Archive | June 2012

Lord, Free Me From Ungodly Fear

What do you fear most?

My fears, you ask?  How about falling from heights…. being buried alive….  drowning….at one point in time I was afraid of death….now it’s just the fear of how I will die, not death itself.

Here are two things that  I will never do.   You can wheel my dead body out here, but while I am alive and kicking, these will mortify me forever…..

   The Grand Canyon sky walk …. and

  The glass ledge on the Sears Tower

DH and I actually went up to the top of the Sears Tower on our honeymoon 17 years ago…. way before this was added on, and I wouldn’t go near the windows.  Water parks…. I really had to FORCE myself to do one of those water slides with my kids where the bottom drops out from under you….. there was the fear of falling and drowning all in one.    I hate that feeling, but how do you make it go away?

All of those are ungodly fears.   There was a guy that lived down the street that I went to HS with….he was a senior, I was a freshman.   Just through some innuendo with knowing him, he really gave me the heebie geebies…. so much that I hated taking a shower for fear he was in the bathroom closet.    He died that year….even after he died and I knew he was gone, I still had that irrational fear that he would come back from the grave and haunt me.   I like Stormie’s word for it.  Torment.   I was/am  literally tormented by these fears.  Some I have overcome.  (Yes, David is not in my bathroom closet), but there are some that would still literally cripple me.  I need tons of prayer over those.

Here are 4 ways Stormie recommends to get rid of ungodly fear.

1. Praying: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)  Draw close to your Abba Father and let his love consume you.   There is no fear in the Lord.

2. Control what you receive in your mind:  I don’t like watching the news anymore.  I’ve kind of given it up.  Yeah, I get surprised by the weather, since I didn’t watch the news, but there are too many images that require a brain scrubber sometimes….I loved scary movies as a teen.  Not anymore.  It was no fun trying to run to my bedroom when I was 18 in the completely dark house because I was afraid Freddy Kruger was around the corner…. (Actually, my brother took great pride in scaring the crap outta me then….he is 3 years younger!)   Fear disappears in the presence of the Lord.   Read your bible.  Pray.  Listen to praise music.   I like to do the latter.

3. Be in the Word of God: Reading and speaking the word aloud has so much power in it.  Takes away fear every time!

4. Live in the fear of the Lord:  No, don’t be afraid of the Lord.  That is not what fear of the Lord means.  Fear is respect.  Reverence.  Fear of the Lord makes you want to obey him.   It makes you forget all the things you are truly afraid of.   I can’t imagine my life without God.  Talk about scary!

The Lord is the light of our life.  He is our strength and our shield.  Whom shall we fear?  He is with us wherever we go.

Throwback Thursdays: How to Discuss Sensitive Topics with Our Husbands

This article is going to need all of us ladies to band together and draw from our experiences in communication fails and triumphs. We can not avoid it. At times we are going to encounter problems in our marriages that we need to talk about openly with our husbands. And at times they are issues that could cause the conversation to turn south really fast if we are not mindful of some strategies for discussing sensitive topics in a way that encourage more talking rather than seeing us or our husbands shut down.

Maybe your husband needs to know that you need something particular in bed. Or that you need him to stop doing something particular in bed. Maybe there are issues in your finances or serious character issues that concern you. Whatever it is, there is a way that we as wives can do our part to bring these things up in a manner that is more likely to be well received. We can’t guarantee it of course. Our husbands are responsible for their own response, but there are some keys that make it work better.

The first thing I want to mention is the importance of picking your timing well. If he is in the middle of a project or watching something important to him on TV, that isn’t the time to bring up a problem. I used to be very unaware of this and have worked hard to be more intentional about when I bring things up that my husband and I need to discuss. My husband has taken the time to tell me how much he appreciates that I have grown in my discretion in this area so I know that it’s really meaningful to him.

The other thing that is very important is to take the time to think before you speak. We often end up reacting to problems the moment they pop up, but if we can train ourselves to hold our tongues, collect our thoughts and then speak, we often end up being able to respond more reasonably. I’ve found it really helpful to write out my thoughts ahead of time on very serious issues. It helps me process out a lot of the emotions so that when I talk to my husband I can focus more on the facts and present things in a way that makes more sense to him. I’ve noticed that so many of the movies I see which depict a romantic relationship are often missing this aspect of communication when the conflict in the movie meets the crisis point. Self control in conflict is completely disregarded, but I think controlling our tongue in conflict is incredibly important.

