Get Outside and Have Some Fun

I love the long days of summer to get outside and enjoy God’s creation. To get out from behind my computer, phone or the tv and just enjoy nature. To move beyond the sterile smells of my house to smell the lilies awakens my soul.

Fun Ideas

Since before we had kids, Jim and I have loved to taking long walks while holding hands. We stroll down to the park or through the neighborhood and talk through our day. Sometimes we hop on our bikes and ride around the lake. Moving my body with the wind in my hair reminds me that I am alive.

Warm summer nights are a great time to enjoy a bonfire under the stars. Get into something comfortable and cozy up as you listen to the crackling of the fire. Stay up late and talk into the night.

Go watch fireworks laying on a blanket at the park. Cozy up as you watch the lights streak across the night sky.

Find an outdoor concert in the park and pack a picnic.

Take a drive and watch the sunset. Borrow a convertible and put the top down. Go by the local drive in and treat yourself to ice cream. Find a remote place to park and enjoy the view. Make out like you did before marriage.

Go to bed early and have sex while the sun is still up. Enjoy the natural lighting on your spouse’s body.

The possibilities are endless as we enjoy the long days of summer.

How do you enjoy the long days of summer?

Spend Time Skin to Skin

Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy some fun posts the next several weeks filled with ideas of how to enjoy your summer.

I love summer. Warm days when temperatures rise and covers disappear. A slower pace when families gather and reminisce. Long days when opportunities abound for a new adventure. Take advantage of summer to create some amazing memories. Summer is a great time to create skin to skin connection. To get naked and simply create connection through touch. Take advantage of the warm temperatures and look for opportunities to have some fun.

Fun Ideas

Turn off the air conditioner and sleep naked. Pull back the covers and enjoy the lighting of a light sheet creating shadows. Enjoy the view of your spouse sleeping naked and unashamed. Open the windows, feel the breeze and enjoy the sounds of the night.

Go swimming together and help each other prepare. Pick out their suit or help them tie their suit while you check them out. In the warm sun, sensuously apply suntan lotion to their entire body, making sure to apply under the edges of their suit for full coverage. Go swimming together and embrace while the water holds the two of you up. Find a secluded spot and enjoy a little skinny dipping in the moonlight.

Enjoy the freedom to dress different. Go bra-less and catch his eye. Go commando and let her eyes wonder what’s going on. Wear a cute sundress on your dinner date and notice his eyes on you. Mow the lawn without a shirt and let her see your strength.

Summer is a great time to have some fun and enjoy ways connecting skin to skin.

How do you create connection through touch in the summer?

Four Practical Ideas to Demystify Romance

Romance. That dreaded word so many men hate. Gestures met with disregard from a wife feel like a huge letdown. Plans changed or tweaked communicate it’s never good enough. Unmet expectations that culminate in hurt feelings create paralyzing pressure. Trying to figure out romance feels like an opportunity for failure.  So why even try?

But the word romance simply means to pursue. To tell our spouse by our words or actions, “ I care about you” or “I want you.” To not take them for granted but to continue wooing them. As our relationship matures, we become more in tune to their desires and what gives them a thrill. Romance communicates how well we know our spouse.

Culture has taught us that men romance wives. Really wives also need to romance their husbands. It might look different, but I want my husband to know that I think about him. Romance communicates that I am a student of his, because I love him. That I know his likes and his dislikes. I don’t take him for granted but continue to pursue him.

Romance does not have to be complicated. Simple gestures can mean as much as huge extravagances. One woman in class shared, a simple gesture that said it all. After 30 years of marriage they were getting away for a weekend. Unbeknownst to her, her husband packed their wedding album. Part of the weekend they spent time fondly remembered their beginning.

Let me help demystify the word romance as I share 4 practical ideas about romance.

1. Study Each Other

Romance communicates that you know your spouse. My husband and I always joke that every husband should know what kind of blizzard to order for his wife. Some wives know exactly what kind of coffee their husband likes. They might pick up their favorite drink once in a while, or faithfully make sure the  pot is full in the morning. Romance is knowing the small things that matter to your spouse. Once my husband brought home a pack of Good and Plenty because he knew I was missing my fix. When we go on a really fancy date, sometimes I even like to just ask him to order for me. After 30 years of marriage it feels romantic to trust that he knows what I like.

2. Timing

Timing can make or break the impact of a romantic gesture. Yes, special days, create expectations of a gesture of love. But sometime the most romantic thing you do is treat the other just to brighten their day. When you notice that your spouse needs a little pick me up, you communicate they come before work, projects or kids. Even a simple text during the day, saying a “miss you today. Can’t wait to come home” puts a smile on our face. Picking up flowers or a small gift “just because” communicates much more than the card on valentines. Doing something nice, for no reason at all,  says, “I’m thinking about you”.

