Saturday, April 28, 2007

You had me at hello

My friend Dena has been telling me about an awesome experience she had with Theophostic Prayer recently. Theophostic Prayer is a method of guided healing prayer where you invite Jesus to come into those dark aching places in your heart and ask him to heal you. It is very powerful and leaves you wanting everyone you care about to experience this healing and lay down their pain as well. Dena, who is one of the bravest and most generous-hearted women I know, volunteered to receive this healing prayer in a demonstration "practice session" at a conference recently. Normally, Theophostic Prayer is done in private and confidentiality, like confession or a counseling session. But Dena was willing to be the demo girl, letting people see how simple and real healing prayer can be. The way Dena tells it, "Welllllll, Jesus doesn't practice -- He showed up and did a doozy of a job on me, in front of God and everyone! Cool!"

Dena, you are one of the most brave willinghearted women I've ever heard of. I so love your passion and devotion and hunger for God. If he's handing out healing, you're the first in line and I just so love that about you. Even if that means standing in view of Man while you get that healing. Wow.

Which is what many of the hurting people in the Bible had to do. Jesus made a few house calls and one on one encounters. But so many of the dear healed ones got theirs standing in line or pressing in through a crowd. Interesting... Spirit quickly reminds me that of the few times Jesus made himself available to heal and restore one on one, it was with and for a woman. How well Jesus knows how to care for and heal our feminine hearts! I'm thinking of the woman at the well, and thinking of the sinful woman who lavished her love and repentance on Jesus washing his feet with her tears and drying his feet with her hair. By allowing this intimate act, and by offering his forgiving redeeming love to her throughout the process, Jesus let her/made her feel like she was the only woman in the world, even when the whole thing took place in front of (in the home of!) a meanspirited critical-spirited Pharisee audience. (and by the way how DID they KNOW she was a sinful woman? Any of them done any sampling? We don't know that do we?).

What we do know is it's not only safe but utterly healing and transforming to pour out our hearts and tears to Jesus because healing us, loving us forgiving us is what he had in mind all along. We don't have to sell God on healing and forgiving us. We don't have to beg him. When we come to Jesus broken, hungry, thirsty, and in need of forgiveness, Jesus word to us is "You had me at hello".

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Little Gorgeous Moments

This morning, Delighted Husband hit the snooze just once more, so we could spoon for nine more minutes. Oh. My. God. Thankyouthankyouthankyou for this marvelous man you've given me. For the comfort of how his perfect rear snuggles and warms my belly. For the way his hairy belly feels SO right cradled under my palm. For his scent so soothing and infinitely familiar as I breathe on his shoulder blade. Thank you. For the delightful comforting oneness that makes nine more minutes seem like such bliss. Thank you, Lord. You rock.

There's something about sleeping together. And I don't mean the fifities euphemism for getting it on. I mean the intimate trust of curling up with another human being and abandoning yourself to sleep. Letting your guard down. Embracing someone else in those Winken-Blinken-and-Nod moments before you let sleep take over. God, I love that. I so cherish that about my honey.

When we first got married, we were all knees and elbows. We had no problem finding plenty of room to *play* in our bed, but finding room to *sleep* and actually stay asleep was another matter. I guess a part of that was both of us waking up in the middle of the night thinking "ohmyGod you're HERE!" and then spiraling into arousal licketysplit. Nothing like sated exhaustion to encourage sleep. My coworkers used to make fun of me because I was such a sleep-deprived newlywed. I walked around the office in a daze, bleary-eyed with a cockeyed grin on my face.

Over the years, we've perfected our reportoire of sleeping positions. I know them way down in muscle memory. I know that any bed on God's green earth will feel like home to me as long as he's in it. Oh my Delighted Husband. This is my lover, this is my friend.

My thanks to Biker for his post on finding their perfect sleeping position. It made me remember our early days which made for a much longer post as I sent out my gratitude for more than the last nine minutes. The last nine minutes were postworthy all by themselves. My word. God you are too generous but we'll take it anyway.

