Happy Thanksgiving

Today I gather with my husband Jim and my daughters to give thanks. We will cook recipes passed down from my mother and recipes my daughters have introduced to our table. The kitchen will be filled with chopping, girls laughing, debating the rights of women and trying to solve the most basic human rights of accessible housing and medical care. Jim will stroll through on his way to the basement. Instructed to cobble together a candle holder or centerpiece base required for the festivities, he’ll pause to smile at his girls.

After the pie has settled and the dishes are washed, I am ready to put my feet up. A game, a movie or scouring the adds in preparation for shopping. Whatever we do, we will do it together. Eventually Jim and I will excuse ourselves and head up for bed. Laying in his arms we will talk, and pray and eventually our bodies will warm up to each other.

Friday morning with no real purchase in mind, we’ll look for quirky, unusual items only found at places like Menards or Fleet Farm. Jim will lead the charge with a stop for coffee and donuts and we will all pile out to partake. My greatest pleasure will be to watch Jim laugh with his girls.

Life keeps marching on. My babies are not babies any more. Jim’s boyish looks have been tamed by the pepper in his hair. I can feel the arthritis in my hip and wrinkles in my face.  Life keeps marching on and so today I thank God for today. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. God is right beside you. He will guide you and guard you. God has given us a pleasant land.

Happy Thanksgiving

Psalm 16:5-8 (NLT)

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
    You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
    What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Barriers to Having Great Sex

Things exist that create barriers to having a great sex life. Sometimes they impact our mindset and other times they steal our energy. Sometime we need to change them for ourselves and other times we need to be part of the solution for others.

I want to share the barriers to having a great sex life  that I have recognized in my own life and inspire you to identify your own barriers. We need to get on the offensive to proactively battle our barriers in order to claim God’s good gift of sex.


How to Help Your Husband Lead Spiritually

Most Christian wives have a deep desire for their husband to lead spiritually. Many of us have this romantic idea that when we get married our husband will suddenly transform into the spiritual leader. Daily, he will gather the family around the table for an evening bible study to share deep insights.  He will intuitively sense when we are struggling and gently lay his hands on us to pray. He will energize the family to get to church when all we want to do is sleep.

But why would getting married suddenly change our husband into the spiritual leader?

My guess is that leading spiritually is another area that men feel they can never live up to their wife’s expectations. It was an area that I found myself critical. After I took a hard look at myself, I realized I was a big part of the issue.


The Roles God Calls Us To – Lead and Submit

Ingrained in Christian marriage is the expectation of roles – that the husband will lead and the wife will submit.

Ephesians 5:21-23 –And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.

I have to admit that I still prickle at the verse. As a woman that grew up climbing trees, playing Little League baseball with the boys, and attending a male dominated engineering school, I have to remind myself that this verse is not about holding women back. The verse is about bringing order to human relationships and about loving each other by denying ourselves.  And even though the verse prickles me, deep down I want my husband to lead. In fact, it is a real turn on for my husband to lead, and I constantly hear other women say the same thing.


Getting Away

Getting Away feeds our souls.

It was important to Jesus, it is important to us as individuals, and it is important to our marriage.

Jesus made it a habit to get away by himself and pray…

Luke 5:15-16 ….vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

In the midst of busyness, serving others and feeling overwhelmed Jesus escaped to find refreshment with his Father. He knew that in order to care for others, He had to care for himself by communing with God. Jesus withdrew to quiet places where no one could find him. Places without the distraction of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Places where no schedule existed and no phone rang. Jesus withdrew alone. He did not take his disciples – not even Peter, James or John. He knew that true communion happened when it was just Him and His father and sometimes He even spent all night praying.  I think these moments of solitude with God fed his soul so that He could pour himself out again.

Have you ever gotten away with God? Extended time, free from the noise of life, where just you and God exist. It might have been a solitude retreat, a day in bed, 15 minutes of quiet or a hike through the woods. God speaks so clearly when the noise is gone. Time with God leaves me refreshed to be a better mom, wife and friend,  and I could not do ministry without it.

If intimacy in marriage mirrors intimacy with Christ…

Then it is important for us to have times where we as a couple withdraw to a quiet place to commune.



I have this friend that prays,

“God help me to be interruptible.”

She wants to live so in tune to God, that if He calls her to stop and pray with someone, or help someone in need, she will do it. She will put aside her own plans, her own agenda, trust that God has something for her and step into it. It’s not an easy thing to do, to be interruptible. It takes living in a way, that you hear God throughout your day. You have to let go of control and your own agenda. It takes being flexible, and spontaneous and it takes trusting God.

If our relationship with God mirrors intimacy in marriage…

Then shouldn’t the same be true in marriage and in sex. Aren’t we supposed to be interruptible.


A Great Sex Life – Not all Rocket Science

Having a great sex life is not all rocket science. The small everyday things that we do make a huge difference. They set the stage and are the meat and potatoes of our relationship that great sex rolls out of. So, I thought I would share some of the small practical everyday things that make a difference to my husband and me.


Sleep Aid

A few years ago my husband took a business trip to Taiwan for a couple of weeks. You can imagine how exhausted he felt when he got home after working in a strange city. Sleeping in a hotel bed and then traveling for 20 plus hours to get back to Minnesota wore him out. Add on top of that a 13-hour time change that left him wide awake when he most wanted to sleep and it sounds like a nightmare.

Back then, my drive was through the roof, so I got the bright idea to become his sleep aid. I made him promise that whenever he found himself wide awake in the middle of the night, he would rouse me for some extracurricular activities. We have never before transitioned so quickly back into life together and feeling connected. In no time he was back on his regular sleep schedule and we had made some wonderful memories.

This week I was reminded of my great experiment – being the sleep aid.

My husband lost his brother last week to liver failure and has been dealing with all the hard choices that come with aging parents. Needless to say, he has a ton of things on his mind and timidly admitted he has not been sleeping well, at all. I wish I could take away all of his pain and wrestling, but I can’t. I wish I could say something to make it better, but words seem so inadequate. But I can keep loving him, and comfort him, and help him sleep. And so for a while, I have made myself available to my husband whenever he needs me. In fact I have admonished him – please wake me – because I don’t want him doing this on his own. And hopefully, it will bring him the sleep he needs.

Riding the Train

I just celebrated my 29th anniversary with my husband Jim and I am just going to say he knocked it out of the park. He planned a surprise overnight on a Bed and Breakfast Train in Wisconsin!

I picked him up at work with a small overnight bag in the afternoon. We drove a couple of hours through beautiful country roads lined with the most beautiful fall colors of green, gold, orange and red leaves. We checked in at the train at 5 pm and were swiftly shown to our room to relax before dinner. It was an old train, with narrow aisles and when we saw our room we just busted up laughing.  (more…)

How do you bring God into your marriage bed?

I have this theory that most people who grow up in the church know that God created sex and that it is good. But when it comes down to actually enjoying sex, they leave Him on the other side of the bedroom door. They quickly close the door, slide the deadbolt, and try to just forget God is even in the house.


It as if we cannot love God and enjoy sex at the same time. God may have created sex, He may want me to enjoy it, but surely He doesn’t want to know what we are doing in here. Because sex is worldly, it is physical, erotic – and it is very separate from God. So we sneak around, feeling guilty if we enjoy it, and at church we pretend like sex does not even exist.