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

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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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Perfecting Imperfect


If you read Tuesday’s post, you know we celebrate 28 years of marriage this week.

It’s official, for more than half of our lives, we’ve totally baffled each other.

As much as I’d like to say I’ve perfected wife-dom, the only thing I do perfectly is imperfection.

Things I do extraordinarily imperfect.
Yard work – Eh, looks good enough.
Cope with Frustration – the ol’ attitude and snarkiness flare up.
Remember Stuff – Did you send a birthday card?  Oh, Man, NO! 
Communicate – “No, what you said was…” “Well, what I meant was..”  “You never said that!”  “Yes, I did.  You never listen to me!”
Spontaneity - You mean, right now?!?
Marathon Shopping – It wears me out.  Please don’t revoke my Girly Card.

Things I do somewhat imperfect.
Consistency – I change my mind, often. 
Patience
Assumptions – I have a hard time getting myself out of the way to assume love.
Relaxation – If I’m not working aren’t I being lazy?
Grace
Self-Introspection – This causes a lot of ‘ouches.’

Things I do fairly imperfect.
Read Bible and Pray Daily
Celebrate
Humor
Hope
Love

The least imperfect thing I do is persistence. 

Persistence is sheer stubbornness with a tiny bit of faith.  And, Mr. Muscle will tell you I’ve got plenty of stubbornness and just enough faith to be dangerous.

“We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us,” Romans 5:3&4.

Long-term persistence (endurance) created my version of sexual desire. 

How can you cultivate long-term persistence?  With a lot of help!

Prayer
God wants you to hand over every aspect of your life to Him, including your sexuality.  God designed sexual intimacy with your husband.  It's OK to pray about it, honest!


Give yourself permission to be imperfect.
Sex is a mystery to me and that’s OK.  I’m OK where I’m at, but I’m going to be really OK working toward growth.  Expect that growth will happen in your life, spiritual, emotional and physical, as you tackle reclaiming your low libido.  

Two steps forward and one step back is still growth!

Get mad
I’m most motivated when I’m just a little bit ticked off.  Feeling helpless about my sex drive ticked me off.  But, I realized I wasn’t helpless.   I had HOPE.

I didn’t have to stay in this disheartened state of disconnection from my husband that happened to include ‘low libido.’ 

I started praying and being on watch “for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Rom. 5:5 the msg).

The juicy tingle of honeymoon days dried up.  So, how do I plug into anything remotely sexy, whether it’s a mindset that my body is 'not-bad' or thoughts that occasionally wander to sexual things?

I realized my new brand of libido was going to be different from the honeymoon days.

It can lack physical urgency.  More often it is a yearning for spiritual and emotional connection with my husband.  Persistence has shown me that usually the want-to follows the willing-to.  Desire doesn’t always show up until after things get started.

Every low libido wife has to figure out her brand of libido.  Our God of hope will hear your prayers and help you develop your new brand of sexy.


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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Music for the Feisty Bedroom

Bedroom Soundtracks
To enjoy and consider for your personal playlist:
Top Dubstep Drops:  Epic Motivational Mix



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLyH94jNau0

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Relentless Love


A divorced man at church made this comment to us, “I want my next marriage to be just like y’all’s, best friends,”

I commenced to tell him how hard we worked at being ‘best friends.’  For a while, we weren’t friends at all.  We nearly destroyed our marriage.  We work hard because we never want to be in that place again.
                             
Since this week is our 28th wedding anniversary, I want to honor the transformation God has brought about in our marriage.  I want to tell you a little about the man who works so hard to keep our marriage thriving, my husband, David, (whom I often refer to as Mr. Muscle).

Dave amazes me.  And, I’ll be honest, at times he infuriates me, as I do him.  We challenge each other, but have learned to accept what the other thinks as valid.  Just because we don’t agree, doesn’t make either wrong.

Kids flock to our pew at church Sunday morning.  Because, Mr. Dave has an iPhone loaded with kiddo game apps.  Occasionally, our pew gets a little rowdy when someone’s turn has gone too long and the kids start voicing displeasure.

