Saturday, May 31, 2008

Our Bodies Matter to Jesus

As some of you may imagine, one of the most frequent search engine terms that bring readers to my blog is the "sensuous"+"posted in blog". I clicked on this search this morning, and found a daisy chain of beautiful thoughts which I will share with you today.

The first link that caught my eye was "God's Sensuous Prescence". Y'all know, I am all about God and all about sensuous, so of course I was curious. This beautiful article is what I found:

"Men had turned from the contemplation of God above, and were looking Him in the opposite direction, down among created things and things of sense. The Saviour of us all, the Word of God, in His great love took to Himself a body and moved as Man among men, meeting their senses, so to speak, half way. He became Himself an object for the senses, so that those who were seeking God in sensible things might apprehend the Father through the works which He, the Word of God, did in the body."

At first glance this sounded at once beautiful and potentially sacreligious. Because when my woman-who-was-sexually-abused brain hears the words "an object for the senses", I recoil. But there was that beautiful phrase "in His great love took to Himself a body" and I believe that lock, stock and barrell, so I deliberately let go of my CSA thoughts and took another closer look. And what I saw astounded me with it's beauty.

I visualized my beloved Jesus extending his hand to Thomas, such a human loving inclusive gesture all by itself, and then he speaks "don't believe it's really me? Touch me. it's me, Thomas. Touch me, and remember all the many other times you touched my hand and were comforted. It's me. really. Touch me, and believe."

Of course, by then, poignant tears had gathered in my eyes and I was on board with the phrase "He became Himself an object for the senses." Oh yes he did. And there's my favorite name for Jesus too, Himself. A gift with purchase. Confirmation.

I wanted to hear more, so I clicked on the link provided by the blog author Eric Daryl Meyer (shown here with he and his wife. look at them! aren't they precious?)

This took me to Faith and Theology, a guest post by Oliver Davies. And what a treasure trove I found there!

Get a load of this!

"We constantly treat Christianity as though it were a philosophy or a work of literature (I am not against philosophy or literature) rather than a disclosure to practical intellect which calls us into the radical freedom of action in and for Christ in the world (i.e. the ascended, wounded and glorified Christ). Faith is faith in Christ who acts rather than thinks."

Seriously, y'all. I don't wanna just be smarter. I wanna be CHANGED.

Wait, there's more.

Instead of allowing ourselves to be opened up to the revelation of Christ in the world, communicated through command at work through the senses and the particularity of space and time events ("the command of grace", in Janz's phrase), we focus on the mind as the place of insight, generativity and meaning.

I'll tell you what this means to me. All my life, up until the point of my spiritual and sexual awakening, I thought it was true "Spirit good, mind good, body bad." I really did. As hard to believe as these words sound now, coming from from a woman who experiences God in every orgasm and feels the sweet nearness of the Spirit in every cool breeze on my sweaty face when I run, I used to really believe that. The condition of my heart, the condition of my marriage, the quality of how despised or cherished my sexuality was to me is a living lab test of what those ideas look like in behavior. When I believed my body was bad and my mind was good, I shrank from every touch from my husband and generally rolled my eyes at the depravity of man every time he got an erection. I'm not proud to admit it, but that was my reality. Oh but I was a good Christian girl who "selflessly ministered to her husband" by laying there and taking it. What a martyr! Not even good enough to be called a real martyr either, like Jim Elliot or the first disciple to be stoned to death, because I was laying down and dying for a cause that was contrary to scripture and so FAR from the life of joy God had called me to! What a senseless wasteful non-God-honoring martyr.

But you know my Jesus, he loves us just as we are and loves us too much to leave us that way. Read on.

"And here the third problem arises which follows from the first two: we have lost an understanding of the way we can and should access and be attentive to the presence of Christ in this way. We constantly bypass with mind the very place in which he is present for us in the here and now, which is to do with the senses and with command, since this is a place where the mind does not necessarily want to go."

