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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Privacy Roadblock to Thriving Sex Life (for mom's of littles) (and how to break through)

The treat continues.  Amanda Uher, of allthelittlepieces (mothering. mildly misbehaving. making life matter) is continuing her series for you today!

God happened to place this kindred blogging sister in a seat right next to mine, not just once, but twice, at SheSpeaks!  We exchanged pleasantries.  But, I didn't know what a gem she was until after I got home and visited her blog.

Amanda Uher delightfully writes about juggling the bits of life with a young family at allthelittlepieces.  She is full of insight and humor and weaves her faith through the imperfection of it all.

Amanda is smack dab in the middle of the chaos of young mama life.  It was a time when I wished I'd better invested in sexual intimacy.  She's candidly speaking today and next Tuesday.  Please welcome, Amanda Uher!   

You'd be awesome if you show her some love and leave a comment at the end.



Whether it’s because I'm afraid of scarring their sweet minds or because I'm just tired of being interrupted DURING. EVERY. LITTLE. THING. (CANAGIRLEVENPOOP. ALONE. PLEASE.), one of my Top 5 Worst Nightmares is having “Mommy-Daddy time” interrupted by a curious little one. 
           
I absolutely cannot relax if I think one of our kids might walk in on us. How am I supposed to break through Fatigue Block and pursue intimacy earlier in the day when there are little children underfoot? 

My answer is: it’s time to get creative. This is the season for Stealth Sex. And I’m just going to say it: this is also the season to embrace the quickie. 

To break through Fatigue Block, we need to stop idolizing feeling “Not Tired,” and embrace moments of “Less Tired.” When dealing with Privacy Block, we can’t afford to idolize the extended bedroom rendezvous. We must find - and create - opportunities for sex where we may have overlooked them before. 

Think less “Sex Goddess,” more “Sex Ninja.”

Will your kiddos sit in front of the TV to watch a cartoon in the morning? Plop them on the couch (strap a really little one into the high chair to keep them out of trouble). Let them watch a cartoon while you dash upstairs to crash your man’s morning shower. I don’t know if it’s good parenting, but it’s darn good wife-ing.

Are your kids ever playing contentedly in the back yard when your husband gets home from work? Crack a window so you can hear any emergencies, and chase that man upstairs to “help him change out of his work clothes.”

Believe me, mamas, I know the kids aren’t often content without you actively refereeing participating in whatever they’re doing. But there will be moments! Be on the lookout for those moments and claim them for your marriage. 

(Like a Ninja.)

Okay, time out. True confession: 

If I have a few moments where “Less Tired” AND “The Children Are Not In The Room” overlap… sex is not always (ever?) the thing I want to do. 

And here we collide with the third - and in my experience, most powerful - roadblock: Identity Block. 

Stay tuned. I promise, you do not want to miss this one.

Amanda lives near Charlotte, NC, with her husband Matt, and their two young children. She loves Jesus - but sometimes she’s not very good at it. When it comes to motherhood, wife-hood (is that a thing?), and life in general, sometimes she gets it right; sometimes she crashes and burns. It usually makes for some good stories along the way. Find her atallthelittlepieces.com, like her page at http://facebook.com/allthelittlepiecesblog, or email her at amanda@allthelittlepieces.com.





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Thursday, September 11, 2014

16 Ways To Pray For Depression When It Affects Your Marriage


The thing about depression is that you can’t trust your feelings, especially not where God is concerned.  Trust God’s Word not your feelings. 

Leave your Bible in eyesight everyday and thumb to these verses often.

Lord, help me, I am hurting.
Psalm 34: 6-7
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles.  The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.

Lord, help me to understand you always keep promises.
It’s a powerful verse that shows up twice.  Psalm 18:30 & 2 Samuel 22:31:
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.  He shields all who take refuge in him.

Lord, help me know you live in me and stand with me.
Romans 8:11
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Hebrew 13:5
…but he said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you,’

Lord, help me face each day.
Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lord, help me know you intimately care.
John 10:3
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Luke 12:7
Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows!

Psalm 56:8
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

Lord, help me know your purpose for me.
John 15:16 (I am chosen)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

2 Timothy 2:21
So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Hebrews 13:20-21
Now the God of peace….even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Lord, help me manage my depression.
Psalm 51:12
Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit.
(…..there is nothing too great for you.)
Jeremiah 32:17
Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.
(…..Please reveal causes of my depression)
Luke 8:17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

Lord, help me know my marriage is a gift.
Paul says, in regards to singleness and marriage.  1 Corinthians 7:7:
I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

Lord, help me know you are a part of my marriage.
Matthew 18:20
Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them.

Lord, help me know my marriage’s purpose
(…..to seek & serve Christ)
Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. Romans 14:17-18.

(…..to share Christ)
Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Lord, help me to be motivated to connect with my spouse in the marriage bed.
Ezekiel 36:26-27
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Lord, help me remember my spouse who is understanding but neglected.
Proverbs 11:24-25.
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Lord, help my marriage and I to thrive.
2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Exodus 15:26
He said, "If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 14:27
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.



