3 Simple Things to Pray Over Sex in Your Marriage and Why

new blog picI am super excited about this post. I have long admired Sheila Gregoire and her site To Love Honor and Vacuum. I think the issue of sex and intimacy in Christian marriage is not talked about enough, but Sheila has been changing that for 9 years. I had the privilege of writing and sharing 3 things that I pray over sex in my marriage and she has published it today her on her blog.

Here is a sneak peak at it and you can click the link to read the rest:

For most who will be honest, if you have a rocky marriage, sex is the last thing on your mind. Therefore, whether your marital problems started with sex or not, it becomes a big issue or rather the “not having it” becomes the issue adding to marital turmoil.

In my past, I was mistreated and told that a true woman pleases her man sexually no matter how depraved his request may be. There have also been times when I was that woman that used sex as punishment or reward. I’ve also been through the deep pain of divorce. I am happily remarried now. I want to learn from my past and not make the same mistakes. I want to change unhealthy attitudes I have had about intimacy. I also have a very strong belief in the absolute power of prayer. I thought I would share three simple things that I pray over sex in my marriage.

To find out the 3 things I pray over sex in my marriage and why, visit 3 Key Things to Pray Over Your Sex Life.

 

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Real Love And Rainbows

I have seen it all over Facebook and social media along with everyone else; opinions exuberant or angry over the supreme court ruling on marriage yesterday. People practically shouting about God’s judgement while others joyously displaying rainbows shouting back equality with hashtags such as “#lovewins”. DSC_0915

And I believe deeply with every thing in me that love did win, but not in the way you might think. See, for me love won on the cross when Jesus laid down His life for the ones shouting hell and judgement. For the ones shouting equality. For my enemies. For the ones I love most dearly. For all. For me. John 3:16 “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. One of the most quoted verses in the Bible does not say “whoever believes unless” it says who. ever. believes.

The gospel of Jesus has not changed. It is the same today as it was yesterday. It is that love, that sacrifice that we need to be sharing with the world as Christians. Leading everyone to the cross. Leading everyone to Jesus. I am a follower of Christ because I believe He died and arose again. I believe He is the picture of unconditional perfect love; a picture of God’s love in the flesh.

I love how the pastor of Newspring Church described it in a post:  “Amidst the protest signs, yelling crowds, and political referendums, the simple message of Jesus’ love for you is often drowned out. Never doubt that Jesus loves you more than you could ever know. Jesus doesn’t just love a future version of you; He loves you exactly as you are right now. Jesus’ love for you has no prerequisites or requirements. Even if you hate Him, Jesus loves you and wants what is best for you. Love is at the core of everything Jesus taught. Unfortunately His message of love has been conveniently left out by many who would rather make a point than make a difference  (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-10; Romans 5:8; Psalm 86:15).”

As I wrote about in my last post, I did take that step of faith toward a speaking ministry. In my message I shared that sometimes you just have to let go and let God be God. Shouldn’t we be leading others to the Cross and not trying to pick and choose what sin we think someone else needs freedom from? Lead them to Jesus and let Him cleanse their hearts from whatever He deems unclean. It is with deep conviction that I say rather than voicing opinions that we simply lead “all who are thirsty” to the only One who can quench that thirst through grace, love, and mercy.

Social media and all over has been lit up with rainbows. I love a quote I saw posted on Instagram by Jackie Hill Perry written by John MacArthur. “Every time you see a rainbow, listen to me, it represents the victory of grace over judgment. What does this world deserve? Judgment. What does it get? Grace because this is the age when God has hung up His bow. The triumph of mercy over wrath, this is the age for us to go to the ends of the earth and tell them of God and His mercy, God and His grace.DSC_0915

How Do You Tell Your Son He’s Going to Have Brain Surgery Without Exploding Into a Million Pieces?

Luke meeting his baby cousin last year.

Luke meeting his baby cousin last year.

The house is quiet, really quiet. Every one is sleeping in on this rainy Saturday morning….everyone except me. I don’t feel like I’ve really slept since October. Since my son, Luke (I affectionately call him buddy) was diagnosed with chiari malformation. Words like “incurable”, “brain surgery”, and “severe pain” seem to be bouncing around as soon as my head hits the pillow, along with slight shock and disbelief. Wow! How did we get here?

