Stepping Into Freedom

Before my awakening, I had no idea how much freedom God wanted me to experience in our marriage bed. Though we explored more than missionary position, I felt uneasy expressing myself. At times I reined myself in out of fear of going too far or losing control. Where were the guardrails? Could we enjoy what the world enjoys? What was okay and what was not? How much pleasure was too much pleasure?

There does seem to be this connection between overindulgence and sin. You can drink one glass of wine, but ten? Well, that’s a different matter. So, we hold ourselves back and only allow ourselves to enjoy sex this much or to be that free. We safeguard ourselves by disassociating with anything that has a connection to what the world does.

Is it possible that we are holding ourselves back from exactly what we need in marriage? Maybe the freedom that goes on outside of marriage is what God wants us to enjoy within marriage.  God wants to give us a glimpse of His original intention of being naked and unashamed. Have we let the world’s corruption of sex keep us from receiving an amazing gift from Him? This gift is so powerful that it will literally transform our marriages.

Steps of Change

Change did not come overnight for me. As I recognized lies that I believed, I started trusting my husband. When I understood God’s design, I measured sex by whether we were getting to know each other. Dealing with my baggage released a newness in me. Stepping into freedom was both terrifying and exhilarating.

It was not about trying to compete with the world. I wanted to claim the freedom God intended for us. I cared far more about connecting with my husband than about creating a show.

When I wanted my husband to watch me during sex, it wasn’t an attempt to create a pornographic scene for him. I simply wanted to maintain connection through eye contact. I wanted him to know who I was rather than just enjoy stimulation. This was me opening myself up to him.

When I performed a strip tease for my husband, I was not trying to compete with strip clubs. I wanted to put a stake in the ground that said, “I want to be free”—to share my naked body, to entice, and to move sensually. This was me, no one else—gangly arms, big feet, droopy breasts, and a C-section scar. Though terrified, I wanted to give my husband permission to feast his eyes on me.

Most of us don’t immediately go from years of believing and behaving like sex is a duty to embracing all that God has to offer. You might even feel overwhelmed by the divide between who you are and who God wants you to be. It’s okay, sister. I am right there with you. Change happens one small step at a time. Stepping out into the water, grounded in truth, and steadied by our heavenly Father, we tiptoe in. As we get more and more comfortable, we wade in a little deeper.

But we have to take a step.

(Excerpt from Awaken Love: The Truth About Sex that will Transform Your Marriage)


Maybe your first step is picking up a copy of Awaken Love

Discover the Freedom God Wants for You

Until Feb 14th buy the paperback for just $9.99 (normally $14.99)

Get the ebook  (normally $9.99) for

$0.99 on Feb 4-5 

$3.99 on Feb 6-7 

$6.99 on Feb 8-9 

Tell your friends and don’t wait.

Take a step towards discovering freedom!

What’s New at Awaken Love for 2019

As we move into 2019, I cannot help but pause to thank God for what He has done at Awaken Love. Last year was a year of God’s provision and creating community.

2018

Last Spring God surprised me with funds to create more video classes. The Engaged Class launched to help couples understand God’s design for sex before marriage. Filled with practical tips, and discussion starters, opening up conversations about sex will help couples start off on the right foot

The Men’s Edition of Awaken Love was filmed in Dec and will launch in March.  Videos that parallel the women’s class, will help husbands understand their wives and move beyond just having sex to intimately connecting through sex.

My first book Awaken Love self published and already over 800 copies have sold. The book will act as a great entry point for those not ready to take a class, or as a follow up for those that want a refresher.

From the humble beginnings  with 8 close friends 7 years ago, over 1400 women and 200 men have participated in Awaken Love classes. Feedback continues to confirm the importance of community for growth and transformation.

2019

As I prayed about 2019, God gave me the word Disciple. I want to be a disciple of Christ, but I also want to be a disciple of Godly sexuality.  I don’t just want to help people discover God’s design for their sex life. I want to equip them to pass a healthy mindset about sex down to their kids or friends. As they enjoy an intimate sex life in their marriage, they can encourage others.