I will gladly pray with you over your depression and marriage, friend.  Please email me, pearlmail3@gmail.com.





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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Music for the Sweet & Sensual Bedroom

Bedroom Soundtracks
Offering you samples of eclectic music
to enjoy and consider for your personal lovemaking playlist:

Django Reinhardt:  September Song



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7aOnRO1v9E

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top 3 Roadblocks to a Thriving Sex Life (for moms of littles) (and how to break through)

I have a treat for you this morning!  Amanda Uher, of allthelittlepieces (mothering. mildly misbehaving. making life matter) is guest posting for us today!

God happened to place this kindred blogging sister in a seat right next to mine, not just once, but twice, at SheSpeaks!  We exchanged pleasantries.  But, I didn't know what a gem she was until after I got home and visited her blog.

Amanda Uher delightfully writes about juggling the bits of life with a young family at allthelittlepieces.  She is full of insight and humor and weaves her faith through the imperfection of it all.

Amanda is smack dab in the middle of the chaos of young mama life.  It was a time when I wished I'd better invested in sexual intimacy.  She will candidly speak about the issues and solutions for the next three Tuesdays.  Please welcome, Amanda Uher!   

You'd be awesome if you show her some love and leave a comment at the end.


I’ve been married to Matt for almost twelve years. When I reflect on the best seasons in the life of our marriage, I find a common denominator: we were having sex. Often. 

But, I will tell you from the get-go: a thriving sex life is not something we’ve consistently had. And when we have, it has not been without effort.

ESPECIALLY since having children. (Ours are currently six and four.)

How in the world do we find time for sex when we have littles at home?

I’ll be honest. I’ve felt really unqualified to answer this question. Because it’s not something that has come easily for me. It didn’t before we had kids, and it certainly hasn’t since having babies. Who became toddlers. Who became little children. Who need/want/demand my attention every. waking. moment.

But, then God reminded me that a lot of us feel like that. And maybe you’d like to hear from someone who doesn’t find victory here in any natural way. 

Y’all, it is a supernatural victory in my marriage when our sex life thrives EXISTS. 

And so, as I prayed and reflected on what in the world I could possibly offer you in your journey, God showed me three main roadblocks that you and I need His help to overcome. 

(Surprisingly, they’re NOT called The Preschooler, The Toddler, and The Baby.) 

To have a sex life when our children are young, it’s critical that we identify and break through the following three roadblocks:

Fatigue Block
Privacy Block
Identity Block

Now, go re-heat your coffee, mamas. It’s time to tackle the first roadblock:


Fatigue Block is the “I’m Too Tired” syndrome. And I have a chronic case. Sufferers of this syndrome, when alert enough to think a complete thought at all, believe sex is best reserved for times when Not Tired.  (Because, SLEEP.)

But let’s be real, ladies: I’ve been some degree of Tired for the past SIX YEARS. So, if I plan to ever have sex again while my children are living at home, I may need to change my expectation. 

Maybe I should stop holding out for a moment when I’m Not Tired. (Because I am NEVER Not Tired.) But, there ARE times that I’m Less Tired.

For example: I am Less Tired at 8 pm than I am at 10 pm. Therefore, if my husband and I want to hang out and watch a movie on the couch after the kids are in bed (as we often do), it would be really brilliant of me to initiate sex with him BEFORE we start the movie!

Sex does not have to be the last thing we do before we go to sleep at night. (We used to know this. When did we forget?)

When are YOU less tired? Are you a morning person? Try giving your husband a “special wake up call.” (And trust me - if your husband is not a morning person, he will gladly become one if he’s awakened by you.) (Naked.)

So, shock the pants off your man (literally - that would be exciting) and suggest sex WHILE THE SUN IS STILL UP!!!

I can hear you now: “Pardon me. You seem to have forgotten the little children. Remember them? Great thoughts, but, ’sun still up’ is synonymous with ‘child hanging on my leg.’”

Ah, yes. Don’t worry, I’m still with you - and we’ve conveniently arrived at our second roadblock:

Privacy Block.

I’m really looking forward to diving into this next week. 

We will use the phrase, “Sex Ninja.” 

Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.



Amanda lives near Charlotte, NC, with her husband Matt, and their two young children. She loves Jesus - but sometimes she’s not very good at it. When it comes to motherhood, wife-hood (is that a thing?), and life in general, sometimes she gets it right; sometimes she crashes and burns. It usually makes for some good stories along the way. Find her atallthelittlepieces.com, like her page at http://facebook.com/allthelittlepiecesblog, or email her at amanda@allthelittlepieces.com.





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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Libido Hope for SSRI users (and a little about Depression)


“Testosterone Improves Antidepressant-Emergent Loss of Libido in Women: Findings from a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” Women's Health Research Program, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Published in January 2014, Journal of Sexual Medicine, this study followed women between the ages of 35-55 for 12 weeks.  They wore patches.  One group had a placebo patch and the other group had a testosterone patch.  But, they didn’t know if they had medicine in their patch or not. 