Yes! Yes! Yes! I used to do that all the time, and folks, I'll tell you why. Because of my own sin and the sin of others, my senses were associated for me with sensations of pain, emotions of pain, shame, doubt, fear, self-loathing and just an overall sense of "ugh get me outta here". Maybe some of you can relate.

But here's the good part. Jesus still lives. And His Lordship in the nitty gritty details of our lives is the way we are to live not just as prescription (take 2 pills and call me in the morning) but as invitation. Invitation to the path to healing we are walk (come walk with me this way my darling and let me heal you, my love). That's my paraphrase and I paraphrase it that way because I have lived it that way. This is the path I've been walking for 16 years.

Oliver Davies puts it this way:

"Getting it" entails seeing that incarnational revelation still comes to us through the senses ("Jesus still lives, and his Lordship in the particularity of our lives is the mode for us of that life"), and that the senses cannot be absorbed without remainder into mind. Thus ascension allows that our faith in Christ can be far closer to that of the apostles than we might ordinarily admit, not on our own account, but on account of the nature of the transformation effected in Christ. Doctrinally (theologically) and anthropologically (philosophically) we have lost the tools and practices which help us to "recognise" him in his transformed state in the everyday reality of our lives where he comes to meet us.

As so often happens in my reading since the internet, I connected the dots between three unrelated poets and writers that from my point of view seem tailor made for each other. On one hand we have these brilliant intellectuals—theology professor no less!— saying in essence, "Excuse me, everybody. Something precious has been lost. And I'm going to do my darndest to show you what and how and show you why and more importantly, show you how to get it back."

For as I read the scholarly article, I remembered the last time—the only time—I've heard a scholar talk about these ideas. It was when I heard Christopher West speak about Theology of the Body at a Created and Redeemed Seminar. I remember Christopher's main point being "Jesus had a real body and our bodies are important because God Almighty thought to inhabit one so we should believe our body is important too and inhabit it well and with truth and honor." That is my paraphrase after attending the 7 hour seminar. (By the way, I do not believe that using birth control violates this cherished concept, since I believe any lovemaking between a husband and wife has the fruit of pleasure and oneness if not the fruit of children) So first as I'm reading, I'm reminded of Theology of the Body.

And then, I'm reminded of the song I sang in church last week. The song that so grounded me and comforted me by reminding me that every area of my life matters to God and is inhabited by God. The song that gave me opportunity to respond to this newfound hope and comfort by pouring our my adoration upon Jesus, or as we say in the South, "singin' my little heart out". Listen to this!

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping

God in my resting
there in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking

be my everything
be my everything
be my everything

God in my hoping
there in my dreaming
God in my watching
God in my waiting

God in my laughing
there in my breathing
God in my hurting
God in my healing

be my everything
be my everything
be my everything
be my everything

Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me
the hope of glory
you are everything

Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me
the hope of glory
be my everything

be my everything
be my everything
be my everything

be my everything
be my everything
be my everything

God in my hoping
there in my dreaming
God in my watching
God in my waiting

God in my laughing
there in my breathing
God in my hurting
God in my healing

be my everything
be my everything
be my everything
you are everything

So yes, beloved friends, our bodies matter. They matter to Jesus too, as he—by living in us—inhabits our bodies every single day. And everything we do in these bodies matters very VERY much! If it's sin that we're doing with our bodies—slapping our children, abandoning our husbands in the marriage bed, or using drugs or food or the absence of food to numb our aching hearts— we need grace and healing to get to the root of that sin and let Jesus heal us. And if it's not sin that we're doing with our bodies—laying our cool hand on our child's fevered brow, welcoming our husbands and drawing them into our body with passion and tenderness, or caring for and cherishing our bodies in beautiful small ways like eating with gratitude in an attitude of self-care—then we are in the acts of doing these very things, bringing the hands and love of Christ into our world, which is a humbling, immensely gorgeous thing to think about.

Isn't it?


