There was an error in this gadget

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beyond our Control

I have an amazing friend (and prayer warrior) who sends me daily devotionals and I have been SO behind on reading them.  I know how God works though and His timing is always right on.  I can't help but laugh (and thank Him) when I know He is leading me to certain ones on days when I really need them.

I never thought of myself as a controlling person.  And really I think controlling is a bad word for it.  I am more of a planner and I like to set a path for my life, career, family, you name it... but God has shown me time and time again that I am not in control... He is!  I still have a hard time letting go of that but He continues to show me that all good things will come in His time and I have to continue practicing patience.

The devotional I read today talks about how sometimes we feel beyond _____ (fill in the blank).  To me all of these things equate to a loss of control.  But God can fill our doubts and confusion with love, grace, mercy and goodness.

Here is an excerpt from the one I read today...


I’m beyond hurt.
I’m beyond confused.
I’m beyond stressed.
I’m beyond tired…physically, emotionally and mentally.

I could go on and on. But then I would be beyond depressed.When feeling like this, I realize I have to get my mind out of the gutter and anchor myself on God’s promises.I have to be intentional to focus on a different set of “beyond” statements or I quickly find myself in a pit. I know this from experience. Even if the “beyond” statements above are true, there are others that are also true.

I am beyond blessed: From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16*
I am beyond strong: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am beyond secure: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
I am beyond safe: Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. Psalm 138:7
I am beyond hopeful: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I am beyond loved: But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5
I am beyond valued: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
I am beyond forgiven: Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48
I am beyond found: Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” Luke 15:4-6
I am beyond complete: So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:10 (NLT)

Human emotions are very real but can also lead us to false beliefs and poor decisions.  I am learning to rely more on Him than me.  Today instead of focusing on my emotional "beyonds" I choose to focus on His promises of "beyonds".

*Jewels

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Protect Your Children

I have been wanting to blog about this for a while and I feel like I got the extra push I needed after watching some of the Dr. Phil show this morning which was about child pornography.

I think a lot of parents shy away from talking to their children about protecting themselves from sexual predators because it is awkward and uncomfortable.  And frankly, I think a lot of parents think this could never happen to their children.  Let me tell you something... sexual predators are EVERYWHERE!  They can be lawyers, doctors, teachers, neighbors and even family members.  I guarantee you know of at least one person who was sexually molested as a child.  And those are just the ones who have talked about it.

Just thinking about anything happening to one of my boys brings anger and violent thoughts up in me that I never thought I could be capable of.  I will never understand the sick and tortured minds of these sexual deviants but my job is not to understand them... it's to protect my children from them.  And I will do everything in my power to make sure I do that.

I am posting this only so you know the importance of talking with your kids about this so they can protect themselves.  No one can protect their children 24 hours a day so we have to teach them, from a very young age, to self protect and we have to encourage open communication with our kids.  I asked my pediatrician how to approach this subject with Garrison when he was about 3.  He had been in daycare since he was about 6 months and while I trusted all of his teachers I knew it was something we would need to discuss.  The doctor's advice was that you make the conversation age appropriate and you discuss often.  Here are some examples of how I have handled this discussion over the years.

3-4 years old:  "Garrison, no one is allowed to see or touch anything your underwear cover except Mommy and Daddy.  If anyone sees or touches you where your underwear cover you have to tell Mommy and Daddy."  I make him repeat this as good as he can.  I used to have this conversation with him about every two weeks as a refresher.

5-6 years old:  "Garrison, remember no one should ever be able to see or look at your private parts.  If anyone tries to touch you or asks to see any of your private parts you yell, kick, scream, bite, anything you have to do to get someone else's attention and get away from them.  Then you tell a grown up if Mommy and Daddy aren't around and then you tell Mommy and Daddy when you see us again."

Garrison has started to be more inquisitive when I tell him to stay close to me in public or when we talk about these things.  I finally got to the point where I just tell him the truth.  I tell him there are some really bad people in this world who make bad choices.  He has asked me before why anyone would want to take a kid.  I have told him that there are some bad people who could take a kid and want to hurt them.  I know that by telling my son these things I am taking his overly optimistic and innocent view of the world down a couple of notches.  But we don't live in a world of roses and sunshine beams.  Our kids, to a certain extent and at the right age, have to be aware of the kind of world they live in and the dangers that can go along with that.

