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.
I 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.
My 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.
Sex 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.
XES Why Church Girls Tend to Get It Backwards by Joy McMillan
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Encourage Your Spouse: When Communication Is A Challenge When your spouse needs more.
The Generous Husband: Good and Bad Questions Recognizing the difference.
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Book image courtesy of Amazon.com / cards © Beth Morrow