Reclaiming Sex (Lauri’s Story)

Lauri Rowe has been my biggest encouragement and sounding board this month as I dug deep on sexuality, it seems only fitting her end by sharing her story.


 

Sex! What a small word! 3 little letters, but so powerful. Some may call it a dirty word, but others see it as life giving. What do you think when you hear the word Sex?

It may make you uncomfortable or excited and it has certainly been both censored and exploited. For most of us it brings a wealth of emotions like pain, sadness, joy, fear and even comfort. For me it has evoked all of those feelings and some feelings I can’t even find words for.

I am a married, 42 year old mom of 2 and a Christian. I married a flawed, amazing, handsome Christian man and together, we’ve come a long way in our 20 years of marriage. For most of those years I have struggled with that three letter word, sex.

I’ve had to pull back a lot of layers to make peace with my own sexuality. I was not a virgin when I got married so for the first few years I had to tend to the baggage of that. Then my marriage suffered some gut punches, I think most marriages suffer the same. Ours could have been knock out punches but with God’s grace we survived.

During the past 20 years I’ve gone from a person who was clueless about her sexuality to someone who values sexuality as a gift from God. It wasn’t an overnight transformation, it took a lot of work and soul searching. I never thought I would see my sexuality this way. If anything I thought it was something that kept me separated from my maker. I never heard anything positive from a pastor or youth leader about my sexuality, actually quite the opposite.

lauri-rowe-church-sexI grew up believing my sexual urges made me weak, a sinner. I’m not blaming anyone here, but that was the message my teenage brain received. I understand now at 42 that my pastors and youth leaders were trying to protect me, but still it didn’t make sense to 15 yr old me. I wonder now how my story would have played out if I’d been exposed to the truth. Continue reading

On Earth As It Is In Heaven- Talking Sexuality With Nicole Romero

Hey friends, I am so excited about this post, I promise I don’t need to say more, Nicole’s got it all covered. Forgive us that it’s technically March but, I think you’ll understand. 


Before we talk about vulnerable, passionate things I like to get to know each other.

HI! I’m Leanne’s friend Nicole and I like to get myself in trouble. I am a pastor and I founded “Love and Making It” – an online class and community created to help women lead brave and beautiful lives in bed and out. I will cross oceans to see you believe your own beauty and experience passionate love.

Listen. We are bombarded with sights and sounds that tell us we are just not good enough and neither is our spouse. Let’s rebel against all of those messages together! Sound good? Grab my hand, let’s go. …

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Love and Making It: on earth as it is in heaven

How far do you let yourself imagine the goodness of sex and the body? Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Porn

A friend and reader asked if she could submit her story and contribution to our month of sexuality anonymously. Her marriage recently ended after a decades long struggle with porn addiction. As I prepare this entry to go live, I am praying that it goes where it needs to go, that God uses her painful story to free others who feel alone in this struggle.

Let’s talk about porn.

If I’d read that sentence a few years ago, I’d have shied away. I won’t blame you if you do, but I no longer have that luxury.

Several months ago, three police officers came to my door twenty minutes before the kids were due home from school. They were there to arrest my husband. Even after he was sitting in jail, it still took a few days for my honest, no-games-playing husband of twenty-one years to admit to taking part in a several-month “relationship” with someone in a sex chat room who said she was fourteen. She wasn’t; but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

That was the culmination of an eight-year sex chat room addiction. Other truths rolled out, depending on what I had evidence for, including many online flirtations as himself, using his own name (you’re anonymous in the chat rooms), but at least these seemed to be with adult women. It turns out he’d been addicted to online porn since there was such a thing. It started out with images and videos, but the more he saw, the more immune he’d get to it, and the more danger, the more transgression he needed to get the same old thrill, so he got into graphic sexual conversations with strangers.

All while refusing to have any kind of regular sex life with me.