 I also encourage you to be observant of your surroundings.  I remember a time when I was driving through my neighborhood and a car had stopped on the side of the road with their window down and they were talking to a kid who was walking home from school.  I pulled up right behind the car and rolled down my window and said (in a VERY loud voice) to the boy, "Do you know this person?"  The child shook their head.  The car drove off.  I stayed in my car so as not to scare the kid and told him he needs to go straight home and not talk to strangers.  And I drove very slowly making sure I watched that kid walk home.  Maybe that idiot was asking for directions.  Maybe they were asking what time school got out.  Who knows?!  But I know I would have felt awful if I did nothing and later heard there was an abduction in my neighborhood.


Please protect your kids and teach them to protect themselves.  That is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a parent. 


*Jewels










Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Imperfections

Us moms have pretty crazy lives.  Whether you have babies or kids in school life is go, go, go all the time!  If you are like me you have gotten your morning routine down from an hour to 20 minutes flat.  Yes, this includes shower, shaving, blow drying/straightening hair and makeup.  Ha!

Seriously, though, I think one of the most beautiful things about moms is our imperfections.  I try to leave the house looking nice but that is not always possible.  Sometimes I go to Wal-Mart with my hair in somewhat of a ponytail, no makeup, spit up on my shirt and a tee shirt with holes.  (At least I fit in with my surroundings, haha!)  Okay, that's a little extreme but I'm not saying I haven't really done that. 

Most of the great moms I know don't always look 100% put together.  They are not always in tip top shape with fresh from the tanning salon tans and absolutely no roots.  They don't have completely clean houses or perfectly manicured lawns.  But they are GREAT moms!  And you know what I bet their kids would say if you asked them to describe their moms?  "My mom is pretty, fun and loves to spend time with me!" 

I think a lot of women out there are so eager to impress their friends and perfect strangers.  Why?!  What will that get you in life?  I would hope my friends love me for my humor or my listening skills and not my cute outfit or perfect make up.  Side Note:  This is why I only hang out with REAL girls! 

I don't know about you, but I would rather be "perfect" in the eyes of my kids than have a flat stomach, tan legs and a sparkling clean house.  How could I not want to spend time with these awesome boys?  (P.S.  Garrison just picked a flower in this picture and is handing it to me!)



*Jewels


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Taking Womens' Rights Too Far?

Garrett and I were watching the news last night and there was a segment on a "new policy" for credit card companies.  You can watch the clip/read the article here if you want. 

The basic idea is that credit card companies are denying "stay at home moms" credit cards because they cannot prove that they have income to pay on this line of credit.  I am sitting there in awe with my mouth hanging open at the TV listening to these women rant about how this is discriminatory toward women, blah blah blah.  Are you serious?  It's common sense.  If you have no income how are you going to pay for the credit card?  Obviously we know these women very likely have spouses who bring in the money but do we really expect credit card companies to come and do a home study and look at their husband's pay stubs and then give a line of credit to the stay at home mom?  Come on!

I have been home with Ethan and Garrison (after school) since February.  I now, more than ever, appreciate the job of a stay at home mom.  It most definitely is hard work and I applaud the women out there who do this full time.  However, is marriage not a partnership?  What is the problem with your spouse taking out a credit card and adding you on the account?  Problem solved!  You can both build credit together... what a concept!

I realize I am very traditional in the fact that I think the man should be the head of the household.  I also think a husband and wife should make decisions together and parent together but I look to my husband as the "leader" of our family.  One of my favorite movie lines is from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" when the mom says, "The man is the head of the house but the woman is the neck.  And she can turn that head any way she wants to."  I couldn't agree more.  I mean, how could Garrett say no to this face?



Our country has come a long, long, long way with womens' rights.  And sometimes I just want to tell some of these crazy, liberal women that enough is enough.

*Jewels


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sunday Christians

When I was a teenager I came across a lot of people who told me Christians are hypocrites.  I never really understood this because I was always taught that we are all (including Christians) sinners.  As I have gotten older I can see why non believers view many Christians as hypocrites though.  There are a lot of "Sunday Christians" out there and I definitely went through this stage in my life.  Actually, I was more like a "Once a month Sunday Christian".  I went to church when I was feeling empty and needed a good pick me up.  I have learned this is most definitely the wrong reason to go to church.

