The Heat is On

PinkLemonadeWe are in the middle of the dog days of summer. The enthusiasm for warm, sunny, sweaty days has worn off and we are just laying low, until things cool off a bit. But don’t miss a chance to take advantage of conditions that don’t require clothes for warmth. Turn off the air conditioning for a while, have fun and create some memories.

Watch a movie in the nude

Cover the couch with a blanket or sheet, find a movie that both of you enjoy, and stretch out to enjoy the show. Notice what it feels like to set your body free, sneak peaks of  your spouse, and take a stroll with your fingers.

Cook in the nude

Surprise your spouse by cooking in nothing but an apron. Serve a meal that is filled with sensuous finger food. Set a beautiful table and enjoy his eyes on you as he chooses to feast on you.

Play a game in the nude

Have some fun as you play your favorite game or video game in the nude. Or test your concentration by trying to work a puzzle while distracted by the view of your spouse’s body.

Work in the nude

Make all those projects that you have been putting off a lot more enjoyable by doing them together in the nude. Clean out your closet, clean the bathrooms, or sort out the junk drawer together and have some fun.

Read together in the nude

Enjoy a leisurely time reading out loud to each other in the nude. Enjoy Song of Songs, a Psalm, or your favorite book.

Get Creative

Pose your sweetheart in your favorite position as you try to capture their essence. Try your hand at painting, pastels or even photography. Have some fun and just enjoy visually studying them, recreating their curves on paper, and capturing their glow.

Don’t miss out on having some fun. Get comfortable in your own skin and enjoy letting your spouse enjoy the view.

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Glued Together Podcast Part 2

The 2nd half of my podcast with Belah Rose at Delight Your Marriage is live!  Belah and I talk about what it means to let our husband lead while we are on our own journey – and to be glued together through it. Thanks for checking it out! If you missed Part 1 of Belah and my discussion then listen in sometime!

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Living in the Tension

There is nothing easy about living in the tension – this place that is neither black nor white. It requires us to discern and not just follow rules. We have to talk about things, wrestle with God and we have to be ready to change when God calls us to something different. Living in the tension is hard but it also helps us understand who God is.

living in the tension

God is able to extend mercy and grace but He is also just and righteous.

God loves us by accepting us as we are but He also speaks truth to us about who He created us to become.

God calls us to serve but He also calls us to receive.

God tells us that it is not what we do that earns favor with Him but it is out of an abundant love for Him that we do what He calls us to.

It would be much easier if God just gave us a set of rules to follow, but He doesn’t. He is much more interested in our heart and our motivation then following the rules. He wants us to have a relationship with Him and a heart that has a pulse on who He is.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

God call us to trust and to discern what He wants for us. If we took on all the burdens of the world and tried to meet all the needs, we would be totally be overwhelmed and give up. But God does not want us to just ignore the needs of the world and grow cold to broken people. We must discern what He calls us to and dive into our part to make a difference. He calls us to let go of our own agenda  – to be interruptible – to step into the doors that He has opened. When we do, He is with us, He does the heavy lifting – and it blesses us because we are in communion with Him.

I think God also calls us to live in tension in our sexuality. It would be easier if everything was just black and white – all masturbation is wrong – or – masturbate as much as you want. But He doesn’t do that.

It would be easier if He told us – you should never use a toy – or – use a toy as much as you want. But He doesn’t do that. He asks us to live in this place where we are in community with Him. Together – husband, wife and God –  we decide what is right for our marriage bed. It is how we are supposed to live – hanging on His every word. Asking about our everyday life. Including Him and always having a pulse on what He wants for us and how much more there is.

I believe God speaks to us. If you ask Him, He will give you an answer. In your heart of hearts you will know. And so it is not about the rules or the do’s or don’ts, it is about living in alignment with God.

Over the next few weeks we are going to tackle some of the gray areas that God gives us in our sexuality. Things that come to mind are masturbation, and toys. The goal is not to tell you what is right or wrong. The goal is to share some examples where they might create intimacy in your marriage or where they might create division. Even more important to think about is, does it create intimacy with God or does it create division with God? Does it drive me into secrecy or does it drive me towards relationship? We will ask you to share examples of your own discernment as you, your spouse and God decided what was good and right for your marriage bed. So if there is a gray area that you would like addressed, send it our way and lets have a discussion.

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Why can’t I let him lead?

Can I let you in on a secret?

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“I have a much easier time enjoying sex when I am leading”….

There, I said it. The cat is out of the bag.

