Tuesday, May 15, 2012

End of Year, Sprained Ankle and Mother's Day!

Wow! This school year has finished up with a BANG! It has been B-U-S-Y! I finish up tomorrow with half a day and our girls go until Friday! I am still waiting to hear back about the job interview I had, but am assuming the worst. I have hope I will find something eventually, but God just keeps shutting doors to opportunities. That means He can decide what is best for me and I don't have to make any tough decisions! I am still working on the book review for "Sheet Music" by Dr. Kevin Leman. Life has just put that on hold briefly! I have to brag B-I-G time on my hubby and my gift on Mother's Day-- he has begun a journal for me. He wrote in it almost everyday since May 1. Except for the days he was in extreme pain due to an ankle injury. He recalled how we met, his feelings and other things he noticed about me. I am glad I wasn't in a sappy mood when I received it or there would have been more tears than a box of kleenex. Instead it put a HUGE smile on my face and had me adding things to his recollection (verbally). We enjoyed that few minutes spent reliving the first few weeks of our relationship! What an amazing gift... it was all of the words I would love to hear but in written form. Which means I get to keep it forever and ever to read again and again. No better gift than that exists! He spoke to my heart and I realized things he had never verbalized about me... in an amazing way! Thank you sweetie! Now to his injured ankle-- this has been a week of struggle with his "high grade" sprain of his right ankle. It all happened while he was playing basketball last Monday. He couldn't run like he intended, so got talked into playing ball at lunchtime. Well, he came down on his right ankle and collapsed to the floor. So this is were the phrase in sickness and in health comes into play. I was so glad to be able to "serve" my husband and help him through the first few days. I told him I was sorry he was having to go through this, but was glad I was able to help him. He is usually on the end of helping me feel better and taking care of me. Well I FINALLY was able to do the same for him. It was a blessing for me to experience that. I went to the doctor with him, helped him ice his foot, made appointments and more! He is still sore and will be healing for several months, but he is walking again and not using the crutches any longer. His foot and toes are a beautiful shade of black, purple and redish tones. But he is in good spirits and is handling it all so well. I love this guy beyond belief! Thanks for listening... keep supporting your spouse during their trials (health, job, family, finances, etc) and see how the Lord will bless you in return!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sheet Music: Sex is Worth the Effort

Sheet Music Book Review: Chapter 3 Dr. Kevin Leman is straightforward in sharing his reasons for "Why a Good Sex Life is Worth Striving For" in this third chapter of Sheet Music. This is the chapter that really woke me up and caught my attention. Our sex life was never lacking, but this chapter gave me a much better understanding to the importance of sex to a husband and what I could do as a wife to support my husband in this way. For this chapter I will use an outline format for sharing his reasons. 1. A fulfilling sex life is one of the most powerful marital glues a couple can have. The type of sex he is speaking of takes some work and thinking ahead, but is worth the extra effort. 2. If a husband is sexually fulfilled he tends to be a better husband, father and employee. A wife tends to have less stress and more joy in life. 3. Reasons why a wife should want to make her husband happy: a) A sexually fulfilled husband will do anything for you. b) A sexually fulfilled husband is a scriptural mandate (THIS one right here was an ah-ha moment for me). c)A sexually fulfilled husband will feel good about himself (this has to do with how a wife responds to him sexually). d) A sexually fulfilled husband will take on his life work with a vigor and purpose. e) A sexually fulfilled husband appreciates the important things in life. He will either be home-centered or outside-the-home centered. 4. Reasons why a husband wants to make his wife "purr" (his word, not mine): a) It's better to watch-- one woman in particular. The best satisfaction comes from satisfying someone else (spouse), not from being satisfied. b) Who's winning the marriage? If one spouse has the upper hand of control, then you are both losing out in the marriage. Marriage is a relationship, not a sport. Selflessness is where it is at... think of the other person before you think of yourself. c) Sexually pursue your wife outside the bedroom. Men-- get active in helping around the house and allow the seducing to take place all day. A woman can't just separate sex into a physical act, it is one where she thinks of emotional closeness, history, context and more. This chapter goes into much more detail with each reason, I just wanted to hit the highlights. Getting the book and reading it with your spouse will allow you all to communicate with one another about what you come across. If that proves difficult, it comes easier the more you talk about it. Also, we have written notes to one another in the margins before discussing together so we have an idea of what the other is thinking. But nothing beats the face-to-face communication on this topic. Like I mentioned, this chapter had the most impact on me as a wife. I knew the Bible spoke of sexual relations in a marriage, but never really considered that is was a Biblical mandate. To have a closer relationship with Christ, I need to follow His commands. Including this one-- hey the book Song of Songs is full of sexual imagery. It is a win-win for me and my spouse; I can please my husband and my Lord.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sheet Music: What's in your RULEBOOK?