 

3. Listen and Remember

When you do plan things that your spouse mentioned months ago, it communicates that you care enough not only to hear, but to remember. Maybe you noticed when they said they wished they had a new bathrobe, or cheese slicer. Or when they went on and on about the movie they want to see, you knew exactly what to plan for your next date. One of the men in class explained, “I usually hear things, but I used to always forget. Now I take notes in my phone to help me remember and I my wife loves it.” If you need to, set up a system and write a few notes to act on in the near future. Your spouse will be thrilled as you follow through.

 

4. Make Plans

There is nothing romantic about your spouse nudging you for sex at 11pm when are ready to drop off to sleep. Planning ahead let’s our spouse know that we are not just an afterthought. Simple things like lighting a couple of candles, drawing a bath, or inviting our spouse upstairs for a nice back rub can set the mood for an amazing night. Lining up a baby sitter and choosing a restaurant or activity in advance will add a thrill to your spouse’s step as you take the lead in making plans. Making plans opens up the possibility of rejection and takes courage. Making plans communicates you are not afraid to lead.

The Receiving End

Wives tend to have this special knack for discouraging their husband in the area of romance. If you want your husband to be romantic, then you need to affirm and encourage him in the small things he does – even if only for the effort he put forth. You also need to take your turn romancing your husband. Show him how well you know him by planning something he would love. Plan a picnic in front of the fireplace. Light candles in the bedroom and let him watch. Plan a fun, active date that both of you will enjoy. Turn romance into something good instead of something dreaded.

A Slight Detour – And Finding Fun

Last week my husband and I took an unexpected detour. In the past, before I had learned how little control I have over life, I might have been upset at my husband when our plans changed. But I have grown to realize we have little control and when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Our Plan

Early Friday morning Jim and I flew from Minneapolis to Denver to buy a used car for our daughter. My husband loves to shop for cars and he was determined to find something for a good price that had not been exposed to salted roads of Minnesota. The plan was to buy the car, drive half way to Lincoln Nebraska for an overnight. The next day we’d visit a car museum that’s been on Jim’s bucket list, on then be home by Saturday night.

We packed light and I brought some chapters of my book to work on. Really I just came to keep Jim company, and to help with the driving.

When we picked up the car, the salesman warned us that the weather didn’t look good. Used to driving on snow in Minnesota, we didn’t think much of it. But when we got on the highway and watched the semi’s blow around in the wind, I started wondering what we were in for.

After driving only 3 hours, they closed the interstate due to blizzard conditions across Nebraska. To tell you the truth, I was relieved that the decision was taken out of our hands.

Our Detour

Our off ramp dumped us into the small town of Sterling, Colorado where we quickly checked into a nice hotel. As the hotel quickly filled up with storm refugees, the weather channel held our attention. The forecast didn’t look good with blizzard warning though out the next day and the biggest snowstorm of the winter hitting Minneapolis on Saturday. Even if they opened the interstate, the drive home would be treacherous at least until Sunday.

So we settled in to our hotel, found a nice restraint for dinner with some of the best steak I’ve ever eaten, and took a run to Walmart for clean underwear and a jar of coconut oil. Without our computers we had time to just relax and lounge in bed. The second day the sun came out. We explored a local museum, visited some bluffs and found a cool tree carving. My husband kept saying it felt like a second honeymoon.In the past I probably would have pouted, blamed my husband and spent my weekend worrying. Instead we ended up with an amazing weekend of connecting.

Our plans did not turn out like we expected. Finally Sunday night, a day late we rolled into Minneapolis. My husband never got to see the car museum he had his heart set on. We lost $50 on our hotel in Nebraska and had to pay for two nights in Sterling. But I could either treat our detour like a total bummer and pouted the whole time. Or I  could appreciate the gifts of safety, a wonderful hotel, and a sweet time together.

Shifting from Sex After…. to Sex Before

For most of my marriage I treated sex as something that happened AfterAfter a long day of completing my “to do” list. After the kids were asleep or company left. Making love after a great date with my husband. After the party was over or my project done. After Jim and I talked through our disagreement…. But changing my mindset to consider sex as something to indulge in before has both benefited me personally, and my marriage.

Before Our Day

Some of our most enjoyable sex happens before our day. With rested bodies and minds we can focus all of our energy on each other. Rather than immediately diving into our day, we take time to connect and love each other, and our day feels different because of it. Often by midday Jim has sent me a text wondering how I am.  Having sex in the morning connects us and smooths out our day.

Before the House is Asleep

Waiting until after the kids are asleep can seriously strain your sex life. Whether you have young kids still falling asleep, or teenagers staying up late to watch a movie, time will disappear if you wait. Learn to set boundaries on mom and dad time, use a lock on the door, and go escape together to communicate the importance of intimacy in marriage. Though I would prefer sex with the house empty or asleep, I have learned to have fun creating excitement by seeing just how quiet we can be.

