliss without first rooting up all the toxic “ugh” in my heart and getting rid of it. I worked hard to stay in the process and allow God to detox my heart and mind and body and God—the merciful powerful one—he did it!

And now I’m in the season of building, restoring and growing and there’s no fear or regret or sorrow or skeletons in the closet. No lumps of scary stuff in the foundation. Just solid, smooth bedrock. Unshakable. Hallelujah! Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich and he adds no sorrow with it”. Put me down as a witness, ladies. It’s the truth!

So I started to think back, and I asked myself, “What are some of the things God did in my life to bring me to this point of wholeness and joy?” So here they are, sisters.

In order to enjoy the fullness of my sexuality, God allowed me to:

1. Became convinced of God’s love for me
Come on, you didn’t think number one would be some secret sexual technique did ya? Now before you roll your eyes and think I’m over spiritualizing, just hear me out. Before I could receive, pursue and lay hold of any good gift from God, I had to know in my heart of hearts that he was FOR me and that he had made me WORTHY. When I experienced change, even positive change in such an intimate part of my life, I needed a constant, a true North, a “no matter what I know this is true”. I am convinced that God is for me and that he loves me without measure. This is my anchor.

2. Became convinced I have a beauty to offer
Sex is all about offering and discovery, giving and receiving. You can’t come to the party if you don’t have a gift to exchange! God began to show me that I have a unique beauty and strength and tenderness in my heart and body. Every woman does. Captivating describes this dynamic so well. Knowing this in my heart is what draws my husband to me. Believing that I have a beauty to offer allows me to embrace the joy of inviting my husband to share what I have to offer. “I am my Beloved’s and his desire is for me” Song of Solomon 7:10. Ask the Lord to show you what a healthy sexual experience looks like. Ask Jesus to allow you to see yourself as you truly are.

3. Became content in my unique blend of beauty and “fallen-ness”
While we are surely willing for the Lord to continue to change us and grow us up and give us victory in our struggle with the fallen human nature, we can be content where we are right now at this point in our journey. We can know, right at this moment—that we are lovely and perfectly acceptable to God RIGHT NOW. Not because of us, but because of Jesus. Romans 5:8 says “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Ephesians 2:13 remind us that “we who were far away have been made near by the blood of Christ”. This is not to make us complacent and unwilling to grow. This is to make us content and able to grow. There is a deep peace that only comes from embracing the fact that we are all sinners embraced and rescued by a gracious God. Receiving this grace and extending it to ourselves is key. Forgiveness is for everyone. Even me.

4. Developed a delight and admiration for my own body and how God made it.
This was not about whether my breasts are the right size. This was about looking at all the bones and joints and muscles in my body with the eye of an engineer and seeing how well I was designed. This was about looking at my eye color and skin color and hair color with the eye of an artist and seeing how I am made with such artistry and care. Once I began to learn how intricate and beautifully made my body is—including my genitals—I was astounded. I am just as beautiful as any other part of creation. Mountains are beautiful without trying. Oceans are beautiful without trying. A bird in flight is beautiful without trying. So am I. So are you.

5. Received a humbleness and humility to become willing to learn how to care for and enjoy the body God gave me.
So this is not the body I would have picked out on the showroom floor. Oh, well. It’s the only place I have to live this side of heaven. I told myself “Deal with it!’ I replaced the phrase “I don’t like this part of my body” with “what does it need?” This was the time for me to recognize and deal with any medical issues. Especially when it concerned my sexual health. Hormonal or endocrine imbalances were taking the fuel from my fire. God led me to an endocrinologist and we corrected the imbalance. Many gynecological issues like fibroids, prolapsed uterus or endometriosis can cause painful intercourse. I looked around to find an OB that would take me seriously and address my specific problem and address the specific cause. I can’t emphasize enough how important this was for me. It was really hard for me to experience physical and emotional oneness with my husband when I was wincing and squinting from pain during intercourse. Eliminating this pain changed our life! Many other health issues can affect how you experience your sexuality. Since I had a chronic health condition I had to learn to give myself the extra care I needed. I started thinking about myself as a well-tuned machine. I gave my car regular tune-ups, so I learned to give my own body scheduled maintenance. Which brings us to exercise. When I think about exercise, I no longer think “guilt” and “should” and “past failure”. Instead, I think “what muscles will I need to strengthen so I can participate in a sexual encounter long enough to reach climax?” I asked a physical therapist to recommend exercises that strengthened my back, my abs, and my pelvis. I had to think strategically. It took some nerve to consult a trainer or physical therapist to select exercises, but it was well worth it. For me, exercise is no longer about the punishing “Gimme 10” from junior high gym class. Instead exercise is preparation for great sex. Sounds more fun doesn’t it?

6. Developed a contentment and acceptance of my husband’s unique blend of strength and “fallen-ness”
I had already given myself permission to be both fallen and forgiven. Could I give my husband any less? He is mine after all. And what might this look like in practical behavior? I want to think of something that illustrates my point without tattling on my man. Okay, theoretically (not that this happened) but what if my hubby procrastinated on our family tax return and I noticed a nasty “you’re late” notice when I innocently walked out to the mailbox. I could have come unglued…and while I may or may not actually have cursed, I could have easily let fly some shaming response like “What the HELL is WRONG with YOU?!!” Instead I could choose to go out of the earshot of the children, look him in the eye and say quietly and with conviction, “Honey, you probably already know about this, but this letter says we have a serious problem. I’m scared. What is your plan and how can I help?” Even when my husband made a mistake that could potentially affect me, I learned to treat him with respect. I gave him permission to be both fallen and forgiven. Being both fallen and forgiven is just being human. This gave us the space to be human and accepted and helped me to eliminate resentment from my heart. Nothing kills arousal like resentment.