He sincerely adored his grandmother.  When he told her, ‘I love your fried apple pies nearly as much as I love you,’ or, ‘a lovely lady like yourself shouldn’t be pumping your own gas,’ she melted.

He is the King of original Corn.  He excels at word play and puns.  He keeps me laughing and groaning.  He is better at spelling and grammar than I am.

He calls to check on the sick and friends he hasn’t seen in a while.

He and I have our contentious moments because of miscommunication.  But, where we get along well is ‘outside of the box’ thinking.  We both like looking at things from unusual perspectives.

As I’ve said in many posts, he truly is a David, a man with flaws but who pursues God relentlessly.  He has told me that there is nothing in his human body that can help him overcome.  He has succeeded in becoming an Ephesians 5:25 husband purely through the hope of Jesus’ resurrection.  The Holy Spirit empowered Dave with the heart of a Jesus, a servant leader with great might.

His favorite Bible verse is, “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,” Romans 15:13. 

Dave also loves me relentlessly.  He shows me love in ways that don’t necessarily speak to him but they speak to me.  The Holy Spirit helped him with selfless understanding. 

When he details my car, I am putty in his hands.  (I know people have scoffed at chore-play as fore-play, but it creates some nice sexual tension in this house.)

I am loved so well by God through David, how could I not be inspired to participate in their meaningful act of love?  I hope to honor God and David by figuring out my libido and understanding the deep spiritual meaning of sexual intimacy.

I know there are other wives out there who are being loved well, but don’t understand they are being loved well.

Your husband may not be showing you love in a way that makes sense to you.  He needs to work on understanding you.  But, where you can help him is to start honoring his love in a way he identifies.

Has your husband ever said he is sexually dissatisfied because of lack of frequency (less than once a week)?  If so, you might consider if showing him more frequent sexual interest connects with him emotionally.  Show him love in a way that makes sense to him.  You don’t have to understand why.  Sexual intimacy screams emotional intimacy to men.  Open this topic up for further discussion and pray for the Holy Spirit to help you understand the spiritual nature of sexual intimacy.



Also see, My Cowboy is Not My Best Friend.

Sharing with:  Wednesday Works For Me, Messy Marriage

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Effort of Ecstasy




I’d like to tell you climaxing is effortless, but you already know that it’s not.  There are days when reaching orgasm is like a breathy, halted journey across a swinging rope bridge.   It’s exciting and gets your adrenaline pumping, but it takes diligence, courage and playful work on your part.  And that’s OK.

The soul of the diligent is richly supplied,” Proverbs 13:4.

Playfulness is the point of lovemaking, not orgasm.  Focus on sensations with no expectation.

It’s good to have knowledge of different sensations that you enjoy.  If you find one sensation isn’t ramping up the arousal, switch to something else.  Then, come back to it, if you want.  Orgasm is about firing up as many nerves as possible.  Use the entire orchestra, not just the soloist.

Remember, God created orgasm.   Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning,” James 1:17.

These next few items can help anyone who struggles with orgasm, but are geared toward the woman who is pre-orgasmic and is working toward her first O.  

Choose the right time of the month
In an ultrasound study by Cesare Battaglia, the dorsal clitoral artery was found to have a better flow of blood depending on the woman’s menstrual cycle.  It was shown that there was an increasing blood volume to the clitoris between day 3 until about day 14.  From day 14 until day 20 the blood volume held steady and then started to decline.  The greater blood flow means greater oxygenation to the clitoral nerves and greater ability to cause the divine spark.

Daily clenching and unclenching your pc muscles (i.e. doing your Kegels). 
There are many benefits of toned pelvic floor.  Clenching and unclenching before and during a rendezvous can help coax an orgasm. 

If you read through the Exquisite Clitoris, you know that there is a complex network of clitoral tissue.  This clitoral tissue is sandwiched between your pelvic floor muscles.  So, when you clench and unclench you are directly manipulating your female erectile tissue.

As you clench and release, you may feel a nice sensation.  To double the sensation, try crossing your legs, then clench/release. 