Once in the course of my life as a mother I lost my temper and slapped one of my children. It was listed as a sin in the article and also listed as a sin I am living in active repentance of. I don't refuse my husband anymore or do emotional eating anymore either. I don't believe there's a mother alive that hasn't lost her temper and slapped her child once or been sorely tempted to do so. But my experience of losing my temper like that disturbed me enough that I took myself to a licensed marriage and family therapist and learned some better parenting strategies. I also took my child to a child therapist and got some treatment for them and we're all doing much better on that regard. The licensed marriage and family therapist who treated me counseled me that my unresolved guilt over slapping my child that one time was far harmful to my effectiveness as a parent than the slap itself because that guilt gave me a propensity to cave into their demands and not keep firm loving boundaries. I hope any parent who reads my story will not hesitate to seek wise counsel for their parenting challenges.

I want to cherish my single readers by saying that there are many beautiful ways use use our bodies to bring the hands and love of Christ into our world, many many more than the 3 ways I listed. The reason that drove what I listed as ways to bring love is that I began with listing 3 ways I personally used my body to sin and 3 ways I used my body to repent and to love. You're not excluded, beloved darlings, or exempt from embodying the love of Christ just because you are not a wife or mommy. Never meant to imply that, beloved. Not in a hundred years did I mean to imply that. (squeeze your hand and look you in the eye for good measure) Love, SW

Friday, May 30, 2008

G-spot Giggles

Something happened in an interesting discussion today that gave me the giggles. A husband on TMB was lamenting the fact that he cannot seem to find his wife's g-spot. I was trying to convey the information without being too graphic, so I told him, "For many women the gspot isn't tangible until she has at least 1 clitoral O. Like a diva who doesn't show up till the second act. Mr. Green" Well, I think I got my point across without being too sexually graphic.

I'm a very visual person and I like Opera, so I imagined an opera stage and a gorgeous red dress diva waiting in the wings. The leading man sings to her "Come out and play, Lady G" and she shakes her head emphatically, tosses her hair and says, "I am the diva. I will not sing until the chorus has sung. I am no opening act, I am the headliner!"

(commence fit of giggles)

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Glory Outshines the Agony

I received a wonderful email today telling me "your outlook is a real encouragement to me" I replied right away "I'm so glad my outlook is an encouragement. It's what I want. This last 6 months or so I've gotten real comfortable with my humanity and letting myself struggle and be imperfect. I want the glory to outshine the agony."

Isn't that the truth?

I want the glory to outshine the agony.

Both the glory and the agony are real. I'm be a lyin' sumbitch if I told you otherwise!
But if we let God have the last word in our lives, the glory really can outshine the agony.

(snif) (wipe tear)

Okay. Now y'all remind me this next time. M'kay?


Friday, May 23, 2008

An Update

A dear reader who am i has asked for an update. WAI, you are very kind to ask.
There is a difference between integrity and discretion.
When the going gets tough, generally I don't post about it. I take care of myself and take care of my family.
I have a job that I'm less than thrilled with but while I have it, I have to do the job with integrity. This is hard work. Knowing the job has a ticking expiration date makes this harder.

The issue with one of the dear children involves their school. One of the two main issues has been completely resolved. The second issue is, well they're not returning my calls. I'm going to see this one through but I have other things to take care of.

In the meantime, I've been focusing on:
  • taking myself to the gym

  • worshipping God to reboot my tired brain and tired heart

  • calling my friends and letting them love on me

  • buying myself a nice batch of on-sale lingerie

  • making time for Delighted Husband to take it off.
    I love starting our weekend off with a bang. ;)

I started this blog to give, and I still want to. I have so much inside I wanted to offer and I was elated to have a way to offer it. I don't want this blog to evolve into venting my diffulties. Not that there's anything wrong with that-it's the sole purpose of many blogs. I just want this blog to lift your spirits, not to be a negative drain. Since only 1 reader has commented on the job need posts, I'm thinking it's not working for the readers and WAI and I should just take our conversation offline.

