Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

I woke up at the crack of 5:30 in the morning and stumbled into my kitchen to put the ham into the oven for roasting. Really tired and sleepy as I had not slept much over the last coupla days, working till all hours on the site. I checked Twitter for a few minutes and saw several people's posts to MCHammer telling what they're thankful for. Intrigued, and ever being a child of the 80's, I visited MCHammer's twitter profile. He said, "I'm going to place this stream of Thanks underneath the song as a Prayer for you and your family all year long (2009)...What R U Thankful 4?friends, humanity, visions, dreams, ....this is my song of "Thanks" all year long... "Thankful"..http://mchammer.com/ a song of warfare..

Ever the curious cat, I clicked on the link and listened to the song. And I was greeted by the same hip-squirmin' finger snappin' rhythm his music always had. Then I listened to the words. Whoa. In a twinkling moment, I felt like I was wearin' a choir robe and swayin' and sangin' with the gospel choir at a Black Baptist church like I did one summer when I was a little girl. It felt good. Real good.

So then I sat down to type out a reply. Twitter posts are short teeny short blog posts. 140 characters. I knew one post wasn't going to do, so I kept posting. Here is what I said:

that none of my family were injured or killed in Hurricane Ike, our house is still standing, the love of my husband and children

the spark of life within me, the love & creative energy I share with the sensuouswife team, chance to be contagious hope.

being a woman, all the joy and delight I create in my kitchen, laughter having it sharing it, dancing with Delighted Husband

offering beauty to my world what a privilege! what a joy!, the healing love of God that chases after me even when I hide,

the friends who have crawled into my foxhole with me and helped me transform out of suffering and into joy

the loving, healing, life-affirming joy of sex, the glory and the power of it, wild or tender, redemptive healing hotness. one.

thank you for asking me2take inventory of all good things in my life. I woke tired &grouchy to get up & cook.I go to bed happy ...

And on that note, I will go back to bed and snuggle up next to Delighted Husband. Thank you oh friends of blogdom, for sharing your lives with me and allowing me to share my life with you. I love you all and I thank God for you. mwah! -Shula

PS Isn't it so cool how Himself rescued me from resentment and guided me back to gratitude and joy? I'm tellin' ya, Resentment is a sneaky bastard. Gratitude is the cure!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Good Things in Store

Wow I am one busy blessed woman. Lots going on these days which is why I post when I can. I knew y'all would understand. Lemme tell you some of the good stuff that has Sweet Shula as busy as a one-armed wallpaper hanger!

Website www.sensuouswife.com in full speed development mode. My house getting repairs and remodeled from Hurricane Ike damage. The happy sound of hammering in my house BAMbambam as builder released his contruction mojo on doors and walls and carpet and flooring and, you get the picture. :)

So grateful for a good coach, a wonderful team: web developer, graphic designer, customer service, project manager, pr director; a wonderful spiritual director to nudge me toward balance. I am a blessed woman even if I am a busy girl. Good stuff in store! Literally and figuratively. The store is gonna be beyoootiful. The breadth and quality of products we're going to carry is just delightful. Taking sex out of the bad girl corner and right in the thick of all the other healthy beautiful joys in life-right where it belongs.

Love y'all! Miss y'all! If you don't see me around the blog much, you know I'm workin'.
Sendin' out my love and gratitude,
Shula

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lost my appetite

I stopped by one of my favorite Mexican places this morning. A cute little joint that is open for breakfast. I needed to refuel after my workout at the gym and it wasn’t far from the home repair store I had to visit next. After ordering a plate of cheese enchiladas and chicken fajitas, I headed for the dining area to pick a table. What I saw next stopped me in my tracks and left me with a tingling feeling in my chest. Two lanky young men in army fatigues were at a nearby table, polishing off breakfast.