I keep thinking back to the day when we learned Luke was going to have brain surgery….I got the call while Luke and I were riding home from another appointment. I remember we were singing and laughing when the neurosurgeon’s office called and told me that his test showed a significant flow reduction and we needed to come in and get him scheduled for decompression surgery.
My mind began to reel. My breath caught in my throat. I guess the shock of it all kept me from bursting into tears. I robotically went through the motions of scheduling the appointment but my knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly. I turned to my handsome little man next to me. How do you tell your child that they need brain surgery without exploding into a million pieces? I sent a prayer for words of wisdom and began to calmly explain to him what was happening.

“Luke, do you remember how we have prayed and prayed that the surgeon would have God’s wisdom in knowing what is best for you? Well, God has answered our prayers Buddy.” He looked at me briefly as I saw understanding creep into his blue eyes. “He thinks I need surgery, right?” “Yes buddy.” He immediately burst into tears as that understanding was replaced by fear. “Luke, it’s ok to be scared and worried and cry. You might see mommy cry too, but we are also going to thank God for answering our prayers. It may not be the answer we want but I know He is going to take care of you and guide that surgeon’s hand. We are going to get you through it one step at a time and then we are going to praise and thank God and give Him the glory for answering our prayers and being with you through it all.” He slowly nodded as I watched him brush the back of his hand over his eyes trying to fight back the fear and the tears.

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When we got home, instead of turning on the TV, he ran straight for his room. Trailing behind him, I walked in to see him drop to his knees by his bed, clasping his hands in prayer crying. He was saying something over and over but I couldn’t understand so I went closer and sat next to him. “Thank you. Thank you.” He was whispering between gasps and tears. He then reached around to the back of his head with his small hands and began to pray and beg God to give him strength to make it through. It was one of the most precious and heartbreaking moments I have ever known. I let the tears fall quietly down my face as I prayed beside him and let him pour out his heart to his Heavenly Father. Oh!! The strength and faith in that little boy was astounding! I briefly thought of the verse in Matthew 18:4, “So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I gently pulled him up and into my arms. Drawing all my strength I said, “Luke, like I said before it’s ok to be scared and cry, but let’s wait until it’s time. You are not having surgery today or next week. We are going to enjoy the holidays and spending time together with family and we are going to pray until then. He has been with us so far and He will continue with us every step of the way. Let’s worry when the time comes.”

Well that time is now fast approaching and in a week my little guy will be going in for surgery. I am having a hard time with it. As a Christian mother I know that God is honestly truly with us. I have never felt His presence more than I have since all of this started; felt a peace in my spirit that I can’t explain. (Philippians 4:7 “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”)

But as Luke’s mommy, I am heartsick and terrified. My worries and fear seem to sit on my shoulder and threaten to drown me. I honestly do not know what I would do if I didn’t have the Lord giving me strength. My emotions are all over the place. And my sweet little Luke;  I can’t hug him enough. I can’t kiss his head enough. I can’t thank God enough for giving me the unspeakable honor of being that little guy’s mom. Of having the honor of comforting him, holding him and guiding him through this life.

There is that peace again, stirring up in soul, creeping up into my spirit and touching every corner of my heart. I will allow God to continue to guide me because He is allowing me to guide Luke. And I whisper just like he did between gasps and tears, “Thank you! Thank you!”

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When You Try to Help Someone And They Won’t Let You

19973Last Sunday night, myself, my teen daughter, and my youngest son stopped to do the grocery shopping for the week. My husband and I both hate grocery shopping and I guess we both tend to procrastinate about it. So, anxious to get it done, I ushered the kids inside. It was crazy busy. I guess the whole community had procrastinated as well. We went from aisle to aisle from vegetables to toilet paper and everything in between. Finally we were finished and I eagerly pushed the heavy cart toward the check out lane. My children worked diligently on helping me load the groceries on the conveyor belt with surprisingly little bickering (which to me was an added perk).

Halfway through the cashier ringing up our goods, I noticed the old man waiting behind us in line. He had a frozen pizza, a peppermint patty and a green pepper that were half hidden behind my mounds of groceries still left on the conveyor belt. I looked at his patient face and felt convicted that in my rush and self-absorption, I had not let him go in front of me while we were unloading our items. As the cashier bagged the last few items, I felt God speak to my heart nudging me to pay for his groceries and so I spoke up and asked the cashier to please add them onto my bill.