It is important to mention that if your husband’s “fallen-ness” is showing itself by sexually, physically, or verbally abusing you, you will not be loving him or honoring God by continuing to allow that to happen. Stop reading this article and make a plan to talk to a pastor or counselor face-to-face within the next 24 hours. Get some coaching and encouragement on how to invite your husband to look at these destructive behaviors and to move toward a healthy fulfilling relationship with you.

7. Recognized that my healthy sexuality is for me and my husband
Heart-stopping, joy-filled sex that makes us want to shout hallelujah happens between husbands and wives. I am talking about sex with my husband and with no one else. Does this mean that unmarried couples can’t experience some joy in lovemaking? No. of course they can. Sex is a beautiful thing and nearly everyone appreciates beauty when they see it. BUT, I’m not aiming to experience just a little bit of joy with a bitter guilty aftertaste. Remember, when the Lord blesses you, he doesn’t add any sorrow with it.
Girls, I came to the place where I began repeatedly asking God to show me the real deal, the whole enchilada, sex the way he designed it. Sex that offers maximum joy with no toxic fallout. I believe that this rare and precious flower only blooms in the greenhouse. Something this gorgeous and fragile and amazing only happens in its natural habitat—the sacred covenant of marriage.

8. Recognized that my healthy sexuality is cherished by God regardless of my marital status.
So much of my healing happened when I was single. If you are single today when you read this article, HOORAY! You are SO on the right track to make friends with your sexuality and pursue healing now. Today is the right time to start believing for all the good gifts that God has intended for you. You will be able to live a more free and healthy life as a single woman and take less toxic fallout into your marriage. Lisa Graham McMinn’s excellent book Sexuality and Holy Longing says that healthy sexuality is not only about the act of physical lovemaking but also about recognizing and cherishing your gender and celebrating how God made you now. She even goes so far as to say, "When self-pleasuring can be done so that it recognizes longing, celebrates sexual pleasure, and is neither explotative nor a substitute for relationship with others, then it can be a way to stretch toward authentic sexuality." I happen to agree with her. Another book that has a lot to say about cultivating a healthy sexuality while single is Soul Virgins. I wish this book had been written back when I was single!

9. By the grace of God, and in response to the man I married, I developed an unshakable conviction that my husband is for me and that he loves me without condition
By choosing to commit to each other while we navigated some rough circumstances, my husband and I began to build up a nest egg in our emotional bank account. There is much power in knowing without question that whatever life brings, your husband has your back and you have his—even if you happen to be temporarily pissed off at each other at the time. I’m talking about a holy alliance that says, “whatever happens Darlin’, when the shit hits the fan, you can count on me.” God gave the two of us a powerful spirit-mind-body alliance to each other. This is the love that says, “You’re my best friend, and I’m here for you, and I will always love you—whether or not I happen to like you at the moment.”

This dynamic was beautifully illustrated in Andrew Greeley’s book Golden Years. In the story, Rosemarie, a mother in her late forties tells her teenage daughter Mary Margaret how their marriage bloomed after Rosemarie’s husband Chuck planned an intervention so Rosemarie could receive treatment for alcoholism. “Father Packy says a marriage only becomes a sacrament when it survives a big crisis. Our marriage was a sacrament after that, and you, young woman, were the first fruit of our sacrament.” Glory to God!

10. Became willing for God to remove any toxic sexual messages or toxic sexual experiences from my heart
This was a 10 year season of recovery for my heart. Chuck Swindoll calls a season of emotional healing Killing Giants and Pulling Thorns. While Swindoll wasn’t talking about recovery from sexual abuse or sexual sin, the thorn metaphor fits here. My heart has been made good because of Jesus sacrifice. The thorns in my heart (sinful abusive sexual attitudes and behaviors) needed to be pulled out of my heart. Depending on how much toxic fallout is in your heart, this can take a while. Months or even years. But please believe me, after God brought me through this process, while the memory of the abuse and sin does remain in my mind, the toxicity and the paralyzing pain is really gone from my heart. Counseling, support groups, and other recovery resources were a part of this process. Some books that were special to me were Healing for Damaged Emotions by David Seamands Door of Hope by Jan Frank and Breaking Free by Beth Moore. I spent several weeks in each book in the company of women who loved me and were also seeking God for their own healing. Working with a counselor was a wonderful partnership between the counselor, me and God. The counselor helped me to identify the thorn of another’s abuse toward me, and the resulting tears in my heart. The counselor could encourage me while we invited Jesus to come into those tears one by one and heal them. This kind of “exploratory heart surgery” followed by healing prayer can be nothing short of miraculous. It changed me forever. Theophostic Prayer Ministries trains individuals to minister this kind of healing prayer.

11. I began to pray and ask God to remove fear from my heart
One of the most destructive effects of sexual abuse is how it caused me to fear my own heart and my own body instead of having a healthy fear of predators. My girlfriends have told me that in our world where rape and abuse sometimes happen, even women who haven’t been violated can become afraid of their own sexuality. Afraid if they look pretty they will be victimized. Losing this fear was absolutely crucial allowing me to enjoy my sexuality, because it doesn’t matter how much tenderness or skill my husband had if I was afraid to go there—receive it and enjoy it. When I could wear my Saturday night lingerie under my Tuesday morning dress, walk through a shopping center or office building, and notice an admiring glance or two (not a predatory leer), receive the unspoken compliment and smile to myself and whisper “Thank you Lord for making me beautiful and making me safe”—I knew I was there. Experiencing this for the first time felt like winning an Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize at the same time.

Prayer is the key here. I had several precious girlfriends pray for me that God would remove this fear of looking attractive, fear of losing weight and fear to acknowledge that God made me a sexual being. These dear sisters prayed for months for this delicate issue. Day by day, I started to become aware that I was no longer paralyzed by this fear. God began to show me that I was at the same time “amazingly intricately beautifully made” (Psalm 139) and at the same time secure and safe from harm because I “dwell in the secret place of the Most High” (Psalm 91). This means we can be beautiful and possess a sexuality that is alive and at the same time be safe and protected by Almighty God. That, my dear sisters, is a powerful and joyful and fruitful place to be.