My friend that I love so much he calls me Sis and I call him Brother, had just deployed for parts unknown and seeing those young men in army green gave me quite a shock. I immediately began to sob, sat down at the table next to them, ripped off my sunglasses, buried my face in my hands and let the tears come. Love, fear, separation and longing rolled off my cheeks in warm salty tears. “Ask them to help you” came the warm loving thought in my mind that I knew was Himself talking to my heart. I pressed a napkin to my eyes and swallowed. “Excuse me, Sir. Can you help me please?”. They turned and looked at me calmly waiting until I regained my composure enough to speak. The one nearest to me, a lanky blonde with an honest Kansas farm boy face, said “Yes ma’am?” I took a deep breath. “Seeing you two is quite a shock. My brother just deployed from Germany to parts unknown. I saw him last before they moved to Germany. I don’t know where he is, I can’t know. And I didn’t get to hug him goodbye when he deployed, since he deployed from Germany. Would you mind? Could I give you a hug?

He immediately stood to his feet and held out his arms. I embraced him, taking in his cologne I didn’t recognize and aware that my cheek that I pressed against his neck was wet with tears. At arms length again, I held his gaze for just a moment. “Thank you. I feel better now.” “You’re welcome, ma’am. And good luck to your brother.

They left immediately. As they walked outside the restaurant, I saw through the window as they climbed into an enormous black dually truck-a total wildatheartmobile. I smiled at this and sighed. I did feel better. Peace replaced the shock and grief in my chest and I turned my attention toward breakfast.

I was not hungry, per se. But I knew I had to eat right after a workout. I managed to eat about one third of the Tex Mex delight the smiling olive skinned cooks had prepared for me. After one last spoonful of salsa verde and rice, I knew I couldn’t eat another bite.

And then I realized what a little golden moment this was for me-the woman who used to eat her feelings. Instead of overeating in an addictive unhealthy attempt to squash my emotions, I had let the tears come, been humble and vulnerable enough to ask for help and receive it, and then found to my grateful delight that food didn’t have an emotional hold on me anymore. It was just fuel. Thank God.-Shula

PS Please pray for Michael and Angela

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Single Reader Asks: Why Do Married Women Have Such a Hard Time Enjoying Sex?

I get the sweetest letters from y'all. Some letters seeking advice. Some letters sharing their story of overcoming and then coming coming coming. (twinkly-eyed Mona Lisa smile) The letter I'm going to share with you today arrived in the form of a comment. The comment is still on the post she commented on. But there are so many posts. So many comments, that I wanted to bring this one up front and center. Good stuff, darlings. Enjoy.

I'm unmarried and still a virgin (in my 30's), so perhaps I shouldn't be reading this on some puritanical level, but, well, I did.

Anyway, maybe I'll understand more fully when my desires and imaginations give way to actual reality one day if God should give me a husband - in other words, I have to admit that any reaction I have to your writings is definitely not backed up by experience. But I just hafta wonder -

Why is it that marital sex is so often painted as a difficult thing for women to enter into or enjoy? Unmarried teenager girls often cannot contain desire and the sexual opportunities presented to them, and have sex often enough - they don't go dragging their feet to their teenage lovers' sexual advances. Why is it that christian married women so often present sex as something that takes so much work for them to want or to truly enjoy?

I am so eager for the day when a man might take me completely and utterly in love for one another before the Lord. Is it really so hard in actuality? Will I really have to work on it so much or won't it just be able to be something that we rush into with joy and longing naturally, easily, with innocence and overwhelming desire and excitement?




Dear Anonymous,
Sweetheart, there is no way for me to know exactly what your first time will be like. I wish for you with all of my heart that it is a passionate beautiful orgasmic soul-affirming experience.

In answer to your question, why do married women often find it so hard to enter into and enjoy married sex when unmarried teenage girls often cannot and do not contain themselves?

Well the first thing that comes to mind as a reason is married women have such a hard time letting themselves go and abandoning themselves to marital pleasures is that when they were teenage girls they could not and did not contain themselves. The mind is a harsh judge, and the mind/body connection is strong. So often even after a woman believes God forgives her for sex that was too soon, she has a very difficult time forgiving herself and this judge in her head keeps the party in her loins from throwing all the confetti they rightfully deserve while partying with her husband.