The man looked at me and emphatically refused, almost seemed insulted. “Ma’am I’m not going to let you do that! I have enough money to pay for my own food.” Oh wow! That’s not the response I expected. Blushing and trying to recover, I said, “Of course sir and so do I, although barely sometimes week to week but I saw you standing so patiently waiting for her to finish my full cart and I’m so sorry I didn’t even offer to let you go ahead. The least I can do is pay for your pizza!” His face softened and thanking me several times, he continued to deny me the pleasure of paying for his groceries. So, I finished my transaction and began to leave. The cashier kept telling me how kind and sweet it was for me to offer with a rather shocked expression. Somewhat embarrassed, I grabbed my full cart, gathered my kids and headed for the door.19973

Walking to the car, I felt dejected and regretful for even offering. This was actually not the first time I had offered to help at this store and turned down. I could not stop thinking how in this day and age, people seem to have become so wrapped up in themselves or so unaccustomed to genuine love and care that we can no longer carry out simple acts of kindness!

We loaded the car and got in. As I reached for the ignition, my daughter grabbed my hand and with misty eyes said, “I am so so glad that God picked you to be my mom!” This coming from my teen who at every turn I seem to embarrass. It warmed my heart beyond words.

As I contemplated later on these things, it came to mind that I was focused on the wrong thing. I was focused on the man and felt a bit put off that God would have me offer knowing I would be rejected. I didn’t think about what kind of example I was showing for all the rest around me. It really opened my eyes to such a greater picture of God’s amazing plan. My obedience to the Lord might not have been for the old gentleman, but rather a witness of God’s love to my children and to the cashier and others of which I might not even be aware.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

A friend of mine recently reminded me of these words: “To love is to serve.” God’s great commandment is to love one another and to show that by serving others. It is sometimes so hard to do when we are rejected or don’t understand why God is asking us to do certain things for Him. As the scripture said, we must trust Him that he has a plan even when we don’t understand, even when we are rejected. Love and serve anyway. There is no better place to start than in your family and those closest to you.19973

Soulmates and Soda Cans

Song of Solomon 3:4a “Scarcely had I left them when I found him whom my soul loves; I held on to him and would not let him go.”

The other day, I came home from work unusually stressed and tired. Trying to scramble to get dinner ready and snapping at my husband who was trying to help me as he often does. As I was getting the plates and silverware, my husband gingerly came up to me holding a can of soda. I looked up and it was one of the new “share a Coke” cans and on the side it had the word “Soulmate”. Eagerly he said, “I want to share this with you over dinner.” Immediately I felt all the tension of the day leave my spirit. Isn’t it amazing how one act, one word can change everything?

I was convicted as I lovingly rinsed out that soda can and placed it among my special treasures. How often does my husband get the back seat in our life or after our children for that matter? How often does he get my leftovers? I would never treat others, such as my boss with disrespect. I know the answer is because at home, I am most comfortable. I feel safe among my precious loved ones enough to let my guard down. But does that make it more excusable?

I have also become disgusted with how mass media tends to portray husbands as stupid, bumbling idiots with the wife being smart, powerful, and controlling. There is no partnership in that. There is no companionship or mutual respect when one is controlling or dominating the other. Yet a lot of ladies grow up thinking that is how it should be and they set up house with that kind of dynamic. It is the world’s way, the world’s view but it is not God’s way. Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

It has been a long and difficult journey finding my way to my husband and the same for him. I want to be his true mate; his partner in life, not his boss. My prayer is that God will continue to remind me of this. Remind me that showing my husband everyday in some small way that he truly is the one that my soul loves.