There's a fine line here and I'm going to let it percolate in my heart. Because I wonder that by only posting the good outcomes some people may get the idea that going for healing and wholeness and hotness is easy. It's not. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's work. Always infinitely worth it! far my strategy is to get my shit together offline and tell y'all about it later. So far, this strategy is working for me!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Window Shopping

You people are readers are really wonderful.

Whoami has offered me these jumpstarter questions to get my mind turning in the right trajectory. I find them very energizing!

At some point, I may feel it appropriate to process this offline, but for now, I don't mind brainstorming here. I think it might be nurturing and supportive and good.

So here goes:

The first one is clarification- by new role do you mean at that company or a new role in life?
Neither one.
Since the division of the company that I work for is going away, so will I.
My roles in life will not change. I will still be God's beloved, Delighted Husband's friend and lover, Dear Children's Mom, my friends's friend and (somebody's) talented new teammate who does (?). Who that somebody is and what I will be collaborating on is yet to be defined. I find it very comforting to realize that my core defining roles will not change. I'm still defined by all the loving relationships in my life. I still have all the talents and skills and passions to bring to bear in my working life. More actually, after this gig. I've learned a lot and accomplished a lot here.

What I meant when I first posted "new role" was I believe my title and function will be different at my new career home. I don't want to go inhabit the same title and function at another organization. I want another title and function. I want another tribe actually.

How much does the family need the money you are earning now. Is this job or a similar paying one critical to the family finances.
We could live without my money but we'd really rather not. Delighted Husband is a wonderful provider and I am also a valued contributor.

If you could do anything you wanted to, and money wasn't an object, what would you do?
That's easy. I'd move my creative work from backstage to front-and-center. I'd have an agent actively shopping my books to publishing houses and I'd be spending 3 hours a day writing my books. I'd be spending several other hours a day working with a creative team building other deliverables like music and screenplays and video treatments. I'd have a balance of time with solitude to listen to my characters and write down what they say along with creative collaborative happy yak time with other artists and producers creating beautiful deliverables.

When you think of your options, what does each option mean to God, to others, and to you?
To God
Holistically, I think each option (without even listing them) shows a beautiful symbolic link between my heart and God's heart. That's a tall statement, so I'll tell you what I mean by that. When we take delight in the Lord, he gives us the desires of our heart. I believe that before he gives the desires to us, in the process of delighting in Him, our desires change. If I am so tuned into seeking and savoring the delight of God, then pretty much anything I desire is gonna be a good desire. If I am so bent on pleasing him and so keenly tuned into seeking his heart and offering him mine, then generally I'm not going to desire to run out and rob a bank. I trust that whatever creative longings rise up in my heart are good desires that are worth pursuing.
To Others
I believe my heart is good and that it has beauty that will bless other humans. I believe even when my heart goes off the rails and I sin, that my transparency in letting Himself heal and forgive me could also bless others. I've been very real here, very vulnerable and women's and men's hearts have been touched. You people have taught me a lot.
To Myself
This job change comes as not so much of a surprize. Once the initial shock wore off, I realized how very ready I have been for a change. Making some changes in the kind of billable work I do during the workday would mean putting myself in my native habitat full time instead of just every now and then.
Let me give you a visual.
I went to see Prince Caspian this weekend. At the end of the film, Peter Susan Edmund and Lucy are fully actively invested in their roles of kings and queens in Narnia. The going is tough, but they are in their element and that sense of being their true selves gives them the gumption to fight their battles and win. They're in their glory. In their element. Complete with comfortable beautiful royal clothes that fit them as well as their role does. And then, all the sudden they are yanked back to England and they find themselves in the middle of a noisy clangy bangy train station fully of pushypully meaningless busyness and a train taking them away to a soul-draining school they do not want to go to. The royal clothes are gone and they are once again in tight uncomfortable school uniforms and tight uncomfortable braids. In Narnia, they are their special true selves living out their calling. In England they are considered nothing special. It's not so much the tasks, it's the tasks in alignment with their true sense of identity.
You with me so far?
At the end of the film, when I saw the crestfallen looks on the character's faces, I started to weep silently. I wept for the entire screen credit music. I told Delighted Husband, "I feel like that every day. I feel like for an hour every day or so when I'm writing I get to live in Narnia and the other hours in my work day I am yanked back to England."
Spending my paid workday working on creative deliverables will mean I get to stay in Narnia all the time. Tough and beautiful days will come. But without the aching dissonance between who I really am and what I spend my day doing. That's what it would mean to me.