12. I became humble and teachable and asked God to teach me whatever I needed to learn about how to enjoy my body.
God helped me to develop a willingness to learn about lovemaking techniques balanced with a godly discernment. I can tell you from experience, if you go to an internet search engine page and type “sex education”, beware. Some of the links will be thinly veiled porn. Listen to your discerning heart as you learn.

My husband and I worked with a sex therapist and it was one of the most healing beautiful difficult fruitful things I have ever done. There were attitudes and behavior we needed to unlearn. And there were attitudes and behaviors we needed to learn. Our therapist coached us through big and small important life lessons as we learned how to be mature and playful lovers. The three books that meant the world to us during that season were A Celebration of Sex, Intimate Issues and Passionate Marriage. We learned that an intimate marriage plus mature lovers equals a fulfilling sex life. I was surprised but happy to learn that a deeply passionate relationship doesn’t just happen because you love each other. Our therapist taught us the good news that specific disciplines can be practiced over time that will help us create mature, exciting intimacy—and if we ask, God will teach us these disciplines. Over the course of a few months of regularly meeting with the sex therapist, God taught us these truths at a deep level. We are and are still learning to be unconditionally committed, confidently secure then wildly adventurous, emotionally passionate, mysteriously creative, sensuously celebrating, totally present, and erotically adored. Experiencing these disciplines and learning how to be this way with each other is the hottest, most freeing and beautiful redemptive thing I’ve ever experienced. It took everything in our heart crying out to God and being humble through the growth process. But we did it all for the glory of love. What an unfathomable bond to be classmates in the school of erotic maturity together! There is no other man I could or would go through this process with than my honey. He is my soulmate. And it was staggering to begin to see God as my coach and advocate. Once I began to see the disciplines it would take for me to experience erotic maturity, I knew I couldn’t do it alone. It was overwhelming what growth was required of me. And that led me to cry out to God and I was shocked to find Him my advocate and not my judge. God wanted me to learn these disciplines because God wanted me to experience erotic maturity joy and freedom. Dude! This shocked the hell out of me. To really believe on a soul deep level that God wanted me to experience joy and contentment and pleasure in our marriage bed. Oh yes. Yes he does.

In this relational context, learning about techniques and toys was fun and exciting. I’ve read lots and lots of books on sex and I learned to adopt a buffet mentality and take what I like and leave the rest. The same author who advocated threesomes (no thanks!) taught me a lot about the g-spot (yes please!). I learned what I needed to learn and left the rest. I am both eager and discerning and these attitudes have helped me learn a lot of really fun techniques.

Here are a few resources if you think you might benefit from working with a sex therapist. is a great resource for referrals and information from the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists. I've talked about them here before. Many of the therapists there are in private practice. You may also want to check out the website for Christian Sex Therapists Dr. Clifford and Joyce Penner. Their book Restoring the Pleasure is a wonderful roadmap to overcoming roadblocks on the road to wedded bedded bliss. I found a lot of advice and encouragement on a ministry that promotes education on sex and intimacy for married Christians. Their ladies’ website thegenerouswife was a wonderful place for me to learn and pray with other ladies who were also seeking healing in their marriages. God gave me tremendous encouragement that He desires body and soul restoration for all men and women when I attended a Created and Redeemed seminar. Other resources that may be a part of this process include: a therapist certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, educational books, educational videos recommended by a therapist or healthcare provider, and a visit to a physician who specialized in sexual health, such as the center for female sexuality or the center for women's sexual health. Since hormone imbalances can cause sexual dysfunction, an endocrinologist may be an important member of your healing team.

While talking to your current OB/GYN is a great place to start, it is important to mention that many OB/GYNs do not specialize in sexual health per se but in reproductive health. They are not the same thing. Sexual health is about having fun. Reproductive health is about having babies. You may want to consider telling your OB/GYN that you are ready to deal with sexual dysfunction and not necessarily pursue pregnancy and delivery. Ask them if they can help you with that. Keep in mind that while babies are beautiful and darling and they’re a wonderful addition to your family, you can get pregnant and deliver a healthy child while still experiencing sexual dissatisfaction and dysfunction. I know. I did it, and I’ve talked to many women who have too.

So there they are…twelve healing restorative wonderful things that God has done for me. As you can well imagine, my heart is full of thanksgiving. Here’s the best part: I’m no different than any other of God's daughters. He will do it for you too if you ask him. Remember, that the God who inspired the Song of Solomon also lovingly created every inch of your body. I believe he wants you to enjoy it. Really.

I’ll leave you with 2nd Samuel 23:5 that says.
"Is it not true my house is with God?
For He has established an everlasting covenant with me,
ordered and secured in every [detail].
Will He not bring about
my whole salvation and [my] every desire?"

Ladies, this is restoration. Ask God for it!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Scheduled Sex and Being Too Tired

I'm learning that saving time to be together is important and that you don't have to feel energetic and horny before you walk in the bedroom in order to have a beautiful pleasurable evening. Some of you have known this for years. For me, it's big news.

I knew Delighted Husband and I had saved this evening for each other. And on evenings we plan to be together, I usually save some mental and physical energy for him and deliberately think carnal thoughts all day in anticipation. But I didn't this last time. I had a good but busy day at work, had an emotionally uplifting lunch with my girlfriends, and had a challenging couple of hours helping the DC with their homework and coaching them through several tudes. By the end of the two hours, I felt wrung out like a sponge. I went to DH and said "I need skin to skin for a few minutes. I"m worn out." He was quick to oblige, as he had heard me calmly standing my ground with the children who were trying to turn "bitch moan and argue with mom" into an Olympic sport.