 

porn-kills-marriages

We’d done so many things right. We were together for two years before we married. I was an “everything but penetration” kind of gal, and although we didn’t have sex with each other until we were married, we had a good time. Both our parents were still married. We valued our families of origin, and enjoyed spending time with them. We became very involved in every church we belonged to. We supported each other’s gifts and talents. We were both attractive, interesting, passionate people who always had more to talk about than our kids.

But sex had never gone particularly well. It was fine, but eventually the bedroom became a place of anger, shame, and heavy stress. Continue reading

On Shaving And Valentines Day

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I received a text from my friend the other day, I am going to let her remain anonymous.

She asked me how the new sexuality series is going and told me how excited she was about the idea.

“I’m really tired of people thinking that marriage is where sex goes to die” she wrote me. She wrote about how she thinks our culture and society does a terrible job at portraying sex in marriage and then she added a quote … “Societies become the stories that they tell.”

In our societies we often perpetrate the idea that sex is only good before your wedding day, or right at the beginning or definitely before kids.

“It’s been told to us so thoroughly that we don’t even question it or realize that we have agreed with it.”

And she is absolutely right.

She texted me again last night: “Hey remember what I always told you about valentines day?”

Yup, I did. “Always shave your legs on valentines day.”

And then it all clicked, she was right, I stopped doing it after we got married, not because I think Kel particularly cares but because I didn’t think it mattered.

But I feel sexier with smooth legs, and painted nails for that matter. Continue reading

More Like Me February Kickoff- Let’s Talk About Sex(uality) Baby #1

and i'm yours(To Join the More Like Me Facebook Community, Click Here!)

So as we kick off this month on sexuality, I want to say something right off the bat: WE are doing this together and I AM not an expert. Every one of these monthly topics was chosen because I need it too, I need to unlearn some lies and grow into the truth.

And this month has me nervous, because sexuality is so deep and nuanced and full of passion, it can bring up deep pain when misused through abuse and also release us to be wild and free and fully alive.

So here we go, a month of learning about Sexuality. It is February 1st and my prayer is that neither you nor I will be the same when the calendar reads February 29. It is a leap year guys, I checked.

Overview
Sexuality is not just who we are in bed, it is a foundational part of who we are that is not to be ignored. It is spiritual, physical and psychological. There is not an aspect of our lives which in which it does not hold sway. This is not to say that one gender is above another. On the contrary this series will be written from an Egalitarian perspective as I believe that “Masculinity and femininity are fluid, relative, and difficult to pin down. And, contrary to what many of these leaders seem to be suggesting, one is not preferable to the other, in the Church or in worship.” ~Rachel Held Evans

Be Vulnerable
(deep breath because… it’s getting real) I am not the most sexually confident person you know online, or in real life. I am a little bit uptight and I have, in my marriage and in general, had a hard time being comfortable with my sexuality. I have struggled transitioning sex from the taboo, True Love Waits thing it was in my adolescence, to the “all good to go” thing it is supposed to be now that I am married. This is why this topic landed on my list of “more like me” in the first place. I want too… de-prude-ify myself a bit, have a healthier marriage, more confidence and a better ability to relax and understand what I was created for. Continue reading

The Point Of January- More Like Me Post #3

Hey guys, before I dive in to what I want to say this morning, I wanted to apologize for being flighty this month. Can I claim personality type there? No… 

I have been sick and sad over the passing of my aunt and our basement flooded leading to clean up and general feelings of “oh screw it.”

So now, on to the point of January, wrapping up month one of More Like Me 2016.

The reason I chose “Know Yourself” for January is because it is so foundational for the success of the rest of the year.

Often we look at the success of others around us and try to imitate their approaches. When we come up short, we blame ourselves for sucking.

New Year's EveWhy am I so bad at this when they are so good?

Here is a struggle I deal with: two of my closest friends are very strong J-types on the Meyer’s Briggs scale. Everything has a place, they don’t have “junk drawers” and their idea of a messy house is a couple of abandoned library books and a coffee cup on the counter.