I grew up Episcopalian/Anglican and went to church every single Sunday with my parents until I moved away for college.  Our church was never really geared toward youth and I never felt like I learned much I could apply to my life at that time so I would occasionally go to a Baptist youth group on Wednesdays.  My parents also encouraged me to go on youth retreats which is where I constantly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I know the longing for the Holy Spirit is what drove me back to church as a young adult.  While I may not have gotten much out of Sunday church I am and will always be grateful to my parents for giving me that foundation, stability, example and planting that seed in my heart to love and know Jesus. 

Fast forward several years... Garrett and I tried many churches when he was stationed in Connecticut and Virginia.  We just couldn't find the right fit.  During this time in my life I just never felt like I was being a "good Christian" because I could not find the right church.  Our marriage started getting pretty rocky after Garrison was born.  There wasn't any particular incident... it was just the reality of being out of the military and being super tight on money and learning how to be married and be parents and grow up all at the same time.  It wasn't until that time that I learned just how much I needed, make that, CRAVED Jesus.  I tried so hard to fix my marriage on my own.  I tried to fix me.  I tried to fix Garrett.  I finally gave up on trying on my own and started reading devotionals.  It was unbelievable to me how every time I would start a devotional or randomly open the Bible to a page He would speak to me.  I would think it would be so easy for us to just get a divorce and then I would pray and pray for God to tell me what to do.  I would open His word and it would be right there in black and white specifically telling me to stay and that only God could make things right, not me.  I once told my sister I felt like an addict at times.  It's like I NEEDED to hear His word to bring me out of my confusion and worldly thinking.

Again, I find myself rambling.  The point to all of this is that I found Jesus, and I mean really found Jesus, through life circumstances, finding encouragement from fellow believers and through His word.  I do not think there is a perfect church on this earth.  One person might get more out of a traditional church with hymns and communion every Sunday and one person may get more out of a church with contemporary music and a dynamic preacher.  I think church is a necessity for believers to spiritually grow, praise Him and have fellowship with other believers.  I also think it is extremely important to have your kids in church from a young age so they can learn about Him and His teachings.  But I think it is most important for each of us to spend time daily with God to strengthen our personal relationships with Him and not just be "Sunday Christians".


*Jewels








Monday, May 14, 2012

Decisions and Free Will

Have you ever been faced with a tough, life changing decision?  I have always had a hard time making big decisions.  I am a planner by nature so I try and make all of my decisions based on facts, finances and a little bit of my gut feeling.  If I still can't decide then I pray about it.  (I completely realize those two steps should be reversed but that is one of my many faults - think first, pray later.) 

Many, if not most, times after I pray about a decision I still feel like I don't have an answer.  I literally want God to TELL me what to do.  If I have two options I want him to take one completely away so the power to decide is out of my hands.  I often pray for specific signs so I can be certain of what His will is for me.  I don't think praying for these things are bad necessarily, but I have learned that God gave us free will for a reason.  Sometimes He brings us to a point where He wants us to decide for ourselves.  I have faith that when I pray about a decision and don't feel like I have gotten a clear answer that is His way of telling me He will bless either path I take.

My dream had always been to be a mom.  I felt like Garrison was a miracle sent to me from God and I wanted to experience that at least once more before I left this earth.  Garrett and I have been together since we were 15 and we have always known we would have two kids.  It was something we discussed and never disagreed about.  I remember about 2 years ago I wanted another child so badly I couldn't stand it.  I was trying to be patient and wait for "the right time" in our lives (mostly financially) to start trying for another child.  One day, and what I felt like was completely out of the blue, Garrett told me he didn't want anymore children.  My heart had never felt so broken...ever.  I felt like he had pulled my heart right out of my chest and just shattered it in a million pieces.  He knew how badly I wanted another one but he felt that our marriage might be rocky if we were stretched on finances.  This was very logical of him as most all of our fights in the past had been when our finances were tight.  He basically told me he was choosing our marriage over expanding our family.  This was so hard for me to take in and accept.  I prayed more during that time than I ever had in my entire life.  And of course the next two years seemed like the baby boom of my time.  EVERYONE was pregnant.  And every pregnancy I found out about was another grain of salt in the wound.  I am proud to say that my husband and I have awesome communication and this was an ongoing discussion even though we felt we had both already made our decisions.  We agreed that we would pray about having another child.  Over time I saw Garrett's heart softening about this and eventually we ended up talking about adopting vs. having another biological child.