Along with focusing on Discipleship, I hope to…

  • Write a book about sex specifically to help men understand their wife.
  • Explore different models for Awaken Love classes – like large groups or online groups
  • Develop ways to equip and disciple women that want to teach or facilitate Awaken Love
  • Continue speaking to women, men, couples and even singles both locally and around the United States.

Final Thoughts

I love the community that is developing at Awaken Love. It is a place to come and learn. We encourage and support each other as we move towards God’s design for sex. Blogging will continue to help me process what happens in my personal life and in classes. This year I will update my Song of Songs posts, write about discipleship and sprinkle in respectful detailed posts about sex. I would also love to hear your ideas for topics.

But I also want to encourage you to go. To move beyond online discussions to minister to the people that you know face to face. Open up the topic of sex by hosting an Awaken Love video class. Invite me to come and speak at your moms group, or marriage ministry. Give a copy of my book to a friend or share about it on social media, or Amazon Reviews. Share with a friend about what you have learned or begin conversations with your kids. 

So this year, let’s move beyond ourselves. Let’s become disciples of Godly sexuality,  so that marriages all around us might be strengthened.

Sexy Ideas to Help You Survive Christmas

Grab Some Mistletoe

Or a piece of broccoli, romaine, or other greenery, and make out with your sweetheart.  Quietly sneak a moment  in the midst of the chaos and for a real kiss. To escape the family get together for a minute, slip into a bathroom, basement, bedroom,  or closet for a quick make out session.

Dress Up Your Bedroom

Turn your bedroom into your sex den. Get rid of the clutter. Remove any reminder of the kids or work. Buy a new cozy blanket, a few candles or a new mirror. Invest in a space heater or electric blanket to warm your room. Go vintage and get a lava lamp.

Twinkle Lights

Grab a few extra strands of Christmas lights and string them around your room for a different mood lighting and watch your spouse sparkle when you surprise them.

Wear Something Fun

Come to bed with a Santa Hat on and have some fun. Ask what’s on your sweethearts Christmas list with a mischievous smile. Share how they’ve been naughty or nice this year in explicit detail.

But Some Toys

Invest in some toys for your bedroom. Try the Ultimate Intimacy App or check out another game. Shop online at Covenant Spice or Married Dance and surprise your spouse or look through options together.

 

Take time during the season of Christmas to enjoy becoming One.

Have a Merry Christmas

Make time to have some fun as a couple and connect during the Holidays.

Building Community to Strengthen Your Marriage

In preparation for Christmas, my daughter wanted help making gifts in the wood shop. She wanted to make her dad a pizza paddle out of some cherry and walnut lumber. I have to be honest, I haven’t done much woodworking in the past 5 years, but it felt good and it was super fun to work with my daughter. She kept saying, “this wood feels so good” and “this is actually really relaxing.” Sometimes we need a little help getting back to the things that feed our soul. We need community.

God

It is not unlike my relationship with God. Bible studies with friends, helps me stay in the word. When Jim and I read the bible together, sometimes he gets me moving and other times I lead the charge. Removing ourselves from community, will open the door to believe  Satan’s lies. We need community to hold us accountable, encourage us, speak the truth, and spur us on.

Marriage

We also need community in marriage – authentic, honest relationships with others. People who can listen with a soft heart but who refocus us on what God wants and what we can do different. We need friends that ask when we last went on a date, or if we are praying together in our marriage. Real people that babysit even overnight, and that we can return the favor. Community will guard our marriages and help us to keep investing the time to create great marriages. We even need people that will ask how sex is going.

Sex

Online communities provide a great entry point to work on your sex life. Writing anonymously provides a safe place to dip your feet into uncomfortable topics and start gathering resources. But we also need real people in our life that we can talk to about anything. When we share hard things they love us unconditionally and pray for our journey.

If you’ve never really gone that deep, a great way to open up conversation about sex is to take an Awaken Love class with friends. In 6 weeks, you will go from friends that skirted around the issues, to authentic real friendships. Because when you can talk about sex, you can talk about anything.

