Let's enjoy a swim in the Tidepool and share laughs and tears about how these struggles have shaped

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

More Life Outside of OysterBed7

If you saw yesterday's post, I shared about our Alaskan cruise.  Today, will be random shares.

The rest of our life is probably not much different from yours, most of which is less glamorous than a cruise.

This is the view to and from our front door!  Come on in!






This is my office/spare bedroom.  Notice dog tail in the bottom left corner.


My keyboard is missing the "j" key.  I've gotten really good at hitting the "j" post.  The "v" key is going to be next.  I can feel it's loose.



Here are our two dogs, Rudy Blue (blue eyes) and Lydia (corgi mix and clown).




And yeah, they are pampered and get away with murder.



Weddings and births are blessed events for any family!






We live far from our parents, so we have to travel to Tennessee and Indiana several times throughout the year to see our folks.  Here is my dad in Tennessee.


This is the view that my dad has in Tennessee.



My men bonding.....



My men making their own decisions...the tattoo is of Stephen helping Jesus with the cross.



The Harmony Belles is a female barbershop troupe I have sang with for the past four years. My last performance with them was Valentine's Day, 2014.  It was the sacrifice I made for more time in marriage ministry and education.  I signed up for an online Christian Counseling Certification the week after I resigned.  



The gang I see three times a week while trying to stay fit.



Holidays are one of the reasons I have to jazzercise.  (The kitchen is the remodeled version.  We tore down three walls three years ago and made a great big living space in our 1970s home.)



A semi-tradition is hosting Australian exchange students for an American Thanksgiving.  I think this was our third year.  (My dad made the curio cabinet in the corner using an Ethan Allen catelog picture I gave him as a guide.  The cherry wood came from my father-in-law who also loved to woodwork.)





Memories are the Christmas gifts we share with our boys and daughter-in-law.  Each Christmas we try to take a trip somewhere warm.  Here are some photos from the last few years.









Another large part of our life is our church family.  Unfortunately, I don't have many photos of that part of our life.  I'm going to have to work on fixing that.

Thanks for allowing me to share with you a glimpse our life!






If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!  Please stay awhile, peruse the archives and don't forget to follow me by email (see sidebar toward top), facebook fanpage or twitter (@oysterbed7)

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Outside of OysterBed7

The blogversary mini-retrospect made me realize that I would love to share with you some of our life outside of OysterBed7 during the past year.

Mr. Muscle often caters to me.  But, this year we chose our vacation destination based on his preferences.  My Montana goldminer (yes, he mined in Montana one summer), chose Alaska.  So, we went to Alaska like Yukon Jacks, we floated in a boat.

We cruised in July and spent some pre-cruise time in Seattle with my sisters visiting with our cousins.  My sisters and their husbands and some of our closest friends also joined us on the cruise.


The best day of our cruise was spent salmon fishing.  The sun was bright and warm.  The only truly sunny day of our cruise.  We collectively ‘caught’ 30 salmon, throwing back the small stuff and chum/dog salmon.  

I say ‘caught’ loosely, because it was a pampered fishing trip.  Our captain baited our hooks, drove the boat (trolling), kept an eye on the lines and when we had a bite, he yelled, "Fish on!"  Then, we grabbed the pole, jerked the pole up to set the hook in the fish's mouth and reeled hard.  

The captain told us it was an exceptional day because in our 6 hours the fish were biting nearly continually.  It was a lot of fun!  We saw cool wildlife, too.

Right before this photo was taken, he asked me, “Do you want to hold your fish?”  I said, “Not really,” and he plopped it in my hands.   This was my monster for the day.









 We shipped the salmon home and have tried to treat all our friends with an Alaskan salmon dinner.  A Ketchikan company filets the fish, vacuum seals each filet, flash freezes them and sends the dry-ice-packed fish to your house on your specified date.  It worked out to about $10 bucks a pound.

Our second best day in Alaska had half a day of good sunshine.  We spent it kayaking through a large waterway looking at spectacular snow-capped peaks.  Harbor seals played around us.  The highlight of my paddling was when a seal popped up just a few yards from my kayak.





Our kayak guides had a field day poking fun at whoever was driving this boat.  Apparently, the tide went out on them with passengers aboard.  The coast guard had to make a rescue.



The following picture defines the rest of our cruise’s weather.



We tried to enjoy the beauty in spite of the cold and wet.  This day the ship attempted to go up the Tracy's Arm Fjord to see a glacier upclose.  It was the reason we chose this particular cruise.  We were warned weather and icebergs often make it impassable.  Those warnings proved true.  To stay safe, the ship turned around halfway up the passage.



This picture denotes how we ended our cruise.