My point to this long rambling story is that God can do amazing things in your life and all you have to do is ask Him what He wants from you.  Pray before making big decisions.  If you know my husband you know how stubborn he can be.  I have seen God do some incredible things in our life and turned the impossible into His plan.  I am asking you today to trust in God.  Trust him with your finances, your decisions, your children, your marriage, your relationships, your life.  He died for you.  It's not asking too much to have faith in Him and trust that He knows what's best for us, is it?!

*Jewels

 


Friday, May 11, 2012

Breastfeeding a Three Year Old?

If you haven't heard about the new Time cover you haven't seen the news lately.  I have seen every news station reporting on the controversy of this article.

Here is the cover photo in case you haven't seen it:


http://blogs-images.forbes.com/forbeswomanfiles/files/2012/05/time-cover-breastfeeding.jpg

Yes, this is an almost four year old standing on a chair sucking on his mom's boob.  I realize Time was likely going for shock value just to get publicity and more sales.  We know the publicity part worked. 

Please tell me I am not the only person who thinks that breastfeeding an almost 4 year old should be against the law and considered child abuse (sexual or otherwise).  How can anyone possibly think this is okay?  Besides the fact that this child will likely have SERIOUS emotional and sexual issues when he is grown this is just wrong!  I heard one of the news reporters refer to this as attachment parenting.  And Dr. Sears apparently recommends that mothers breastfeed their children "as long as possible".  So what is a good cutoff age Dr. Sears... 10?  18???  I just cannot fathom doing this TO my child.  Side Note - he also recommends that infants sleep with their parents.  (Refer to my last post for more on this.) 

The worst part about this article is the big headline that reads "Are you mom enough?"  Meaning that because I chose not to breastfeed my oldest son I am not mom enough?  Meaning that because I am unable to breastfeed my adopted son I am not mom enough?  Give me a freakn' break!  

I do believe that it is a mother's choice on whether she wants to breastfeed or not.  But you have to cut the cord at some point.  My opinion is when a kid can pose for the camera while sucking on your boob means the cord should have been cut a LONG time ago.

Jewels*














Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Is your infant sleeping with you?

This is such a controversial topic and I almost didn't write about it for that reason.  But I think people are so sensitive to this issue and therefore it is rarely discussed.

I believe that parents should make their own decisions in many circumstances while raising children.  Want to breastfeed?  Go for it!  Don't want to breastfeed?  That's cool too!  Choose to allow your baby to self soothe?  Awesome!  Want to hold your baby all the time and never teach them to self soothe?  Totally your choice. 

Since this is a blog and I am a parent of two I will give my opinion on here but I almost never preach about what someone should or should not do.  That being said, I am a firm believer that allowing infants to sleep in bed with their parent or parents is so incredibly dangerous and irresponsible no matter what the reason is.  I realize some people have been doing this for generations with no consequence, but many people have done this and sadly suffered the ultimate consequence.

Someone recently sent me this article (which prompted this post) about a Texas woman who was convicted of killing her infant son.  By the way, this was her second infant child who has died while sleeping in bed with her and her husband.  I do not judge this woman (or anyone who lets their infants sleep with them).  Instead I feel sorry for her and the fact that she was not intelligent enough to understand the risks associated with this dangerous practice EVEN AFTER already losing one son this way and getting information on the risks associated with allowing infants to sleep in bed with her.

I am not an expert on this topic by any means.  I don't know what the appropriate age is to let a child start sleeping in a bed with their parents.  Having our children first sleep in bassinets (in our room) and then in their crib in their own room around 3-4 months of age was not only safer but gave them and us the much needed rest we need.  Side note:  Garrison started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and Ethan started sleeping through the night at 3 1/2 months.  This is an added bonus!

I sincerely hope that no one is offended by this post.  My only purpose of writing this is to encourage people to do their research on this topic and make sure your babies stay safe.

In Love,
Jewels*

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Love Notes

I love Hobby Lobby!  I went in December looking for a few last minute Christmas things and stumbled across Love Notes for Kids by Dayspring.  I'm not sure if Hobby Lobby has them anymore but if not you can get them here for $3.99.  These are little tear out notes of encouragement and affection for kids.  I thought it was kind of corny at first but when I randomly gave Garrison the first one he was SO excited!  I could tell he felt incredibly special that this little note was just for him. 

Today he was telling me that he wanted to have a good day at school (smiley face day) but that it was just hard sometimes to be good all day (Ha!).  So I quickly searched through the book and found the perfect note: 
"You can do it!... I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. ~Philippians 4:13"
I tore it off and gave it to him and he smiled from ear to ear.  After school he told me had a great day.  He said he started wanting to act bad but then remembered that Jesus was with him to help him be good.  And when I got home I saw that he saved the note in his backpack.  So cute!  I have also found these little notes in the drawer of his nightstand which just melts my heart.