Awaken Love

I had a moms group take Awaken Love together and it totally changed their relationship. They went from surface friendships to an amazing group of women that could talk about anything. Another woman took the class with a bunch of strangers which quickly became friends.  They continue to encourage, check in and care for each other. After 6 weeks of class you will have women whom you can talk to – even about sex.

We need community to help create strong marriages. Don’t buy into the lie that we should not talk about our struggles or our sex life in the church. Let’s open up real conversations and create a culture of honesty, integrity and support. Offer an Awaken Love class and open up the topic of sex today.

An Awaken Love can help you create a community to  encourage you in your marriage and your self life.

Reclaiming sex like the Garden of Eden

Have you ever thought about what sex looked like in the Garden of Eden? I imagine the first time Adam saw Eve, he was instantly mesmerized.  Someone finally like him! Yet her differences were what really caught his eye. The curves of her body, the softness of her skin, even the way that she walked and talked.

Adam must have had a hard time keeping his eyes off of Eve as her body magnetically drew him. When he gently reached to touch her, the curves of her body fit perfectly into his hands. Unafraid, Eve trusted him and immediately relaxed into his touch. Gently he explored and caressed listening for the purr of her satisfaction.

The more Adam touched her, the more Eve’s body woke up and became hungry for him. As his body covered her, the wetness drew him into her. Suddenly aware of becoming “one”, he laid still for a moment, in awe of what had happened. As she gently smiled at him and they looked into each other’s eyes, they slowly began to move together until eventually they fell into a puddle of each other.

Even though sex felt exciting and wonderful to Eve, she knew there was more to discover. Filled with playfulness, she anticipated her turn to explore. The way his penis grew, and sought her out reminded her of the small fury animals that loved to be pet behind the ears. She wanted to see it, touch it, stroke it and even to feel it against her lips…

I’d better stop, lest I cross some lines…

Adam and Eve enjoyed total freedom in the Garden of Eden – with their own body and their spouse’s body. With no preconceived idea of what sex looked like they simply craved intimacy and connection. Unafraid to be known they fearlessly expressed themselves through words, movement, or even the groans when words would not come.  Void of all expectations, they didn’t worry about performance or what they looked like. Without past wounds, they didn’t recoil at touch, or wonder about intentions. They loved watching what happened and were amazed at God’s creation in each other. They simply enjoyed God’s goodness and reveled in new discoveries.

Living in a Broken World

Our world looks nothing like the Garden of Eden. Media has filled us with images of what sex is supposed to look like. These ideas stunt our own creativity and cause us to drive toward orgasm rather than exploration. Media and magazines cause wives to exchange their husbands’ compliments for insecurities or self-hatred. Pornography and Erotica dirty our ideas of sex, causing some to discard almost everything while others clamor to recreate scenes. We cannot even discern  our ideas from something we saw or read. Performance anxiety plagues both men and women and steals the joy of sex.  Silence from our families and churches leave us feeling stunted and awkward instead of open and free. Sex feels like anything but a blessing.

A Taste of Freedom

But what if God intended sex in marriage to be a taste of the freedom Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden?

  • God’s original intent for us before sin entered the world.
  • Before we started hiding and blaming each other.
  • Before we began to covet and lust after what we cannot have
  • When we had no wounds and no fear

How Do We Move Towards God’s Original Intent?

God cares about us and knows every detail and hurt – even involving our sexuality. He wants you to be free from the lies and deception that the world offers. If you are still immersed in lust than take the battle seriously. Be honest, get help and go after God. If you are hanging onto past sins, then receive God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself. If you are wounded then go after healing through counseling and prayer.  Find your worth from Jesus and He will guide you.

Trusting God causes us to know that our past does not have power over us. Trusting God helps us to value honesty more than perfection in our spouse. Lustful images that tainted our minds can be replaced with beautiful memories that husband and wife make together. When God asks us to get naked, we can get naked, because we would rather be known then hide behind a leaf or blame our spouse.

Jesus paid the price for our sins, and He redeems us. He has torn the veil so that we can have face to face relation ship, not only with Him but with others. Every day He gives us a fresh start to get up and LIVE again.