At every corner a staff member was squirting clear sanitizer in our hands.  In spite of our complete obedience in keeping our hands santizied, poor Mr. Muscle contracted the dreaded cruise crud, the norovirus.  Fortunately, it happened the last 12 hours on board. Unfortunately, he spent the entire night in the bathroom.

In our 27 years of marriage, it was the most violent intestinal bug he had ever had.

There truly was a biohazard sign attached to our doorknob by the time we left our room for shore.  I wish I'd had the presence of mind to take a picture of it, but other things were more pressing.

My incredibly sick husband limped off the cruise ship and sat down while I arranged transportation to our hotel.

Because we couldn't get a flight home with our frequent flyer miles on the day of our disembarkment, we already had a hotel, with early check-in, booked.   Coincidence is just God remaining anonymous.

I felt guilty and happy that I never came down with it.  It proved Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 true, "Two are better than one…..if either of them falls down, one can help the other up."

Because this is getting long, I'll continue this little look into life outside of OysterBed7 tomorrow.  I hope you'll come back!



My sisters and I above, Mr. Muscle (Dave) and I below.






If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!  Please stay awhile, peruse the archives and don't forget to follow me by email (see sidebar toward top), facebook fanpage or twitter (@oysterbed7)

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy 2nd Blogversary, OysterBed7


Happy 2nd blogversary, OysterBed7! 

What I have to offer this year is nothing like the juicy revelation of last anniversary when I shared my whole entire identity, including the identity of my husband, since we are halves of the same whole.

I also shared 25 Random Blog thoughts last year at this time.  Revisiting my one year realizations, I’m relieved that some things have improved.

Jealousy is not as much of a concern. 

Occasionally, the green dragon takes me by surprise and rears its judgemental head.

What has helped diminish my competitive nature is taking the spotlight off ME.  Chris at Forgivenwife has helped me hone in on our audience.  (I say our audience, because as she mentioned in her one year anniversary post, our blogs complement each other very well.)  We are writing for the one woman who needs to see our story for that day.  My writing isn’t about numbers, it’s about truly making a difference in the life of one marriage.

With Every Act of Love,” a song by Jason Gray has a line that strikes me hard. 
“God put a million million doors in the world
For his love to walk through
One of those doors is you…”

Sharing my low-sex-drive-journey is my act of love for the one woman God sends to my door that day.  I know that there are a million other blog doors for the Lord’s love to walk through.  My competitive nature is more at bay because marriage and sex bloggers are all on the same team.

I’ve learned the best blogging etiquette is to just be a good community member.  If I can help you in anyway, whether blogging, marriage, brainstorming, etc., email me at pearlmail3@gmail.com.

I’ve embraced my enthusiasm.  That’s just me and my personality.  I have learned to wait a few minutes before commenting on a piece if I’m really fired up. 

I’ve embraced the type of writer I am
I cannot write with a headache.  My best writing is before noon.  I am constantly toning down my ‘cutesy’ and innuendos.

I am a writer who needs a chunk of time.  I am giddy when a post just flows out of me, which happens maybe 20% of the time. 

A post like, ‘Is He Comparing me to Former Lovers,’ takes four or five hours.  If it is a science based post, like ‘Why Sex?,’ I need a good 8 hours if not more.  If time is scarce, I don’t add graphics.

I am not prolific because of other real life obligations that fill my brain and seize my creativity and maybe, I'm just not prolific even without those things.   

I used to get really frustrated when I didn’t have enough time to write.  Then, I realized if I only post once a week, I was less frustrated. 

Posting frequently yields blog growth.  I was frustrated that O7 wouldn’t grow.  I relinquished control to relinquish the frustration.  OysterBed7 will grow in the Lord’s time.

It’s not arrogant to say proudly, “I am a writer.”  Now, what would be arrogant is if I thought everyone agreed with me.  J  All kidding aside, I do take myself more seriously as a writer.  OysterBed7 isn’t a hobby.

I am intentionally shifting things in my real life to be able to write more.  God first, family second and career third, right?  Writing is now my career and that’s how I prioritize it.  If I am asked to do something when I need to write, I just tell people I have an appointment.  The Lord is tugging really hard right now. 

I overheard my husband answer the question, “What does your wife do?”  He said, “She’s a writer.”  I was blown away.  He also digs through my purse to pass out my business cards.

The best thing that happened for OysterBed7 in 2013

I attended SheSpeaks, a Proverbs31 conference for ministry leaders, last summer. 

Over the course of one weekend, O7 evolved from a blog to a full fledge marriage ministry.  My purpose was validated in real life.  I felt the Lord’s presence.  I was empowered and equipped.  Read more at Are You In The Mood to Wait? and Christian Sex Grassroots Paradigm Shift. 