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Knowing, Learning, and Life-Changing

This summer has been very busy for all of us so I have not posted as often.  We have had trips, sports, work, and different parenting schedules.  It’s great because we really do get more extended time together with the kids as a family but it is also more chaotic because we have to figure out who is going where with which parent on this vacation or this trip or that conference.  In June, we had the most amazing vacation with my husband’s family but it was over way too quickly.  We have had a summer filled with swimming, playing, working on multiplication tables, running, volunteering, piano playing, and praying.  We have also had some unexpected conflict changes.  One of the other parents has strayed away from the court order and allowed the child to go back and forth this summer whenever they want (which has been wonderful and less stressful) and we have had another parent to take very precious time away from us causing more stress.  I am actually looking a little bit forward to school starting just to get back in a normal & hopefully stable routine which is good for all of us.  Blended family life is not easy.  It is constantly evolving.  It is hard work.  It is dedicated consistency.  It is at times disappointing.  It is at times overwhelming.  However, to me as a biomom and bonus mom it is the most life-changing love I could have ever known.  First, it is a life-changing love for my husband.  He has shown the deepest compassion and care for me like I have never had before.  He has loved my children with a quiet strength and patience that even they have noticed and responded to with equal love and respect toward him.  Watching him work hard to be a very involved loving father to his son.  Teaching him to grow into the man God created him to be and life changing for me as I support him in every way I can as he does that.  Second, it has been a life-changing love for my bonus son.  Loving him like my own and being patient to let him “catch up” and not pushing him to be part of a family that he was not born in to but to grow in to.  Loving him as he finds his place in this family as well as know that he is just as equally important as me, his dad, or the other two kids.  Third, I have this life-changing love for my children.  I have overcome the guilt of the previous destruction of my relationships to be able to forgive their fathers and forgive myself so that I let go of the “control monster” and encourage a deep loving relationship between my children and their dads.  I am of the mind that the more I encourage time and a closeness with their dad the more they develop a life-changing love for me because they don’t have to choose.  They are free to love us equally.

I have saved the best for last.  Most of all I have developed a deeper life-changing love for my Heavenly Father! He has cultivated all this life-changing love in me after putting this little family together.  Through all of the craziness of this past year I have grown closer to Him each and every day.  Having to depend on Him both emotionally and spiritually, but also physically as well.  I haven’t really shared a lot but a year ago my life was turned upside down when it was invaded with episodes of vertigo.  This spinning vertigo was short lived however it was replaced with severe motion sensitivity and MAV which basically translates to 24/7 rocking swaying dizziness that waxed and waned up numerous times a day until a few months ago.  I had to take a medical leave from my fantastic job because I had to stop driving and take balance/motion therapy to re-train my brain to compensate.  The neuro therapist explained that after the few initial attacks of spinning vertigo, my system did not re-set as most would do because of my long history of migraines.  Instead it made me super sensitive to motion pretty much making me feel like I am on a boat all the time.  With therapy I have slowly regained my balance and now the rocking is very minimal and only noticed occasionally during the day.  I also have migraine medication as well as dizzy medication to take in case of an emergency as needed.  All of this really put me in an unknown place because I have had to completely depend on others. compassion and God I have always been so independent and free spirited and that was all taken away for a long while.  I have prayed and cried out to God and through all of this I have come to know Him better.  I have come to a better understanding that beyond religion God wants me to know Him and that to know him is to love selflessly and to love selflessly is to be compassionate!  Jeremiah 22:16 NLT “He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him.  Isn’t that what it means to know me? says the Lord.”  I have been studying and loving the book of Hosea right now.  Hosea 6:6 NLT ” I want you to show love not offer sacrifices.  I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”  God wants my heart, not my religion!  The more I have come to really know God the more I have experienced life-changing love for Him!  The more I have experienced this life-changing love the more compassion He has given me for others far beyond what I have ever known.  Showing compassion to others is completely selfless because it is me doing for others with nothing expected in return other than experiencing joy in being compassionate and it has also helped me get the focus off of me.  This is why I am sharing all of this in this post.  Life is difficult, it is messy and especially so in blended family life and especially if you are also dealing with physical sickness like I have.  It is easy to get trapped in yourself, and in your circumstances.  If you are struggling with these things too I encourage you to start asking yourself how you can be compassionate and how you can demonstrate it to others.  