We locked ourselves in our room and quickly got naked for some cuddles. I sighed with comfort and pleasure as I nestled into his arms. "Remind me" I asked. And so he did. Delighted Husband gave me two or three sentences reminding me good things about myself. Words of affirmation and physical touch together are a powerful combination. I began to feel myself recharge, like a dead cell phone on a charger lighting up again. We cuddled and caressed each other and without trying, words spilled out of my mouth, complimenting him and loving on him. Reminding him what a wonderful man he was. Which took absolutely no effort to come up with affirming words considering how loving he had just shown himself to be.

This wasn't steamy talk by any means. Our skin-to-skin contact was for bonding and affirmation, not arousing. It was the "sharing your heart's life force" definition of Eros, not the "tingly thrilling do me" definition of Eros. Our fifteen minutes passed quickly and the doorbell ringing with the first trick or treaters told us our time was up.

I went to get dinner going and DH took over door duty with the trick or treaters.

Dinner was yummy and punctuated by doorbell ringing every few minutes. It was fun to chat with the neighbors, although difficult to eat between visitors, but what do we expect?

Finally got the DC tucked in after their sugar rush, and DH and I knew our "date" time had arrived. We were both tired and achy, but wanted to be together. Both of us said something to this effect while we were standing in the kitchen. We decided to go for it and see what God might do for us.

Walking in our bedroom and locking the door was an act of faith. We had zero tingly erotic urgency. Our muscles were tired and achy. But we felt emotionally connected and a desire to make the most of the opportunity. After all, we were in our bedroom at 9pm with kids already tucked in their own beds. Just watching TV or going to sleep would feel like we squandered an opportunity.

I suggested a massage and spread the liberator throe over the comforter to keep massage oil off the bed. After joking over whose turn it would be first, I laid down on my back with my knees supported by the liberator whirl. This is where the first of many miracles happened. It didn't take five minutes of smelling him and feeling him touch me that I was very aroused. As our arousal became more visible, we kept joking, "I'm too tired" "Oh me too. I'm way too tired." That position actually did become tiring for Delighted Husband so we switched so he could lie down with the whirl under his knees. I became the active pleasurer which I enjoyed very much. DH let me know how much pleasure he was receiving which of course made my heart feel that good feeling you get inside when you know somebody is enjoying the gift you gave them. It was also a huge turn-on. We warmed to the task. Delighted Husband became the active pleasurer again, while I rocked happily. He asked me to hand him a certain toy while he told me what he was about to do to me and how he knew I was going to respond. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Gazing into his eyes, I came in about 6 seconds, which surprized the heck out of both of us. How'd we do that? We're too tired!

After I caught my breath, we switched to our favorite finish position. Delighted Husband positioned me the way he wanted me, which is such a small simple thing, but I love that because it demonstrates our being relaxed and comfortable and his matter-of-fact intent to take me which is just such an emotional rush. I have no idea how long we made love because time stood still. Smiling into his eyes while watching my husband come is one of the sweetest spiritual and emotional experiences I've ever had. He is magnificent.

Once we came back down to earth, told each other it was time for a quick shower and then sleep, cause we really were tired. Shower was shared and quick with much grinning at each other. I happened to glance at the clock on my way back to bed from the shower. It was 9:30!

"Oh My God! Honey, look, soup to nuts this whole lovemaking was 30 minutes! Can you believe it?" To say we both thanked God would be putting it mildly. I thank God for the toy and pillows that helped us coax pleasure out of an evening when the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. I suspect that the DHA and EPA supplements I took for the last few days may have had something to do with my quick response. (I'm on The Orgasmic Diet which is another article). Most of all, I believe miracles still happen. Even in the marriage bed. I blame this miracle on our generous loving God rewarding our small act of faith of locking the door even though we were too tired. -SW

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Never underestimate the healing power of God manifested in the kind words and loving eyes of a girlfriend. You know who you are, hon. And what you said was the Life of God spoken for me. -SW

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So Alive

I feel so alive today!
God is good.
I'm back!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Talk back radio

Sometimes I hear a song and I find myself "talking back" composing a reply on-the-fly.
This is one of those times.
The song is Love Cocoon by Vigilantes of Love off their Slow Dark Train album. Heard about the song in the book To Become One. (great book, but that's another article)

Honey, I wanna attack your flesh, with glad abandon
I wanna look for your fruits, I wanna put my hands on 'em
I wanna pump your thermostat, beneath your skin
I wanna uncover your swimming hole and dive right in

Attack away darlin!
you'll find my flesh easy to convince
my fruits tremble with delight at the thought of being sought
touch me now!
I can feel my heat rising, sweat trickling
pump away!
my swimming hole our refreshment and delight
drink up baby!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

For what we are about to receive may the Lord make us truly thankful

There was an article here that I really liked. It was very raw and vulnerable and I had a hard time posting it because it was about me experiencing an episode of depression when I quit taking the full dose of medication. The article compared taking medication that God has provided so I can be healthy and whole and alive physically and emotionally.....and taking communion as a reminder of the atonement that God has provided for me so I can be spiritually healthy and whole.

If part of the healing God has provided for me is a maintenance dose of antidepressant, I need to be humble and grateful and take it. Who am I to send a plateful of healing back to the master chef asking for a smaller serving?

I went to edit the article to change just a teeny word or two. I wanted to copy and paste it to save it offline. When I shift-clicked to select the whole article, the whole thing dissapeared. And a split second later, blogger autosaved my newly emptied article. Oh the horror!

I could try to re-create the article and I think I will because I think it served as an important reminder that the lovely moments I post about here are not without cost. I don't live in a scot-free pink haze of joy and pleasure. But often, quite often, when I stick with the painful growth process, God surprizes me with joy so lush that I can't help but write about it. I am redeemed. and I can't shut up about it.