Whoops! Wonder if the school bus has come already!-SW

Monday, April 23, 2007

I don't deserve it, but I'll embrace it

my sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
my sin, not in part, but the whole
is nailed to the cross
and I bear it no more
praise the Lord
praise the Lord
O my soul

Click the rewind and play buttons repeatedly and lather-rinse-repeat until this one sinks down into your soul. When it does, you'll get filled up with a great-big Gratitude Happy. Many artists sing this song well. My favorite is the one belted out by the sweet voice of Sarah Welch Fuselier. Whoo yeah! Sing it darlin!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

More Sugar Please

I've got it made
rest in the shade
and hold my love
while God above
stirs with a spoon
we share the moon
smile at the bees
more sugar, please
He really loves us after all
we're gonna need another straw
we're gonna need another strawwwww
—Chris Rice, Lemonade, Amusing Album

Eat O Lovers.
Drink and imbibe deeply!
Take it alllll in.
—God, Song of Solomon 5:1, paraphrased by Lorraine Pintus

How (great) big (enormous) is your goodness (everything that is nourishing delightful and right with the world) which you have stored up (by the truckload) for them that fear (respect, hold in awe and adore) you.
—David, Psalm 31:19, paraphrased by Sensuous Wife

God has so much good stuff for us that we have to make an effort to take it all in. Take it alllll in. Hmm...I'm noticing a theme here. How about you?-SW

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Portraits of Brave and Holy Sensuousness - John & Stasi

Stasi told this story at the Ransomed Femininity retreat. I'll paraphrase it from memory. I may not get the wording exactly right, but the fact that I can retell this story from memory shows what an impact it had on my heart. -SW

I was shopping for some lingerie for a wedding gift, and I saw this other gown that was a plus-size gown and it was gorgeous. I bought it for myself, and at the time I decided I said to myself, 'now I know I don't look exactly the size I would like to be, but I'm going to offer my beauty to John now, and not wait until some perfect day when I am the perfect size before I offer my beauty.' So I bought the gown, went back to the hotel room, took the gown into the bathroom. And I was nervous. It took some nerve to present myself in this gorgeous see-through nightie. So I was in the bathroom praying 'God give me courage' (retreat ladies laughed) In that moment, I chose to offer my beauty NOW so I put the gown on, and walked out of the bathroom into the hotel room. When I announced myself to John, my statement came out more like a question, 'here I am honnnneeeey.' And that's all I will say about my story except to say that it had a very happy ending." (retreat ladies gave thunderous applause and laughter).
—Stasi Eldredge, Ransomed Femininity Retreat, forerunner to the Captivating Live Retreat

When I first heard this story, hope and desire began to grow in my heart. And I thought, "By golly, I can do that too." So I did. I started offering myself generously and with wispy giftwrap to my husband, deciding that I wouldn't let stretch marks and other souveniers of pregnancy hold me back from being sexy and playful. And that's the story of how my husband became Delighted Husband and I became Sensuous Wife. The beginning of a gorgeous change of heart.

This story makes me say, "You go, girl!" and "God you are so generous but we'll take it anyway."

Monday, April 9, 2007

Portraits of Brave and Holy Sensuousness, Part One

Every now and then, I hear a story of a delighted husband and sensuous wife who are experiencing brave and holy sensuousness in their marriage. I love these stories! They make me wanna say, "You go, girl!" or "Good for you, Big Fella!" or "Wow, God your generosity is way too much but we'll take it anyway". You know. Those kind of stories.

So I've been collecting these for awhile.
I'll post them here.

Have you experienced brave and holy sensuousness in your marriage? Share your story by emailing me. If your story makes me wanna' say "You go, girl!" or "Good for you, Big Fella!" or "Wow, God your generosity is way too much but we'll take it anyway" when I read it, then don't be surprized if your story gets posted.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Talk like this will getcha places!

Husbands, take note. You don't have to be an eloquent man to score. Lemme give you a sensuous shortcut that is sure to please. Block off at least an hour. Let your wife hear you tell the kids that you're putting Mommy down for a nap, and unless the smoke alarm goes off or they are experiencing severe bleeding that you don't want to be interrupted. Close and lock the door. Stand behind your wife and envelop her in your arms. Lean over and whisper in her ear that you want to tell her a bedtime story. Then read her the lyrics to Even Better Than The Real Thing by U2. Play the song for extra credit. I'll let y'all take it from there....
Lemme just say, wow and meow. -SW

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Let the Music Move You

One of the biggest dimensions to living a life of pleasure as a sensuous wife is how I feel and act when nobody's looking except my Creator. Music is such a huge part of that. This morning while I was standing in front of the stove whipping up a batch of omega 3 swedish pancakes (gotta get in that guerrilla nutrition whenever I can!) the song I was listening to went from Exquisite Cathedral to Groove Dog in just a few bars. I let myself enjoy it. I swayed and sashayed around the kitchen, letting my wrists do a writhey-twirly thing like a Bollywood movie. I had so much fun I burned one batch of pancakes. I'd do it again.

Better 6 partially burned pancakes with a groovin' happy wife then 8 perfect pancakes with an annoyed and itchin' wife.

The song, as you groovin' wives will doubtless want to know, is The Call on Michael W Smith's Freedom album. -SW