My enthusiasm has spilled over onto others and I’m SO EXCITED Chris of forgivenwife will join me!   Face to face we will discuss our collaboration Heart Craving.  We may even have a visit by Gaye of calm.healthy.sexy.  I expect a buddy movie to come out of this adventure entitled,  “Divine Secrets of the Low-libido/Gatekeeping Overcomers Sisterhood.” 

If you are a fellow blogger, I highly encourage you to find a conference of some kind to attend.  The energy of a group of fellow Christian writers is contagious and long lasting.   There is also the benefit of new skills learned and talents sharpened.

If you decided to attend SheSpeaks in Charlotte, PLEASE let me know so we can meet in person.

Final Thoughts
Writing anything consistently is a lot like consistent sexual intimacy.  After the initial surge of blogging adrenaline or honeymoon fervor, commitment is the glue.  If you want it to grow, you have to nurture it. 

Sometimes, you are tired, but you want to meet the needs of others. 
Sometimes, you are revved up and can’t contain yourself. 
Sometimes, the sweet message the Lord has given you needs to be shared gently.  Sometimes, you are stressed and not emotionally there and it doesn’t happen.  But, you commit that it will happen within the next 48 hours.

If it’s important to you, you will make it happen.  It’s not always easy, but it is usually fun.

Oh, yeah, and writing about sexuality still helps my libido.  




If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!  Please stay awhile, peruse the archives and don't forget to follow me by email (see sidebar toward top), facebook fanpage or twitter (@oysterbed7)

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Sirens


As you may have read last week, I’m co-chairing a fundraiser this weekend.  (See Overcoming Sexual Objections)  Although our sex life hasn’t suffered, my time for blog writing has.  But, I did have a quick thought this morning.

I cringe everytime I hear sirens race by our house.  Sirens mean bad news.  If any of my kids or Mr. Muscle are out and about town, there’s a moment of wonder.  “Could those sirens be for someone I love?”  And I pray.

I pray for those who summoned the sirens.  I pray for those who needed the sirens.  I pray for their loved ones.  Am I the only one who does this?

There was a flash in my mind.  I remember feeling the need for an ambulance to come save our marriage.  Our wounded hearts were bleeding dry.  What if I pray for hurting marriages everytime I hear a siren?

Let sirens be your reminder to pray for hurting marriages because sometimes hurting marriages don’t know how to call for help.


If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!  Please stay awhile, peruse the archives and don't forget to follow me by email (see sidebar toward top), facebook fanpage or twitter (@oysterbed7)

If you liked what you read, please share it with your friends via facebook, twitter, pinterest or googleplus, just below.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What's Your Happy?

The United Nations General Assembly deemed March 20th the International Day of Happiness back in 2012.

It’s new to me and maybe you, too.  Here’s a little background:  
“The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, stated that the world ‘needs a new economic paradigm that recognizes the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development.  Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible.  Together they define gross global happiness.’  The meeting was convened at an initiative of Bhutan, a country which recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product,” as stated at www.un.org.


My happy is a by-product of living life in the character of Christ.  Happy is more transient than deep seated joy.  In times of trouble, when happy seems scarce, my faith in the Lord and His promises are my joy.

Happy is joy’s dramatic and exuberant little sister.

My happy is like helium in my heart.  It floats on air and doesn’t weigh me down. 

My happy is like sunshine.  It illuminates the corners so I can see the blessings I forgot to count.

My happy is like a magnifying glass.  It makes the good in my life bigger.

My happy wears tap shoes and dances enthusiasm in my heart.

My happy is Jesus.  He came because of love.  Love covers over a multitude of sins and helped Mr. Muscle and I re-happify.

What's your happy?

This song makes me happy.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-GLuydiMe4


If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!  Please stay awhile, peruse the archives and don't forget to follow me by email (see sidebar toward top), facebook fanpage or twitter (@oysterbed7)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Overcoming Sexual Objections: He Wants a Wild-Cat in Bed. That's Not Me.

I have heard a lot of objections lately.

Objections in this house used to come in the form of,
“Broccoli smells like sewage, I don’t want to eat it!”
“Homework is stupid and boring!”

The objections I’ve heard since January revolve around a fundraiser for Christian Women’s Job Corps that I help chair.

 The fundraiser is called the Parade of Tables.  Individuals or businesses are asked to sponsor tables that seat 8.  The 8 seats are filled with friends/clients who bring cash or checks.  The sponsors are responsible for decorating and setting the tables. 

The decorations revolve around a central theme.  This year’s theme is Stories of Hope (your favorite stories from the Bible, books and movies).  Some of the themes chosen are; The BEST story of HOPE ever told (Easter), Mary Poppins, The Story of Noah. 

Guests vote on their favorite table with the money they bring.  So, we raise money through both the table sponsorship money and the donations of the guests.