Shannon Ethridge made a beautiful illustration of this dynamic when she was on The Today Show. She said so many women internalize the message that bad girls do and nice girls don't. So (my paraphrase here) they get off on bad girl sex. When they put that wedding ring on their finger, it may take much longer than the 5 seconds to put the wedding ring on their finger to convince their mind and heart and body that good girls do, they do it often and they do it with great pleasure that uninhibited pleasure gives them a strong bond with their husband. That's the core message of my novels, that sex doesn't have to be bad to be good. Good sex can be verrrry verrrry good. ;)

Another factor, another potential obstacle to a married woman truly entering into sweet erotic abandon with her husband is messages of shame soaked into her body by other people in her life who treated her body with disrespect or outright abuse. I've been very upfront in my story (see My Story in sidebar) and in the first year of my blog that "my first sexual experience, hell, my first era of sexual experiences, were coerced, and of a very abusive nature". These wounds left shrapnel in my heart and in my mind and through the strong mind/body connection, even in my body. For a long time, places that my abusers touched me would sound off horrid memories of shame and disgust every time that part of my body was touched again. Even when touched by my loving husband. The body/mind connection is strong. And God designed our skin to have a direct hotline to our memory. With the intended purpose to be that we are strongly bonded to our husband by the myriad of pleasurable loving safe passionate GOOD feelings we experience every time that part of our body is touched. The icky sad difficult but not impossible thing is when that part of our body is touched by an abuser and the skin/bonding/memory system built into our heart and body is activated, what we body memory bond to is bad sex, bad feelings and an unhealthy person who had NO business doing what they just did to us. The body has to unlearn. The heart has to unlearn. The mind has to unlearn. But God's healing power is strong. His desire to heal us is unflagging. So we go to safe people, receive love and prayer and therapy and we unlearn the bad stuff and learn the good stuff. It takes time.

So dear one, I had a lot of bad stuff to unlearn. Of course, the wish from my deep heart for you and for every other woman is that you don't have such horrid messages to unlearn. That you can entrust your self to the care of God and entrust your body and heart to the loving tender erotic care of your husband, unleash your feminine force on him and together have the time of your lives! That's the idea, darling!

(big smile)SW

One more thing, as a 30 year old single lady you are most welcome here. My welcome message asks that those under 18 invite their mom to come enjoy my blog or come back when they are older. Hot married sex is worth waiting for, trust me! You are over 18 and desiring healthy sex. So darlin' you are welcome to hang out here and read. I'd love to be a part of your journey toward healthy hot sex with your husband. I'd be honored!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Singin' in the Kitchen

For as long as I remember, ever since I had my spiritual and sensuous awakening, music has been so important. Such a zesty, vital part of my life.

More often than not, when I'm cookin' dinner, I'm singing. My office adjoins the kitchen, so I'll make playlists of great music and sashay and shimmy and sing in front of the stove. For me, this is about sending out my love and energy and enjoying being joy. for myself. and for my family.

From time to time, I've posted here songs I particularly enjoyed. Now, thanks to a friend on Twitter, I've found an easier way to share the songs I'm dancing dinner to. I've joined blip.fm and become a DJ. (grin)

Y'all I am having so much fun with this! I wanted to share with you for two reasons:
A) Anything joy in my life I want to share (with the exception of certain sacred naked details that Delighted Husband nixes)
B) I've been honest with you guys from the get-go about my tremendous joys, erotic and otherwise, and the high cost of growing it took to get there. But lately, it seems when I have a longer story to tell, it becomes a blog post and when I have a shorter story to tell, it becomes a tweet or a facebook post. And lately, I've had a lot of growing to do, and growing stories tend to be longer.

So I wanted to balance that out and give you a glimpse of some of the sweet moments in my life.

Here's a sampling of my playlist over the last few days. I've found my inner DJ and she LIKES it!
Visit blip.fm/SensuousWife to listen!