Before Our Date

When my husband took me out on a nice date, by the time we got home, my body was ready for sleep. Hardly able to keep my eyes open, the idea of sex didn’t excite me at all. So I have learned to initiate sex before we go out on a date. Sex clears the drudgery of our day and opens us up to each other. When I get dressed I feel radiant and sexy. During our date, touching, teasing and looking into each other’s eyes happens naturally while conversation flows freely. Having sex before will make your date so much better.

Before a Party

I am a classic introvert. In a large crowd you will find me huddled in the corner by myself or with a close friend. The other day we hosted a group of people for dinner and before they arrived, we snuck in some loving. I have never been more relaxed or confident during a party. Through out the evening I dove into conversations, initiated mixer questions, and rallied game playing. Afterward I told my husband, “I did better tonight, didn’t I?” He grinned in agreement as we both secretly new why. Sex before a party does wonders for me.

Before our Challenges

Teaching Awaken-Love sex classes is both fulfilling and challenging. I am never quite sure what question will come up, or what difficult situation will arise. Teaching is bathed in prayer and dependence on God, but sometimes I just need to feel my husband’s support. Making love before teaching class comforts me and props me back up. It helps me remember why I do what I do and gives me the courage to stay the course. Whatever your challenge, consider connecting with your husband as a way to feel his support. Strengthen yourself with raisins, refresh yourself with apples and let God meet you in your love making.

Final Thoughts

Get creative and try having sex “Before”. Have the sitter come early so you can get dressed in peace. Shower off together and create some fun. Tell your teens you are heading to bed and go enjoy each other while they finish their movie. Start your day off right by getting up a little earlier to connect. Rather than making sex the last thing on your “to do” list, make it the first. Instead of treating sex like the cherry on the top, treat it like the appetizer that whets your taste for more connection. Don’t relegate sex to after but indulge in  it before.

Deafening Silence – Adding a Little Excitement

Sometimes all you need to create a little excitement is to change the pace. The other night my husband and I went to bed early while two of our grown daughters watched TV down stairs. As most of you know, I am all about creating connection by using words during sex, but this night we changed things up by creating excitement through silence.

With the twinkle lights dimly lighting the room I started my move. The moment my husband tried to say anything, I quickly shushed him. Not quite sure what was going on, my husband tried again and without using any words, I quietly urged him, “Shhhh”. While he laid back contemplating what happened to his wife, I tuned into to the touch of his skin. As the mystery of the night built I softly touched my finger to his lips, looked into his eyes and reminded him one more time. The silence was almost deafening as he recognized with sudden realization what the evening held.

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Creative Beyond Our Wildest Imagination

I often hear from women, “I have no idea what it would mean to be creative during sex”. And it saddens me because God made us in his image – creative beyond our wildest imagination. Think about the variety even when he created bugs. From cute polka dot lady bugs, to skinny praying mantis’ to rainbow colored harlequin bugs. God kind of went wild when it came to creation, and we have the same capacity.

The other night I had this crazy dream. My husband and I were driving in a convertible and I started noticing the street lamps. Each one was unique and made up of huge recycled machinery parts. All of a sudden everything changed, as if we went from regular life to a theme park. Elaborate structures and details filled my mind as our car suddenly became part of an amusement park ride.

When I woke up, I thought,” Whoa, what was that?” So much creativity, who comes up with that stuff?

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Twinkle Lights – Shifting the Atmosphere

The other day my husband and I were out on a date with another couple lamenting about the dreary winter weather. My friend said, “I really just need some twinkle lights to cheer me up.” What she probably said in jest, was actually an opportunity for her husband.

I tried to help him out, by jumping in, “Yes, twinkle lights for sure! That would help!” “Seriously you definitely need twinkle lights.” Wink, wink.

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Awakening to the Passion of a Quickie

Most women know what a quickie is, and it usually has more to do with serving our husband than anything else. Somewhere between the exhaustion of washing the last of the dishes and the early pitter-patter of little feet, we realize that our husband has been neglected, and we squeeze out one last bit of energy to take care of him. Our head really isn’t in the game because we figure that with so little time, odds are, we are not going to get there anyway.

Now here’s the question… is it possible, that we could enjoy a quickie too? Is it possible that the reason we don’t get there, is because our heads have already decided there is not enough time? What about letting go of the practicalities of the known, and experiencing the passion of the unknown. Could we allow our bodies to dive into the deep end, instead of tip toeing from the wading pool as we acclimate to the temperature of the water?

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Small Intentional Choices Create a Great Sex Life

Small things make a huge impact on my sex life. Intentional choices that don’t take a whole lot of time or energy. Simple things like paying attention to my bedroom, taking care of myself and cultivating connection, help keep sex on the front burner. Things that anyone can do.

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