Creating the Garden of Eden

Don’t try to create what the world defines as great sex, but what God intended. Let yourself be known by sharing all of yourself, even your insecurities or brokenness. Create a safe place for your spouse to be honest and known. Focus on connection instead of orgasm. Bring God into your marriage bed. Pray before sex and ask Him to bless your connection. Ask for His truth and discernment as you make choices together.  Make your marriage bed a journey of discovering God’s goodness. Receive the freedom and gifts that God gives you.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of your past experiences, or your spouse’s past struggles, do you trust God with your sexuality? Will you seek His truth and desire for your marriage bed? Is God, all powerful, able, and good? Do you believe He can heal and give you a fresh start?  Do you want a taste of the Garden of Eden?

If your spouse is unrepentant about sexual sin, and not actively seeking healing, then please set boundaries and seek help. 

Adapting to Physical Limitations During Sex

A few weeks ago, I had a molar pulled that had bothered me for years. The recovery of an implant has been slow. With activities like kissing eliminated, my husband and are learning to adapt. Rubbing noses and burrowing into each other’s necks have helped us stay connected during sex. Rather than avoid sex we are learning new things, and grateful for what we have – not unlike a friend of mine.

I will never forget the night that Stacy showed up in class. With eyes that sparkled, and a smile that lit up the room, she rolled into class on her scooter. Years of a physical disability might have limited her mobility but God filled her soul with a passion for living that made me just want to hang out and learn from her.

After reconnecting with her at my book signing party, I asked if she would share a few thoughts to help others challenged by a physical limitation. What follows are her words.

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What Women Need to Hear About Sex

When I wrote my book Awaken Love I spend several months praying, listening to God, collecting stories of women in class, and digging deep to remember how God transformed me. As part of the process, I brainstormed on large pieces of poster board with the question scrawled across the top, “What do I want to tell women? It did not take long for clear principles to emerge that I wanted to make the backbone of Awaken Love.

Do It for You

Women don’t need to hear again how important sex is for their husband. They need to know that God created sex for them too. Though are drives and our bodies function quite different than our husband’s, we need sex to connect with our husband, to find refreshment and as a way of getting to know ourselves and our husband. We need to know that sex is a good thing for us and permission to know and understand our own body  Women need to be encouraged to invest the time to create a sex life that is thoroughly enjoyable for both husband and wife.

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How Valuable is Great Sex to You?

Recently a woman that facilitated the video class remarked that I really ought to consider raising the price of the class. She was a professional online class developer and felt shocked at how good the class was for the cost. The resources provided, the teaching and the transformation that she witnessed seemed worth a lot more then $10. She thought that if I charged more, people would sign up because they would realize just how valuable and powerful the class is.

Ministry

Maybe she’s right and I am a fool, but I don’t want to raise the price. I keep the price low because I consider Awaken-Love a ministry. When I started teaching classes, I didn’t do it to make money. I teach classes because God has called me to help others. The other teachers donate their time and so do facilitators. Honestly, I don’t want women to think we are trying to convince them to take the class, just so that we can make a few bucks.

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Anniversary Memories – Awaken Love Book Giveaway

In honor of Jim and me celebrating our 31st anniversary, I am giving away a free copy of Awaken Love: The Truth About Sex that will Transform Your Marriage. To enter the drawing, comment below about a favorite anniversary memory and I will draw a name on Oct 8th. 

 

Our Anniversary

My husband has always been so sweet about our anniversary. Just this morning he left a beautiful bouquet and a homemade card for me. And I am sure that we will have amazing sex tonight. But our anniversary often leads me to remember just how much my feelings about sex have changed over the years.

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Add a Little Excitement by Changing Your Starting Point

Most of us wait until we are lying in bed to initiate sex. Talking, cuddling and kissing under the covers can just easily roll over into love making. Sometimes it comes naturally and sometimes it can feel awkward, forced or maybe even dull. If you are looking for a easy way to freshen things up, think about simply changing your starting point. Instead of waiting until you are laying down, initiate sex when you are standing.

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