But I think it's important to show, even at my own vulnerable expense, that all joy has a cost. My deep hope is that all of you will pay the high cost of growing in your own lives and reap the joy. I want that so bad for all of you I can't tell you how much. Wiping tears as I type, SensuousWife

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I've been given so much

I've been given so much.
As I consider my life, I am astounded at the too-much grace of God.
I'm having one of those moments of clarity, y'all so please be my witnesses.
Life is good.
Life is immeasurably good because life is the gift of an immeasurably good God.
I have come to believe that the best way I can write a suitable thank you note to God is to live this life he gave me in such a way that I don't miss a morsel.
My life is filled with immeasurable sweetness.
The curly hair on my husband's head brushing my fingertips as I caress him for the millionth time.
The wind cupping my hair and cheek in a rushing caress as I race my children in a bicycle race.
The calm stately aliveness coursing through my posture as I stand erect arms outstretched chin lifted a smile hugging my face as I sing out my worship.
The pleasure on the faces of my family as I read to them.
The winking twinkle of delight in my brain as I learn something new.
The incomparable comfort of a friend's voice on the phone whether I am giving them my comfort or they are giving me theirs or both as usually happens.
The soul-deep gratitude for the afterglow of lovemaking, cherishing the feeling that for a few minutes every cell in our two bodies are lined up and doing exactly as they should be and that sweet awareness that every star and cell and planet in the world is dancing their known beautiful rhythm.
The sweet understanding that suffering will sometimes happen and that its purpose is to draw me to God, to nudge me into that sweet leaning on the everlasting arms.
The honoring humbling beautiful certainty that every choice I make counts and that I've been endowed with the power to offer beauty to the humans in my world.
Every folded towel
every lovely nourishing meal
every sharp word swallowed instead of spoken
every time my palm wraps around the cheek of someone I love, it matters. They all matter.
Every flower I coax out of the ground
every endless mess I sweep from my floor
every laundered and unshrunk outfit
every guest who feels welcomed and set free to make memories
every customer who is treated fairly and generously
every piece of paper that counted and filed and processed and administrated
every piece of jewelry selected and worn with a smile and a spring in my step
every sorrow I give to God on suffering bended knees or on fists clenched in outrage
it all matters.
Very very much.
Every phone call I do not answer so I can make love to my husband
Every phone call I answer holding the invisible hand of my girlfriend
Every hastily sent "i love u" text message
Every "bye darling" hollered as I walk out the kitchen door
Every "I'm sorry. I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?"
It all matters.
Very very much.
Every miraculous moment when the heroic grace of God bumps my mind out of the selfdestructive rut it sometimes finds itself
It matters.
And God Almighty is in every single one of these moments.

I talk alot about sex on this blog.
I talk alot about feelings and beauty and love.
Seen by itself, this blog isn't balanced.
Seen up against cnn, msnbc, foxnews and every grisly headline in every newspaper, this blog is my little pebble towards equal time and balance. When pebbles of grace outweigh boulders of despair, you know God has put his hand on the scale.

I love you all.
Thank you for reading.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Now and the Not Yet

No longer
what we were before
but not all that we will be
when we lock the door
on all our compromising
When he appears
he'll draw us near and we'll be
changed by his glory
wrapped up in his glory

but I'm caught in between
the now and the not yet
and sometimes it feels like
forever and ever
that I've been reaching to be all that I am
but I'm only a few steps nearer
yet I'm nearer

In the Process

I haven't been blogging as often and I wanted to talk a bit about that. When I first started this blog I had this backlog of stuff I wanted to share...feelings, experiences, fun ideas, happy thanks for what God has done. I wanted to encourage other women to enjoy being women, enjoy being wives. Learn from my mistakes, and enjoy the fun stuff I've learned.

But life goes in seasons, ya know? Like planting, working and harvest. and lo and behold my life, our life a season of harvest ended and a season of planting and working began. and I felt awkward on how to blog about that. Because I wanted to have integrity and tell the truth but I also wanted to leave the reader more encouraged then they were before. Some blogs are designed just to vent and rant and get stuff off the blogger's chest and I respect that. But that's not what I wanted the Sensuous Wife blog to be about. But, but, I also thought that it's not encouraging to the readers to think their life as a wife will be a perpetual season of harvest. No planting, no working, just lots of goofing off and great sex. There is a name for that state of being. It's called Heaven. And we're not there yet.

So I decided to go ahead and post when I felt I had experienced something noteworthy, and just label it "the high cost of growing".

There are some blogs whose objective is to brag about their every sexual give the readers the juicy details with the sole purpose of arousing both blogger and reader. I don't want to embrace arousal as a sole purpose for this blog either. Although I must say that arousal can be a nice side effect of deliberately living alive to desire and being open to experiencing pleasure through the senses. If something you read here inspires you to take your husband into the bedroom and celebrate, then I say go for it and thank God! And the difference between bragging and celebrating is really just attitude. (and level of detail)

So. A few of my dear friends have encouraged me to consider sharing some of the recent challenging happenings of my life. I hope you will find it encouraging. I hope you will also consider sharing your own encouragement. I don't want to be one of those blogs who just bitch and moan about the annoying things in their day, but from time to time I will let you know about some events in our growing season where we are working but harvest is not here yet but I am hopeful. -SW

Monday, September 24, 2007

Be Angry and Sin Not, Part Two of Many

Another resource that I'm looking forward to unpacking can be found here. -SW

Be Angry and Sin Not, Part One of Many

I've been thinking about this topic. Understanding the therapeutic value of listening to our own anger as it tells us when our boundaries have been violated. Kinda like a smoke alarm. So feeling paying attention to the fair warning that anger offers us, that's healthy. (Thank you Harriett Lerner and Henry Cloud. I was listening.)