I think as parents (and grown ups) we completely forget how much the little things mean to our kids (and other adults for that matter).  We forget that a simple "I love you", "I'm so proud of you" or a random hug can make them feel like they are the most special kid in the world.  I was blessed enough to grow up with parents who constantly showed me affection.  I hope I remember to continue doing the same for my boys.

Here is a picture of Garrison with his love note from today.

 

Here are two quotes I came across that I love:

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today."
~Stacia Tauscher

"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."
~Angela Schwindt


Jewels*


Monday, May 7, 2012

Pass It On

What a day!!!

I woke up early this morning to get ready before dropping Garrison off at school.  I had a lot of errands to run and wanted to make the most of my morning.  Everything was running smoothly and we were on time.  I went to look for my keys and suddenly remembered I left them in my center console.  (Garrett had been driving with his set of keys all weekend and I forgot to get my keys out of the car.)  Garrett was already in Irving at work with his keys and I was not about to have him drive in traffic all the way home.  My mama came to the rescue and picked us up and let me use her car for the day.  Side note:  Best Mom Ever!!!

So, my day was going much better:
  • Trip to the bank where I cashed a $50 check 
  • Grocery shopping at Wal-Mart
  • Head home to unload the groceries
  • Mom's office to pick her up for lunch
I was so proud to treat my mama to lunch with my cash and thank her for her awesomenesss (yes, this is a word).  I go to pull my wallet out when it's time to pay and it's GONE... like GONE, GONE!!!  You know that stomach sinking feeling you get when you realize you have lost something super important like your keys, a wallet or a kid?  (Not that I have ever experienced the latter of those, HA!)  I just knew I had left it in the buggy (in the parking lot) at Wal-Mart. 
*Side Note - The funny part was I proudly asked the waitress to bring one check.  When she did my mom had to pay.  That waitress probably thought I was a total cheap ass.
*Another side note - does anyone else call it a buggy or was it just my hick mom that taught me that?

I digress.  Anyways, I immediately called Wal-Mart and thank goodness someone had turned it in.  I was fully expecting to find my wallet with no cash and possibly some missing credit cards.  I go to the customer service counter and open it up to see that EVERYTHING is still in place.  I literally screamed at the counter.  And one of the ladies that worked there said, "There are still some honest people in this world."  Another customer standing at the counter just stood there smiling at me.  I guarantee you that after experiencing someone else's good deed she will "pass it on"! 

What will you pass on today?  A word of encouragement to your kiddo or spouse, a phone call to your grandparent you haven't talked to in a while, a smile or a compliment to a stranger?  Pass it on!!!

P.S.  Here is a picture of me getting this awesome wallet for my birthday last year from my mom.  Pretty sure I had this same expression today when I got it back!

 

Jewels*

Forgiveness = Happiness

I am fortunate enough to have little to no drama in my life.  I purposely avoid drama at all costs which is why I mostly had guy friends growing up and still get along with guys (or girls who act more like guys) these days.  Even with little drama in my life I have had to learn a very important lesson ~ forgiveness.  This word is thrown around so lightly but what does it really mean?

For me, forgiveness is impossible without prayer.  If I am really angry about something or with someone I have to lift that anger up in prayer.  God is the only one who can take that grudge away.  As strong and independent as I like to think I am I cannot let go of things on my own.  I need Him.  I need his grace, mercy and (ahem) forgiveness as well.  None of us are perfect which means we all have to learn to forgive each other. 

I hate the expression, "I'll forgive you but I won't forget."  What is that?!  That is like a backhanded compliment: "You look really pretty today.  Maybe it's because your hair isn't oily like it normally is."  Haha!  I say forgive and forget.  If you don't do both you will still be holding on to that anger and resentment.  It doesn't mean you try and erase the memory, just the bitterness you have toward that person.

I realize that people we are close to can hurt us deeply and cause some serious emotional damage to us.  But you control how you react to people and how you react to life circumstances.  Your happiness should not be in the hands of anyone else.  I am the the first to admit I am deeply invested emotionally in all of my relationships (as a daughter, as a wife, as a mom, as a sister, as a friend) and it would damage me to the core if any of these people ever hurt me in an "unforgivable" way.  But I have seen the power of prayer first hand and I know that NOTHING is too big for God to take on.  So if you can't handle it why not give it to the One who can?!