Lots of foreplay(See How a Husband Can Help)  Arousal is the key to orgasm.

Lots of Lubricant (coconut oil is very nice and cheap).

Relax your throat and open your mouth slightly (smile)! 
This helps your entire body relax.  Don’t forget to breathe, especially if things are starting to build.  Don’t hold your breath.  You need the oxygen to keep your nerves on fire.

Don’t be afraid to coach your husband. 
You’ll be able to best coach him if you’ve already discovered your sensitive zones by previous exploration, even achieving orgasm by yourself (See O Exploration).  He can’t read your mind. He wants you to gently tell him what feels good and what doesn’t.  If your orgasm is his goal, too, he will not be insulted.  He will be elated that you are taking an active part in finding your climax.

Orgasm is described as ‘falling off the edge. 
One theory of achieving orgasm is to tease to high arousal and then back off.  You are brought to the edge through clitoral stimulation and then slow down or cease physical stimulation, only to begin building again.  If you aren’t having luck with continuous stimulation, this may be worth a shot.  Use differing types of touch; strokes, circles, taps, etc.

Eventually, you reach the precipice and there is no backing off anymore.

For the lady with O-potential, clitoral stimulation is going to be the best bet to achieve your first orgasm.  You may want to consider oral sex. 

I know, I know…..relax.  Just think about it.  (See Forgiven Wife: Do I Have To?)

Arching your back. 
As the tension builds and it feels like you nearly can’t stand it in a good way, some women find it is easier to entice an orgasm by arching their backs.  This can help you position the anterior (front) of your vaginal wall to experience more direct stimulation (See Delightful Urethral Sponge).  Here’s the caveat, don’t tense up the rest of your body while arching!

Lengthening your spine
During the arousal process, sometimes it is helpful to continue stimulation, while you lay back, tilt your chin up slightly and relax.  Imagine a ribbon running through your spine and out the top of your head.  Imagine pulling ever so slightly on the ribbon to decompress your spine.  Again, don’t tense up the rest of your body. 

Advanced technique:  Arch your back while lengthening your spine and staying relaxed.  (i.e. hop on one foot, rub you tummy and pat your head.)

Don’t empty your bladder.  Some women find it helpful to start with a bladder that is not empty, but not full, either.  A bladder in this state will be larger than when empty.  This gives the urethral sponge and inner clitoral network something to push against. 

This isn’t helpful for all women, so it depends on the woman.  If you have a problem with UTI’s, do not attempt this.  You should urinate before and after sexual activity to flush the microbes.

Some women say they feel like they have to pee when highly sexually aroused. What I suspect is this has to do with female ejaculation (See Delightful Urethral Sponge).  If your bladder wasn’t full to begin with, you probably are not going to urinate.  Ride through the urge and see what happens.  You could be very happy with the outcome.

Surf through all of this with no expectations.  Just feel the sensations and relax.

What does it feel like to approach orgasm?
You are sitting on the runway in a jet, next for takeoff.  In moments, you’ll rocket to the end of the tarmac.  You’re a little edgy.  You want to relax, but there’s just a bit of adrenaline rippling through your veins.

The pilot finally accelerates.  The forward thrust pushes you into the back of your seat.  You breathe deeply and grip the armrest.

The plane bullets toward lift-off.  Adrenaline is still surging.  Your heart is racing a little faster now.  You try to calm and think happy thoughts.

You tell yourself to relax and try to release muscle tension.  There’s still uncertainty, will you lift-off the ground?  The tension doesn’t quite leave and you are getting closer and closer to the end of the run-way.  You realize you are holding your breath and you exhale just as you feel the wheels leave the ground. 

For several seconds, you live in this place between being fully relaxed and still very tightly wound.  And then finally in an explosion of relief, you know that you are sailing safely through the air.

Final thoughts
Playful practice makes perfect.
No expectations, just work toward being fully aroused.
Then, take a trip to the airport.  ;)

If anorgasmia burdens your heart, please let me pray for you.  Pearlmail3@gmail.com.

Also sharing with Calm.Healthy.Sexy.