I'll stop there. This is a good place to stop for now. Love, SW

What have you done in the past that is in line with your passion that has worked?, that hasn't worked?

What do you want more of in life?
What do you want less of in life?

When God Closes a Door He Opens a Window

Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp said it best: When God closes a door, He opens a window.. Well God has closed a door on this phase of my career and I'm looking forward to seeing Him open a window. Maybe He will use you to give me a thought, an idea, a suggestion.

I've just found out that the corporate powers-that-be have decided to sell off the division I have worked so hard to build. I've more than quadrupled revenue since I took over 2 years ago. There is no role for me in this divestiture, so unless I want to spend my time rearranging chairs on a ship that's going down, it's time for me to go. I'm not being pushed out the door. I can drag out my exit if I want to. I don't want to. So I'm looking for doors and windows. And before I run out and wangle a similar job at a competitor, I want to stop, look and listen.

Is is time for a new location or is it time for a new role?

I think it's time for a new role.

I really like talkin' to all of you. And I really like all of you talkin' to me. I also really like you regulars who never post but read often. A welcoming smile to you, my returning guests in North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio. I have no idea if it's just random or if there is one of you in each state who ran out and told all your friends. That whole idea makes me smile.

The sense of community in this blog and the act of sharing my experiences to benefit women and marriages has been really rewarding for me. I wish there was a way for me to get paid to talk about love in all its forms, sex, marriage, healing, personal growth, and receiving all the joy our five senses have to offer.

So, dear readers.
Any ideas?


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Please Pray

Please pray for one of the Dear Children, for Delighted Husband, and for me. Sometimes being a mom is hard work.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tell Them You Love Them

Tonight I sat down in my favorite easy chair while Delighted Husband played Mario Kart Wii with the kids. I wanted to just be in the same room with them, so I brought my scrapbooking supplies into the gameroom and set up shop on my lap desk. I've been thinking about one of my girlfriends since she is preparing to move farrrrr away and the chances to see her sweet face in person are going to be few and far between. But I wasn't feeling sad. I was feeling loved, and loving her. Taking stock of all the ways I have grown as a person because she loved me. So I let my heart use the language of paper and pictures and scissors and ribbon and I told her how much I love her and how rich my life is because of her.

We all have people in our life who love us.
People that we love.
Tell them.

Don't hold back those tender words, those tender touches, the squeeze of their hand while you look them in the eye, that extra pat on the back when you hug them, that meal where you go to the trouble to make something beautiful, that phone call just because.

Do it.
What are you waiting for?
An invitation?
Consider yourself invited.

Love to sweet James for saying this so well.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sexual Redemption Stories

Our life unfolds as a story. Each life story contains darkness and light, pain and healing, suffering and redemption in glory in our own custom-blended mix. Stories really speak to me. Most any story that shows a glimpse of healing or redemption will capture my interest. Since I've been very open about my journey from fractured abuse to whole hotness, you might imagine that stories that portray sexual redemption and healing will find a special place in my heart. Yep, you're right. They do.

I've put a new list on the sidebar called Sexual Redemption Stories. These books tell the story of one human's journey from painful abuse in their past to uninhibited joy with their spouse. Sometimes this uninhibited joy is (cough) rather uninhibited. Erotic even. I feel free to celebrate this married lack of inhibition for the healing that it is, but I realize some people feel uncomfortable with stories of an erotic nature, even if the eroticism is shown in married context. I want y'all to feel inspired not uncomfortable, so I've put an *next to those story titles. I trust you will let your discerning hearts lead you as you read.