Without a doubt it is also important to take the time to pray for insight, especially if you need to bring up an issue that could be hurtful to him. We don’t want our words to tear him down and if we take time to pray I know that God gives us wisdom so that we can say things in ways that encourage him to consider how he can change. There was an issue a number of months ago that began concerning me about my husband so I began praying about it. God provided me a way to very gently mention it to my husband at just the right timing, when his heart was able to receive it. Since then I have seen God prompt people who knew nothing of the issue I was concerned about say something that reconfirms to my husband the importance of him paying attention to the problem I mentioned. Prayer makes a huge difference.

Our tone of voice is also very important. If we can remember to say things gently and with kindness, we will find that what we say is more readily received. Whether the issue is serious or mild, we have the choice to say things in a passive aggressive manner and rudely or we can choose to speak kindly. If in our hearts we already disrespect or despise our husband, that is going to come across in how we say things. We can’t expect him to receive what we are saying if underneath our words, our tone communicates a poor heart condition on our part. And we won’t be able to hide that so take the time to deal with issues of the heart as they come up.

And that brings me to my final point. If you have a habit of sweeping things under the rug because you have a hard time dealing with conflict, you can be sure that those bad roots of anger, bitterness and unforgiveness are going to cause bad fruit in our relationship. A lot of the time we will not even see the connection between a hurt we have in our hearts and a bad reaction we had to something external, but very often there are indeed connections between these kinds of things. So have courage and deal with the stuff in your heart. Bring your hurts to Jesus and let him begin healing the broken parts of your heart.

So how about you? These are my top suggestions for how to deal with sensitive issues with your husband. What have you found to be effective? I’d love to hear from you.

original article

Q&A: How can you overcome your spouse’s fetish?

I love my husband and as his only outlet for sexual desire, I want to do anything that pleases him. But he has this thing for pantyhose. Every time we have sex he wants me to wear it and if I don’t wear it he has a hard time getting aroused… I feel a little offended. It’s as if my body isn’t sexy anymore without pantyhose. I want to be beautiful and sexy to him without anything on me, too.

This was a recent email that came from the “Got Questions” page.  I really don’t have much experience with fetishes in our sex life.   It does sound like he has developed a fetish with needing the pantyhose in order to get aroused.   Here are a few suggestions I have for you.  Other readers can chime in, too, with their experiences.

1.  Take some time (outside of the bedroom) to sit down and talk to him about it.  Make a coffee date or some time when intimacy isn’t at it’s highest.  Make sure that he hears that it really hurts you that he doesn’t find you attractive unless you have pantyhose on.   Tell him, “to me, it seems like the pantyhose are more important to you than I am.”  Give him time to think and give you a legitimate answer to why he needs them.  “I just do” isn’t good enough.   Has he seen it in porn?

2.  You may want to suggest that you both see a sex therapist together to find out the root of this fetish and what you can do to make sex a little more healthier for both of you.  On Christian Nymphos, we partnered with Dr. Lauren Jordan, a certified sex therapist, who operates out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.  I have been to one of her seminars, and it is very enlightening.  A lot of people think that sex therapy is humiliating, but sometimes it really is helpful and necessary.   This might be a step in the right direction.

If you haven’t read them yet, here are a few articles from CN that cover the topic.

Fetishes  ~ Cumingirl’s

How Do I know What is Ok? ~ Cinnamonstick’s

Adding Spice – Where to Draw the Line ~ Peppermintgirl’s

Readers, do you have any other advice for this reader?

Make Me a Servant

One Sunday while at church listening to a message from Philippians, my mind started to wander a little bit to the blog here.   Not only was it a good message for any Christian, but it would really work well in the our marriages as well.   Here is the passage I am referring to

Philippians 2:1-5

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Now, Paul wrote this letter to the Philippian church while he was in prison, so “make my joy complete” is talking about him since he started the church there in Philippi, but let’s look at these verses and a few others with a little twist.

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, As Christians, we should have joy and encouragement with Christ as our head.

if any comfort from his love, Jesus’ love for us paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.  In that, I take great comfort

if any fellowship with the Spirit When the Holy Spirit indwells us upon our salvation, we should feel a deeper sense of fellowship with Christ since he lives within us.

if any tenderness and compassion As a Christian, don’t you see things in a different light?  Don’t you tend to look on others with more compassion than when you were a nonbeliever?

2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Likeminded…like Christ, we should strive to love one another as Christ loved us, we should strive to be more like Christ in what we say and what we do, with the same purpose as Christ…to love and serve others.