My house is clean but lived in and fairly well organized, but my washi tape and pens do not live in glass apothecary jars and the shakers in my spice cupboard do not match, theirs do. They also keep label makers in their kitchens.

I have several junk drawers and even my organized drawers are like… mostly measuring cups and spoons but I think the meat thermometer also lives in there… and maybe spare bottle pieces and ooh a quarter! Score!  Continue reading

I Took the Meyer’s Briggs Test- Now What?

Hey guys, going strong in week 1 of the More Like Me, month by month challenge. I guess we will call it a challenge?

We do have a Facebook group now and we are currently 23 members strong!

If you want to join click here and I will approve you. Easy Peasy.

Monday’s assignment and post (go here if you need to catch up) was about getting to know yourself better by taking the Meyer’s Briggs personality type test at 16 personalities. If you still need to take the test, go. do it.

I want to say again that I am not an expert on Meyers Briggs or anything that we are focusing on this year, I am doing this with you and trying to stay just a few steps ahead so I can bring valuable information to the table.

I Took The Meyer's Briggs Continue reading

More Like Me January Kickoff, “What’s True About You?”

Hello all, sorry I didn’t come through on the Friday deadline, but here I am now, eh? (Side note with accompanying excuse, it was Caedmon’s birthday (5!) and we had company which was AWESOME but you know… busy.)

traveler

So we are kicking off our More Like Me- Month by Month 2016 series today. First I am going to provide you with a list of topics we will be covering, based on the survey results that you guys TOOK! And some stuff that the Spirit has been laying on my own heart. And, for January we are covering one that is NOT on the list, which is “Know Yourself.”

So here’s the year plan.

How can You participate?
1) Check in on Facebook- The more you do, the more it will pop up in your newsfeed. You can even change your settings so you are informed at the top of your feed when the page updates. If there is enough interest I think I will start a Facebook group.
2) Read & Resources– For every challenge I will provide you with books, articles, podcasts and other resources that center around the focus for each month.
3) Printables & Action Items– I will also link you to printables and assign action items that we can do together to center and draw closer to our created selves- which is what this is all about… not becoming BETTER, just more YOU, the you were made to be.

Monthly Challenges

January- Know Yourself
February- Sexuality
March- Prayer
April- Authenticity
May- Friendship
June- Sabbath
July- Health & Wellness
August- Meditation
September- Home
October- Screen Time
November- Courage
December- Scripture Continue reading

More Like Me, Month by Month- A New Series Introduction

Hello and happy New Year from me and all the other Pennys, including the cat, who is very festive.

I love the new year, every year it feels like a blank canvas, a fresh white beginning on which to paint something new, maybe even different.

I’m not talking about trying to become a thinner, a more super-hero you, just a truer version of yourself stripped from the coping mechanisms you use to distract yourself from how beautifully-hard it all it.

Or at least reign them in?

Does this make sense?

Okay I will come clean with you here, I feel like I drink too much wine, I’m not even going public with how much is too much, but it’s too much for me.

And I spend too much time on my phone, for my own comfort.

And I feel pinchy about the fact that God calls me to sabbath, and pray… but I don’t.

And I don’t feel sexy in my own skin, but I want to.

So I want to become more myself in 2016, month by month. I want to read about, think about, and intentionally pray about specific topics…. do you want to do this with me?

More Like Me, Month by Month.

That’s catchy, right? It has 4 Ms so it sort of has the alliteration factor.

Next Monday I will be launching this series, and posting about it at least every Monday. I will try to bring in experts and book recommendations on each month’s subject.

I will show up and curate help and support on my Facebook page.

Do you want in? If you don’t that is okay, I’m really doing this because I feel called to, yet the spirit in me has also called me to throw the invitation out there, so here I go.

I have at least half of the categories set up already, but I have some open for voting on this here survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/333NPTF

I will be announcing the results on Friday and we will get started on Monday. So, here we go.

Are you in? #morelikeme