The results are very hopeful.  The testosterone group had 2.3 more positive sexual experiences per month than those on placebo.  The biggest jump in affect was seen at the fourth week.  The positive effect held steady until week 12, the end of the study.

Distress associated with low libido was alleviated slightly in the testosterone group, too.

There were no significant adverse reactions to the testosterone.  One woman had a site reaction to the patch but did not discontinue use.  No woman withdrew because of adverse affects. 

Not all antidepressants adversely affect sexual desire, just those categorized as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).  Not only do they dampen your drive, they can also affect genital sensations and the ability to orgasm.  I’ve heard it described as a wet fog that settles over sexual intimacy.

Here is an excellent article that explains why SSRI’s cause sexual dysfunction from Current Psychiatry. 

If you are between a rock and a hard place, between keeping the darkness of depression at bay and coping with the stress of low libido in your marriage, the Australian study shines a fragile ray of hope.

As one who is currently on testosterone for perimenopausal symptoms, I can tell you it is not the quick fix of Viagra.  You can’t see your testosterone level rise before your eyes.  The effects of testosterone sneak in subtly.  But, they are positive and can be felt.

Ask your local compounding pharmacy who prescribes testosterone in your area, and see:

A little more encouragement.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
 He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.
Psalm 40:1-3

Depression DOES NOT mean that you have a weak faith because you can’t seem to pull yourself out of the muddy, mired, slimy pit.  Depression is a mix of imbalanced brain chemicals and environmental stressers.  God gave us the ability to use our intellect to understand the chemistry of our bodies and apply outside intervention to better our quality of life.  It’s OK to seek help from counselors and medication if you are feeling a profound sense of emptiness, hopelessness and worthlessness.

And of course, continually to look God for answers and direction.  But, consider that some of his direction may include outside intervention.  He gave us the Holy Spirit, but he also gave us real tangible tools to use.

Depression doesn’t have to cloud your life or your marriage’s sexual intimacy.  Sex is so very important for your overall health and the health of your marriage.  I'm not saying that to condemn but to convict and encourage.

According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 10 adults experience depression each year.  2/3rds don’t seek help.  Women are twice as likely to be depressed as men. 

We are rounding into autumn which can start or worsen depressive episodes.  Please, seek help if you are feeling excruciating fatigue, you’ve lost interest in things you used to really love and just don't want to interact with anyone for fear you'll just feel worse about yourself.

God hears your cry and turns to you.  Let God put a new song in your mouth.  God wants you to have peace and worth in your heart, so does your family.  

It’s easy to remain one of the 2/3rd that doesn’t seek help.  Be courageous, make the choice to talk with your spouse about what’s going on in your head and heart.  

It is very very hard to make the first step and talk about it.  But, not impossible, because God always shows up in impossible situations.  I have confidence you can make this first step.  You have the bravery and backing of the Lord to be in the 1/3rd.

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.  God’s promises are for everyone, even for the depressed who don’t feel the hope.

See Also:

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Music for the Romantic Bedroom

Bedroom Soundtracks
Offering you samples of eclectic music
to enjoy and consider for your personal lovemaking playlist:

John Legend:  You & I (Nobody in the World)



Some devices won't open the video clip.  Here is the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uTZfcf-vLE


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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Work of the Heart



Happy Labor Day!

Celebrate your commitment to the daily grind by relaxing.

It’s also a day to celebrate the hard work you put into your marriage.

But, can it really be called work, the commitment we put into our marriages?

Yes.

Hopefully, the work is only intermittent and harmony is abundant.  But, there are inevitably seasons of real hard work.

It’s a different kind of work than the daily toil of going to the office or factory.  It’s a work of the heart.  It can be more excruciating than the longest, most boring, board meeting.  And more trying than the snarkiest of co-workers.

The work of the heart is to ultimately honor God.  By working through problems you’d rather not face, you are honoring God.   You are living out your promise, “I’ll stick with this person for the rest of my life.”

In the Sir Isaac Newton world, work is a force that moves an object.  Work transfers energy from one object to another.  Work can only happen if there is movement.

If you hold your arm straight out with a 5 pound weight in your hand, your arm is going to tire out, but no work has been done.  The only time work happens is if you lift the weight higher.  The larger the movement, the more measurable work has happened.

Work has an expectation of movement.

In marriage, there is an expectation of movement, growth.  Work transfers the energy of love, but it also transfers the expectation of growth. 

One spouse sees the other doing selfless ‘movement of an object’ (i.e. diminishing stubbornness, arrogance, argumentativeness, infusing with patience, sweet tone, improving the libido etc…).  This builds a little fire in your mate’s heart.  Its easy to see, in a real way, the work your heart is doing. 

Expect growth to be contagious.  It spreads with the transfer of energy (love).

“….but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up,” Galatians 6:8&9.

‘Move an object’ today that will bless your spouse and celebrate this Labor Day with the measure of your heart’s work.


“Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain;
unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain,” Psalm 127:1.



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photocredit: Silvia Sala via photopin cc