Broken & Blessed

I can’t believe that this week I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage with my wonderful husband.  It seems like it was only yesterday we were married and yet we have been through so incredibly much!  I remember in a previous marriage I was married for 7 years and yet it felt more like 20 years.  I’ve written about that experience in a few previous blogs but you can read this one  to get an idea https://blendermom3.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/abuse-is-abuse/.   Obviously it was a very dark time for me.  I learned so much about myself as a Christian woman, mother, and wife after I got away from that situation and started to heal.  I felt like I had fallen into a deep dark hole.  I felt like I was made wrong.  I felt inadequate.  I felt broken in my soul.  I could say that it was all in God’s plan but I honestly do not think it was His Will for me to marry that man.  However, guess what?  God takes our mistakes and what little we give him and uses them for His purpose anyway!  I heard this in a sermon by Bishop T. D. Jakes.  In Mark 6:41 NLT  “Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share.” Rev. Jakes revealed in that scripture that God broke it.  Then, God blessed what was less than enough.  Lastly, God multiplied what was broken.  Wow!! Take a minute to let the Reverend’s words sink in!  God broke it.  God blessed it.  God multiplied it.  Through all the pain and brokenness God took what little I gave him and blessed me and gave me a heart to share these experiences in hopes it might touch others.  He gave me  three beautiful children to teach them about God’s amazing love and he gave me a sweet loving husband that I can serve right along side and together to try and be an example of that amazing love is to our children.  Read that scripture and think on those words.  Try and think on even in those darkest times when it’s hard to see it that there is a blessing waiting.  When you feel like you are broken in your soul like I did, God will still bless what is not enough and make it more than enough.

Abuse is Abuse

I want to talk about verbal/emotional abuse.   I didn’t know what it was at first.  I thought that I was just becoming too sensitive and could not handle my self the way I should or maybe I wasn’t smart enough to say and do the right things as his wife.  I thought that I was going crazy because I would scream and cry when I was alone because if I did it in front of him or tried to defend myself his anger would become so much worse.  Let me state this clearly that he never ever hit me or laid a hand on me.  It was always implied however.  That was what tortured me the most was always this unspoken threat of what might would happen if he became even more angry and it terrified me. When he would get angry he would (what I call) rage at me for hours.  Going on and on about what I had done wrong, twisting and turning it making me wish I was smarter or could have known how to say or do whatever it was I had not done right.  I remember one night he was angry at something I don’t recall what it was.  He had been raging and angry for a couple hours and I was exhausted.  I was exhausted from defending myself and the long day and needed to go to work the next morning.  I turned the light off and told him lets just try to calm down and go to bed.  I got into bed and he flipped the light on in my face and said he was not finished.  He then said he would finish after he took a shower.  While he was in the shower I went and made a bed on the floor of the baby’s room thinking he would leave me alone and let me sleep if I was in there.  I drifted off and then I felt eyes on me and breathing.  When I opened my eyes he was inches from my face.  It scared me to death.  He coldly whispered that he was not finished with me and if I wouldn’t come back into our room he would drag me back in there.  I started whispering/begging to let me sleep and finish it the next day but he grabbed the corners of the blanket and proceeded to drag me.  He got about half way and I heard the baby stir.  I did not want the little one to wake up! So I got up, head hanging and followed him back into the room.  I don’t remember what happened after that.  I just remember the deep broken bruised spirit as I walked out of that room.  I didn’t know it was abuse becaue I didn’t have physical proof but I later realized it for what it truly was.  Victims of abuse have a very deep need to be validated! They want people to see that they are not this horrible person the abuser wants you to think you are and terrified that just that is the way the world will view them and even more terrified that the world will see the abuser as the victim! You have to realize, though, that abuse is abuse no matter what form.  It is about one controlling the other.  I posted the video of a clip from the end of the movie “Labyrinth”.  I actually love the movie but this is a very good example of what emotional and verbal abuse looks like.  If you watch the clip you notice that the king originally plays the victim makes her feel like she is ungrateful for all he’s done even though the things he’s done have actually been against her.  But next is the big part of the contradiction of abuse.  He says to let him rule her.  He says to do as he says and he will be her slave.  That can not happen it is the opposite.  You can not have both because one will always be in control and dominate the other.  Also and this is the really important part especially when comparing it to spousal abuse is how he says to fear him and love him! Please please think about this verse! 1 John 4:18 NIV “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  You can’t have fear of that person and recieve love! It is not what real love is.  Real love is what I talked about in previous post.  It is real caring and real respect.  God wants you to feel His love!  He does not want you to be treated this way.  If you have any questions or need advice please email me and I, with God’s help, will do my best!  info@blendermom.me