The objections to sponsoring a table have sounded like this;
“I don’t know anybody in town to invite.” 
“There is not one creative bone in my body.”

Depending on the person, I either push with persuasion to overcome their objection or I let them be.

Every once in a blue moon, a soul comes along believing so strongly in our cause that no inability stops them from helping.
“I can’t decorate worth a hoot, and I live an hour from Wilmington, but I’m sending you a check to sponsor a table.  The table won’t look outstanding, but I’ve got 8 place settings and a few friends who might come.” 
This willing courageous soul energized me to persevere in recruiting sponsors.  She said yes for the good of the cause, not because her talent matched the task.

Her response also humbled me.  When is the last time I laid aside my doubts and inabilities for the good of the cause?  When is the last time I said yes to something I find difficult to do?

As low libido wives, it’s easy to have lots of objections.

My sexual objections have come in the form of,
“Sex?  I’m too tired from dealing with three kids all week by myself because you’ve been on a business trip.  It takes a lot of energy to ramp up for a rendezvous.”
“You’ve got to be kidding!  You have been such a jerk to me today.”

Here’s what I learned from my favorite table sponsor about overcoming sexual objections.

She was willing and courageous in spite of little ability or enthusiasm.

“He wants a wildcat in bed and that’s not me.  Why even bother?”

Many husbands want a wildly enthusiastic wife during lovemaking.  I believe a lot of this desire for wild enthusiasm is from the movies (especially pornography), which is not real life.  If a husband can lower his expectations about enthusiasm, more satisfaction will result.

The higher drive spouse needs to be in tune with how busy a day has been.  It is not fair to demand a high energy lovemaking session after a day that has depleted the lower drive spouse of stamina. 

On the other hand, a wife can be more animated, even if it’s difficult at first.  She can save some energy through the day.  She can be willing and courageously enthusiastic in her own way.  Her personal brand of enthusiasm may look nothing like what the husband envisions.  Be open to altering your expectations, gentlemen.  Make love to the wife you have.

As a low libido wife, being totally accepted and cherished in the marriage bed helps build the consistency a husband desires.  This includes having my willingness and lovemaking personality valued over wild animation.  However, as God would have it, the more I’m valued, the more I’m enthusiastic.

Husband and low libido wife can delightfully meet in the middle.

In the end, the marriage bed is about connecting, emotionally and spiritually, not just physically.

She said yes because she believed in our cause.

I believe in marriage.  I believe in Mr. Muscle, my husband.

I believe, with God’s help, you can enjoy sexual intimacy even if you have a low physical desire.

I am still a low libido wife physically, but I’m a high drive wife when it comes to desiring emotional and spiritual connection with my husband.  I have to tell you writing that, this moment, is a major revelation!!  I’ve never thought of it that way before until this moment.

You, too, can be a high drive wife in spite of your physical limitations!

When you believe in something you can overcome your own objections.



"Restore to me the joy of your salvation 
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me," 
Psalm 51:12.


Sharing with Sheila Gregoire at tolovehonorandvacuum.
Sharing with Gaye at CalmHealthySexy's, "Let's Get Real Link-Up Party"

If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!  Please stay awhile, peruse the archives and don't forget to follow me by email (see sidebar toward top), facebook fanpage or twitter (@oysterbed7)

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Piece of Cake....



Are you a matchy-matchy girl, like me?  I like buying outfits that coordinate texture, color, or pattern exquisitely.  The other reason I like outfits is because they eliminate the need to make decisions.  Mixing and matching pieces in my closet is time consuming and sometimes annoying (there's 'nothing to wear' or what I have doesn't fit right due to holiday weight that I'm still carrying).

Do you love a well-themed party or wedding?  Because we all say, ‘yes,’ that is probably why pinterest is so popular.  There’s a little thrill when we see the creativity of theme woven through the different elements.

Guess what I found this week?  Matching cake themed sexual intimacy blog posts.  It's fun to see how we all used the same elements differently and yet coordinated.  I was so excited!

Let them eat cake.  Enjoy the different thoughts and the central theme of my favorite dessert, cake, throughout these posts from my two friends and me.

OysterBed7 Guest Post for Gaye at Calm.Healthy.SexyThe Coconut Cake of Marital and Sexual Intimacy. 


Hot, Holy & Humorous:  Sex is Not The Icing on the Cake 




If you have a cake themed blog post (even if it's not sexual intimacy related), feel free to add it in the comment section!

If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!  Please stay awhile, peruse the archives and don't forget to follow me by email (see sidebar toward top), facebook fanpage or twitter (@oysterbed7)

If you liked what you read, please share it with your friends via facebook, twitter, pinterest or googleplus, just below.