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."  ~Ephesians 4:31-32


*Jewels

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Laughter

I had a long day and all I wanted to do was come home and have a quiet, peaceful night with the family.  After being out all day I realized I had not logged in to my work e-mail and of course I logged on to encounter one problem after another.  Long story short I had to book a couple of flights tonight and due to American Airlines having some website issues I ended up dealing with a ridiculously rude woman (who had to have had a corn cob stuck up her ass) at American.  I hung up stressed, frustrated and just in a bad mood all together.  Hearing my husband and six year old playing baseball out back lightened my mood a little bit but then Ethan started screaming in his swing while I was trying to get dinner started.  I just wasn't getting the peace I was hoping for.

About twenty minutes (and a glass of wine) later I sat on the couch to watch some tv with my boys.  Garrett had this show on called Impractical Jokers.  I had seen this show advertised a while back but had never seen it.  These must have been re-runs but we sat and watched about 3 or 4 of them in a row.  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Here are just a couple of clips for your viewing pleasure:




 About an hour later I forgot all about my stressful evening and bad mood.  I realized that laughter really is a cure all.  I remember being at my uncle's funeral when I was about 10 and just being so incredibly sad that he was gone.  Sadness doesn't last long in the Gerber family though and my main memories from his funeral are of so many funny events instead of the sadness.

Laughter has gotten Garrett and I through many downs in our marriage.  Laughter has gotten me to cope with some absolutely ridiculous (and I mean ridiculous) situations at work.  Laughter has helped me to keep my patience with my children.  Laughter has kept me sane.

I'm sure this will come as a shock to all of you but I have always been a bit goofy.  I know how much I love to laugh so I like to try and make other people laugh as well.  Case in point:




I immediately know if I am going to be friends with someone if I leave a conversation with my mascara running and my stomach hurting.  The best times I have had with friends are days or nights full of laughing so hard I can't breathe.  These are the friends I crave spending more time with.

"A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." ~Proverbs 17:22

I encourage you to find laughter in your daily lives.  And if you can't find it you just need to find some funnier friends. (Ha!)

*Jewels

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sexual Baggage

I bet the title of this blog caught your attention... ha!

I have had friends that have told me in confidence they are not really attracted to their husbands anymore.  This makes me so sad because I can't fathom being in a marriage like that.  I can't help but wonder if sexual baggage has something to do with this.  I once heard a preacher talk about the kind of sexual baggage you bring into a marriage when you have had many (or any for that matter) sexual experiences before you get married and I have to say I completely agree.

Without trying too get to preachy about this subject you have to sit and wonder if you would have waited until you were married how much better sex could have been, right?  I am the first person to admit that I am a sinner and not perfect but I am so incredibly grateful and unashamed to say that I married the only man I have ever been completely intimate with. 

I will spare you the details of my sex life (haha) but I will say that after 9 years of marriage I am still completely and totally attracted to my husband and he is still shockingly (had to get a little dig in on myself) attracted to me.  We have not exactly stayed in shape over the last 9 years so to still be attracted to each other and have a strong desire to want to be intimate is a big deal.  I am a strong believer that sex is a fundamental part of marriage.  Lack of intimacy is one of the top reasons why spouses turn to someone else or something else which ultimately crumbles a marriage.

I can see how, if I would have had many sexual partners, I would be constantly comparing them to my husband.  Everyone remembers their first kiss or their first experience of maybe taking it a little too far before they were ready.  Even the experiences I had before Garrett (as minor as they may seem) are still ingrained in my mind.  That is not something you can just erase from your memory.

We can't turn back time though, right?  So what is the point of my rambling since most of the people who read my blog are already in their late 20s (or older) and can't erase the past?  If you are already married and are carrying around a lot of sexual baggage I encourage you to pray for God to release that so you can truly enjoy the intimacy that was meant between a man and a woman in marriage.  If you have kids I strongly encourage you to share your life experiences with them when they are older to help guide them in their decision making.  I think so many parents make the mistake of never talking about sex with their kids... or even worse just telling their kids not to do it and leaving it at that.  I don't expect my boys to be perfect but I do hope to help them to understand what a gift sex can be when it is practiced the way God intended.

I wish I had even older pictures on my computer but here is a then and now of me and the man I am lucky enough to share my life with.

February 23, 2003



Summer 2011



Until next time...

*Jewels