Your Face

July 17, 2014

in the generous life

Keep track of your face.

Yes, I know that sounds a bit silly, but it’s easy to get busy and forget to smile and opening engage with your sweetie. Our faces show what’s going on in our heads and our hearts. Pay enough attention that you communicate affection, interest and welcome.

A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home.  Author Unknown

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Day 26 in the 30 Day Prayer Challenge Pray for opportunities to serve together.

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The XY Code: Because He Saw it in Porn? Dealing with the lies you believe.

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Marriage Gems: Trauma and PTSD’s effect on marriage Great resource (a bit hard to read, college level writing and something has gone a bit wonky with the formatting).

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Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Grab a small piece of paper and write, “I love you because [fill in as you see fit].”

Tuck the card in your husband’s wallet to find later.

Who, being loved, is poor? Oscar Wilde

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Day 25 in the 30 Day Prayer Challenge  Ask God for marriage-friendly friends. (Thank Him if you already have some.)

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: Why I Still Wear Lingerie (though My Hubby Doesn’t Care) It’s a personal reminder you are beautiful, sexy and worthwhile.

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Darby Dugger: Being an Approachable Wife Can you respond gently and kindly?

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Image courtesy of mack2happy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Must Read

July 15, 2014

in the generous life

There is a lot of great stuff being written out there. I link to a few resources at the bottom of each post and I try not to say “must read” by them all. They are usually that good.

A few days ago I read this post and just couldn’t make it a link at the bottom. It was far too important and I didn’t want folks to pass over it in the busyness of their day.

It’s a must read.

Dear Sister by Chris of The Forgiven Wife

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This is a letter from Chris’ heart to yours. It’s amazingly kind and understanding. (Where was this gal 25 years ago when I needed some wisdom and a hug?)

If you are struggling in any way with your sexuality (or want to learn so that you can be an encourager of others), click the link and read. 

I’d love to sit down with you, with some coffee and a yummy treat, and just listen. Since I can’t do that, I figured I could write you a letter.  Chris of The Forgiven Wife

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Day 24 in the 30 Day Prayer Challenge  Pray for intimacy and passion in the bedroom. Pray for any needed healing.

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Fierce Marriage: The “Phone Drop Test” Every Couple Should Consider What would your spouse find on your phone if right now, without notice, you dropped your phone on the counter and gave them uninhibited access?

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Happy Home Fairy: Your Greatest Success (Is Not In a Selfie) I laughed and cried.

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Image credit © Nenitorx | Dreamstime.com

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Hi, all,

Here’s the contest/giveaway I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. I have a copy of XES by Joy McMillan (Why Church Girls Tend to Get It Backwards) and 2 sets of handmade cards from a friend of mine (you can see a few of them sprinkled throughout the post).

Contest question: What are your favorite summer time activities (things you do in nice weather) that you enjoy with your husband? Please share your answer as a comment to this post.
Deadline: July 25th, 2014

On July 25th, I’ll randomly pick 3 numbers. The posters who have commented in those spots will win the prizes (first number gets the book, second and third numbers get the cards).

And as a lovely bonus, I contacted Joy McMillan and asked her a few questions. She was kind enough to share her thoughts about her book and life.

1. Joy, talk to me a bit about your book. What is the heart message?

I wanted to help break the silence. 

Sex has for so long been a taboo subject within the church community, and having watched women come out of the woodwork after hearing my story, weeping over the weight of their own shame and fear of exposure, and wrestling with the overwhelming loneliness they’ve felt over having no one to talk to, was a huge motivating factor. 

card1I wrote a post about sex on my blog a few years ago that God had stirred in my heart for many months, and the response blew me out of the water. I knew I’d struck a nerve, and had at the same time, uncovered a boldness and transparency in my own life that I hadn’t realized before. I’ve never considered myself a serious writer, and after spending so much time in ‘sexual hiding’, the idea of publishing a book and baring my heart and soul to the world, calling women to break free and pursue greater intimacy in their marriages was, well… wild and just slightly ridiculous. But I’m learning that this wild God we serve delights in using the unlikely and regularly calls us to step out of our comfortable boats and onto the water with Him.

card2My hubby and I have been involved in some form of marriage ministry for as long as we’ve been married, but I didn’t want to just write another marriage book. I wanted to delve into this often misunderstood topic of our sexuality and expose lies we tend to believe, especially if we’ve grown up in a more religious environment. I feel as though many of us have a fractured image of sex, often because we have a distorted view of God, and I wanted to more clearly reveal God’s heart on the subject. The world tends to scream their opinion… and the church often sheepishly covers her eyes and blocks her ears. We’re so offended by what we see wrong in the conversation on sex, that we’re not sure we want to join in. So sadly, we’ve lost our authority or credibility on the topic. 

I really believe our sexuality is under attack, and if we’re not willing to fight to reclaim our voice and celebrate what God gave His most beloved creation, we’ll allow the enemy to continue to hijack it. 

card3Sex is such a powerful weapon, and we can choose to wield it and fight for  our marriages, or it will continue to be used against us. In this book I set out to encourage women to run hard after this beautiful expression of love, and to experience first-hand how powerful and pivotal it is to their marriages. To no longer settle for status quo. To be awakened to the battle… and to step into the fight, armed and passionate.