What becomes problematic for me is how to express healthy anger in a healthy appropriate way. And if I'm doing a good job riding fence on my boundaries and enforcing them before little trespasses become big trespasses, then why would I get so stinkin' angry? Why did I not address the trespass back when I was just mildly annoyed?

So one cannot just pop off in a rage and call it "expressing my anger inappropriately". But one cannot become resentful and sick and sullen by surpressing it either. Dannng. Being a good human is hard work.

So I googled "godly+angry" and I found this quote that I am considering:
"Anger...Scripture says to be angry and sin not. There are many Scriptures that speak of God's anger towards Israel,etc. *S* But, how many of us truly have godly motives when we are angry? Are we righteously angry at our husbands because they are sinning against God or are we angry because they have sinned against us? Plus, the thing we have to remember is that when God is angry, every other attribute of His is in operation so He never sins when He is angry. For instance, His love, longsuffering, patience are still in operation when He is angry. He is always Holy. I think it's a rare thing for us to be angry and not sin.

If we act on our anger by giving our husbands a cold stare, returning an angry word, slamming doors,etc. then in a sense we are trying to punish them (or take revenge) for what they have done to us. We repaying evil for evil. But, our Lord, says that He is to be man's judge... not us. So, we leave it with the Lord and pray for Him to be merciful. God says to return GOOD for EVIL and do good to them who hate you.

Matt 5:44
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Of course, most of our husbands are not enemies but I believe this principle should still apply.

Also, it is so helpful to realize how many times I may have caused someone else to be offended with me. How many times a day do we frustrate our husbands or our children or others? I want to sow mercy and LOTS of it when others are unkind to me because I definitely need others to be merciful with me. :-)"

Ouch. So they're speaking about godly anger and being angry and sinning not in the context of marriage. I'm seeking to examine the topic from a larger viewpoint as anger crops up in nearly any relationship if you have it long enough. My thoughts so far:
  • So okay, I know there have been a boatload of times I have needed mercy.
  • Therefore I must make it my practice to offer mercy to others.
  • I also know that continuing to let someone perpetrate bad disrespectful hurtful behavior on me is not doing them any favors. It's letting them sin.
  • I also know that godly anger is primarily to be a "strength on behalf of others" rising up and speaking out against injustice against "the least of these".
  • But sometimes my own heart is "the least of these" and I must speak on her behalf.
Thoughts, anyone?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Living the Sacred Romance

Today was such a gift. I swear. The entire day I was romanced and pursued and treated to delights big and and small. And Delighted Husband had nothing to do with it.

Cool thing about repentance. When I surrender as soon as God shows me I missed the mark, the sun comes out and life feels full color again.

Whenever I get rid of idols in my life, God seems to have fun rushing in to romance me and welcome me back.

I had the sweetest dream last night. Not just an un-bad dream. Not just the lack of a nightmare, but a dream of an experience that was was rich and so sweet my soul felt nourished when I wakened. I dreamed that Delighted Husband and I had dinner with our friends...another couple whose hearts we are fond of and admire. We arrived at their home for a cookout and the welcome on their faces was immersion. The feeling of being welcomed and delighted in washed over me. I felt so good to see them. And they felt so good to see me. I could just tell.

My brain was in a groove so I got into high gear organizing my office. It felt so good to begin to put things to right in my office. This Summer season was busy and little by little I reclaimed "a place for everything and everything in its place".

I ran out to run an errand at lunch and realized I would be going right by one of Delighted Husband's vendors. I called and asked him if there was anything he'd like me to drop off or pick up there and sure enough, he needed something. This Summer I was nearly drowning in roundtuits and guests and customers and vendors so it had been a while since I offered to run an errand for Delighted Husband. I could tell tell he was shocked in a good way to be asked. The usual this Summer was for him to beg me to run an errand and after 3 days of reminders I'd finally remember and finish it. So it felt so good to be able to offer.and deliver the same day.

I had fun chatting for a minute with DH's vendor. He's worked with that vendor for years and I know her from some of his work events. It just made my day to be able to greet a friend I hadn't seen in months. She bragged on my hair told me it looked great. I took this as a total bonus from God because I had just this morning been plotting to take myself in for some scheduled maintenance at the salon. But it felt so good to hear her sincere complement today. It meant alot.

I found myself near one of my favorite restaurants and I did something I had never done there before. I ate lunch by myself. I'm a gabber (as if you couldn't tell!) and I love to get out of the office and socialize with other humans (besides the customer on the other end of my endlessly ringing phone.) And I would have much rather eaten out with a friend but I was hungry. And I was there. So I summoned a little shot of bravery and went right on in. They seated me immediately which Never happens there since it's such a good restaurant. I didn't quite have the nerve to dawdle alone, so I aked the waiter what entree was fastest and he recommended a particular salad. It was the tastiest salad I have had in months. I was so busy gratefully consuming my salad (which was formed into an Aztec pyramid shape) that it took me a while to recognize the waiter's kindness and good service had morphed into flirting. I am so naive like that. It's hard to believe what with me wearing a wedding band that any man would go ahead and flirt anyway. I didn't feel icked out or intimidated. It's not like he asked me for a date. He just asked if I worked nearby and grinned and said "see you tomorrow!". I just felt flattered and grateful for the human interaction. After this long exhausting lonely Summer, it meant a lot.

As I was leaving the restaurant, I noticed a florist I'd always wanted to visit. Every time I'd been to that restaurant, DH and I had been doing the hustle trying to get back home for the babysitter so I'd never stopped in at the florist. I imagined the stack of phone messages waiting for me at the office, but I decided to give myself 10 minutes.