3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

These last two verses are the ones that made me stop and think.  I was in the process of reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman at the time as well…why?  Because I didn’t know WHAT my love language was…go figure.   So there I was reading about all these married folks who don’t know why their marriage is falling apart….and it is because they are not speaking the same language…love language that is.   The purpose behind this book?  To teach you how to recognize the love language you speak and what your spouse speaks, and how to USE that knowledge to show love to your spouse.   To fill their love tanks.   Chapman asks the folks in his book to consider their spouse before themselves.   At that time,  I believed my husband’s love language is Words of Affirmation.  Now I believe that it is a combination of that and physical touch.   I try as much as possible to make sure he knows how much I appreciate what he does because he does A LOT in this household.   I had to drop my own “selfish ambition” in order to meet a need that he has.   I leave him notes on his Facebook page to publicly let everyone know how much I love and appreciate him.   I am turning into his biggest cheerleader.   Why?  To get rid of my own selfish ambition and to consider him over myself.    Yeah, it’s real easy for me to follow my own interests and needs, but Jesus wants us to go beyond that and put the needs of our husbands before our own needs.   Is that an easy job to do?  No, but it is SO worth it.   Not only do we make them feel good, but it feels good to do it, too.

Think about this….(Philippians 2:5-8)

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death-
even death on a cross!

What did Jesus owe you?   Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.   Yet, he voluntarily took on human nature and became a servant.   He was obedient to his own death.  A death he didn’t deserve, but he loved us that much.   Commit to serving the needs of your spouse.  Move toward sacrificing the things you want for the things your spouse wants and needs.   I need to try to take this challenge on more for my hubby.   Will you join me?

This week…

The Nutmegs will be on vacation!

I have some articles already set up to publish this week, so if I don’t approve comments until next week, please understand.  Same goes for emails.  Have a wonderful week!!

Lord, Heal Me and Help Me Care for My Body

Oh, the Lord knows how much I need this chapter.

I do not take care of my body.   My attitude stinks when it comes to eating and exercising.  You see that avatar that I post on each and every post that I write?  That was probably me when I graduated from high school and that was 27 years ago.   I went to college….and gained weight.  I got married….and gained weight.   I got pregnant… and gained a lot of baby weight that I didn’t work on getting off, so 7 years later when I got pregnant again, I was at a “better” weight, but I still am about 37 pounds overweight according to BMI (which I totally dislike BMI… it is NOT a good gauge of a healthy person…)  Seriously…. when I dropped from “Overweight” to “Normal” in the BMI scale, I was thinner, but I didn’t like how thin it made certain areas of my body.   It didn’t look natural.

But I digress from the point of this topic.  I stink at will power.

So, I am probably about 30 pounds or so overweight.   I need to take care of my body.   And that takes discipline.

Discipline I lack in my time in the Bible.  Discipline I lack in my prayer life.  Discipline that I need to get on  my knees and ask God to help me with.

I’ve probably beat this story like a dead horse, but I had a really dear friend who had breast cancer in her mid-20’s.  She got sick.  Went through chemo.  Went through surgeries.   We prayed for healing.  We laid hands on her.   In the end, she passed away, succumbing to breast cancer.   We all, myself included, prayed that God would heal her so we could have more time with her.   It wasn’t until I became aware that, yes, God is a healer, but sometimes the healing comes in Heaven.  I started praying for healing again for her, and that if it was God’s will for her to be healed on this side of Heaven, that he would.  But I also released her to God if the healing needed to happen with her dying to us, but living with him.   And that’s what happened.  What did she do wrong to contract cancer so young?  Nothing.  Cancer latches on and is an evil tool that Satan uses in his arsenal.  My own mother suffers from cancer and is at this time undergoing chemotherapy.  My mom is the LAST person that I feel should ever get cancer, and Satan knows that.   Did she do anything wrong?  No, she has been the picture perfect vision of Christ to me my entire life.   When I was so obsessed all my young life with my Dad, she sat back and waited, knowing there would be a time when I would seek her out, just like God does.  He allows us free will, knowing full well, that those of us who believe in him may stray and sin, but we always come back to him for repentance and redemption.     Sometimes our bodies get sick.   There is nothing wrong with praying for healing.  Miracles happen.  I have a dear friend that is a coworker who has a new lease on life with an organ transplant that God provided for her from a complete stranger who she now calls her “grafted sister”.  Miracles do happen.  Our bodies can and do heal.

But it is our responsibility to take care of this temple that the Holy Spirit resides in.  I’ve given the Holy Spirit a dump of a place to live.   I need to change that.  He deserves a much better place to live.   I need God’s help and guidance as to what is best for my body.  I need to pray to him to help remove all cravings for sweets that are bad for me, and to give me cravings for his delicious fruits he gives me… natures candy.   I need to get on the bandwagon.  Thank you, Stormie, for this chapter.  It comes at a time in my life where I am really struggling.   Thank you for the words to help me begin my spiritual journey to a healthier body.

What about you?