“I LIKE TO LEAD”

“I like to decide when we are going to have sex and how we are going to have it.”

When I am leading, I enjoy all the plans as they unfold. I take my husband places, I change it up and surprise him. I tune into his body and his arousal – and it actually turns me on. Sometimes I like to turn up the heat, and sometimes I like to make it tantalizingly slow and delicious. And my husband doesn’t seem to have any issue with it. He is able to just go with the flow. Sometimes when I treat him, he just lays back and soaks it in.  Other times when it is more interactive, he hops right on board and doesn’t miss a beat. He can match my mood and my pace and I absolutely know that he is there with me. My body naturally responds, sex is great and I thoroughly enjoy it.

But I know that it is important for my husband to lead, too.

“It’s not that I don’t want my husband to lead.”

“I do.”

“I REALLY do.”

And honestly, maybe I want it too much. Maybe I have too many romantic ideas of what that looks like or unrealistic expectations.

“But I think that it is even worse than that… because my husband is no slouch.”

He has studied me well. He knows my body and how it works. He knows lots of ways that it works. He knows how to hold me different ways depending on my mood. He even uses his words once in a while. He changes things up and is constantly trying new things and sometimes things go great when he leads.

But other times, it is a nightmare. As he initiates and tries to take me somewhere, I am laying there analyzing every little move he does and picking it apart. It’s awful, really awful. Honestly, I don’t think it would matter what he did, I think I would still find something wrong with it. Other times, I am laying there worrying about what is coming next, or exactly what he is doing, or even trying to discern if there is a rough spot on his hand that I am feeling.

It is almost as if I am trying to sabotage our connection.

“Why can’t I just relax and enjoy it?”

“Why can’t I just go with the flow like he does?”

“Why can’t I just jump on board with what he has in mind?”

“Why do I have to control what we do?”

Sometimes I actually wonder if I have been possessed. I want him to lead, and then when he does, I pick it apart? That makes no sense.

I am embarrassed to say that many times I end up complaining about what my husband did or did not do. I find some microscopic issue with how he approached me or interacted –  UNTIL REALITY HITS – and I find myself once again apologizing for being so picky and complicated.

I am so glad my husband does not give up on me.

I remember one time when it happened that I actually started praying silently for God to help me get on board and I prayed for the critical spirit to stop. It actually worked. I need to do that again….

I doesn’t seem like this sex thing should be  so hard….But it is.

So don’t give up….

On each other

Or on yourself.

And while you are at it, thank your spouse for not giving up on you. 

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Believe in Your Beauty Podcast

Believe-In-Your-BeautyToday I am talking with Belah Rose over at Delight Your Marriage where I share my story of believing that God created me absolutely beautiful. This belief spurred me on to greater intimacy and freedom with my husband and with God. Please head over to hear Part 1 and plan on returning next Tuesday for Part 2 of our conversation. While you are there, check out Belah’s other resources that inspire whole hearted intimacy.

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Freedom to Live

This weekend I watched the movie, “The Giver,” with my family and I could not help but relate what is portrayed in this Utopian society to what happens in our individual lives.

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The story takes place in a society run by a group of elders.  In order to prevent wars, crimes of passion, or even struggle, everything has been sterilized and made the same. People wear the same white outfits, ride identical bicycles and live in identical houses to prevent jealousy. Children attend the same school, and at a predetermined age, the elders determine their future role in society based on their strengths. Elders arrange marriages to ensure a sound family unit to raise children.  People work together for the good of society and food, housing, health care and jobs are provided for everyone. People are polite, there is no jealousy, no arguing, and no violence. All is peaceful.

But what looks like an ideal society – turns out to be not so ideal. What the people do not realize is that what they have given up to avoid any painful situations, has also confined them to a prison of nothingness. Color and fashion that create individual style was replaced by the drab monotone of white uniforms.   Music that stirs hearts and makes us feel deeply was silenced. Play just for the sake of play – the rush of red cheeks sledding down a snow covered hill – was replaced by sensible games. The range of climate and the power of thunder storms was replaced with 70 degrees and sunny every day to produce the best crops. The differences of race, religion and culture that weave together a society in all the colors of the rainbow were abandoned for sameness. And the pounding of a heart that yearns to be fully known and loved by another was silenced for the practicalities of forming a family. Anything that made them feel emotion or passion was stilled and they didn’t even know what they were missing.