I'll say a little about each book I post, by way of introduction, when I add them to the sidebar list.

And I want to hear from you!

Have you read a story that shows a journey away from pain toward uninhibited joy in the marriage bed?

I want to read 'em! And if they speak to me, I'll put 'em on the sidebar.

Any recommendations?

Oh, I guess I should add that I'm looking for stories that have an overall tone of love and redemption where the characters treat each other with love and respect and passion. Sometimes the character's painful past can be a bumpy ride, and I'm okay with that as long as the healing part of the journey is loving, healthy, passionate, respectful and relational destination.


I'm so looking forward to hearing what y'all recommend!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How to Make Hot Sensuous Coffee

Sweet Jen over at Pretty Modest bemoaned the fact that her two favorite coffee shops were now unavailable so she had gone back to Mr. Coffee as a last resort. I promised her I'd share my recipe with her here. So nobody else read this! This is only for Jen! (giggle)


  • Purified Water

  • French Press Coffeepot

  • Good Coffee Turkish Grind
    (I'm giving you lots of creative license here. My thought is if it comes whole bean in a bag, you're on the right track. Pick a flavor, pour it into the grinder at the grocery store and dial that baby all the way over to Turkish. It will look like powder when it's ground.)

  • Half n Half real dairy as in from a cow not that corn syrup solids business

  • Your favorite sweetening agent Splenda or sugar

  • A can of whipped cream

Steps to Coffee Bliss:

  1. Put a pot of purified water on the stove to boil.

  2. Put two tablespoons turkish ground coffee into the French press.

  3. When the water boils, pour it over the coffee into the French press.

  4. Wait 4 minutes. If I am in a hurry, I wait just 1.

  5. The coffee will be dark and opaque. This is good.

  6. Pour the coffee into a cup and saucer if you're going for a girly girl vibe or into a big mug if you're going for broke.

  7. Fill the cup 2/3 full.

  8. Add sugar or Splenda. Be generous.

  9. Stir until sugar dissolves.

  10. Add half-n-half. Be generous.

  11. Put a dollop of whipped cream on top.

  12. Sip the coffee with a happy slurpy sound and and grin cause you've got a cream moustache!

If you're already hot under the collar, then you can pour this over crushed ice. It's strong coffee, it will stand up to ice.

Hope you enjoy it, Jen! I'll post the chillin' blend-your-way-to-heaven coffee recipe next.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Meme Six Random Things

  1. Roger Moore was the best James Bond by far.

  2. I really enjoy a well-crafted omelette. The nice hotel $25 per person brunch buffet kind with all manner of extravagant ingredients like tendercrisp steamed asparagus and lumb crabmeat. Nectar of the gods!

  3. I have discovered well into my thirties that I am a dancer...a woman who loves to dance. On the first day of my dance class I felt like I had found my tribe.

  4. I love to laugh and I have a very irreverent, mischievous, bawdy sense of humor.

  5. Peter is my favorite disciple. He's impulsive, mouthy and apt to lob off the bad guy's ear now and ask questions later. Yet, by the time Jesus got done with him, Peter was fearlessly telling everyone about Jesus' power to transform. There's hope for me yet!

  6. Neil Diamond is way hot. So is Bono. It's not the way they look, it's their beautiful dynamic hearts so at home in their bodies. They both give off a visible masculine energy that I respond to by grinning and blushing and focusing my considerable feminine charms on my husband as soon as possible. Neil and Bono are both living proof that sexiness doesn't have to fade with age.
  • Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
  1. M. Lawrence at Further Up and Further In
  2. Cahleen at In His Footsteps
  3. Jen at Pretty Modest
  4. Jemila at Quirky Grace
  5. Eleutheros who doesn't have a blog but has a profile and sure does know how to use it!
  6. Alastair at Obscene Beauty
  • Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
  • Let your tagger know when your entry is up.