SensuousWife Save this one till after the kids go to bed (bites knuckle)
All Would Envy – Chris Botti & Shawn Colvin | pause
SensuousWife Is it too much to ask? I wanna full house and a rock-n-roll band and passionate kisses from you!
Passionate Kisses – Mary Chapin Carpenter | play
posted on Nov 13 at 5:32 pm

SensuousWife Shut up and kiss me. Nuff said.
Shut up and Kiss Me – Mary Chapin Carpenter | play
posted on Nov 13 at 3:30 pm

SensuousWife Perfect kitchen dance music. Flour on the apron and everything!
La Vie En Rose – Grace Jones | play

SensuousWife The guitar is organic pure & Neil's vocal is sexy as allgetout. (shiver) if you really listen to the words, you'll blush.
Forever In Blue Jeans – Neil Diamond | play
SensuousWife Singing this song makes me feel like my heart has taken wing. Joy despite pain feels so good!
Change The World – Eric Clapton | play

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Checking In

I don't know how far I'm going to go with the addiction terminology because you know I'm too much of a bird in flight to focus on the negative. But I've had some harsh realizations lately about how often I was medicating my self, numbing my feelings by using food. The first few days were harsh. Really harsh. How many days is it? How many days has it been? I cannot remember which is a goshdarned blessing in itself. I'm no longer white-knuckling it and counting the days.
(pause)
(sigh)
(smile)
Cool. That's something to celebrate. So anyway, what I was saying earlier is all caveats aside, there's a term I heard from AA "Hi I'm (name) and I'm a grateful recovering alcoholic." The key word here is grateful.
I am grateful.

There's a line from a movie that comes to mind; a movie called The Doctor. In the movie (Netflix it you'll enjoy it) William Hurt plays a doctor that is a cariacature of the obnoxious-SOB-who-thinks-he's-God-doctor. As the movie progresses, the doctor learns he has a fatal disease and has a short time to live. And he changes his life from the inside out, because he knows he only has a while to live. While the doctor is engaging in a random act of kindness, one of his colleagues is surprized and asks him what he is doing. The doctor's reply: I have an illness that has given me permission to live like I like because I won't be living much longer. They key phrase for me is "gives me permission".

I don't have a fatal illness, but if I let this addiction to food run wild, it could destroy my health. It could have become fatal. Easy. And I have found that by living my life sober (which for me is eating with gratitude and joy until I'm no longer physically hungry and not to numb or stuff my feelings) by living my life sober, and working to stay sober, has given me permission to do some really brave stuff.

I'll give you an example.

Several days of not eating sugar when I want to "calm my nerves" (read: stuff my feelings) several days of this has made it really clear to me that resentment is often the trigger to me having the urge to eat addictively. Another AA quote comes to mind "resentment will kill ya" or "resentment is an emotion I cannot afford if I want to stay sober". Damn! Those AA folks really have some wisdom don't they? (grin) So anyway, my point is if I want to eat healthy and not eat addictive I have to deal with my resentment.

This morning, I shared a tearful phone call with the roomate I lived with when Delighted Husband and I got engaged. I moved out soon thereafter when I-oh how do I say this without maligning her? Sigh. Let's just say our friendship and my living there ended badly and I felt forced into buying my way out of the lease. I could say more, but that's enough. The point is that I has resentment towards her.

So I haven't seen this gal in years and years. Twelve or thirteen years. I had done some forgiveness work in counseling and I felt it was a good outcome that angry thoughts of her no longer entered my mind. Live and let live and all of that.

Well this morning, she and I spent a half hour on the phone with both of us taking turns crying and her telling me she loved me and she was so sorry and me telling her I loved her and I forgave her. She prayed for me that I would be healed. And I was.

Now how in the sam hill did this happen??

This happened because I kept running into mutual friends of her every.where. and thoughts of her, no fear of running into her, this bone deep anxiety just permeated my thoughts. And when bone deep anxiety permeates my thoughts, you know what I am tempted to do, dontcha?

Medicate my feelings with chocolate. Or any other sugar I can get my hands on. After a few days, I knew I had to deal. I knew if I didn't deal with this situation, deal with her one way or another that I was going to act addictively.