SHEET MUSIC: Chapter 2 Who is crowded with you in your marriage bed? More then you probably think! There is baggage that each spouse enters the marriage with and contributes to shaping your sexual intimacy. All this baggage forms into what Dr. Leman calls your "rulebook." These are unconscious, but very influential beliefs that you hold about how things should be done (especially in bed). Dr. Leman warns us that no two people are alike, so each person's rulebook will be different. What contributes to our rulebook? 1) parental influences- how were you brought up to think about sex? What is in your past that shapes your view today? 2) birth order- what order you are born in effects the dynamics of your personality which in turn effects expectations in bed. 3) early memories- early childhood memories (before third grade age). These early events helped shape how things should be done and expectations about life. What are your tendancies based on your past history? You have to know what your tendancies are before you can "edit" them. The remainder of this chapter discusses what you can do to edit your rulebook. It also discussed your sexual past and whether to share or not to share that past. VERY good information from Dr. Kevin Leman.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sheet Music & Strong Bonds

It's pouring rain right now in Southwest Missouri and cloudy. How many of you feel like your marriage is like our current weather? Is life pouring problems on you and the forecast looks dreary? Well, take heart and read on. I want to share some wonderful information on two different topics: the book Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman and the marriage weekend Strong Bonds. SHEET MUSIC REVIEW: The first several chapters of this book lay the groundwork for a fulfilling sex life within marriage. It begins in chapter 1 comparing two different couples: Couple 1 where the husband was always looking for the one magic thing that drove his wife crazy and he'd repeat that every time they were intimate thinking "well, it worked once." Women like variety and aren't always in the same mood each day-- so switch it up and do things differently. When this husband took this new mindset back the the bedroom their intimate moments changed dramatically. Now, sex permeates nearly everything they do. This carries over to making a man feel better about himself, gets him through tough days on the job and can give a sense of security to the family. The second couple has challenges as well, they had sex before getting married and now it seems that it is an after-thought. When the husband has a bad day and wishes to reconnect with his wife, she gets upset because it is so late in the day to get a babysitter. Really her kids take up so much of her time and energy that she is glad her husband doesn't pressure her for intimacy. She doesn't know he is into porn and pleasuring himself. The children don't see an affectionate couple, but one with tension instead. Bottom line: sex is one of the most important components of a marriage. Direct quote from the book, "One of the most loving and holy things you can do in marriage is to provide a sexually fulfilling pursuit of your husband or wife." Get a copy and read to find out more about why sex is so important in a marriage. Understanding the WHY is key to moving forward and having a new outlook on the subject! STRONG BONDS: What does a great marriage look like? Take a look at the BIG picture of marriage, not all the little details. The weekend was planned to create a paradigm shift-- a radical change in the way we think about marriage. Also, to give us tools to put into practice for this shift in thinking to take place. It was about having an unselfish or sacrificial love for your spouse... like in the movies Titanic, Princess Bride, The Notebook, The Vow and others. The weekend taught how to communicate by using speaking/listening techniques. How it is important to have fun with one another and risk factors to be aware of. One specific point was there are dynamic and static risk factors in our lives. Dynamic are the factors we can learn to change and Static are the factors that are not likely to change. So instead of trying to change your spouse (personality, background, etc) then focus on the dynamic factors that you can change. So instead focus on how you react to factors.