I wandered in and was delighted to see it was one of those charming mom & pop florists...cluttered with scented candles and cute gifty items. A lanky kid in his early twenties appeared from around the corner, grinned at me and asked if he could help. I told him I used to hang out at florist with my mom when I was a kid and I hadn't been in a florist with a little time to kill in years. "I didn't see much in your cooler up front, is there any more?" He grinned again, said "sure, there's more in the back", and just like that, I got the backstage tour back through the designer workstation into the bigggg cooler. It felt so good to stand in that cool room. It's still hot outside where I live. I looked around. There were signs on the shelves indicating price range. $40-$45 is a lot for an impulse buy unplanned expense, but I felt a nudge inside that said "go ahead" so I picked one vase off the shelf then another. "These are just starter vases for inventory" Sweet Blond Lanky Kid said, "we expect you to want to customize it a bit."

Customize it? Oh my. I'm livin' large just buying myself flowers not from a grocery store as it is. But I really did like the look of those Stargazer lilies in that bucket over in the corner, so I turned around to hand him the vase. Only it wasn't Sweet Blonde Lanky Kid, it was the designer. She was a petite brunette with kind brown eyes. "What would you like to add?" I swallowed and did the math in my head. Adding the lilies to my $45 arrangement would probably end of costing me fifty bucks. I considered asking her to pare down the vase before adding the lilies but it seemed mean and stingy to cull out the pink baby callas that blended so sweetly with the other flowers, I decided to go for it. I summoned more bravery. "Just add one of those Stargazers here in the middle and I think I"ll be good to go." I went upfront to wait by the cash register, enjoying smelling the scented candles and chatting with other customers.

The designer rang up my order. She only charged me 30 bucks. I managed not to gape my surprize but smiled and said "thank you" as I handed her my card. Then I thought out loud"how in the world am I gonna drive and hold a vase of flowers?" The grocery store flowers I am used to come in a paper and lay nicely on the carseat. "No problem, Kind Eyed Designer said, I"ll get you a bucket." I wasn't quite sure what that meant. But in 2 minutes Kind Eyed Designer emerged from her workshop carrying a plain black bucket, with my sweet little vase nestled in white gift tissue. It looked like a gift bag from a party. The other customer gasped with delight. So did I.

I gathered up my purse and magazines and then the other customer said "Can I help you to your car?" I smiled and said "Well sure an open door would be nice." She said "Oh no let me help" and she gathered up my little bucket o' flowers and walked with me to my car. I buckled the bucket into the front passenger seat just like Kind Eyed Designer told me to and thanked the other customer. "Have a great day" she said. "How could I not?" I replied.

I felt like Queen for a Day. A nice healthy yummy lunch out, stunning flowers all for forty bucks. This had God written all over it.

So to send Him my thank you note, I opened my sunroof, put on my sunglasses, and grinned my biggest grin right up at the sun. I drove back to work singing along with Chris Rice while the airconditioner blasted swirling coolness all around me.

Now I"m sneaking into Heaven with a borrowed halo
Hoping no-one notices my broken wings
Sneaking through these gates thinkin Lord Have Mercy
I'm never gonna make it if its up to me.

Hey mister Pedro, I have a little confession
I don't belong here and this halo isn't mine
Peter laughed and said
"son haven't you noticed we've all been broken and now we're doin' just fine"
cause nobody's good enough up here we're all the same
we all get to Heaven under someone else's name

I feel so alive. I feel so romanced and treated to love's little niceties.
And my beloved husband had nothing to do with it.
Sometimes the one who romances us best of all is God. -SW

Monday, September 10, 2007

When You Have Done Your Best

I used to hear this song growing up. It spoke to me today.

When you have done your best
let Jesus do the rest.
He will never dissapoint your soul.
When you have done your best
let Jesus do the rest
And keep your eye upon the goal.

Beautiful. Comforting. Profound.
Except I don't agree with the goal thing just now. I'm trying to move away from goal focus and just let surrender to Jesus be the goal. -SW

Monday, August 13, 2007

Come Lord Jesus

The question is not Will your heart ever feel desperate need? but What will you do with your desperate need when you feel it? Cause you'll experience desperate need. Everyone does.

Last night was a miserable restless night. A nightmare double feature where every one who has ever been cruel, unkind or rejecting in my life made a cameo appearance. I awoke feeling exhausted and beleaguered. A beggar soul. Bereft and alone. Despair weighed heavy. It was a battle for my heart.

Delighted Husband knew just what to do. He stood in front of me, half polished businessman and half sleepy husband. Thank God he hadn't put his shirt on yet. He drew me to his chest, and enfolded me in his arms. Cradled my head against his chest, his palm blessing my face with protective affection. And he prayed. He prayed for Jesus to defend me from the lies and tell me the truth about who I really am. "Yes" I whispered. "yes" The rejection and sorrow of the dreams fought for airtime on the movie screen in my mind. "tell me Baby. You tell me the truth" and so he did. He held me and caressed my hair and told me simple truth about my redemption. Who I really am. The reality the beauty of my redeemed heart. The good truth.

After Delighted Husband prayed, I had the strength to get out of bed and suit up for battle. I took my show on the road. Literally. I put on my running gear and hit the road. Ready to sweat it out. To let all the negativity be washed away by sunshine and sweat and worship. I scrolled through the songs on my mp3 player till I got to my favorite prayer. The one where John Eldredge prays over all the women at the Captivating retreat. As I walked and stretched and sweated, John did battle on my behalf. It felt so good. I breathed in good air and breathed out "yes. yes. yes Lord Jesus" agreeing with the prayer and renouncing the lies. This went on till John was done praying, a good ten minutes or so.

The noisy toxic chatter now silenced, I switched over to music. Chris Tomlin, God love him, Chris Tomlin was right there singing in my headphones:
What can take a dying man
raise him up to life again
what can heal the wounded soul
what can make us white as snow
what can fill the emptiness
what can mend our broken-ness?
mighty awesome wonderful
is the holy cross
where the lamb lay down his life
to lift us from the fall
mighty is
the power of the cross.