My connection with this mutual friend made it possible for me to send a message to Roommate Girl via email. I typed out this message:
(name)
Out of the blue, God has brought you to mind several times over the last few days. I think God wants to heal a piece of my heart. Would you help me? Maybe you will feel healing too.
I'd like to call you and talk for 20 minutes or so. What is a good time and a good number for you?
(my name)


Through the same grapevine chain, came this reply:
I would love that. My cell number is (number) and you can most easily reach me during (time)

So I called her.

Now I had done my homework with God early this morning. I sat down with my journal and wrote out what I wanted to say to her, what I hoped to say to her if I actually had the courage to go through with it. Basically, I told our parting story from my point of view using I statements instead of you statements and telling what her actions were and what my feelings were. I cried several times while writing it, and I cried a lot after I finished writing it. I felt what I can only describe as God comforting me. Just a peace and that Himself was proud of me.

When I called Roommate Girl, I reasurred her that I didn't hate her and that I just wanted to feel free of pain and resentment and would she please let me talk from my heart for a few minutes. She said that would be okay. I broke down crying a few times as I told my story. Our story. The story of how our "us" died. When I started crying and stopped talking, she actually encourged me to keep going. At the end of my story, I told her "could you maybe love the me from all those years ago and could you maybe find a kind word to say to her?"

And she did.

Oh my God. She did. She told me she loved me and she deeply regretted her actions and that she didn't want me to hurt anymore and that one of the things that hurt me the most was actually a huge misunderstanding. Which could be bullshit, but it's not. It wasn't. She actually was able to explain how one of her actions which broke my heart in two was actually driven by a different motive than the one I had ascribed to it. But by that point back then, we weren't talking anymore. So. I find out she made big mistakes back then, which I knew, I found out she didn't have quite the hateful motive I interpreted at the time, which I didn't know. The most important thing I found out that I didn't know was that Roommate Girl still loved me and she didn't want me to hurt anymore.

Oh.
My.
God.

And if I had stuffed these feelings with food, I would have never found this out.
Ever.

So you see why I'm grateful?

Love,
Shula

What Does Sex Addiction Sound Like?

This is what it sounds like to me.

I was sweatin' with my girls at the gym when this song came up on the playlist. It's got a great groovy beat so I was enjoying the groove while I was on the lat pull machine. As I listened to the words, I pang of compassion sprang out of my heart and I thought, "Poor darling. That sounds like sex addiction." I hesitate to post this because I want to be known by what I am for not what I am against. But I have to tell you darlings, I don't believe the sexual behavior expressed in this song is going to yield the kind of high impact erotic joy I want for all of you. I'm just sayin'

Fast Love by George Michael

Looking for some education
Made my way into the night
All that bullshit conversation
Well baby can't you read the signs?

I won't bore you with the details baby
I don't even want to waste your time
Let's just say that maybe
You could help to ease my mind
Baby, i ain't Mr. Right

But if you're looking for fastlove
If that's love in your eyes
It's more than enough
Had some had luck
So fastlove is all that I've got on my mind
Gotta get up to get down
Gotta get up to get down
Gotta get up to get down

What's there to think about baby?

Looking for some affirmation
Made my way into the night
My friends got their ladies,
They're all having babies
But i just want to have some fun

I won't bore you with the details baby
Gonna get there in your own sweet time
Let's just say that maybe
You could help to ease my mind
Baby, i ain't Mr. Right


But if you're looking for fastlove
If that's love in your eyes
It's more than enough
Had some had luck
So fastlove is all that I've got on my mind
Gotta get up to get down
Gotta get up to get down
Gotta get up to get down

What's there to think about baby?
Get yourself some lessons in love

In the absence of security
I made my way into the night
Stupid cupid keeps on calling me
But i see nothing in his eyes
I miss my baby, oh yeah
I miss my baby tonight
So why don't we make a little room
In my BMW babe
Searching for some peace of mind
Hey I'll help you find it
I do believe that we are practicing
The same religion
You really ought to get up now