But what happens in this society is not unlike what happens in our individual lives. In order to avoid heartache, disappointment or pain, we begin constructing walls to protect ourselves. What we don’t realize is that with each brick we add, we live and feel a little less. We try to look like those around us, and dare not stand out in the crowd for fear of being rejected. We play it safe during worship lest we feel out of control as the music moves us. We keep so busy that we miss out on the spontaneity of just laughing or playing, or feeling the wind in our hair. We love, but only a little, lest it hurt too much if we are disappointed. We might share 90%, or 95 % of us, but hide in the last bit of muck for fear of rejection. We miss out because we are afraid and instead begin to feel nothing.

But God changes everything. Because I know I am created by God uniquely me and dearly loved no matter what, I am able to open myself up. I am secure in who I am and who God created me to be. I know that I am broken and prefer to live known rather than hidden – because God loves me anyway.  I become less reactive to other people’s responses and instead give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe their reaction, comes out of their own brokenness, rather than something that I am doing wrong. I love freely and with abandon. I don’t shy away from pain or brokenness in others because God calls me to enter into it and minister – He will provide what I need.

I cry

I laugh out loud

I worship with abandon

I weep for the broken

I swoosh down a snow laden hill

I jump in icy cold lakes

I get naked

I love

Because God gave me the freedom to live

How has God changed your life?

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Can “Fast Food” Be Good for You?

35419975-stopwatch-with-pulsing-heartI was recently asked about “quickies” in an Awaken-Love Women’s Class. The inquiring woman wanted help reconciling how fast food sex works with a husband and wife’s differing “warm up” needs.

When it comes to “quickies” in marriage, hopefully staying connected, selflessness and making the best use of the time you have are the motivators. None of our fast food culture’s short sighted, selfishly seeking instant gratification has a place in God’s design for marriage. Hold on, let me step off my soapbox real quick.

Quickies definitely have their place in the marriage bed, but cannot be the sole source of intimate connection to keep a marriage strong. Quickies fill a different role than more lengthy or luxurious encounters. Certainly, many husbands can reach orgasm quickly – even during a quickie – but many wives need more time to get there. So it’s super important to remember that great sex is getting to know your husband and allowing him to get to know you, not whether you have an orgasm. However, let’s not rule out an orgasm for a wife during a quickie. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Quickies reconnect us – well, quickly.

  • If it has been awhile since a husband and wife have been together, then a quickie may be just the ticket to reconnect to get over that “newness” or nervousness again before launching into a longer encounter later on.
  • Quickies can allow a husband who is worried about premature ejaculation to release once really quickly so he is able to relax and be present during a longer encounter that immediately follows.
  • Quickies are great if you are literally in a rush but want to be reminded that you are a team – while visiting family, in the shower, when small children are sick and clingy, etc.
  • They can be a memorable way to start the day since arousal levels are typically higher upon waking up and a husband’s erection might already be present.
  • Quickies can be a fun means of adding playfulness to your marriage – How speedy can we be? Where can we go to do it really fast? Will it work in the closet or the laundry room? When could I surprise him?
  • Honestly, there are times when a wife may be too tired for a full course meal, but she loves her husband and wants him to have a release, so she proposes a quickie – for him to orgasm and connect and for her to love and connect with him with no pressure for her to orgasm.

Quickies can come in so many lovely varieties.

Here are some tips to make quickies more enjoyable for the wife:

As wives, if we are aware that a quickie is likely on the menu, then it is important that we use the power of our mind to build anticipation and prepare our self by awakening our body. We want to use our mind all the time, but for a quickie, our advanced thoughts can make up for the foreplay that will obviously be lacking.

Using a lubricant – whether store bought or something you already have at home like coconut oil – can also help speed things along since there isn’t time for natural lubrication to happen in full force. Our thoughts can help get the natural lubrication started, too. Praise God for our powerfully good mind!

If an orgasm is desired for the wife during a quickie, then she might need to incorporate some extra clitoral stimulation with his/her hands or a toy.  Toys, if they are right for your marriage bed, can provide a stronger source of stimulation that can cut down on the time it takes to get there.

Experience can help, too. The old adage “practice, practice, practice” holds true. The more frequently we are sexually active with our spouse, the faster our body will learn to respond – with engorgement, with lubrication, and with pleasure.  So start taking full advantage of your small pockets of time because they will help quickies get better and better!

I stand tall and proclaim that quickies are part of a balanced diet for marriage.

They may even be part of a nutritious breakfast! Obviously a diet of “just quickies” means a couple is missing out on other important nutrients in their marriage, but quickies can provide connection in a pinch and some really fun memories to think about later.

How does “fast food sex” nourish your marriage?

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