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Music for the Sensual Bedroom

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

Skyrim: Lindsey Stirling and Peter Hollens


I am sorry if some devices won't open the video clip.  Here is the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgPienNLSyk

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Newlywed Advice from 26 of my friends




Newlyweds, 26 of my friends share from life experience what keeps the romance alive.  

I asked my eclectic (divorced, married, single, old, young) set of friends on facebook, “What one bit of advice would you give to Newlyweds to keep things spicy in the years to come?” 

Here are their unedited answers.  I’ve made comments in italics under some of them.

Live every day like newlyweds, even after 10 or 20 years.
Ok, I get the gist behind this statement.  I value the friend who suggested it.  The next question would be HOW do you continue to live like newlyweds?  Practical suggestions found from other friends below.

Suprise one another. Take time for one another, plan dates and stick to them. Make each other a priority, even over the kids, at least once a week.

Keep it passionate beyond the bedroom.

Don't cheat on each other.  Once it's done there's no going back and it's never the same.  Live up to the values you said to each other everyday (ps she's always right even when she's wrong lol)

Make time for each other. Also, put little surprise notes everywhere. The little things are the things that are remembered the most.

Be best friends
I’ve always had a hard time with this one.  Because, relating with your spouse is different than relating with a same sex friend.  Husbands won’t necessarily be a ‘girlfriend’ to shop with and paint toes.  But, he does need to be the one you discuss deep things with, get advice from, accept/give help and have fun with more than anyone else.

Keep laughing

If and when you argue, don’t talk badly about each other to family and friends.

Get rid of expectations.  They can ruin the joy of, ‘what is.’
So true.  Neither of you are the perfect romantic ideal of what you thought as newlyweds.  But, in order to keep the newlywed feeling going, you have to accept them with their imperfections.  His dirty laundry sits on the floor a day or two, so?  At least he takes the laundry to the laundry room and even puts in a load or two.

Some personal habits need to be kept private, using the bathroom, shaving legs, etc.
This depends on the couple, but do be sensitive to this.  Familiarity can smother romance, but familiarity can breed romance, too.  Being very comfortable with each other is a good thing, like showering together.  Keep an open dialogue to know where your mutual line is.

Pamper your wife.

Look into each others eyes when you talk, really connect when you are telling each other how you feel.
Eye contact is very important.  Take the time to acknowledge each other with this little, but important, action.

The grass is greener where you water it.
Water your marriage with time, be interested in what your spouse is doing, ask questions, engage.  Don’t just pass each other in the hallway and grunt.

Continue to date

Learn each other the best you can, respect and love each other enough to give what the other needs...gladly.

Put God first. Be selfless and try to out serve each other. Continue to develop a deeper friendship with each other. Make time to be alone and have fun together. Weekly date night. A getaway at least once a year with just the two of you. Learn each other's love language. Oh sorry, lol you said ONE.

Always put each other first.
Serving others is important, but not at the expense of your family, especially your spouse.  Serving took a precedence over my husband/family at one time.  I was out of balance. 

Remember to go out on date night.

Never take each other for granted. ... live every day like is the last with each other.   Love like there is no tomorrow.

Always look good and keep the surprises going.

Never stop talking.

Take a break from each other once in a while to remember and honor that you are an individual with strengths all your own, and you'll have more to share with them.
I understand what is being said here.  You possess God-given talents.  You are valuable, apart from your spouse.  However, ‘taking a break’ depends on your circumstance.  If a husband travels for business, further time apart can be detrimental, even if it’s ‘once in awhile.’  For me, personally, I needed more time with my husband without the kids around than anything else.
 
Openly discuss each others likes/dislikes in your sex life. Be open to try new things and pray together for each other and your marriage.

Never stop dating!

Life isn't about being right; admit when you are wrong, apologize sincerely and learn from the experience. Wish I knew "then" what I know now....

Cherish, communicate, compromise, and Christ.

What practical bit of advice do you wish you’d known as a newlywed? Please tell me in the comments.  Thanks!


Messy Marriage














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