Looking for some affirmation?
Gotta get up to get down
Gotta get up to get down
Gotta get up to get down

At the end of the song, the instrumental closing fades off and it's almost as if you can feel the shame and loneliness rolling in like fog. It made me feel sick in the pit of my stomach. Now darlings, I've made it no secret that I have struggled with and continue to struggle with food addiction. I'm human like everyone else. I am no better and no worse than anyone. There's not a muscle in my body that wants to judge anyone. Me a judge? Jesus Mary and Joseph! Who are we kidding?! But since I've stopped lying to myself and the people in my life since I stopped stuffing my feelings down with food, I find there are things that I see whether I want to see them or not. Dammit! And that was a really groovy song, too. Now all it says to me is sadness.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My First Video

God has been working on my heart big time. I have been doing well to process and keep up with it in real time. Lots of soul searching and prayer and humility and then quantum leaps of growth and healing. Taint easy. I am so so so lucky to have an inner circle of friends that I can talk with and they will love me and accept me and pray for me and encourage me to process and grow. This weekend, I took a long walk. I was gone for several hours, solitude and journaling and duking it out with God. Going without sugar or any kind of emotional eating for several days has been like a fast that has revealed many areas in my heart that needed to be healed and forgiven.

After one particularly intense rant, I had a moment where Jesus became so real and relevant for me. I was angry about a situation, at someone in particular and I was telling God about it. I was legitimately angry for some wrongs done to me and I told God, "God I just want to punch them!" and in my heart I heard this thought. It was as though Jesus answered me saying "I was punched and beaten. Can what was done to me be enough. Cause that person deserves a good punch and I was beaten up, can it be enough what was done to me?" This so shocked me that I stopped in my tracks. Peace seeped in to that angry pit in my stomach, and I let it go.

As I was walking back around the lake, I was startled to see all these golden sparkly lights on the water. It was only visible from that one point on the lake. This song was playing on my phone's mp3 player at the time. I stood there and just drank in the beauty. I got to wishing so so badly that I could record this. I've never seen golden lights sparkling at random on the water quite like that. I decided to at least take a picture. And while I was monkeying around with the camera settings I discovered my camera phone would shoot video. I had not known this! So I held the phone as still as I could and took the video. I'm not gonna win any awards for cinematography but I hope you can sense the peace and tranquility and beauty that overwhelmed me that day in such a lovely good way.


video

Stand

This song was playing on the alarm clock this morning. I soaked up every word. Hope your hearts drink it in like mine did. This is day seven of sober eating.
Love,
Shula

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Starlight Walk

Tonight Delighted Husband and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was such a pleasure to walk next to him with my hand around his arm just above his elbow. He's tall and I could tell he slowed down a bit so I didn't have to scamper to keep up with him. I enjoyed watching our feet match strides. Each of us wearing our running shoes, alike yet different. Unity in diversity. It was such a pleasure to enjoy his company. I don't know quite how to put it into words. It was just a joy to be together.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God Must Want Me to Work Out Today

I blurted this out in frustration while I was at the bank trying to cash my Ike insurance check for the umpteenth time. Remember the mortgage company that ate my 1st check? Well, they're up to shenanigans and foot dragging again. This time at the local branch. But I'm not here to fuss about the bank.

The point is, I am learning to associate exercise as the preferred method of stress relief.

This is a big deal.

A very good thing.

After the 2nd hour spent arguing with mortgage company, I drove to the gym and I didn't just do the workout, I attacked the circuit training equipment. I sweated. I grunted. I groaned. I carried on. Some of the sweet old ladies at the gym discreetly stared. I didn't care. I was just glad I was working out in the gym and not throwing a tantrum in the bank lobby. By the time I was done with my workout, my hair was wet and dripping sweat onto my shoulders. And I felt peaceful and even euphoric. The only other time I've felt so peaceful, sweaty and euphoric was. Well, you know.

This is day 3 of no sugar.

The mood swings are not fun. It's withdrawal, just like any other addiction.
I made good choices today.

The next time somebody pisses you off, say, "God must want me to work out today!"