sexual communication

Talking about sex can be difficult. There are many reasons for this, but mostly I think the reasons lie somewhere in between the opposing messages of religion and culture. Religion, because of the church’s relative silence (or the message that sex is “bad”) and culture’s abuse and misuse of sex and sexuality. The idea that sex has to be illicit to be good and that sex is “just” physical.  We bring these confusing and distorted messages with us into marriage.  And, thinking that marriage would solve them; we often feel disappointed. Unsatisfied. Like there is more that we are missing.

So, in an effort to increase passion, some folks resort to adding “illicit” stuff into the mix. From watching pornography together to inviting other people into their bedrooms…it works for a little while. But by temporarily increasing passion in this way, they find themselves further from true intimacy than ever. Further from what they really craved in the first place. Connection. Being known.

I am pretty good with words. But sex is something that I have a hard time describing accurately. It is sacred. And while the Lord has redeemed it for me in so many ways, I still struggle to remember the Truth sometimes. And so, that’s why I’m going to share with you someone else’s words, I hope you find them as powerful as I do:

“Sexual union is first and foremost a means of communication. We communicate powerful messages to each other and the Lord when we join ourselves sexually. It is our most intimate form of communication, enabling us to say things about our spiritual oneness that words cannot.

The word intercourse conveys this notion of communication. It is not exclusively a sexual term but simply means ‘to have an exchange or communing between persons.’ Couples must ensure that the messages of their verbal intercourse and their relational intercourse line up with the messages of their sexual intercourse. If they are communicating love throughout the day in the ways they serve, honor, and cherish each other, then the joining of their bodies in lovemaking bears testimony to that love. If, however, they are communicating anger, hatred, criticism, neglect, or disdain, the statement of their sexual union becomes a lie. With their bodies they are saying, ‘I love you so much that I want to have every part of you and to give you every part of me’; but they have communicated something entirely different throughout the day.”

(From the book, “When Two Become One” by Christopher and Rachel McCluskey).

I know I’ve barely scratched the surface. But the main message I’m hoping to get across is this: Sex is Sacred. It makes me sad to think about how often we exchange this beauty for something false or incomplete. Physical intimacy should be an extension of the emotional and spiritual intimacy you share with your spouse. My hope is that you will one day be able to experience sex the way I think we were made to: to feel safe enough and loved enough to bring more than just your body into lovemaking, but your soul and mind as well.

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friendship matters

The other day I received an unexpected gift in the mail: the October issue of “Psychology Today”! There are several wonderful articles in the issue, but the highlighted article is called, “Life Lessons: 5 Truths People Learn too late” by Elizabeth Svoboda. And one of the truths in particular really hit home. Thus, the purpose of this post: I want you to know the truth because I think you might need to hear it as much as I did. So, without further ado…here it is:

“Lesson #4: Social Networks Matter: The strength of your friends is as critical for your health as the lifestyle choices you make.”

The highlights you don’t want to miss:

  • The higher the quantity and quality of your relationships, the longer you live.
  • People with active social lives were 50 percent less likely to die of any cause than their nonsocial counterparts.
  • Low levels of social interaction have the same negative effects as smoking 15 cigarettes day– and even worse effects than being obese or not exercising (from study by Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University).
  • The more social connections you have, the greater your ability to fight infection (from study by Sheldon Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University)

The takeaway?: “Stress has potentially negative effects on health and well-being, but knowing your friends have your back can prevent such fallout” (Cohen).

 

my dear friend Dana with our babies!

Wow! I knew supportive friendships were important, but I didn’t realize just how much! Here’s to reaching out, making time, and enjoying a friendship today!

To read the full article (and the other 4 life lessons!) click the following link: http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201209/life-lessons/lessons-loving

 

intimacy after baby

Having a baby is one of the most joyous and challenging times of your life. It’s normal for intimacy with your partner to take some time to adjust. There are about a million reasons for this difficulty, but here are a few:

–       Exhaustion

–       “Baby blues” or post-partum depression

–       Feeling isolated or alone

–       “Roller coaster” emotions, rapidly fluctuating emotions

–       Feeling unattractive and undesirable

–       Decreased or lack of sexual desire

–       Difficulty becoming aroused

A few helpful hints for surviving the next couple months:

  1. Talk! Adjusting to the role of becoming a mother is a process!  Tell your partner about how you’re feeling and ask for his help and understanding.
  2. Find support. Talk to other new moms you trust. It is so helpful to know that you aren’t alone!
  3. Get information. Ask your doctor about any physical difficulties with intimacy, the impact of breastfeeding on intimacy, etc.
  4. Ask for help. Consider investing in counseling, if needed.  If feelings of sadness or depression worsen and begin affecting your daily life, you may need a little extra help. Counseling can also benefit post-baby difficulties in your relationship. It can help ease the transition, restore sexual intimacy, and aid in understanding and communication.

Let me know if you’d like help finding resources!

yeah, he’s cute–and such a blessing, but life sure is more complicated!

grateful thursday!

because doing this on Monday wasn’t an option… and somehow, it’s already Thursday! As usual, I am overly blessed and happy to focus on that instead of all the things that stress me out!

First of all, I’m grateful for all the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. I appreciate our country and the freedom and opportunities that can be so easily taken for granted.