I also wanted to share my own story – the good, the bad and the ugly – not because it makes me an authority on the topic, but because I’ve seen our faithful God come through in such an exquisite way in my life and because He longs to release us all from what holds us hostage. After seeing God use the very messes and mistakes I’d spent so much time and energy covering up, to bring healing and hope to others, I knew that exposing the tender underbelly of my heart was a necessary piece of this puzzle. Sexual wounds abound in this world, and our knee-jerk response is to cover them up and pretend they don’t exist. I wanted to invite women to process through their brokenness, to unpack their baggage if you will, and to no longer allow the enemy to use secrets and shame to hold our hearts hostage. Past sexual baggage can hugely impact our ability to sexually connect with our husbands today.

The heart message of XES, in a nutshell, would be: Sex is beautiful and powerful, because God designed it that way, as a gift to your marriage… step into that truth, celebrate it, fight to protect it, allow it to deepen and strengthen your marriage, and choose to let go of what’s holding you back.

2. What’s your favorite part of the book?

I think my favorite part of the book is my story. I’m thoroughly in love with the practice of traveling light. I’m not sure whether that part is my favorite because writing it was so scary and exhilarating and freeing. And by far the bravest thing I’ve done since bungee jumping. But I think it’s also what makes my book unique. There’s nothing new under the sun, as Solomon said, and I don’t think any of the concepts or ideas in this book are truly revelatory or new. The way in which they’re shared is of course unique, but I think because we all have stories that color and flavor what we bring to this world, our willingness to let people into the unsightly areas of our hearts inspires healing in theirs. It’s the byproduct of living life wholeheartedly and vulnerably together. I’m excited to see God continue to encourage hearts and woo from hiding women who have walked a similar path to me.

3. If you could tell women one thing about sex in marriage, what would it be.

Not to lose hope or write it off. We’re wired so differently, not just from our husbands, but from each other, and if we’re willing to press in and start to understand how God made us and the inner working of our anatomy, hormones, and emotions, and uncover what distracts and arouses us, we can experience an incredibly satisfying and liberating sex life.

joy

 XES Why Church Girls Tend to Get It Backwards by Joy McMillan
Simply Bloom blog

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Day 23 in the 30 Day Prayer Challenge  Pray for help in dealing with any changes or transitions that you both need to make.

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Encourage Your Spouse: When Communication Is A Challenge When your spouse needs more.

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The Generous Husband: Good and Bad Questions Recognizing the difference.

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Book image courtesy of Amazon.com / cards © Beth Morrow

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Last week was the first Sunday of the month and I totally forgot our monthly cyber prayer meeting. Today will have to do.

Gals, please take a moment to pray for the marriages of generous wives everywhere. Some of us are newlyweds, some oldyweds. Some are new parents and some emptynesters. Some are struggling with finances, infidelity or health issues. Please pray over these things and ask for blessings of every sort – peace, patience, intimacy, laughter and more.

Thanks so much.

Prayer is where the action is. John Wesley

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Day 22 in the 30 Day Prayer Challenge Pray for others’ marriages – generous wives, your friends, your pastor & spouse, relatives, etc.

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Take Notes

July 12, 2014

in the generous life

Just a little reminder to be a student of your spouse.

If you want to bless someone it helps to know something about them. Listen to what your husband says. Watch what he touches (what magazine does he pick up in the store?). How does he spend his time? What are his favorites? What does he not like? What are his clothing sizes?

I used to jot notes and ideas down in a little notebook in my purse. Now I have Evernote (where I keep my brain).

Study your man. Bless him.

It is quite clear that between love and understanding there is a very close link… He who loves understands, and he who understands loves.  Paul Tournier

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Day 21 in the 30 Day Prayer Challenge Ask God to help you stay soft and open toward your husband.

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Happy Wives Club: 8 Powerful Words That Change Your Marriage – For the Better! A great argument preventer.

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Love and Respect: What To Do if Love and Respect Doesn’t Work “Focus on doing your part, and trust God to do what only He can do in the heart of your spouse and in your marriage.”

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From The Generous Wife archive:

Do you and your husband have a favorite movie trilogy? Why not ask your husband to a movie marathon or a series of movie nights? Make yourselves comfortable and have movie treats on hand. 

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No favorite trilogy? Think about movies in a theme, like pirate movies or movies set in Egypt. Still stuck for movie ideas? Check out what generous wives recommend – Movie Night Movies (and feel free to add your favorites in the comments).

Every great film should seem new every time you see it.  Roger Ebert

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Day 20 in the 30 Day Prayer Challenge Pray for the courage to be honest with each other and the ability to offer grace and forgiveness.

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The Romantic Vineyard: The Guilt Caused By Marriage Blogs What marriage topics cause you guilt?

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Are you shopping online this weekend? Please start on the Shop and Support TGW page. It won’t change your purchase price, but I will receive a small commission.

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