My heart and my muscles warmed up. The sun on my face and the trickle of sweat between my shoulder blades and the stretching moving rhythm of my legs as I picked up speed...all felt like mercy and life. I was waking up from a bad bad dream.

It was a glorious workout.

Stretching and cooldown was paradoxically more about my spirit even as I focused my attention on stretching my muscles. When VineyardUK sang, it felt like a personal invitation, just for me.
all who are thirsty
all who are weak
come to the fountain
dip your heart in the streams of life
let the pain and the sorrow
be washed away
on the waves of this mercy
as deep cries out to deep
we sing
come Lord Jesus come
wontcha come wontcha come Lord?
come Lord Jesus come
come Lord Jesus come

As I sang, I closed my eyes and visualized that place in my heart. That empty lonely place left rejected and alone by all those memories I'd dreamed about last night. I pictured that gap in my heart. And I sang with all the breath in my body:
come Lord Jesus come
wontcha come wontcha come Lord?
come Lord Jesus come
come Lord Jesus come

He did. Oh my God, y'all. He did. I felt those gaps in my heart filling up. The anxiety and insecurity melted away. That hole in my heart where I used to stuff chocolate. Oh my God. I focused on my need and sang out "come Lord Jesus" and he did. He really did.

Oh friends. It is so much easier to be kind when my nagging awful need is dealt with. So much easier to be kind to husband and children and customers and friends. So much easier to be kind, actually kind to my self. So much easier to be the sensuous generous wife I truly desire to be.

So take a lesson, ya'll.
When that place in your solar plexus is so empty is staggers you, cry out "Come Lord Jesus" and he will. He truly will. -SW

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Allies Til Death, Part Two

for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together.

2 Corinthians 7:1-4 "1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one. 3 I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. 4 Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction."

What does this have to do with marriage?

Who else? Above all other humans, who else? In all relationships in my life, none other should characterize this kind of supercharged dedication more than my relationship with Delighted Husband.

So lemme just say it right here and now: "Baby, you are in my heart to live together and to die together. I choose you above all other humans. We are Allies Till Death."

This is where the sweet abandon in the bedroom comes from. We don't just like each other. We're not just attracted to each other. We don't just tolerate each other. We don't just love each other. We are allies till death. This kind of supercharged dedication is the mattress we rest and play on. This is where nudity becomes the sacred naked. When each touch, every whispered scream, each sensation is an affirmation and celebration of our alliance, that's when God's glory falls all around us, turning our bedroom into a cathedral built for two. -SW

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I am filled with comfort

One of the most poisonous things about poison is not what it gives you but what it keeps you from. Several kinds of poison (I learned from a forensic educational whodunit on cable) several kinds of poison bind with the oxygen receptors in your cells. Meaning the parts of your cell that are supposed to receive oxygen are binding to something else, something not oxygen, something not what they need, something other than what they were designed by God to bind to. It's not so much what the poison gives you, it's what the poison keeps you from...the thing designed by God to bring you Life. The thing you were designed by God to so desperately need and so freely receive. Like oxygen. Like love. Like friends.

One of the most poisonous things about the childhood sexual abuse I endured was that I experienced trauma at an age when I was way too young for appropriate self-comfort. I was not differentiated enough to be capable of appropriate self-comfort. The adults who I wanted to comfort me didn't know how.

I shopped for comfort at the only store that was open to a young child: the refrigerator.

So those receptors in my soul that were designed to bind to friends to bind to loving people, those receptors in my soul were binded to food. It was easy really. And it's easy as an adult. I've never had a Hershey bar tell me they weren't available or that my need was invalid. People are problematic some times. Course they are. Good Lord! Look at me! But food becomes poison when it blocks the receptor for the love and human interaction I truly need.

God in his infinite mercy allowed circumstances and my own heart to push me to a place of need that forced me to reach out to my friends. To tell the truth about where I really was and to ask them to love me and pray for me anyway. I have tears in my eyes just remembering yesterday. It's still that fresh. It's still that powerful. The oxygen receptors in my soul are getting real honest-to-God oxygen instead of the poisonous fake. Oh My God!

I'm sending this out to all my friends who gave my soul oxygen yesterday. Who heard me in my dark vulnerable moment and treated me with great care:
The biggest blessing/lesson in all of this is that I have substituted food for friends for most of my life. And by vulnerably telling the truth about where I'm at to a few of my friends has been a profound experience. My telling and their responding is in itself a huge antidote because it makes food as a friend irrelevant. Thanks for being a part of that.

And is this experience of feeling so profoundly loved by my friends, there's a scripture I memorized 14 years ago that I just now truly understand.

2nd Corinthians 7:4 "Great is my confidence in you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am overflowing with joy—in all my affliction."

I used to stammer that scripture to myself, sniffing and crying during a bout of loneliness and pain, crying out to God and telling Him that my confidence was in Him and telling Him I expected Him to fill me with comfort because I was being a brave girl and quoting scripture through my tears. It didn't work. Today I understand why.

Reading the context, I see that Paul was not crying out to God Almighty in a moment of solitary prayer. Paul was talking to his friends. His real flesh-and-blood friends.

2 Corinthians 7:1-4 "
1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one. 3 I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. 4 Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction."

He calls his friends 'beloved' and asks them to 'make room for me in your hearts'. Oh. My. God.

I'm beginning to see that when you know someone well enough to call them 'beloved' and you have the oxygenating experience of someone making room for you in their heart, you will be filled with comfort, you will be overflowing with joy even though you are you smack dab in the middle of great affliction.

Today, I'm sucking in the oxygen and poison seems not only beatable but downright irrelevant.