Caleb’s first time at the big pool! He loved it!

Amy’s Bachelorette Party! Grateful for this group of women and how we worked together to make it fun!

No bachelorette party is complete until the pimp cups are used! Got the flutes from Party City and the stickers from JoAnn’s…happy sipping!

Best burger and potato salad ever! Yes, that is an english muffin instead of a bun…highly recommend!

 

grateful monday!

Is time in fast forward? I can’t believe another week has gone by! I am blessed beyond what I could ever deserve. I love starting the week reminding myself of that fact!

Melissa! She invited Caleb right up to check out what she was doing…he was fascinated!

Time with very dear friends! We went to see a play to support our friend, Gwen and enjoyed some much needed community! I love this picture!

A husband who still thinks I look beautiful even after being scalped at the hairdresser!

lovely flowers and sweet cards for Mother’s Day!

a fun time with the family at Ikea! We had fun dreaming up ideas for his new playroom!

having fun planning Caleb’s first birthday party!

You turn! What are you grateful for in the past week?

grateful monday

It’s Monday! Another week to celebrate and focus on what I have, instead of what I don’t. So, here’s what I’m grateful for this week:

Celebrating Miss Cora Jane’s first birthday!

my dear friend, Dana!

This child. He makes my spirit soar and my heart melt.

Hooded towels. There isn’t anything cuter than a wet baby wrapped in a hooded towel!

Dr. Seuss! and the amazing man reading Dr. Seuss!

Publix Premium Parmesan and Roasted Garlic Dressing (so yummy!) on a deliciously fresh summer salad.

Your turn! What are you grateful for?

grateful monday

It’s grateful monday time! I decided last week that I would share some of the big and little things I’m grateful for each Monday as a reminder to focus more on what I do have instead of what I don’t.

Thanks for joining me!

lunch with my dad!

this devotional! reading this treasure first thing in the mornings is just what I need!

"let Me teach you thankfulness..."

2 Things:
My wonderful MacBook Air
and...
An incredibly healing, educational, and eye-opening workshop this weekend! I learned so much that I am eager to incorporate into my counseling practice as well as in my family!

This video monitor has been a gift from God. I love it!

and I got to see a dear childhood friend again and she’s pregnant! I am very grateful for her friendship and her baby!

Your turn! Who wants to be the first to share something big or small you are grateful for today?

the truth about barbie

I decided to do this post because I wanted to illustrate something to all my fellow real women out there: you don’t have to be a size 2 to be beautiful! Now, I know the Barbie proportions are extreme and I doubt that the average adult woman aspires to look like Barbie per say…but I think that the women we see on tv and in movies and magazines often define beauty for us (whether we realize it or not!) Ladies, I encourage you to redefine beauty for yourself. Beauty is strength, character, and a loving spirit. Beauty is a healthy body and feeling good about yourself.

I urge you to encourage other women to do the same. It breaks my heart when women are nasty to each other. Let’s decide to build each other up. {Even if you only critique movies stars, we have to stop!}.Our words have tremendous power. Use them for good. And by the way, have I mentioned how much I like your smile? Your smile makes me smile. You are lovely, friend.

And so…just for fun:

If Barbie were a real woman, her head would be the same circumference as her waist, meaning she’d have room for only half a liver and a few inches of intestines, (as opposed to the usual 26 feet). The result: chronic diarrhea and death from malabsorption & malnutrition.

To look like Barbie proportionally, a healthy woman would need to add 61 cm to her height, subtract 15 cm from her waist, add 13 cm to her chest, and 8 cm to her neck length.

Because Barbie’s neck is twice as long as the average human’s, it would be impossible for her to hold up her head. Her legs are 50 percent longer than her arms, (the average woman’s legs are only 20 percent longer than her arms). She’d also have to walk on all fours (her feet are so disproportionately small, her chest would pull her forward onto her toes).

REAL WOMEN
Average woman’s height is 5’4″
Their weight is approx. 140 lbs.
They wear a size 14 dress
Their bust is between 36″ and 37″ (B cup)
Their waist is between 30″ and 34″
Their hips average between 40″ and 42″
Their shoe size is estimated to be between 8.5 and 9.5

BARBIE
Barbie’s height would be 7’2″
Her weight would be 101 lbs.
She would wear a size 4 dress
Her bust would be 39″ (FF cup)
Her waist would be 19″ (same as her head)
Her hips would be 33″
Her shoe size would be a 5

info about Barbie taken from here.

grateful mondays

It’s the beginning of a new week! Do you ever find yourself focusing more on what you don’t have, rather than on what you do? {yeah, me too} So, I love the idea of posting some of the little and big things I’m grateful for this Monday!

and here are a few of mine…

Yummy spinach salads for dinner!

Full of my favorite veggies (aka all of them!), a little fat free feta, roasted chicken, spices, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil!

A big ole cuppa joe and delicious biscotti from Trader Joe’s during nap time!

Our eldest fur baby, Penny! She loves to be rubbed and is so patient with our overeager, grabby baby.

Our goofy boy, Cyrus loves to snuggle!

My super smart and very delicious {almost} 10 month old is learning and growing so quickly!

I’m also feeling very grateful for my supportive, hard working, and super hot husband!

And for reconciled friendships!

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

– 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Your turn! What are you grateful for this Monday?